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Before contributing to Powerbase
Before contributing to Powerbase, authors are required to read and understand the following pages in the Help section:
- Editorial policy (this page)
- Libel policy
- Guide to referencing
- Guide to sourcing
- Guide to tone
- How to start a page
- How to structure an article
Other pages in the Help section provide guidance on specific tasks such as uploading images, formatting, etc.
The Powerbase editorial process
While not all content in Powerbase is monitored, Powerbase editors do check and edit a selection of material. In many cases, articles will be edited to bring them into line with Powerbase policies without involving the author of an article. However, sometimes editors will contact an author via their talk page or via email with queries or issues that need to be addressed. Similarly, if an author is not following the Powerbase referencing, sourcing, or editorial guidelines, an editor will contact the author pointing this out.
- The aim of editors is to improve content on Powerbase so that it can stand as a trusted resource.
- Editors also contribute material which is in turn edited by others. Everyone's writing benefits from having an objective eye passed over it and no one is above being edited.
- The editor can be seen as the forerunner of the members of the public who will read Powerbase articles. If an editor can't understand something in an article, then there is a good chance that a member of the public will not understand it either.
- Authors are often experts on their subject, where an editor may not be. That is not, however, a reason to dismiss an editor's concerns. If an editor has a problem with an aspect of an article, this could be because the author has not laid out their knowledge or made their case in a way that takes the reader with them. In such cases, the above point applies.
- Authors are asked to briefly acknowledge or respond to the editor's queries and to act on them promptly where needed. This greatly improves the efficiency of the editing process. The editor will electronically 'sign' any message left on an author's talk page; to respond, the author can click on the signature link to get to the editor's talk page.
- Any editorial discussion should follow the rules of etiquette. Discussion should focus on the text of the article and not descend into personal criticism, judgments, or attacks.
- Powerbase talk pages should not be used to vent or to insult editors. Contributors who persist in a pattern of abusive or insulting behavior towards editors may be blocked.
- Authors are welcome to discuss with the editor any points raised about an article. Editing is partly a subjective process. An author may disagree with an editor's point and feel that there is a good reason why a part of an article should be a certain way. Often, a solution can be reached that everyone is happy with. However, any discussion of an article will result in an editorial decision. Editorial decisions are final and must be acted on.
Procedure for ensuring editorial standards
The procedure for ensuring editorial standards is as follows.
- On the first occasion that content deemed inappropriate (in terms of potential libel, tone, accuracy, referencing, sourcing, etc), the managing editor or a sysop will discuss with the user what the problem is in an attempt to resolve it.
- If that does not work or on a second occasion there is an issue, then the managing editor or sysop will issue a warning that particular specified edits are outside the editorial guidelines of Powerbase.
- On a third or further occasion, the user will be banned for a period or indefinitely.
- The user will have the right to appeal a banning decision to the Sysop, but decisions of the Sysop are final.
Who is allowed to contribute to Powerbase?
Powerbase monitors vested and conflicting interests, front groups and propaganda agencies. It is therefore Powerbase policy not to allow people to contribute or edit Powerbase articles about themselves or organisations with which they are affiliated as this can lead to conflicts of interest.
Powerbase is dedicated to upholding international law, universal human rights, social justice, and environmental protection. Powerbase opposes racism of every sort, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Powerbase is opposed to deception and in favour of transparency. Powerbase editors reserve the right to select contributors on the basis of these values.
While Powerbase editors recognise that different people will have different definitions of these concepts, the decision of Powerbase editors regarding who is invited to contribute to the site is final.
However, Powerbase is committed to ensuring accuracy of articles on the site. If a person believes that there are inaccuracies in a Powerbase article about themselves or a group with which they are affiliated, they are very welcome to email editor AT Powerbase.info with details and supporting documentation. Powerbase editors will be happy to amend articles in the interests of accuracy, fairness, or comprehensiveness.
If people who are not registered Powerbase Users want to contribute new or additional material for possible inclusion on the site, they are invited to send it, giving references and/or supplying supporting documentation, to: editor AT Powerbase.info. If Powerbase editors decide not to publish contributions, no discussion as to reasons will be entered into as this is too time-consuming.
Because only registered Users can contribute, Powerbase uses a light system of security.
These measures are as follows:
- Some registered Powerbase users have been given the status of "sysop," which enables them to block contributions from registered Users and to delete pages where appropriate.
- Sysops can also "protect" individual articles. A "protected" article can only be edited by other sysops.
- Any User, sysop or not, can "rollback" recent editorial changes made to an article by another User. To "rollback" an article means to return that article to the state it was in before the previous user began editing.
Security measures should be used sparingly. Blocking should be used: a) on the first offence if commercial spam is added to one or more articles; b) where the changes are of an editorial nature, only when a user has shown a pattern of inappropriate edits such as major unexplained edits. A single inappropriate edit may be simply a mistake or a learning experiment by a new user.
Most blocks should initially be for a period of 24 hours and stepped up if vandalism is repeated. (A block on an IP address has the potential to freeze out other innocent contributors from the same IP "catchment"). Longer IP blocks may be imposed when dealing with especially egregious cases of repeated abuse.
If spam or repeated vandalism is originating from a registered user a stricter response can be adopted without adversely affecting other contributors. Where a registered user is adding spam or has repeatedly vandalised a page they can be blocked for an indefinite period by setting the block period to "indefinite" (all lower case).
Managing Editor = Melissa Jones with responsibility for day to day overviews of the site and for gardening and maintaining the structure as well as libel and associated issues. Email: melissa.jones AT Powerbase.info, management AT Powerbase.info
Editor/Sysop = David Miller with ultimate editorial responsibility for content and for banning users and freezing pages. Email: sysop AT spinwatch.org
Webmaster = Bill Stevens with responsibility for technical issues
Portal/Category editors = responsible for upkeep of their main portal page and the categorisation and structure of the categories associated with the portal. Portal editors will also be the first port of call for queries about their portal and will deal with disputes, etc. as a first line of editorial control. If the problem is not resolved at this stage, then the managing editor and finally the sysop can be consulted.
- Alcohol = Claire Harkins
- Lobbying = Tamasin Cave
- Propaganda = David Miller
- Water = Tommy Kane and Kyle Mitchell
- Terror Expertise = Tom Mills
- Spooks = Tom Griffin
- MEPdia = William Dinan and Barçın Uluışık
- Northern Ireland = Tom Griffin
- Neocons = Tom Griffin
- Israel Lobby = Idrees Ahmad
- Nuclear = Andy Rowell
- Scotland = Will Dinan
- GM = Claire Robinson
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - Lynn Hill
Users who violate Powerbase policies
Users who violate any Powerbase policies or guidelines should expect their contributions to be edited or deleted by other users or editors, and security measures to be taken against them.