CZ Talk:Policy on Topic Informants

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I cannot think of a worse name. Informant implies un-named and undercover-- a gangster who is in contact with a law enforcement officer, a member of the government who is in contact with a spy, a person leaking information to a reporter.

This is intended to be just the opposite--an objective analyst. If it is going to be under-cover, don't emphasize in in the name.

Informant" is the accepted term in human subjects research involving interviews. Stephen Ewen 00:33, 1 March 2007 (CST)
Even so, I gotta agree with the unnamed person above -- this is a *terrible* term! Hayford Peirce 16:49, 17 May 2007 (CDT)


I agree with almost all of this except "that if you aren't really a public figure, it should be up to you whether we have an article about you or not." .--unless you mean a public figure as anyone who has been the subject of several newspaper stories, or something similarly broad. I would hope ,for example, that we would have articles about all the members of the National Academy of Sciences. We needn't go into their personalities, but what is an encyclopedia for if not discussing scholarly work--whether or not they approve of the discussion. That is why we have real editors.DavidGoodman 00:02, 27 January 2007 (CST)

There is a "public figure" rule in U.S. libel law; those unfortunates (kidding -- I think it's good law) who fall into the class have much narrower protection than the random citizen against libel or invasion of privacy. Is the usage in this article the same one? Whatever the relation, it probably should be made explicit. Daniel Drake 03:09, 4 April 2007 (CDT)


"Members will be selected by sortition among volunteers" - COMMENT: is this meaning "volunteers for the Topic Informant Workgroup"?

"Workgroup members will serve yearlong terms" ADD: "that are renewable for up to [number] terms"? (This would better permit both stability and development of expertise).

The Citizendium will then:

  • link to these remarks from the relevant article pages
  • take these remarks very seriously, and, as appropriate, cite them

Definition of "topic informant." Persons who give interviews or remarks in this fashion are called topic informants. A person is considered a topic informant only if the Citizendium has published his or her remarks, with his or her permission.

COMMENT: Perhaps only those portions of a transcript with relevance to material cited should be published and linked to.

Also, this workgroup must obviously be exempt from no original research while interviewing topic informants.

Stephen Ewen 00:33, 1 March 2007 (CST)

Clarifications needed

(originally posted at User talk:Larry Sanger#Don't understand why Air Resources Laboratory should be in the CZ:Topic Informant Workgroup)

I just looked at the policy; most of it is written in a way which implies that articles are about living persons. It probably is a good idea to cover existing corporations, government agencies, and other legal persons, but the policy should be rewritten to make that more clear, and perhaps to discuss the ways where the policy needs to be applied differently for organizations than for people. Lastly, the CZ:Topic Informant Workgroup page should have a little more about the policy, not just a link to it. Anthony Argyriou 19:15, 4 February 2008 (CST)

Broken e-mail address for TI comments

The policy page suggests that people who have complaints or issues about a CZ article should write to a particular e-mail address. Unfortunately, if anyone writes to that e-mail address, they receive a rude automated response stating that they are "not allowed" to send mail there and that their reply has been "automatically rejected." Not very polite, eh? Here's what the page says:

Right of deletion. Therefore, unless a person is a well-known politician, celebrity, or other luminary, the subjects of biographies may, at the discretion of the Topic Informant Workgroup, request that any biographies we have of them--for example, those sourced from Wikipedia--be deleted. These requests may be made privately, by e-mail, directly to the workgroup,

But that's a lie. Mail to that address results in a robotic e-mail insult to the mailer. Please, somebody in the TI workgroup, fix it. Bruce M.Tindall 22:22, 17 April 2008 (CDT)