Our Wikipedia community has by experience developed an informal hierarchy of core principles — the most important being that articles be written with a neutral point of view. After that we request a reasonable degree of civility towards others. "Civility" is the only principle that we can apply to online conduct, and it's the only reasonable way to delimit acceptable conduct from the unacceptable. We cannot always expect people to love, honor, obey, or even respect one another. But we have every right to demand civility.
我哋邀請訪客去改善維基百科入面嘅文章。但係文章嘅修改到底係唔係「改善」就往往存在意見分歧。When editors weigh the pros and cons of whether a change is an improvement, it may be difficult to criticize text without being subjective about the situation. Editors, in trying to be clear, can be unnecessarily harsh on the giving end. Conversely, on the receiving end, editors can be oversensitive when they see what they wrote replaced by something that claims to be "better", despite it being the opposite of what they wrote.
Silent and faceless words on Talk pages and Edit summaries do not transmit the nuances of verbal conversation, leading to small, facetious comments being misinterpreted. One uncivil remark can easily escalate into a heated discussion which may not be focused objectively on the problem at hand. It is during these exchanges that community members may become uninterested in improving articles and instead focus on "triumphing" over the "enemy".
- 因爲人哋語文技巧或者用字，去貶低其他編寫人 (cite as WP:SKILL)
- 立亂話人做咗咩唔適宜嘅嘢 (cite as WP:ICA)
- During an edit war, when people have different opinions, or when there is a conflict over sharing power.
- When the community grows larger. Each editor does not know all the others and may not perceive the importance of each individual to the project — so they don't worry about maintaining relationships that don't exist. Covering up a bad reputation is easier in a larger community than it is in a smaller community.
- Sometimes, a particularly impolite user joins the project. This can also aggravate other editors into being impolite themselves.
Most of the time, insults are used in the heat of the moment during a longer conflict. They are essentially a way to end the discussion. Often the person who made the insult regrets having used such words afterwards. This in itself is a good reason to remove (or refactor) the offending words.
In other cases, the offender is doing it on purpose: either to distract the "opponent(s)" from the issue, or simply to drive them away from working on the article or even from the project, or to push them to commit an even greater breach in civility, which might result in ostracism or banning. In those cases, it is far less likely that the offender will have any regrets and apologize.
Some editors deliberately push others to the point of breaching civility, without seeming to commit such a breach themselves. This may constitute a form of trolling, and is certainly not a civil way to interact.
- 激嬲人，resulting in non-constructive or even uncivil behavior themselves, further escalating the level of incivility
- It puts people on the defensive, closing their minds to other ideas and preventing a consensus from forming.
- People lose good faith, resulting in even less ability to resolve the current conflict — or the next one.
- In the end, the content to be edited is not improved.
Preventing incivility within Wikipedia 改
- Prevent edit wars and conflict between individuals (constraints on editing are set by the project — essentially a community answer)
- Force delays between answers to give time to editors to calm down and recover and to avoid further escalation of a conflict (protecting pages)
- Use positive feedback (praising those who do not respond to incivility with incivility)
- Apply peer pressure (voicing displeasure each time rudeness or incivility happens)
- Solve the root of the conflict between the offender and the other editor(s) or the community — or find a compromise.
- Use negative feedback (suggesting that an editor involved in conflict should leave a conflict or even temporarily avoid all controversial areas in wikipedia). It may be worthwhile making such suggestions to both sides of the conflict.
- Have certain users refrain from editing specific pages that often trigger incivility.
- Filter emails by the offender, or filter mail based on certain keywords and reject emails to the Wikipedia mailing list with those words
- Accepting that incivility and rudeness can't be entirely avoided in such a project, and not responding in kind.
- Giving awards for good edits.
- Balance each uncivil comment by providing a soothing or constructive comment
- Do not answer offensive comments. Forget about them. Forgive the editor. Do not escalate the conflict. (an individual approach)
- Alternatively, respond to perceived incivility with greater civility and respect. Many editors will rise to the occasion and moderate their tone to match yours.
- Ignore incivility. Operate as if the offender does not exist. Set up a "wall" between the offender and the community.
