Training modules/Dealing with online harassment/slides/what-is-harassment/en

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Basics: What is harassment?[edit | edit source]

Harassment can be difficult to define, as it can appear in many forms. Some of these are more obvious than others, but all forms can be upsetting and distressing to those targeted.

Our Code of Conduct defines it as:

  • Personal attacks, violence, threats of violence, or deliberate intimidation.
  • Offensive, derogatory, or discriminatory comments.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic use of sexual language or imagery.
  • Inappropriate or unwanted public or private communication, following, or any form of stalking.
  • Disclosure of a person's identity or other private information without their consent. Disclosure of some identifying information is not consent to disclose other identifying information.
  • Inappropriate or unwanted publication of private communication. Publishing or reporting private communication or personally identifying information for the purposes of reporting harassment (as explained here) is acceptable.
  • Harming the discussion or community with methods such as sustained disruption, interruption, or blocking of community collaboration (i.e. trolling).
  • Discrimination (unless required by law), particularly against marginalized and otherwise underrepresented groups. Targeted outreach to such groups is allowed and encouraged.
  • Using the code of conduct system for purposes other than reporting genuine violations of the code of conduct (e.g., retaliating against a reporter or victim by filing a report claiming their response was harassment).

You may have experienced harassment yourself on the Miraheze projects, or you may have seen someone else experience it. Either way, you almost certainly know how horrible it can feel.

Harassment isn't always blatant name-calling; at times it can be specifically designed to be subtle, in a way that's meaningful only to the target. You may not think a particular situation is harassment, but when you receive a report or complaint, you must examine the context and background. In situations like this, try to deal compassionately with the situation, listen empathetically, evaluate the evidence objectively, and determine how you may be able to assist.