Requests for Comment/Harassment

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Revision as of 23:01, 19 October 2019 by Spike (talk | contribs) (→‎Support: Move Sapphire Williams' struck vote so it isn't counted by Numbered List; timestamp still shows sequence)
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The following RfC is based on the recent Username Policy closures advice to refine our definition of certain terms. Please consider the appropriateness of any examples used to show your ideas. This discussion will be carefully monitored.

How do you define offensive and/or insulting?

  • If someone was attacking another user due to bias or if someone posts content deemed by the community as inappropriate. SapphireWilliams (talk pagecontributions) 04:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • "Offence" or "insult" are completely subjective concepts and therefore can't be defined objectively. A specific community can define a set of behaviors that constitute offence (for example, racial slurs) but there's no rule that can work on all of Miraheze, except the rule of law.-Wedhro (talk) 13:07, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Nope, they're definitely objective. If I call a person of color the N word, how do you think he/she reacts? If they don't react, they just shrug it off and a lot of Republican people of color do that because they care more about "freedom of speech" than themselves. So no, it is not a subjective concept, it is an objective concept. Everybody will get upset if you dehumanize them, insult them or treat them as inferior. MarioSuperstar77 21:49, October 18, 2019 (UTC)
      • You just contradicted yourself by saying it depends on how someone reacts.--Wedhro (talk) 06:07, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
        • If a guy gets called something offensive and shrugs it off, they are, in general offended, but they don't wanna say anything because they care more about "free speech" than themselves, this is what I said. At no point did I contradict myself. MarioSuperstar77 09:33, October 19, 2019 (UTC)
  • I would define them as something that makes a person upset and that person deems it inappropriate. Thank u, next, Eiji (talk) 16:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd say anything made for the sole purpose of upsetting a group for offensive, and something made to upset a specific person for insulting. That being said, a holistic solution is probably needed for this since there's so many different ways it could be interpreted and different subcultures will have different 'boiling points' for lack of a better term. InfiniteMausoleum 05:49, October 18, 2019 (UTC)
  • A comment designed to cause emotional harm to a user. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 18:14, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Anything that is written in a manner that would be directed against someone like calling someone the N word, F word, C word, etc or more casual insults like "As*h*le" or "C*nt" in an article about a celebrity for instance, you can quote offensive words though if it's important for the context of the article like perhaps it is important to note the person was being called a lot of different slurs over his/her lifetime. Another thing that would be offensive is dark humor directed at tragedies (9/11, WW2, the Hindenburg disaster), you don't get a free pass for being edgy in my book. Although not as offensive, it is still quite offensive to disregard things from a person or mocking someone (or both). For instance, acting as if someone was not Transgender because you do not value Transgender people as human or believe "there are only two genders" just because you were told to think that way. For the example in regards of mockery, I hate when people just use autism as an insult and are very openly dehumanizing someone by calling that person a "Ret*rd" only because that person is autistic. I think that was very long and some of it is obviously problematic, but I wanted to add my input. I agree with RhinosF1, his comment is far shorter than mine, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew what offensive meant since the word became a boogeyman of some sort. MarioSuperstar77 21:49, October 18, 2019 (UTC)
    Your assumptions about what a viewpoint means about its holder sheds light on how disastrous this proposed rule might be in practice. For instance, doubting a Transgender claim does not mean the doubter views the person as less than human, or holds his views solely because he was "told to think that way." The doubter may view the XX and the XY as essentials, and the Transgender's claim to have invented a new way as the controversy. The N word is not always traumatic (except when one realizes a stranger is really an adversary) and the word is used as a means of bonding among African-Americans in locker rooms. Miraheze spans many wikis, including humor wikis and edgy humor wikis. One size does not fit all! Are we really going to have a hard-and-fast rule against epithets, anywhere? "Inexpedient to legislate!" Spıke (talk)03:25 19-Oct-2019

What would you class as trolling?

