Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Archive 12

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Two new requests for comment regarding the Arbitration Committee

I've started two new requests for comment regarding the Arbitration Committee:

The intent of these requests is to solicit community feedback regarding potential improvements to the arbitration process. Input from anyone with an interest in arbitration or the Committee's work would be very appreciated! Kirill [talk] 20:34, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Which Arbs are checkusers? And shouldn't the two roles be completely separate? Rich Farmbrough, 00:58, 27 May 2012 (UTC).


  • AGK
  • Casliber
  • Courcelles
  • David Fuchs
  • Elen of the Roads
  • Hersfold
  • Jclemens
  • Kirill Lokshin
  • Newyorkbrad
  • PhilKnight
  • Risker
  • Roger Davies
  • SilkTork
  • SirFozzie
  • Xeno

and clerk

  • Salvio giuliano

Is this a clean sweep? Arbs should not have check-user power, nor should clerks, separation of powers is vital. Where's the accountability? Rich Farmbrough, 01:03, 27 May 2012 (UTC).

I have to admit that I don't personally think that there shouldn't be some arbs with checkuser but this does seem to be stacking the deck a bit. If all the arbs are busy who's doing checkuser? Kumioko (talk) 01:08, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are other checkusers. But the reason that Arbs should not have checkuser is the temptation to go on fishing trips. We have seen them manufacture their own evidence already. If they think there is grounds for a checkuser, they should request it, clearly and above board, and what is more, be prepared to be turned down by a principled checkuser. According to leaked ArbCom mailing list mails this is how it used to work. It's basic checks and balances. Rich Farmbrough, 01:16, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
I'd encourage you to go read up on the history of the privilege, how it's granted, and who is responsible to the WMF and the community for its appropriate use. Jclemens (talk) 01:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those with power seldom want to relinquish it. I tend to agree with Rich although I could see some of the committee having it. It does seem to be a bit of a COI. Kumioko (talk) 01:37, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that there is too great an overlap between Arbs and Checkusers. The heart of the problem is that the checkusers are explicitly bound to the WMF privacy policy with respect the private data they obtain in the role of Checkuser, and the Arbs are not bound explicitly. Indeed, the arbs are proven leaky. Does this mean that arbcom is a leaky hole into Checkuser business? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:42, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Summary: ArbCom dish out the privilege. Mainly to themselves and clerks. The log is available only to people appointed by Arbcom - i.e. zero oversight. Rich Farmbrough, 02:16, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
Mainly? Who else has it? Jimbo aside, there are a few others who have it too, for umm, "historical reasons", right? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:23, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep, Alison is of course the famous checkuser, Amalthea I'd trust with anything, and there's some other long-serving names. I note that Salvio is listed as Audit subcommittee which seems incompatible with clerking. My head hurts there's so much wrong here. Rich Farmbrough, 02:29, 27 May 2012 (UTC).Note:Salvio resigned his clerkship in March.
The question is, was there some community discussion that concluded that checkuser should be allocated in this way? If not, should we be asking Jimbo why this is the case, not asking here? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:41, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think "it seemed like a good idea at the time". I've found the stats (and also that Fluffernutter is an over sighter which explains his agency capture, recently showing up in RFA) There are clearly far too many checkusers going on (4-5000 per month), and probably too many oversights (4-500). Rich Farmbrough, 02:45, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
WHAT?!? Please tell me that's a typo. If there were twenty people with checkuser ability, they would need to be doing around ten checkusers per day, each, to reach those figures. Considering plenty of arbs are inactive for most of the time, this indicates some of the people with checkuser are doing several dozen per day - every single day! --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:53, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hundreds of checkuser queries per day! There's no way that so many are being watched. And are the results being recorded? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:58, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a log, but only checkusers can see it. Rich Farmbrough, 04:22, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
I sure hope thats a typo cause thats a scary number. Kumioko (talk) 03:09, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The logs on checkuser use take a query everytime you pull a little more data. As an example, having identified an account suspected of being serial sockmaster A, I pull the account's IP addresses. There are four. I pull edits from those. Seeing suspicious activity on three, I pull the user report for those IP's, which doesn't tell me anything new, it is just easier to read. I find five potential sleepers,so pull their IP's, and if any new IP's come up, pull the edits from those IP's. I may also pull data on a range, to check if hardblocking ti is possible, or would make a mess. This would be bog standard for just one sockpuppet; between 13 and 20 logged checks, all separate log entries. If it was a moderately complicated SPI, running 30 to 50 logged checks wouldn't be difficult or uncommon. I don't know the number of checks ran a month, but 4,000 would hardly imply 4,000 separate trips into the checkuser interface. A good example might be deleting a PROD'ed article with a talk page and a dozen redirects pointing there, all with talk page redirects. Cleaning it up will require 26 logged deletions, but only one actual "decision", the rest are just log clutter to get the job done. Courcelles 04:58, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Let's get some facts on the page here, please. First off, the English wikipedia checkuser policy is derived directly from the global checkuser policy, which specifically dictates that Arbcoms are the appointing bodies on projects that have an Arbcom. Secondly, arbitrators are shown on the list of checkusers because the nature of their duties require them to sometimes *see* checkuser data, whether or not they actively do checks themselves; users have the right to know who could potentially access this information. It is rather sad how many cases involve allegations of sockpuppetry; and the vast majority of unblock/unban requests that Arbcom deals with also involve allegations of socking. Some members of the committee also sit on the Audit Subcommittee and thus need access to the tool (they cannot see logs or verify results without access), and the community representatives on the AUSC also have the same level of access. The Committee, as the appointing body, has a fiduciary duty to monitor the use of the tools, and thus the arbitrators who are tasked to that function also need access. And like any tool, it requires experience to develop the necessary skill level to be able to teach the full range of skills to others. You will note in the regularly updated statistics that many arbitrators use these tools very infrequently; others are quite active at the SPI pages and the results of their work are publicly available. A few others work closely with the global checkusers, assisting in tracking down cross-wiki vandals and sockpuppeters (part of the reason for the high number of checks carried out).

    The same principles apply to oversight. Of note, Fluffernutter was appointed as an oversighter before Courcelles was a member of Arbcom.

    Of note, the Committee does recognize that there is a need for more non-arbitrator checkusers and oversighters (particularly oversighters), based on the recent statistical information, and we are preparing to invite self-nominations from community members. Candidates do not need to be administrators — all of the tools needed to operate either the Checkuser tool or the oversight tool are encapsulated within the permission — but must meet the WMF requirements for access, be vetted by Arbcom, and those who pass vetting must participate in a community discussion of their candidacy, prior to appointment. Risker (talk) 03:15, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you Risker, that was a very good explanation and I personally feel much better about it now that I understand it better. Kumioko (talk) 03:21, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not. I'm asking more questions. Having any arbs on the subcommittee is a bad idea. Having access is not the same as using the tool.
You say "Fluffernutter was appointed as an oversighter before Courcelles was a member of Arbcom." what has that got to do with anything? Have we stumbled on something else we should be told?
I went to SPI to look at the level of traffic, and found Jclemens doing some very strange things with respect to Mathsci - and invoking Arb privilege. I'm not sure there is any such privilege,
The best practice guidelines that have been written seem to be a secret document.
I find I made an enquiry in September of last year about the accountability of checkusers and oversighters - there has been some reporting of the results of complaints since, but there is still no real accountability. I don't count accountability to people ArbCom themselves appoint.
Rich Farmbrough, 04:22, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
If you think I've done anything improper in MathSci's recent SPI, you're welcome to request the Audit Subcommittee look into it, and I will be recused in that proceeding and removed from the deliberations... for all of about 5 minutes, which is all it will take to review the checkuser logs, which will show that I haven't ever run a Checkuser on Mathsci. What you may be referring to is that MathSci was recently admonished for battlefield conduct, and what Mathsci did on that page was revert an edit (by a sockpuppet, ironically) which argued rather convincingly that Mathsci had been keeping an alternate account, obfuscating links while still arguing that he met the definition of disclosure, and was using it to store evidence in violation of WP:UP#POLEMIC and relevant R&I remedies. Since he was recently admonished for WP:BATTLEFIELD conduct in the R&I case review, the SPI is relevant in sanctions which may be forthcoming from the committee for this abuse of multiple accounts. Jclemens (talk) 04:39, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's hard to see how any of that would help the encyclopedia. Johnuniq (talk) 04:44, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I see is Mathsci being abused by a serial sock of a banned user. I am not suggesting abuse of check user here, what I am suggesting is that Mathsci is well within community consensus to revert the sock of a banned user, and that it is not BATTLEFIELD behaviour. On the contrary supporting the sock of the banned user, which you seem to be doing, is surprising behaviour for an admin let alone an Arb. Moreover you are being very combative with other editors on that page. Rich Farmbrough, 05:38, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
Why should Jclemens run a checkuser on a legitimate declared account? The community banned user Echigo mole had in any case not requested a checkuser through his sockpuppet Jello carotids. Jclemens put a checkuser block on the SPI case which multiple administrators later declared to be invalid since no checkuser had been requested. Jclemens also fully protected two pages on a declared alternative account. Irrespective of Jclemens' protection, the two pages were later deleted by MastCell following my request and the SPI case was closed with no action. Several administrators remarked that Jclemens' actions were an inapproriate use of authority. He has also been trouted for enabling a serial wikihounder and sockpuppeteer, now community banned. In future hopefully Jclemens will think twice about extending more good faith to editors site-banned by the arbitration committee or banned by the community than to established editors in good standing. Jclemens should accept his trouting honourably like a gentleman instead of continuing to make unsupported allegations. They fly in the face of what other experienced administrators have already said in two different SPIs requested by two different socks of Echigo mole (the first by Southend sofa). Perhaps Jclemens is upset that the proxy-editing of his former wiki-friends has now resulted in new sanctions. The only way I knew how to show that proxy-editing occurred was by meticulously gathering diffs in userspace prior to repeatedly reviewing them (something only possible on wikipedia), selecting them and composing terse linking prose. Trusted arbitrators such as Newyorkbrad and Casliber were informed at a a very early stage that I was preparing such evidence, which was not easy and very time-consuming. At no stage did I suggest any bans or topic bans, in fact quite the contrary, I suggested that all the original topic bans be lifted. Mathsci (talk) 08:31, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(od) Another fact to get straight is that Salvio is no longer a clerk. He resigned as a clerk when he was appointed to the Audit Subcommitee, and was given the advanced permissions in order to carry out his duties as an Audit Subcomittee member. Alexandr Dmitri (talk) 11:57, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Rich, have you really only just noticed that all the Arbs have the OS/CU bits? Arbitrators are elected on the understanding that they have access to the oversight and checkuser tools - that's why they have to identify to the WMF. It was a massive issue two years ago when Giano ran, because he said he would not identify, and there was an enormous debate about it. We are required to meet the same privacy standards as other CUs when using the tool, and only have access to Wikipedia data. Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:52, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Your capacity for stating the obvious has not dimmed. I wonder if you can see why this is a bad thing? Rich Farmbrough, 21:28, 27 May 2012 (UTC).
I'm afraid I absolutely cannot see why this is a bad thing. As I said, Arbitrators are elected on the understanding that they will have access to these tools, in line with the Foundation's privacy policy. You seem to be arguing like you're surprised that the librarians have access to the stack. Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:55, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no objection to librarians having access to the stacks. However librarians have been some of the biggest book-thieves on record. I would strongly object to librarians not having to check books out to borrow them. Moreover I would object to librarians conducting secret book-burning parties to protect teh rest of us from offensive content (though this too has happened). Rich Farmbrough, 18:54, 28 May 2012 (UTC).
Just because that is how something has "always" been done, or it is how someone else does it, does not mean it is a good thing. For example search warrents need judicial oversight, though the police have argued for chief constables to be allowed to authorise them. This is like a judge signing a search warrant, going into someone's house, then burning the warrant afterwards. Fine for Judge Dee but not for a modern accountable organization. Rich Farmbrough, 18:54, 28 May 2012 (UTC).
Nice. Rich Farmbrough, 09:46, 27 May 2012 (UTC).

