Wikis are all about working together to build an awesome site about something you love. But any group is likely to have arguments and disputes -- which can sometimes get out of hand. Today is National Stop Bullying Day in the US, so I wanted to take the time here to talk a little about online bullying and how we can all work together to help prevent it.

What to keep in mind

Stop bullying

Think about what you say. Remember that there is a real person reading what you write. Are you saying it in a way that's going to sound nasty or aggressive? I've always disliked the phrase "real world" to distinguish between on and off-line life... this is real life, and what you say here matters.

Look out for new users. Sometimes it's easy to take the side of the people we know best, but without new contributors our wiki communities would never grow. So if someone you know is bullying a new contributor to a wiki, remind them that they too were once new. If you see someone else getting bullied, then leave them a friendly word to let them know that the whole community is not that way -- and if it escalates, let the local admins or Wikia staff know about it.

Don't feed the Trolls. There will always be those online who love to provoke a reaction, and they make a beeline for those who are most likely to give them their "fun" with a dramatic reply. The best tool you have against this is your own reaction -- if you respond calmly, or simply ignore them, they are much more likely to move on.

Revert, block, ignore. For admins, the advice for persistent cyberbullies on your wikis is the same as for vandals. Remove the bad content, block the bully, and move on without giving them more attention. As the moderator for your wiki, you are the best person to deal with those that are rude or aggressive, and insisting on polite and pleasant interactions will help you build a wiki that people want to keep coming back to.

Most of all - keep it positive! You can help make Wikia a better place by looking for the good in your fellow editors, and letting them know when you appreciate them. For National Stop Bullying Day, use the comments below to say something nice about someone on your wiki.

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