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CZ:Managing Editor/2011/011 - Appeal by Howard Berkowitz against his block of May 21, 2011

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Statement of problem

Please be brief and specific in your request (polar questions are best) and add relevant links if available. Please state a time frame in which you expect a decision.

Howard C. Berkowitz requested by email to put up the following text here in his name, so as to appeal his block of May 21, 2011 --Daniel Mietchen 21:55, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Statement by Howard C. Berkowitz


I protest my banning from the Wiki and Forums. The core complaint is that I revealed the contents of an allegedly "private and personal" email, based on pre-Charter Constabulary Blocking Procedures. Note that the rule says "private and personal", not all email.

I state that blocking interferes severely with my ability to carry out Editorial Council and Editor functions, much less contributions to CZ.

As a compromise, I propose an agreement that I will not post email from a non-CZ address, but I will also continue trying to obtain changes in those Procedures, which tend to assume all email is under the privacy control of the sender. Unfortunately, this rule has been used to protect against violations of Charter Article 5:

Citizens shall act responsibly and in a civil manner: derogatory or offensive language or behavior will not be tolerated.

Derogatory and offensive language has been hidden in proceedings of the Editorial Council, with no way for the recipient to protest.

I contend that the email in question, although sent from a private address, was, in fact, official. It pertained to a matter in which, according to Charter Article 40.3,

All Citizens shall have the right to a fair hearing, which shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following: the opportunity to present one's case in one's defense, the right to be heard by a fair and unprejudiced body, the right to have others offer testimony on one's behalf.

The email in question was from the Secretary of the Editorial Council to all other members of the EC, and no one else. I believe that defines it as official, having been sent in an official role. Previously, I had protested the use of private email, or at least an agreement to release such email; my position consistently has been that all matters in the proceedings against me should be public (i.e., on the EC wiki). While there had been superficial agreement, things continued to come by email, especially from the Secretary, which, sometimes scathingly, rejected my rights to a fair hearing. I am in the situation, however, where I can’t defend myself because the evidence is blocked from being released. As you know, the name of the accuser that started these proceedings has been kept confidential.

Is this, in the language of Article 24,

The Citizendium shall be devoted to transparent and fair governance

Remember that Article 11 says

Biased Officers and Editors shall recuse themselves from their official positions in any dispute resolution process.

yet the Secretary of the Editorial Council presides over the hearing, although he has originated numerous complaints against me and consistently has taken an adversarial position. Again, I cannot present email that substantiates many of my claims.


Howard C. Berkowitz

Statement by the Chief Constable

Formal restatement of problem

This section defines the section structure of the decision.

A Citizen appeals a decision of the Constabulary.

Existing applicable policy


  • Article 38.4: Any act of the Constables may be appealed to the Management Council.

Decisions by the governing bodies

Pre-Charter policy

Draft decision

The text below is what I plan to decide in this case. Feel free to edit the text if you think this improves it. If your edits require discussion, please use the dedicated section below. Editing and discussion in this "Draft decision" section shall stop 24h after my last edit to it.'

Discussion of Draft decision

When reading or editing this section, please keep in mind that the current version of the draft decision might be different from the one referred to by previous commenters.


I am referring this appeal to the Management Council.

--Daniel Mietchen 20:19, 29 May 2011 (UTC) as CZ:Managing Editor

The formal referral is here. --Daniel Mietchen 20:25, 29 May 2011 (UTC)