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Conciliation is a proposal to be another step in the dispute resolution process that can resolve content disputes. Conciliation works when all parties in a dispute agree to use a conciliator, who meets with the parties separately at a "pre-caucus". At the pre-caucus, the conciliator discusses one-on-one with each party separately, where the party prioritizes a list from what is most important to least important to them. The purpose of the pre-caucus is to help each party release their pent up concerns enough to enable them to gain a broader perspective on the dispute. Then, the parties meet together at a "joint session". At the joint session, the parties discuss directly with each other, instead of through a mediator. Parties must be reminded that the conciliator is there to help the parties take responsibility for managing their own conflict, rather than to judge between the merits of the position of one party or the other.

Because the parties meet separately with a conciliator beforehand, they can release any emotional attachment and any concerns about the dispute, therefore, allowing the parties to focus on improving the content of the page at the joint session.

Also, if the parties will have ongoing interactions, conciliation allows the parties to become better negotiators, because the parties discuss directly with each other, they tend to deal more effectively with conflict in future disputes.

Conciliation can defer disputes from escalating to edit warring, administrative intervention or arbitration. The difference between conciliation and arbitration and mediation is explained below.


Conciliation differs from arbitration in that the conciliation process is not binding and the conciliator does not seek evidence or call witnesses and does not write a decision.

Conciliation differs from mediation in that the conciliation process is more open for parties to discuss and focuses on removing stress and concerns before discussing the dispute.


The entire process takes about 14 days because typically, editors get aggravated after disputing for an extended period of time without a resolution. While having an expedited process, the editors can carry on with their Wikipedia life and not have to worry about it thereafter. Conciliation would be a simple expedited process as follows:

  1. Request conciliation
    • A filing party requests conciliation
    • All parties agree to conciliation and the associated mandates of conciliation[1]
  2. Pre-caucus
    • The conciliator meets individually with each party to prioritize a list of what is most important to what is least important
    • The party releases any concerns to the conciliator
  3. Joint session
    • All the parties meet together after the conciliator is satisfied that all parties have no more concerns
    • The parties discuss directly with each other, while the conciliator monitors and makes reminders when necessary
    • The conciliation is either:
      • Open—when all parties are actively discussing
      • Closed—when all parties are not actively discussing

After a sustained period of time, the conciliation should be closed based on a competent decision of the conciliator. If the conciliator believes that the parties are not there to resolve the dispute, if the dispute has been resolved or if the dispute has gone stale, the conciliation should be closed.

A conciliator can be anyone with previous dispute resolution experience on Wikipedia. See this page for an example of what conciliation would look like.


  1. ^ Such as wanting to improve their conflict resolution skills and having better insight when dealing with disputes