Wikipedia:Harassment

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Harassment is a pattern of repeated rude or nasty behavior that seems to a normal observer to deliberately target one or more people. Usually (but not always) the purpose is to make the target feel frightened or scared, and the result may be to make editing Wikipedia not very nice for the target, to hurt, frighten, or make them worry about editing.

Wikipedia must never be misused to harass anyone, whether or not the person being harassed is an editor here. Edits which are or look like harassment will be reverted, deleted, or hidden, as appropriate, and editors who take part in harassment are likely to be blocked.

Harassment can include actions which are expected to be noticed by the target and clearly meant to target them, where no actual conversation (talking or writing) takes place.

Harassment and disruption[change source]

Harassment, which includes threats, bullying, continued annoying and unwanted contact or attention, and continued personal attacks may reduce an editor's enjoyment of Wikipedia and cause problems to the project. Harassment of an editor because of race (where the person comes from), sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability is not allowed.

The restriction against harassing other people applies the same to all Wikipedia editors. It is as unpleasant to harass a user with a history of poor or bad behavior as it is to harass any other user. Wikipedia encourages a civil community: people make mistakes, but they are helped to learn from them and change their ways. Harassment goes against this spirit and is damaging to the work of building an encyclopedia.

Hounding[change source]

Hounding on Wikipedia (or "wikihounding") is the act of picking out one or more editors, joining discussions on different pages or subjects they may edit or multiple conversations where they contribute, to continually oppose or mess up their work. This is with the aim of creating annoyance, anger or upset to the other editor. Hounding usually involves following the target from place to place on Wikipedia.

Many users track other users' changes, although usually for administration reasons. This should always be done carefully, and with good cause, to avoid raising the possibility that an editor's changes are being followed to cause them distress, or in revenge for them apparently doing something wrong. Proper use of an editor's history includes for example, fixing obvious errors or Wikipedia policies which have been broken, or mending related problems on lots of pages. In fact, this is suggested for watching "New changes".

The Special:Contributions log can be used in the course of dispute resolution to gather evidence to be presented in mediation, incidents, and cases. Using dispute resolution can be treated as hounding if it involves constantly making petty and trivial complaints about another editor.

The important part of hounding is ruining another user's own enjoyment of editing, or of the project generally, for no reason. If "following another user around" is accompanied by edits which are controversial, personal attacks, or other disruptive behavior, it may become a very serious matter and could result in blocks and other limits on editing.