|This page in a nutshell: An editor must not accuse another of misconduct without evidence.
On Wikipedia, casting aspersions refers to a situation where an editor accuses another of misbehavior without evidence, especially when the accusations are repeated or particularly severe. Because a persistent pattern of false or unsupported allegations can be highly damaging to a collaborative editing environment, such accusations will be collectively considered a personal attack.
Significant concerns about the behavior of other users should be first resolved directly with the users concerned. If this is not possible, they should be addressed with evidence through the appropriate dispute resolution procedures.
Selected examples 2008–2015
The Arbitration Committee passed several principles on the subject of casting aspersions. These principles are an application of the policy against personal attacks. Principles highlight key provisions of policy, procedure, or community practice which are relevant to the dispute under consideration; and, where appropriate, include the committee's interpretation of such provisions in the context of the dispute.
It is unacceptable for an editor to continually accuse another of egregious misbehavior in an attempt to besmirch his or her reputation. This includes accusations concerning off-wiki conduct, such as participation in criminal acts, membership in groups which take part in such acts, or other actions that might reasonably be found morally reprehensible in a civilized society.
- Passed 10 to 0 at 23:51, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
It is unacceptable for an editor to routinely accuse others of misbehavior without reasonable cause. Legitimate concerns of fellow editors' conduct should be raised either directly with the editor in question, in a civil fashion, or if necessary on an appropriate noticeboard or dispute-resolution page. Although broad leeway is granted to allow editors to express themselves in their interactions with one another, particularly in dispute resolution, a consistent pattern of making objectively unsupported or exaggerated claims of misconduct can necessitate sanctions or restrictions even if the editor subjectively believes that they are true.
- Passed 10 to 0 at 04:10, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
It is unacceptable for an editor to routinely accuse others of misbehavior without reasonable cause in an attempt to besmirch their reputations. Concerns, if they cannot be resolved directly with the other users involved, should be brought up in the appropriate forums with evidence, if at all.
- Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
An editor must not accuse another of misbehavior without evidence, especially when the accusations are repeated or severe. If accusations must be made, they should be raised, with evidence, on the user-talk page of the editor they concern or in the appropriate forums.
- Passed 7 to 0, 22:45, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
An editor must not accuse another of misbehavior without evidence, especially when the accusations are repeated or severe. This especially applies to accusations of being paid by a company to promote a point of view (i.e., a shill) or similar associations and using that to attack or cast doubt over the editor in content disputes. If accusations must be made, they should be raised, with evidence, at appropriate forums such as the user talk page, WP:COIN, or other appropriate places per WP:COI. Editors are however reminded that Wikipedia places importance on the ability of editors to edit pseudonymously. When investigating COI editing, the policy against harassment takes precedence; it requires that Wikipedians must take care not to reveal the identity of editors against their wishes. Instead, examine editors' behavior and refer to Wikipedia:Checkuser.
- Passed 10 to 1 at 19:04, 12 December 2015 (UTC)