  • When someone becomes disruptive, either to a particular user or to the community as a whole, for the purposes of amusement to the troll. SapphireWilliams (talk pagecontributions) 04:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • What's the difference between a troll and someone who is provocative for the sake of discussion? Basic trolls (people who just contribute with insults) are easy to detect but skilled ones are hard to tell from genuine free thinkers or determined debaters. Maybe only a specific community can define what's a troll and what's not, but the risk is gatekeeping. --Wedhro (talk) 13:13, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • If I insult or offend you, you tell me that I've done so, and I stop, that's being provocative for the sake of discussion. If I insult or offend you, you tell me that I've done so, and I continue, that's trolling (and rudeness). IMHO. --aaaaRobkelk (talk) 13:55, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
      • That would give anyone the power to call me a troll just because they say so. That's easily abusable and we've seen it in action in pretty much every social network.--Wedhro (talk) 17:47, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When a person is causing disruption on a website just for their own amusement. Thank u, next, Eiji (talk) 16:15, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • An action designed to provoke a negative reaction for the purpose of amusement. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 18:15, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Well, I have a wiki dedicated to this study, it is oftentimes difficult to tell apart trolling from ignorance, but the biggest threat this website is expected to find are baiters. Baiters are a type of troll that acts silly to get attention and make people angry, trolls like that waste everyone's time. An example to illustrate this would be if you ask them to cease a certain action (E.G: Adding a line of text on an article in which it reads "God is dumb" just for the sake of pissing religious folks off) and the person refuses to stop, then that's a troll.MarioSuperstar77 21:49, October 18, 2019 (UTC)

When does something become harassment?

  • Bullying, stalking, personally attacking someone, or making unsolicited favors. SapphireWilliams (talk pagecontributions) 04:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Continuous personal attacks constitute harrasment better in such regard tbh Rajavlitra (talk) 06:35, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When the supposedly harassed person says so, which is the reason why it's hard to tell harassers from people who are merely joking or being a little harsh in expressing their opinion. Maybe the only way to tell is when the person goes on after being warned.--Wedhro (talk) 13:18, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
    • "When the supposedly harassed person says so" leads to simple disagreements of opinion being termed harassment by one or both of the disagreeing parties. (Taken to an illogical extreme: "The sky is blue." "No, it's gray because of all the clouds." "It's blue! You're harassing me!") Moderators and Stewards have more important things to do than investigate shouting matches. --Robkelk (talk) 13:50, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
      • That's why it's not an issue rules can solve. I'd say: leave it to local admins.--Wedhro (talk) 22:48, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
        • Two flashes of wisdom in this conversation; that a policy against harassment will serve to encourage false claims that someone is being harassed; and that civility is an issue on individual wikis but we are proposing a policy to be applied across the farm! Someone is uncivil on a wiki with plenty of Admins to redress it, but we want them to bring it to Meta? Spıke (talk)00:05 19-Oct-2019
  • When somebody is intentionally targeting somebody, dehumanizing them, bullying them, etc. It can involve sending threatening posts, making posts involving the person saying bad stuff about the person being harassed, etc. Thank u, next, Eiji (talk) 16:17, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Getting uncomfortably personal with the opposing party, like attacking their personal beliefs, creed, or friends/family. I don't deem jokes, disagreements, or harsh criticism to be harassment. But the most important aspect (to me at least) that crosses into the realms of harassment is persistence. If you constantly attack someone on a regular basis for no other reason than just being an ass, then it's harassment. That's what I think harassment is anyway. Cheers! ThunderKat (talk) 22:33, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Any of the above often elicits the same, from the person "harassed." Keep ragging on me and I will gradually move from trying to reason with you, to dishing it right back at you. In cases of interpersonal hostility, do we really want to task the Code-of-Conduct committee with figuring out who started it? Again, I oppose this effort to solve disagreeable behavior by Rulebook. Spıke (talk)15:41 17-Oct-2019
  • We have this term ハラスメント・ハラスメント in Japan, meaning every action can be regarded as harassment which can lead to a new harassment by abusing the word "harassment." The word can be easily abused by those who claim to be "harassed" because it's subjective. Therefore, what matters is not the definition, but the context and the culture of each community/case has.--開拓者 (The Pioneer) (talk/contribs | global🌎) 09:02, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When someone asks for something to stop and someone intentionally and knowingly continues with intent to be hurtful. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 18:17, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Harassment is basically constant bullying in which the perpetrator keeps shit-talking someone else for whatever reason that may be, even after being told to stop. What constitutes as bullying is when someone talks harshly to someone else or threatens that someone else. Anyways if you are acting like a brat against people just for the sake of it or because you are angry at someone who've wronged you, then I wouldn't want you on my wiki, learn to control yourself. MarioSuperstar77 21:49, October 18, 2019 (UTC)

What do you class as discrimination?

