User:Akradecki/Admin coaching/Essjay neutrality

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This page is a copy of the text of the last revision of the deleted page User:Essjay/Neutrality. Although the page was deleted, the text was released under GFDL and it is a useful essay. It has been restored to aid in coaching this user. It may contain broken links as it previously resided in a framework of other pages and templates. Questions should be directed to me. ++Lar: t/c 01:58, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


Neutrality on controversial issues.

I maintain a strict policy of neutrality and non-intervention in controversial issues, with the exception of vandalism. This is not to be confused with NPOV: NPOV is about writing articles that do not endorse a particular viewpoint; my neutrality policy is about not intervening and/or not expressing a view in issues that are controversial on Wikipedia. (This may include user actions, policy proposals, etc.)

Where an issue is under heated discussion and/or controversy, be it:

I will not intervene. Most importantly, I will not intervene to use administrator powers, but more generally, I usually will not even comment on the subject. It is my desire to remain open and available to as much of the Wikipedia community as is possible, and I believe that this is best achieved by not polarizing individuals by becoming involved in disputes that are unlikely to be resolved by my intervention. Taking sides is rarely the answer. The obvious exception to this policy is RFAR, where my duties as an Arbitrator require me to take part in deciding controversial matters.

I am happy to advise any editor on Wikipedia policy, as well as what I would do in a similar situation. I am quick to suggest mediation, RfC, and RfAr where I believe they may be appropriate, and do so with the understanding that the advice is for all involved parties. Ergo, if I advise party A to file an RfC, it is because I believe an RfC is warranted, not because I am making any personal judgement against any other party. I generally avoid commenting in RfC's because of this policy. In the past, I did not intervene in issues that are the subject of a current mediation because of my duties as the Chair of the Mediation Commitee; my current position as an Arbitrator likewise prevents my involvement.

I do not edit controversial articles or controversial sections of otherwise uncontroversial articles. I am happy to offer expert testimony where it is warranted, and will do so without endorsing either position.

I retain the right, quite obviously, to ignore this policy at my discretion, as it is my personal policy. Further, this policy does not apply to vandalism or personal attacks. At my discretion, I will intervene in any situation where I observe personal attacks in order to:

  1. Advise the attacker against making further attacks.
  2. Defend the user being attacked against unfounded accusations.
  3. Block the attacking party if his/her attacks become a disruption of this site. Personal attack blocks are frequently controversial, but I reserve the right as an administrator to interpret the disruption provision of the blocking policy to include personal attacks.

Vandalism is the major exception to this policy. I believe that vandals should be immediately reverted, promptly warned, and swiftly blocked if they fail to heed warnings. I consider {{test4}} to be a final warning shot, and will issue a block on sight if I observe vandalism after such a warning. I will also issue a block, without warning, to any individual engaged in mass vandalism. Blocks against inappropriate usernames will be immediate and without warning. Any other vandal is subject to being warned and/or blocked subject to my judgment of the situation.

Vandals who believe they can evade blocking via multiple accounts or dynamic IPs will be checkusered without mercy and subjected to mass username blocking and IP rangeblocks if necessary.