Wikipedia talk:Civility

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Addition to wording of "No personal attacks or harassment" section[edit]

Scout MLG made an edit that I reverted for technical reasons but could be something to discuss adding. The addition was to the last line of the section and added the Wikipedia linked term of bans. Since the term generally means a site ban, I thought perhaps wording it a little more precisely might be an improvement. Many, if not most bans are decided for more than just an editor's conduct with others but also a pattern of editing and long term abuse. A legal threat generally receives an indefinite block and can lead to talk page editing being revoked but the most common type of ban used for harassment or continued personal attacks or disruption by both editors is an interaction ban. There is surely more to consider. Any thoughts, suggestions, or comments?--Mark Miller (talk) 04:56, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

I can think of situations where an otherwise good editor might receive a community-imposed site ban for repeated personal attacks. ~Awilley (talk) 15:07, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

Request for comment on the specific term "fuck off" – sanctionable or not![edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
This discussion has been open for long enough that there is a coherent outcome. Namely, most of us agree that "fuck off" is definitely uncivil in many contexts, and incivility is sanctionable, but consideration should be given to the surrounding context of each instance before deciding to apply sanctions. Mitigating factors could include extreme provocation and whether the phrase was used as part of non-serious banter, but it's ultimately a case-by-case determination. If you were expecting a hard-and-fast rule to come out of this discussion, I'm afraid I don't see that here. If you think that this discussion has done nothing to change the status quo... well, you might be right.
Civility enforcement is probably the most difficult administrative task that the community has to deal with, and I'm not sure there's one clear, unambiguous answer to most questions in this area. I think the best we have at the moment is a set of advice. Keep in mind that many of us have different extents to which we tolerate profanity as part of civil discussion; there was some discussion here about cultural differences between different English-speaking countries. Keep in mind that even if the person you are talking to understands that you are bantering, outside observers might not necessarily realize this. I tried to cover some broad strokes in this summary, but many editors have offered more specific advice that you may wish to read over more closely if you are interested. Respectfully, Mz7 (talk) 06:27, 8 November 2018 (UTC)


Background: There are a few terms that may be derogatory to some but are generally acceptable in talk page/edit summary usage; amongst these, one such term is "fuck off". Past discussions on whether repetitively using the term "fuck off" at other editors is sanctionable have been inconclusive, with a broad leaning towards this being non-sanctionable.

Over the past recent years, Wikipedia's reach and editor base has grown significantly beyond the West, reaching highly populated English speaking countries like India, which may or may not subscribe to the cultural ethos of language usage subscribed to by Western editors. With the premise that Wikipedia should be inclusive for all global communities involved in editing, I wish to re-assess current community consensus on the talk page usage of the term "fuck off" targeted at other editors.

I am okay if the community still considers this term non-sanctionable, or sanctionable, or even if there is inconclusive consensus – but a benchmark here would allow clarity on how to assess responses at various desks when editors complain at being told to "fuck off".

Therefore, I request the community to comment on the following specific query:

  • Should the "repetitive usage" of the term "fuck off" by an editor targeted at other editors be considered "sanctionable"?***
*** "Sanctionable" refers to the broad universe of escalating warnings, which may lead to blocks, bans, restrictions etcetera if the editor ignores these warnings.
Thanks, Lourdes 10:47, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

Discussions: Yes, No, Comments... all are welcome[edit]

  • Yes This is, supposedly, an encyclopedia, and editors should conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to such an institution. If abusive language is continued to be accepted here, then the WMF - a global charity - is effectively endorsing such abuse, via its insistence on devolving civility policy to administrators and 'the community'. I think lenience can be given on user talk pages, but not in article space, which is a work environment. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 11:14, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Not necessarily. I wouldn't condone it normally, but if someone is being hounded by a disruptive or obnoxious editor, we should understand their frustration and cut them some slack. If used without provocation, I agree warnings are appropriate. --Michig (talk) 11:40, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • It Varies - I think 2 points should be met. 1) It should be a strict following of the above - only if repeated and only if targeted 2) It shouldn't apply on an editor's own user talk page. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:47, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No as WP:CREEP. This can be circumvented easily by saying get the fuck out, go the fuck away, give me a fucking break, among many others. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) wumbolo ^^^ 12:26, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
    @Wumbolo: What you describe could be also sanctionable as gaming the system. SemiHypercube 16:28, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Fuck Off. While extremely rude, this is not sanctionable by itself. It depends on context. I get the impression you might be headhunting somebody. I can’t imagine who, but it looks like the proposer wants a rule change they can use as a hammer to beat somebody else. If true, then this discussion is itself disruptive. Naughty words aren’t the issue. The underlying agenda could be. Jehochman Talk 12:41, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Fuck no WP:CREEP, WP:BURO, WP:COMMON — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 13:06, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Nope. Matter of fact, on this very page, twelve and a half years ago, I suggested the very opposite. Wikipedia talk:Civility/Archive 1#User_talk:. Didn't get any traction. Still feel the same way. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 15:17, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No Context matters. WP:NOT has some good recommendations on handling situations where such words might come up: --Ronz (talk) 15:22, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
    If another user behaves in an uncivil, uncooperative, or insulting manner, or even tries to harass or intimidate you, this does not give you an excuse to respond in kind. Address only the factual points brought forward, ignoring the inappropriate comments, or disregard that user entirely.
    Focus on improving the encyclopedia itself, rather than demanding more from other Wikipedians.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronz (talkcontribs)
  • Yes Very likely violation of WP:CIVILITY, behavior may perhaps also WP:BITE newcomers. SemiHypercube 16:20, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Propose closing this thread. I think this question is wasting the community's time. Content policies do not attempt to enumerate what words or sentences do and do not comply; imagine if they did. Likewise, we interpret and implement our community's conduct policies as required from time to time.

    I was astonished to see this thread listed on {{cent}}. I am not sure what we can accomplish by having this discussion. Suppose the participants were to resoundingly conclude that "yes, to say 'fuck off' is always unacceptable." What can we do with that consensus? Editing the guideline to include "You can never say 'fuck off' or similar phrases" can't be done; as I said, guidelines are broadly written because they need to be interpreted on the fly. Citing this thread in a future administrative request can't be done, because – again – sysops take decisions based on a number of factors.

    Finally, the questions raised here fall into the famous trap of regulating incivility: You don't know it until you see it. Please close this thread. AGK ■ 16:37, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

  • +1 to this comment that echo my thought. –Ammarpad (talk) 18:44, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • +1 from me too, this is a ridiculous RfC that could never reach anything resembling a sensible actionable consensus. Sam Walton (talk) 23:02, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • -1 Although, I agree it is shocking that it is not utterly obvious that "fuck off" is always uncivil, apparently, a shocking number of editors feel they and other editors have the right to be so disrespectful. I have a feeling if a new editor told them to "fuck off", they would take them to AN/I and have them banned for incivility. --David Tornheim (talk) 23:19, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

'Some people are easily offended "snowflakes" that melt when subjected to completely civil and polite comments not remotely offensive to non-snowflakes: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Lugnuts&diff=865799323&oldid=865794031 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.234.100.169 (talk) 23:09, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

  • The bar for civility should not be "what is the worst word I can use which is just about permissible enough to not get me a block?". This discussion, which has happened over and over on so many different venues, is pointless - here's an insane idea, maybe don't tell people to fuck off? - TNT 💖 17:02, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Most of the time, discussions about building an encyclopedia shouldn't escalate to profanity, but it's not always the person doing the swearing who is acting against the encyclopedia project's basic values. It is quite possible to be incivil and downright hostile under a veneer of fancy words. XOR'easter (talk) 18:27, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No No "specific term" should be sanctionable, because the issue is never (and should never be) the appearance of that "specific term" — to unilaterally prohibit any "specific term" is nothing more than censorship. Editors' interactions with each other are governed by WP:CIVILITY, which "fuck off" does not automatically violate, and which can easily be violated without ever using the phrase "fuck off".
If an editor's actions warrant sanction because they're being uncivil towards their fellow editors editors, writing "fuck off" is hardly going to be their sole (or most egregious) offense — or if it is their only transgression, then I would argue there's no transgression at all. Uncivil editors should be sanctioned for the real transgression, not because someone stretched a tripwire across a specific phrase. Respond to what was said and how, not because the appearance of "specific terms" led to pearl-clutching. The naughty-words police can just piss off, piss off, piss off, piss off. (...See?) FeRDNYC (talk) 18:34, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
    • FeRDNYC, excuse me? You seem to be writing as if someone was proposing we add a new WP:NOFUCKOFF rule. No one has done this.
    • You seem to be writing as if wikipedia discussions were held only between friends, who know on another well enough to know when to ignore foul offensive language. However, we keep wikipedia discussions forever. Third parties read old discussions, so they can learn why decisions were reached. They can't be expected to be aware of when individuals who used foul language were actually friends.

