Wikipedia talk:WikiBullying

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Great article[edit]

Great article, I have thought about writing this for sometime myself, I added a media section, and the first external links. Ikip (talk) 14:36, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

on second thought, I will just add the link here: to the journalist articles, anyone is welcome to add this info. Ikip (talk) 14:41, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Hidden text[edit]

I moved the following text from the article. This information should be merged into Hidden text instead of this essay. --Atomic blunder (talk) 13:05, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Some acceptable uses are:

  • If an article, template, project page, or other Wikipedia page has just been created, and it may take multiple edits to complete the construction that involve the use of multiple articles, hidden text may be used temporarily to let new page patrollers and others know that it is under construction so that it does not get proposed for deletion.
  • If a page may seem tempting to propose for deletion, but already has in the past, and has survived deletion, hidden text may be used to let others know that the page previously was proposed for deletion and instruct others where to read the previous discussions.
  • If there is any information that is constantly added, removed, or modified in any other way, and there may be a better alternative, hidden text may be used to let others know of that alternative. in this case, it should mention the alternative and point to a discussion, if one exists
  • If misinformation that has been commonly misbelieved is frequently added to an article, hidden text may be used to inform others. The text should point the reader to a discussion on the topic, if one exists.
  • If information that may be tempting to add really belongs somewhere else, to point other editors to that place
  • To inform others of existing policies that may apply when editing a page

Some unacceptable uses are:

  • Telling all other editors not to edit the page, period
  • Telling others not to remove a section of the article period, as if the section were in stone
  • Telling others that a page should not be proposed for deletion, when this may be doubted by others
  • Writing new guidelines that apply specifically to the page, and branding them as "policy." In the past, policies that have been proposed for a single article have failed to attain a consensus.

absurd recommendation to consult ANI[edit]

I find the statement If you feel that you are being bullied or another user has threatened you with bodily harm it is important that you report them immediately to WP:AN/I so the matter can be properly dealt with to be absurd. That would be good advice, unless, of course, the bully is one of numerous editors who engage in bullying and frequent ANI, in order to conduct their bullying. In which case, your reporting bullying there will identify you as a suitable victim for more bullies to attack. There is no guarantee in wikipedia that behavior of long-term bullies will be addressed by ANI. It is poor advice; I am inclined to remove the assertion from this essay. --doncram 17:35, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Agree, if you are being bullied you should consult a reliable, experienced, neutral editor and then decide how to proceed. ANI is not the best place to go especially if a person is inexperienced with dispute resolution. -- KeithbobTalk 03:11, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Referring the victim to ANI is like telling the battered wife they should report to the police. Sounds good on paper but after the police report, they are returned home for more abuse. The victim needs a safe place to go where they will be protected. ANI is not necessarily that place. It could be, but it should not be treated like its the automatic and perfect solution. This essay should offer victims a variety of solutions and avenues for protection and resolution.-- KeithbobTalk 03:17, 6 September 2013 (UTC)-- KeithbobTalk 19:54, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Especially if ANI is the point where the bullying and hostility began. DontClickMeName talkcontributions 19:15, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Unless Wikipedia is completely separate from the internet as a whole (which I am pretty sure it is not), then I would think that normal cyberbullying rules apply, which means that most bullying is conducted by people in positions of power, either by multiple people ganging up, or by someone in an administrative position (or who claims to be). In a workplace situation, bullying by employers against employees represents over half of the bullying cases, with most of the remainder being examples where multiple people gang up against 1. While 1 vs 1 bullying does occasionally happen, you never, ever, get a situation where 1 gangs up against 10. If it is 10 vs 1 and there are claims of bullying, it is always the 10 that are bullying, never the 1. Wikipedia has got that really badly wrong. Going to ANI is likely to get 10 vs 1 going against you, I would think, as they would tend to respect the majority. Indeed, come to think of it, somewhere like Wikipedia, that generally respects the majority, would probably be a really bad place for cyberbullying. I don't think that this article page really takes that into account properly. KrampusC (talk) 15:40, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Making "no-edit" orders contrary to policy[edit]

no editor may unilaterally take charge over an article or part of an article by sending no-edit orders

This is incorrect in that it doesn't go far enough. Wikipedia:Ownership of articles#Multiple-editor ownership makes it more than clear that no individual user or group of users WP:OWNs a Wikipedia article. It is not appropriate to find one or two buddies, claim ownership of pages and WP:BITE any lone newbies who show up proposing changes to those articles. See tag team, WP:CANVASS, false consensus and wrongful consensus.