The "5000 checks per month" is a bit misleading. For example, were I to check an account, it would show up as at least two checks in the log, possibly many more than that. For example, were I to do a thorough check of myself, it would show up as 13 checks in the log. Even then, it's sometimes necessary to re-check something you've already checked, adding even more checks into the log. So, to state it generally, the number of checks in the log is much larger than the actual number of accounts being checked. --(ʞɿɐʇ) ɐuɐʞsǝp 12:08, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Yaratam/Archive alone probably generated over 100 checks.Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:44, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes Elen 6 people have explained that. Though why a thorough check of yourself would show 13 checks you might care to explain. The point is we have no idea how the power is being used. Is it 80% SPI, 20% global checks? 20% SPI 80% "just thought I should check that" checks? Who is working with Global, who is working solely on SPI? Can we spare Arb time to support WMF or should we ask them to fund staff? Rich Farmbrough, 19:06, 28 May 2012 (UTC).
Rich, it takes 13 checks because there are different modes to CU and usually it involves checking a few dynamic ranges, which cant be done in 1 check. Your right that we dont know what CUs check, and if we did we would be breaking the privacy policy because the IPs checked zre logged also. so if a CU runs a check on a user, then the ip, and makes a comment about two accounts being related all in the same time frame, not only do we have their IP, but where they live and other relevant data. I encourage you to look at the Audit subcommittee page which handles any community concern about abuse of the tool. No one CU works on SPI soley. Ive talked to CUs in all different forms. A SPI does not need to be filled to run a CU. There is also ACC and UTRS. and to count which processes use how many checks is a logistical nightmare. There are also issues with staff running community related CUs. I wont go into that too detailed as im not sure what your specifically asking and i need to double check my answers. -- DQ (ʞlɐʇ) 17:35, 29 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I remind the committee that I am still awaiting response to my email of 1:07am 27th May 2012. I mean here the "it has been forwarded to the list" response, not actual replies. Rich Farmbrough, 20:45, 28 May 2012 (UTC).

Problems contacting you?

I tried emailing you a short time ago but got back the error message:
  Message rejected for privacy protection: The list of recipients contains both private and public mail lists
  Message rejected for privacy protection: The list of recipients contains both private and public mail lists

What's up with this? Prioryman (talk) 06:36, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mailman doesn't accept messages addressed to two lists. You need to send the message separately to each list.  Roger Davies talk 07:36, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh OK, thanks. I've sent it separately to arbcom-l, so perhaps you could confirm whether you got it? Prioryman (talk) 07:37, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, got it.  Roger Davies talk 07:43, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the confirmation. Prioryman (talk) 07:46, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Annoying bug, not much we can do about it, though. Mailman will even send it all back if you're subscribed to both lists... Courcelles 16:30, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jack Merridew

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Jack Merridew, who has a long history of sockpuppeting and harassing others, was previously limited by the arbitration committee to editing with one account.

During the last Merridew sockpuppet roundup a few weeks back, Amalthea said that user:Uncontroversial Obscurity was being used in complaince with the arbitration committee, e.g, that he had notified the arbitration committee about its existance and that was the one account he was permitted to use.

Yet recently, he started editing using the account Br'er Rabbit. His user page there claims he has notified the Arbitration Committee about its existence.

So, my questions are:

  1. Did he notify the arbitration committee that he was editing as Uncontroversial Obscurity?
  2. Did he notify the arbitration committee that he was editing as Br'er Rabbit?
  3. If both 1 and 2 are true, did anyone on the committee tell him it was not permitted? If not, why not?
  4. If either 1 and 2 are true, why was the community not notified that someone with a long history of harassing others was again being permitted to edit? Raul654 (talk) 19:38, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're probably looking for a more detailed response, but here's a prompt one: 1) Yes, 2) Yes, 3) Not to my knowledge, 4) He was never banned in the first place, to the best of my knowledge. I'll let other arbitrators who followed the case more closely (I don't work in the ban appeals space unless something needs the entire committee's input) comment further. Jclemens (talk) 19:42, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So let me get this straight -- he decided he was going to ignore the arbitration committee remedy, explicitly emailed you to tell you that he was doing so, and none of you did anything to stop or dissuade him? Raul654 (talk) 19:45, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
His actions have, technically, complied with the remedy; he has only edited with a single account at any time, and has informed the Committee prior to changing accounts.
This is not to say that what has taken place is desirable, and we are looking at how we might amend the remedy; but, obviously, we cannot enforce something that we didn't actually impose. Kirill [talk] 19:48, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
His actions have, technically, complied with the remedy; he has only edited with a single account at any time, and has informed the Committee prior to changing accounts. - the arbitration remedy makes no mention of "at a time". It says one account. period.
If you meant to say 'at a time', you should have specified as much. It also rather defeats the purpose of sanctioning him for sockpuppetry if he's allowed to duck out and re-appear with a new account at will and with no notification from the committee. Which is why nobody in their right mind would think that the text of the remedy would imply it. Raul654 (talk) 19:58, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So if someone edits from account A, then account B, then account A, then account B, then account C, then account A, and then account B, that's just editing from "a single account at any time"? Under the interpretation that a user can switch back and forth between accounts successively, what sort of editing would even be socking, let alone violate the so-called "restriction"? Gimmetoo (talk) 15:58, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No, he's not banned, Yes, he is allowed to edit from one account at a time. No, that doesn't prevent him from changing account on a weekly basis if he likes, Yes, he informs us when he changed to the Br'er Rabbit account, no he is not editing from the Jack Merridew account, yes it probably is a windup to pipe the name, no there's no need to slap socktags over the Alarbus account, yes he may not edit from it while he's editing as Br'er Rabbit. Anyone got any other questions.--Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:21, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, just to be clear, the plain text reading of the one-account limit not withstanding, it was the original intent of the arbitration committee when writing that remedy that Jack would be permitted to serially sockpuppet? That is to say, he would be permitted to create a new account, notify the arbitration committee about it, abandon it when his misbehavior comes home to roost, and repeat again ad infinitum? Raul654 (talk) 20:22, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, am I the only one who thinks that all of this sounds patently insane? The "remedy" for years of harassment and sockpuppetting is that he's allowed to keep doing it, as long as he does it one-at-a-time? Was he given a lollipop for his troubles too? Raul654 (talk) 20:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me be perfectly clear here Raul. The person behind the Jack Merridew account was banned for serial socking to harrass another user. Eventually,after at least a year out, he was allowed back under strict mentorship for a year, and required to stick to the Jack Merridew account only. He did his time for his behaviour. Please stop trying him again for that offence. Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:35, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(1) You didn't answer my first question. I want to know if the committee, when writing that remedy, intended that Jack should be able to sockpuppet, or if this newfound interpretation a case of retroactive CYA.
(2) I will stop bringing up his past misbehavior when he stops repeating it. His actions over the last few months, such as during the FA RFC, and this morning's intentionally provocative way of letting Gimmetoo know he has returned. I'm sure Sandy Georgia would have a lot more to say on this subject.
(3) Two weeks ago, Gimmetoo opened an ANI discussion two weeks ago about Jack and demonstrated that he has violated the one-account limit numerous times, including using several accounts simultaneously as recently as March of this year (User:Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-1 and User:The Call of the Wild). That is a violation of the arbitration committee remedy, even under your own insane interpretation. Was the committee notified about the existance of those accounts? Was anything done about them?
(4) The creation of his newest account happened two days after Gimmetoo's ANI discussion was closed because nobody knew if Jack had resumed editing. That is fishy in-and-of itself.
(5) Please point me to where the committee repealed the one account limit. If that remedy is not still in effect, then by all means I will end the discussion here. Otherwise, it's full relevant to the current discussion. Raul654 (talk) 20:53, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is provocative about correcting the spelling of the name, which is the only thing that edit does. Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:59, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you seriously asking me to explain to you why it is provocative for Jack to use his newest sockpuppet to go and edit the talk page of someone he spent years harassing? And no less to edit a comment explaining to Gimmetoo that he had returned? Ok, here goes: Gimmetoo probably doesn't want much to do with Jack. Jack seeking him out is provactive. It's a stick-in-the-eye to Gimmetoo, who just two weeks ago was asking for him to be community banned. I'd like a response to my above points, please. Raul654 (talk) 21:04, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fuck that noise; Gimme was harassing me. One of the most unfit admins on the project (and I'm looking at you, too). Br'er Rabbit (talk) 21:07, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As someone who doesn't follow all the wikidrama going on and has no idea what evil you did that got you into trouble in the first place: Is there any particular reason you had to create this account and abandon the other one (which apparently was perfectly valid)? Just curious. --Conti| 21:13, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course; AC knows. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 21:37, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am also new to this case and not familiar with it prior to a couple weeks ago. I am willing to let the past be the past provided the user will quite the repeated account hopping (get it rabbit and hopping, sorry couldn't resist). It sounds like there was some discussion between the user and Arbcom in confidence and I am willing to let that be but please for heavens sake Br'er Rabbit stay to one account for a while. Given the past it doesn't look good and isn't helping your case. Kumioko (talk) 21:43, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In that case, would you be willing to stick to your current account for now? Assuming there's no new, important reason to create a new one, that is (and I cannot come up with any right now, admittedly). --Conti| 21:47, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ya'll shouldn't feed the drama-monger; this has been on arbcom-l for long time. