From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Canvassing is the practice of contacting others for participation in community discussions for the purpose of suporting one side or argument. Canvassing can affect and biases both vote and consensus based discussions. This may be done through contacting individuals believed to already support the position, or by contacting neutral parties in a way that is itself biased. Note that Wikimedia's approach and definition of canvassing diverges from standard definition, where canvassing is mainly defined as legitimate door-to-door campaigning and Get the vote out actions.

If additional outside input is needed in a discussion, it should be sought by leaving a concise neutrally worded notification in a public forum.

If you suspect canvassing, raise the issue politely and constructively with the concerned user(s). The user may be unaware of the local negative connotation of the term. Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers but rather attempt to explain community norms.

Do not bite the newcomers's "Ignorantia juris may excuse" reminds the complexity and specifics of Commons' practices. Users may be unaware of those guidelines, especially users new to the voting process on Wikimedia. If you witness cavassing, notify the user of the inappropriate and appropriate rules for contacting people, and require rapid correction of this user's communication strategy.

If you are improperly notified to join a discussion, consider noting this in the case you feel the need to participate, for the purpose of transparency. Canvassed participation in a discussion may be taken into account when judging consensus.

Summary table[edit]

  Scale   Message   Audience   Transparency
Appropriate Limited posting AND Neutral AND Nonpartisan AND Open
Inappropriate Mass posting OR Biased OR Partisan OR Secret
Term Excessive cross-posting ("spamming")   Campaigning   Votestacking   Stealth canvassing

See also[edit]