      Newbies read old discussions, so they can learn the rules, and how to conduct themselves. Do you really think you can defend setting a bad example for newbies? Geo Swan (talk) 01:23, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Depends on the context and situation. Even if a rule was implemented on it, there would still be grey areas. JC7V-talk 18:51, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as redundant to WP:Civility. The policy already prohibits gross profanity, rudeness, harassment and belittling other editors. Telling editors to "fuck off" falls cleanly within these prohibitions, and can be dealt with accordingly. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 19:01, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Cursing at people isn't nice, but we aren't the bad-word police. Besides, "fuck" is so overused that anyone so deliberately fragile that they need a rest on the fainting couch after hearing it probably shouldn't be going on the internet unsupervised. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 19:14, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Thought police" need to focus on editing articles - not tracking editors use of certain words. While I have never typed them there have been plenty of times that I've wanted to. Thus, I can understand when other editors do use them. On a day when people were slaughtered in Pittsburgh today it is worth trying to get some perspective about this. MarnetteD|Talk 19:20, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Repeated usage of Fuck off is signal of incivility. Civility and respect is one of our 5 core pillars. Repeated violations a core pillar should lead to sanctions. We have been considerable lax here and should be stricter. So yes, that is sanctionable and always has been. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:45, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • (1) Depends on context, (2) Civility matters. As other editors have said, this question does not lend itself to an algorithmic treatment: one has to consider context and intent. That makes me a no for the question as asked. Admins should have enough good judgment to tell the difference between disruptive incivility, momentary annoyance, and friendly banter, so pretty much nothing makes for an automatic WP:NPR violation. On the other hand, I do think that the community ought to expect more in terms of civility than has been recent practice. This website is supposed to be a genuine effort to provide the world with useful information, not just another site for anonymous crabbiness. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:17, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
    This is a great opportunity for me to advertise the ingenious {{fbdb}} ("Friendly banter – don't block!") template, which avoids unnecessary block-drama stemming from "fuck offs" among friends. EEng 03:38, 28 October 2018 (UTC) Speaking of genius, be sure not to miss: "And though his brain is smaller than his tiny little penius / He is the very model of a very stable genius".
  • Strong Yes Lourdes, thank you for posting this RfC. I just went to this page with the intention to make an RfC just like it for exactly the same reason. This is a no-brainer. If we honestly tell the world we believe telling people to "fuck off" is civil way to address people in a disagreement, we are going to be the laughing stock of the civilized world. --David Tornheim (talk) 21:44, 27 October 2018 (UTC) [revised 22:26, 27 October 2018 (UTC)]
  • Fuck the civilized world. May that never be the pearl-clutching criterion by which anyone judges our work here. If a better encyclopedia comes at the price of the occasional lapse in decorum, then I say fuck on, fuck on, fuck on!
The problem with this: we believe telling people to "fuck off" is civil way to address people is that it's not the question at hand. The question is: Are you willing to state, unequivocally, that it can never be employed in a civil conversation? Because, unless you're willing to draw that kind of bright line, then the issue that needs to be addressed isn't the phrase, it's the conduct. And when "fuck off" is used uncivilly, then the party/parties should be sanctioned for that incivility, same as they would be if nobody said "fuck off". That does not require a word-police policy, it requires nothing more than the existing WP:CIVIL. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 05:43, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
It should probably be noted that David Tornheim's own behaviour throughout this whole affair has been far from civil; policing other editors' language while aggressively, flagrantly, violating the spirit of both WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA -- and also WP:HARASS for that matter -- is a fairly strong indicator of being NOTHERE. Hijiri 88 (やや) 11:30, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I looked to see the latest that is going on at WP:ANI, and I see that there is a thread that has opened there about possible canvassing to this RfC (which in my opinion needs to be snow-closed as no consensus before this goes on any longer). --Tryptofish (talk) 20:14, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No is the answer to this question which entirely misses the point. Being rude is already sanctionable but the context matters. Some people can switch to automaton mode and disrupt the encyclopedia in a very polite but tenacious and misguided manner while others, after responding politely at first, may occasionally erupt. The purpose of Wikipedia is to build an encyclopedia. This is not a let's be nice to everyone social group. Johnuniq (talk) 22:09, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Fuck no This is not a kindergarten. If you can't handle grown up language, then you can't edit like a grown up. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:27, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No. We're adults here and should be able to handle frank discourse and disagreements. -- BullRangifer (talk) PingMe 22:35, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - If not a violation of WP:CIVIL what is? Save trash talking for Reddit etc -- GreenC 23:07, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Completely depends on context. Next question?. Black Kite (talk) 23:17, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes it's already covered by wp:civility, although it's not necessarily a big deal if the context is light-hearted. However, I really doubt that "repetitive usage" (the wording of this RfC) would ever be cheerful. In the recent ANI case it was used in a clearly hostile manner and directed not just against vandals but even an admin. With the inability of ANI to actually enforce civility, this is a watershed moment deciding whether the policy actually matters anymore or whether there's a complete laissez-faire attitude towards language. In my opinion it's clear that normalizing such sophomoric language is off-putting for many regulars and newcomers alike and thus harmful. Usually using such language is also coupled with other conduct issues and just makes dealing with those issues worse for everyone. --Pudeo (talk) 23:22, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No IN THAT I don't think calling out which words if used will constitute a violation is helpful. There are 2 ways I can think of right now I would use this phrase - one would be to abruptly and crudely tell someone to get away from me, either as a result of provocation or as provocation and the other is to express extreme shock about something a friend tells me. Which is being used is context driven. It should be clear from context whether the speech is sanctionable irrespective of whether that particular phrase is used. Isolating that particular phrase is meaningless. HOWEVER the repeated use of it targeted at an editor in an uncivil and attacking manner should be addressed and the editor sanctioned - not because of the specific words but because of the attack itself. ☕ Antiqueight chatter 23:25, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No This should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, as it already is. In the case that brought this up (MPants/Obsidi), Obsidi kept insisting on beating a dead horse and pushed MPants, an editor whom I have always found perfectly reasonable and civil (often frustratingly so) despite frequently disagreeing on content, to the point that he used foul language. Sanctioning MPants, or saying that he could be sanctioned, for such would only encourage behaviour like Obsidi's, and lead editors to disruptive editors deliberately trying to push people they disagree with until they say the F word. This is not like, say, calling a person paranoid/insane because you disagree with them on content; context matters. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:30, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
And FTR, I'm pretty sure I've had editors tell me to "fuck off" in circumstances where I was annoying them (although I would probably contest that, as long as I stayed off their talk page, I had every right to push whatever matter it was) and because they were just uncivil, closed-minded individuals. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:33, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
FTFTR: And yes, of course I think it should be "sanctionable" under certain circumstances, but Lourdes (and several of the editors who answered yes) are talking about a specific recent set of circumstances where it certainly should not have led to sanctions, despite an attempt by Lourdes to cast a supervote on the matter; I dunno, maybe this is more about limits of admin authority than civility? It's a given that if a specific editor repeatedly targets other editors in an uncivil manner such behaviour is sanctionable. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:48, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Shit yes! – I wish someone would trout me when I allow another editor to piss me off enough that I tell them to fuck off. I've been tempted lately, but resisting. Dicklyon (talk) 23:41, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
@Dicklyon: I too would like to be trouted in such circumstances, but that's not what's being discussed. The word in the title is "sanctionable", and the specific context underlines that. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:48, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Fuck off. Or possibly, merely, oh, fuck off. This is 100% context dependent. Guy (Help!) 00:19, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Context, venue, tone, cause, and overall behavioral patterns matter. Considering a large proportion of admins and even Arbs or former Arbs routinely use this phrase on their talkpages when dealing with trolls or disruptive editors, we're going to have a lot of blocked admins under this proposed shutdown of free speech. We don't legislate or censor specific phrases. I invite Ivanvector to peruse this RfC. Softlavender (talk) 00:21, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Fuck no, completely case by case. Big difference between saying fuck off to a newbie asking a question or an anti-semitic troll. Home Lander (talk) 00:25, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes! - It's a hostile turn of phrase and I can't think of any online context which this would be considered civil behavior WP:CIVIL. Jooojay (talk) 00:47, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Lourdes, it's really not appropriate for you to single out two specific editors and two specific examples in your RfC. That makes the RfC non-neutral, which is a violation of WP:RFC. This is particularly egregious when one of the examples is an editor you were threatening with an indefinite block unless he promised not to use the phrase in question, a mere 6 hours prior to filing this RfC: [8]. I request that you remove the two examples (they are unneeded). Softlavender (talk) 01:03, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Sure. Done, Lourdes 01:05, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Lourdes, it's not appropriate for you to single out any specific editor or any specific example. Please remove the other one as well. Softlavender (talk) 01:11, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No problems. Lourdes 01:18, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Not by itself. The context matters. ~Awilley (talk) 01:08, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Let's all fuck off. and do something productive with our time. We've got 5 million articles to care of. How about we do that? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:22, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No I have on more than one occasion used "Fuck off" and similar expressions quite deliberately, to draw the attention of the community (Admins really) to the repeated poor behaviour of other editors, ultimately leading to those other editors being sanctioned. There is a strategy used by some POV pushers here of seemingly remaining within the rules of civility (and other rules) while all the time subtly adding bigoted and biased content to articles. I have found that using "Fuck off" gets more reasonable editors to finally notice this stuff. Now, in a perfect Wikiworld, this tactic would not be necessary, but we haven't got close to that level of perfection here yet. HiLo48 (talk) 01:25, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Waste of Time/No/Use Common Sense What is the point in talking about this? It should be common sense on when "fuck off" should be used. If it is used in a joking sense that is fine, if you are telling an LTA to fuck off, that is not really that great of a thing to do per WP:DENY, but in the end they deserve it. Lakeside Out!-LakesideMinersClick Here To Talk To Me! 01:53, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment This is an end around to try to sanction a specific editor which a discussion at ANI failed to do so. This is not how we have policy discussions. I won't dignify a discussion started under such unseemly pretenses with an opinion one way or the other. If one wants to start a neutral RFC about policies regarding certain words and phrases, fine, I'll have that discussion, but this is just WP:FORUMSHOPping. --Jayron32 01:54, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@Jayron32: For what it's worth, I don't get the impression Lourdes opened this discussion so that, if it achieved support, they could run instantly to block MP. I think rather that Lourdes just wanted to create consensus and clarity for future such instances. There are occasions where I saw a policy issue or loophole present itself in a discussion and immediately after the thread was closed for procedural reasons, I accepted the deadlock for that situation but immediately committed to bringing the larger issue before the community. Of course, generally I didn't set up that discussion the same day, but that probably has more to do with my being a bit of a slow-poke here than anything! Snow let's rap 03:30, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
She linked directly to a thread on MPants' talkpage as an example in her RfC: [9]. (I requested that she remove examples.) Softlavender (talk) 03:50, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's true, what Softlavender says. Jayron, the ANI thread was the impetus to start this RfC, to ensure that my understanding of how to take future action on such cases is clear, not any dying need to sanction someone with immature edits. I wanted to know what is the community's perspective and it's giving me quite an insight already. Thanks, Lourdes 04:13, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
"not any dying need to sanction someone with immature edits". What and whose edits are you referring to as "immature"? Softlavender (talk) 04:44, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I believe Lourdes is trying to say they did not start this thread for the purposes of facilitating sanctions on any one particular editor, even if they (Lourdes) do have a predisposition to viewing the use of the phrase as immature, and would like community input in how to address the issue in the future. That is to say, that is how I parsed that sentence; I won't presume to judge Lourdes' sincierity, having just met them. Though at the same time I will say nothing in their conduct here or in the foregoing discussion at ANI has predisposed me to believe that they are being anything less than sincere. Listing specific examples here may have been a bridge too far (we got rid of RfC/U for a reason), but they withdrew those elements from the prompt upon request. I for one believe they are just trying to stimulate community consensus here, even if (as they admit) the concern was focused by one particular ANI thread. So long as they don't go chasing after MP as soon as this discussion closes, their concern would seem to be good faith and legitimate (or at least seemingly so enough that I feel comfortable AGFing on their motives) and their approach above-board. Snow let's rap 06:55, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Under the condition listed. the repetitive usage of the term "fuck off" by an editor targeted at other editors seems reasonable enough and something that comes up enough that some clarification would be helpful. There are very few situations where this would not be a problem. The times where it truly would not be an issue are obvious or at least quickly clarified. PackMecEng (talk) 02:02, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per GreenC. Cursing generally is poorly-thought but understandable in context. Cursing at someone is not civil and really, not necessary. If you're that bent up, take it to a drama board. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:26, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
A culturally biased response there. In my country's version of English, "fuck off" would not be described as cursing. I have been wondering what that term actually means to you. HiLo48 (talk) 04:44, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@HiLo48: Directing any of the seven dirty words is unacceptable in a "collegial" setting, per WP:NPA. Chris Troutman (talk) 01:20, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
@HiLo48:If a cop approaches you for any reason in your country, and you tell him to fuck off, please let us know what the reaction is. Moriori (talk) 01:52, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
In all seriousness, I've done that now and then, with exactly the result I wanted i.e. the cop stayed out of that which didn't concern him. You can do that in the United States (if you're white, of course). EEng 03:09, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Chris Troutman and Moriori, you have missed my point entirely. It was the use of the word "cursing" I was discussing. That word simply isn't used in my country to describe this language that concerns you so much. I have no problems with different language usage by speakers of English in different places, but I do have a problem with the ignorance and arrogance involved in assuming everyone else uses the language the same way you do. Once you have displayed ignorance on that front, I cannot respect your views on other language usage issues. HiLo48 (talk) 04:11, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Fuck off copper. What do you mean put my hands behind my back. That's not cursing. HiLo48 said so.Moriori (talk) 08:04, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
No, it's not cursing. Not in Australian English. WE DO NOT CALL THAT CURSING!!!!! Why the fuck won't you believe me? You're actually being more insulting than any SWEARING I might do. You see, language varies around the world. Will you ever understand this? HiLo48 (talk) 08:51, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't believe you. How to swear like an Australian is loaded with fucks. Regardless if you know something is offensive don't go around triggering people, knowingly offending them, and then saying it's not a swear word where you are from and can do whatever you want because you are the only person that matters. It's uncivil, immature, callous and self-centered. Unsurprisingly User:HiLo48#Wikipedia_doesn't_want_me -- GreenC 01:14, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I keep wondering how to make this clearer. Yes, in Australian English "fuck" is a swear word, but it is not a CURSE word. THAT was point I was trying to make. We simply don't use the word "cursing" to describe such language. Sorry about the confusion. It's the fact that such language differences exist among people who all think they know English well that makes discussions like this very difficult. Of course, all Australians know and understand the point I'm making. We know US English is different from Australian English. It seems Americans don't. They behave as if American English is the only form that exists. HiLo48 (talk) 01:27, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I'd also like to warn American editors that you risk causing an international incident if you insensitively use the words acclimate, aluminum, cell phone, cilantro, diaper, drywall, gasoline, popsicle, or windshield. Feel free to keep saying fuck every third sentence, but whatever you do, don't just walk around saying things in the dialect you were raised to speak. Alephb (talk) 02:09, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Too bloody right! HiLo48 (talk) 02:16, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, within reason. I almost made "Context sensitive, but lean..." my header for my !vote here, but honestly, everyone here is going to recognize that already. Let's be clear about one thing from the outset: this is not about vulgarity, it's about aggression. I don't give a fucking fuck whether or not someone heavily peppers their comments with fuck, even in low-stress circumstances. In fact, even if a bunch of those fucks got together and fucked, I'd still not give a fuck about the resulting fucks. Fuck no, fuck yeah, fucking-a and fucks-and-peaches--all acceptable in my book, and I bet upwards of 99% of Wikipedians agree with that.
But "fuck off" is a different animal (as is "fuck you", "go fuck yourself", and the like)--and we all know it. Frankly, not only is the phrase a violation of WP:CIVILITY, it is quite precisely the most brightline/per se example of a violation of that policy possible, because the phrase serves absolutely no other linguistic and communicative purpose than to announce, in the most in-your-face way possible, "I am done talking with you civilly, eat it" Which is not allowed on this project: no matter how annoyed you are, or no matter how legitimately aggrieved, upset, or frustrated--you either communicate civilly in our public spaces, or you say nothing at all and save those invectives for elsewhere. Email someone, step back from the keyboard, or scream into a pillow, whatever you need to do, but you are not allowed to "fight fire with fire"--not in this community, and for very good reasons. People do not use "fuck off" incidentally and rarely use it in good humour (but obviously, in those situations where someone was being clearly sardonic with someone they are getting along with, there would be no cause for a sanction). Snow let's rap 02:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Snow Rise's extended reasoning
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Several people have already noted that this is a peculiar question, because indeed, policy already makes it clear that this unacceptable (note that "rudeness, insults, name-calling, gross profanity or indecent suggestions" are listed at WP:CIV as the number one way of recognizing "direct incivility"). And frankly, though I have seen it coming for a while now, I am nevertheless surprised at us collectively that we are needing to even have explicit discussions about this; when I first became a more regular editor here around eight years ago, this was just not even a question. If you dropped f-bombs with a volatile tone, you got blocked--you just did. But something has changed in the intervening years--and no, it's not just the worsening climate for respectful debate and discussion that has settled upon the first world in the last couple of years (or at least not just that) because this trend began to develop in the years before the worst developments in the larger social sphere. That's a situation that has perplexed me for a while now, because I've always had the impression that most Wikipedians are rationalists who would recognize crass displays of anger or animosity in place of logic as a path to self-defeat in any discussion. We all know ten people on this project who are obvious exceptions to that rule, but the rest of us outnumber them by a considerable ratio, so clearly the problems here are with our systems, not with our contributors, by and large.
But whatever the cause, the situation has gone from bad to worse, particularly in the last three years. We can't solve all of our civility issues here, of course, and the RfC inquiry is quite narrow. And indeed, Lourdes, if I am perfectly honest, I think you might have done more damage than good for the position you support by framing this RfC in the manner you did. I feel I can tell you with some certainty that three dozen or more links and emails have already been shared among those who have a "freedom of speech is the ultimate end" philosophy about communication on this project, despite WP:NOTFREESPEECH. Support for civility is much, much higher in our editorial community, of course, but it is more diffuse and stalwarts of WP:CIV are much less organized and engaged in community spaces than are hotheads who see the writing on the wall for their own conduct and mobilize quickly to oppose efforts to shore-up our enforcement of brightline violations (though to be fair, they do this in good faith, believing that completely unrestricted speech is nothing but virtue). All of that said, the response to this situation must take stock of our broader issues, and many of the solutions will be common among responses to all manner of incivil WP:disruptive behaviour. If this kind of thing is already against policy (and it is) then the solution is unlikely to be "make more policy"; the answer has to be something about our culture and how we implement those policies. I do have some ideas as far as that is concerned:
  • This has got to start with the admin corps. Look, my friends, I understand how easy it is for you to step into it and face personal repercussions, but you are in a unique position to head problems off fast (or at the pass, to use a that charming American colloquialism) by drawing a line in the sand when necessary. Policy and community consensus are on your side, provided you make the distinction between incidental swearing and directed/insulting swearing. You may pay a price in drawn-out battles at ANI and before ArbCom at first, but once the standard is re-affirmed, it will again become less drama to uphold our conduct guidelines and those who cannot adapt will dig their own graves. We all agree to work collaboratively here, and those who can't or won't were going to need to be shown the door eventually anyway. Admins are invested with authority for the very narrow and specific purpose of upholding our policies and intervening to provide a bulwark against disruption. WP:CIVILITY is not just a policy, it is a pillar policy of this community. It ought to be applied accordingly.
  • The corollary is that admins cannot do this without vocal support from the rank and file. Admins need a clear indication about how important this is to us so that they know they are acting in accordance with community will and they need our support when their names get dragged through the mud by our most volatile community members in reaction to the slightest efforts to reign in their behaviour or that of other hotheads. Holding people to the standards of our policies is not "admin abuse", nor is extracting a promise from a disruptive editor to try to do better before the community lets them off the hook for something inappropriate they said. Commit to spending some time discussing our cultural values--the hotheads and WP:CIV skeptics (who are not necessarily the same people) already do this, and that's how they manage to slowly move the needle on our conduct standards despite being a small minority. Speak up when you see a discussion about hostile behaviour. Do it respectfully and responsibly though--ANI and similar spaces where most conduct issues are raised are inherently tense and adversarial places. Most people being scrutinized there are not necesarily at their absolute best in that moment, and understandably so. The goal must always be to first try to convince the editor of the value of a different approach and sanction and public condemnation is often entirely avoidable, with enough patience and forethought.
  • Speaking of the WP:CIV skeptics, befriend a few of them. By and large they are not WP:disruptive and of that limited portion of them that are, they aren't irredeemably disruptive. Most of them have just lived a life (professional and otherwise) where they believe that "calling a spade for a spade" is simply a form of honesty. But they value this project and its future as much as those of us who view WP:CIVILITY as needing stronger enforcement. We must make our case to them and not just eachother. Engage with them. Even if it means turning a blind eye to things you'd rather not. Even if you suspect its a lost cause. You might have to take a few on the chin for your efforts. Oh well, that's the usual cost for consensus building. Some of you may find this advice a little convenient given I am above talking about establishing firmer enforcement above, but I do not see a conflict here: the line in the sand is important, but it stands miles away from the first opportunities we usually have to win someone over.
  • Put your money where your mouth is. The thing about civility is that it is a form of strength; it tells the world you have self-control and a sense of security about the value of your point of view. The worse the abuse you can stand through without breaking down and doing something impulsive, the taller you stand in a time where mudslingers are a dime a dozen. Incivility says the exact opposite; it demonstrates (especially on this site) that you are not able to stand toe-to-toe with your rhetorical opponent and win through the virtue of your beliefs and the ability to break down illogical propositions, so you will instead resort to an emotional outburst. But you have to have the self-discipline to make that case by example: usually nothing else will do. Resort to a report or process as the very last stop; if you haven't weathered thirty combined insults from multiple parties for every time you report someone, you probably aren't trying hard enough. Racist, misogynistic and other group insults are obviously an exception; that's about more than you, and you ought to report those immediately. But if someone tells you that you are a nitwit for feeling the way you do about WP:BLP or WP:CRYSTAL, have the strength to ignore the insult and focus on the weaknesses of their argument, at least for a time.
  • There are also some things we can do in systemic terms. For one, I think it's time for us to reconsider the value of allowing threads at ANI to be closed with a (non-admin closure). Let me say that I think the vast majority of the time, these are simple procedural closes and the non-admins do a fine job summarizing the consensus of the discussion. The uptick in NACs has also made ANI much more readable the last two years. But it's proven to come with a cost. Some non-admins are being a little too loose in how often they utilize them and where they feel comfortable in doing so. These may represent a minority of discussions, but the ones that do get closed prematurely often forestall action that may be sorely needed. We have admins for a reason, and though I am very happy that we have a collaborative culture where non-admins are expected to be heavily involved at behavioural discussion spaces, it's important to have someone with the authority to implement a consensus be the one to decide it. When discussions are closed prematurely with a NAC, it short-circuits the possibility of an admin taking ownership of a brightline call. It also opens the door to more bias, with editors becoming increasingly likely to close a discussion which has implications to the conduct which may have brought them to ANI recently. WP:BOLD has an important role in our community, but I think it is inappropriate for a closure at ANI.
I have other suggestions, but this may be my single longest comment anywhere in my history on this project, and those of you who know me know that I am not exactly short-spoken. Anyway, at the end of the day, this is not about rules, it is about culture. It is about who we decide, as a community, to be. We can enshrine all of the policies we want, but if we don't re-commit daily to walking the walk and speaking up where necessary, we will continue to spiral into acrimony and this project--the laudable, noble endavour to share the sum of human knowledge--will come to a screeching halt. Most of us take it for granted that Wikipedia is a fixture in the world now. Don't. It takes a lot of work to maintain good things in this world, and nothing is harder work than getting along with human beings. We're a mess. But we have potential, and that's what Wikipedia is all about. Snow let's rap 02:31, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
P.S.: Anyone can feel free to collapse box this mammoth post, without objection from me, though I'd consider it a favour if you wait a day or so before doing it. I fully recognize that this will be TLDR for some of our editors regardless, and preachy or saccharine for even more. But if I could have said it more briefly or less aspirationally, I would have, I assure you! Snow let's rap 02:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No need for such a rule. As mentioned, see WP:CREEP. An editor can violate civility and AGF without saying fuck at all, and an editor can say fuck in ever other sentence without being uncivil. It always depends on the context. No specific phrase or word can be banned. Saying "thank you" or "have a nice day" to another editor in certain contexts can be a personal attack worthy of a block. Anyone with the authority to issue sanctions for incivility ought to be able to know incivility when they see it. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 02:51, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes per SnowRise. At least when typed without the benefit of nonverbal context, "fuck off" always connotes "I refuse to try to engage respectfully with you any further." This sentiment should only ever be expressed on WP by a formal block; allowing it into our normal editorial deliberations is toxic, especially to lurkers and newbies who might have useful skills to contribute but don't like the knives-out intellectual aggressiveness that characterizes so much of the user-generated Internet. If we want to be serious about fixing the gender gap; the decline in new editors; and the vicious "wars" that keep driving away many of our most valuable contributors, we have to draw some concrete lines and start treating CIV like it's actually a pillar of our community. FourViolas (talk) 03:29, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Already covered by WP:CIV, in particular the section on identifying incivility. The problem with "fuck off" is that it's almost always unnecessarily disruptive. Saying "fuck off" to other editors would be classified as direct rudeness. However, editors should take into account factors such as (i) the intensity and context of the language/behaviour; (ii) whether the behaviour has occurred on a single occasion, or is occasional or regular; (iii) whether a request has already been made to stop the behaviour, and whether that request is recent; (iv) whether the behaviour has been provoked; and (v) the extent to which the behaviour of others need to be treated at the same time. In Lourdes's example, the editor's behaviour would absolutely be sanctionable subject to these five factors, but we don't need specific rules on particular words and phrases. I don't see this RfC as WP:CREEP or WP:BURO, merely as a necessary clarification of existing policy. TeraTIX 03:48, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes but it should be treated with common sense because it's far too open to gaming (that is, context matters). You also have to consider baiting issues and sometimes the idiom "Fuck off" will emerge if they're being antagonized or harassed. If this does get implemented, there should be an explicit mention that anyone baiting anyone into saying "fuck off" be dealt with swiftly. I don't think we should encourage gross incivility, but likewise we shouldn't encourage harassing behavior either.—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 03:58, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes it can be actionable. It's not always actionable but it should be far more often than not. Since we're not face to face we have the opportunity to not respond when our blood pressure is highest, should we so choose. Or we can find other ways of telling people to fuck off which might not have the same effect but well that's kind of the point and is a good thing in more situations than not. I'm an adult and can tolerate adult disagreements and even being called rude stuff. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be striving for a civil atmosphere, it is one of our pillars after all. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:10, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - it’s either yes all the way or no all the way for article TPs and formal noticeboards = can’t have it both ways in those venues because what one admin may consider uncivil, another may not. Would it be acceptable in a collegial debate class? I think not. One’s own user TP would be exempt. Atsme✍🏻📧 04:15, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