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 21:49, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't care about the drama on either side. In fact, as I said, I barely know about it. It just seems like a sensible request to a sensible user to ask him to stick to one user name, regardless of who he is. So that's why I'm making this request to you. :) --Conti| 22:10, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If there is a point to this thread, it is so thinly veiled I can't see it. What I can see is an editor intent on outing a returning user; and other conduct unbecoming. The section header alone is in poor taste, and by no measure, a naive apparition. What a piss poor way to welcome someone back. My76Strat (talk) 22:04, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's rather hard to out someone who makes it a point to out himself. The section header is there because it is the name by which he is best known, which is particularly important in a case like this where he goes through accounts like used tissues. The reason this thread was started is because, while he does do some good editing, he's never really stopped the harassment for which he was originally sanctioned. He just changes targets. And welcoming him back is one thing I have no intention of doing, ever. Raul654 (talk) 23:41, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no reason to poke at you and from that perspective my comment above was excessive, and harsh. I apologize for that. I have formed an opinion that you are more strict than I feel necessary, but you do seem consistent to that end; and it's not the worst of things! Thank you for extending comments to my regards; in calm; calming fashion. My76Strat (talk) 00:19, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even if I fix the crappy FA Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima? It's got 10 {{citation needed}} on it and, uh, needs work... Br'er Rabbit (talk) 00:03, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the benefit of anyone watching who doesn't know what's going on, a short while ago Jack made another series of procavative edits to featured articles I have written - articles he'd never previously edited - to "fix" a bunch of non-mistakes like HTML ndashes and whatnot. This goes to what I was saying elsewhere in this thread about him never really stopping the harassment, just changing targets. (And, in the process, Jack managed to bury a factually mistaken edit to the intro that would have otherwise been caught on my or someone else's watchlist. That's sort-of like running over grandma with your car and then getting out and offering to help carry her groceries) Raul654 (talk) 00:11, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Raul I don't mean to seem like a jerk here but is all this fussing really necessary for what seems to amount to minor edits. I don't know the history and really don't need to but it seems that you are just upset that he was meddling in articles you were working on. Kumioko (talk) 00:21, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ya think Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima and Operation Downfall would pass WP:FAR? I don't. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 00:53, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I definately think they need some work but I don't know that the problems couldn't be fixed if it went through FAR. Kumioko (talk) 01:04, 28 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the section header were a naive apparition, what would it contain? How does one distinguish naive apparitions from wise ones? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:09, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Teh point of this thread iz battleground. Alarbus 22:12, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A better question, of course, is if Alarbus (talk · contribs) was also used appropriately. Was it? Hipocrite (talk) 22:12, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yup; did lots of useful work. Kewl user page, too (try the extra scrollbar). And Don't Feed Teh Raul. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 22:25, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can attest to that. He fixed a lot of referencing mistakes, that would affect reader experience, in my FAs, and taught me a system to avoid them so I don't make them anymore. Even when he was between Alarbus and Br'er Rabbit, he was feeding me revised versions of my articles with cleaned up references. All of which I appropriately credited him for in edit summaries, of course, you can check my contributions. (note: there is nothing improper in doing that).--Wehwalt (talk) 22:32, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ditto, he has been a lot of help on several of my featured articles, as well. Mark Arsten (talk) 22:36, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ Demiurge1000 - I missed your comment at first. Thanks for asking that I clarify my comment. I say it is not a naive apparition because it was appended by a user of abundant clue; to know better. How one would distinguish reflects upon their own clue; of which I have in small measure; yet sufficient. My76Strat (talk) 22:47, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Just would like to put in my 2 cents as a non-ArbCom editor. I have worked with Jack Merridew/Br'er Rabbit on numerous occasions and haven't seen him do anything remotely requiring banning, blocking, or even this thread. Jack is a competant editor who does some very good work, work that is up there with User:Wehwalt's (which is pretty good in it's own right). The constant threads about Jack/Br'er aren't helping any, are unconstructive and are borderline harrassment. Let Jack edit in peace. I believe that Raul654 has become drunk on his own power and maybe it is time for him, not Jack, to have a turn as the subject of an ArbCom thread. - NeutralhomerTalk • 02:27, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To provide a little bit of balance here, my view is that the above comment goes too far. I know this won't be popular with some, but it needs saying. Everyone involved in this needs to put the sticks down and back off for a bit. And saying that someone does good work somewhere is no indication of how they act in other contexts. Raul does excellent work in many areas. So does Br'er Rabbit (or whatever the name is now). But that doesn't mean they are not both capable of going over the top in other areas. And saying someone is 'drunk on [their] own power' borders on being a personal attack, and should be withdrawn or substantiated in some way (which would likely be difficult to do). I've pointed this out on Neutralhomer's user talk page and asked them to tone down what they said here, rather than escalating matters. Carcharoth (talk) 18:50, 2 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree fully with Carcharoth. I've had positive interactions with both parties (I've even forgiven Raul for nominating me for admin) but think everyone involved should tone it down. My one substantive suggestion is that the business of hopping from one account to another (hopping.. Br'er Rabbit... get it?) isn't really helpful even if it does stay within the letter of arbcom's terms. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 19:33, 2 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll endorse drunk on power. How about blocking while involved? How about wheel-warring over user pages? How about being King of The House of FA for life? He's a disengaged autocrat who delegated his arrogated authority years ago; he's not done any real work here in years; he even delegates most of his bullying. Bzzt, time to pick teh TFA! Br'er Rabbit (talk) 02:31, 3 June 2012 (UTC) (SMS Goeben, SMS Moltke, Moltke class battlecruiser, Dragon Spacecraft Qualification Unit, The Red Flag)Reply[reply]
Br'er.. Maybe it's time to let it drop and walk away? On both sides? SirFozzie (talk) 02:33, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You've no business telling me to drop the stick. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 02:39, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whether or not he does is quite irrelevant to the fact that his suggestion is endorsed by others, and one which you should seriously reconsider. Ncmvocalist (talk) 04:39, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't start this thread ;) Br'er Rabbit (talk) 05:00, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is true that someone must start a thread. It is also true that someone will be the last to post regards. If we are men; demonstrate the strength to let mine be last. And by all means women are as welcome to be strong here. I have my doubts. My76Strat (talk) 05:36, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jack's continuing attempts to drive a wedge between editors he believes to be worthy vs. "everyone else" flies in the face of the community decision-making process. Why? Perhaps because he includes long-term, good-faith editors among his perceived obstacles to achieving a better wiki. And not just those that do anything to harm the wiki, but those he just doesn't happen to like or agree with. That's a serious attitude problem that just doesn't "jive" with a number of policies. It's not going away, either. It's actually a "battleground" mentality, if you look at it honestly. That his recent personal attacks are openly tolerated (and ignored) is quite curious. Is it open season on "trolls" like Raul? Shameful. Doc talk 09:17, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
still trolling me? Br'er Rabbit (talk) 10:03, 3 June 2012 (UTC) (SMS Von der Tann)Reply[reply]
Keeping the facts out there for those who might not know the full scenario. We all love your good work, and no one denies that - but your ability to play well with others needs a ton of work. Abusing the NPA policy with edit summaries - meh. Doc talk 10:17, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Doc, I've called you a troll, and worse, before. So have others. Have another copy for your files. This is not a game, however much you play it. Thanks for acknowledging the good work; you should try doing some yourself, someday. Br'er Rabbit (talk) 10:22, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dang. So... I've never done anything good here? Ever? Okay. I guess I'll just go off and die someplace now... 10:32, 3 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doc9871 (talkcontribs)
I will give BR one thing. He is good at being annoying. Correcting indent levels and using edit summaries to take digs at people, and jumping on unsigned comments. It reminds me of someone who turned up at an article I was editing and made edit summaries directed not at the content of the article, but bemoaning why I had not done certain things. i.e. the editing of the article was intended to make a point about me, rather than trying to improve things. The same sort of attitude is seen when comments are made that taken at face-value are to help 'improve' an article, but are really a way to take a dig at someone's editing in relation to an article. It is very easy to do that. It is less easy to be more collaborative than that and actually work with people, rather than poking at them while claiming to be working with them. It's the difference between approaching someone in good faith and discussing something with them, and changing something and tut-tutting over why they failed to do something 'so obvious'. It can be difficult to avoid the latter sometimes, but understanding that is one of the ways to de-escalate things around here, rather than rub people up the wrong way. There is probably also a hint of 'it shouldn't matter who does the edits, just look at the edits and see if you agree with them'. That is actually a philosophy I agree with, but the key is to use calm and dispassionate edit summaries, and not use edit summaries to say things about other editors that are better said on user talk pages (if at all). Carcharoth (talk) 12:47, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps so. But snarky edit summaries are hardly unique to BR; indeed I could refer you to someone famous for them, but I don't think she's editing at present. I suppose the question arises whether his edit summaries are escalating matters or not. I don't think that is the case, because of action already underway against Br'er that he is simply reacting to. For example, it strikes me that at present, there are editors who are, on-wiki, trying to plan out how to get Br'er Rabbit blocked. These are, for the most part, the editors towards whom BR is being sarcastic.They have gone to several noticeboards, including this one, the talk pages of arbs, and plotted on their own talk pages. This strikes me as unfortunate, and BR has every right to call them on the carpet if he did not desire to keep the peace, but as yet there seems to be little specific comment warning those editors, well, the little I guess is the vague "everyone play nice" comment of SirFozzie after specifically admonishing Br'er. Being told to drop a stick that you've been beaten with and are using to hold off your tormenters seems unjust. At worst, Br'er is being a bit snarky, but it's not in the same ballpark as trying to get someone kicked off the encyclopedia. Why, do you contend that it is?--Wehwalt (talk) 15:07, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Meh...nothing much has changed...not even after 6 plus years! [1]...odd anyone would think anything has changed.--MONGO 15:15, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(outdent) It is easier to make sarcastic digs at people, than to restrain sarcastic or caustic or cynical impulses and work with people. That is the thing that I find most surprising. That some people don't realise that it is actually hard work to collaborate with others, especially people you might not normally get along with, or if you are the sort of person that gets on well with some, but not others. It is easier to make dismissive comments in an edit summary, or to lump someone with a label, than to work with them and get to know them, and find out that they are not so bad after all (or sometimes worse than you feared, which is the downside to trying to get along with some people). It is also, funnily enough, easier to improve articles and wrap yourself in that flag, than to try and get along with people.

