If you feel that a response is necessary and desirable, you should leave a polite message on the other user's talk page. Do not respond on a talk page of an article; this tends to escalate matters. Likewise, it is important to avoid becoming hostile and confrontational yourself, even in the face of abuse. Although templates have been used at times for this purpose, a customized message relating to the specific situation is often better received. When possible, try to find compromise or common ground regarding the underlying issues of content, rather than argue about behavior.
Personal attacks do not include civil language used to describe an editor's actions, and when made without involving their personal character, should not be construed as personal attacks, for instance, stating "Your statement is a personal attack..." is not itself a personal attack.
Attacks that are particularly offensive or disruptive (such as physical or legal threats) should not be ignored. Extraordinary situations that require immediate intervention are rare, but may be reported on the administrators' noticeboard.
Recurring, non-disruptive personal attacks that do not stop after reasoned requests to cease should be resolved through the dispute resolution process. Especially when personal attacks arise as the result of heated debate over article content, informal mediation and third-party opinions are often the best ways to resolve the conflict. Similarly, Wikiquette alerts offers a "streamlined" source of outside opinion. In most circumstances, problems with personal attacks can be resolved if editors work together and focus on content, and immediate administrator action is not required.
Removal of text改
The community has not reached a consensus about whether on-wiki personal attacks should be removed, although it has been a topic of substantial debate, and an essay about removing attacks has been written on it. To cite the Arbitration Committee:
- The remove personal attacks guideline (and the application thereof) is controversial. It has often been abused by malefactors, and may not have community consensus. It should, at most, be interpreted strictly and used sparingly.
Removing unquestionable personal attacks from your own user talk page is much less of a concern than removing comments from other pages in Wikipedia. For text elsewhere, where such text is directed against you, removal should be limited, except in unusual circumstances, to comments that are listed above as clear violations of this policy.
Off-wiki personal attacks改
Wikipedia cannot regulate behavior in media not under the control of the Wikimedia Foundation, but personal attacks elsewhere create doubt as to whether an editor's on-wiki actions are conducted in good faith. Posting personal attacks or defamation off-Wikipedia is harmful to the community and to an editor's relationship with it. Such attacks may be regarded as aggravating factors by administrators and may be used as evidence in the dispute-resolution process, including in Arbitration cases.
Linking to off-wiki attacks改
Links or references to off-site personal attacks against Wikipedians should be removed. The removal of such material is not subject to the three-revert rule. Linking to material that attacks, harasses, or violates the privacy of any Wikipedian is not permitted and doing so repeatedly may result in a block.
Editors who persist in posting links to personal attacks against Wikipedians on any other site, will be treated in the same way as editors who persist in posting personal attacks on Wikipedia.