What's "a collegial debate class"? I hope you're not applying the cultural standards of a subset of the population of one country to this global encyclopaedia. HiLo48 (talk) 04:47, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
In what culture would you suspect that the use of that phrase would be considered appropriate for a formal debate class? Couldn't Atsme have been talking about the world at large? And if they were, can you say for certain they were wrong? Multiple of my degrees intersect with comparative linguistics and rhetoric, I've lived in seven different time zones, and while I don't teach debate, I would say I am pretty qualified in the area of discourse in higher instituions. And I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a single example of a nation or society where using "fuck off" or the local variant would be likely to be viewed as "fair game" if used in a formal debate class at the university level. I'd be surprised if it has not happened (a few tens of thousands of time!), but that's different from the notion that it would be viewed as generally "acceptable". I'm not saying no such standard exists anywhere, but I think you're being a bit harsh with Atsme if you mean to suggest they couldn't be right about that notion as a general matter. Snow let's rap 05:59, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I asked you "What's "a collegial debate class"?" and you responded without mentioning "collegial". Maybe you're referring to that American "college" thing, which doesn't exist in my country. It really fucks me off when editors, Americans in particular, write as if the way things work in their country are the same all over the world. Is it ignorance, or arrogance? HiLo48 (talk) 21:57, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Snow Rise, thank you for your common sense reply. HiLo48, collegial does not always refer to “college” and neither does “class”, so remember when you point a finger at others that there are 3 pointing back at you. Global or not, this discussion is in the English Wikipedia so a basic understanding of English is expected, and such expectations are neither an indication of ignorance nor arrogance on behalf of Americans or anyone else, regardless of their nationality. I probably could have phrased my comment as “a class of collegial debate” meaning among colleagues who are writing for an encyclopedia; one I considered to be in a class of higher quality than say, a slang dictionary, and that our working environment was at least a notch above the Reddit forums. In retrospect, I am obviously guilty of overrating. Atsme✍🏻📧 11:01, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Hilo, A) You're making assumptions about my personal background which, if you took even a moment to study my own use of the English language, you might reconsider. (And rankly you are doing a lot of that with various people in this thread and generally assuming bad faith about the "arrogance imperial notions"). B) Part of my formal background is in comparative linguistics, and I've lived in or spent time in just about every nation of the anglophone world (among other locales). So yeah, I'm aware there are variations in how the English language is used, thanks. C) I think you're unfairly trying to appropriate the linguistic culture of an entire nation and use it as grounds for validating your pre-conceived notions about what is "cursing" or civil, holding yourself up as the prototypical individual speaking for all Australians and defining said terms for them. Frankly, this is less about dialect and more about idiolect and the more you ALL CAPS shout your assertions at others about how much they "just don't get how other people speak", the more it seems like you may be the one with closed-off views here. Now, speaking from my personal experience, I may not be Australian, but I was in a committed relationship with one for years, and I can tell you this much: involving a "curse word" or not, I guarantee that if I had told them to "fuck off", the response would not have been as indifferent as you would have us believe it would be for all Australians. I would not have done that for all the tea in China--and trust me, if you knew them, neither would you! Snow let's rap 11:33, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Your rankness is appreciated. EEng 12:18, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Snow Rise, I'm a bit surprised that in your years of a committed relationship with an Australian you didn't discover that "curse words" is a meaningless term in Australian English. When ignorance appears that in that in discussions like this, I feel confident in my position. HiLo48 (talk) 19:13, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I think if you review my comments, you will find that what I said was that regardless of what generic terms you use to classify the phrase, you aren't really in a position to speak for an entire culture regarding whether or not telling someone to "fuck off" is appropriate in a work environment. Regardless of where you live, I think you're being presumptuous and unrealistic if the argument you are advancing is that you can single-handedly and accurately sum up all of Australia's feelings on this topic from your own impressionistic feelings about it. Snow let's rap 20:24, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I made no such claim. Yours has become a Straw man argument. HiLo48 (talk) 00:21, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • No. People become upset. People say things they shouldn't. I don't consider this grown up language, but I do consider that its mature to understand context. This isn't a punitive environment. We should be about being as civil as we can and if we mess up using some ugly word we apologize and move on. We don't need to police expletives in single usage instances. And where does this end? Will we begin to list the words that we cannot say? Will we have an RfC for other words that are offensive. Saying we do not automatically sanction someone using this phrase does not give permission to use the phrase; it makes us responsible as adults to look at context and patterns before we jump to what is a superficial judgement. Do I like the phrase? No. But slapping on sanctions for its usage is not a good or practical idea.(Littleolive oil (talk) 04:57, 28 October 2018 (UTC))
    • It doesn't feel like saying sorry is where we stop at promoting the other 4 pillars. I'm curious what might be a good idea for this pillar if not blocks for telling others to fuck off. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 05:06, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
This isn't a pillar. People who are generally civil can have moments of anger, of being fed up. We all have them. Those feelings can manifest in lots of different ways. Language is one. We are meant, here, to keep each other editing, to aid each other. If a bad day or anger ends up with an expletive, we can warn, we can trout, but we don't want to remove someone from being productive because they had a bad minute or two. Incivility is, in my opinion ongoing and destructive to the encyclopedia. Context means that we may see over time that someone uses language to damage someone else or the encyclopedia. That's a different matter than a bit of foul language.(Littleolive oil (talk) 05:27, 28 October 2018 (UTC))
You're correct this page isn't a pillar, it's a policy. But the pillar I am referring reads Wikipedia's editors should treat each other with respect and civility. So we do have a pillar about civility (and respect). Incivility can and does lead to other editors to stop editing. Left unchecked it rewards the editors who lapse in civility rather than the editors who don't. So we agree it's ongoing and destructive. I'd like to do what we can to stop that. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 05:39, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Lourdes was careful to emphasise in the RfC that we are talking about repeated use of the term, not simply a one-off outburst. TeraTIX 05:42, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
    • I was responding to this."I am okay if the community still considers this term non-sanctionable, or sanctionable, or even if there is inconclusive consensus – but a benchmark here would allow clarity on how to assess responses at various desks when editors complain at being told to "fuck off". Bold mine. To clarify: I wasn't so much discussing a single instance ever - no one is going to search an editor's history for the number of uses of the phrase or shouldn't, but of situations where someone just gets ticked off and lets go with this. I've seen the very best editors do this. The context is what matters. If an editor is using the phrase over and over in multiple circumstances then what we're looking at is context and that context is what is sanctionable rather than the word itself. Words, any expletives, are symptoms of deeper issues and its those deeper issues we focus on not the word itself. I agree my comment was confusing so apologies all around.(Littleolive oil (talk) 15:56, 28 October 2018 (UTC))
Well,I suppose we should come up with a limit, then... right? I mean, if we're going to define policy around use of a "specific term", we need to be specific about what's acceptable and what isn't. So, what are people thinking? Three "fuck off"s per discussion? Four? Some discussions can run pretty long, so maybe it should be two "fuck off"s for ever 10 posts? One "fuck off" every 6 hours? C'mon, let's get mathematical... -- FeRDNYC (talk) 05:52, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, I'm not actually advocating for a special "fuck off" policy; I think WP:IUC already covers it pretty well. I just had the impression while reading Littleolive oil's comments that they were referring to isolated instances of "fuck off" rather than repetitive use. TeraTIX 06:39, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm trying to figure out how people reconcile "treat other with respect and civility" and "block anyone who uses curse words too often". Where I come from "fuck off" is something many people frequently say to their spouses, bosses, employees, coworkers, parents and sometimes even clergy. And where I come from is not too strange in this regards, because I've met people from all over the US who do the same. I mean, I could maybe see an argument for taking issue with "go fuck yourself" or "fuck you", but "fuck off" or "fuck this shit" are impersonal expressions of disinterest in continued participation that carry connotations of informality and exasperation. If, as has been stated many time, this is not about the words per se, but about the intent, then we'd also need to sanction editors who ban others from their talk pages, editors who say "I have no patience for this", and editors who use a wide variety of phrases to indicate the same damn thing. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:51, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
    • MjolnirPants, this is an international project, and you make a mistake in assuming everyone has a casual attitude toward foul language. In my comment I wrote: "The body of wikipedia contributors is way too large for any pair of friends who are potty-mouths to expect me to remember they are friends who crap all over one another." Geo Swan (talk) 01:10, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
@Geo Swan: Congratulations on not only letting my point go flying over your head so high you couldn't even feel the wake, but in somehow managing to read the exact opposite of my point into it, and then going one step further by managing to evince my point by giving me crap for the assumption that -of the two of us- only you ever made. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:21, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • "Should the "repetitive usage" of the term "fuck off" by an editor targeted at other editors be considered "sanctionable"?"- it depends.
On whether this is repeated on numerous article talk pages (not acceptable) or on your own talk page when other editors are hassling you (acceptable).Smeat75 (talk) 05:56, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't know, Smeat, I'm not sure I can agree with that. You're one of a number of editors who have suggested this form of incivlity ought to be more permissible if done in response to other disruptive behaviour/harassment, or if it takes place on a user's own talk page, or if both conditions are met. I'm not sure I can agree with any of those propositions very strongly. Policy is pretty clear that we do not own our talk pages, and that they are to be used solely to facilitate our work on the project, and only then in complete accordance with all other conduct policies. We have one way prerogative to remove most comments we object to there, but the inverse is not necessarily true; I don't think we can say anything there that policy would otherwise prohibit us from saying on the project in general.
Likewise, while there is a carve out at WP:IUC that makes it clear that we should be looking at a dispute holistically before rushing to judge someone's behaviour, I think the standard for what the editor is facing ought to be pretty high before we consider turning a blind-eye to an aggressive "fuck off". If someone uses a racial or gendered pejorative, ok, maybe a "fuck off" is fair game (though I would still argue its not the most useful response, which would be to refuse to validate the bigot, say nothing in response, report them immediately, and then refuse to acknowledge their existence beyond maybe silently watching them go down in flames of their own making, because that response says exactly what ought to be said about such pea-brains). But for most other disputes, I don't think "context" is an acceptable justification for that phrase. Snow let's rap 07:59, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment MjolnirPants, interestingly, I agree with most of what you say, also the part where you write the usage of fuck off is very US-centric. One reason perhaps why I wrote India specifically in the context is because, for example, in the Indian language, the term "f*** your sister" is congenially used within friends, office dispenser talk, standup tv shows, roadside talk as slapstick conversation. I'll be appalled if an Indian editor were to use the cultural context to justify the usage of the term here.
Anyway, out of around 50 editors' comments, as the count holds, I see around 18 For the motion, including 14 clear Yess and 4 who say that it is sanctionable but the same is covered in the current policy; around 8 who say it depends on context; and 19 clear Nos (I may possibly be wrong in this counting, or definitely). Lourdes 06:03, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Thus far there are 26 Nos, 14 Yeses, and 16 Depends. Softlavender (talk) 06:16, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
As your total is more than even the number of editors who have commented here, let me then be precise, 21 clear "Nos", "No need", "Nope", "Fuck Nos", "Oppose", "Fuck offs"; 17 "Yeses", "Yes within reason", "Shit yes", including TheDJ's "Comment", SpiritofEagle's "Oppose" and TeraTIX's "already covered" which say it is sanctionable; not including Headbomb's "Let's all fuck off", not including Jayron, AGK and TNT's comments. 7 of various forms of "It depends on context"... Lourdes 06:33, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I missed the fact that SpiritofEagle's "Oppose" was actually a Yes, but you are missing the fact that AGK's response is a No, and so are the two people who replied under him with agreement (Ammarpad and Samwalton9) that you are not counting, and the fact that Headbomb's "Let's all fuck off" is a No. I recounted, and there are 25 Nos, 16 Yeses, 6 Depends (not 16; that was a typo before! added a 1 before it somehow), and 1 "Yes, but" which was uncategorizable. (So far. I am not adding any !vote below this.) Softlavender (talk) 07:15, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
That's true, but by that same logic, some of those "no need" !votes are actually in support of Lourde's proposition, because at least two of those make it clear that they feel that in most cases this is an inappropriate comment to make and ought to be met with a community response--they just don't think an amendment to this policy is warranted or useful, because the existing policies already make that clear. But note that Lourde's proposition says nothing about changing the policy language here (I think we just keep inserting that assumption intuitively because of where this discussion is taking place); rather it merely asks whether this behaviour ought to be considered sanctionable, and to varying degrees, those "not necesary" !votes align with an affirmative response to that question. Now personally, I don't see a clear consensus coming out this discussion (I think it should have been framed differently), so the "count" is not terribly useful. But like you, I thinking noting the logic of the thing is an end in itself. :) Snow let's rap 08:48, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
None of the "no" !votes have contended that it is never okay to sanction an editor for doing so, therefore I would consider all cognizant votes to be either "Yes" or "it depends" as the logic of the "No's" and the "it depends" folks align almost perfectly. Certainly to within the same degree that the logic of the genuine "yes" !votes. Note that I said "genuine 'yes' !votes" because a number of the "yes" !votes espouse a reasoning that perfectly supports "it depends". I'm not suggesting those !votes should be considered "it depends" but merely re-stating that the closer should be basing their close on the reasoning of the !votes as much as the !votes themselves, and those two factors are wildly at odds. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:18, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I totally agree. Any closer should look at the substance of the comments rather than the !vote header (though of course that is always the case--it's just a little bit more necesary here because of the way the inquiry was structured and the confusion that has resulted). But honestly, I'd be surprised if a firm consensus arises from this discussion, and even if one does, I would say it's almost incidental. In this instance, I think the conversation is more valuable than the close. Snow let's rap 19:32, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Late to this party, but Fuck off. -Roxy, in the middle. wooF 07:31, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - because I support a civil environment. TOU requires that we support a civil environment and abide by applicable community policies when we participate in the project. More often than not, the usage of the phrase is directed at an editor as an exclamation of contempt. We should be enforcing civility on this project, rather than trying to circumvent the policy. Repetitive usage of the term by an editor targeted at other editors should be considered sanctionable. Isaidnoway (talk) 07:44, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No and this entire debate was unneeded. Please go edit instead. --Tarage (talk) 08:25, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No Contexts vary wildly, in some cases losing temper and swearing at somebody is very understandable, even if I often think it is unnecessary.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:23, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes sanction We are not robots and we can use human judgement. The point is not to ban words, but to ban rudeness. We do not have to define rudeness. There are usually not edge cases. Wikipedia works because it is not a rulebook or code of law, and instead we use common sense to identify when someone is being rude and to tell them to be nice. We should not tolerate misconduct in highly public spaces, like general discussions, because that spoils the environment for everyone. Misconduct, rudeness, and acting out as a habit are not community values to protect, because our priority is making Wikipedia accessible to everyone and not giving priority to an individual's choice to seek out antisocial behavior. I do not mind that this RfC is so focused on one phrase because the intent is to ban the casual use of hostile statements in our most public, most welcoming places. I disregard the votes in opposition which imagine literal enforcement of this proposal because those votes lack the human understanding of the subtext here, and imagine that a bot will be enforcing this rule. This is not about censoring words, this is about demanding everyone's right to be in a friendly environment. Blue Rasberry (talk) 09:53, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Wow. Disregarding votes one doesn't like sounds like something The Donald would do. -Roxy, in the middle. wooF 10:00, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
You present a compelling argument.—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 10:01, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Is this an endorsement of the "Let us disregard votes we don't like" argument presented above? -Roxy, in the middle. wooF 11:22, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Depends. I think what Blue Raspberry meant by that was those taking a mechanical interpretation of the proposal. I'm not sure if they meant every oppose !vote.—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 11:28, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
What a weird interpretation of BR's words, Roxy. BR said which imagine literal enforcement of this proposal because those votes lack the human understanding of the subtext here - In other words, "It's a lousy argument to oppose because you think, for some reason, this will be enforced in every instance without regard for context." — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:14, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
You are wrong User:Rhodendrites. BR said "I disregard the votes in opposition ..." This seems perfectly clear to me, and there doesn't seem to be any other way to interpret "I disregard the votes in opposition" as anything but disregarding the votes in opposition. Good Grief. -Roxy, in the middle. wooF 16:23, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
No, Rhododendrites was not wrong - you parsed it incorrectly and failed to include the determiner "I disregard the votes in opposition which imagine literal enforcement of this proposal because....". I thought Blueraspberry pretty much nailed it. Atsme✍🏻📧 16:48, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support specifically for "repetitive usage". Obviously censorship isn't what anyone actually wants, but maybe it should be affirmed that the community actually cares about not having a toxic editing environment. That someone is very politely being a nuisance doesn't necessarily mean that others should be encouraged to let themselves be uncivil. Jc86035 (talk) 10:20, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Yes It is a deliberate and calculated attempt to say "go away" in an offensive manner, and that should be against out civility rules (no one needs to be rude). I would also say that whilst we are not a play school we do have children come here, and as we are trying to loom like an intelligent and reasonable (as well as educational(do you mind if I turn over I like it better that way)) source using play ground (tickle my nuts) insults is not helping that, as well as many educators and parents may not want their kids to see or be exposed to language (which is true even when it is not a deliberative act). To me it does not matter if it is "just a joke mate...only having a laugh" or it is an attempt to get a (stifled moan) user to leave you alone, it is about the image this presents to the outside world.Slatersteven (talk) 10:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: I think you should probably refrain from using words like "deliberate", "calculated" and "malicious" on Wikipedia. It comes across as trying to get under other editors' skin by assuming bad faith, which is anything but civil. Hijiri 88 (やや) 21:32, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I always thought of saying fuck off as nothing but deliberate and acting in bad faith (even in a heated debate). I'm starting to think that Wikipedia isn't operating the way the real world operates. This voting is so interesting to me. Fuck off and any similar phrases are never said in a good faith way unless the people are friends. Even in the case of people being friends, it really shouldn't be on an encyclopedia that is supposed to be professional. SL93 (talk) 21:42, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia doesn't work like real-world debates: communicating entirely in text, in an environment where "consensus" among volunteer editors, almost all of whom are laymen in the fields of study concerned, is very different. Trying to convince editors who don't know anything about the topic of discussion, who don't have any obligation to decide who is right based on the strength of arguments, is, depending on the circumstances, literally impossible, and in this environment POV-pushers (like, yes, Obsidi -- and CurtisNaito and other similar editors) can deliberately push their "opponents" to the point of frustration that they might drop an F-bomb, with the goal of then reporting them for "incivility". Hijiri 88 (やや) 22:05, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
So does telling them to fuck off, and yes telling a user to fuck off in written from is "deliberate" and "calculated". It is hard to imagine how you could be so angry as to forget what you are saying whilst at the same time being able to type coherently. Thus typing "Semprini" must be a choice you have made after some deliberation (thus "deliberate" and "calculated").Slatersteven (talk) 13:03, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
I just think it isn't professional so it shouldn't be done, but that's just my opinion. I do know what you mean about pushing others to say something like fuck. I had an admin several years ago who said that I was sexually attracted to feces, just because I was trying to defend a notable article that had to do with feces. I just thought that notable articles should never be deleted. In one of the many other cases, people made fun of my old username Joe Chill so I requested a username change (weird to me because Joe Chill is a comic book character). I responded aggressively to the aggression of many others who started the whole thing, and I was just told to drop the stick. SL93 (talk) 22:13, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No per WP:CREEP, case-by-case, context. This thread is a fucking waste of time. (My first f-bomb on Wikipedia in twelve years as an editor, but clearly this is the right place for it.) Mathglot (talk) 10:42, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I've interacted with at least a few editors who started editing when they were in high school or middle school (or possibly even earlier), so I'm not sure why at least three editors have assumed that everyone here is or should act like an adult. Wikipedia editors shouldn't be expected to be paragons of virtue, but you shouldn't have to have a thick skin to be able to edit. Jc86035 (talk) 11:15, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose whatever this is. We don't need a list of prohibited phrases. Admins are smart enough to use their own judgement to determine what is and isn't sanctionable behavior. – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 11:38, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Someone close this as a SNOW no consensus before we spill another eight pages of text on it. GMGtalk 11:43, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Comment I'm of two minds about this. If someone angrily told me to fuck off, I'd not want them to be sanctioned for it: I mainly care about what they had to say, not how they said it. At the same time, I recognize that if I told someone else to fuck off, I'd totally expect to be sanctioned for it, since it wouldn't be facilitating the discussion. If people weren't sanctioned, other editors could be driven off by the hostility, hurting the encyclopedia. I don't know what the right answer is, but I think it's somewhere in between the extremes of absolutely sanctioning harsh words spoken in anger, or absolutely giving the green-light to an orgy of "fuck"s. Perhaps the feelings of the person spoken to could be considered? I feel like that would be a minefield, though. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}}|✝️|they/their|😹|T/C|☮️|John 15:12|🍂 11:47, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Or this [[10]], new users learn by how we act.Slatersteven (talk) 11:49, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh, I can think of one situation where I do have a certain opinion: in response to someone being bigoted (racist, misogynistic, homophobic, etc.), promoting, or defending bigotry, I see no problem whatsoever with denouncing that with strong language, as bigotry is inherently and completely incompatible with being a collaborative, welcoming project. —{{u|Goldenshimmer}}|✝️|they/their|😹|T/C|☮️|John 15:12|🍂 09:07, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No per WP:CREEP. Also in a situation where an experienced editor is repeatedly obtuse, verbose, patronising, stupid, badgering, incompetent or whatever that riles another experienced editor enough to use such language, I'd want a scenario where the actions of the former editor were looked at more not less closely. This rule would do the opposite. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:35, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, Wikipedia is a collaborative project. Telling someone to fuck off, rather than resolving the issue is anti-collaborative. When I saw this thread it occurred to me that I could only remember one editor telling me to fuck off, and I left the encounter with no desire to interact with them ever again. Now I see that he's the background to this thread, and an ANI. Starting him down the 4 steps to the exit would be a welcome move. Cabayi (talk) 12:42, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No I object to the encouragement of a context in which one can say whatever one likes as long as one says it "civilly". ——SerialNumber54129 13:00, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No - Context is everything. Carrite (talk) 13:30, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment @Lourdes: I personally think it would be worth withdrawing the RfC and making a new one that doesn't specifically target just one phrase. In particular, I also think it would be helpful to frame the RfC around a proposed change to the policy. Jc86035 (talk) 13:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • The discussion shows that civility here is a lost cause. Of course saying "f_ off" is uncivil. There's no body language or other nonverbal cues to mitigate the rude, crude dismissal that it is meant to be. "Context" is simply "it's OK for me to be rude this time," which means that it's OK to be uncivil, and that's really what the argument is about. Apparently the rule really is that people who have the power to back up their anger get to be nasty to other people (who after all deserve it) and people who lack that power can be chucked out for expressing the same sort of anger. If blunt, blatant profanity isn't uncivil, then nothing is uncivil. Mangoe (talk) 13:53, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Which is one of the issues that has led to this RFC, the fact that some users can be a rude as fuck whilst others get blocks for similar (or even far less egregious) behavior. It's all about "context" (or to put it another way (as I saw in the ANI that I suspect led to this) it is OK to tell the right kind of people to fuck off, but woe betide you if you do anything to upset them). "Context" leads to double standards of enforcement. I have seen admins defend users telling other admins to fuck off (and not "as a joke" but as a "do you know who I am" type of rant. I have said it more then once of these ANI's, you cannot tell users A to not do what user B is getting away with.Slatersteven (talk) 14:05, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Context is everything, but I struggle to visualise any instance in which this is an acceptable response to anything. That being said, this is more of 99.9% yes vote than a 100% yes vote, as I don't think we should codify exact phrases and we should retain the flexibility for the 0.1% of instances that are actually grey and not black-and-white. SportingFlyer talk 04:42, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
@SportingFlyer: I struggle to visualise any instance in which this is an acceptable response to anything Technically this isn't a discussion of whether it is "acceptable" or not. (Yes, this is unnecessary wikilawyering, but I've been on here long enough to know that if I don't add that caveat someone will say "But it's still not acceptable".) Anyway: civil POV-pusher deliberately picks away at the patience of good-faith contributor enforcing one or another of our content policies, having trouble getting the community or admin corps to deal with the issue because they are a "civil" POV-pusher, and eventually good-faith contributor is pushed too far. Yes, the good-faith contributor should not have allowed themselves to be pushed too far, but if such a situation is reported on ANI, the civil POV-pusher should be harshly sanctioned and the good-faith contributor who momentarily lost their cool given a warning. Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:29, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
@Hijiri88: That's the grey use case I'm talking about (it's still not acceptable conduct, but it's "acceptable" compared to the other contributor), but we're also discussing repetitive use of the term. Perhaps I'll wikilawyer further and say this entire question is moot, since the good-faith contributor will have (hopefully) been warned before they repeat their mistake. SportingFlyer talk 08:49, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Thing is, though, Lourdes, who penned the question, clearly considered the MPants/Obsidi case to covered, but I and I believe most others consider it to be a fairly typical case of the situation I described above. It's not as bad as, say, CurtisNaito (talk · contribs), which highlights the problem: these editors almost never get blocked (CN survived multiple ANI reports over several years, and an ArbCom case!), and never forget the times they managed to get their targets angry enough to swear at them, and when enough of them build up and collectively hound their target (as is definitely the case with MPants), they can present a multitude of diffs over the course of several years to make it look "repetitive" even though it definitely isn't, at least as far as most of the community would interpret it (Lourdes is not one of the editors hounding MPants, but definitely appears to hold an idiosyncratic view that few share). The good-faith editor can heed the warning and still be accused of "repetitive disruption". When such editors can combine these "angry curses" with the far-more-frequent "friendly curses" (which I'm pretty sure MPants has subjected me to, and have been made multiple times in this discussion) it just makes the problem worse. I might as well ping User:Curly Turkey at this point, since he's something of an expert on good-faith friendly cursing. Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:09, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
As in, I swear a lot? So do most people I know. "Angry curses" are problematic only when they are disruptive—but there's a barrel-load of ways to be disruptive without swearing. Swearing in and of itself is not disruptive. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 09:51, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
@Hijiri88: I'm not familiar with the outcome of that incident, and I appreciate the backstory. I'm coming from a completely different angle myself - and I've been in instances in my life where I've lost people who would have been great to collaborate with since I was loose with my word choice - but agree it shouldn't be a "hard and fast" rule based on what is described, but we also shouldn't be encouraging repeat behaviour. SportingFlyer talk 22:29, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No, not automatically—it would need a fuck-tonne of context to determine if it were sanctionable. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 09:51, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. I'd certainly impose WP:AE sanctions for it. Incivility is sanctionable because it is a significant barrier to the kind of collegial cooperation our project needs to survive and grow. Sandstein 11:35, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. This should go without saying, but as this discussion reveals, it is necessary to be explicit here. Ziko (talk) 16:10, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes I disagree that "context matters". It doesn't matter whether the person writing "fuck off", and the person to whom the comment is addressed, have a friendly enough relationship, that they can laugh over, and enjoy, this kind of disagreement, because they are not the only people reading the discussion. This kind of inflammatory language poisons the discussion for third parties who don't know they are friends.

