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CZ:Managing Editor/2010/005 - Editorial guidance for the WikiLeaks article

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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.

The article WikiLeaks needs editorial guidance in light of disagreements between two Editors. Both the Managing Editor and the Ombudsman have been invited to intervene. --Daniel Mietchen 15:59, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

A long-standing CZ Politics Editor asked an editor acting as author on the article WikiLeaks to deal with the lack of neutrality, weak coverage, ethnocentrism and other serious problems on the article. The author refused to discuss anything at all and demanded that the editor write on the article (which would disqualify him from acting only as editor). The principal question is why CZ allows editors to act as editors of their own articles, and then refuse to engage in discussion about content with other senior editors. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 18:30, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Preface: my main computer is down, and I'm writing this from the public library so don't have all my notes.
This is a misstatement, and from an individual with a clear personal animus who selectively attacks my articles. It is also a misstatement to say that an Editor cannot make judgments or rulings on an article while the article is developing; it is correct only to say an Editor cannot nominate, by himself, an article for Approval.
In this case, I have asked for specifics beyond "violate neutrality" and emotional words such as "outrageous". I have suggested, on the talk page, that the topic is sufficiently broad that it is best covered with several articles, as well as updates to existing articles. I shall prepare an outline proposing such articles, since the objecting person actually made no proposals on the talk page. It appears he wants veto powers, but, so far, has not actually proposed a better alternative. I would also note that this is not a Politics article alone, but has significant Computers (Internet governance, etc. and Military aspects -- the latter especially since Wikileaks did not start with the most recent diplomatic disclosures, but has been making military disclosures since 2006-2007. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:06, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I shall ask the Constabulary to delete your allegation of personal animus when clearly the issue is the low quality of the article in question. My requests to discuss the content and structure of the article were ignored, and it was made clear to me that you had no intention of listening to the advice of someone trained in political science (instead claiming your own status as equal). Martin Baldwin-Edwards 20:40, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Formal restatement of problem

This section defines the section structure of the decision.

Existing applicable policy


  • Article 15: Editors shall assure the quality of the Citizendium's approved content. They shall review and evaluate articles and shall have the right to
  1. approve high-quality articles that treat their topic adequately;
  2. resolve disputes over specific content matters when requested;
  3. enforce style and content guidelines as established by the Editorial Council; and
  4. identify for discussion incorrect or poorly presented content.
  • Article 40: Whenever possible, disputes shall be settled informally at the lowest possible level by subject matter Editors. Specifically, the following shall apply:
  1. Any party involved in a dispute may contact the Ombudsman for assistance in dispute resolution.
  2. When a formal decision is necessary or demanded, the Ombudsman shall facilitate the presentation of the issue to the appropriate body — Editorial Council for content disputes, Management Council for disputes involving violation of the rules.
  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.
  4. The Editorial Council and the Management Council may impose sanctions that result in blocking a citizen's access to Citizendium, removing or altering content, or terminating the citizen. The Management Council and Editorial Council may from time to time devise additional sanctions as appropriate.
  5. Citizens shall not have arbitrary or excessive sanctions imposed upon them.

Decisions by the governing bodies

Auxiliary 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.


The case is now before the Editorial Council. --Daniel Mietchen 21:49, 9 December 2010 (UTC)