Modern Wiki

Civility is part of Modern Wikia's code of conduct. The civility policy is a standard of conduct that sets out how Modern Wikia editors should interact: editors should always endeavor to treat each other with consideration and respect. Even during heated debates, editors should behave politely, calmly and reasonably, in order to keep the focus on improving the encyclopedia and to help maintain a pleasant editing environment.

This policy describes the standards of behavior expected of users when they interact, and appropriate ways of dealing with problems that may arise. It applies to all interaction on Modern Wikia, including on user and article talk pages, in edit summaries, and in any other discussion with or about fellow users.


Two historical reenactors playing the roles of a Roman infantry soldier and a cornicen pretend to have a dispute.Incivility consists of personal attacks, rudeness, and aggressive behaviours that disrupt the project and lead to unproductive stress and conflict. Editors are human, capable of mistakes, so a few, minor incidents of incivility are not in themselves a major concern. A behavioral pattern of incivility is disruptive and unacceptable, and may result in blocks if it rises to the level of harassment or egregious personal attacks. A single act of incivility can also cross the line if it is severe enough: for instance, extreme verbal abuse or profanity directed at another contributor, or a threat against another person can all result in blocks without consideration of a pattern.

In general, be understanding and non-retaliatory in dealing with incivility. If others are uncivil, be understanding (people do say things when they get upset) rather than judgemental, and do not respond in kind. If necessary, point out gently that you think the comment might be considered uncivil, and make it clear that you want to move on and focus on the content issue. Bear in mind that the editor may not have considered it uncivil - Modern Wikia is edited by people from many different backgrounds, and standards vary. Consider too the option of ignoring isolated examples of incivility, and simply moving forward with the content issue. Only take things to dispute resolution (see below) if there is an ongoing problem you can't resolve.

This policy is not a weapon to use against other contributors. To insist that an editor be sanctioned for an isolated, minor offense, or to treat constructive criticism as an attack, is itself potentially disruptive, and may result in warnings or even blocks if repeated.

Co-operation and civility[]

Differences of opinion are inevitable in a collaborative project. When discussing these differences some editors, in trying to be forthright, can seem unnecessarily harsh. Other editors can seem oversensitive when their views are challenged. Silent and faceless words on talk pages and in edit summaries do not transmit fully the nuances of verbal conversation, sometimes leading to misinterpretation of an editor's comments. An uncivil remark can escalate spirited discussion into a personal argument that no longer focuses objectively on the problem at hand. Such exchanges waste our efforts and undermine a positive, productive working environment. Resolve differences of opinion through civil discussion; disagree without being disagreeable. Discussion of other editors should be limited to polite discourse about their actions.

Editors are expected to be reasonably cooperative, to refrain from making personal attacks, to work within the scope of policies, and to be responsive to good-faith questions. Try to treat your fellow editors as respected colleagues with whom you are working on an important project. Be especially welcoming and patient towards new users. Welcome other people to edit the articles but do discourage non constructive edits.

Avoiding incivility[]

Incivility - or the appearance of incivility - typically arises from heated content disputes.

  • Be careful with edit summaries. Edit summaries are relatively short comments (so potentially subject to misinterpretation, or to oversimplification), cannot be changed after pressing Save, and often written in haste, particularly if there is an edit war brewing or in progress. Especially when things are getting heated, remember to explain your edit, avoid personal comments about any editors you have disputes with, and consider using the talk page to further explain your view of the situation.
  • Explain yourself. Not sufficiently explaining edits can be perceived as uncivil, whether that's the editor's intention or not. Use good edit summaries, and use the talk page if the edit summary doesn't provide enough space or if a more substantive debate is likely to be needed.

Identifying incivility[]

It is sometimes difficult to make a hard-and-fast judgement of what is uncivil and what is not. Such a judgement may need to take into account such matters as (i) the intensity of the language/behavior; (ii) whether the behavior has occurred on a single occasion, or is occasional or regular; (iii) whether a request has already been made to stop the behavior, and whether that request is recent; (iv) whether the behavior has been provoked; and (v) the extent to which the behavior of others need to be treated at the same time.

The following behaviors can all contribute to an uncivil environment:

1. Direct rudeness

  • (a) Rudeness, insults, name-calling, gross profanity or indecent suggestions;
  • (b) personal attacks, including racial, ethnic, sexual and religious slurs, and derogatory references to groups such as social classes or nationalities;
  • (c) ill-considered accusations of impropriety;
  • (d) belittling a fellow editor, including the use of judgmental edit summaries or talk-page posts (e.g. "snipped rambling crap", "that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen");

2. Other uncivil behaviors

  • (a) Taunting or baiting: deliberately pushing others to the point of breaching civility even if not seeming to commit such a breach themselves;
  • (b) harassment, including Wikihounding, personal or legal threats, posting of personal information, repeated email or user space postings;
  • (c) lying to mislead, including deliberately asserting false information;
  • (d) quoting another editor out of context to give the impression they hold views they do not hold, or to malign them.

In addition, lack of care when applying other policies can lead to conflict and stress. For instance, referring to a user's good-faith edits as vandalism may lead to their feeling unfairly attacked. Use your best judgement, and be ready to apologize if you turn out to be wrong. (See:Blocking Policy)