    The body of wikipedia contributors is way too large for any pair of friends who are potty-mouths to expect me to remember they are friends who crap all over one another.

    And, if what "context matters" means to you is "I don't usually use phrases like 'fuck off' but I reserve the right to use it when I think the other guy has really crossed the line.".

    Try hard enough and you can express any level of outrage using civil language. If you are so upset you can't be civil, walk away from the keyboard, and try again later. Geo Swan (talk) 21:08, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

    • Some respondents here have left comments as if someone had proposed adding to the wikipedia's already baroque set of policies and procedures a special WP:NOFUCKOFF. Wait, no one is proposing a WP:NOFUCKOFF. Rather, civil people are calling for the existing civility policies and procedures to be taken seriously. Geo Swan (talk) 00:56, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Not to say that everyone who tells someone to fuck off should end up being blocked, but if WP:CIVIL is to mean anything, it has to mean that swearing at other community members is the kind of thing that is called out - and if it continues has consequences. Obviously people will use judgement based on context, and obviously some trolls go about their trolling by inflating Wikidrama and making otherwise good-faith users angry at them, and that is an issue as well. But I really can't see how we can say anything other than that repeatedly telling people to fuck off is indeed sanctionable behaviour. The Land (talk) 23:11, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No I just don't think there should be a specific rule for this. Civility is contextual, the whole scope of interaction needs to be taken into account. One can be incredibly rude while still using only "polite" language (no swearing, etc). Any effective civility guidelines must interpreted and administered broadly, paying attention to the entire pattern of interaction. There must be discretion to judge. If you try to restrict specific usages one-by-one, the policy becomes an exercise in checking boxes off a list and will completely fail to achieve the goal of encouraging civil behavior. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 09:49, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes It's a professional space. Even if others are behaving unprofessionally, descending into such makes us all look bad, and there's a lot of new users who read more than they write for whom such language from seemingly experienced or socially validated users may have a chilling effect. That said, blocking for it seems a bit much - other sanctions are available. Orderinchaos 11:39, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong yes. Per SemiHypercube, Geo Swan, The Land, David Tornheim, GreenC and Ziko. Zazpot (talk) 00:28, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Who the fuck knows, the goal posts are perpetually moved around here. A long time ago, someone threatened to block me for calling someone a fool. So I’ve had to resort to saying “common sense” or using biting sarcasm. Fuck off indeed.Trillfendi (talk) 05:28, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes To use such vulgar language towards another user is completely unjustified and should be sanctioned because there is no situation where anyone should use "f off" on Wikipedia. If the subject matter is about swear words, that is fine, but not if they are directed towards other people. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 12:28, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • No Personal Preference But "fuck off" if said aloud in class as a response to another person or found on some "homework assignment" would certainly be "sanctionable" in most public or private schools primary through post-secondary so if Wikipedia considers itself to be "reference material" and wants an "active role" in the "education" of "young people" and goes so far as recruiting "educators" and their students to the "project" its hard to believe any Wikipedian who is really here to "build an encyclopedia" and especially any "educator" would condone that sort of "language" OR the attitudes, behaviors and emotions that generally accompany it on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a published work regardless of "space" or "page". And as always in "real life" people tend to judge you by the company you keep when they don't know the "real you".
  • depends m8 kinda depends. if i was removing something on Peanut Butter saying that the dude prefers creamy and he wont stop reverting my reverts of his vandalism, im gonna tell that boi to fuck right off because i just cannot deal with those kinds of people. SleepForever   talk 5:38, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • As stand alone reason No - (per WP:CREEP indeed). If it is intended as uncivil context will likely show, in which case the use of the phrase may provide circumstantial evidence in a civility case. So indeed, context dependent. Arnoutf (talk) 13:24, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Fuck off with this dipshit proposal. I usually swear on Commons, but hey, since you're asking. - Alexis Jazz 15:21, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes saying those words is the epitome of not being civil and should not be tolerated. Sir Joseph (talk) 22:01, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • No at least not in and of itself. Language is all about context, and while the phrase in question may certainly be part of something sanctionable, alone I don't think it should be. I am a big believer in civility and collegiality, and try very hard to practice both myself. That said, I think the bar for actual action based on either should be quite high. Enforced civility is often worse than mild hostility. Cheers all. Dumuzid (talk) 16:50, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

