Friendly Space Policy

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The text below is a translation of Beleid Vriendelijke Ruimtes. The Dutch text is leading.

The (Dutch) text of the Friendly Space Policy was approved by the Board of Wikimedia Nederland on 19 January 2023.

More details about the practical implementation are outlined in the Protocol Enforcement and Reporting.


Wikimedia Nederland wants all its events, activities, platforms and channels to be accessible, safe and welcoming for everyone. We work on the basis of friendliness, respect, collegiality and solidarity, so that we can agreeably collaborate on free knowledge. We want to empower as many people as possible to actively participate in Wikimedia projects and platforms, to reach our vision of a world in which everyone can share in the sum of all human knowledge. This is the basis of our Friendly Space Policy (FSP).

1. Introduction

The Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland (WMNL) wants all its events, activities, platforms and channels to be accessible, safe and welcoming for everyone. To achieve this, the Friendly Space Policy (FSP) establishes a minimum set of guidelines for behaviour. WMNL has implemented the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) of the Wikimedia Foundation through this Friendly Space Policy.

2. Desirable behaviour

At WMNL, we are guided by the principles of friendliness, respect, courtesy, collegiality and solidarity. Everyone is responsible for their own behaviour. This means, among other things:

  • Be friendly. Be considerate of other attendees and participants - give them a hand when they need support and stand up for them when they are treated in a way that does not meet our standards;
  • Put yourself in another person's shoes - show empathy:
    • Respect the preferences, sensitivities, traditions and needs of others, including the boundaries set by another person and the way they name and describe themselves[1];
    • Respect the right of others to hold opinions or views different from your own;
    • Respect that others have experiences different from your own.
  • Assume good faith. Give constructive feedback to others, and respond favourably when others give you constructive feedback;
  • Take and accept responsibility for your own actions and their (unintended) consequences; apologise to those you have (unintentionally) hurt or harmed.

3. Unacceptable behaviour

At WMNL, we consider the following types of behaviour, among others, to be undesirable, both online and in person:

a. Offensive comments or behaviour, and insults[2];

b. Threats[3] of any kind;

c. Obstructing constructive progress, such as continuing to return to decisions that have been made and discussion points that have been settled;

d. Doxing[4]: disclosing private information of others without their express permission;

e. Physical violence or encouraging violence;

f. Sexually oriented language, or the sharing of sexually oriented video, audio or images when this does not directly contribute to the content of the topic being discussed;

g. Sexual harassment[5] and unwanted sexual attention;

h. Stalking: annoying pursuit of others;

i. Trolling: deliberately disrupting conversations, presentations or other activities with the aim of escalating situations and provoking emotional reactions;

j. Taking photos, videos and audio recordings of others without permission.

WMNL does not condone abuse of power, privilege or influence. This applies to everyone. It applies in particular to people who are considered authoritative based on their position, experience and merit, such as board members, staff members and volunteers representing WMNL.

4. Application and validity

The FSP applies to all platforms and channels managed by WMNL and during all in person and virtual events and activities organised by WMNL.

Everyone[6] who is present on these platforms and channels, or participates in these in person and virtual events and activities, is expected to abide by the FSP.

The FSP applies to everyone, regardless of their position, knowledge, skills or achievements.

Failure to abide by the FSP may result in action.

The FSP does not apply when members of WMNL organise an event or activity without the involvement of WMNL, or without using WMNL resources. However, the organisers may choose to apply the FSP to that activity.

5. Enforcement

5.1 Principles

Enforcement of the FSP by WMNL is based on the following principles:

  1. the primary purpose of the following measures enforcing the FSP is to maintain a safe and pleasant environment, and to restore confidence and a sense of security among all parties involved after an incident.
  2. before any action is taken, the possible offender will first be addressed directly about the undesirable behaviour, with the aim of restoring a safe and pleasant environment through consultation;
  3. in case of a possible violation of the FSP, everyone - the injured party, the offender and possibly other parties involved - will be approached respectfully[7];
  4. when someone is allowed to participate again after a temporary exclusion, WMNL will support the offender, the injured party and possible other parties involved in order to increase mutual understanding and prevent repetition.

5.2 Reporting

Any person present on platforms and channels managed by WMNL, or at events and activities organised by WMNL, may report a (suspected) violation of the FSP. This is also possible if someone was not personally involved in the violation, but only observed it or was informed about it by someone directly involved.

The process of reporting will be simple, accessible and flexible, and will offer maximum guarantees for the privacy of all parties involved.

