Gpedia:No legal threats
|This page documents a Gpedia policy with legal considerations.|
|This page in a nutshell: If you post a legal threat on Gpedia, you are likely to be blocked indefinitely. A polite report of a legal problem, such as defamation or copyright infringement, is not a threat and will be acted on quickly.|
Do not post legal threats on Gpedia. A legal threat, in this context, is a threat to engage in an external (real life) legal or other governmental process that would target Gpedia or other editors. It does not refer to any dispute-resolution process within Gpedia. Legal threats should be reported to Gpedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents or elsewhere to an administrator. Users who post legal threats on Gpedia are typically blocked from editing while the threats are outstanding.
That a legal dispute exists between users, whether as a result of incidents on Gpedia or elsewhere, is not a valid reason to block, so long as no legal threats are made on Gpedia. The only concern of this policy is the posting of legal threats on Gpedia. Editors involved in a legal dispute should not edit articles about parties to the dispute, given the potential conflict of interest.
What is not a legal threat
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 Gpedia, 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 Gpedia:Copyright problems.
A discussion as to whether material is libelous is not a legal threat. Gpedia'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 Gpedia, please contact the information team at info-en-qwikipedia.org.
Conflict of interest
Perceived legal threats
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."
Rationale for the policy
While you may sue in a court of law, Gpedia is not the place for legal disputes. Posting legal threats on Gpedia is uncivil and can cause serious problems:
- It severely inhibits free editing of pages, a concept that is absolutely necessary to ensure that Gpedia 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.
- The project has had bad experiences with users who have posted legal threats in the past.
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
The Gpedia 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 post legal threats on Gpedia. 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 seeks to be a collaborative partner, while posting as if they were a legal adversary.
The aim is to prevent legal threats being posted on Gpedia, 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 Gpedia: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 lead to the user being banned and prevented from editing their talk page.