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CZ Talk:Moderator Policy

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Behavioral vs. editorial vs. blurred

As we've discusssed in various areas, there are a number of areas where there is some question if a matter if is behavioral or editorial. Some really do straddle the line. What is the best place to discuss these, especially if they may be issues that are relatively pressing in progressing?

Think of these as samples:

  • When moving or splitting articles, using subpages, etc., since clusters do not work in userspace, it can be very helpful to have a temporary hold on editing while the cluster features are being tested. This is not in any way intended to be a restriction on what can or cannot be in the content, but simply a means of change control where technical complexities exist. I could see asking, before the action, for a brief period of restriction on what are mostly mechanical processes of editing, as opposed to content of editing.
  • Certain markup features, such as text boxes and tables, are very easy to break during early article development with lots of collaborative editing. Tables and columns may be the only way to present numerical material and the like, but text boxes may be a visual flourish that interferes with collaboration.
  • Who has authority over workgroup assignments? What is the real meaning of the metadata field "editors asked to check categories"?
  • Where is the line between editor rulings of content fact, and the appropriateness of topics or means of argument in an article? Who and when can sourcing be challenged (and no, I'm not talking about Other Place style templates everywhere)?

Howard C. Berkowitz 03:29, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

  • When moving or splitting articles, using subpages, etc., since clusters do not work in userspace, it can be very helpful to have a temporary hold on editing while the cluster features are being tested. This is not in any way intended to be a restriction on what can or cannot be in the content, but simply a means of change control where technical complexities exist. I could see asking, before the action, for a brief period of restriction on what are mostly mechanical processes of editing, as opposed to content of editing.
Hi Howard, my gut reaction to this is that I really hate to stop any form of collaboration while the creative juices are flowing. In other words, I think we should do anything we can to solve the problem *before* we put a hold on an article, though I certainly wouldn't rule out doing it if we had to. I think if an editor wants to temporarily put a hold on an article, he should ask on the talk page. If there is a problem with a user who doesn't want to obige, then a constable can be called in assess the behavior. An author shouldn't really have the option to ask for a 'hold'. D. Matt Innis 03:46, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Certain markup features, such as text boxes and tables, are very easy to break during early article development with lots of collaborative editing. Tables and columns may be the only way to present numerical material and the like, but text boxes may be a visual flourish that interferes with collaboration.
As far as I see it, currently this is something that should be decided as a part of Citzendium style and needs to be handled by the Editorial process. Constables would then enforce their decision. D. Matt Innis 03:59, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Who has authority over workgroup assignments? What is the real meaning of the metadata field "editors asked to check categories"?
I agree this needs some clarifying. D. Matt Innis 04:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Where is the line between editor rulings of content fact, and the appropriateness of topics or means of argument in an article? Who and when can sourcing be challenged (and no, I'm not talking about Other Place style templates everywhere)?
My interpretation is that this is editorial. An author may make an initial query, and I would even allow a follow up or two if the editor was unable to satisfactorily answer the question, but arguing on the talk page (past this initial query), would risk crossing the 'impugning the credibility of a fellow contributer', so take it up the workgoup ladder and EIC or even through email. D. Matt Innis 04:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. The reason I think an author should be able to ask for a temporary hold, and I do mean a short time, is that the legitimate reason may be that he's trying to move text out of a main article and into a subpage. Even though someone thinks they see a flow problem, that's exactly what the author may be trying to fix, but if the text is changed before he can get it into the subpage, it starts being a version problem -- it could very well be that either the changes are going to be made by the subpage (or article) split, and, once they are made, the flow problem goes away. It can be more than just moving blocks of text, because moving into a subpage may require copy edit in the new context.
We can certainly bring this to the EC. Chris probably knows more about this than anything else. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:22, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
More about what? I may know less than you think, but probably have an opinion. Chris Day 06:02, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Monitoring of constables decisions

Ok, you can appeal a ban, but is there anyone who can be asked to monitor a constables omnipotent decisions on minor topics? Like adding the professional template thing in place of a users comments? I fail to see how my comment was unprofessional. Tom Kelly 00:58, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

As far as I know, your only recourse is to write a formal letter of complaint to the Constabulary at constables@citizendium.org. Constable Hayford Peirce 01:44, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
In the Charter draft, there certainly would be an appeal to the Management Council, which has the final authority over the rules to be enforced by the Constabulary. It might be possible to resolve them with mediation by the Ombudsman, although that role is in flux. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:33, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Deciding the best text here:

Under the Moving an article from mainspace I have removed this text since it has substantially and diametrically opposed context. Personally, there are times when moving the article to a subpage of the main article may be the best option, especially if removing from mainspace may stop collaboration altogether. What does everyone think is the way we should do it?

  • Do not use an article's /Draft space when removing articles to mainspace as this will complicate the subpages templates. Suggested subspace naming would be Article_name/Temporary.

Or

  • Do not use an article's /Draft space when removing articles to mainspace as this will complicate the subpages templates. If the article is substantially written by a single author, consider User: Username/Article_name. Do not move a controversial article to a nonstandard subpage in mainspace.

