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CZ Talk:Professionalism

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Redacted

what on earth does redacted mean!. why not removed? David Tribe 20:25, 9 March 2007 (CST) that is diversion laddie, you say A mean B and have done it before someone figures out what. laderon chum, Robert Tito | Talk

"Redacted" redacted. --Larry Sanger 10:42, 11 March 2007 (CDT)

Formatting

Is there a template for a dashed-outlined box with a grey background to denote a block of text? I would be tempted to use that for the template quotes instead of just italicizing them, followed with a line.--Robert W King 14:42, 7 May 2007 (CDT)

Professionalism--what is it?

This section was drafted by Nancy Sculerati--thanks! --Larry Sanger 10:42, 11 March 2007 (CDT)

This is a very exciting policy direction, over "civility". "Professionalism" is a much richer concept in which to capture the ethos to which we strive. Stephen Ewen 19:57, 11 March 2007 (CDT)
I'd still like to see the template worded something like "Text here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds of unprofessional conduct.' - Stephen Ewen 20:03, 11 March 2007 (CDT)

I'm just imagining how that's going to be received by people. It's one thing to be accused of "uncivil" conduct; that's something that everyone understands. It means, basically, acting rudely or impolitely. When people act that way, it's often hard to deny that they've acted that way. But to be accused of "unprofessional conduct" is much more vague, and not only accuses a person of being rude (maybe!), but of not being up to the standards of a profession, which basically adds insult to injury. It is a good idea to encourage people to act professionally. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea to use "unprofessional" as a blanket description of objectionable conduct. That's how I see it anyway. --Larry Sanger 21:39, 11 March 2007 (CDT)

...and not only accuses a person of being rude (maybe!), but of not being up to the standards of a profession. Yes, that seems very clear now. I can see how the two could be muddled. I therefore concede the matter. Stephen Ewen 03:50, 12 March 2007 (CDT)

Comments about the section on reversion

To "revert" a page is simply to undo all the edits that someone else has made, without warning or explanation.

On Wikipedia, a revert is a revert regardless of whether a warning or explanation was given. This section implies that Citizendium defines the term differently. It seems like it will result in confusion if CZ is using the same term of art to mean something similar but different from its use on another prominent wiki.

Also, it's not clear what the standards are for an "explanation". The text that follows implies that this means a discussion on the article's talk page. However, a brief explanation can be given in the edit summary instead. Is that considered acceptable. Actually, I would say that any rollback or deletion of text—even vandalism—should have an explanation of some kind; it's just a matter of how detailed it needs to be.

If you find yourself the "victim" of an unexplained reversion, the best way forward is not to revert back, but to e-mail constables@citizendium.org--and let the constables do it.

Is this really necessary? On a wiki, if something needs to be fixed, is it really necessary for people to contact the administration to do it? Certainly, the constabulary should be involved in any kind of acrimonious or persistent conflict, but, as a first measure, it seems a lot simpler for any user to undo a bad revert.

Wikipedians note: needless to say, the Wikipedia "three revert rule" is not in effect here.

It's not clear to me why this is "needless to say". The idea is that Citizendium has a "zero revert rule"? But Citizendium seems to be using a different definition of "revert", which confounds comparisons. Wikipedia's three revert rules cover cases where edits are undone even after warnings and discussions—even when there is voluminous discussion. How will Citizendium treat cases like those?

Similarly, deletion of others' work without explanation is clearly unprofessional, and deletion of more than 50 words can result in a warning, followed by a ban.

Given the caveat that this covers only deletions without explanation, this passage seems basically reasonable. However, I wonder if "a warning, followed by a ban" will end up being too strong a response in some cases (the wording here makes it unclear whether the ban will follow only after multiple infractions—two?). What if someone adds more than 50 words that detract from the article without being vandalism—including, perhaps, a combination of stylistic errors, dubious factual claims, tendentious POV, etc.—and then somebody else removes it without giving much of an explanation. Does one editor deserve a warning or a block more than the other? I don't like to see rules in place which make easier to add bad material than to remove it. However, if the constabulary exercises some general common sense, this probably won't become a problem?—Nat Krause 18:00, 20 March 2007 (CDT)

Reply

Nat, we really will be doing things differently here than on Wikipedia. And that's with full awareness of and preference for the difference.

To "revert" a page is simply to undo all the edits that someone else has made, without warning or explanation.
On Wikipedia, a revert is a revert regardless of whether a warning or explanation was given. This section implies that Citizendium defines the term differently. It seems like it will result in confusion if CZ is using the same term of art to mean something similar but different from its use on another prominent wiki.

We might use all sorts of terms differently from Wikipedia--we will not take our cues from Wikipedia--but in this case, you have simply caught an example of carelessness, which I've fixed.

Also, it's not clear what the standards are for an "explanation". The text that follows implies that this means a discussion on the article's talk page. However, a brief explanation can be given in the edit summary instead. Is that considered acceptable. Actually, I would say that any rollback or deletion of text—even vandalism—should have an explanation of some kind; it's just a matter of how detailed it needs to be.

It's not clear what the standards are because we haven't stated them. There are many things we haven't stated. We'll try to be reasonable when applying rules, particularly for the first time.

