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CZ:Professionalism

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Citizendium is committed to professional behavior. For there to be efficient content output and motivated contributors it is crucial that we treat each other's work respectfully. Uncivil and disruptive behavior can result in banning. See Constabulary Blocking Procedures.

What behaviors are unprofessional?

Some "" offenses that will result in an immediate ban are:

  • Extremely offensive insults or personal attacks; direct and harsh attacks on the moral character, or personal or professional credibility, of a project member; or any application of particularly crude and vulgar epithets ("four letter words") to project members.
  • Threats, either of physical harm or of other egregious aggression, whether against an individual or a group of individuals.

"Offenses that will result in a warning first, then a ban" include:

  • Insults or personal attacks, on talk pages or other open forums, that are relatively mild, but are still objectionable because they impugn the character, or personal or professional credibility, of a project member.
  • Disrespectful characterization of others' work on talk pages or other open forums. Mere criticism of a position or a forceful reply is not disrespectful; objectionable language has an implication of personal criticism.
  • Talking to someone with disdain or disrespect, including ignoring the social norms of conversation. For example, referring to someone by their surname rather than their first name as is the norm in conversation on Citizendium.

Professionalism involves refraining from remarks that are inflammatory and are unlikely to lead to a constructive outcome. The Constabulary considers remarks inflammatory if any reasonable person would know that the remarks might provoke an acrimonious and unhelpful (e.g., off-topic) controversy— a pointless "flame war."

Reversion and deletion

To "revert" a page is to undo all the edits that someone else has made. Doing so without warning or explanation is unprofessional because it demonstrates contempt for the person whose work was undone. If you're tempted simply to revert what someone else has done, discussion on the talk page is warranted. Sometimes the polite way is to let the other person undo his or her own work, once a mistake is pointed out. Of course, vandalism and egregious abuse can be instantly reverted (without explanation) by anyone; put a brief note in the edit summary if this is the case, to draw the attention of the Constabulary.

If you are the "victim" of an unexplained reversion, the best way is not to revert back, but to e-mail constables@citizendium.org--and let the constables do it. This will help ensure that the offending behavior is not repeated. Deletion without explanation is unprofessional, and deletion of more than 50 words can result in a warning, followed by a ban. For you to delete, without a careful explanation, a paragraph that I have carefully crafted is to assert that my work was worthless, and that I am not even owed an explanation. That just isn't professional behavior.

Constabulary templates

We aim to nip incivility in the bud. Report any problems to the constables(a mail to constables@citizendium.org). They may replace uncivil remarks with the {{civil}} template, which reads:

Text here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds of civility. (The author may replace this template with an edited version of the original remarks.)

If you respond to poor behavior, please do so professionally. Do not "take the law into your own hands" by criticizing others for their poor behavior. Complaints, even perfectly justifiable complaints, may be replaced by constables with the {{nocomplaints}} template, which reads:

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail constables@citizendium.org. It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

Poor behavior can be avoided if we avoid saying things that are inflammatory. Such "flame bait," as it has been called elsewhere on the Internet, may be replaced by constables with the {{inflammatory}} template, which reads:

Text here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds that it is needlessly inflammatory. (The author may replace this template with an edited version of the original remarks.)

Unprofessional conversations may be replaced with {{freshstart}}, which reads:

The Constabulary has removed a conversation here that either in whole or in part did not meet Citizendium's Professionalism policy. Feel free to remove this template and take up the conversation with a fresh start.

Occasionally, innocent comments will be deleted in a "freshstart." We're sorry if this happens, but it's better than being choosy about what to delete and then having to defend the fairness of the choice. You can make the same points again (politely, of course), if you feel it's necessary.

How to criticize work without being rude

A rational criticism of the unacceptable work must be made, and an alternative offered--either in finished text or in an outlined plan. Explain what is wrong with bad text in objective terms. Do not characterize a position as "nonsense" or "ill-informed"; try to be constructive, and couch criticisms in a way less likely to provoke a defensive reaction.

If you think that some text should simply be removed, do not become abusive. Take it up with an editor or constable (see Article Deletion Policy to determine which).


Citizendium Constabulary
Professionalism | Constabulary Blocking Procedures | Article Deletion Policy
Application Review Procedure | Constabulary Policy | Help for Constables | Other
Home
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