Yet as Wikipedia begins a new year with a burnished reputation as a trusted, fact-based resource, it faces thorny questions beyond accuracy that threaten its grand, encyclopedic mission: Can the community of editors and administrators who collect and present the facts become as sturdy and reliable as the facts themselves? The fear is that unless Wikipedia diversifies its editing ranks, it will be unable to produce the needed context, proportionality, fairness, and imagination to accurately collect the world’s knowledge.
In 2021 the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the more than 300 different versions of Wikipedia, plans to finalize a uniform code of conduct that details unacceptable behavior among the project’s editors—including insults, sexual harassment, and doxing—and assigns corresponding punishments. The new system, which is being fashioned in consultation with the editors and administrators across the encyclopedias, would differ significantly from the current, decentralized disciplinary apparatus. Not only would there be uniform standards of conduct, but there likely would be easier access to the protection of privacy for those who make complaints of harassment.