- Revert edits with a veil of invisibility (&bot=1) to reduce the impact of the offensive words used in edit summaries (the comment box)
- Walk away. Wikipedia is a very big place. Just go edit somewhere else for a while and return when tempers have cooled.
- Please. Thank you. I'm sorry. You're welcome. Treat your fellow editor as a respected and admired colleague, who is working in collaboration with you on an important project.
- You don't have to like an editor as a person, to appreciate that they're also working for the good of the project. If you don't like a fellow editor, try not to hold that fact against them.
Removing uncivil comments 改
- Strike offensive words or replace them with milder ones on talk pages (this is often seen as controversial, as is refactoring other people's words)
- Remove offensive comments on talk pages (since they remain in the page history, anyone can find them again or refer to them later on)
- Revert an edit with &bot=1, so that the edit made by the offender appears invisible in Recent Changes (do-able on ip contributions, requires technical help for logged-in user)
- Delete (entirely and permanently) an edit made by the offender (requires technical help)
- Permanently delete an offensive comment made on the mailing lists (requires technical help)
- Replace a comment made in an edit summary by another less offensive comment (requires technical help)
If it is a clear case of ongoing incivility, consider making a comment on the offender's talk page. You may also wish to include a diff of the specific uncivil statement. In extreme cases (of heavy or repeated incivility), a user conduct Request for Comment may be useful to resolve the matter.
Management of incivility during the mediation process 改
Parties sometimes attempt to negotiate an agreement while one party is not ready to negotiate. For example, if the source of the conflict is a specific point in an article, dispute resolution may be impaired if discussion is still clouded by an uncivil exchange between both parties. It is best to clear up that issue as soon as possible, so disputants can regain their balance and clarity when editing.
Explain incivility 改
Some editors are badly shaken by uncivil words directed towards them, and can't focus on the source of the conflict itself. It may help to point out to them why unpleasant words were used, and acknowledge that while incivility is wrong, the ideas behind the comment may be valid.
The offended person may realize that the words were not always meant literally, and could decide to forgive and forget them.
It can be helpful to point out breaches of civility even when done on purpose to hurt, as it might help the disputant to refocus on the issue (controversial).
Rephrasing disputants' comments 改
During the mediation process, a third neutral party is in contact with both disputants, ensuring communication between them. The role of the mediator is to promote reasonable discussion between the two disputants. Therefore it is helpful to remove incivility voiced by User A, in rephrasing comments to User B.
- For example, if User A and User B are flaming each other by e-mail through a mediator, it might be best if the intermediary turns "I refuse to allow Neo-Nazi apologetics to infest the Wikipedia" to "User A is concerned that you may be giving too much prominence to a certain view."
Rephrasing flames publicly exchanged before or during the mediation process 改
At the end of the mediation process, the mediator may suggest that the disputants agree to remove uncivil comments that have remained on user and article talk pages. The editors might agree to delete pages created specifically to abuse or flame one another, and/or to remove all flaming content not relevant to the article discussion, and/or to refactor a discussion. This may allow disputants to forgive and forget offenses more quickly.
Similarly, the disputants might agree to apologize to each other.
Mediation regularly involves disputes in which one party feels injured by the other. The apology is an act that is neither about problem-solving and negotiation, nor is it about arbitration. Rather, it is a form of ritual exchange between both parties, where words are said that allow reconciliation. In transformative mediation, the apology represents an opportunity for acknowledgement that may transform relations.
For some people, it may be crucial to receive an apology from those who have offended them. For this reason, a sincere apology is often the key to the resolution of a conflict: an apology is a symbol of forgiveness. An apology is very much recommended when one person's perceived incivility has offended another.
See also: Wikipedia:Wikiquette
- User:Anthere's original article on this topic at meta.wikimedia.org
- Don't be a dick, an essay (often mistaken for a policy) that encompasses the concept of civility
- Wikipedia:Harmonious editing club
- Wikipedia:Kindness Campaign
- Ethic of reciprocity
- Wikipedia:An uncivil environment is a poor environment, an essay on why civility is so important.