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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. We aim to nip disruptive behaviors in the bud.

What behaviors are unprofessional?

Some offenses that will result in an immediate ban are:

  • 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 Moderator Group 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 Moderator Group.

If you are the "victim" of an unexplained reversion, the best way is not to revert back, but to notify management via the contact page--and let someone else intervene on your behalf. 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.

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. Remember that you can ask for help and advice via the contact page.

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