D. Matt Innis 19:26, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

While I'm not the best architectural authority of the subpage system, there is considerable argument against creating nonstandard subpages, even for such things as article-specific content. Larry, as far as I know, believes specialized content should go into /catalog. I confess to have done some content-specific things, such as an aliases page for Ho Chi Minh. My thinking was that needed constant availability, more than a catalog would give.
There is absolutely no precedent, or technical justification, for creating user-specific subpages. I suppose that if one had to do that, it might be /Signed Article. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:31, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
It's not so much to be user specific. For that, the constable should choose to move it to User space. This is for mainspace. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough. The purpose being that the constable has no idea which version contains content that should be included, so this allows both to develop under the pressure of mainspace until editors can resolve disputes. Yes, it is a new idea, but who says we have to keep repeating the same old groundhog's day.
Yes, the MC can deliberate all of these when they are elected. Hopefully, we'll have a little experience by that point. D. Matt Innis 19:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
But in the case at hand, two Editors were working with the situation and were utterly surprised by your moves. More generally, though, are you considering the problem that Google indexes mainspace? I simply do not see it as a Constabulary decision to fork articles, which is what this does. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:55, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I am counting on google to index the mainspace. This is what motivates the editors to the page. We've moved articles to user space and nothing else happens; they get no collaboration. But, we leave them in mainspace and editors can now see what each 'group' of authors are trying to say, but are getting edit conflicts and having their content removed before it is finished. Once both sides have had their say, then the editors can rectify the two.. and will be motivated to do that because they are both in mainspace.
Let me assure you that this is NOT meant for all cases. Only when the circumstances seem to say this is the way to handle it.
Consider if Homeopathy could have had two articles in mainspace and you were able to do your work without having to worry about someone changing it overnight. Then the editors can look at both articles and pick and choose what they want... but they need to do it fast, because it in mainspace. It's just another constable tool.
D. Matt Innis 20:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree that there is ever any justification for a constable to move an article in such a manner. If there is a 'revert war' going on, then by all means insist that the participants stop it. If there is a content dispute going on, involve an Editor. If someone wants to work on their own version of an article, *suggest* copying to sandbox. If the dispute is getting out of hand from a behavioral point of view and needs time to cool down, lock the page temporarily either for a couple of days or until an Editor makes a ruling. --Chris Key 20:33, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Given that many of the contributors to homeopathy were editors, I'm not sure that's a good example. Further, there's probably more words in the homeopathy talk page than in articles. I made my arguments principally on the Talk Page. Compared to Gareth and Dana, I made relatively few changes to the article proper.
Nowhere does Citizendium recognize "groups" of authors that can fork. There have been periodic discussions, on the Forum, of a controlled mechanism for forking, presumably still under Editors for each viewpoint. Again, in this case, two Editors were agreed there was a problem -- it wasn't a matter of "until the Editors pick and choose."
In a number of cases in the article at hand, I did less picking and choosing, in the sense of removing content, than adding sourced alternatives to things that were stated. The Author removed some of this alternative text, saying, after the fact, it was "opinion" or "irrelevant". There may have been a perception of ownership; I'm not a mindreader. The idea of "two groups", especially when one has Editors and one does not, is alien to CZ concepts of guidance. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:43, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

False information

Many of these policy pages do not seem to have been updated in over a year, despite Constabulary "policy" changing during that time, which makes some of the statements made on these policy pages false.

The Chief Constable appears to have modified the rules to say that email conversations are private except when emailing a Constable, at which point the Constabulary consider the email a public conversation and reserve the right to publish it. This rule modification appears only on a subpage of the Constabulary policy pages, and the only internal link to it is the one I just created - evidenced here. There is an external link to the page, which is described as a "guiding conversation", while the history of the page shows it was a conversation between the Chief Constable. A conversation is generally an exchange between two or more people, however a search of CZ and of the forum shows no such exchange regarding the notion of an email privacy waiver when contacting a Constable.

Why have these pages not been updated? What MC decision gave the Chief Constable the authority to alter the rules about emails? Why was the decision not published? Is this rule change potentially illegal, both in CZ terms under the Charter, and in reality where, we have heard, publishing others emails is not a good thing? David Finn 08:00, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi David, the CZ:Constabulary is the home page for the constabulary and the link is located to the left in the management section. It's been updated with the latest, including the links to the "guiding policies" that have been developed since the charter. Thanks for pointing out the fact that I have not added a link to the guiding conversations. I've remedied that. Obviously these aren't carved in stone and might even change. Note as Gareth eludes on the bottom of theCZ Talk:Constabulary/Policy decisions, these are what we'll go by until higher powers see fit to either alter them or sanction them.
I think you are right that people need to know the email rules. I'm generally pretty quick to let people know, and in fact thought you knew. I did look at your contributions and see that you were gone those three days that the policy was being discussed. Otherwise, I am sure you would have helped develop it. Regardless, we need to be able to make sure new people know that constabulary emails will be shared with the MC and ultimately could end up going public if someone wants to appeal a decision publicly.
I am open to suggestions. D. Matt Innis 03:27, 13 December 2011 (UTC)