Wikipedia recently announced that it is implementing a new code of conduct to ensure the security of its platform and to combat harassment. Some members, especially women and members of the LGBTQ community, complained about the “toxic behavior” that members often used to be edited on the platform. The site relies heavily on these volunteers to keep it up to date.
Wikipedia editors can communicate with each other and modify updates from peers. Harassment often involves one volunteer redoing or modifying updates from another volunteer, forcing the latter to return to work.
Wikipedia’s organiser, WiKiMedia, recently voted to approve new measures that are expected to take effect by the end of 2020. The company’s board of directors said that maintaining respect and civility are essential values. Wikipedia CEO Catherine Maher says
We must work together to create a safe and inclusive culture in which everyone feels welcome, whose contributions are valued and whose views are important.
Wikipedia is considered a trusted source of information worldwide, but it has faced complaints of gender imbalance and harassment for some time.
A study by the University of Washington revealed the gender gap between the site’s editors, with many female editors telling researchers that their work had been questioned by male editors of the site. Similarly, transgender workers have expressed concern about volunteering to work for the platform, with one editor saying he received death threats.
Once these rules are approved, those who violate the Code of Conduct may be banned or restricted from the site. In addition, the company will establish a retrospective review process to investigate cases of harassment that occurred before the company established these rules.