Wikipedia:Maintaining a friendly space

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia should strive to provide a respectful, transparent, and positive experience for everyone. To support our work and to help maintain a pleasant environment, contributors should behave politely, calmly, and reasonably.

Assuming good faith is a core principle of Wikipedia. We realize most people want to help the projects, not hurt them. In a heated situation, try posting briefly and less frequently. Your message will still get through to people, and the slower pace will contribute a cooling effect. Try writing a post in your sandbox and reviewing after a few hours before pressing the "save" button in the Mainspace.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I understand the context and background of the discussion? Have I educated myself before asking others to explain things to me?
  2. Do I understand the cultural context within which this person is operating? Am I being sensitive to cultural differences?
  3. Could I be misunderstanding the discussion due to language barriers?
  4. Do I understand this person’s level of experience with Wikipedia?
  5. Am I familiar with Wikipedia's rules and processes, or am I bringing in assumptions from other spaces or contexts?
  6. Can my passion for this issue be misread as aggression? Am I speaking in a way that’s likely to encourage discussion, or shut it down?
  7. Am I framing my questions in a supportive and constructive way, offering suggestions for improvement rather than criticizing the gaps or problems?
  8. Do I remember that most of us are volunteers and need to be appreciated for the time and effort we put into improving these projects?

Once you've checked yourself with these questions, take a deep breath, and re-engage with the discussion. If you do not think you can engage calmly and positively, contact a fellow Wikipedian who can help communicate your concerns.


Wikipedia should not tolerate harassment of contributors in any form. Harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, or religion;
  • Violence, threats of violence, deliberate intimidation and personal attacks;
  • Stalking, following, or continued one-on-one communications after being asked to cease;
  • Sustained disruption of discussion;
  • Deliberate “outing” of any person’s identity without their consent;
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

For more information, see Wikipedia's official policy on Harassment.

If you are experiencing harassment, you can contact the Arbitration Committee or the Volunteer Response Team in confidence. For threats and other emergencies, email

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