  • Yes, but obvious exception for use in mutually friendly discussion. - This is about as straightforward an uncivil comment as it gets. I find the "no" arguments thoroughly unconvincing. How hard is it not to tell a colleague to fuck off? We have mechanisms for dispute resolution and handling people's bad behavior, so I'm not at all sympathetic to the arguments about "baiting" or someone who "deserves it." I reject that this is a WP:CREEP issue, as this is already squarely covered by WP:CIVIL -- it's just that we've had experienced editors defended at ANI such that it's enforced in wildly inconsistent ways. I imagine just about all of us have been in a situation where we have wanted to tell someone to fuck off. The reason most of us don't is because it's obviously uncivil and Wikipedia has a policy on civility. That's not to say the only reason I've never told someone to fuck off (on Wikipedia) is because it's the rules; it's because doing so is a rejection of more productive conversation and creates a toxic atmosphere (and the other reasons for WP:CIVIL). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:09, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Sometimes - the key thing to bear in mind is it is not the word but the unwillingness to engage if discussion is obligatory. If you are a user and somebody randomly posts vibrator images on your talk page, go ahead and give him the finger. But if you are editing an article page, stopping just short of WP:3RR and the disagreeing editor is trying to engage you in discussion and you tell him you're not interested in talking about it -- no vulgarity needed -- it is still an admin problem. Speaking of admins, they should be held to higher standards than ordinary users on this, because a fellow user with bad feelings can be ignored but an admin with bad feelings presents the appearance of site mismanagement. Wnt (talk) 15:16, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, obviously. I have nothing to add besides the excellent comments of Rhododendrites and Snow. "No" votes are, without exception, unconvincing. Enterprisey (talk!) 15:37, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't understand why this needs asking is it not fairly obvious that this is the sort of thing where a castiron rule is unhelpful? Obviously normally "fuck off" is going to be uncivil but there are some contexts when it might be different. We're all bright enough to manage this without a long discussion surely. Amisom (talk) 19:20, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I completely agree. But don't call me Shirley. EEng 19:51, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
The thing is, although most of us would agree with you that it is "fairly obvious", there is a small handful of editors who don't share the general belief that "obviously normally 'fuck off' is going to be uncivil", and the issue has come up at ANI occasionally. Having this discussion may convince them to reconsider future such uses. A change to the policy language is unlikely to result from this particular discussion--but honestly, there are better ways to curtail this trend than to make the parties doing it sanctionable in any event. If this discussion leads to a change in habit from editors who would have previously used the phrase in a dispute, then it has served a worthwhile purpose. Indeed, that would be a far superior outcome than the community having to censure them after they've done it. Snow let's rap 20:38, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. I wouldn't say it to my grandmother, my boss, a police officer, my parents, a child, a minister, a doctor, or a total stranger and have any of them consider it to be playful, helpful, welcoming, or in any way conducive to cooperative behavior. I consider Wikipedia a workplace of sorts and that wouldn't fly in my actual workplace, either. For those overly concerned with "getting back to work on the project"....why are you still reading this? LovelyLillith (talk) 21:29, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, if you are asking about our read of the PAGs. And Yes, if you want to know my personal opinion. Luckily we have the PAGs so that personal opinions mean little to nothing, unless they are used to persuade the community to change the wording of policies. There is no way to read (or even skim) WP:CIVIL and conclude that "fuck off", when directed at another editor, isn't sanctionable. I cannot imagine a successful RfC to exclude this phrase from what is considered WP:IDENTIFYUNCIVIL ("rudeness, insults, name-calling, gross profanity or indecent suggestions"), but would enjoy watching the attempt. petrarchan47คุ 21:50, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No as WP:CREEP. And the initial version of this question makes it clear to me that this is the filer's attempt to justify her attempt at playing God at a recent ANI filing, with David Tornheim trying to canvass it to get his own digs in. --Calton | Talk 22:10, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No as WP:CREEP. While the temptation to add various terms to my !vote to add emphasis is obvious, this is a good discussion that doesn't warrant such. In and of itself, the phrase isn't anything, just an emphatic "leave me alone" and in some cases of harassment and repeated replacement of unwanted material, it's totally warranted. Some people are masters of the polite brush-off, others go for the unmistakable approach, both should be okay. Civility is cited repeatedly above, but curse words alone alone should not be a measure of civility. A polite but highly insulting dismissal that denigrates and belittles is far, far worse than these two words, but on ANI, "Fuck off" will get you blocked far, far faster. Ravensfire (talk) 00:35, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • NO because in 1966 there was a spontaneous protest at FSU administration building where lots of us students just started yelling "FUCK" in unison and the prettiest girl in school was standing right next to me yelling "FUCK" along with everyone else. Everybody had fun AND it was a free speech thing, but what's that old expression? Oh yeah, "Freedom's like a muscle...use it or lose it", so yeah, FUCK and fuck off.....and, btw, what in the FUCK happened to Berkeley in the last 50 years???? Now THAT'S something to figure out and fix. Nocturnalnow (talk) 03:54, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • As a general rule, I say yes it is sanctionable. There's an essay at Wikipedia:Profanity, civility, and discussions that looks into this topic in detail.--Paul McDonald (talk) 04:02, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, sanction repeated incivility per WP:Five Pillars which states clearly “Wikipedia's editors should treat each other with respect and civility.” What more is there to say? Jusdafax (talk) 06:21, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No per WP:CREEP - however that does not mean I think you can be as rude as you like to anyone - see comments below. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:46, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No I'm a strong advocate of civility on Wikipedia, indeed, I would prefer a "professional" atmosphere amongst discussion and I hold myself to that standard. However, I don't agree with the idea that we can prescribe civility by focussing on vulgarity or even aggression. Civility is about treating each other with respect, and whilst I agree that in most situations where someone uses the term are sanctionable, you will often find that both parties are at fault and we shouldn't just be sanctioning one with a "gotcha". WormTT(talk) 12:57, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No for all the extremely obvious reasons listed above. It is (un)surprising that this was brought up by an administrator as a reaction for them being called heavy handed two days out the gate. Nihlus 15:07, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Fundamentally, yes, it should be reasonable to ask people to contribute to discussions here in a civil and productive manner. And that ask is obviously not infringing on anyone's right to free speech. But defining this language as sanctionable won't make much of a difference - there will still be selective enforcement based on the perceived value of the contributor to the community, and Wikipedia will continue to maintain its deserved reputation as a place hostile to large segments of the general population. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 20:08, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No - unneeded If a situation calls for it, WP:CIV can be invoked. Don't prohibit words, encourage behaviours. ProgrammingGeek talktome 23:20, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • yes It seems that this is acceptable (for a few years now). But it shouldn't be, and this would be a better place if it wasn't. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:14, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • no There should never be hard-and-fast rules on what a user may and may not say, context is important. (See also: User:Beeblebrox/fuck off) Beeblebrox (talk) 17:50, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes: I know that when I say fuck off to someone, that I'm trying to be rude as fuck. SL93 (talk) 02:17, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • No: 100% depends on context. While I wouldn't say that myself, I have seen plenty of times when it was the appropriate response to someone. zchrykng (talk) 03:09, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, absolutely, provided it's not being used jocularly. Just because this is the internet doesn't mean our standards need to be any lower than they would otherwise be. 142.160.89.97 (talk) 04:08, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Almost always, but no hard-and-fast rule The advantage of hard-and-fast rules is that the regulars can be equally touched by them. The disadvantage is that most regulars will know what words to avoid while others may not realize such a bright line exists. So enables trolls. That said, WP:CIVIL is often a reason to block someone after a line like that. Hobit (talk) 11:23, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Always sanctionable following single warning which applies to all discussions for 24 hours. It's not useful for civil debate. Matt14451 (talk) 12:32, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, unless it's being used purely as a joke. It should definitely warrant a warning and repeated use should be sanctionable. It's surprising we have to debate this when it should be common sense. Kaldari (talk) 15:13, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Common sense is not that common. PackMecEng (talk) 15:20, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Mostly, yes. It's sad to see the childishness of many long-term editors in the thread above telling the proposer of this RfC to "fuck off" in response - this is exactly the kind of casual hostility that drives people away from this project, and is a deliberate provocation calculated to show impunity. Not all use of swear words is uncivil, but repeated gratuitous use creates an offensive and unwelcoming atmosphere. There is absolutely no need to swear at someone; there is no "heat of the moment" when you are typing on a keyboard. Editors who think we need to have swearing in an "adult environment" need to grow up. Fences&Windows 16:53, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • It is vital that I post my opinion here, because everyone above me has made their point inadequately, whereas I'm sure I'm going to say something fresh and insightful and convincing. --Floquenbeam (talk) 17:34, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
    • Because sarcasm is original. :-) Hobit (talk) 19:06, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I refer Lourdes to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram. [1] In other words, context matters and there should be no hard-and-fast rule always allowing or always forbidding. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:51, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes I cannot grasp how 'fuck off' can ever foster a constructive environment. That does not mean that each instance of use should be sanctioned, but given a pattern of behavior, yes. effeietsanders 23:24, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ "Letters". Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd (1221): 13. October 2008. Mr Callaghan is referred to the Eye's reply in the famous case of Arkell v. Pressdram (1971).
  • Yes Most of the time, and if there is an accompanying pattern of bad behavior. I agree with others that Wikipedia:Civility as one of the five pillars is key, and it is still useful. Obviously there are a number of instances where it should not be sanctionable, such as when it's one-off response to baiting, etc, but it's almost never a good idea. If we would block an IP for using this kind of profanity, we shouldn't use it ourselves on-wiki.--Pharos (talk) 01:37, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes There are certainly cases when this may not be sanction-able, one-off venting/joking uses, but I think it is more valid to treat them as exceptions to the rule rather than the default as "No" suggests; and remember that this proposal is about repetitive uses. It is also perfectly possible to be unpleasant, uncivil, and disrespectful without swearing and that definitely should be addressed, but along with addressing this sort of incivility (also, I have the opposite of envy for the closer of this discussion) Galobtter (pingó mió) 09:43, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes It is obviously not civil. There are possible, rare, exceptions when someone may be attempting humor, but IMO, this is unwise. We have plenty of trouble with incivility and the use of not just profanity, but directed profanity is unacceptable. The use of such terms makes an explicit attempt to enrage a fellow editor and to end further discussion, rather than foster understanding and consensus. It should result in an immediate, if short, block.Jacona (talk) 09:57, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes even singular use is obviously not civil, or at the very least doesn't translate as civil across the many cultures and levels of English language competency represented in our community. We should build a space that every new contributor would feel reasonably safe, and swearing in general, creates an environment of hostility, even if its meant in good humor. Sadads (talk) 10:17, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • no & yes, but not neutral the use of any language or term that has a chilling effect on the ability of anyone to constructively collaborate and participate in contributing to our encyclopaedia should be totally unacceptable. Gnangarra 10:30, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Whilst the majority of Wikipedians are adults and don't give two hoots about how someone says "shut up go away", saying "[frick] off" or whatever is still "shut up go away", and is practically WP:IDONTLIKEIT applied to other editors' choices. You're being a jerk, no matter how you say it, and you should be sanctioned for your uncivility. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean we go all the way to blocks and bans straight away, but rather warn them until they're clearly personally attacking someone over and over again. It all depends on the severity of the context of "shut up go away", not the wording. DudeTheNinja ( speak to me | spy on me ) 11:13, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, but... Repeat rudeness is sanctionable. I'm curious about the context - who's getting away with repeatedly telling other editors to "fuck off", and in what context? Guettarda (talk) 12:18, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
@Guettarda: The specific case that brought about this RFC is Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive995#User:MjolnirPants. Specifically, a disruptive "civil POV-pusher" targeted an editor who is under normal circumstances frustratingly patient and tolerant of counter-policy edits with which he personally disagrees, pushed him too far, and then, when the latter dropped an F-bomb, opened an ANI, which saw participation from several other editors who had had "similar experiences" with the patient, civil editor in question. After a back-and-forth, Lourdes attempted to close the discussion with a supervote warning MPants, based on her personal opinion of the matter, which was not shared by the majority of the commenters. After she was reverted and the thread received a more representative close, she opened this RFC about whether "such behaviour" is "sanctionable", apparently without giving all the context I can only assume "repeatedly" refers to the multiple unrelated instances that will come to light any time an editor is targeted by multiple other editors with axes to grind over an extended period of time, which was the case in the MPants discussion. I hope the closer carefully reads through the discussion and bears in mind that several of the early "yes" !votes came from the same people who had commented in the ANI thread, and many of the later "yes" !votes, including yours, are answering the question literally as it is posed (as I did in this addendum to my comment -- in short, I agree with you) as the context was not given, but would probably have answered "no" under the specific circumstances. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:34, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
@Hijiri88: Thanks! Guettarda (talk) 13:35, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not The use of profanity is not inherently objectionable. It's not racist language (or homophobic, sexist, etc.) that exists solely to demean a particular group. It's not hate language or hate speech, and if it doesn't qualify as that, why in the world would we consider it sanctionable, directed at someone or not? This is a silly proposal, about a silly notion (i.e., the evolution of language is such that a seriously "bad" word of today is not the same as the worst word of 50 years ago and might not even be profanity 50 years from now), that was brought about by too much pearl-clutching. Grandpallama (talk) 15:48, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Sure it should "be considered", indeed, in practice it is, even the "it depends" or "context matters" argument would "consider" it. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:13, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose somewhat per WP:CREEP but mostly as unnecessary as Wikipedia:Civility#Identifying_incivility appears to be sufficient. I really don't want to have to see this policy amended for every phrase someone wants to target, if the existing language isn't strong enough in general it could be strengthened. Additionally, the RfC isn't clear as to exactly what part of the policy is going to be changed and how. FWIW I'd have this same comment during the next n+1 of these for 'jog on', 'bugger off', 'shut the f... up', etc. — xaosflux Talk 17:53, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oh for fuck's sake. At the risk of annoying Floquenbeam, I'm going to pile on here with yet another unoriginal joke and a big fat eyeroll at this idea. First of all, it's hard to imagine such a proposal being made for any reason other than wanting a handy stick to beat some hapless other editor with. Second, it's weirdly constructed - "repetitive usage" of the phrase "yard flamingo" where it's not contributing to the topic would also be annoying and disruptive and ultimately "sanctionable", and even by the proposal's own logic we'd allow at least one "fuck off", in which case what the hell is the point? Third, once it gets voted down, that fact itself becomes a stick to beat the community with - "see how awful Wikipedians are, they couldn't even agree not to tell each other to fuck off!" We have a far bigger problem with "incivility" that requires none of the seven words you can't say, and it usually takes the form of something like "Howdy friend! I was reading that thread at ANI where you called User:CompleteIdiot an idiot and I know I'm not in any way involved in the situation and you have 100 trillion edits and he edited an article you wrote to say green jellybeans cure cancer but I just wanted to make sure to remind you that WP:CIVIL is a policy! See, I've helpfully bluelinked it for you! It applies even to obvious POV-pushers, you know. Just a friendly reminder for the future :) :) :) Wouldn't want to have to take you ANI or anything!" I don't think anyone's ever stopped editing just because of a "fuck off" - it may be the least-followed instruction in the English language - but people sure do stop editing because they feel that their contributions are disrespected, and sometimes they never really get started because their early, newbish attempts get them a bunch of condescending talk-page templates (all of which say, in stuffy, officious bureaucratese, "fuck off"). Here's a crazy idea: if somebody who isn't a troll tells you to fuck off, you are required to spend at least five seconds considering the possibility that you were in fact being a jerk, and at least five more seconds on the idea that maybe the outburst wasn't about you at all and was a one-off displaced reaction to bad drivers/annoying coworkers/unexpected in-law visits/bills/general life stress, and only then do you get to waste everyone else's time complaining about it. Opabinia regalis (talk) 06:06, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
    This is the best comment in the entire thread. EEng 12:32, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
    Yup. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:45, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
    (edit conflict)Because you haven’t read this one, yet. What it appears to me that some may be overlooking, (or maybe they just don’t give a fuck) is that repeated use of “yard flamingo” and “fuck-off” is not just uncivil, it’s suggestive. Relatively speaking, I would hate to wake up one morning to find 100 pink flamingos covering my lawn, or .... nevermind.😁 But seriously, Opabinia regalis - I haven’t read one comment in this entire thread that convinces me that the use of fuck-off (or any other form of profanity) on an article TP gives an iota of consideration to our readers. The focus has been based entirely on a me-me-me mentality and not what is or isn’t in the best interests of our readers. As I’ve mentioned in prior discussions, my 8 yo granddaughter reads WP and she’s curious enough to read the TP of an article - it’s more fun for the “explorers”. World wide, I imagine there are quite a few young children reading the pedia. It’s common knowledge how quickly children pick-up on profanity and that the more something is forbidden, the more fun it is to do. As an encyclopedia, we should maintain a high level of quality regarding the information we share with the global community - I certainly don’t expect grade school teachers to tell their colleagues to fuck-off in a classroom. The content of our articles and pages that are directly connected, such as article TPs, wikilinks, etc. should be free of profanity used by editors directing it at a colleague. Such use is far from being part of the pedia’s educational agenda, which I would think is our primary purpose. On the other hand, user TPs and noticeboards (where admins are usually present to keep the peace) are different. Of course the use of profanity is subjective, and our civility policy does cover it to a degree in the sense that an admin may take action for abuse based on their own discretion, but having been the recipient of and witness to an occasional overly harsh action (block, ban, etc.) based on either biases, wrongful preconceived notions and misinterpretations, (perceived or otherwise), I remain skeptical that all discretionary actions will be imposed fairly and that each “offender” will be prescribed the same action imposed on others across the board. Just my thoughts...for whatever that’s worth. Atsme✍🏻📧 13:10, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
    Atsme. I think there is a fundamental difference between sanctions for an editor who loses his/her temper and outright permission to use the phrase. There is so much in Wikipedia discussion I would not want a young child to see including viciousness and other foul language much worse than this.We should always be cicvil but the point, as I understand it, and maybe I'm wrong, is whether a very specific phrase should automatically garner a sanction.(Littleolive oil (talk) 13:25, 1 November 2018 (UTC))
Atsme makes excellent points. The question would not designate "one phrase" to "automatically garner a sanction." The question is whether repeated use of the phrase is tolerable. In the real world I live in, use of the phrase is uncivil and repeated incivility has consequences. For example, if in anger you tell a restaurant owner (or any other proprietor) or employee in front of a bunch of customers to "fuck off!" even once, there's a good chance you will be asked to leave, and a good chance you might be banned from that establishment.
There is no reason for anyone on Wikipedia to say "fuck off" to another editor even once on Wikipedia. I have read the comments above justifying this use, and they are entirely unconvincing. Imagine a teacher telling a student "fuck off!" and then trying to justify use of the phrase to a parent or administrator, "I thought that was the best way to communicate to the student I found their behavior annoying." In fact, if they did that in front of a class, students would laugh at the teacher for a lack of self-control, and the teacher would lose face and respect. If you don't believe it, try becoming a substitute teacher.
Also, I don't think editors should be using Wikipedia to blow off steam, and if they do, they should apologize and delete such unnecessary comments, and look for more self-control, not make up excuses, "Well, I was angry, so that's okay, right?" No, it's not okay to use other editors as your personal punching bag when you are angry. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:46, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
David Tornheim: "For example, if in anger you tell a restaurant owner (or any other proprietor) or employee in front of a bunch of customers to 'fuck off!' ..."—that's one context. In another, if a peddler approached a table and wouldn't let a customer be, so that the customer told the peddler to "fuck off", the chances of the customer being asked to leave are nil. Imagine the fallout if the proprieter did tell the customer to leave! Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 06:04, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
In places I frequent, customers are respectful to people circling the tables asking for money, cigarettes, a drink, to vote for them, to buy girl scout cookies, or to join some religious group, etc. They politely say, "I am not interested," "Sorry I am busy," or more firmly, "Please leave me alone." I don't remember a customer telling any of these solicitors to "fuck off." If a regular customer did, I'm pretty sure the proprietor would urge the customer to be more respectful. I have certainly seen the proprietors defend solicitors who they know and care about. If you were over-the-top rude to some of these vulnerable people, you might indeed be shown the door and asked not to return. Likewise, if the solicitor is rude and disrespectful to customers, they would be asked to leave.
Some people who are asked to leave will refuse and in a bar might even become belligerent. But the typical bouncer keeps their cool and does not tell them to "fuck off," they tell them in increasingly more firm terms to leave, and may use force and/or call the police. The police do not tell the trespasser to "fuck off" either. The police who do their job well maintain their composure when confronting law breakers. Because they are respectful, they are respected. --David Tornheim (talk) 09:16, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
@David Tornheim: In the section below here, the user to whom you are replying and I are discussing the difference between smart trolls and editors who hide behind walls of text to avoid addressing other editors directly and respectfully. I bring this up because nowhere in your above long comment do you actually address the issue CT raised: you are asking for a system to be put in place where a paying customer is repeatedly harassed by a peddler, finally tells the peddler to F off, and is consequently asked by the bouncer to leave. Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds? Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:45, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
We don't try to make even the actual encyclopedia part "family-friendly", so even if bright kids occasionally go poking around in talk pages, I don't think we can use the possible presence of children as a constraint on what can be said in those venues. (Besides, I know it makes me a bad person and I shouldn't laugh and I'm just reinforcing the behavior, but.... small children swearing is fucking hilarious.) I think people discussing various aspects of the civility issue are considering the readers, in the sense of wanting the community environment most suitable for producing good content - and sometimes disagreeing about what that is. Strictly viewed in that sense, this entire RfC is a massive waste of time that is far more disruptive than the original "fuck off" that prompted it, however much it's been presented as a general "just asking questions" question. Opabinia regalis (talk) 09:08, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, and there's also the issue that a not-insignificant proportion of those !voting "yes" appear to be doing so specifically in order to "get" this that or the other good content creator who either (a) interprets WP content policy (correctly) as not agreeing with their particular POV or (b) they just want to troll for shits and giggles. I'm fairly confident that if you compared the edit counts of the non-admins contributing to this discussion on both sides, the proportion of mainspace-to-other edits for the "no"s would by-and-large be much higher than the "yes"s (admins get a pass since a lot of admin tasks related specifically to non-mainspace areas of the encyclopedia). Ironically, MPants is something of an exception to this, but I can say with confidence that his contributions to article talk, user talk and noticeboard areas have (almost?) always been policy-compliant at worst and significantly contributed to the improvement of the encyclopedia at best (see, for example, his work on the BLP of probably the most important NT scholar in the English-speaking world at the moment, Bart D. Ehrman, where he edited the talk page 52 times and the article directly only 6, yet is probably more responsible than anyone for the article no longer being a POV hatchet-job). Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:29, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. In general, telling people to "fuck off" is clearly uncivil, and a pattern of incivility is grounds for sanctions. No additional rule is necessary. —Kodiologist (t) 14:55, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Inappropriate? Yes. Sanctionable? Not always, no. If the intent is to make a bright-line rule a la 3RR, then I'd say this phrase is a poor place to make it, and more importantly that civility is not an area conducive to such bright lines. Context matters; while the phrase "fuck off" is never going to be optimal choice, circumstances can mitigate that, and I'm sure many people above have probably provided examples. There's also no way to objectively judge how some other hypothetical phrase compares to "fuck off"; OR's example of outwardly civil condescension could reasonably be interpreted as much worse than "fuck off", or not depending on the person doing the interpreting and the surrounding context. Given that, despite all our statements to the contrary, people still regularly assume 3RR is an entitlement and that it's perfectly okay to go on edit-warring right up to that point, bright line rules (anecdotally) have a tendency to encourage the behavior they're trying to prevent ("I said 'fuck you', not 'fuck off', so it's not sanctionable!"). The ambiguity of incivility will only make that worse. Declaring a specific phrase sanctionable regardless of context is a bad idea. Writ Keeper  18:16, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Nothing is needed in guidelines. Actionable depending on context and common sense. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:55, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. There are more polite ways to say it, such as "go away". OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:34, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Since we have seen people getting sanctioned for very trivial concerns. No reason why one shouldn't be sanctioned for saying these two words. Rzvas (talk) 04:09, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Fuck me into the mattress—depends on context. Serial offenders should be counselled. Tony (talk) 06:02, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, with some nuance. Unless it's between mutual friends who are both in on what tone of language they tend to use with each other, repeated use of "fuck off" and equivalents is uncivil. The one exception might be in response to continuous harassment or trolling, but even then if it carries on too long, is an issue. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 07:54, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Context dependent Profanity should be discouraged generally, as it does not improve understanding and may turn off new editors, but the infrequent use of "Fuck off" against a vandal should obviously not be sanctionable. Telling well meaning new users to fuck off should be considered a blatant case of WP:BITE, and repeatedly cursing at people who disagree with you in content disputes should not be allowed per WP:CIVIL. I am concerned that "we don't block people for saying fuck off" is sometimes used to excuse incivility, but we should not block all uses of "fuck off". Tornado chaser (talk) 23:44, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes and but... ...It's all about context. Civility is one of our five core pillars. So, telling someone to "fuck off" - or any equivalent and oft-deemed offensive phrase is clearly breaching our core standards IF it's used in an aggressive and unjustified manner to another user. I've often wished Twinkle gave us something more appropriate than {{Uw-npa1}} to {{Uw-npa4}}, because WP:NPA doesn't explicitly tell me that plain old abusive or aggressive language used against another editor is itself unacceptable here unless its linked to the religion, gender, sexuality, politics etc of the abusee. To my mind, any editor using language aggressively, offensively and repeatedly should be subject to escalating sanctions via warning templating because they're breaching one of our five pillars. And if I were to wrongly template another editor for using offensive language against a third party when, in fact, they're clearly just frustrated or hacked off with some idiotic, annoying editor, or perhaps joshing with their ozzy mates, then I deserve to be warned of my poor use of templated sanctions. But, collectively, we somehow don't seem to care what offence we cause others by our language, and all too freely use "fuck off" and other similar phrases with impunity. It isn't acceptable behaviour to be verbally aggressive and uncivil, so Lourdes's proposal deserves a 'yes but...' Nick Moyes (talk) 03:27, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - but this is lower grade incivility. "fuck off" is more civil than "fuck you" or "you are a X" - however it still is clear incivility. Certainly not the worst thing that gets flung about, however editors should refrain from using such language. Icewhiz (talk) 12:11, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes as a rule. There are cases where I would not support sanctions, such as in response to extreme provocation or when taking to someone who isn't a good faith editor (vandals, trolls etc). However "fuck off" will be seen as extremely uncivil by almost everybody in the kinds of contexts we encounter on Wikipedia. In any vaguely comparable situation in real life telling someone to "fuck off" would result in consequences. Hut 8.5 22:40, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. I hate seeing foul language in a written form which will be visible for evermore. We are an encyclopedia so we should expect editors to behave professionally and mirror the tone and language used in learned circles. Much has also been made about the lack of female involvement in the project. Do you think allowing bar room language will encourage more women to contribute? Lyndaship (talk) 17:14, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - Absolutely. Wiki community must control any such bad behaviour. STSC (talk) 17:23, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes - This sort of language contributes to an uncomfortable atmosphere and probably decreases editor retention. Nobody absolutely needs to use this phrase. That being said, not all usages should carry the same sanctions. Still, it would go a long way to making this a more welcoming environment to discourage this language.--Yellow Diamond Δ Direct Line to the Diamonds 21:48, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Threaded discussions[edit]

