Commons:Requests for comment

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Overview[edit]

Requests for comment (RfC) is a process for requesting outside input on any issue of wider significance for Commons, be it content, user conduct, or Commons policy and guidelines. Please note that there are other dispute resolution alternatives, notably COM:ANU and the Commons:Disputes noticeboard.

All editors (including unregistered or IP users) are welcome to provide comment or opinion, and to assist in reaching agreements, by responding to requests for comment.

  • RfCs are not votes. Discussion controls the outcome; it is not a matter of counting up the number of votes.
  • Try not to be confrontational. Be friendly and civil, and assume good faith in other editors' actions.
  • Mediate where possible—identify common ground, attempt to draw editors together rather than push them apart.
  • If necessary, educate users by referring to the appropriate Commons policies.

Current RfCs are listed below. An archive of past RFCs (and similar discussions not labelled RfCs) can be found at Commons:Centralized discussion/Archive.

Creating a Request for Comment[edit]

General[edit]

Any user can create a Request for Comment on issues of wider significance for Commons. However, before doing so, it is recommended that all but the most experienced users seek a second opinion on whether an RfC is appropriate for the topic.

RfCs may be either

  • a section on a talk page, for example, the talk page of a policy.
  • a subpage of this page, for example, Commons:Requests for comment/a very important issue. Before deciding to create a subpage please bear in mind that the talk page option should be considered first - if there is an appropriate venue for a discussion, the RfC is best placed there.

To create an RfC, simply

  1. create the section or subpage, with a clear and reasonably brief summary of the issue.
  2. place {{rfc}} at the top of the page
  3. list the RfC at {{centralized discussion}}, very briefly and neutrally providing a link to the discussion
  4. if there are obvious discussion venues where users may be found who would be interested in the RfC, a brief message there may be helpful.

User conduct[edit]

Any user can create a Request for Comment on user conduct. However, in order to list it as an RfC, it must first be certified by a second user. RFCs that have not been certified after a reasonable period of time will be deleted.

  • Before requesting community comment, at least two editors must have contacted the user on the user's talk page, or the talk page(s) involved in the dispute, and tried but failed to resolve the problem. Any listed RfC not accompanied by evidence showing that two users tried and failed to resolve the same dispute will be delisted immediately. The evidence, preferably in the form of diffs, should not simply show the dispute itself, but should show attempts to find a resolution or compromise. The users certifying the dispute must be the same users who were involved in the attempt to resolve it.
  • An RfC is a structured conversation between the subject of the RfC and other users in an attempt to resolve disputes collaboratively. It is a conversation with a user, not a conversation about a user. The aim of an RfC is to clarify areas of disagreement, and if necessary agree voluntary changes in behaviour.
  • An RfC may bring close scrutiny on all involved editors. In most cases, editors named in an RfC are expected to respond to it.
  • While an RfC doesn't create sanctions, it may provide justification for them by collecting information, assessing consensus, and providing feedback to the subject.

Procedure

  1. Attempt to resolve disputes through discussion with the user
  2. If this fails, and other users have related issues with the user, create an RfC using the link below
  3. Once another user has certified the RfC, list it at {{centralized discussion}}, very briefly and neutrally providing a link to the discussion.
  4. If the user responds to the RfC, engage with them and try to find a solution that everyone can agree to.

Ending a Request for Comment[edit]

All requests for comment need to be closed manually. This should be done by an uninvolved editor (not necessarily an admin) when the dispute has been resolved, moved to any other forum, or seems unlikely to be resolved. In most cases, unresolved requests for comment should remain open for at least 30 days.

Current Requests for Comment[edit]

Centralized discussion

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Commons policies and guidelines[edit]