A disruptive user is a Wikipedia user who, while not vandalising articles or engaging in "bannable actions" (such as death or legal threats) engages in behavior which is unacceptable for Wikipedia and causes a disruption. A disruptive user is primarily someone who is not attacking an article per se, but rather a user associated with the article. There is a fine line on Wikipedia between users offering critical analysis and advice on other users and their work, and people simply attacking other users and articles without warrant or cause.
The following items are some examples which would make someone a disruptive user:
- Creating disturbances on featured article candidate pages, e.g. objecting just to object
- Continuously listing articles at Articles for deletion as an attempt to insult those who have worked on or contributed to the pieces
- Calling users names or referring to articles that the user has worked on in a derogatory manner
- Posting rumors or lies about other Wikipedia users, such as false accusations of vandalism
- Leaving hostile messages on a user's talk page, or attacking a user for items discussed with a third party on their talk page
Disruptive users are perhaps easy to define but difficult to deal with, as the actions of the user may not qualify as a personal attack or vandalism. Those suspected of being the target of a disruptive user may engage in one of several options, including contacting the user with questions, attempting to end the disruptive situation. Disruptive users may also be reported on the administrators' noticeboard or, in the more extreme cases, the Requests for comment page. In all cases of disruptive users, dispute resolution should always be attempted; however some user with personal grudges may very well ignore these efforts.