  • Response to SnowRise: People do not use "fuck off" incidentally and rarely use it in good humour Shenanigans. I have frequently done both. You should refrain from speaking to another editor's motivations and thought processes. I told you this once already. The fact that I allowed that you may have had good intentions in doing so does not excuse your doing so in the first place, let alone continuing to do so. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 04:53, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Mjolnir, respectfully, nothing prohibits me from providing my take on human nature in the abstract, and I will do so as I see fit. I'm enjoying our burgeoning friendly relationship, but you presume far too much if you genuinely believe I need your approval before I make an observation like that. If I had put specific words into the mouth of a specific individual, your argument would have some credence. But the notion that my making a highly generalistic argument about semantics--as any person in any rational (and perfectly respectful) conversation might do, and as is done on this project everyday by virtually every editor who engages even once in a talk space--somehow is a direct attack on specific community members is, frankly, weird and nonsensical. It's simply my opinion about how that phrase is likely to be used; you are free to disagree with that perception, even call it absurd, or ungenerous, or overly simplistic. And indeed I am happy to engage in debate about it, if you should find it worthwhile. But I won't be browbeat into not sharing my view of things just because you perceive it (wrongly) as a direct insult. Besides, your stance is incongruous with what I said; maybe I am correct and you are the rare exception that I allowed for. Snow let's rap 05:13, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Re: "Shenanigans. I have frequently done both [used "fuck off" incidentally and in good humour]": Oh, fuck off ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants.[11] --Guy Macon (talk) 11:09, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
You made a claim that is demonstrably untrue. Are you suggesting that you have the right to do so unchallenged? If you want to provide some evidence to support your claim, then by all means. Or if you want to back off of it, or change it in some way. But if you only want to complain that someone dared disagree with it, then I'm afraid you're on the wrong website. That's kinda what we do here. I'm just pointing out that you have absolutely no' basis for insisting to know the thoughts or motivations of others. You may suspect such thoughts and motivations, but you can never know them. If you continue to state what you believe the thoughts and motivations of other people are in my presence as matters of fact, I will continue to object and point out the logical failure thereof. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:23, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
No I have no issue with you disagreeing with my point of view. Please by all means raise your concerns if you think I am being myopic or close minded or simply leaping to conclusions. But the way in which you phrased your objection was not so much a "I think you are wrong and overly judgmental here, because X" and had more the tone of someone calling someone else out for sharing an opinion they have no right to share. If you are saying something like the former, we simply have a miscommunication and by all means, I am prepared to have that discussion. If you are saying the latter, then respectfully, fuc....errrr..... (See, now we've proven someone can use it purely in jest, so we -are- in at least partial agreement. ;) Snow let's rap 05:32, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I believe I elucidated my response quite clearly in my last comment and don't see any advantage to repeating it, though I am glad to see you are at least partially acknowledging the truth of my first response. To that end I would point out that almost every single use I've made of the phrase was incidental, as well. I have rarely specifically chose it, but rather started typing an off-the-cuff dismissal and that is what came out. If that's not "incidental" then I don't know what is. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:44, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, I made it clear in my very first post that people might occasionally use the phrase in good humour and that this is completely non-objectionable. So I'm not so much acknowledging your point as re-affirming my own. :P But clearly that's semantics. The point is, we are in agreement as to that.
As to what you classify as "incidental" usage, I think that is more the crux of the matter. I think the average editor would say (and in my view reasonably) that any time you are involved in anything that remotely looks like a dispute with another editor, using that term is incivil. Unless its absolutely clear that you are turning the phrase to light-hearted effect (i.e. in a "I think we are close enough or talking in friendly enough terms right now that you will not perceive this as sincere" way). But you ought to be pretty damn certain that it will be received in that fashion. It shouldn't be any context in which an average reasonable person would not see that it was a joke. In other words, I believe any sincere "fuck off" (whether said in a flippant way or with burning rage) is likely to be received as incivil under our standards, whereas an insincere fuck-off is probably fine, but you better be sure its clear from context that you are not in fact "really" telling someone to fuck off. I'm not certain you'd agree with me about that being the dividing line between appropriate and inappropriate, but I hope I am at least succeeding in making the distinction I am driving at clear? Snow let's rap 07:19, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I would like to point out that I have personally encountered dozens of editors who have taken "please stop edit warring and try to convince me on talk" in an offensive way. Should we ban that phr5ase, as well? What I am telling you is not that telling someone to fuck off is hardly ever sincere; I am telling you that sincerely telling someone to fuck off is not an indication of aggression, but of dismissal, disinterest and informality, and pointing out that banning the use of "fuck off" does not hamper editors' ability to express those things, nor will it make any impact in the amount of incivility currently on this site. Honestly, I'm quite disappointed that there are people who quite obviously care more about stopping blatant incivility than those who care about stopping civil POV pushing. The latter is demonstrably more harmful to this project, yet the concern trolls, sea lions and naval-gazers are still whitewashing racism and right-wing conspiracy theories with no response from the vast majority of editors. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:18, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
"I would like to point out that I have personally encountered dozens of editors who have taken 'please stop edit warring and try to convince me on talk' in an offensive way. Well that's on them, isn't it? Because that's exactly how policy expects you to handle a situation like that and no reasonable editor would take exception to those words, in and of themselves. However, if you are in a dispute with someone here and you decide to end it with "fuck off", that's on you. You're welcome to represent your state of mind in that context as always non-heated, but even if we credit you with both honesty and the ability for honest self-reflection there (and candidly, most editors are not going to do that for you in that context) that is still incivil. As to blatant incivility vs. civil POV pushing: false choice, both need to be contained and those efforts shouldn't obstruct one-another. And FYI, any time you need to have a policy discussion about the latter, please know that I for one would like to be notified to share my concerns about that issue, which I agree is not a small one. Snow let's rap 19:53, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Well that's on them, isn't it? Yes, it is. And that was my point; there are many people who would not see a "fuck off" directed at them as something worth objecting to. We should not hang the definition of "offense" on the words of the offended, because in doing so we will define all speech as offensive. We should, instead, avoid prohibiting any speech, such that we can decide in each case without the interference of mindless rules whether offense was intended, and if so, to what extent. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:34, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
But I would argue that is exactly what is taking place here. No change to policy is likely to result from this discussion--half or more of the editors here are ambivalent to that notion (myself included) or oppose it outright and its unclear to me if that's what Lourdes was proposing to begin with. But what the large majority of editors have endorsed here is that using "fuck off" in the context of a dispute is typically incivil--and I suspect that more or less reflects the perspectives of the community at large. We certainly don't need a blacklist of improper phrases, but that doesn't mean the other extreme ("Just say 'be nice' and expect that to suffice") is any more rational. We do need to discuss standards from time to time and even if this discussion has no firm consensus that greenlights sanctioning someone for using a "forbidden phrase" (and if this line of discussion ever does morph into more pointed language in the policy, I hope it doesn't miss the important point entirely by focusing on specific words), I do hope it will still have some influence on conduct.
Because while I do agree with you that context is everything here, I don't agree that the two situations you discuss above are particularly analogous. If you tell someone to fuck off in a dispute, even if you say it without anger, it will be taken as a sign of contempt and discourtesy, and by far the most likely outcome of that is that it will make the community just a tiny bit more acrimonious, hostile, petty, or just plain unpleasant--whether that was your intention or not. If there's one point I would hope to convince you of here, it's that. Even if you walk away from this discussion still feeling, as a practical and philosophical matter, that no single phrase should be considered per se off limits, I hope you will at least consider in the future that the specific phrase, used in the specific context of being in a dispute with someone, is inappropriate for the tone of discussion on this project. Snow let's rap 23:21, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
There's a dispute between two users. One comes along to mock the other's use of a word, the other responds with "fuck off" and no feelings are hurt. Now, one thing you seem to be ignoring is that not all disputes involve hard feelings. Case in point: [12] & [13]. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:38, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, but surely we can agree that experience tells us there are responses to specific situations that are vastly more probable than others? I think with certain statements in certain contexts, its just better to apply the precautionary principle for the sake of general good will; I just can't imagine there would be very many genuine disputes on this project where someone tells the other person to fuck off that then end up ending affably. The likely results are that the other person (or a third party) fires back in kind and the situation escalates, or, alternatively, the other party takes it straight to ANI, where it consumes community time. Best to avoid those likelihoods altogether, imo. Snow let's rap 23:56, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, but surely we can agree that experience tells us there are responses to specific situations that are vastly more probable than others? Yeah, but experience on the internet should also teach us that trying to predict what an anonymous stranger will do, say, or think is vastly more difficult than doing so IRL. So if all discussions were done in person, I might be sympathetic to this rule with the understanding that it would only be enforced as needed. But online: there's too much potential for abuse. Besides, as pointed out below; we're all in agreement that the situation and context makes a huge impact. So at the end of the day, we can argue this to death and we'll still have not changed the obvious outcome of this discussion one bit. So instead of bickering about where we differ, let's go down below and discuss what we agree one. The latter is far more likely to be productive. P.S. By "down below" I mean the short, threaded discussion which I started by replying to Mythdon. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 00:02, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, I think we've gotten to the core of where our difference of opinion lays here, because I can't think of a better argument than that for why to put greater effort into ascertaining that our interactions are respectful and not communicating something we didn't intend or just isn't appropriate--as opposed to just deciding to be laissez-faire about it and say "Well I'm still going to find people I don't get along with, regardless, so why bother even trying to forbid myself with regard to this specific situation?" I have deeper thoughts on why I don't think that's a logical, winning, or pragmatic philosophy, but I think you're right; we've been at it for a while and we might have to suffice with agreeing as far as we do now. But speaking of things we agree on, I like your summary below; I think it fairly sums up the consensus thus far. Mind you, I don't think think it would necesarily hurt if our policies had more examples of incivil comments, but I don't think anyone wants to see anything like a list of strictly forbidden phrases. Snow let's rap 12:43, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • @Snow Rise: Actually in the UK and Australia at least it is absolutely normal to use "fuck off" in good humour. We will also routinely call people cunts in jest. The US has a distinctly more prudish attitude to invective than the UK does. Guy (Help!) 12:52, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Its also perfectly normal to use it in an aggressive and offensive way. Generally it is not used in good humour with people who are not friends.Slatersteven (talk) 17:09, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, believe me I'm quite aware from long personal experience of the way the term is used in both the UK and America (and though I am not Australian, I was in a committed relationship with one for several years, so familiarity there as well). Regarding uses of levity or in contexts where it is obvious the term is not meant contemptuously, see my post farther above or my discussion with Mjolnir more closely (or indeed, just Slatersteven's comment immediately above); those instances are of course non-objectionable. However, virtually anytime one is in a dispute with someone on this project and they use that phrase, it is (quite obviously) going to be taken as incivil, and the editor in question should be prepared for a community response. Snow let's rap 19:39, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • It is interesting to note the parallels of this to the Linux code of conduct adoption and Linus Torvalds resigning his position temporarily :
  1. Linus Torvalds, the programmer behind the free and open source Linux operating system, is taking some time away from the project to "get some assistance on how to understand people's emotions and respond appropriately."
  2. "My culture is cursing": Linux kernel world is a hostile place—by design --Pudeo (talk) 13:27, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I'd like to see the discussion expanded to cover the cases of "sod off", "bugger off", "go soak your head", and "your mother wears army boots". EEng 16:56, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that EEng is either not joking around or has made a good point with this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MjolnirPants (talkcontribs)
Can't I be both not joking around and making a good point? EEng 17:39, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
of course, and many of us do not but the idea that "fuck off" is no different from "go away", or any none exploitative and (as far as I know, outside of films) unused euphemisms. Now sod and bugger (despite their mildness) are valid, many people might well be offended by such (even mild) swearing.Slatersteven (talk) 17:44, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Um, can you review your post please? I've having difficulty parsing it. I will say that I'm not clear why sod and bugger are milder than fuck; does homo stuff get a discount on shock value? EEng 18:47, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Uhhh, "homo"? Are you somehow unaware that is a slur? Seriously, anyone reporting you for that would just set this discussion aflame and undo an progress that's been made, but that is truly offensive, and I would move to strike or replace it entirely, fast.
But I'm going to try to ignore that for the moment to reach to the substance of your comment. Of course "sod off" lands with less impact than "fuck off" Is it illogical? Yeah, completely, and don't expect anyone to give you a great etymological reason as to why, but that's the nature of expletives in human natural language; some words get more cultural currency as being "in your face"/offensive. "Cunt" is typically taken as more offensive than "twat", which in turn is usually taken as more offensive than "pussy". But none of them are acceptable to call someone on this project--and that was exactly Slaterstevens point about fuck off/sod off/bugger off; one of them may stand out as more likely to engender a feeling of contempt and illicit a similarly volatile reaction, but none of them are really appropriate for use between the supposed adults working on this project. Snow let's rap 20:18, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Snow Rise, you may perhaps find that EEng is more aware of those things than you realized. Which is all the more reason to regard civility issues as context-dependent. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:35, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Even if he is using it "ironically", it's not appropriate. Slurs should not be used for shock value just to emphasize a point. Indeed, being flippant with a slur like that for a "clever" turn of phrase is not short of the level of offensiveness which results when a hatemonger uses it sincerely. Hatespeech has no place on this project, and Eeng could have made the exact same underlying social point without it, by simply saying "so the sodomy stuff gets a discount?". Snow let's rap 20:46, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I've left him a note about your comment, and I'll let him reply to you about this. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:51, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Goodness me clever flippancy. What a bitch. I predict a riot. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:04, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Or maybe a riot? EEng 21:17, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I think you're missing the operative point there, Martin: it's a homophobic slur. Snow let's rap 21:13, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Snow Rise: how 'bout if, instead of "sodomy", I said "the sodomite stuff"? Where would that fit in your hierarchy? Being a fag myself I really don't need your guidance on such stuff. We've have collegial and productive interactions in the past, and I'm sure those will continue, but this was a test and you failed. We simply cannot start designating forbidden words or phrases. EEng 21:17, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
"Being a fag myself" that's offensive. My uncle was a smoker. How dare you besmirch the poor health choices of my family! Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:02, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Your uncle can blow me. EEng 15:28, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Of course we shouldn't have a list of banned words or phrases. Instead we should have civil discourse. I know what phrase popped into my head (which is no doubt more top of mind at the moment) when I saw that you felt entitled to test others, and deem them failures if they pointed out the use of a slur, but rather than say that I typed this in the hopes of continuing to have civil discourse. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:24, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
To be honest, Eeng, I was unaware you were gay. I know some people are of the opinion that it shouldn't matter who uses a historical slur--that it's either appropriate or inappropriate in a given context--but I am not one of those people. Knowing that detail completely changes the context, tone, and emphasis of your point--for me, anyway; I now have a better insight into your meaning and the comment, taking in that light, does indeed cut to an important point that is worth making. For what it's worth though, if you're going to invoke that slur in the future, it might be worth finding a way to phrase it such that it is more obvious where it is you are coming from on it (even parenthesis around the word might help to make it clear you are pointing out the historical bias). Because honestly, there are very narrow contexts in which the utility of using that word to make a point outweighs the instinctive revulsion it engenders in people of conscience and especially in people who have been persecuted and marginalized by it. Snow let's rap 21:52, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I think we should stay away from the word engenders for the time being. This is getting complicated enough as it is. EEng 22:14, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Ha! You're a good egg, Eeng. Snow let's rap 23:25, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Snow Rise, you're obviously a person of taste and erudition. Please accept these free tickets to The Museums. EEng 00:42, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I tried, Eeng, but my computer's memory was crunched into a singularity as soon as it approached the mass of the text on that page, holy moly! Snow let's rap 19:14, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────Or -- hear me out here -- we could start a second RfC, on this very same talk page, on what words EEng can use to describe his sexuality. We could split it into one sub-section for each phrase he's used so far, and have a separate discussion and vote for each. If anyone wants to make an argument that applies to more than one section, we could have them copy-paste the same wording into all the relevant sub-sections. It'll be fun! Alephb (talk) 21:28, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm sure some segment of the Wikipedia editor population could do that but it would be unwise as this is about general practice not the actions of any particular editor. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:33, 28 October 2018 (UTC) Please note the humor of the suggestion is not lost on me but I assuming humor is being used to make a serious point and thus am replying with a serious response to make my own point
  • I would like to add myself to the other editors who are requesting that this RfC be closed early as "no consensus". This is going nowhere fast. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:16, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Same here. This is just turning into a drama fest and while I appreciate Lourde's efforts to explore upon this, this RFC is more trouble than it's worth because we're all debating a point that should use one's common sense, and while both the !yes and !no voters seem to agree on the common sense part, they also seem to be misconstruing what the other side is saying (some !yes voters automatically think the !no votes are an endorsement of "fuck off"/while some !no voters automatically think the !yes voters only want to ban words). I say we get back to building an encyclopedia and not waste anymore of our time with this shenanigans.—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 20:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Plus, those bringing up baiting and context are also being accused of endorsing gross incivility, when in reality, they're just saying don't look at only one side of an issue. But I think Bluerasberry said it best, because regardless of the result of this RFC, we should always encourage a welcoming and not hostile editing environment without getting into technicalities (which again, is common sense).—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 20:51, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree. Not every discussion needs to arrive at an immediate firm consensus in order to be productive and the fact that some people are talking past eachother here is, to my mind, actually one of the strongest arguments for why this discussion would be useful: so that we can make an effort at resolving those incongruities and bring the various parties closer to understanding eachother and where the "common sense" parameters lay. I agree that a change in the policy language here is highly unlikely. But I don't think that outcome was necesarily the most desirable one. There are handful of editors who do not seem to feel that there is much of any context in which their use of the phrase is uncivil and that's problematic, if the rest of the community disagrees. If this discussion leads to even a marginally increased specificity of the circumstances where the community at large considers the use inappropriate, it's served a valuable purpose. Listening to one-another is probably more important than rule making in this instance.
And if the only result of this discussion is that a few editors who would have otherwise used the word problematically may pause to think about it next time, isn't that far superior to having to react to the situation latter, when it may have contributed to acrimony and someone may have to be sanctioned. I'd rather convince people now (or at least make an effort at it) than have to condemn them later. And while there are clearly strong disagreements about all of this, the discussion is proceeding non-disruptively for the most part. I say let people talk--it's doing no harm and no one is commenting here who doesn't choose to. Anyone who finds this non-productive is, of course, free to fuck off and find something better to do with their time. ;) Snow let's rap 21:00, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I think that very last bit would be an idea note on which to end this entire thread. EEng 21:22, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
??? Just curious...did any editors in support of the “yes” position agree to an early closing? Perhaps this audio presentation regarding application of the word will help enlighten a few...or maybe it won’t.[FBDB] Atsme✍🏻📧 21:23, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I await my inevitable indef for writing this essay. GMGtalk 21:28, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Not to detract from the excellence of Mr. Pants' essay, I want to draw special attention to Atsme's linked video. No one should be allowed to comment here further without having watched it first. EEng 21:32, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Having listened to it I feel sorry for any sucker who thinks they need to watch it. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:34, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Then you clearly missed its point. See also Seven_dirty_words. EEng 21:45, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh wow, blast from the past--I haven't heard that in 25 years. It was an early-ish interwebs rounder as I recall. Snow let's rap 21:55, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Great to hear that, after all these years, John still gets to fuck Shirley. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:28, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Ha! It was one of those days back when I was working with PBS affiliates KUHT-Hou and WKNO-Memphis. We used to fuck-off mess around in post production from time to time, and one of the voice-over guys came up with that jewel - can’t remember what station recorded it - but what made it so hilarious was the “forbidden” aspects of it. I also have out-takes from the Mork & Mindy series (don’t remember how they ended up with us), and lots of Bill Dance Outdoors outtakes - they’d make you fall outta your chair laughing! Atsme✍🏻📧 22:47, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Had to add these outtakes. 😂 Atsme✍🏻📧 00:08, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
@Mythdon:while some !no voters automatically think the !yes voters only want to ban words Well, I would note that the wording of this RfC is such that a "Yes" !vote is an !vote to ban certain words when used with an unspecified frequency, but I actually agree with you that the arguments put forth by the majority of editors !voting "yes" do not match that. Indeed, the vast, vast majority of arguments put forth seem to endorse the "it depends" !vote, including virtually all of the "!no" !votes and at least half of the "yes" ones. This seems to be yet another of those situations I've encountered on this site with some frequency, yet never encountered at any other site, where everyone is in very close agreement, and fighting viciously over whose way of stating things is best. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:42, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Which is precisely why Snow Rise is correct that Any closer should look at the substance of the comments rather than the !vote header. Although I can see why Lourdes and Softlavender tallied it up, that's just not a reflection of the actual consensus here.—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 22:54, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Indeed. I started to add this point in a comment in response to their competing sums, but edit conflicted so many times that I eventually gave up, knowing I'd have the chance to say it later. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:05, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I think there seems to be a rather overwhelming consensus that we should not systemically ban use of a phrase, even if we apply a frequency condition to it's use, yet we reserve the right to sanction users who insist upon using foul language if the community finds their use of said language to be grossly uncivil. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:10, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
That's the real objective because it's got less to do with foul language and more to do with being downright rude to someone. I think one can use foul language without ever being incivil (I use fuck, shit and damn in edit summaries sometimes to refer to my own fuck ups), but in the reverse, you can be downright rude to someone without ever using foul language, which I think should be just as sanctionable. There's a fine line between using it as an expression and using it to talk down to someone, which is central to the point that some (myself included) are trying to make. Its a collaborative project and there's no place for rudeness, foul language or no foul language. But as for the specific term "Fuck off" being in the spotlight, there's just not many ways to use it with it without it being insulting (I know some have made the argument you can use it jokingly).—Mythdon (talkcontribs) 06:43, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Editors here who think the word is so shocking should try typing "Fuck" into the Wikipedia search field. They will find it's used quite a lot here. In fact, the word currently appears 10,507 times. The disambiguation page Fuck off is informative. HiLo48 (talk) 06:25, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

