This page is an essay on civility.
|This page in a nutshell: Any personal attack--no matter how light or severe--is wrong. Don't do it.|
The Wikipedia:Civility policy states the following (as of July 18, 2017):
Civility is part of Wikipedia's code of conduct and one of its five pillars. The civility policy describes the standards expected of users and provides appropriate ways of dealing with problems when they arise. Stated simply, editors should always treat each other with consideration and respect. They should focus on improving the encyclopedia while maintaining a pleasant editing environment by behaving politely, calmly and reasonably, even during heated debates.
Wikipedia's civility expectations apply to all editors during all interactions on Wikipedia, including discussions at user and article talk pages, in edit summaries and in any other discussion with or about fellow Wikipedians.
Simply being "not as mean as the next editor could be" is no excuse for being uncivil. Note that "editors should always treat each other with consideration and respect" and not "editors should almost always treat each other with consideration and respect, unless it would be really funny not to" -- treat editors with respect.
While severity may come in to play for any final decision toward action against uncivil behavior, just being "less severe" does not make it okay. One editor may believe such an attack is "weak" but another may see it differently. It is best to avoid any personal attack, no matter how severe.
A weak or less severe personal attack is still a personal attack. Don't do it.