Training modules/Dealing with online harassment/slides/directing-reports

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Handling reports: Directing reports[edit | edit source]

What types of problems should be redirected to community noticeboards?[edit | edit source]

Community noticeboards are great for getting more attention onto a problem and for finding people willing to deal with difficult situations. They also enable transparency, and bringing an issue to a noticeboard avoids the appearance of underhanded dealings in disputes. For problems like a single instance of edit warring or a personal attack, a community noticeboard may be a more appropriate and effective place to deal with the problem.

That having been said, noticeboards are highly visible and open to everyone. They can result in unwanted attention and potential blame being focused on harassment targets. Noticeboard discussions are also often adversarial and hotly contested, and can flare out of control quite quickly. For this reason, we'd recommend not redirecting harassment reports to community noticeboards if there is a better option available.

What types of problems can be handled by individuals?[edit | edit source]

Clear-cut cases of harassment, involving obvious targeting and bullying, can, of course, be processed by an individual administrator in accordance with local policy. Such types of harassment are normally easy to spot and, on many projects, uncontentious to deal with, though they can also be among the most persistent of case types. When in doubt, or if a situation expands beyond your comfort zone, it is always appropriate to escalate for assistance.

More difficult cases, such as more subtle harassment or cases involving long-term or otherwise constructive editors, should be discussed by more than one person prior to any investigation being closed. SuSa would recommend these discussions be done in private, unless it is more appropriate, based on other considerations, to use a noticeboard for this purpose.

What types of problems should be redirected to functionaries?[edit | edit source]

If you receive a report addressed directly to you, that doesn't mean you have to deal with it alone, or that you are responsible for resolving it at all. (Though you can do both if it's appropriate.) Sometimes, these reports are best processed by local users with advanced rights, such as Stewards or the CoCC. For the reasons stated above, it might be more appropriate to pass cases like this on in private, rather than on-wiki.

All but the most complicated of cases can usually be processed by local administrators, though the venue in which they do this depends on the severity of the accusations and, at times, the status of the reporter or reported party.

You'll usually receive reports of harassment from users in good standing. However, you might also receive them from users under editing sanctions or even users who are blocked or banned from editing. Never dismiss a report due to the community status or reputation of involved users. Though knowledge of reputations may help you decide on the appropriate venue for handling a case, the facts of the case, not the reputations of the involved parties, are going to be the basis of your investigation.