Information on the FSP, and on how to report incidents, will be made available in an accessible manner on all platforms and channels managed by WMNL, and during all events and activities organised by WMNL. Where possible, this information will be actively brought to the attention of attendees.

WMNL commits to investigate all reports, and deal with them appropriately within a reasonable time.

5.3 Actions

When a person fails to comply with the provisions of the FSP, WMNL, or a WMNL representative, may take such action(s) as it deems appropriate. This includes, but is not limited to, one or more of the following measures:

a. warnings or reprimands (both verbally and in writing);

b. exclusion of an individual from further participation in the event or activity in question;

c. a ban on approaching certain other persons during WMNL events or activities or on WMNL platforms and channels;

d. exclusion of a person from one, several or all events, activities, platforms and channels for a fixed or indefinite period of time (apart from the exclusion of members of WMNL from the General Assembly as defined by applicable law);

e. Report the incident to Trust & Safety of the Wikimedia Foundation to review the issue under the Office Actions Policy;

f. In cases of possible criminal offences, WMNL can report to the police or judicial authorities, or support victims in making their own report.

5.4 Other measures

WMNL assumes good faith from people who register for WMNL events and activities: we assume that they have the intention to abide by the FSP.

WMNL may, if it sees fit, individually approach people who have registered before the event to specifically inform them of the expectations surrounding their behaviour at the event. This may include:

  • people who behave (or have behaved) in a way that is clearly contrary to the FSP, including behaviour on other projects, platforms and channels, or during events and activities of parties other than WMNL;
  • people who are actively involved in a (heated) conflict on a Wikimedia project;

Based on the discussion, WMNL can,  as a prevention, decide to ban someone from participating in an event or activity.

5.5 Consequences of individual blocks on Wikimedia projects

Persons who are blocked on a Wikimedia project cannot participate in WMNL events and activities while the block is in effect. The Board can, at the request of the blocked person and after consultation with those directly involved, decide to grant a partial or full exemption.

No exemption will be granted if the event is related to the reason for the block - to be determined at the discretion of WMNL. This includes the presence of persons who were targets of personal attacks or (legal) threats by the blocked individual.

This decision of WMNL cannot be appealed.

5.6 Consequences of measures taken by WMF

Persons who have been issued with a global block or community global ban by the global community functionaries, or a WMF global banglobal ban orf event ban by WMF cannot participate in WMNL events and activities as long as it is in force.

5.7 Consequences of measures taken for WMNL members concerning their participation in the General Assembly

The exclusion of members of the Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland from WMNL events, activities, platforms and channels due to FSP measures, or measures taken by WMF, does not apply to their participation in the General Assembly. For exclusion from the General Assembly, a member must also be suspended or expelled from membership.

For further information, please refer to the Articles of Association of the Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland, Articles 5 and 12.

5.7 Responsibility

The final responsibility for maintaining the FSP lies with the WMNL Board. The board reports at least once a year to the General Assembly.

The Board appoints a member of the Board who is responsible for FSP.

The Board delegates responsibility for the implementation of the FSP at all WMNL events, activities, platforms and channels to the executive director. The executive director is responsible for setting up and maintaining a system for reporting, monitoring and training.


  1. explanation of 'how groups call themselves Ethnic groups may use a specific name to describe themselves, rather than the name historically used by others to describe them; People who express a particular sexual orientation or gender identity using specific names or pronouns; People with a particular physical or mental disability who use specific terms to describe themselves. People with names who use certain letters, sounds or words from their language that may be unfamiliar to you;
  2. Explanation on insult: Insults may refer to assumed characteristics such as intelligence, appearance, ethnicity, race, religion (or absence thereof), culture, caste, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, nationality, political affiliation, or any other characteristics.
  3. Explanation on threat: Explicitly or implicitly suggesting the possibility of physical violence, embarrassment, unfair and unwarranted damage to reputation, or intimidation by suggesting unwarranted legal action to win in a dispute or to force someone to behave the way you want them to.
  4. Explanation on doxing: This includes the disclosure of personal information about another person on the Wikimedia projects as well as the disclosure outside the projects of information about the activities of another person on or for the Wikimedia projects.
  5. Explanation of sexual harassment: Including the use of sexualised language or images, and sexual attention or advances of any kind when it can be reasonably assumed that this is unwelcome, or when consent could not be given.
  6. Definition everyone: Irrespective of age, mental or physical disability, physical appearance, national, religious, ethnic and cultural background, caste, social class, language ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or profession.
  7. Note on respectful: This also means that WMNL takes into account any medical, psychological or neurobiological factors that influence the behaviour of those involved.