(The word "cunt" too appears close to 8000 times on the English Wikipedia, with an equally informative disambig page. Lourdes 09:29, 30 October 2018 (UTC))
So, the issue is using it to post aggressive comments (and yes fuck off can be aggressive, even when it is meant as a "joke" at times). But all this does is demonstrate the problem, profanity is not civil, not even among friends, does any one really think that singing "Fuck...fuck, fuck fuck" is ever civil?Slatersteven (talk) 09:30, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Be careful with what you are so certain about. I was once in a job where I was criticised by workmates (including females) for not swearing enough. These people routinely use expressions such as "fuck off" at times such as when they disagree with or are surprised by something someone else says. HiLo48 (talk) 09:38, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Could you possibly furnish us with the tune for that? I'm pretty sure it's not in my copy of Hymns Ancient and Modern. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:45, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I said can be, not is (and yes I have worked in a place like that, it frankly it was a horrible and totally unfriendly place unless you went down the pub at lunch time). I have also worked in places were Gay was meant "humorously", would that make it OK not a breach of policy to say "but that comment was so gay"? Just because a bunch of loud mouth oiks at AMSTRAD think shouting "oi Cunt!" at each other is acceptable (and who also brag about going out on a Saturday night and berating someone up "cause its a yesterday"), should not mean I (or we) should. OK experiment, is there any way to tell someone to go away offensively that you would considers unacceptable? Fuck off? what about Mince off? Do we extend this idea to other offensive word ("cunt off" (how about N...nah) anyone)? If you cannot say "go away" without resorting to play ground abuse why should this defense not be used by any gob shite who loses it because their pet POV is being ignored (but I do not like that word?)? Words have meaning, and whilst that meaning can change in context we are talking about using it not in that context, telling someone to fuck off who is not a mate is aggressive, I can type "go away" "leave" or even "kindly get the hence", I can even not reply (cor thats cleaver), I do not have to say "fuckkkk offff, with knobs on!".Slatersteven (talk) 09:51, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
You said, with no qualification, "profanity is not civil, not even among friends". My example showed that among some groups of friends, what you would call profanity is seen as quite civil. I love the diversity of English language. HiLo48 (talk) 10:00, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Actually no it did not show it was civil (courteous and polite), just accepted (and no not among friends, work colleagues), or even the norm (but you have not demonstrated it was ever considered courteous or (let alone and) polite). Now maybe it was different with your work colleagues, but every foul mouth wanker I have ever know (see I can swear too, big boy aint I?) also had a line you could not cross "not in from of the kids", "Not in front of the wife", "not in front of the mother" or whatever (even if they themselves did so, it was just anyone else the rule applied to). If it was civil there should have been no situation where it became uncivil (not even in church). The moment language becomes inappropriate for situation A it should be inappropriate for all situations (we are of course talking about civility, not (for example) scientific discourse).Slatersteven (talk) 10:15, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
"The moment language becomes inappropriate for situation A it should be inappropriate for all situations" I think you have a deep misunderstanding of how language works. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:26, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
No, I believe that if I want people to respect me, I have to respect them. This is not about language, it is about social interaction. It is about applying the same standards to yourself as you would apply to others. As I said if we say "fuck off" is never a civility issue ever" fin go for it, no issue. My issue is with "it is a civility issue when we decide it is", which is exactly what I am talking about. The idea it OK except when it is targets (or is near) someone you care about. Either it is civil or it is not, this does not change just because i decide to start wearing a frock and dog collar.Slatersteven (talk) 10:45, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I too think you have a deep misunderstanding of how language works. It is much more flexible than that. HiLo48 (talk) 10:51, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I think we might have to agree that the use of spoken language differs very radically from the use of written language, and that words or phrases deemed appropriate in certain situations verbally do not necessarily transfer successfully into very different contexts in writing? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:52, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I certainly agree with that. It's not the only reason I think editors need to approach sarcasm, jest, and expletives with a degree of caution on a project like this, but it's certainly one of them. Snow let's rap 12:29, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I think you'll find that, in a better class of profane company, they are brass knobs, and nicely polished too. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:23, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm late to the party (as usual) but in a nutshell, what you do should depend on context. In general, you should never tell somebody to fuck off - ever. It's rude, uncalled for and there is always a better way of saying it. In particular, anyone saying it at The Teahouse or Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women in Red should be given a severe reprimand with a warning of a civility block if it happens again.

However, we're human, we sometimes lose our temper and just because you have told someone to fuck off, it does not mean you need to be sanctioned for it if there is not a clear and obvious need to prevent disruption to the encyclopedia. For example, if I was chatting with Serial Number 54129 and he said "hey, I've heard Ritchie333's quite a fan of Donald Trump" (obviously a bit of light ribbing), and I responded with "Er, do the words 'fuck' and 'off' mean anything?" and I was sure the banter would be taken in the spirit given, no action should be taken. Or, if somebody is adding unsourced trivia to an "In Popular Culture" section in an FA, and after reverting four times (and having left a note on the talk page saying that you cannot find a reliable source for the addition anywhere and that's a requirement of FAs), they put "FUCK OFF and read the talk page now", you need to de-escalate the situation, which blocking the exasperated editor trying to preserve quality will not do.

Or when Fram tells me that "Fuck off is not a personal attack"; well in that instance I don't think it was big or clever but ultimately I think we had to agree to disagree on that one. Or, when Iridescent gets template spammed by ShakespeareFan00 yet again despite asking SFan00 nicely to stop and think what he's doing numerous times previously, and snaps in frustration - well, I'd like to see an admin willing to pull a civility block on Iridescent. In the words of Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction - I dare you. I double dare you. And then there's the infamous incident where Jimbo Wales said something was "utter fucking bullshit" - who's going to block him for that? Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:42, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

