Wikiquote:No personal attacks

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Do not make personal attacks anywhere on Wikiquote. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks will never help you make a point; they hurt the Wikiquote community and deter users from helping achieve our common goals.

Wikiquote Policies and Guidelines
Article standards
Working with others

Don't do it[edit]

There is no excuse for personal attacks on other contributors. Do not make them.

Consequences[edit]

Remember that disputes on talk pages are accessible to everyone on the Internet. The way in which you conduct yourself on Wikiquote reflects on Wikiquote and on you.

Most Wikiquotians remove personal attacks on third parties on sight, and although this isn't official policy it's often seen as an appropriate reaction to extreme personal abuse. Users have been banned for repeatedly engaging in personal attacks. Abusive edit summaries are particularly ill-regarded.

Being reasonable[edit]

Different contributors may not agree on an article. Members of opposing communities reasonably wish to express their views. Synthesising these views into a single article creates a better, more NPOV article for everyone. Remember to accept that we are all part of the same community as we are all Wikiquotians.

Examples[edit]

Specific examples of personal attacks include but are not limited to:

  • Accusatory comments such as "Bob is a troll", or "Jane is a bad editor" can be considered personal attacks if said repeatedly, in bad faith, or with sufficient venom.
  • Negative personal comments and "I'm better than you" attacks, such as "You have no life."
  • Racial, sexual, homophobic, religious or ethnic epithets directed against another contributor. Religious epithets are not allowed even if the contributor is a member of a purported cult.
  • Using someone's affiliations as a means of dismissing or discrediting their views - regardless of whether said affiliations are mainstream or extreme.
  • Profanity directed against another contributor.
  • Threats of legal action
  • Death threats.
  • Threats or actions which expose other Wikiquote editors to political, religious or other persecution by government, their employer or any others. Violations of this sort may result in a block for an extended period of time which may be applied immediately by any sysop upon discovery. Sysops applying such sanctions should confidentially notify the other administrators and Jimbo Wales of what they have done and why.

Alternatives[edit]

Instead, try:

  • Discuss the facts and how to express them, not the attributes of the other party. This does not mean that you have to agree with the other person, but just agree to disagree.
  • Never suggest a view is invalid simply because of who its proponent is.
  • Explore issues in a less public forum like e-mail if a debate threatens to become personal.

Remedies[edit]

If you are personally attacked, you should ask the attacker to stop and note this policy. If he or she continues, consider contacting an administrator. You might also consider removing particularly clear-cut personal attacks; however, you should be very careful not to define "personally attack" too broadly, or to do this too frequently. If you find yourself using this remedy frequently, you should reconsider your definition of "personal attack." When in doubt, ask other users first.

In extreme cases, an attacker may be blocked; it is entirely within the discretion of the blocking administrator to interpret personal attacks as disruption.

A misguided notion: "Kicking them while they are down"[edit]

Note: There are at times Wikiquote users who are unpopular, perhaps because of foolish or boorish behavior in the past. Such users may have been subject to disciplinary actions. It is only human to imagine that such users might be fair game for personal attacks. This notion is misguided; people make mistakes, often learn from them and change their ways. NPA applies to all users irrespective of their past history or how others regard them.

Community spirit[edit]

It is your responsibility to foster and maintain a positive online community in Wikiquote. Personal attacks against any user - regardless of his/her past or present behavior - are contrary to this spirit. Being the subject of a personal attack does not grant immunity from NPA; personal attacks in response to personal attacks can and should be dealt with as any other attack would be.