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Editors must take particular care adding biographical material about a living person to any Wikipedia page. Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity, and must adhere strictly to the law (copyright, libel, privacy) and our content policies:

  • Neutral point of view
  • Verifiability
  • What Wikipedia is not
  • No original research
  • Biographies of living persons
  • Working with others
  • Civility
  • No personal attacks
  • Resolving disputes

We must get the article right. Be very firm about high quality references, particularly about details of personal lives. Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material — whether negative, positive, or just highly questionable — about living persons should be removed immediately and without discussion from Wikipedia articles, talk pages, user pages, and project space.

An important rule of thumb when writing biographical material about living persons is "do no harm". Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid, and as such it is not our job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives. BLPs must be written conservatively, with regard for the subject's privacy.

This policy applies equally to biographies of living persons and to biographical material about living persons in other articles. The burden of evidence for any edit on Wikipedia, but especially for edits about living persons, rests firmly on the shoulders of the person who adds or restores the material.

Owing to the prominence of Wikipedia as a top-ten website, Wikipedia articles that contain material about living people can affect their lives and the lives of their families, colleagues, and friends. Biographical material must therefore be written with sensitivity and a strict adherence to our content policies, and the subjects of our articles must be approached impartially and conscientiously.

The Wikimedia Foundation receives legitimate complaints about biographical content every day from people who are concerned or adversely affected by inaccurate or unfair articles. This policy outlines the minimum standards our subjects can expect when Wikipedia contributors write about them, and when they complain about Wikipedia content.

Biographies of living people should be written responsibly, conservatively, and in a neutral, encyclopedic tone. While a strategy of eventualism may apply to other subject areas, badly written biographies of living persons should be stubbed or deleted.

The article should document, in a non-partisan manner, what reliable third party sources have published about the subject and, in some circumstances, what the subject may have published about themselves. The writing style should be neutral, factual, and understated, avoiding both a sympathetic point of view and an advocacy journalism point of view. Biographies of living persons should not have trivia sections. Instead, relevant sourced claims should be woven into the article.