Biographies of Neighbors and other Living Persons

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Contributors must take particular care when adding information about neighbors or other living people to any page. Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity, and must adhere strictly to all applicable laws in the United States, and to this policy page.

Biographies of Neighbors and other Living Persons ("BNLPs") Guidelines[edit]

Biographies of neighbors and other living persons ("BNLPs") must be written conservatively and with regard for the subject's privacy. is a civic resource, not a tabloid: it is not's role to be sensationalist, or to be a vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives.

The possibility of harm to living subjects (our neighbors) must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment. This policy applies to any living person mentioned on a BNLP page, whether or not that person is the subject of the article, and to material about living persons in other articles and on other pages, including discussion/talk pages. The burden of evidence rests with the contributor who adds or restores material. Be careful, thoughtful, and kind.

Writing style[edit]


BLPs should be written responsibly, cautiously, and in a dispassionate tone, avoiding both understatement and overstatement.Ideally, articles should document in a non-partisan manner what reliable secondary sources have published about the subjects, and in some circumstances what the subjects have published about themselves. Summarize how actions and achievements are characterized by reliable sources (but keep in mind that depictions of recent events may be unbalanced). Do not use controversial or effusive descriptions unless commonly used by reliable sources.


Criticism and praise should be included if they can be sourced to reliable secondary sources, so long as the material is presented responsibly, conservatively, and in a disinterested tone. Do not give disproportionate space to particular viewpoints; the views of small minorities should not be included at all. Care must be taken with article structure to ensure the overall presentation and section headings are broadly neutral. Beware of claims that rely on guilt by association, and biased, malicious or overly promotional content.

The idea expressed in meta:Eventualism—that every Wikipedia article is a work in progress, and that it is therefore okay for an article to be temporarily unbalanced because it will eventually be brought into shape—does Template:Em apply to biographies. Given their potential impact on biography subjects' lives, biographies must be fair to their subjects at all times.

Attack pages[edit]

Pages that are unsourced and negative in tone, especially when they appear to have been created primarily to disparage the subject, should be deleted at once if there is no policy-compliant version to revert to; see #Summary deletion, creation prevention, and courtesy blanking. Non-administrators should tag them with {{db-attack}}. Creation of such pages, especially when repeated or in bad faith, is grounds for immediate blocking.

Legal Issues[edit]

Subjects who have legal or other serious concerns about material they find about themselves on a page, whether in a BNLP or elsewhere, should contact with a link to the page and details of the problem.

Related Wiki Pages[edit]

External Links[edit]