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Submissions/Combating harassment with user page protection

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This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 2006 Subject - C3
Title of the submission

Combating harassment with user page protection

Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)


Author of the submission

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

type of submission


Language of presentation


E-mail address




Country of origin

United States

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)


Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

Harassment is an ongoing problem on Wikipedia, particularly for editors from marginalized groups, including women, people of color, and members of the LGBT+ community. Vandalism of user pages can be particularly damaging to such people. An idea was submitted to the Spring 2016 Inspire campaign to protect user pages by default from editing by anonymous and new editors. The proposal gained significant support, and was developed into a Request for Comment, which reached consensus for semi-protection. The user page protection was implemented by means of an edit filter on the English Wikipedia in November 2016.

This presentation will discuss the motivation for and thoughts behind this process from the viewpoint of the proposer, Funcrunch, a member of multiple marginalized groups. Comparisons will be drawn to harassment in other Internet communities. Arguments for and against user page protection will be analyzed, and examples of attempted vandalism that have been prevented by the edit filter will be examined.

What will attendees take away from this session?

A better understanding of the impact of vandalism and harassment on editors who are underrepresented on the English Wikipedia.

Theme of presentation

WikiCulture & Community

For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

A Google Slides presentation will be prepared for the talk.

Special requests

Cannot present on Sunday

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Anne Delong (talk) 13:51, 8 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Jamie Tubers (talk) 17:40, 10 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Kritzolina (talk) 09:52, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Simon Villeneuve (talk) 22:21, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Ckoerner (talk) 15:36, 14 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  6. TBolliger (WMF) (talk) 18:24, 14 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Seeeko (talk) 05:32, 21 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Checkingfax (talk) 02:36, 28 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Rhododendrites (talk) 12:18, 30 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  10. LaMèreVeille (talk) 16:21, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Mssemantics (talk) 19:35, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Textaural (talk) 02:58, 7 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  13. -Another Believer (talk) 19:25, 25 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]