  • When somebody is judged only because of what they believe in, how they look, their sex, etc. Examknowtalkcontribs 21:45, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
    • A "protected characteristics" thing might be good as a less vague way to define this (especially in regard to beliefs) SpookyBoy (talk) 17:37, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When someone is attacked, patronized or denied rights based on race, religion, sex, etc. SapphireWilliams (talk pagecontributions) 04:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When a person has not the same rights as his/her peers, no matter his/her behavior. It's the strictest definition.--Wedhro (talk) 13:23, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When a person is intentionally setting one apart just because of their race, ethnecity, etc. Thank u, next, Eiji (talk) 16:18, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When a person is deprived of chances to take actions in the community, or unfairly suppressed due to his/her characteristics (race, nation, language, gender, religion, political belief, sexual identity, illness/disorder, family, past crime records, relationships with those who tend to be discriminated, ... literally any features that form our diversity). Positive attacks are, of course, part of discrimination, but negative attacks (such as ignoring the minorities) can be another part of discrimination (which this discussion itself potentially faces due to the language barrier).--開拓者 (The Pioneer) (talk/contribs | global🌎) 09:17, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When someone is deprived of something or targeted because of a charetiertic or circumstance. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 18:17, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Not allowing people based on race, sex, religion (or lack of), disability, other things such as preferences (I like Call Of Duty as an example and I don't wanna be discriminated agsinst just because you think COD is for kids), etc to use your wiki, be aggressive toward that person because he/she is different to you, this kinda stuff. MarioSuperstar77 21:49, October 18, 2019 (UTC)

What is a personal attack?

When an editor is judged based on something about themselves, not the edits themselves. Talk about the changes editors have made, not the editor. Examknowtalkcontribs 21:47, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

    • Agreed.--Wedhro (talk) 13:24, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • When someone targets a user, either to flame or vandalize their content, for example. SapphireWilliams (talk pagecontributions) 04:14, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Targeting a person and making abusive remarks towards them. Thank u, next, Eiji (talk) 16:19, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • What examknow said sums it up nicely. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 18:19, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  • The comment I made for offensive speech and harassment are also true here. I think that a personal attack is worse if the person just harasses someone else just due to them not liking each other. MarioSuperstar77 21:49, October 18, 2019 (UTC)

Code of Conduct

The Miraheze community advises the Code of Conduct/Commission to review their internal protocols on dealing with the above issues and requests the Code of Conduct is appropriately modified to incorporate the result of this discussion.


  1. Whatever the community chooses should be fully respected by policy on all levels. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 21:11, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  2. Support per RhinosF1 Zppix (Meta | CVT Member | talk to me) 21:13, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  3. Support Thank u, next, Eiji (talk) 16:19, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  4. Support --「ペーパークリップ?!PaperClip I am also on TCRF 17:02, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  5. Support Aνδρέας talk | contributions 12:37, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  6. Support I see no reason why not. --Examknowtalkcontribs 21:01, 17 October 2019 (UTC)