No, I would say that a brief explanation in the edit summary is definitely not acceptable, for the simple reason that many of our contributors won't know to look there, as you and I might. Moreover, probably, the amount of content you can fit reasonably into that line will not be enough to explain most reversions, anyway.

If you find yourself the "victim" of an unexplained reversion, the best way forward is not to revert back, but to e-mail constables@citizendium.org--and let the constables do it.
Is this really necessary? On a wiki, if something needs to be fixed, is it really necessary for people to contact the administration to do it? Certainly, the constabulary should be involved in any kind of acrimonious or persistent conflict, but, as a first measure, it seems a lot simpler for any user to undo a bad revert.

My sense of the Constabulary is that we generally take the view that behavioral problems need to be nipped in the bud. People are very rarely perfectly sanguine about having to "revert back." A single reversion is a shot across the bow, and reverting back essentially means engaging the dispute: whether or not it's acrimonious, it's a breach of the peace, and the role of the Constabulary is to ensure that the project remain peaceful. We're going to--in fact, we already do--have higher standards than Wikipedia.

Note that the Constabulary doesn't actually need to do any reversion: they aren't editors and aren't responsible for making editorial decisions. They aren't Wikipedia administrators. Their concern here is that polite communication be used.

Wikipedians note: needless to say, the Wikipedia "three revert rule" is not in effect here.
It's not clear to me why this is "needless to say". The idea is that Citizendium has a "zero revert rule"? But Citizendium seems to be using a different definition of "revert", which confounds comparisons. Wikipedia's three revert rules cover cases where edits are undone even after warnings and discussions—even when there is voluminous discussion. How will Citizendium treat cases like those?

It's needless to say because, indeed, we have a "zero [unexplained] revert rule." If anything gets past one revert and one counter-revert, editors are enlisted to try to settle matters, or (more likely) the disputants come to a compromise or somebody backs down. Nobody takes further unilateral action.

Anyway, I'll remove the offending phrase.  :-)

Similarly, deletion of others' work without explanation is clearly unprofessional, and deletion of more than 50 words can result in a warning, followed by a ban.
Given the caveat that this covers only deletions without explanation, this passage seems basically reasonable. However, I wonder if "a warning, followed by a ban" will end up being too strong a response in some cases (the wording here makes it unclear whether the ban will follow only after multiple infractions—two?). What if someone adds more than 50 words that detract from the article without being vandalism—including, perhaps, a combination of stylistic errors, dubious factual claims, tendentious POV, etc.—and then somebody else removes it without giving much of an explanation. Does one editor deserve a warning or a block more than the other? I don't like to see rules in place which make easier to add bad material than to remove it. However, if the constabulary exercises some general common sense, this probably won't become a problem?

Glad you find the passage reasonable, Nat, because it's what we'll be holding all Citizens to, you and me included. Sometimes, exactly two violations will result in a ban--when the violations are really egregious, say, and it's clear that the violator understood the rules even before the first violation. We do take our rules seriously. But in most cases, it will take more than two violations.

As to whether someone can remove more than 50 words of offending text without explanation really does depend on the text. If it's sheer vandalism, then of course it's all right for anyone to remove it. Moreover, if it's obviously a biased screed, then again, reverting is fine. But even in these cases, an explanation is recommended. Even the Constabulary should give an adequate explanation of why something is removed, even in such cases--even if to say, "seriously biased text".

If your reaction to this is to say, "Well then we'll be explaining constantly why we remove all sorts of nonsense," then again I say that you have us confused with Wikipedia. If anyone does in fact add such material that is so obviously contrary to the rules that you feel an explanation for removing it is unnecessary, then the Constabulary has the duty to warn or ban the person for adding the material in the first place (see Constabulary Blocking Procedures). You won't have to deal with the person for long. We simply have no tolerance for abuse of the system, as people do on Wikipedia.

It wasn't always so bad on Wikipedia, by the way. In the first six or nine months, it wasn't that different from CZ.

Minor point--"POV" has no meaning on the Citizendium. The perfectly good English word is "bias." Similarly, Neutrality Policy will not be known as "NPOV".

--Larry Sanger 18:53, 20 March 2007 (CDT)

Professionalism vs. Factual Errors

How best does one professional counter factual errors by another professional? How best does one professional deal with another professional who selectively quotes sources to reflect a certain POV? Will Nesbitt 11:46, 12 July 2007 (CDT)

Will, this is not the place to continue that issue. I recommend that you contact the constabulary. --Robert W King 11:46, 12 July 2007 (CDT)
In short, by calling in a more authoritative party or body to arbitrate. A Judicial Board will be set up soon as the final arbitrator within CZ, see here. Is there something someone needs assistance with now?  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 13:05, 12 July 2007 (CDT)

I'm not continuing any issue. I'm just trying to understand how the system works.

So if you dispute a fact, you need contact a Judicial Board? That sounds pretty weighty.

I don't think there is anything which currently needs assistance. I'm just politely trying to understand dispute resolution. I understand that in a text based forum it's sometimes difficult to sense motives and emotions. Will Nesbitt 13:33, 12 July 2007 (CDT)

Judicial Board is the last resort! Here are prior steps: CZ:Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians#Handling content disputes without .22edit_warring.22.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 14:51, 12 July 2007 (CDT)