Contents 1 What is not a legal threat 1.1 Copyright 1.2 Defamation 1.3 Conflict of interest 2 Perceived legal threats 3 Rationale for the policy 4 Conclusion of legal threat 5 See also

What is not a legal threat[edit] Copyright[edit] A complaint in cases of copyright infringement is not a legal threat. If you are the owner of copyrighted material that has been inappropriately added to Wikipedia, a clear statement about whether it is licensed for such use is welcome. You may contact the information team or the Wikimedia Foundation's designated agent, or use the procedures at Wikipedia:Copyright problems. Defamation[edit] Further information: WP:LIBEL A discussion as to whether material is libelous is not a legal threat. Wikipedia's policy on defamation is to delete libelous material as soon as it is identified. If you believe that you are the subject of a libelous statement on Wikipedia, please contact the information team at Conflict of interest[edit] Further information: WP:DISCLOSEPAY and WP:COVERT Politely making paid editors aware of the requirements of the Wikimedia Foundation's terms of use, or laws against undisclosed advertising, is not a legal threat.

Perceived legal threats[edit] Use dispute resolution rather than legal threats, for everyone's sake! It is important to refrain from making comments that others may reasonably understand as a legal threat. For example, if you repeatedly assert that another editor's comments are "defamatory" or "libelous," that editor might interpret this as a threat to sue, even if that is not your intention. To avoid misunderstandings, use less charged wording, such as “that statement about me is false and damaging, and I ask that it be corrected." Rather than immediately blocking users who post apparent threats, administrators should first seek to clarify the user's intention, if there is any doubt.

Rationale for the policy[edit] While you may sue in a court of law, Wikipedia is not the place for legal disputes. Making legal threats on Wikipedia is uncivil and causes a number of serious problems: It severely inhibits free editing of pages, a concept that is absolutely necessary to ensure that Wikipedia remains neutral. Without this freedom, we risk one side of a dispute intimidating the other, thus causing a systemic bias in our articles. It creates bad feelings and a lack of trust within the community, damaging our ability to proceed quickly and efficiently with an assumption of mutual good faith. We have had bad experiences with users who have made legal threats in the past. By making legal threats, you may damage your reputation on Wikipedia. Attempting to resolve disputes using the dispute resolution procedures will often lead to a solution without resorting to the law. If the dispute resolution procedures do not resolve your problem, and you then choose to take legal action, you do so in the knowledge that you took all reasonable steps to resolve the situation amicably.

Conclusion of legal threat[edit] The Wikipedia community has a long-standing general principle that (almost) anyone is capable of reform. Accordingly, statements made in anger or misjudgment should not be held against people once genuinely and credibly withdrawn. To prevent damage to the project, this policy temporarily removes from participation in the community editors who make legal threats on Wikipedia. The editor is not blocked just because "it's a legal threat", but because the block: reduces scope for escalation of a bad situation, reduces stress and administrative burden on the wiki, reduces disruption to articles and the editorial environment, prevents a situation in which someone is seeking to be a collaborative partner while setting themselves up as a legal adversary. If these conflicts are resolved (or a consensus is reached to test whether they are resolved), then editors should be unblocked if there are no other issues that warrant a block. The aim is to prevent legal threats being posted on Wikipedia, not to keep bad content from being fixed. Admins should encourage an aggrieved user to identify factual errors in the article at issue; a link to Wikipedia:Contact us/Article problem/Factual error (from subject) may be appropriate. Repeats of legal threats on the user's talk page have limited scope for disruption or chilling effect. The user should not be prevented from using their talk page until reasonable attempts have been made to open a civil discussion. We assume good faith while containing disruption, but the assumption of good faith is not a suicide pact; persistent or vexatious complaints may indeed lead to the user being banned and prevented from editing their talk page, but this is a last resort.

See also[edit] Wikipedia:WikiLawyering Wikipedia:Don't overlook legal threats v t e Wikipedia key policies and guidelines Five pillars What Wikipedia is not Ignore all rules Content Verifiability No original research Neutral point of view What Wikipedia is not Biographies of living persons Image use Wikipedia is not a dictionary Article titles Notability Autobiography Citing sources Identifying reliable sources medicine Do not include copies of primary sources Plagiarism Don't create hoaxes Fringe theories Patent nonsense External links Conduct Civility Consensus Editing policy Harassment Vandalism Ignore all rules No personal attacks Ownership of content Edit warring Dispute resolution Sock puppetry No legal threats Child protection Paid-contribution disclosure Assume good faith Conflict of interest Disruptive editing Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point Etiquette Gaming the system Please do not bite the newcomers Courtesy vanishing Deletion Deletion policy Proposed deletion Criteria for speedy deletion Attack page Oversight Proposed deletion of BLP Proposed deletion (books) Revision deletion Enforcement Administrators Banning Blocking Page protection Editing Article size Be bold Disambiguation Hatnotes Set index articles Subpages User pages Talk page guidelines Signatures Broad-concept article Project namespace WikiProjects Style Manual of Style Contents Accessibility Understandability Dates and numbers Images Layout Lead section Linking Lists Classification Categories, lists, and navigation templates Categorization Template namespace WMF List of policies Friendly space policy Licensing and copyright Privacy policy Values FAQ List of all policies and guidelines List of policies List of guidelines Lists of attempts in creating fundamental principles Retrieved from "" Categories: Wikipedia policiesWikipedia user conductWikipedia legal policiesHidden categories: Wikipedia move-protected project pages

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