The interpretation of this rule is complex. See [[Wikipedia:Linking to external harassment]] for guidance on interpretation.
==Consequences of personal attacks==
Although editors are encouraged to ignore or respond politely to isolated personal attacks, that should not imply that they are acceptable. A pattern of hostility reduces the likelihood of the community [[Wikipedia:Assume good faith|assuming good faith]], and can be considered [[WP:DE|disruptive editing]]. Users who insist on a confrontational style marked by personal attacks are likely to become involved in the [[WP:DR|dispute resolution]] process, and may face serious consequences through [[WP:AP|arbitration]].
In extreme cases, even isolated personal attacks may lead to a [[WP:BLOCK|block]] for disruption. Death threats and issues of similar severity may result in a block ''without warning''. Lesser personal attacks often result in a warning, and a request to [[Wikipedia:Refactoring talk pages|refactor]]. If a pattern of lesser personal attacks continues despite the warning, escalating blocks may follow. However, administrators are cautioned that other resolutions are preferable to blocking for less-severe situations when it is unclear if the "conduct severely disrupts the project". Recurring attacks are proportionally more likely to be considered "disruption". Blocking for personal attacks should only be done for prevention, not punishment. A block may be warranted if it seems likely that the user will continue using personal attacks.