and Bullying of principal editors

On the other hand, there are bullying editors who have not exerted themselves to the point where they could be called the "principal editor" of any significant article. Some of these editors ruthlessly attack editors who are the principal editor of an article and have done the hard yards, accusing them of "ownership", insisting that their own ill-considered contributions take precedence

The previous section acknowledged WP:OWN but this section condones exactly that - a principal editor claiming ownership and dismissing all other contributors as "ill-considered". That places this in direct contradiction to Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. K7L (talk) 15:07, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Agree its a confusing and contradictory section. Needs to be removed or rewritten.-- KeithbobTalk 03:13, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I find this a bit confusing. Surely if someone is controlling an article, in flagrant violation of WP:OWN, asking them to take a break is a reasonable thing to do. It would seem to be very unlikely that such a request could be seriously considered to be any form of bullying at all. KrampusC (talk) 14:48, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Hidden text[edit]

Thanks for addressing this important topic. However, I feel that the Hidden Text section is too long and is being given too much weight in the essay. Would anyone like to discuss or help revise the article to reduce its emphasis?-- KeithbobTalk 03:09, 6 September 2013 (UTC)


I feel that there are important aspects of bullying that are missing and would like to help expand this essay. For example there are three elements to bullying

  1. aggressive behavior
  2. performed repeatedly on a single editor, or a series of different editors (inexperienced editors are the likeliest victims)
  3. the behavior attempts to create a relationship where there is an imbalance of power between the two editors

This is accomplished by isolating the editor on an article or user talk page and dominating and intimidating via condescension, criticism, anger, threats, name calling, unsubstantiated accusations and attempts to label them as bad, ignorant of policies, having a conflict of interest, being incivil or by taking the editor to ANI for non-existent or minor infractions. I feel these aspects of bullying that occur (unfortunately) on WP on a regular basis need to be included in this essay. Thoughts from others?-- KeithbobTalk 03:08, 6 September 2013 (UTC)-- KeithbobTalk 19:56, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

"Aggressive Undoing" section[edit]

Could anyone explain the intended meaning of this section's text? Is it purposefully written in broken English and incomplete sentences? If not, I think it would help to re-word it.

Making an "Undo" to prevent expression of an idea (usually criticism, or even facts with negative impact to expressions) without any reasons, or "you text is not conform to wiki standard". Remarks: "Please improve this point instead of bullying this, Thanks"

Thank you, startswithj (talk) 23:40, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

I separated the two paragraphs, back to the way they were -- which makes it a little easier to understand -- but just a little. -- Ríco 04:12, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

This article is EXTREMELY lacking in proposed solutions to bullying[edit]

This article makes no suggestions to bullying victims like yours truly as to what, if anything the first step is meant to be to resolve the problems caused by this behaviour.

Are we just supposed to suck it up? Is there an email we can complain to? Is bullying even supposed to be resolved? (talk) 16:35, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

"If you feel that you are being bullied or another user has threatened you with bodily harm it is important that you report them immediately to the Incidents page on the Administrator's Noticeboard so the matter can be properly dealt with." --Onorem (talk) 16:58, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Recent changes to the essay[edit]

IsoFocus (talk · contribs) has been reverted three times on changes to the essay, by me twice and by Amaury once. See here, here, here and here. I reverted IsoFocus because IsoFocus messed up the introduction of the essay by making it vague, and IsoFocus's edits reflect WP:Newbie-ish grudge opinions, opinions that show that IsoFocus is very unfamiliar with how Wikipedia is supposed to work. If no one other than IsoFocus comments on IsoFocus's changes, I will start a WP:RfC on this matter. I do not have confidence that a productive discussion will result between the two of us (IsoFocus and I) on this matter. Flyer22 (talk) 00:13, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

One example of an inappropriate change IsoFocus made to the essay is the following sentence: "Editors are encouraged to improve or constructively contribute to new edits that they may not agree with. Simply saying 'the previous version was clearer' and undoing the recent edit is Wikibullying." IsoFocus is clearly referring to my restoration of the lead of this essay, the lead that actually explains what WikiBullying is, as opposed to IsoFocus's vague lead. After that revert, IsoFocus called the matter Wikibullying. IsoFocus clearly shows a misunderstanding of what Wikibullying is. Reverting by itself is not usually Wikibullying, and certainly not when it is restoring clear material over vague material. Flyer22 (talk) 01:13, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

WP:RfC: Should the page be changed back to its previous version, partially or wholly?[edit]

Consensus is that the disputed edits should be changed back to the previous version.

