LGPedia:No Personal Attacks
Do not make personal attacks anywhere in LGPedia. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks will not help you make a point; they hurt the LGPedia community and deter users from helping create a good encyclopedia on the Lonelygirl15.com website.
Don't do it
There is no excuse for personal attacks on other contributors. Please do NOT make them.
Remember that disputes on talk pages are accessible to everyone on the Internet. The way in which you conduct yourself on LGPedia reflects on LGPedia and on you.
Many LGPedians remove personal attacks on third parties on sight, and although this isn't 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.
Extreme attacks, in particular legal threats and death threats, can be dealt with by blocking the offending user without warning.
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 article for everyone. Remember to accept that we are all part of the same community as we are all LGPedians.
Examples of personal attacks
Specific examples of personal attacks include but are not limited to:
- Accusatory comments such as "George is a troll", or "Laura 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, ageist, religious or ethnic epithets directed against another contributor. (Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual preference, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse.)
- 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 violence, including death threats.
- Threats of vandalism to userpages or talk pages. May be direct or indirect.
- Threats or actions which expose other LGPedia 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 members of the LGPedia Admins of what they have done and why.
- Posting a link to an external source that fits the commonly-accepted threshold for a personal attack, in a manner that incorporates the substance of that attack into LGPedia discussion. Suggesting a link applies to another editor, or that another editor needs to visit a certain link, that contains the substance of an attack.
Examples that are not personal attacks
Debate is an essential part of the culture of LGPedia. Be civil and adhere to good LGPedia Etiquette when stating disagreements to avoid personalizing them and try to minimize unnecessarily antagonistic comments. Disagreements with other editors can be discussed without resorting to personal attacks. It is important not to personalize comments that are directed at content and actions, but it is equally important not to interpret impersonal comments as personal attacks. Examples of comments that are not personal attacks include:
- Disagreements about content such as "Your statement about X is wrong" or "Your statement is a point of view, not fact" are not personal attacks.
- Remarks describing an editor's actions and made without involving their personal character should not be construed as personal attacks. Stating "Your statement is a personal attack..." is not itself a personal attack — it is a statement regarding the actions of the user, not a statement about the user. (It can however be a harmful statement if it's untrue.) A comment such as "responding to accusation of bad faith by user X" in an edit summary or on a talk page is not a personal attack against user X.
- A comment in an edit history such as "reverting vandalism" is not a personal attack if it's concerned with clear vandalism, although otherwise it is. "Vandalism" imputes bad intentions and bad motives to the person accused. If the edit that is being reverted could be interpreted as a good-faith edit, then don't label it as vandalism.
- 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.
If you are personally attacked, you should ask the attacker to stop and note this policy. If he or she continues, consider following the process of talking to a Admin. You might also consider removing particularly clear-cut personal attacks as however, you should be very careful not to define "personally attack" too broadly, or to do this too frequently. From an Admin finding-of-fact:
- The remove personal attacks guideline (and the application thereof) is controversial. It has often been abused by malefactors, and may not have community consensus. It should, at most, be interpreted strictly and used sparingly.
If you find yourself using this remedy frequently, you should reconsider your definition of "personal attack." When in doubt, follow the dispute resolution process instead.
In extreme cases, an attacker may be blocked under the "disruption" clause of the blocking policy, though the practice is almost always controversial. Personal attacks requiring urgent action can be reported to a Admin.
A misguided notion: "Kicking them while they are down"
NOTE: There are certain LGPedia users who are unpopular, perhaps because of foolish or boorish behavior in the past. Such users may have been subject to disciplinary actions by the LGPedia Admins 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. The NPA rule applies to all users irrespective of their past history or how others regard them.
It is your responsibility to foster and maintain a positive online community in LGPedia. Personal attacks against any user - regardless of his/her past behavior - are contrary to this spirit.