The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) was created to provide a global baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire movement without tolerance for harassment. It was created through a collaborative process through two phases. Phase 1 included drafting the policy. Phase 2 included drafting enforcement guidelines. The Policy was ratified by the Board of Trustees on 2 February 2021, and the enforcement guidelines were voted on through a community-wide vote in March of 2022. The vote indicated community support for the guidelines, with several specific improvement areas identified through comments submitted in the process. The Board’s Community Affairs Committee (CAC) requested that a community-led revisions committee address some parts of the guidelines. This refinement process is completed, and the second community led vote was held from January 17 to January 31, 2023. Based on the results, the Board of Trustees voted to ratify the Enforcement Guidelines on 9 March 2023. Further information on the implementation of the Guidelines will be published in April 2023.
Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC)
The UCoC is a key policy initiative from the Wikimedia 2030 community conversations and strategy process. The Strategy groups consulted Wikimedians from the global communities. Ten recommendations to guide the movement towards its 2030 vision were developed. One of the recommendations, to "Provide for Safety and Inclusion," included drafting a Code of Conduct: the UCoC. The UCoC was developed in consultation with communities from across the Wikimedia movement with respect to context, existing local policies, as well as enforcement and conflict resolution structures. Previous community discussions about the Universal Code of Conduct can be found on this page.
The UCoC consultation was held in two phases. Phase 1, from June to December 2020, involved research and conversations with communities on what a UCoC would look like. It resulted in the UCoC, which was approved by the Board of Trustees on 2 February 2021. Phase 2 officially began in February 2021 and also involved global conversations and the drafting of the enforcement guidelines, processes and pathways for the UCoC by a joint volunteer-staff committee. The Revisions period of the Enforcement Guidelines, began in April of 2022 with the Revisions Committee, whose main goal is to take community feedback from the vote and implement it into a revised document.
Universal Code of Conduct - Policy
The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) is intended to be a set of policies to provide a universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire Wikimedia movement and all of its projects. It outlines what constitutes expected and unacceptable behaviour and would apply to everyone who interacts and contributes to online and offline Wikimedia projects and spaces. See the full policy text.
Universal Code of Conduct - Enforcement guidelines
These guidelines provide an enforcement framework for the Universal Code of Conduct. The Policy was previously ratified by the Board of Trustees. The guidelines include preventative, responsive, and investigative actions, and other actions taken to address violations of the Universal Code of Conduct. Enforcement would primarily be handled by, but not limited to, designated functionaries across all online and offline Wikimedia projects, events, and related spaces hosted on third-party platforms. It would be done in an organized, timely fashion and consistently across the entire Wikimedia movement.
The UCoC Enforcement guidelines consists of two parts:
- Preventive work
- Promoting UCoC awareness, recommending UCoC training, among others.
- Responsive work
- Detailing a process for filing
- Processing reported violations
- Providing resources for reported violations
- Designating enforcement actions for violations
A new global committee called the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) will be formed. U4C is intended to be a final decision-maker if local bodies fail to enforce the Universal Code of Conduct. The U4C will be in line with other decision making bodies, like Arbitration Committees and Affiliations Committee. The U4C will be set up by a Building Committee. This Building Committee will have members from the volunteer community, Wikimedia Foundation staff, and affiliate staff. This Building Committee will plan the steps necessary to have a functional U4C.
The first version of the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines were published for the community’s consideration on January 6, 2022. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees published a statement on 24 January 2022 in support of a community vote on the proposed enforcement guidelines for the UCoC.
From there, a community vote was held from 7 to 21 March 2022. There were discussions and conversations to educate and inform the community about the UCoC and Enforcement guidelines to ensure Wikimedians were empowered to vote.
The vote was closed and the results were published. After review by the CAC, the recommendation was for a second committee primarily comprised of members of the UCoC Policy (Phase 1) and the Enforcement Guidelines (Phase 2) committees to revise the guidelines based on four focus areas as identified via the vote data and feedback period: readability and translatability, privacy of the accuser vs the accusee, training, and affirmation. The revisions committee has now completed their work.
The second community vote was held from January 17 to January 31, 2023. Based on the results, the Board of Trustees voted to ratify the Enforcement Guidelines on 9 March 2023. Read more on the implementation of the Guidelines and the U4C Building Committee
The UCoC is a key policy initiative from the Wikimedia 2030 community conversations and strategy process. The Strategy groups consulted Wikimedians from the global communities and put forth 10 recommendations to guide the movement towards its 2030 vision. One of the recommendations, to “Provide for Safety and Inclusion,” included drafting a Code of Conduct, the UCoC. The UCoC is being developed in consultation with communities from across the Wikimedia movement with respect to context, existing local policies, as well as enforcement and conflict resolution structures. Previous community discussions about the Universal Code of Conduct can be found on this page.
The UCoC consultation is being held in two phases. Phase 1, from June to December 2020, involved research and conversations with communities on what a UCoC would look like. It resulted in the UCoC Policy, which is intended to apply to all activities in the Wikimedia movement. The Board of Trustees announced its approval of the UCoC Policy on 2 February 2021, though neither the global community nor individual communities have approved this Code of Conduct. Phase 2 involves ongoing global conversations and proposal drafting on the implementation and application of the UCoC. It officially began in February 2021.
Between 2018 and 2020, the Wikimedia 2030 strategy process invited volunteers to look at how to best guide the Wikimedia movement towards the future. Through working groups, online discussions, and in-person events around the world, 10 recommendations and principles were published in May 2020. One of these recommendations was to “Provide for Safety and Inclusion”:
A key part of this recommendation was to create a Code of Conduct, the UCoC. It aims to provide a "universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire movement without tolerance for harassment". Wikimedia communities work in highly varied contexts, and no code of conduct will be able to cover every situation and issue. If the Terms of Service are updated to include it, participants and local projects will be asked to follow and build upon the baseline established by the UCoC.
As per the Board of Trustees’ statement, there are two phases for the UCoC project. The first phase ("Phase 1") involved research, community and stakeholder dialogue, as well as a staff-appointed joint volunteer-staff committee that drafted the UCoC text proposal. The proposed text was submitted to the Board of Trustees for ratification on 13 October 2020. The Board announced the approved text on 2 February 2021.
The second phase ("Phase 2") of the project began on 2 February 2021, when the Board approved the draft UCoC text developed in Phase 1. The second phase of the project focuses on how to enforce the UCoC. As with the first phase, determining responsibilities and outlining clear enforcement pathways involves broad input from communities across the Wikimedia movement.