Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons

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If you have a complaint about a biography of a living person, and you wish to contact the Wikimedia Foundation, see Contact us.

Editors must take particular care when adding information about living persons to any Wikipedia page. [1] Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity, and must adhere strictly to all applicable laws in the United States, to this policy, and to Wikipedia's three core content policies:

We must get the article right. Be very firm about the use of high-quality sources. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be supported by an inline citation to a reliable, published source. Contentious material about living persons (or, in some cases, recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion. [2] Users who persistently or egregiously violate this policy may be blocked from editing.

Biographies of living persons ("BLPs") must be written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid: it is not Wikipedia's job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives; the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment. This policy applies to any living person mentioned in a BLP, whether or not that person is the subject of the article, and to material about living persons in other articles and on other pages, including talk pages. [3] The burden of evidence rests with the editor who adds or restores material.

Writing style

Tone

BLPs should be written responsibly, cautiously, and in a dispassionate tone, avoiding both understatement and overstatement. Articles should document in a non-partisan manner what reliable secondary sources have published about the subjects, and in some circumstances what the subjects have published about themselves. BLPs should not have trivia sections.

Balance

Further information: Wikipedia:COATRACK

Criticism and praise should be included if they can be sourced to reliable secondary sources, so long as the material is presented responsibly, conservatively, and in a disinterested tone. Do not give disproportionate space to particular viewpoints; the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all. Care must be taken with article structure to ensure the overall presentation and section headings are broadly neutral. Beware of claims that rely on guilt by association, and biased, malicious or overly promotional content.

The idea expressed in WP:Eventualism—that every Wikipedia article is a work in progress, and that it is therefore okay for an article to be temporarily unbalanced because it will eventually be brought into shape—does not apply to biographies. Given their potential impact on biography subjects' lives, biographies must be fair to their subjects at all times.

Attack pages

Pages that are unsourced and negative in tone, especially when they appear to have been created primarily to disparage the subject, should be deleted at once if there is no policy-compliant version to revert to; see #Summary deletion, creation prevention, and courtesy blanking. Non-administrators should tag them with {{ db-attack}}. Creation of such pages, especially when repeated or in bad faith, is grounds for immediate blocking.