The really hard thing about Wikipedia is not improving articles, or learning how the technical stuff works, but to work out how to get along with other people. Which shouldn't really be that surprising, as life is like that as well. This is why I've sometimes floated the idea of people who don't get on being asked to work together on an article of their (joint) choice, on the theory that sometimes such things work out. The trouble being when something like that doesn't work out. There are some people I've not got on with, who I've considered asking if they were willing to work with me on an article, but I've realised that the end result might be nothing more than a dismissive brush-off, so I shelved the idea.

I do still think, though, that working closely with someone on an article (best to pick a completely new article neither have worked on before) can be the best way to really show how collaboration should work around here. Would any of the people here consider working with others they are in 'conflict' with, or is that too idealistic? If such a system, to pair off potential editors for such collaboration efforts, was set up as an precursor and alternative to mediation or arbitration, would it have any chance of success? Or would too many people, too heavily invested in their 'view' of others and how the wiki works, and too 'busy' with other things, just ignore that option? Carcharoth (talk) 18:38, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, I'll accept that challenge. I'll happily work with anybody on any article where I can do something to improve it. But if everybody is going to be collaborative, the persecution of Jack has got to stop as well.
Glance at Raul's recent edit history - and note this one in particular which replaced Alarbus's user page with a sock puppet template.
Inserting for clarity: he did so with this edit (after Alarbus placed "retired" on his user page) which I reverted, then he reverted again with the edit mentioned above, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:58, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which he did (the first one) over the full protection I had extended over that page, and without any consultation. I then unprotected, because there was obviously nothing left to protect.history.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:09, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Raul's tagging of the Alarbus account, and the others, when announced as socks of Jack Merridew is 100% in line with policy. How is it not? It's a routine practice with socks of any user, per WP:SOCK and WP:SPI/AI. Its removal for reasons of "politeness" was almost two months later, and its ultimate removal by Br'er Rabbit was based on the strange claim of "wheel-warring". And why was Alarbus' page even fully protected to begin with before the tagging? That he should get some sort of special treatment for his multiple undeclared socks (known only to a select few) as "alternate accounts", and that tagging his socks should earn claims of "harassment" against the tagger, is ridiculous. Doc talk 05:36, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was not, as at least one arb has opined. Tagging is appropriate, blanking is not. And I think the technical term for what was done was "grave dancing"; also a question there of a highly involved block. To respond to your question on the protection, was protected in an attempt to prevent vandalism.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:22, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To prevent vandalism on a page that had never actually been vandalized... ever? What is the purpose of using full protection when that is the case? Lots of pages could face vandalism, but those that have a history of it usually get that protection. Doc talk 09:31, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"at least one arb"? Who? And Wehwalt, is it standard practice to immediately given returning sockmasters the IP block exemption? [2] Gimmetoo (talk) 12:08, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Elen. Regarding the ipblock exempt, there was good cause shown for that by Br'er but due to privacy I can only discuss that with an arb.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did you discuss it with an arb? Gimmetoo (talk) 12:46, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have civilly stated, to the extent that I can, my reasons for the administrative action, assuming userrights fall into that category. You put your nickel in the slot, and you've gotten what you are going to get.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:49, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There was no need for that and it was simply a piece of vindictiveness that started this current flare-up. Despite his protests to the contrary, Raul has a long history with Jack - going back to Raul's involvement in the original Arbcom case. How do you think Gimmetoo would feel if somebody replaced his user page with "This user is a sockpuppet of Gimmetrow"? If Jack is being persecuted by bullies who seek confrontation and chose to misrepresent alternate accounts as abusive sockpuppets, it's little wonder he has felt the need for some anonymity.
He made good contributions with the Tycho and Alarbus accounts, but as soon as it was discovered that it was Jack, the usual suspects arrive on the scene to call for his head - but for what? He made no abusive edits, and their editing never overlapped. Raul may well have not liked Alarbus' support for an alternate candidate for FA Director, but as much as he would like it to be otherwise, that's not a sanctionable offence.
Jack's tried to edit anonymously to avoid the hounding, and we can see that's not possible. He's now trying it Arbcom's way: one account disclosed for all to see (just as Jack Merridew was of course), and how long did it take for a conspiracy to get him to develop?
So Carcharoth, take a moment to work out how this thread came about in the first place, and then make use of your undoubted powers of persuasion on those who are seemingly not here to build an encyclopedia. I'll link to Br'er Rabbit's recent contributions just in case you need to make the comparison. --RexxS (talk) 20:08, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Greetings RexxS, I am glad to see your comments here. Except that someone might have cried "canvassing", I would have posted to you days ago asking that you append regards. Yes, it's true I would have been seeking a comment exactly as you appended it here; but not for a conflicted knowledge of you, but rather that I know you to be of impeccable reason and unblemished integrity. When traits like these conjoin; truth is the only possible expression; and yes, I would have been canvassing on a premeditated quest for truth. As an aside, must I call you an ass; that we should collaborate? I certainly hope not. But I too, will work with anyone from this thread; to the entire project; even if in the absence of conflict. My76Strat (talk) 21:07, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll work with anyone willing to do enough work to justify the article being a conom.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:10, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
RexxS, thanks for the comments. The history is complicated, as you say. I have read some of the more recent threads elsewhere on this matter (though I haven't checked all user talk pages so see what offshoot threads emerged elsewhere), not just this one, but if you are referring to history going all the way back to the original arbitration case (I'm hazy on that part of the history myself), that is a bit too long to unpack here. I'll follow up on something else on your talk page. Carcharoth (talk) 00:54, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
RexxS' claims are questionable. "...their editing never overlapped"? Editing from the Alarbus and Tycho accounts alternated in time. Nor were either account disclosed as an alternate. Wehwalt - would you have any issue with someone using "snarky" edit summaries referring to you, while, for instance, fixing copyright issues in one of your articles? Gimmetoo (talk) 04:34, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm always happy to discuss whatever questions you raise, as you know. I apologise for my lack of clarity in the use of the word "overlap", which I intended to be taken in a spatial sense, rather than a temporal one. As you can see, in the context of "abuse" that I was considering, two accounts are only abusive when they contribute at the same place thus giving a false sense of consensus. TMA and Alarbus never did that. Your two accounts overlap in time, but are you suggesting that you are a sockmaster/sockupuppet by that analogy? No, of course not. I told Arbcom at the time that they reimposed a four-year old sanction that they were making a mistake, and merely giving others a stick to continue beating him with. Plenty of editors have multiple alternate accounts for all sorts of reasons, and I expect you already know what WP:SOCK says: "The use of multiple Wikipedia user accounts for an improper purpose is called sock puppetry." Just try to figure out what improper purpose the TMA or Alarbus or Br'er Rabbit accounts have been put to. None. The purpose of all of the accounts from Jack Merridew onwards has been to improve the encyclopedia. And the only purpose of this particular circus show is to persecute Jack for offences that occurred over six years ago. It's time for you, and for Arbcom, to drop the stick. --RexxS (talk) 13:50, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, Tycho's and Alarbus's article edits would probably not be taken as a "consensus". I'm sure in some sense everyone intends to "improve the encyclopedia", but 1) some of these "improvements" are - at best - arbitrary style changes, and 2) even if they were clear improvements, why would they require so many undisclosed "alternate" accounts, especially when under an arbcom sanction to edit from one account only? Some of Jack's undisclosed accounts were only identified a few weeks ago. Gimmetoo (talk) 14:47, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hehe, indeed, it's hard to fathom why Jack compartmentalises his editing into different accounts, but surely you see the point that none of them, per se, are harmful? If he were vote-stacking at RfA, or similar, I'd be right there with you clamouring for his head. But that's the genuine tragedy of his career: since he agreed to the WP:standard offer in 2008, he's done a lot of good work - even if many edits only looks to you like minor adjustments, they all add up, and many editors are grateful; and yet he is still hamstrung with a sanction that outlived its usefulness three years ago, and does nothing other than nurture drama and ill-feeling. Jack's other accounts don't actually damage the encylopedia, they improve it. If arbitrators are reading this, I sincerely hope they will take what I've said to heart: let's draw a line now and see if Carcharoth's suggestions can gain traction. I'm going to look for something to collaborate with him on - I'd love for you, Raul and any of the other participants to join us in what we're supposed to be here for. Cheers, --RexxS (talk) 16:15, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Amusing. I avoided all Jack's arb stuff for a year. Jack keeps going back to old conflicts, over and over again - the same behaviour that got him to arbcom at least a couple times years ago. Regarding collaboration, I know despite our disagreements that you, RexxS, and I could collaborate, because we are capable of compromise. Gimmetoo (talk) 16:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Without commenting on whether there was any value in this thread being opened (here) by the relevant persons, I will suggest that I don't see the positive benefit in keeping this thread open. Ncmvocalist (talk) 04:02, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow, User:Gimmetoo/User:Gimmetrow has been fighting this war for a long time. [3]. You guys are funny.Bali ultimate (talk) 16:23, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Before someone hats this up, I'd like to point out that Jack did not go back to old conflicts or repeat the same behaviour that got him into trouble in the long-ago. If he had done, he would have been detected almost immediately. And he has not been "harassing" people; let's put that meme to bed right now. He has edited in completely new topic areas, with a specialization in featured articles, mostly working on structure and citations, working (with some exceptions) with a completely new group of people, several of whom are administrators, and taking advice on board from same. He worked very hard to get WP:HLIST implemented. Sure he has been involved in some conflicts, but the community has repeatedly come to the conclusion that this editor's pluses outweigh the minuses. -- Dianna (talk) 22:42, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would concur with that. I would go so far as to say that the community seems to feel he's not the one digging up old stuff. The project is large. There is no need for this conflict. I suggest that those who do not care to see Br'er here, avert their eyes. Can someone close this please?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:00, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does that mean both Diannaa and Wehwalt vouch and promise that Jack will never be involved in any topics or articles edited by Raul or me? Gimmetoo (talk) 23:09, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good lord of course not. I'm not his mentor, neither is Dianna, nor is he subject to our physical control. Why would you even ask such a thing anyway? We are still the encyclopedia anyone can edit, haven'tcha heard. I imagine it has something to do with your finding yourself on the short end of consensus at Talk:Sean Combs.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:16, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The only one who can control him is Rangda. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:46, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think this is ready for hatting when there are so many unanswered questions still lingering. And I don't think that there's anything "old" about Alarbus, an undeclared sock that was used until a couple of months ago. If Alarbus was such a harmless and benevolent account with only good edits, why was the SPI even filed to begin with? Why did the reporter note a "condescending and antagonistic attitude towards other editors" as a behavioral tie? Because of... good edits? Why was the original block on December 11th for "disruptive and deceptive use of multiple accounts + harrassment"? Truthkeeper88 asked Alarbus to stop following her around and perpetuating a months old feud: this is not a repetition of an old pattern?[4] As for "Tech": well, I hope the others in this thread have better communication skills than Tech did. I hope none of you seasoned editors use "fuck off, please" as a custom vandalism warning, even if you revert it a minute later. And then utterly dismiss the editors who call you on that edit.[5] These undeclared accounts were operating concurrently, sometimes three socks editing within hours of each other (see Nov. 17, 2011). I don't believe that anyone is allowed to do that. Doc talk 04:02, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Why was the SPI even filed to begin with?" Because Maunus had the presence of mind to file the SPI, when he perceived grounds, at the proper place. A good question is: why should questions and allegations of "sock-puppetry" be asked and or levied here? Showing that a user used an alternate account is not sock-puppetry! you must show the abusive use. Did the alternate account !vote at some consensus?, Did the alternate account overlap with the main account within the same thread or article to misrepresent levels of support? The burden at SPI is on you when you file to show the abuse; Not simply that one might have used an alt, or even that they did. Also, the past transgressions were remedied in the past. When you attempt to show abuse, you have to show how it relates to BR's conduct now, when it was suggested through hyperbole that correcting his misspelled name equivocates harassment. Look at Elen's comment here and tell me that BR is some abusive sock-puppet that ought to be banned. What are the grounds? My76Strat (talk) 04:53, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If "past transgressions" are six years ago, and not three months ago, that's one thing. But equating them as the same: meh. Doc talk 05:03, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And as far as what the community actually wants: well, I've never seen that the original community ban for sockpuppetry and harassment of other users was officially vacated. Can someone link me to that, in case I'm missing it? I've similarly never seen that the arbitration agreement(s) (that only exist in order to allow him to edit here in lieu of that ban) were officially vacated to allow what he's been doing for so long. And I've never seen that this editor is officially exempt from the sock policy. Throwing the yoke off yourself doesn't count. How many of you have been repeatedly sanctioned in this manner? Do you think there's any good reason for the sanctions in general? It's not some ancient mistake, and this is not all some sort of misunderstanding or witch hunt. Doc talk 05:23, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you'd enjoy that. You could rehash everything in it, and say "Well, I don't think he's addressed so and so" and legitimize the attacks on Br'er, at least by dragging him into the mud some more. From your point of view, win win. From the project's, not so much.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What attacks on Br'er? Personal attacks? Please. You are urging a speedy closure of this thread when it's not been duly processed. Doc talk 10:32, 5 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

My Email

Did ArbCom receive the Email that I've sent to them on Saturday? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:19, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since today is the last day to present evidence, I would appreciate receiving an answer as soon as possible. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 03:24, 12 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was received.Risker (talk) 05:41, 12 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


If this is the wrong page to raise this, would someone please paste it into the right one?

Any guidance or advice any of you cares to offer at Talk:Muhammad/images#Query would be very much appreciated. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:02, 3 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could an arbitrator please tell me if it is forbidden to discuss the curation of images at Talk:Muhammad/images? I attempted to initiate such a conversation but had no takers, and so I dropped it. But the mere attempt to initiate a discussion on that topic triggered an extremely uncivil response from seven editors telling me to shut up. Now it's been brought up on my talk page in the context of possible AE action. I would very much appreciate clarification of this point. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 20:53, 15 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hmm. If you want clarification of a specific finding or remedy in the Muhammad images case, feel free to ask/file such a request for clarification over here. It will likely garner more attention from arbs. Best, Lord Roem (talk) 03:34, 17 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Done. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:08, 17 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Off With His Head?

Some months ago, iridescent was booted from the Committee, ostensibly for "inactivity." Now I notice that Xeno has been on vacation for many months... Is he next to go? If not, what is the threshold? (talk) 04:42, 19 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mailing list response time

When someone requests arbitration on the mailing list, how long does it take for ArbCom to decide if they're going to accept the request? Is it unusual for them to have not gotten back to the person yet after a week?-SightWatcher (talk) 00:23, 20 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why is this unspecified person making private "requests for arbitration" to the arbcom mailing list? Mathsci (talk) 06:59, 20 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SightWatcher, if you wish to file a request for arbitration, that should be directed here. Lord Roem (talk) 15:30, 20 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure if SightWatcher is the initiator. If he were to make an on-wiki request making any reference to me, however, SightWatcher would almost certainly find their editing privileges restricted. SightWatcher is subject to a very specific arbcom topic ban, which specifically prohibits him from initiating any litigation against me. This has been already clarified in an unambiguous way by an arbitrator.[6] Mathsci (talk) 21:39, 20 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I asked here because I wanted ArbCom's opinion [redacted]. Can the committee give an opinion? I'd like to hear the opinion of the whole committee and not just one arbitrator, since I know individual arbitrators don't have more authority than regular admins.

