Wikipedia's new code of conduct targets harassment and misinformation

The Wikimedia Foundation aims to bolster inclusivity and stamp out 'negative behavior.'

The Wikimedia Foundation has announced the first Universal Code of Conduct to tackle misinformation and harassment on Wikipedia. The foundation says that the rules clearly spell out what behavior is acceptable.

The code explicitly prohibits Wikipedia users from deliberately adding false or biased information to articles, as well as harassing others on and off the platform. The use of slurs and stereotypes, doxxing, hate speech and threats of violence are all banned. In addition, the rules aim to stop the abuse of power, privilege or influence.

Editors are encouraged to assume edits were carried out in good faith, help newcomers and give credit where it's due to show mutual respect for other users. The foundation also underscored its commitment to "creating spaces that foster diversity of thought, religion, sexual orientation, age, culture, and language to name a few."

“The Universal Code of Conduct marks an important step in the evolution of our mission to create a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for our contributors, and a more open and powerful movement for free knowledge,” María Sefidari, chair of the board of the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a statement.

Although Wikipedia volunteers have established standards across different Wikimedia projects, there hasn't been a universal baseline set of rules until now. More than 1,500 volunteers from around the world helped to craft the code of conduct, which is around 1,600 words long. The next stage of the project is for the foundation and volunteers to figure out how to implement and enforce the rules across the various Wikipedia projects.