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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Dealing with Incivility and Personal Attacks

The processes described in this section may seem like bureaucracy run amok, but in fact they’re an efficient, logical way to escalate a matter until it’s solved, whether that’s because an editor changes his ways, quits Wikipedia, or gets blocked.

If you’re the subject of a personal attack or significant incivility, both you and the other editor determine what will succeed in stopping recurrences of the problems. If you fan the flames by attacking back, that’s a violation of rules in its own right, and will probably get you your own warnings. In that case, the matter may not get resolved until it goes to the highest level of community decision-making in English Wikipedia—the Arbitration Committee (The Arbitration Committee). If both you and the other editor are reasonable people (and you’ll certainly encounter editors who aren’t), you may be able to solve the problem by simply talking it out on user talk pages.

What happens after your first response depends on what kind of person you’re dealing with. So circumstances decide which of the following measures to choose. You’re certainly not required to use them all.

Initial Responses

Personal attacks almost always occur on your own user talk page or on an article talk page. There may be some obvious lead-in (you and another editor have reverted each other’s edits in a content dispute, for example) or the attack may come out the blue (from someone whose edit you’ve reverted as part of vandal-fighting, ...

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