The person who tried to request arbitration on the mailing list is TrevelyanL85A2, because he was advised to do so at AE. After not getting an answer for a week about whether ArbCom would accept his request, he's been emailing other people about it. The admin who blocked him (MastCell) also fully protected his user talk, so it seems the only way for him to have an answer might be if one of the people he emailed asks in public. That is why I raised the question here.

Trevelyan said at AE that his main beef was with MastCell, because he doesn't think MastCell is uninvolved. But from Trevelyan's explanation at AE, I think if I make the request Mathsci also would need to be included as a party. It seems unusual that Trevelyan's and my topic bans would be intended to cut off access to arbitration about a possible misuse of admin tools. But if that is ArbCom's intention, and that's the reason they never got back to Trevelyan about his request, I'd like the committee to please clarify that so there can be no further confusion. -SightWatcher (talk) 23:17, 23 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ummm .. .I'm not an arb or anything Sightwatcher .. but really all you're going to get here (at most) is an individual comment. Arbcom is a collection of individuals that often have very different views; as such, it's unlikely that you'll get an informal "we think this" type of reply on a talk page. At "BEST", a formal "case" might reveal some sort of "official" mandate; but even there it's possible that there will be differing views. — Ched :  ?  02:21, 24 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then how can I find out if the committee intended my topic ban to cut off my access to arbitration, or the committee's view about anything else? this principle says, "While individual arbitrators sometimes provide informal advice based on their general impressions, such advice is not binding and following the advice is not mandatory as only the consensus of the committee has any effect." That means I couldn't even get a definite answer in a request for clarification, because individual opinions are the only thing arbitrators offer there. If the only place to get a clear answer is in a formal case, that's no help when I want to find out whether I'm allowed to request one. -SightWatcher (talk) 03:59, 24 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sorry to recycle an old meme, but you must remember that ArbCom isn't a court of law, nor a government. Definitive decisions (reached by binding vote) make up only a portion of our work, and in a clarification request you are usually only given general advice and opinions—as opposed to a unanimous response. If a number of arbitrators opine in broadly the same way, then you can take that as your answer to whatever question or issue you required to be clarified. Only rarely is an actual decision required, and if you find you do require one then you probably ought to lower your expectations :-). If you have e-mailed the committee mailing list and do not receive a response, then I advise you to follow-up the e-mail (preferably in the same thread, so that nothing is fragmented on our end); this usually results in a reply to the original enquiry. Naturally, most questions not of a sensitive nature) should be put to us on this page, and not by e-mail. Hope this helps, AGK [•] 20:23, 24 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I [redacted] one particular part of your first sentence, above. I'm not sure if such was your intention, but your remark seemed rather dismissive of the contributor who was its subject. AGK [•] 20:23, 24 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I said, the arbitration request on the mailing list was made by TrevelyanL85A2, not me. He was advised at AE to make the request by email since he's blocked with his user talk protected. He emailed you again recently after you suggested a follow-up message, but he's still waiting for a response.
This would be easier for everyone if ArbCom could be more communicative. The committee hasn't clarified whether their lack of response to his emails is because they object to his request, or because the request just can't be resolved by email. If it's too complex to resolve by email, they also haven't said whether it would help them reach a decision if I made a public request on Trevelyan's behalf. I know you can't speak for the whole committee, but could you please give your opinion about these questions? -SightWatcher (talk) 03:16, 28 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as I know Trevelyan hasn't sent a request for arbitration to the ArbCom mailing list. PhilKnight (talk) 16:46, 28 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well I guess you found his request eventually, since he just showed me SilkTork's new response suggesting he raise his complaint in public after his block is over.
I have one more question. Would it be okay if I request arbitration for him before the end of his block? I know that issues can be considered stale if people wait too long to raise them. This matters to me for its own sake, because I'm worried about the same thing possibly happening to me that happened to him. So it wouldn't be only for his sake that I make the request. -SightWatcher (talk) 23:32, 29 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It would probably help to be a little bit more specific. Is this a proposal to open a full case (eg Wikipedia:Requests/Case/MastCell) in the first week of July or just to make a request for clarification/amendment? Mathsci (talk) 06:21, 30 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can someone please explain to me why I shouldn't block SightWatcher for violating Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Race_and_intelligence/Review#SightWatcher_topic-banned? He's discussing TrevelyanL85A2, an editor who edits in the prohibited area, and discussing TrevelyanL85A2 in connection with TrevelyanL85A2's conduct on the project, namely, the TrevelyanL85A2's being blocked for violating an arbitration decision. MBisanz talk 02:39, 30 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Responding to MBisanz, I think that SightWatcher ought to cease his participation here at WT:AC about the topic of TrevelyanL85A2, and the question on whether SightWatch deserves a block is legitimate. In the history of enforcement of WP:ARBR&I, the purpose of restrictions such as the one imposed on SightWatcher was to *prevent* third-party intervention on disputes involving others who were felt to have pushed a certain POV regarding race and intelligence. So, to answer SightWatcher's polite question as to whether he may launch a third-party intervention on behalf of TrevelyanL85A2, the right answer would be 'No', in my opinion. The escape clause provided by Arbcom that allows participation 'when your own conduct is mentioned' is so that one party whose article or talk page edits are being challenged on a noticeboard is not restrained from making any noticeboard response. SightWatcher does not have standing to complain about the Committee's slow response to email from TrevelyanL85A2. He should wait till his ban expires. EdJohnston (talk) 16:56, 30 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Trevelyan's topic ban is identical to mine, and I'm trying to understand things about my own sanction. The questions he raised about it matter to me because they apply to me as well. Don't editing restrictions usually allow for discussion to clarify the restrictions themselves?
If ArbCom's view is that I should not make an arbitration request for Trevelyan, then I'll just let him do it himself after his block expires, and I'll stop asking about this here. But I would like ArbCom to give a clear answer about their view, so nobody has to guess at it. I don't think that's a lot to ask. -SightWatcher (talk) 23:07, 30 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you ask about or reference Trevelyan's block or potential arbitration request again, here or on any other page on the project, I will block you for a month. MBisanz talk 01:58, 1 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Looks like the last comment on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Expansion of Ban Appeals Subcommittee was about 10 days ago and the RfC bot removed the tag a few days ago. Should this be closed by a clerk or does this need to be listed at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure? Thanks. (talk) 06:53, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think that the RfC necessarily requires a formal closure—unlike a typical RfC, where the closure results in immediate implementation of some decision, the details of any changes that would potentially result from this one would still need to be worked out by the Committee—but I wouldn't mind seeing what someone not involved with arbitration discussions makes of it. Kirill [talk] 20:05, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That sounds good to me. Face-smile.svg Thank you. (talk) 22:22, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's my take. The community seemed generally supportive and it seems like an alright idea to me, but I got something completely different from it. The RfC was listed at WT:AC, at AN, at VPP, at VPR and at CENT, yet only 30 people commented on it. That's indicative of something; apathy, editor loss, summer vacation, who knows but it's indicative of something. Probably not what anybody else was thinking of, but that's what I made of it. Best regards. (talk) 07:55, 4 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's mostly indicative that internal bureaucracy is boring shit to 99% of the people out there – and rightly so. Honestly, I'd be worried if the community was suddenly massively interested in ArbCom and functionary matters as this would indicate brewing trouble, whereas a resounding "meh" usually means things are going okay enough.  :-) — Coren (talk) 14:19, 14 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that the RfC gave the committee some ideas to think about. This is something they're talking about, and hopefully the discussions and suggestions at the RfC will help lay the foundation for changes that are actually implemented. -- Lord Roem (talk) 14:25, 14 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We've discussed it, and while I don't think there's really been strong sentiments to move in one direction or another we've definitely got more opinions to mull over. From my perspective, some of the comments are a bit moot due to the fact that ban appeals have tapered off recently, largely due I believe to some better discretion on the part of admins. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 03:30, 15 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An amendment to policy, regarding appeal routes

To the arbitration committee, per S3 of the policy, I commend to you this amendment to policy. The amendment would delete the phrase, "Remedies may be appealed to, and amended by, Jimbo Wales, unless the case involves Jimbo Wales' own actions." from the section, "Appeals of decisions." It is desirable and important that this be done as:

  1. This route of appeal is a dead letter. Maintaining dead letters is a constitutional hazard.
  2. This route of appeal authorises and cements the nefarious policy of reserve powers embodied in User:Jimbo's account and person. Jimbo has adequate access to ignoring all rules like any other editor, further empowerment is unnecessary, and therefore nefarious. Maintaining unnecessary reserve powers is a constitutional hazard.

As such, I encourage you to debate this amendment to policy internally and hope and expect you'll commend it to the population of editors for approval. (Given that I have mentioned him, I will subsequently notify Jimbo.) Yours, Fifelfoo (talk) 02:47, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

disagree. I think it is useful to allow Jimbo to keep a stick.--KarlB (talk) 02:51, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would find it personally valuable if you expanded your preference into an argument and justified it? For example: is it useful the stick be kept in general; is it specifically useful that the stick be kept by a particular position; is it specifically useful that the stick be kept by a position and most desirable that position be held by Jimbo; or, is it specifically useful that the stick be kept by Jimbo as Jimbo? Fifelfoo (talk) 02:56, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would say for now, Jimbo as Jimbo. If his position/role in the project changes significantly, then this could be revisited, but until then, I think it's useful to have a final appeal. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and ArbCom is not the supreme court. Your use of the word constitutional hazard above is interesting.--KarlB (talk) 03:10, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A significant proportion of Australians have a natural hostility towards reserved powers given their unusual history of exercise here. The powers reserved to Jimbo specifically exceed the IAR we all have, they relate to the processes and policies of writing the encyclopaedia. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:13, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But a majority do not. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:02, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a practical matter, even if we staged a coup and deposed Jimbo on wiki, the foundation board of trustees ultimately controls the servers, and if they say Jimbo still has his historical authority, then he still does. If you want more then a symbolic change, you would need to go through the board. Monty845 03:46, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed; wikimedia foundation I believe owns the trademark as well, so they ultimately have a say in what happens to wikipedia; including shutting it down if they so choose. Someone else could then take the content and start "joe-i-pedia", but wikipedia itself is ultimately vested in the foundation (I believe). As noted below, having a benevolent dictator is not the worst of all possible worlds.--KarlB (talk) 04:07, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have a strong view either way on this proposal, but note that the "appeal to Jimbo" option is not entirely a dead letter. See Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Rodhullandemu#Appeal to Jimbo Wales. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:52, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • While a completely open and everyone is equal environment might be great (if that helped the encyclopedia), experience of the real world shows that the alternative to a benevolent dictator is a detailed constitution with a thousand pages of small print, and an army of lawyers. Leaving a rarely-used appeal option is very reasonable under the circumstances, and arguing over whether there is any difference between Jimbo and an average editor is pointless. Johnuniq (talk) 03:42, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I wouldn't support a modification to exclude this rout of appeal. Fifelfoo asserts this as a "dead letter" provision. I think that is wp:or and wonder what that presumption is based upon? I've used it personally within the current year. The simple fact that he does respond to these kinds of appeal is a credit to the institution. This proposal is worse than dead letter, it's Non Sequitur. 76Strat String da Broke da (talk) 04:42, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I find this whole idea of leveling (lowering) Jimbo's page status offensive. I've been watching the discussion since Hipocrite first posted his question, which I almost answered with an indignant, "Of course not--you're not Jimbo Wales." To resurrect a famous old American quote, Fifelfoo, "Have you no decency?" Yopienso (talk) 06:28, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I anticipate some changes and community ratification to this later this year when I present a proposal for reduction of my powers. I think this should be viewed as part of an overall process of reform and done thoughtfully, not piecemeal. This aspect of our current system is not in crisis nor, as far as I know, causing any actual problems. Other aspects are. The current appeal process has the benefit of being a safety valve, a part of a system of checks and balances that helps to ensure that the ArbCom itself doesn't become too powerful or make arbitrary decisions, while also allowing them by custom a wide latitude. To simply remove the power of one last review from me, and not put it anywhere else within the system, would eliminate an important step in the overall process.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:25, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Due to my perceptions and experiences with the Arbcom over the past several months I personally think that we need to have an appeals process of some kind whether through Jimbo or through the Foundation itself. I haven't been very happy nor impressed with several of their decisions of late. Aside from me there are growing perceptions within the community that the Arbcom has too much power and its getting more as time goes by so not allowing an appellate review process of their decisions is not a very good one. With that said, Jimbo has a mostly non interference policy so the process of appealing to him on an Arbcom ruling is largely symbolic and rarely if ever used so I don't think it will change anything as it exists today. Kumioko (talk) 10:36, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While aiming for perfection is good, it would be useful to bear in mind that there is no fault-free system of justice in any organization anywhere. Despite all the layers of safety and appeals, the real world has many examples of innocent people being locked up for years, and many more of guilty people going free. Given that Arbcom is a system of arbitration concerning disputes among volunteers at a website, occasional bad decisions (if they occur) might be the best result achievable, and might be much better than adding more layers of appeal, with bitter rehashing of tired arguments. I think the appeal to Jimbo is a reasonable and low-cost mechanism, but anything more formal would not be helpful. Johnuniq (talk) 11:33, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think the current situation is about as good as it can get. Having Jimmy keep a last appeal is an important safety valve, and Jimmy being extremely deliberate in when he uses it is exactly what you'd expect: you'll note he his adamant about anyone being allowed to petition for his intervention at any time, yet he only very rarely opines (and almost never acts).

