FamilySearch Wiki:Dispute resolution

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Green check.png This page explains a policy, a widely accepted standard that all contributors should normally follow.

Please visit the talk page to add comments or suggestions for further development of the policy.

Dispute resolution
Avoid disputes
Tips to avoid disputes
Mediation Policy
Mediation Committee
Request mediation
Community Council
Editing restrictions
General sanctions

This policy describes what to do when you have a dispute with another contributor.

First Step: Try to work it out

When disputes arise between community members they are strongly encouraged to talk together and resolve their differences. When there are disputes, it is very important to:

  1. Use the discussion (talk) pages to discuss issues, following the discussion (talk) page guidelines.
  2. Follow the Etiquette Guidelines.
  3. Accept that each party has the best interest of the wiki at heart.
  4. Be open to compromise.
See also the article Wikipedia:Staying cool when the editing gets hot.

Second Step: Ask for another opinion 

If you can't come to a resolution between the parties that way, you should ask for some outside assistance from other community members. A few option to explore are:

Third Step: Mediation

If discussing the problem doesn't bring it to a resolution, you may request mediation. Mediation is a more formal process whereby a Mediator helps to facilitate the conversation between the contributors.
Main article: FamilySearch Wiki:Mediation

Fourth Step: Arbitration

If Mediation doesn't resolve the problem, the issue may need to be escalated to the Arbitration Board. This is requested by the Mediator.
Main article: FamilySearch Wiki:Arbitration

To Do: The following paragraphs should be moved to the pages about the parts of the process

Discussions relating to the editing dispute should take place on the discussion (talk) page linked to the wiki article as to which the editing conflict has arisen. Comments relating to the editing conflict should not be posted on the other user's talk page. Nor should comments relating to the editing conflict be communicated by telephone or by email. By following these procedures, the negotiation process will remain transparent.

For more complex editing conflicts that the contributors cannot resolve through talk page discussion, you can follow the other steps in the dispute resolution process. Informal mediation can be used to solicit comments and suggestions from third parties. The appropriate means of informal mediation will depend on the nature of the editing conflict.

If an editing conflict involves only a single wiki article and the conflict involves stylistic or formatting issues, the parties should first consult FamilySearch Wiki:Manual of Style to determine whether the Manual of Style provides guidance that may resolve the editing conflict. If the Manual of Style does not provide the necessary guidance, one or more of the parties should Request a third opinion.

If an editing conflict involves only a single wiki article and the conflict involves a factual or substantive issue, the parties to the conflict should Request contributor assistance.

If an editing conflict potentially affects more than one wiki article, the views of additional members of the wiki community should be sought. Views can be sought through a posting on a Wiki Forum. Alternatively, the conflict may best be resolved by means of a new Project. If one or both of the parties to the conflict thinks that it will be useful to have a new Project established, they can take steps to begin a new wiki project.

If the parties to the editing conflict are not able to resolve the conflict through informal mediation, then one or both of the parties may Request formal mediation.

If an editing conflict is related to user conduct that is in conflict with the Civility and Polite Discourse policy, the issue will be handled through the Arbitration process.

When disputes arise between community members they are strongly encouraged to talk together and resolve their differences without using Mediation or Arbitration.

Options to explore before requesting formal mediation or as a last resort arbitration include:

  • Ask for a third opinion
  • Ask about the subject
  • Ask about a policy
  • Request a comment
  • Informal mediation