Universal Code of Conduct/FAQ

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Consultation - Research, Local language consultationEdit

On what basis were the communities selected for the local language consultations?
The communities were selected based on several factors, including the rate of growth and the state of local conduct policies. More information on the process is available here. The availability of qualified local language facilitators was also one of the factors that influenced the final pick.
Has the Wikimedia Foundation announced that there is going to be a UCoC for all Wikimedia projects?
Yes. The announcements about UCoC have been clear that UCoC will apply to the whole movement. The team working on UCoC also announced this matter to many Wikimedia projects and on meta. A list of the announcements to the small and medium-sized wikis is available on this page. Details of larger on-wiki consultations are available here.


Will the UCoC be available in all languages?
The team has planned to hire professional translators to translate the UCoC to several languages, but not into all languages in which Wikimedia projects exist. Thus, we encourage volunteers to help translate it in more languages. Support pages, like the UCoC translation hub and glossary, have been set up to make this task easier for translators.


Who takes care of the enforcement/ what are the plans for enforcement?
As per the directives from the Foundations Board of Trustees (BoT), enforcement will be the focus of the second phase of the project. This will begin after the final draft version of the UCoC has been approved by the BoT.

Periodic reviewsEdit

Will there be periodic reviews and amendments in the UCoC once formed? If yes, who will be responsible for doing that?
Yes. The Legal Department will host a policy review on the UCoC one year after the final acceptance of the policy. Succeeding reviews may be facilitated by emerging governance structures recommended by the Movement Strategy.
Who will review the policies in future if an urgent need for change arises?
Like other Foundation-hosted policies, requests for urgent changes can be submitted to the Foundation’s Legal Department. Legal has led community-driven amendment conversations in the past (2014 Terms of use/Paid contributions amendment) and has a structure and process for facilitating these situations.

Conflict with local policiesEdit

What happens if the local policies are in conflict with the UCoC?
After the acceptance of the UCoC by the Board, the Wikimedia communities will be encouraged to look at their existing policies in light of UCoC expectations. Communities can go beyond UCoC and develop more elaborate policies, but they should ensure that their local policies do not fall below the basic standard set by UCoC. If needed, communities and WMF can work together to harmonize policies. The Foundation will be available to assist after the second phase of the project is completed.
Will UCoC also apply to projects that already have local policies and guidelines?
The UCoC aims to create the most basic standards for conduct across the movement. Projects that already have well-developed policies will probably be able to adopt UCoC without much effort. This is because their policies are most likely to meet or exceed what is in the UCoC.
Each Wikimedia project has its own behavioral guidelines and policies written by the users of that project based on their needs. Why is the UCoC going to change these guidelines and policies?
The UCoC is not supposed to replace existing, effective behavioral standards, but as many projects do not have any or only little behavioral policies, a UCoC will work as a basic standard for all projects. Communities can use it to develop their more culturally appropriate norms or to adjust existing guidelines if needed.
What if UCoC does not 100% meet our community needs?
The UCoC will most certainly not meet all community needs. The UCoC is very likely to evolve in the future. Communities are also encouraged to build their own policies on top of it. For example, the UCoC may say “You should focus on what is best not only for you as an individual editor, but also for the Wikimedia community as a whole”. This is very broad. Many Wikis already have much more detailed policies on how to handle Conflicts of Interest. If your project does not have one, such a sentence in the UCoC would be the fallback rule for any conflicts arising on this topic. But the UCoC could also be a good reminder to develop a more detailed policy around this or other related topics.
How is the UCoC going to fit into all cultural contexts?
UCoC may not fit into all cultural contexts, but the drafters are working to make it as inclusive as possible. The team did outreach to communities with different cultures and took their feedback. The drafting committee considered those inputs while creating the draft. If you see more cultural gaps in the draft, kindly bring that to our attention on the draft talk page.

Redundancy with ToUEdit

Is it still necessary to have a UCoC while section 4 of the Terms of use covers behavioural policies such as - “Refraining from Certain Activities”?
Section 4 of Wikimedia Terms of Use does cover some behavioral guidelines along with content guidelines such as copyright infringement and paid contributions. However, it is not a comprehensive list. The Universal Code of Conduct aims to help communities apply section 4 of ToU by expanding on conduct expectations in more detail.
Why are we not rewriting section 4 of the Terms of use instead of writing a new UCoC?
To keep the Terms of Use readable and concise, some information is separated out into other documents For instance, the Licensing Policy and Commons Licensing Policy are included as links. Agreeing to the Terms of Use means agreeing to those documents as well. The separation of the Universal Code of Conduct will allow it to be more detailed if necessary. It will also make it simpler to update based on our changing needs as a movement.

Involvement of WMF and Trust & SafetyEdit

Why is the Wikimedia Foundation involved in this policy?
The Wikimedia Foundation was requested by the Board of Trustees to support the process. On the recommendations built by community members in the Movement Strategy consultations, the UCoC is being written by a volunteer/staff committee.
What would be the ‘actual’ action from WMF if someone has violated the UCoC?
Most violations of the UCoC will not be dealt with by the Wikimedia Foundation. They will be handled by the local communities or global functionaries. Violations of the Terms of use are currently dealt with in the same way. The exact details of enforcement are not yet determined. The enforcement part will be resolved in Phase 2 after the UCoC is ratified by the Board. At this stage, we would like to focus on what should be in such a UCoC and what should not. Phase 2 of the UCoC project will begin after October 13, 2020.
Will the UCoC be subject to a vote on Meta?
No. One of the top five requests of the community during the movement strategy discussions was to counter harassment on Wikimedia projects. A Universal Code of Conduct was recommended by the movement strategy group. The Board acknowledged this request and asked the Foundation to work with the communities to write a code of conduct. Once the code is drafted, the communities will review the contents and will provide their feedback. The Drafting Committee will then refine the draft accordingly before submitting it to the Board for approval.