    Jimmy can correct me here if I'm mistaken, but by experience I know he works from the presumption that ArbCom is probably correct on the substance, and his two primary concerns are "could we be more compassionate?" and "did we do the best we could?"; and those are exactly the kind of oversights that are genuinely useful to have. I don't know about anybody else, but I wouldn't want someone who simply substituted his opinion for ArbCom's; nor would I want anyone left with nobody to hear their grievances if they feel ArbCom itself has been unfair or malicious. — Coren (talk) 13:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Agree with Johnuniq above. As Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." Of course, ArbCom/etc can always get better, but I'm not sure if a more formal appeals process is the best route; if you look at the US court system, with its endless appeals all the way up to the supreme court, do we really want to replicate the sort of thing a nation state has for a simple website? So many websites are run simply by fiat, with moderators having essentially dictatorial power. The fact that there are two layers above admin discretion (+ dozens of other fora and dispute resolution mechanisms) is much more than any major community website I know of.--KarlB (talk) 13:48, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Agree with Jimbo, some form of appeal is good to have, even if rarely exercised. I think its a bad idea to remove it without some proposed and vetted replacement. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:55, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Wikipedia isn't a bureaucracy (unless you count all of our methods, boards and processes) and as such, there needs to be a final place to appeal, one last bit of hope, where the bureaucracy truly ends. At this time, Jimmy is that that end point. Until we have established another, I see no reason to remove what has worked up until now. As it sounds like Jimmy himself has the same goal as the initiating party, but with an actual plan, I would defer to him and allow a replacement to be formed and allow a transition process to take place. Dennis Brown - © 14:24, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree with the above comments that the right of appeal to Jimbo is not something that can be removed without being replaced. But the recent ArbCom case regarding User:Fæ gives a good illustration of why it is not good, in terms of transparency or confidence in the system, to have a single person make the call in last instance. A number of respected users seem to think that ArbCom has overstepped its remit by issuing a ban, and it looks like there is at least a prima facie case that they have done so. Fae can appeal to Jimbo, but faces a potential difficulty because Jimbo recently took the unusual step of banning Fae from his talkpage. It may well be that the claims being made on Fae's behalf are without merit. But, in that scenario, what is Jimbo to do? AFAIK, Jimbo has never trained as a judge. How can he find against Fae without creating the suspicion that he may not have looked objectively at the facts of the case? Formerip (talk) 02:42, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The concept of "being trained as a judge" is extremely recent in history - in fact the idea that one must be trained formally in the law is quite recent - one of the US states still does not require it IIRC. States do not require "training" to become a Justice of the Peace. And the simple fact is that the running of this site gives Jimbo stronger insight as to what is needed here than any person with a JD could possibly have on a day-to-day basis. As for the powers of ArbCom - there is no doubt that it has the power to ban an editor - that is, in fact, one of its only powers. Collect (talk) 12:28, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Too many people are being too harshly treated already. Keeping the executive pardon is not unreasonable. I would suggest, however, specifically adding "or by office actions of the WMF", to indicate that they have that power (which I'm sure they do) and to help hint that appealing to them is not wrong. Wnt (talk) 12:49, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Jimbo is in principle willing to consider an argument from an editor that ArbCom got it wrong in some case. The problem you get when you get rid of that is that ArbCom itself is not capable of doing this. E.g. if you are under some editing restriction because ArbCom found that you did something wrong, but you (partially) disagree with that finding, you are expected to drop that matter, move on and only at the time that ArbCom has stipulated, are you allowed to "appeal". You can then can you ask for the restriction to be lifted. However, this is then not a real "appeal", you are expected to have accepted the previous ArbCom findings and show why the restrictions can be lifted. What you cannot do is start an argument about why ArbCom got it wrong, so it is actually a delayed guilty plea in exchange for a sentence of "time served" rather than an appeal to overturn the original verdict. Count Iblis (talk) 03:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I am at Wikimania, it would be great to spend some time talking with any-one interested in the Arbitration process, particularly Arbs. Rich Farmbrough, 14:13, 14 July 2012 (UTC).

Well I have managed to have a short discussion with Courcelles on the New Page Process, but the rest of the committee remains elusive. Someone told me that they are avoiding me, but I'm sure that's just a rumour. Rich Farmbrough, 01:39, 15 July 2012 (UTC).
I cannot speak for other arbs' activity, but I was not at the vast majority of the conference due to work obligations. Also, we tend to be flighty and startled if not in large numbers. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 03:28, 15 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very unfortunately, I also was able to attend only a small portion of the conference due to scheduling conflicts. I hope our paths will cross on another occasion, perhaps at a local meet-up or a future Wikimania. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:25, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From the arbitration perspective, it was pretty much a washout, those arbs I spoke to were not particularly forthcoming, one might even say evasive, on arbitration matters. A number of people spoke to me of the current disastrous cases running (Perth and Fae for example), and more were supportive over the recent case I was subject to, which of course warms the cockles of one's heart, but does nothing to address any of the underlying problems. When I have time I shall take a decent look at the arbitration scenario and maybe we can make some progress, unless of course, in true wiki-fashion the required reform has already taken place. Rich Farmbrough, 03:03, 23 July 2012 (UTC).

ArbCom training

Do new members of ArbCom undergo any training, formal or informal? If so, what is that training? If not, why not? --Hammersoft (talk) 13:20, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes. We get OJT from the arbs more senior to us once elected on arbitration matters, and from the clerks on clerky matters as appropriate. We're offered the same training that new OTRS, Oversight, and Checkuser rights holders get, as desired and appropriate. Since the position is elected, no arbitrator's participation is limited based on their training--Arbs don't have to get "qual'ed" by the existing committee or anyone else before doing their jobs; the community did that by electing the person. Jclemens (talk) 15:09, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is "OJT"? Rich Farmbrough, 03:07, 23 July 2012 (UTC).
Ah! "On the job training." = no training. Rich Farmbrough, 03:08, 23 July 2012 (UTC).


I seriously don't get this. I got desysopped because I restored an admin decision that was reverted without discussion? The idea was so ludicrous that I'd forgotten the motion was even being discussed. It seemed uncontroversial: we don't go around reverting admin decisions that we disagree with, and arbcom found that the revert was inappropriate. (And I didn't continue when it was repeated.) So what gives? — kwami (talk) 16:14, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd recomend WT:AC/N. That's where the official post case discussion thread is officially set up by the closing clerk.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:17, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seemed uncontroversial to you to breach admin policy (by wheel warring) in a situation which was clearly not urgent and where you were involved? And what about the pattern of edit-warring or move-warring - do you also think it seems uncontroversial for administrators to engage in such conduct (and that too, while being party to an arbitration case)? Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:28, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And the admin who started the wheel warring, against an RfM decision? That's acceptable? When have I ever done such a thing? — kwami (talk) 16:38, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You mean, besides Talk:Animal-rights movement#Requested move 2012? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:08, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, not at all like that. That was an MOS fix, not reverting a RfM. When an intelligent reason was giving for not applying the MOS in that case, I reverted myself. — kwami (talk) 08:41, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nobody doubts you had the best of intentions. It was still wheel warring. While your vote for desysopping for wheel warring was going on. It cost you at least one vote there, it seems. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:41, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kwami, you are the editor who started the wheel warring in the Perth case. If you meant to refer to the original revert, that earned the admin an admonishment, so no it seems it's not "acceptable", but it wasn't wheel warring. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:13, 18 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, I get it now. It's not really a problem to revert admin decisions made after weeks or months of debate, but it's a mortal sin to enforce that decision pending further discussion. — kwami (talk) 08:41, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sort of, yeah, assuming you think "admonishment" == "no problem". Well, at least Deacon hadn't !voted in the RM. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:15, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Basically more craziness. This is clearly a situation where the fires had been damped down and the resort to Arbcom was by someone unhappy with the result (isn't it always?). Arbs should have admonished the plaintiff and closed the case. Rich Farmbrough, 03:11, 23 July 2012 (UTC).

proposal that will impact the arbcom mailing list

at Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)#Time to do away with "no spam email" gimmick?. I have also added a note at the functionaries talk page, if anyone knows of any other lists out there that use the nospam thing please notify them. Thanks. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:24, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Urgent Email

I've just sent a very urgent email to arbcom-l which, obviously, is awaiting moderator approval (hence prodding here). Could you please get back to me ASAP --Errant (chat!) 11:23, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The email has been moderated through, and I hope one of my colleagues will be able to respond to you relatively promptly as I will be AFK for several hours. Risker (talk) 11:36, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Risker :) Steven Zhang advised me to forward it to Phillippe - so you might get it twice ;) --Errant (chat!) 11:41, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry about that - I figured it was very urgent - as described, and that it might take many hours before it's looked at. All is well I guess. Steven Zhang Get involved in DR! 11:45, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Minimum contributions history for commenting at arbcom cases

Given that a number of recent arbitration cases have seen prolific contributions from previously unknown editors, I propose that the following minimum requirements be established for commenting at arbcom cases:

  • Editors wishing to comment at an arbitration case should have been Wikipedia editors for three months and made at least 200 mainspace edits at the time the request for arbitration was filed.
  • Editors who are themselves parties to an arbitration case are exempt from this requirement.
  • Editors who have a close relationship to one of the parties (spouse, partner, parent, close friend etc.) are also exempt from this requirement, provided the relationship is openly disclosed in the arbitration case pages.
  • Editors who do not fulfil the minimum requirements are entitled to request special permission to participate from the arbitration committee. Such permission will usually be granted if there is evidence of good-faith prior involvement in the topic area subject to arbitration.

