|This page documents a Wikidata policy. It is a widely accepted standard that all editors should normally follow. Changes made to it should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss your idea on the project chat.|
As we value the dignity of living persons, the information that we store about them deserves special consideration. Instead of striving to provide all possible information living persons we strive to provide only information in whose veracity we have a high confidence and which doesn't violate a person's reasonable expectations of privacy. Statements that can reasonably be expected to be challenged should be supported by a reliable source. When exercising editorial judgment we should always consider the possibility of harm to living persons.
- 1 Addressing problems
- 2 Definition of living person
- 3 Labels, aliases and descriptions
- 4 Statements likely to be challenged
- 5 Statements that may violate privacy
- 6 Adding and removing Q44597997 and Q44601380 from properties
- 7 Bot interaction with items for living persons
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
We take violations of this policy seriously. Repeated or egregious incidents by a user may lead to blocks. Page protection can be applied to pages that receive violations of this policy. If serious, page revisions in violation of this policy may be hidden as well. Items about living people which are not notable can be deleted.
Requests for the removal of private information
If the subject of an item is unhappy with specific information in the item about themselves, they can request the removal of specific information via the Administrators' noticeboard or by emailing email@example.com. When the information isn't of public interest, an administrator may revision delete it. Information that's revision deleted is not visible for normal users who visit the history of a item but only visible for our administrators. In special cases where information is particularly sensitive, an oversighter may be contacted to oversight the information, so that even our administrators can't access the information from the history.
When a user sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org a new ticket will be created in OTRS. Everybody who wants to help with the handling of those requests is happily invited to apply as a volunteer for OTRS.
Definition of living person
This policy applies to all items about living people. In addition, this policy also applies to statements not on items about living people but that concern living people.
Anyone born within the past 115 years is covered by this policy unless a reliable source has confirmed their death. Generally, this policy does not apply to material concerning people who are confirmed dead by reliable sources. The only exception would be for people who have recently died, in which case the policy can extend for an indeterminate period beyond the date of death—six months, one year, two years at the outside. Such extensions would apply particularly to contentious or questionable material about the dead that has implications for their living relatives and friends, such as in the case of a possible suicide or a particularly gruesome crime. Even absent confirmation of death, for the purposes of this policy anyone born more than 115 years ago is presumed dead unless reliable sources confirm the person to have been living within the past two years.
Applicability to legal persons and groups
This policy does not normally apply to material about corporations, companies, or other entities regarded as a legal person (Q3778211), though any such material must be written in accordance with other content policies. The extent to which the BLP policy applies to edits about groups is complex and must be judged on a case-by-case basis. A harmful statement about a small group or organization comes closer to being a BLP problem than a similar statement about a larger group; and when the group is very small, it may be impossible to draw a distinction between the group and the individuals that make up the group.
Labels, aliases and descriptions
Labels, descriptions and aliases need to be neutral and well-sourced (ideally based on referenced statements on the item) and particular care should be taken in editing these for items about living persons. Derogatory names, even when used in reliable public sources, should not be added as aliases. Descriptions should focus on facts, not opinions.
Statements likely to be challenged
Almost any piece of data about a living person might be controversial; anything that's individually challenged or might be challenged should be supported by a reliable public source or may be subject to removal. In particular properties that are instance of (P31) property likely to be challenged (Q44597997) should be supported by suitable references when applied to living persons. In the case of a dispute, the burden of evidence rests with the editor who adds or restores material.
The automatically updated list of properties likely to be challenged can be found at WikiProject Properties. In individual cases, information that's likely to be challenged might also be added to other properties and users who add information to the items of living persons should always think about the privacy implications of the data that they are adding.
Statements that may violate privacy
Living individuals with records in Wikidata are for the most part not famous or celebrities; their privacy should be respected. Values for living individuals should generally not be supplied unless they can be considered widespread public knowledge or are openly supplied by the individual themselves (otherwise hidden supporting references are not sufficient). As an example, the fact that someone's address is accessible by looking at a domain name registration doesn't imply that it's considered widespread public knowledge for the sake of this policy.
There is also a list of properties that may violate privacy at WikiProject Properties, as above in individual cases it's also valuable to be mindful when using other properties.
Adding and removing Q44597997 and Q44601380 from properties
While it's okay to add the instance of (P31) property likely to be challenged (Q44597997) or property that may violate privacy (Q44601380) statements to additional Wikidata properties without seeking consensus beforehand, such statements must not be removed from existing properties without consensus.
If a Wikidata property had it for fewer than 7 days, the statement can be preemptively removed but the person who removes it should open a new discussion on the talk page of the property and include the
To request the removal of the class from a Wikidata property that had it longer than one week, you must open a new discussion on the talk page that includes the
Bot interaction with items for living persons
Bots that create or add statements about living people or that edit their descriptions or aliases should be particularly carefully scrutinized. The Wikidata:Bots policy already requests sourcing for bot-entered information. For bots that will be editing items about living people, it's recommended to explicitly address the following concerns during the bot approval process:
- Resolution on living people by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
- Policy on biographies of living people at the English Wikipedia
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.