  1. Oppose Miraheze has always respected majority vote but we should not be a "democracy" in the sense of the majority dictating all things, including free speech. Members who fancy themselves legislators should understand that the rulebook cannot codify everything. Otherwise you will have the orthodoxy and lack of due process currently in play in American universities, and the three-year search for technical violations with which to remove the President. Members are trying to legislate to make a valiant statement against social division.
    To make an example of Sapphire Williams' comments in the previous sections:
    • "Attacking due to bias" is an invitation to use someone's words to guess how he really feels about other people. The whole concept of "homophobia" is an invitation to use opposition to a political agenda as proof that a person is acting from hate or fear.
    • "Discrimination" (pre-judgement in the face of incomplete information) is something that humans do. Discrimination when one does have, or could have, complete information, is regrettable but not an offense. I am more likely to date someone of my own culture, to avoid clashes of culture and values.
    • "Making unsolicited favors" suggests the University culture, where asking a woman on a date or complimenting her appearance could be sexual harassment.
    • I endorse making comments about an edit and not about an editor, but failure to meet this standard should not go to a disciplinary committee. We will soon be awash in paperwork!
    • And people who disagree with this comment might well "deem it inappropriate." Should it be struck down? Should I be banned? Spıke (talk)12:13 16-Oct-2019
  2. Oppose Miraheze is not contemporary Fandom. I agree with Spike on some points. The part about "Discrimination" being something that humans do is true indeed. It can be done for just reasons as well as out of malice. Failure to meet the standard of refraining to make non-positive comments about the editor does hold water, but a disciplinary committee should not have sole power over it. I disagree to a point on Spike's views on the concept of homophobia being just an an invitation. Indeed, a rulebook cannot codify every single thing. User:SpeccySte
  3. Oppose Miraheze as a whole is a diverse community with multinational/multilingual cultures co-existing. Many of our wikis are non-English communities, with users who cannot/do not use English. Because of this, cultural differences should always be considered, and I don't think a rulebook discussed by only those who can use English can do that. I say CoCC cases should be handled on a case-by-case basis considering the context behind each case (most of which would probably be a local case among users/wikis). Otherwise, the very discussion can form a good example of "discrimination" based on users' languages.--開拓者 (The Pioneer) (talk/contribs | global🌎) 08:52, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose Per 開拓者 and Spike. This all will be done with a certain mindset (I could say "the US centric" one) but there are things that change across cultures and societies. --Cafeina (talk) 13:17, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose Acting as guidance of what a community feels and understands is harassment, discrimination and the like is a good approach but this section takes it further to across the board, set a standard and pick upon an independent group whose purpose is to be considerate of all sides and to evaluate the severity (if any) of a complex matter and making them abide by a rigid standard. Even in strongly defined legislative areas, these definitions through countless court cases, expertise reviews and (in Westminster type democracies) Parliamentary discussions, these areas we're attempting to define are still grey. These should absolutely be taken in stride and decisions regarding what is discrimination, harassment and the like should be contextual. I wouldn't like being told I've been harassed when in my opinion I haven't - that's forcing me to be the victim of a crime that has been committed by my standard. John (talk) 21:20, 18 October 2019 (UTC)


  1. Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral I guess it's how things will go. While I do agree there should be more specification on what constitutes harassment, I do believe that these definitions are somewhat suggestive depending on the community. So I kinda go with both sides of the argument. SapphireWilliams (talk pagecontributions) 14:23, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

General Comments

@Revi: It's to refine it based on the request of Voidwalker when the Username Policy RfC was created. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 05:45, 16 October 2019 (UTC)


It might shed light if voters considered a case this year on Wikipedia that led to administrative block with what some say was non-transparency, and to resignations. I believe the underlying events were: (1) User declares his[1] set of desired pronouns; (2) Admin refuses to respect User's wishes, perhaps on the basis that they are at odds with what Admin views as reality. Is this a political disagreement? or flagrant incivility voters here would send to Code-of-Conduct arbitration? Spıke (talk)01:52 17-Oct-2019

  1. Am assuming male because that is a rule of English (also Spanish). You can ban me later.
  • "You can ban me later": I might be more willing to respond to this if you could stop trying so hard to vice signal, but lets not pretend there has never been an overlap between discrimination and politics. SpookyBoy (talk) 17:37, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    I am not trying to "signal" anything. After discussion of objecting to an edit and not an editor, this comment comes as an example of the opposite! So answer my question; show how this rule would be used in the Wikipedia case. If there is an overlap between discrimination and politics, then isn't it true that this rule would be available to discipline members for their political viewpoint? Spıke (talk)21:11 18-Oct-2019
    Is this meant to be a tacit admission that you are using the political viewpoint thing as a cover to excuse bigotry or what (come on, I saw your other comment about "homophobia", if you want to go there then at least be logically consistent with it and try applying it to other stuff rather than your own personal hang-up) SpookyBoy (talk) 21:34, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
    This kind of talk is exactly why policing conversations based on ideology is a bad idea.--Wedhro (talk) 06:14, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
I do understand some concerns about how we are trying to codify too much in a rulebook but I think for things like the Username Policy which uses the definitions in the Code of Conduct and when making global decisions it's good to have a basic frame and guidance on where to start so I believe we should be able to as a community put forward our thoughts to incorporate into both future and current policies. We can always adapt things as needed and I trust that the the many teams handling things have the right judgement but I do believe it's better to have a conversation on what people believe are issues and this is intended to be a community conversation. Users are more than welcome to discuss why they think things aren't clear enough and who should judge things and I'd encourage this. ~ RhinosF1 - (chat)· acc· c - (WB) 18:25, 18 October 2019 (UTC)