This is to prevent people joining the peanut gallery just for the drama, and then disappearing again. --JN466 16:47, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am not sure this criterion would have stopped Chester Markel. Mathsci (talk) 17:04, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support As is, any number of IPs can contribute evidence to cases, with no worries of their being identification as sockpuppets. It corrupts the process. I don't know where the bar needs to be placed to prevent this sort of corruption, but the bar needs to be placed. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:09, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose Any disruptive behavior can be dealt with on a case by case basis.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:10, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Well, it can be, but generally it's not. That's somewhat a bug of the Arbcom clerking system, I think - clerks are given some limited remit to keep order, but are often hesitant to do much with conversations that are already spinning or with heavily-invested-in-the-case editors; arbs are less hesitant to take significant actions, but usually don't because they figure the clerks are there for that; and thus we find ourselves watching a free-for-all on a case talk and wondering why nobody is doing anything about it. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! (talk) 17:36, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then it's a matter for ArbCom to handle. I imagine that Risker did not have a clerk do it because then it's a committee matter. But I think we should wait and see if they want to ask the community for this.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:09, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fluffernutter is right. Also, the clerks have been quite undermanned for some time, and I'll freely admit that I do not follow every discussion on cases that I'm clerking. NW (Talk) 19:29, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose I agree with Wehwalt. You should have a minimum to get elected but not for discussions. Kumioko (talk) 17:39, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Please give me an example of a scenario where it would makes sense to have a new account contribute to an arbitration case if that account is not a party, is not related to any party, has no prior relationship to the topic area, and is unable to convince arbcom by e-mail that they have some special insight to offer. --JN466 18:25, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose – Everyone should be free to speak up. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 17:44, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Including trolls? I remember one case where someone participated with two sockpuppets in a workshop, making extreme and diametrically opposed workshop proposals with each, and then had everybody argue, with both their sockpuppets joining in, going hammer and tongs at each other. JN466 18:15, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • That's an acceptable risk, in my opinion. I don't believe that we should sacrifice free speech for the sake of stopping trolls. We shouldn't behave like the governments sacrificing privacy for security. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:24, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose Threshold is too arbitrary. Arbcom could address this issue by singling out a couple SPAs with a finding that their contributions to a case are not helpful and did not influence the arbitors. That may discourage it in the future without WP:CREEP. Monty845 17:47, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support - A clear standard is better than arbitrary rulings. While the specifics of the threshold could be modified, I feel that the idea of a crystal clear standard avoid more problems than it might cause. -- Avanu (talk) 17:59, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There's a longstanding precedent that alternate or throwaway accounts aren't to be used in ArbCom cases (or, ideally, in other project-space discussions). We could probably be a little more proactive about enforcing that precedent. But I don't really see the need for hard-and-fast criteria; I'm not convinced there are really very many gray areas, and any set of rules immediately creates an incentive for gamesmanship. MastCell Talk 18:02, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Can we just empower Clerks and Arbs to simply bar (as in prohibit participation, no need to get into block/ban territory) obvious single-purpose accounts when deemed necessary? I'm not sure if we need a specific layer of bureaucracy to solve this problem. Tarc (talk) 18:22, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose Way too arbitrary. There's no obvious problem with SPA here anyway, but if a discussion gets a user to register an account we should welcome that development. Wikipedia NEEDS more new editors, and being involved in the process may convince them to stay and add other valuable contributions. Excluding these discussions to the established cliques will not help the project and likely harms its overall interests. T. trichiura Infect me 18:30, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: Horribly misguided. Is it being seriously suggested that while anyone can edit the actual articles and you're not supposed to, for example, pre-emptively protect blps, that people should have to meet special editing requirements to edit the internal soap opera pages??? The primary function of the Arbcom pages is to give somewhere for people to do all their non-productive screaming and shouting, play their silly little games of cops and robbers and judges, to hurl invective and cry persecution well away from anything that actually matters. To talk about such pages being disrupted is nonsensical. The only legitimate reason to ban someone from Arbcom is if they would otherwise be doing something useful. (talk) 18:40, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This conversation is reminding me of something that was discussed at WP:A/R/M a while back. Does anyone remember when that was? NW (Talk) 19:29, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Here it is. It was discussed last August but didn't pass a Committee vote. NW (Talk) 19:33, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Thanks. :) I knew it had been discussed before, but could not remember where, and whether it had petered out or been rejected. --JN466 19:57, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • (edit conflict) I don't remember exactly when it was, but we (the arbitrators) did vote on a motion along these lines a few months back. I opposed the motion, because there are times that a relatively new editor could add valuable content or perspective to an arbitration page. (I contributed on the arbitration pages as a relatively newbie myself, when I was starting out.) That being said, there is a difference between a new editor who posts a few comments on a case, which I think is fine, and a new editor who posts dozens of comments on a case, thereby in the process becoming the most active contributor to the talkpage for that case, while saying relatively little that provides helpful input to the parties or the arbitrators. Editors falling in the latter category, at a minimum, should be asked to step away from the case. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • I don't believe this is an issue limited to new editors; if any editor posts dozens of comments while saying relatively little, it may be worthwhile to encourage them to reduce their contributions. isaacl (talk) 00:24, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment Perhaps it would be sufficient to post "advice to editors who do not have substantial mainspace experience" in the form of (first draft) Any editor is free to post comments in a section set aside for that purpose. It is, however, improper to engage in any extensive colloquy other than presentation of your own succinct comments and discussion thereof, unless you wish to be possibly considered "involved" in the proceeding at hand. The possibility of the "new editor" thus being "involved" would, with any luck, dissuade some of the Minerva's who have appeared. Collect (talk) 23:21, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. I strongly oppose the block of User:NewtonGeek for the stated rationale of too few contributions in mainspace. However, if you are going to make a practice of sending editors straight from the new account signup to the permanent-banned-by-ArbCom status, then you might as well not do it completely by surprise without written policy. I would suggest that the new policy contain a provision that a new editor gets at least one warning to shut up and go away before the lifetime block. Wnt (talk) 12:55, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I hope should be obvious by now, there are issues concerning NewtonGeek beyond the number and location of his contributions. That is all I want to say here about that. This thread will be more productive if focused on the broader issue. Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:14, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. I'm concerned about the unintended consequences of such a change. Would clerks now have to investigate every editor who comments, to check that they meet the qualifications? If yes, would a clerk just remove the comment? I feel such a process could lead to more drama than is necessary. Now, it's not only for editors who are patently uncivil or vicious in their comments, but anyone falling under an arbitrary bar. So, I'm not opposed to some rule, but it definitely needs to be fleshed out far better before it ever is implemented. -- Lord Roem (talk) 17:17, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose And admonish User:Jayen466 for potentially assisting (presumably inadvertently) in a whitewash. I agree with what Brad states above, this is clearly in response to a screw up by Risker - and that broader issues are relevant. However they have only become relevant because of the utter incompetence Risker has exhibited that has now spread over multiple pages; hence promoting this thread. This kind of proposal is not the solution and an alternative venue is better to discuss the issues of disruption - notwithstanding that we already have many options available rather than WP:BLOCKperICAN However let's be honest with ourselves for once - the reason this thread is here is the utter failure of a member of ARBCOM whose integrity is in tatters and reputation destroyed. There's a simple solution here to solving that part of the problem. Will Risker take it? I doubt it. Maybe she will be honest enough to herself and Wikipedia and prove me wrong. Pedro :  Chat  22:15, 21 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose, because the only thing that should matter are the arguments that are put forward in discussions. It should not matter for the ArbCom case if all participants were to be anonymized e.g. by being assigned usernames like ArbCom_Participant_1, ArbCom_Participant_2 etc. etc., and no one knew what ArbCom_participant_j's regular username for each j is. Count Iblis (talk) 02:54, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • In an ideal world, you're completely correct. We don't, unfortunately, live in such a world. Jclemens (talk) 06:02, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Hmm, it could actually work. If a bunch of such accounts were made and then people petitioned to be able to comment in a Arbcom case, they would be emailed the password for a random numbered account. Then, once the case is over, the passwords of the accounts would be scrambled. It could actually work, it would just require some effort and organization. SilverserenC 07:26, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Yes, technically it could indeed work but this is one of the most sinister proposals I've recently heard. Given the existing propensity in ArbCom cases for drama and on occasion character assassination, I'm startled that anyone could possibly imagine that evidence and workshop proposals from masked and cowled participants would actually make matters better. Remember that's how Star Chamber started: with anonymous written witness statements.  Roger Davies talk 08:22, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose the use of blunt instruments. Penyulap 07:06, 22 Jul 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment The proposal relies on an impression. As with any impression, it could be right or wrong. But it seems that a better basis for such a proposal would be after study from people intimately familiar with multiple proceedings over time (former respected arbs/clerks?) who gather evidence from "recent proceedings", and who gather statements on means of enforcement from people who have to enforce. Then the remedy can be fashioned that meets the needs and can be vetted by the community on the basis of the evidence collected. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:24, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment I'm not convinced I had 200 mainspace edits (and if I did, half of them probably just corrected my own bad markup) at the time of the Ottava Rima case. Ottava actually accused me of being a SPA/previously banned editor/alt account because of that. I think - as others have said - a rule is too rigid, one needs to look at the whole thing. If the contributions are helpful, keep them and support the new contributor to participate more widely in the encyclopaedia. If the contributions seem genuine but not particularly helpful, offer guidance and encourage wider participation as a new editor. If there is background (as there was with NewtonGeek) to suggest an alt account, returning banned editor, or some other problem, take action as appropriate. Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:01, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose as this is reactionary, biased from recent events, which dooms it from the beginning. As a community, we are already fully capable of separating the wheat from the chaff and raising the bar isn't going for further that goal. Incidentally, it might exclude worthwhile commentary as a side effect. Dennis Brown - © (WER) 14:30, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • In the discussion NW pointed to above, Thatcher says:

    Editors who are not involved in a dispute before arbitration and who nevertheless participate are in the same position as someone proffering an amicus brief to a court. (For involved I adopt the definition of either (1) a named party, or (2) have significant experience editing articles in the same topic area as the dispute, or (3) have significant experience interacting with the parties to the case.) Courts have the discretion to accept or refuse amicus participation and I do not think courts make a habit of accepting amicus briefs from individuals without standing or stake in the case other than wanting to be helpful.

    and suggests we leave it up to the arbitrators to allow or disallow amicus involvement, on each case's merits. I understand the desire to precisely define a priori criteria for amicus involvement but, as others have pointed out here and in that earlier discussion, arbitrary, precise criteria are too prescriptive. Thatcher's three factors could form a guideline for arbitrators, who I think we can trust to judge whether an editor meets one of those criteria, or whether they want to hear from an editor who does not. Thatcher's full proposal is longer than this excerpt and in my opinion worth considering. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:58, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose per Pedro. SWATJester Son of the Defender 15:12, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inactive arbitrators

The list on the page doesn't seem to have changed in nearly a year, & is misleading, whatever the rather convoluted definition. Johnbod (talk) 23:17, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi John-- what page are you referring to? The main WP:AC page shows the updated list of active vs. inactive arbs, and was updated just today. -- Lord Roem (talk) 23:21, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Updated today how? The page has not not changed since July 3. Hersfold and Sir Fozzie have been shown as "inactive" since 2011, but have been acting on cases. Johnbod (talk) 23:29, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm, I had thought that was pulled from something, not updated independently. I'll update it now. Thanks for the note! -- Lord Roem (talk) 23:32, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, it appears I'm right. While WP:AC isn't regularly updated, Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Members is, and that's been updated recently. I hope this helps, Lord Roem (talk) 23:36, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like you, I thought AC took it's data from AC/M. It ought to - it's horribly inefficient to have the same data in two places, because its inevitable that one list will be out of date. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 23:43, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is indeed the case; the listing on this page is just a transclusion from Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Members, not a separate list. Hersfold and SirFozzie were only moved to the inactive list in the past couple of days, incidentally. Kirill [talk] 02:46, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, obviously this was not clear from the history on this page. I did check several rearlier dates, but I suppose transcluded sections only return the current text. It might be worth adding a small note explaining where the information comes from, as other pages do. Johnbod (talk) 09:01, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Basically the system of page transclusions and moves was set up some time ago and is now no longer fit for purpose, unless obfuscation is the purpose. In particular page history is thrown away, talk pages are condensed on one talk page, leading to great confusion, and process is constantly broken, regardless of the diligence of clerks. However only Arbs are allowed to make "motions" to change process so any suggestions for improvement tend to become lost due to the obfuscation under discussion. Rich Farmbrough, 02:51, 23 July 2012 (UTC).
Obfuscation never was and still is not the purpose, and attacking the clerks who decided to implement the transclusion to avoid having to update the same data in multiple places is plain silly. There are countless transclusions used in arbitration cases which all serve the sole and unique purpose of ensuring the most current data is displayed. Alexandr Dmitri (talk) 08:16, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The unhelpfulness of having two different listings was noted a couple of years back and at that time, I believe one was set up as a transclusion of the other. Not sure why it changed back, but of course there should only be one list containing the most current available information. Thank you to Johnbod for pointing out the problem. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:43, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unless I am missing something, there has been one list of members (Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Members) used in several places; and no duplicate list has existed since 2010. Is there something else we must do here, now that it's clear the active/inactive listing is on a single subpage? AGK [•] 13:24, 24 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think everything is okay now. Thanks. Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:51, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