@Ritchie333: In particular, anyone saying it at ... Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women in Red should be given a severe reprimand with a warning of a civility block if it happens again. Why is that? Don't get me wrong – of course I agree that that behaviour would not be appropriate there too. But what, in your view, makes that page nearly unique in this regard? 142.160.89.97 (talk) 05:42, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Ritchie, you mean well, but it's disheartening that you still don't know the difference between incivility and personal attacks. And the singling out of WIR as if women (and others hanging out there) somehow are more easily offended and need extra protection is sexist, which is the issue WIR is fighting against. People advocating for special rules for WIR and the like are much more worrying than people using an occasional well deserved "fuck off". Fram (talk) 08:14, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I simply picked WIR and the Teahouse as the first examples off the top of my head - others would include the Help desk, the Articles for Creation help and Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests (assuming that complaining about somebody telling you to fuck off is not the same thing), and I can't think of any sensible reason you'd ever want to use it on Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 10:18, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
the singling out of WIR as if women (and others hanging out there) somehow are more easily offended and need extra protection is sexist, which is the issue WIR is fighting against Huh. That thought didn't even occur to me when I reported this bizarre comment on ANI for a completely unrelated reason, but it is interesting. Hijiri 88 (やや) 10:41, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
A little advice from a woman who grew up during the bra-burning generation...do not lump sum the majority of women as feminists. I am also of the mind that as more young feminists age, their steadfast views of today may very well change. And yes, there are quite a few women, particularly those with young children, who find the f-bomb in an encyclopedia to be uncivil. Imagine the Johnny jokes that might be born from Johnny telling his teacher to fuck-off, and that it's an encyclopedic term because he read it in Wikipedia. Atsme✍🏻📧 18:54, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't find that comment particularly bizarre--well, other than the invocation of a Cracked article; ah yes, Cracked.com, that icon of hard-hitting investigative journalism--I'll get right on that article just as soon as I first read their "9 Presidents Who Had Testicles the Size of Medicine Balls" list... The tone of the notice feels a bit pandering if I am perfectly blunt, but if we WP:AGF to that, the location of the notice is acceptable: women do have particular perspectives on aggressively dismissive comments and incivility broadly, so a project like that is an appropriate place, as per the guidance at WP:APPNOTE. Indeed, I would say literally any discussion space that is reserved for meta/project coordination issues would be an appropriate place to note a discussion about a potential change to WP:CIVILITY and/or related standards, since absolutely every editor on this project has a vested interest in said policy and standards.
But in any event, the behaviour you are pointing out there is not contiguous with the point Fram was making. What she was saying was that women don't want to be treated with kid's gloves, only treated the same. So it's offensive when one faces abuse (including unduly fixated or hostile criticism of your conduct or editing), but it's also offensive when someone suggests you are not capable of tolerating the same level of inherent conflict in the project as a man could (which, unfortunately, has become all too prevalent in some corners of this project from well-intentioned but, frankly, oblivious community members thinking women want or are demanding a more "gentle" version of Wikipedia because "women just can't handle all of the arguing guys, what with our weak nervous systems and gentle dispositions!"). David's comment treads the line between that kind of infantalizing and the legitimate concerns about harassment that women experience and do want to talk about, but generally speaking it's directed more towards respecting the latter, so I for one would prefer to WP:AGF on his motive. Snow let's rap 22:22, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, if you look at the wording of the comment immediately above the linked one, and compare it with the actual wording of the RFC question, AGF kinda goes out the window. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:29, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
@Ritchie333: What puts Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Women in Red in the same class as those other pages you listed? 142.160.89.97 (talk) 03:12, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
I think what you're saying is that fuck off should be verboten in places where it could lead to WP:BITE. I suppose one could say WP:WIR has more new users/is going to be seen by more new users due to them doing a lot of editor recruitment/editathons and so it should be extra bad to use fuck off there, but I do agree with Fram and Snow Rise on their point about not infantilizing of women. Galobtter (pingó mió) 10:02, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
@Fram: (did you just imply that female editors can't deal with simple cases of sexism like that?) fighting for "special rules"? Since when is it more important to act dismissive towards female (ex-)editors' complaints in order to claim gender equality, than to deal with male editors who harass female editors off Wikipedia? It's not being "sexist" – it's called listening to what other editors have to say (see WP:IDHT), and it's borderline insecure not to be able to deal with that. And no, when a female editor writes a false or misleading case, the editors who happen to believe her aren't going to be called sexist – on the contrary, they will all be criticized for not having figured out the sham (they will NOT be praised for listening to a female editor). Also, it's not very clear where you'd want to draw the line, and if you'd want to draw the line at all. What policy are your arguments based on? Finally, when the complaints of female editors stop being dismissed because they trample their quota, they will be harassed less (WP:NOTANARCHY), and we will have complete gender equality. wumbolo ^^^ 16:27, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I have no idea what your post here has to do with my statement, I guess you either are answering to someone else's post or totally misunderstood my point. I have made no comment that addresses "acting dismissive towards female editors complaints" (directly or implictly), I haven't got a clue what you are trying to say with the "female editor writes a false or misleading case" line of reasoning, never mind what it has to do with me or my comment. If you really are replying to my one short post in this discussion, then please indicate more clearly what you are objecting against, as I don't get it at all. Fram (talk) 21:23, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm noticing that a significant amount of the commentary from those users !voting "yes", here and elsewhere, is far from civil. Take for instance this comment (or this one for that matter) by David Tornheim or this one by Statersteven. Given this, it comes across as wikilawyering for the purpose of harassment: it's okay for me to make editing a miserable experience for you with my aggressive, uncivil and downright unpleasant behaviour, but if you tell me to stop and I ignore you, and so you tell me to stop in a more aggressive manner, you should be sanctioned for your "incivility". It's enforcing the letter of the policy while deliberately ignoring its spirit. Again I should point out that the incident that inspired this discussion was the result of one of our most patient and civil editors being pushed too far by someone who was clearly trying to do so. Hijiri 88 (やや) 21:32, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I see no incivility in those comments. Can you please point it out? Andy Dingley (talk) 00:11, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
He seems to be obsessed with me, He is eager to get new editors who disagree with him banned. So if I weigh in, I will likely disagree. (ironically, in the discussion in question I was opposed to sanctions that he was promoting), He seems to have drama with almost everyone he works with--I work collaboratively whenever possible, I find you constantly disagreeing with me and causing drama and making bizarre unfounded accusations, (use of scare-quotes around "compromise"), This was a dubious (and I think outright spurious, and malicious) ANI that had no validity , etc. Granted, a lot of these are closer to AGF- or NPA-violations (accusations made without evidence, assumption of malicious intent, etc.) than CIVIL-violations, but still. Anyway, your showing up here to attack me and defend DT is somewhat ... questionable, given the parts we both played in the discussion that led to your being one-way IBANned. I suggest you drop the stick and go do something else, as you're walking a thin rope at the moment. Hijiri 88 (やや) 00:30, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
And I note that users who do not see telling other users to fuck off is not being aggressive think that saying that an act was malicious is (and at an ANI and not on a talk page at that). I could also point out that if you want "fuck off" to be allowed I really fail to see how malicious can be (after all it may well have been a joke (ever heard of satire or irony?)). This is my whole point, this is not about the insensitivity of the term (if it had been said in the other direction I am sure it would have been a violation) but rather supporting the person who wrote it.Slatersteven (talk) 09:28, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
It depends on context. You wrote that with the clear intention of harassing me and getting under my skin, so that I would stop going after your friend for ... all that crap. Had I responded by telling you to fuck off and stop harassing me, policy would have been very much on my side. Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:38, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
No it is what I felt, and still do. No it is not an attempt to get under your skin, it is telling it as I see it.Slatersteven (talk) 09:53, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: Well in that case, your understanding of WP:CANVAS is so disastrously poor that you desperately need to read up on it, and preferably never talk down to me about it again. Hijiri 88 (やや) 10:09, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Slatersteven: Here's where context is important: if a troll trolls an editor, and the editor responds with "fuck off", the "fuck off" is certainly "aggressive" by any definition of the word—but it's the troll who is causing the disruption. Sanctions are supposed to be aimed at ending disruption.
It's so much easier to spot and block a "fuck off" than to make a detailed case against a persistent troll. This proposal would arm the trolls with a powerful tool to help them sanction the editor they are trolling and disrupt the project. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 09:42, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Its odd but I must never have ever dealt with persistent Trolls, as I have never felt the need to tell one of them to fuck off. You can ignore them, you can report them (and no I do not think getting such an obvious troll blocked would be difficult, after all they have been).Slatersteven (talk) 09:53, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
You've certainly never dealt with a smart troll if you think getting them blocked is not difficult. Hijiri 88 (やや) 10:33, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Hijiri 88: if you're thinking of some of the disruptive editors I am, "smart" is not necessarily what keeps them from getting blocked. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 10:45, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
@Curly Turkey: Remember the one who tricked CU by only using his main account on a work computer, keeping a separate account for home use but never logging in, instead always editing from an IP, then getting CU to "prove" he wasn't socking by logging in to the other account, and waiting until after that before using the IP to pull the worst shit he possibly could? His main account still isn't blocked. Hijiri 88 (やや) 11:01, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Okay, but remember the others (plural) who simply hid behind mock civility and massive filibustering walls of text? I didn't see much "smart" there, other than the smarts necessary to realize they could "win" by attrition. I'm surprised any of them managed to get blocked, the way things work around here. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 11:05, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
@Curly Turkey: The number was quite high (technically the three problem editors causing that mess at Talk:Mottainai earlier this year could be included), and by far the worst of them was someone I was never banned from talking about (and indeed named him twice further up this discussion), so we're pretty safe, but please remember that I'm still technically banned from talking about some of them. Anyway, most of them weren't really "trolls" so much as people trying to push an agenda identifiable with a real-world political ideology (Korean nationalism, Japanese historical revisionism [with reference to Curtis's "Nanking" edits], etc.), or people trying to push an on-wiki agenda ("no deletions or mergers", "User X is my friend so I'm gonna support him regardless of what the sources say", etc.). Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:31, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Hijiri 88: I guess it depends on how strict you are with the term "troll"—a troll is someone whose comments are designed to get under your skin, which many of those users' comments most definitely were. If not strictly trolls, they still belong to the same family of troublemakers. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 01:59, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Slatersteven: That's an interesting bubble you're living in here on the internet (trolls get away with trolling all the time, particularly if they are Civil POV-Pushers—sometimes for years). But you seem to have missed several points—the most important one being about disruption. The troll is disruptive; the "fuck off" is not. Blocking the "fuck off" would be WP:PUNITIVE, not preventative, and would not solve the disruption. I hope you're looking for ways to minimize disruption, rather than looking for excuses to (disruptively) block people. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 10:44, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I take it you have read all I have said here about how this lowers the general standard of behavior and gives the idea that being just plain rude is acceptable? Now maybe it is true and I have only dealt with dumb trolls but I fail to see how telling them to fuck off causes them to go away is not just the kind of response they want (they are trying to wind you up, so letting them get to you is them wining). What seems to be being said is that this encourages them to ramp it up, thus causing them to make clear breach of policy (correct?). Otherwise what purpose does it serve, just to show them, how much contempt you feel for them?Slatersteven (talk) 14:42, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Slatersteven: "being just plain rude is acceptable"—how did "context matters" turn into "being just plain rude is acceptable"?
"so letting them get to you is them wining"—therefore sanction the victim? That only feeds the trolls and increases the level of disruption—again, you don't seem to want to engage with the issue of reducing disruption. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 06:10, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Discussion underway at Wikipedia_talk:Civility-EEng
How about addressing the whole point I made, and not just cherry picked sentences taken out of context?Slatersteven (talk) 10:28, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Who wanted the big boy pants?.....Atsme✍🏻📧 19:32, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Slatersteven: how about you deal with the issues of dealing with disruption, WP:PUNITIVE vs. preventative, and feeding trolls by giving them weapons, which you've steadfastly avoided addressing? As long as you avoid addressing these key issues I cannot deal with anything else you've written. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 11:41, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
I did, you just ignored it. It is about not encouraging people to think such behavior is acceptable (preventative). As I said I think it lowers the general tone of conversation by giving the impression (as in certain places of work) that telling users to fuck of is civil. As to not giving trolls weapons and not feeding them, how about just not replying (which is what not feeding trolls usually means, not SHOUTING "FUCK OFFF!" IN A FIT OF ANGER. So I ask again, how does telling them the fuck off (have I used it enough yet to get to claim big boy pants?) deal with them (do they fuck off or just get a kick out of having wound you up)?Slatersteven (talk) 12:14, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Slatersteven: "I did, you just ignored it."—that was an incivil (and dishonest) response—and like a troll's, it appears to be aiming at getting an unfortunate response from me.
Of course, no, you have not responded to those issues at all. There's nothing "preventative" about sanctioning people for falling for trollbait—that's both WP:PUNITIVE and enabling trolling, as any troll who could pull that one off once will inevitable try it again. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 22:03, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Although human behaviour is often unpredictable, it seems unlikely that committed editors would use language if they knew that doing so would likely lead to their being sanctioned. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 22:49, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
PaleCloudedWhite: that's up for debate, but the issue is whether autosanctioning editors for their word choices—and disregarding context—would reduce disruption. Aside from violating WP:PUNITIVE, it would give trolls, WP:CIVILPOV-pushers, and other disuptive, bad-faith editors another tool to disrupt Wikipedia. The "language" we speak of is not, in itself, disruptive—when it is disruptive, it is already sanctionable for the disruption it causes. This proposal is asking to make it sanctionable even when it is not disruptive. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 02:08, 8 November 2018 (UTC)
How about telling your friend David Tornheim to do the same in the section above? Anyway, your comment largely missed the point of this discussion, and CT cut to the meat of it. I'm not going to make an assumption as to why you are arguing for a system where trolls would be rewarded for pushing their victims to the point of using this or that swear by getting their victims blocked, but that is what you are doing. Hijiri 88 (やや) 10:55, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
He is not "my friend", and I would remind you you said you did not wish to talk to me anymore about this. So I ask you to at least have the decency to do that, I have respect your wish I would expect you to respect it.Slatersteven (talk) 12:14, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
About what? I'm pretty sure this is the first time this has come up; the post in question was made earlier today. And if he's not your friend, how do you explain this -- are you admitting that you were just trying to attack me for shits and giggles? Assuming you were trying to defend your friend is the AGF explanation. Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:04, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
No just because I thought your ANI was a malicious attempt to get a user blocked over a content (even if it is a policy content) dispute is not friendship. It may be sympathy towards a user who I did not think had breached a policy (and I still find it hard to believe that paraphrasing whilst keeping the basic gist is canvasing, but there you go, but an admin (well more then one) has said it is (I will keep it in mind from now on)), that does not make him a friend (or even as someone I have met). Any more then you having sympathy for a users plight makes you their friend (or maybe not...do you only stick up for people you think of as friends?). Neither being mistaken nor stupid makes you someone friend (and I am not even aware of what silly spat even led to this dispute with PantyMan, so for all you know I might have disagreed with him over it(or agree with him, or had no opinion either way)). Agreeing with someone once or twice a friend does not make (as I am sure I have even agreed with you more then once, are we friends?) Nor am I sure what the relevance of this is anyway. Even if he was my bestest mate ever in the whole word, so what?Slatersteven (talk) 15:53, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, then you still just don't WP:CANVAS, and I suggest you familiarize yourself with it before you publicize any on-wiki discussion or comment on such publicizing again. And if I wanted to get that particular user blocked over a content dispute but pretend it was about something else, I would bring him to ANI over something like his unapologetic hounding of users he's disputed with in the past, which disputes led to a TBAN he subsequently ignored and got blocked under, and actually say I wanted him blocked or continued harassment of me. Anyway, this has veered somewhat off-topic: it's clear you are not interested in actually addressing the substance of CT's arguments, and a closer will likely take this fact into account. Hijiri 88 (やや) 03:48, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Wait ... I remember you. You're the guy who added a claim to your user page that you were dyslexic after MPants pointed out a misspelling on your part, then opened an ANI report about how he was harassing people with disabilities. You agreed to drop the issue at that time after getting called out by multiple uninvolved editors, and yet somehow here you still are, continuing to harass MPants (and those who don't harass MPants) because you disagree with him on ... something. I seriously think a one-way IBAN or perhaps indefinite block is in order if you don't drop the stick immediately and apologize to everyone involved. So you're just here because you don't like MPants; exactly the kind of editor I was referring to above with my WP:HOUND comment, creating a false appearance of "repetitiveness". This just highlights further that this proposal cannot be allowed to pass: it's just an excuse for trolls and harassers to continue trolling and harassing. Hijiri 88 (やや) 22:40, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
I was not aware this was "lets block MPants", I assumed we were talking about a general issue of civility. As to the rest, this is not about me (or MPants) it is about discussing a policy suggestion.Slatersteven (talk) 19:17, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, yeah. Except that you clearly only showed up here because it was originally opened as a consequence of an ANI thread that was "lets block MPants": you've never edited this page before, and your comments on the ANI thread are pretty much proof that you didn't see any of the publicizing in isolation. (BTW: If you're that sensitive about people criticizing your spelling, then maybe you should stop saying such ridiculous things, that beg people to put them in scare-quotes, at which point they will invariably want to add "[sic]".) Hijiri 88 (やや) 12:29, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
As I said above this is not about me, this is about discussing a policy change, please reap wp:talk.Slatersteven (talk) 11:04, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Just so everyone's clear, I know who CT is talking about (I named him further up the page), put up with more shit from him than any editor should ever have to put up with, and by the time he finally tried to get me site-banned I had been so restrained in my reactions to him that he felt it necessary to digging for diffs from before he ever interacted with me. I could ping in more editors who could vouch for the problem having been aggravated by my tendency to treat AGF as a suicide pact, but do I really need to? Hijiri 88 (やや) 11:07, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Hijiri 88: I hope you mean someone other than "Curly Turkey" with "put up with more shit from him" Face-wink.svg. F---ing pronouns. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 06:10, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
I fat we can close this.-EEng

I think this has run its course, and there is no consensus that I can see. I thin we can close this.Slatersteven (talk) 19:49, 4 November 2018 (UTC) Fine by me, lets keep it open. I think a close is the best way to deal wit an increasingly acrimonious debate that is going nowhere, but if no one else takes the suggestion seriously no issue with it remaining open.Slatersteven (talk) 20:31, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]
Stimulating debate-EEng
A safe space has been established for the offended. The rest can fuck-off.Atsme✍🏻📧 18:08, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
For those keeping score, this thread has had 380 posts totaling some 175KB. EEng 02:53, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Fair dinkum! HiLo48 (talk)
Watch your mouth. EEng 03:30, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
😂 Atsme✍🏻📧 11:29, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Eeng, it's still shorter than your talk page, which has 790 posts totaling 389 kb. Lourdes 17:50, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but my talk page was build over ten years with contributions by scores of Wikipedia's most venerated editors -- nothing like this cacophony of the unwashed. Tea? EEng 18:30, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Is there a list or page somewhere listing "most venerated editors" so it can be compared to your talk page and the comments here? I suspect there's a lot of overlap on all three. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.234.100.169 (talk) 23:31, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
My talk page is traditionally used as that list. EEng 23:55, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Ah yes, "... and what would you say to a nice cup of tea, Father Jack?" Martinevans123 (talk) 18:45, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
😂 Atsme✍🏻📧 18:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Good Grief. The F-bomb is offensive in its lazy overuse and its attitude-thick tone. Is that really the best you can do? Whenever I have used the f word, it is best to steer around me for a few minutes. And yet if F* evaporated from all human existence tomorrow we'd be employing some offensive substitute within a few weeks. Can we defer to:
Rule #0 - do we really have to make a rule about this?

GeeBee60 (talk) 08:39, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

I think that is the point, it is used (at least in "the context" we are talking about) out of anger, and shows a degree of aggression towards the target, it is (in essence) seen (widely) as threatening and intimidating. Personally I am rather less likely to take notice of a fuck off on line then a "please do not post on my talk page), its not as if I am going to get a thump. But I get how some might feel immediated by such language.Slatersteven (talk) 19:43, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Not gong anywhere, rather gong specifically somewhere-EEng
But it is clear its not gong anywhere.Slatersteven (talk) 19:50, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Please read wp:AGF.Slatersteven (talk) 10:25, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Wow, what a lot of words - my comment is not really needed either way, but I'll make it as I'm here. Yes, we have problems with civility, and yes, I'd like it if nobody ever told anybody else to fuck off (at least not in genuine bad faith). But I think lists of proscribed words and phrases is not the way to go. Circumstances are always varied, and trying to overspecify a prohibition just leads to ways to lawyer around it, and you get creep upon creep. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:21, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Who are you calling a creep? [FBDB] Atsme✍🏻📧 18:12, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongly support at least 40,000 more words of debate before this is closed. Maybe we can help encourage a second or third editor to retire. GMGtalk 18:25, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
It would be far better if they'd just pitch a tent in the provided safe space and sing Kumbaya with us. Atsme✍🏻📧 19:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

─────────────────────────The real questions is, why should we stop at "fuck"?

Which of these individual words should be allowed on Wikipedia, and how often should they be used. Please indicate frequency in the format of uses per hour, or uses per day, where 24 uses per day equates to one use per hour. These estimates do not account for either daylight savings time nor leap years, but in the case of critical issues involving either, will err on the side of decreased use. Editors who have a strong opinion about century leap years are encouraged to go outside.

  • Fuck
  • Twit
  • Ninny
  • Shitty
  • Asshole
  • Shitty Asshole
  • Dandy
  • Knotty pated fool
  • Whoreson obscene greasy tallow catch
  • Person whose birth certificate is an apology from the condom factory
  • Wanker
  • Piss Wizard
  • Muggle
  • West Virginian
  • Please indicate your preferences below sorted in either descending offensiveness or reverse chronological order. GMGtalk 20:06, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
^^^Oh my...what have I done...Atsme✍🏻📧 20:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep Open New editors continue to weigh in. I agree that this section of threaded discussion has not been healthy or civil--reflecting a toxic, needlessly accusatory and negative environment in dispute resolution. That cannot be blamed on editors who have not yet had a chance to weigh in. Let's give them space. They may, in fact, be the very editors we need to hear more from to make Wikipedia more civil and follow the fourth pillar of Wikipedia: respect and civility. --David Tornheim (talk) 18:57, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, yeah, but it's already been pretty clearly demonstrated that most of the people, excepting those who were suckered in by the kinda-misleading wording of the question ("sanctionable" does not accurately describe the situation that led to this RFC), arguing for "fuck should be sanctioned" being incorporated into the policy aren't actually interested in making Wikipedia a more civil, pleasant environment, or in the five pillars, but in making it easier for trolls to have their way with their victims. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:06, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment -
    Crystal Clear app Startup Wizard.png
    As many have already commented, it's not about the specific term but the general lack of civility on Wikipedia. Doesn't matter if it's "fuck off" or "WP:CIR" or "better before" or a string of off-topic images and nonsense or anything else. As long as admins and the general Wikipedia management don't enforce civility by and large, a cadre of editors will continue disrupting Wikipedia and making Wikipedia worse for everybody. Make civility a top priority and watch these disruptive editors disappear. Bright☀ 20:59, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
@BrightR: Huh. If you look at the ANI thread that led to this RFC, it would seem you're actually very much on the "no" side of this particular discussion: the problem there was that no one stepped in and blocked or otherwise halted a blatant troll, and said troll (and his allies, most of whom had a history of also trolling the same editor) started feigning outrage at the use of the F word. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:06, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Which is why this isn't a problem with a particular phrase but a problem with the arbitrary enforcement of the policies of Wikipedia in general, and WP:Civility in particular. Bright☀ 13:17, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Anyone using this phrase has to know (or should already know) that it could offend some people. Sure it doesn't offend some other people, but so what? As long as it can offend a large group of reasonable people, it should be enough to sanction. Banedon (talk) 23:25, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Can we please stop trying to make this about users, and not a policy.Slatersteven (talk) 13:33, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

But it is about users. The proposed change to the policy is designed specifically for cases like the recent Obsidi/MPants dispute: trolls harass good-faith editors to the point that the latter use a word that meets certain arbitrary criteria of being an "excessively uncivil curse word", and then the trols feign outrage at how they are being treated in an uncivil manner in order to get sanctions against their trolling victims. What we need is admins with good judgement willing to bring down the hammer where it is needed and not where it isn't, which actually worked in this case, except that an admin who tried to show poor judgement opened an RFC afterwards. I'm currently being harassed (hounded) by a blatant troll who hasn't contributed anything to the encyclopedia in years (if at all) and now is devoted almost exclusively to following me, and I can't even get an admin's attention because of what BrightR to above: the arbitrary way in which this is all carried out. The passage of a proposed policy change that says "fuck" is unacceptable under any and all circumstances would only make this problem worse. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:24, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes use of this phrase is intended to offend and is the sort of thing you would say in the heat of the moment but if you are so enraged behind your keyboard that you can't control your fingers then you shouldn't be in a place where civility is a policy. To say that this is grown up language and we should be able to handle it is not an argument i would expect a grownup to use. This is not a forum or a chat room, no one comes here expecting to be insulted, if it is not language you would use when addressing your parents, grandparents or children then you shouldn't use it and if it is then I am not sure you are the kind of person who should be editing an encyclopedia. Dom from Paris (talk) 18:38, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
@Domdeparis: Did you read any of the above discussion, or the ANI thread that led to this RFC? The mistaken placement of your !vote in the wrong section implies you just read the question as posed (with all its problematic wording...), clicked edit, and posted your opinion without any understanding of the context. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:24, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Hijiri88: I read quite a lot of the above then got bored with reading all the other comments and wasn't aware this was obligatory...my bad, but thought the RFC was still open so posted my comment at the bottom which seemed a logical place because I have an opinion on the question. If it is in the wrong place please don't hesitate to move it. Cheers. Dom from Paris (talk) 23:46, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Domdeparis You became bored? How can that be? There are some very, very, very important editors that have really quite a lot to say, and just because they repeat themselves, doesn't entitle you to fall asleep and ignore them, does it? You voted without reading everything they wrote? Oh dear me! There must be some wiki-rule somewhere making it a heinous crime where you can be indeffed for not reading a lengthy debate like this before answering the RfC question. :) --David Tornheim
Strike per demand that I remove and on threat of being blocked. My response. --David Tornheim (talk) 04:50, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

The score so far[edit]

  • This thread is now at 522 posts totaling 230K. I note that the average length of posts is plummeting. EEng 02:21, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.