Wikipedia:Correspondence off-wiki

Correspondence and communications between or among editors or third parties, such as e-mails, instant messages, or chats in Internet Relay Chat channels, should not be considered confidential when it relates to the project. Participants in such correspondence should not expect it to remain private beyond what is protected by the Wikimedia privacy policy. In particular, IRC and email exchanges that relate to actions carried out on Wikipedia (e.g., blocks, bans, co-ordinated editing) may be revealed by any recipient at any time without reprisal, with the following exclusions.


In cases where a person who has received correspondence feels that such correspondence should be shared on Wikipedia, the Wikimedia privacy policy continues to apply.

Correspondence that directly relates to the project should not be considered private with the exceptions listed below:

  • Do not post on-site any material that can contains privacy violations or harassment or violates our biographies of living persons policy. Privacy violations would include previously undisclosed real life names, IP addresses and email addresses etc. as per our Wikipedia:Harassment policy.
  • The complete text of OTRS emails should not be posted without the express permission of the author. In some cases (such as when responding to OTRS messages) it may be possible to discuss the existence and content of a private message without revealing the actual content, but this should be done with caution.
  • Correspondence between two individuals that is unrelated to actions taken on Wikipedia.
  • Correspondence that is sent or received with the explicit expectation of confidentiality, e.g. Arbcom-l and Checkuser-l.

Gossip discouragedEdit

Of course, the posting of off-wiki correspondence on Wikipedia is discouraged unless it benefits the project.

Paraphrasing encouragedEdit

Consideration should be given to paraphrasing the correspondence or quoting excerpts rather than the entirety of the correspondence.

See alsoEdit