Wikipedia:Only Martians should edit
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
|This page in a nutshell: Third party editors can offer new perspectives on a dispute.|
It's well-established that "outsiders" often give fresher and more objective views of a topic than "insiders"; for example, Otto Jespersen, one of the greatest authorities on English grammar, was Danish-born with English his second language.
There are many situations involving edit warring or POV pushing involving highly partisan editors where it's blindingly obvious to an outsider that no-one with a direct involvement with the subject - whether "pro" or "anti" - can be trusted to bring even an approximately neutral viewpoint to their work.
Examples include strongly-divided local politics such as that of Saskatchewan; controversial religions and religious organisations where editors include both existing adherents and highly hostile ex-members / non-members; country/city naming disputes obviously polarised on nationalist lines; and deletion discussions similarly polarised by affiliation and often overt nepotism (for instance, when Ruritanian editors flock to vote "Keep" at deletion discussions for articles about borderline-notable Ruritanians).
In such circumstances, "only Martians should edit" would be a good rule. All involved parties should be banned from editing, and leave the work to uninvolved "Martian" editors who can view the subject as dispassionately as, say, a human writing about a Martian religion and the dispute within it as to whether the Venerators of the Cydonia Sandworm Cult was founded by Tharj the brood-sister of Thurj, or by Thurj the brood-sister of Tharj. Anyone who cannot view a religious or political dispute as essentially meaningless as this, to them personally, is not a Martian and should not be editing the topic.
The wide-ranging Digwuren arbitration decision, which allows rapid and stiff sanctions to be applied to anyone recognisably non-neutral and disruptive in a controversial topic area - in this case, Eastern Europe broadly defined - is a fine precedent.
Unfortunately, it's well-established in conflict of interest discussions that mere affiliation (e.g. being a member of a religion or organisation) is not sufficient grounds to make a conflict of interest call. It should be, given the abundant evidence of such affiliations being intractably associated with bias.
To sum up: if a topic is emotive within a particular cultural/regional group, it is far better for the neutrality and uncomplicated development of the article if members of that group avoid editing it.