Universal Code of Conduct/Board ratification change log


Universal Code of Conduct


The following are revisions made to the Universal Code of Conduct by the Board of Trustees during the ratification process. These changes were made to increase clarity or reinforce concepts included in the draft Code submitted on Oct. 13, 2020.

Change Rationale
Preamble/"Why We Have .."
Added: "We are committed to ensuring that it remains so, including by embracing this Code of Conduct and revisiting for updates as needed." The Board is intent on expressing this commitment strongly, and is committed to facilitating future revisions.
Changed: "This applies to all contributors and participants in their interaction with all contributors and participants, without distinction based on age, mental or physical disabilities, physical appearance, national, religious, ethnic and cultural background, caste, social class, wealth, language fluency, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex or career field. Nor will we distinguish based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement." → "This applies to all contributors and participants in their interaction with all contributors and participants, without expectations based on age, mental or physical disabilities, physical appearance, national, religious, ethnic and cultural background, caste, social class, wealth, language fluency, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex or career field. Nor will we make exceptions based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement." Clarifying a point of confusion around the use of the term "distinguish".
2.1: Mutual respect
Changed "Listen and try to understand what Wikimedians of different backgrounds have to tell you." → "Listen and try to understand what Wikimedians of different backgrounds want to tell you." Copyedit for clarity
Added: "All Wikimedians should assume unless evidence otherwise exists that others are here to collaboratively improve the projects, but this should not be used to justify statements with a harmful impact." "Assume good faith" can be used to justify bad behavior. We want to clarify that this concept can be abused.
Added: "During in-person meetings, we will be welcoming to everyone and we will be mindful and respectful of each others’ preferences, boundaries, sensibilities, traditions and requirements." Boundaries are important specifically in physical contexts
3.1 Harassment
Changed:  "Behaviour can be considered harassment if it is beyond what a reasonable person would be expected to tolerate (given the cultural context and expectations of the people involved)." → "Behaviour can be considered harassment if it is beyond what a reasonable person would be expected to tolerate in a global, intercultural environment." Emphasize that on international projects, local practices should not overrule an intercultural baseline for behaviour.
Changed: "In some cases, repeated mockery, sarcasm, or aggression may constitute insults collectively, even if individual statements would not." → "In some cases, repeated mockery, sarcasm, or aggression constitute insults collectively, even if individual statements would not." Copyedit for clarity
Changed: "(The terms "race" and "ethnicity" are included here as prohibited ways to distinguish people. The Wikimedia movement does not endorse these terms as meaningful distinctions among people and believes that they should not be used outside of prohibiting them as the basis for personal attacks)." → "(The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "race" and "ethnicity" as meaningful distinctions among people. Their inclusion here is to mark that they are prohibited in use against others as the basis for personal attacks.)" Copyedit for clarity
Added: "and may include contacting workplaces or friends and family members in an effort to intimidate or embarass" [to definition of harassment] Emphasize that this behavior is not acceptable because we know it has been used  as a form of attack in the past.
Added: "or in situations where consent cannot be communicated" [to sexual harassment] Clarify consent cannot be assumed.
Changed: "Hounding: following a person across the project(s) and repeatedly critiquing their otherwise satisfactory work mainly with the intent to upset or discourage them. If problems are continuing after efforts to communicate and educate, communities may need to address them but not via one individual's review" → "Hounding: following a person across the project(s) and repeatedly critiquing their work mainly with the intent to upset or discourage them. If problems are continuing after efforts to communicate and educate, communities may need to address them through established community processes." The Board recognizes that volunteers play a critical role in making sure people are contributing constructively to the sites. We do want to be clear that hounding people even for mistakes is not appropriate behavior. Accordingly, we are embracing as a minimum standard that after initial efforts to correct and educate users, responsibility for addressing ongoing problems should shift from the individual to community processes.
3.3 Content vandalism and abuse of the projects
Changed: "The gratuitous, unjustified and decontextualized addition of symbols, images, or any kind of content with the intent to intimidate or harm others (or to impose an arbitrary scheme on content)." → "The use of symbols, images, categories, tags or other kinds of content that are intimidating or harmful to others outside of the context of encyclopedic, informational use. This includes imposing schemes on content intended to marginalize or ostracize." The language felt unclear especially for non-native English speakers. The intention was to clarify but retain the central concern.