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What legal considerations are there when creating a wiki using MediaWiki for people to use worldwide?

For example, I noticed there are privacy policies & terms and conditions; are these required to safeguard me from any legal battles?

  • We can't really offer legal advice here, but just like any other website or forum in which users can add or modify posts, you'll want to make sure the policies & terms of your site are clearly listed (including the license under which the content is provided), and be responsive to complaints, particularly copyright issues and abuse (e.g., spam). If you have specific legal questions, our Law Stack Exchange site might be a better place to ask, and our Community Building site might help for moderation. – dan Apr 28 '17 at 0:31
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Any considerations should depend on your business, business model, website functionality, and so on.

Keep in mind that as long as you collect personal data from users through your website, a Privacy Policy is required by law. It does not matter what platform you're using - MediaWiki, WordPress etc.

(We've blogged about the major privacy laws here: CalOPPA in the US, PIPEDA in Canada, DPA in the UK, Privacy Act in Australia)

For example, wikiHow (powered by MediaWiki) has a Privacy Policy that discloses what kind of data the website collects:

wikiHow Privacy Policy screenshot via TermsFeed

A Terms & Conditions isn't required but it's extremely useful to have since your MediaWiki website will have user-generated content.

Example from wikiHow again:

wikiHow User Content in Terms of Use via TermsFeed

As a starting point only, look into the following:

  • Privacy Policy if you collect personal data from users (either through MediaWiki directly or through third-parties like analytics tools)
  • Terms & Conditions for user-generated content
  • Cookies Policy and/or EU Cookies Consent if you have users from the EU

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