As elsewhere on the Internet, the issue of harassment is one of Wikipedia's uglier realities, and hardest to deal with effectively.

On Wikipedia, harassment comes in a few standard forms: general rudeness and offensive language is the most common, but there are a few types (unfortunately) native to the platform:

  • One is "wikihounding", which is following an editor from page to page to disagree with them, undo their edits, or otherwise or disrupt their editing activity.
  • Another is making threats, especially legal threats: the latter especially is taken seriously, for the potential chilling effect it may have on editors.
  • Finally, there is "outing". On Wikipedia, the right to pseudonymity is sacrosanct. Posting identifying personal information of an editor who wants to keep their real-life identity separate from their online persona is among Wikipedia's worst possible offenses.

Fun stuff, right? In coming weeks, we'll look a little more closely at each.