Wikipedia introduces first-of-its-kind Universal Code of Conduct
The Universal Code of Conduct was launched by the Wikimedia Foundation - non-profit that administers Wikipedia.IANS

Wikipedia introduces first-of-its-kind Universal Code of Conduct

To address the rising negative behaviour and harassment on the site, the online encyclopedia – Wikipedia - has introduced a first-of-its-kind Universal Code of Conduct.

Wikipedia has introduced a first-of-its-kind Universal Code of Conduct that expands on the project's existing policies to create a global set of community standards for addressing negative behaviour and harassment on the site.

To address the rising negative behaviour and harassment on the site, the online encyclopedia – Wikipedia - has introduced a first-of-its-kind Universal Code of Conduct. The said code expands on the website's existing policies to create a global set of community standards.

According to reports, the code's standards include clearly defining acceptable behaviour; delineating harassment on and off the projects for all Wikipedia participants; preventing the abuse of power and influence to intimidate others, and combating deliberate introduction of false or inaccurate content.

Katherine Maher, CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation - the non-profit administering Wikipedia - that launched the code, reportedly said, "Our work is built around a radical premise that everyone should be able to participate in knowledge."

"Our new universal code of conduct creates binding standards to elevate conduct on the Wikimedia projects, and empower our communities to address harassment and negative behaviour across the Wikimedia movement," she said in a statement on Tuesday.

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According to a report from the United States non-profit think tank - Council on Foreign Relations - more than 50 per cent of the global population has access to the internet, an increase that has been linked to polarisation, and rising violence from online speech against marginalised groups and ethnic communities.

"Given these trends, it is more important than ever for the Foundation and the volunteer community to strengthen accountability for the content on Wikimedia projects including Wikipedia, the world's largest online encyclopedia, as well as the policies that govern user behaviour," Maher added.

Aligning to its community of volunteer ideology, more than 1,500 Wikipedia volunteers from 19 different Wikipedia projects representing five continents and 30 languages participated in the creation of the Universal Code of Conduct. The new Code is 1,600 words, where the Foundation and the community clearly define harassment and unacceptable behaviour.

As a next step, the Foundation and the volunteers leading the process will hold further conversations to better understand how local and regional Wikipedia projects will enforce the new standards.

(With Inputs from IANS)

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