Editors are reminded to go to the Talk page when another editor requests it in their edit summary. See WP:BRD.

Editors are also reminded that an RFC should not be started over a 46 minute editing dispute. Alsee (talk) 07:28, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

With regard to this version of the WP:Bully page, one argument is that the previous version has a clearer lead and the new version has a poor lead and misinterprets how parts of Wikipedia is supposed to work; the other argument is that the new version is "Some clean up of phrasing and structure but an IMPORTANT addition of Flippant content edits category of wikibully." For more details on this, see the short #Recent changes to the essay section above.

On a side note: I clearly know that this is a WP:Essay; but since it states that the essay is "is intended to supplement the Wikipedia:Civility and Wikipedia:Ownership of articles policies, to which editors should defer in case of inconsistency between that page and this one," I tagged the WP:RfC with "rfc|policy" in addition to "rfc|proj." I tagged it with "rfc|pro" because the template also states "collaborations", and essays are similar to WP:WikiProjects, and I didn't know what else to tag this WP:RfC with if not the "rfc|policy" and "rfc|proj" tags. Flyer22 (talk) 20:35, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

  • I agree that the previous version was much clearer and would prefer consensus to be sought before using the new version. There may be some aspects of the new version that could be incorporated but currently I prefer this version. --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 00:11, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
  • The new version begins by sounding as if it's going to be a page about all possible inappropriate editing, and is thus confusing. It goes on to make a statement about "fair and equal rights", which is inaccurate because no one has any rights here. Overall it's less clear because the style is that of a non-native speaker. OTOH, "misbelieved", which is in the old version, isn't a word. ekips39 (talk) 23:55, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
    Oh, and the allusion to Flyer22's edits definitely doesn't belong -- she was doing the right thing and giving perfectly valid reasons. ekips39 (talk) 00:01, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I think a substantive argument should be required to defend the status quo of any page. If you are not able to argue why a previous version of a page is better, then you cannot on that basis continue to revert to that version. "It's clearer" is NOT a substantive argument. You have to be able to say HOW it is clearer, and how that's a benefit to the project. Reasonably presented challenges to the contents of our articles, policies or guidelines deserve a reasonable response. I don't know if we actually have a policy that encapsulates this duty of care and reasonable interaction. Samsara 18:18, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
L235 and Ekips39, thanks for weighing in. Since IsoFocus has been WP:Edit warring without discussion on this matter, I would appreciate it if you two put this page on your WP:Watchlist (if it's not on there already) for a few weeks or longer to help sort out future such behavior. Samsara, I gave valid reasons, as Ekips39 stated above. And per the small WP:Consensus here, with the WP:RfC having expired, I have restored the page. If you are going to keep criticizing me because of this dispute we had, I suggest you stop. Ever since that matter, you have sought to criticize me, as seen here and here. By contrast, I never seek you out in any way. If you watch my talk page (you likely do), then you should know that I do not take kindly to people stalking me because of grudges. Flyer22 (talk) 13:40, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Things seem to have been stable since the 22nd, and I'm pretty busy these days, so I don't think I need to watch it just now. ekips39talk 03:24, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, Ekips39. Thanks for helping. Flyer22 (talk) 03:46, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Alsee, regarding your close above: As seen above, I waited hours before starting the WP:RfC. I did not immediately start it. As noted, it was initially clear to me that a productive discussion would not result as far as discussing the matter with IsoFocus. It was also clear to me that after hours of waiting for IsoFocus to comment, IsoFocus was not going to comment. Flyer22 (talk) 07:47, 31 May 2015 (UTC)


Much bullying involves groups, either explicitly or tacitly. Would be worth covering this. All the best: Rich Farmbrough17:56, 28 May 2015 (UTC).

Strongly agree. Also a bully may only be emboldened to act in a context in which other editors have expressed complimentary views. GregKaye 11:27, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia and bullying[edit]

I believe one of the biggest reasons Wikipedia is full of bully's is because the Cabal doesn't even believe in its existence. --MurderByDeletionism"bang!" 18:26, 11 January 2016 (UTC)


Such a wishy-washy essay. Is Wikipedia calling out bullying . . . or dancing around it?! --MurderByDeletionism"bang!" 16:52, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

  • Yep, Burninthruthesky, continues to subterfuge what bullying is on Wikipedia, which is why it is so commonplace here!

