Wikipedia, administrated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, has issued a universal code of conduct to create global standards for addressing negative behaviour and harassment on the platform. The guidelines are meant to prevent the abuse of power and influence to intimidate others and combat the deliberate introduction of false or inaccurate content. The first-ever code of conduct for netiquette has clearly defined harassment and unacceptable behaviour on and off Wikipedia for all participants.
The new guidelines demand attention in a situation where even though more than 50 per cent of the global population have access to the internet, this increase is coupled with polarisation and rising violence from online speech against marginalised groups and ethnic communities, as observed in a report from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Katherine Maher, CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, stated on Tuesday, "Our work is built around a radical premise that everyone should be able to participate in knowledge. Our new universal code of conduct creates binding standards to elevate conduct on the Wikimedia projects, and empower our communities to address harassment and negative behaviour across the Wikimedia movement."
As the next step, the Foundation and volunteers plan to hold further conversations to understand better how local and regional Wikipedia projects will enforce these new standards.