Commons:Child protection

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Commons takes concerns seriously with regard to the safety of children using the site. Editors who attempt to use Commons to pursue or facilitate inappropriate adult–child relationships or to advocate inappropriate adult–child relationships (e.g. by expressing the view that inappropriate relationships are not harmful to children) will be indefinitely blocked.

Terms of use[edit]

In accordance with the Terms of Use for all Wikimedia projects, Commons prohibits:

  • Posting child pornography or any other content that violates applicable law[1] concerning child pornography;
  • Posting or trafficking in obscene material that is unlawful under applicable law; and
  • Soliciting personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18 for an illegal purpose or violating any applicable law regarding the health or well-being of minors.

Editors may be indefinitely blocked on Commons for violating these terms on any Wikimedia project. This policy shall change to match any change in relevant Wikimedia terms of use.


The Commons blocking policy prohibits harassment of other users, but tracking of a user's contributions for policy violations is not considered harassment. Because comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor might be a pedophile might pose a serious risk of libel actions, or could involve unacceptable privacy issues for the editor or a child, it is recommended that violations of this policy be made known to a Commons administrator by email. If you don't get a reasonably prompt and satisfactory response then please contact another active administrator, but please tell them who you have previously contacted.

Any community discussion should be initiated on or transferred to a separate subpage of COM:AN/U. Comments posted on Commons suggesting that an editor may be a pedophile outside of this venue should be removed by any editor, and may be RevDeleted. As we do not wish to intimidate those coming forward, no penalty shall be applied to those making such comments in good faith before they have been notified of this policy. If the AN/U discussion does not find that the editor in question violated this policy, it will be deleted unless the editor prefers otherwise.

When an editor is blocked under this policy, the blocking administrator is instructed to use neutral block summaries, and disable the editor's access to the on-site user email interface. The editor's ability to edit their talk page should be retained unless it is abused.

Warning: in some countries (such as the UK) there may be particular obligations (possibly limited to professionals working with children) to report certain types of suspected criminal activity to the authorities. In general, users subject to such obligations are expected to be aware of them and to act accordingly - but in an internet context such obligations may sometimes arise unexpectedly across borders. If in doubt, users should contact the relevant local authorities for advice on how to proceed. Admins handling such situations may in addition contact the WMF legal department.

Advice for younger editors[edit]

  • If you are a younger editor and feel that another person on Commons is behaving in a way that you feel threatens your personal safety, or worries you even a little bit, do not respond to this person in any way, but tell a responsible adult, and ask them to look at this page.
  • Never respond to an improper email delivered via Commons, or use the "email this user" feature to contact someone who might be a threat to you, as this will disclose your email address and other sensitive information to the person who mailed you.
  • Never give out personal information to anyone including people who say they are trying to help you.
  • Think carefully about how your contributions could affect your privacy and security - if you feel that a photo or other material you've contributed to Commons may reveal personal information about you, or is contributing to improper advances, e-mail an administrator to have it deleted or redacted. Learn about EXIF information and consider whether any of the data (such as time or GPS coordinates) could put you at risk; people will be glad to help you to strip such information if necessary.
  • If you have received emails asking for sex or suggesting an in-person meeting, you are strongly urged to work with your parents/guardians, your Internet service provider, and local authorities to protect yourself. Depending on your situation, some effective steps may include disabling your Commons email, retiring your Wikimedia account (then, if desired, starting a new one which cannot be linked to the old account or your personal information), changing your email address or internet provider, tightening your home security, and of course, pursuing prosecution of the offending party.


  1. "Applicable law" is understood as law which requires the Wikimedia Foundation to act. The Wikimedia Foundation is based in California, and some of its servers are based in Florida, and others elsewhere, which may affect which laws are applicable.

See also[edit]