Stating policy when necessary, and other changes[edit]

@MurderByDeadcopy: In addition to grammatical errors, there were several significant reasons for my revert of this edit:

  • Subject knowledge and policy knowledge are two separate issues, and I find it confusing to discuss the two as though they are the same.
  • If it is necessary to state a policy, it is not bullying to do so, as it said in this essay before this edit. Wikipedia is WP:NOTFREESPEECH.
  • I actually agree with your opinion that sometimes too little action is taken on WP to stop bullying. I don't see how airing your frustration with, "however, acceptable it has become on Wikipedia" helps clarify this essay.

At this point, there is no WP:CONSENSUS for your proposed edit. Please explain how you think your changes improve the essay. Burninthruthesky (talk) 08:03, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

  • You probably don't even realize it, but you are doing it to me right now. Bullying through stating policy to make your point. Just use your words. Because frankly the not free speech one makes zero sense here since this is an essay and consensus has huge issues. (I personally believe that those who win the consensus are the ones with the most time on their hands and most tenacious. Thank goodness for voting or the USA would be guaranteed that Trump's their next President!) Granted I preferred my original edit which I took more time on, was more concise, and where I remembered to delete the unnecessary words to be grammatically correct. That was pretty awful! I've actually never seen a case yet on Wikipedia where stating policy was not bullying. It's just acceptable bullying no matter how well meaning the original intent. That's why the term wikilawyering exists. I, myself, quit learning all those WP's after learning this one WP:IAR. Now I try to just use my words and use my best judgement.
Also, it was the less that really bothered me since I kept thinking less what? --MurderByDeletionism"bang!" 16:19, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Ah, now I see what you meant by "Less what?". Less knowledge or familiarity with a topic (as opposed to more). I think that sentence was clearer before.
Thanks for cleaning up the final sentence.
Since you ask, I will clarify my point about WP:NOTFREESPEECH, which is from the WP:NOT policy. Everything we do here should be directed at improving the encyclopedia, either by improving content, or helping users understand our system. That's why we have policies; if we didn't, it would just be anarchy and mob rule, which isn't how it's supposed be. Burninthruthesky (talk) 09:32, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks for that info. Actually, to me, the "NotFreeSpeech" made more sense before reading the redirect. But I don't see any policies that have stopped anarchy or mob rule since that's basically what consensus is, or (at least) has become here on Wikipedia. (Will have to leave this article now since one of my bullies just showed up!) --MurderByDeletionism"bang!" 16:03, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
For what MurderByDeadcopy means about me being one of his bullies, see this brief interaction and this edit (Burninthruthesky's already seen that edit, though, and thanked me for it via WP:Echo). MurderByDeadcopy is incorrect about me being one of his bullies (I've barely interacted with him...under his MurderByDeadcopy account at least). And he's wrong above. Those who refuse to follow Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, and cite WP:Ignore all rules as though it allows them to do any and everything they want at this site are WP:Disruptive and should be called out on it. They are also lazy to boot, since they don't take the time to learn the rules. Thank goodness the world has rules, including laws and all that. Otherwise... Well, you know.
Rules are not made to be broken at Wikipedia. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:58, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

Repeated incivility[edit]

I'm rather surprised to see this essay does not include a section/statement that repeated incivility directed from one editor to another constitutes bullying.DrChrissy (talk) 16:37, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

That's covered in the WP:Harassment policy, although I don't see the harm in repeating it here. Burninthruthesky (talk) 17:38, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks very much for that. It has been very informative to have been prompted to re-read that policy.DrChrissy (talk) 18:14, 27 January 2016 (UTC) comment restored after mistaken revert Burninthruthesky (talk) 21:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
WoW! My edit that you reverted was 100% sincere. It did not contain a grain of sarcasm. Why would you assume such bad faith?DrChrissy (talk) 18:54, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
I have left my apology on your talk page. Burninthruthesky (talk) 21:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

What bullying is not[edit]

I just read this addition and I want to say I like it. This is needed just like What is not vandalism is.

Bullying has become a code word for "I am not getting my way" or "people are enforcing policy I don't like" or "I should be able to argue this forever but they won't let me" and I think it is an important step to document what we do not mean when we say bullying.

I hope that this will allow us to pay greater attention to actual bullying instead of letting a few people wear the word out. HighInBC 17:19, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Bullies go around bullying editors all the time to get their way, and then if those editors complain, the bullies use exactly the above tactics as a get out of jail free card. And what does Wikipedia do about it? Why, increase its efforts to bully the editor who asked for the help! --MurderByDeletionism"bang!" 00:46, 8 February 2016 (UTC)