As I indicated here. Ncmvocalist (talk) 17:39, 27 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another community desysop proposal

Probably worth perusing and commenting upon: Wikipedia:Request for Admin Sanctions. — Coren (talk) 22:26, 29 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Requests for removal of adminship

Comments welcome. - jc37 03:50, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • Wow, all kinds of RfCs are popping up lately. Thanks for the note, Jc37! -- Lord Roem (talk) 22:59, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Appealing an arbitration block

See Wikipedia:AN#User:Sundostund and User_talk:Hasteur#Sundostund_Arbitration_enforcement_appeal

Am I wrong here? Hasteur has a policy page cited chapter and verse saying this is the right way to do this, but I don't think it is usually done this way in actual practice, probably because most admins are rightly scared stiff of losing their tools if they overturn an Arb enforcement block. (he asked me to reconsider closing it but now it looks like he went ahead and reverted it back open) Is the page out of date or am I just not very observant? Beeblebrox (talk) 17:11, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While Hasteur's impatience and apparent expaectation that admins have absolutely perfect understanding of every single page on WP have rendered this moot for purposes of this specific case, a general answer would still be appreciated. Thanks. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:33, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In actual practice, most appeals are conducted at WP:AE, not WP:AN. However, I'm fairly certain that both venues are acceptable. NW (Talk) 17:39, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This wouldn't be the first time that an Arbitration Enforcement Appeal was handled at WP:AN. So long as the rules about consensus are followed, nobody should be very concerned. Reversal of an enforcement action needs a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors at a community discussion noticeboard (such as WP:AN or WP:ANI)." Sometimes holding the discussion at a bigger noticeboard than WP:AE will cause a larger turnout of uninvolved editors. The appeal was made at WP:AN#User:Sundostund and the discussion now seems to have concluded. EdJohnston (talk) 17:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, thanks guys. I guess I just never saw it before. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:28, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NewtonGeek - Arbcom block

I see above that there is a discussion started by Jayen that is an attempt to not allow users like NewtonGeek to be involved in Arbcom discussions. Probably because of the information NewtonGeek has on Jayen and DracoEssentialis' actions. Anyways, I started a discussion on AN and was told to come here instead, so i'm just going to copy my comment from there.

I posted this elsewhere to allow Arbcom the opportunity to respond. I didn't expect a response and didn't get one, so here we are, as I planned to do anyways.

There was a discussion of privacy going on at the Fae case and I thought the parallels were interesting in relation to NewtonGeek's block. Of course, at least some of NG's privacy was already given away by Secretlondon way back when at the Factseducado SPI event. Now, it can't be confirmed whether the bureaucrat NG was in contact with was Secretlondon (unless Secretlondon would like to confirm it), but it can be highly assumed. Especially considering that, when asked by the bureaucrat whether certain information could be revealed in the SPI, NG said no, but then suddenly Secretlondon is at the SPI revealing said info anyways. Nice bureaucrats we have here.

Onto the current events regarding NG. It seems that because of the past information leak regarding NG and Factseducado, members of Wikipediocracy found out the real identity of NG and Factseducado (with later repeated leaking of information thanks to Jayen and DracoEssentialis not helping, though Elen fixed the leak Jayen had purposefully made). Around the same time frame as NG leaving Wikipediocracy, spam emails started arriving, computer viruses, and worse computer issues began happening, not to mention continued discussion on Wikipediocracy about NG's real identity and harassing comments. Thus, for the past few weeks, NG has been in email contact with Arbcom about the issues in relation to WO members and the continued referencing of personal information on Wikipediocracy (mostly because of Kohs and HRIP7).

Now, as for the block. The reasons are interesting. Trolling is the main one given, primarily because NG was advised to stop commenting on the Fae case, considering the involvement of certain Wikipediocracy members that then have a negative involvement with NG. But NG didn't stop commenting and NG didn't have to. NG had also found out a significant amount of information in relation to the harassment of Fae, including WO users looking for things to mock him for from his 1990's histories and the doxing of any account revealed to be related to him (which is likely why he doesn't want to reveal certain accounts publicly). There's no rule that NG had to stop being involved anyways without being ordered to and Arbcom could have quite easily just kicked NG specifically out of the talk page if they wanted to. Instead, they indefinitely blocked NG. Now, ignoring the block reason and all the stuff before it became an Arbcom block, that's all a sideshow, why exactly was NG blocked? Because "trolling" definitely doesn't fall under Arbcom block standards. I'm sure someone will bring up checkuser data, as was commented on at the ANI discussion. But this must be wrong! Because the results of a checkuser are already well known, in fact, that is related to the private information that was leaked. The relationship between NewtonGeek and Factseducado are well, well known and were already discussed far in the past. So what checkuser data could there possibly be? If there was socking issues, that would have been pointed out, but it wasn't.

So, what exactly is the background for such a block? "Trolling and competency"? As has been pointed out by multiple users, NG was one of the most coherent commenters on this talk page, making very pointed and accurate comments. and being a rather good help to revealing the harassment campaign against Fae. And, regardless, neither of the listed reasons fall under an Arbcom block at all, so it should be up to the community on whether the block is kept. So what really is going on here?" SilverserenC 01:57, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

When you were younger, did anyone ever tell you "no"? How about sporting events? Were you ever involved in anything where there were winners and losers? From the evidence supplied, I suspect not. (talk) 04:20, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, Kohs/Tarc/whomever you are. SilverserenC 05:01, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, and the answer to your question is tennis. SilverserenC 05:09, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Lolwut? When have I ever been suspected of editing via IP...or really, why would I ever have a need to? My own voice and account work just fine. As a wise man once said, "check yo self". Tarc (talk) 14:20, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Silverscreen, Factseducado was blocked initially due to accusations made toward me, yet Newton Geek has emailed me a number of times, evidenced by YGM templates on my talk page, and practically befriended me (check contribs). With what you already know, this might seem a bit odd, would it not? Noteworthy, at a minimum, particularly considering comments regarding me on other websites you mention. I don't have have the same info that ArbCom has and due to privacy concerns I won't detail what little info I do have, but I know there is much more here than meets the eye. There are a number of underlying issues that could easily justify an ArbCom block yet still have to be covered by our privacy policy. I don't expect I will ever have all the details unless Newton Geek emails me his perspective again, which oddly enough, he hasn't since the block. I have no problem with someone raising concerns here, but I can tell you from my own experience it is more complicated than can be disclosed, and while the initial block rationale is troutworthy, I am willing to bet that a block was justified for other reasons. Dennis Brown - © (WER) 14:55, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suspect it's justified too. But I'd like to see more transparency on this, and also suggest that to avoid misunderstandings in future, it might be best for arbs to refer similar matters to some unconnected admin. That might avoid side issues, like this. Mind, I'm not saying anything inappropriate was done, but if it was a nonarb who issued the block, it might be simpler and certainly less dramatic.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:54, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or if Arb is going to claim ownership and make it based on undisclosed info, be clear about that to begin with. I won't beat up on Risker, who has already been dragged around enough for the bad form on the block, but the delay before Arb came out and officially put their brand on it tells me there was some facepalming and scrambling going on. Likely, her compatriots were not thrilled as it reflected badly on the committee as a whole. Still, my confidence that a block was warranted is quite high. Dennis Brown - © (WER) 16:18, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought the block was long overdue and admonish Risker for her tardiness. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:44, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FWIW, yes, I also think it would have been better to declare it as an ArbCom block right away; it would have cut down on the drama threads. --Rschen7754 19:38, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
... and a day's delay from ArbCom is nothing short of astoundingly fast speed, given that we're globally dispersed and try to work by consensus. That's why we have specific emergency procedures for things like rouge sysadmins which have a much lower threshold for action. Nothing about clarifying or revising the stated purpose for a block was an emergency, so normal consensus procedures applied. Jclemens (talk) 19:47, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Dennis: NewtonGeek won't be able to email you ever again, since their talk page access and emailing capabilities were removed. So, unless you responded to one of those emails, giving them the capability to them talk with you outside of the Wikipedia email system, there's no current way for them to contact you at all.

I don't see anything at all that is blockable, unless you blocked NG for sending those emails about Wikipediocracy members. If you blocked for those accusations, then say that, though I still don't see how that would fit under an Arbcom block at all. Actually...I have the feeling that it has to have been for that, since "trolling and competence" is so far outside the range of what you guys do. Is this because of those emails? Is it because you guys didn't like the evidence that NG was finding on Wikipediocracy members, including some still editing Wikipedia members who post over there? SilverserenC 20:47, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The more I've followed this thing, the more confusing it has become. I do not share SilverSeren's perspective at all. I did not, however, see anything disruptive in NewtonGeek's public/onsite comments on the Fae case pages, although what I've seen on their user talk has been utterly bizarre. I would really like the Arbs to give some thought to providing a more informative explanation of the reasons for the block, even if a great deal of it has to be redacted, in order to help the community have confidence in the block decision. I realize that it will be a bit challenging to explain while holding much of the information in private, but I am pretty confident that you will be capable of doing so. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:02, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I should add as my own explanation to Tryptofish, NewtonGeek has been emailing Arbcom for weeks involving the harassment from Wikipediocracy members against them. NG has also been emailing regarding the Fae case and the evidence NG was able to dig up about the harassment campaign against Fae. And NG found a lot. I'm still amazed that Delicious Carbuncle got off pretty much scot-free considering the other things he was doing which, sadly, wasn't presented in the case, but that Arbcom should know about because of NG's emails. Though I suppose Arbcom doesn't have to worry about that because, since the information isn't public, they can pretend it doesn't exist. SilverserenC 21:20, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, only the 'emailing Arbcom for weeks' part is true. NG named no names as to who might be trolling them, nor did they provide any new evidence about the harrassment of Fae (they did point to a sock editing the case at one point) Elen of the Roads (talk) 21:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh right, I forgot about that no naming thing. Huh, well NG has a lot of evidence on DC, too bad it wasn't presented in the case. I dispute the no new evidence about the harassment though, there's a lot of things that I don't remember being pointed out in the case. Maybe someone did and everyone else ignored it.
And, away from the side track. So, Elen, why was NewtonGeek blocked? SilverserenC 21:58, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have you ever clicked on one of those links that claim to tell you how to "lose 2lbs of belly fat a day", "have teeth like the Hollywood stars", "beat wrinkles using this mum's tip" or whatever? And 20 pages later found that you're no wiser about the flat tum, white teeth or wrinkles, but you've somehow arrived at a page asking you to donate to a Mrs Ann Elk, founder of the First Church of Scientific Dieting? Well, the whole experience was a bit like that. Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:04, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rather than using a metaphor, you could just say that you think NewtonGeek was lying. So, was that what the block was for, what you think to be lying? SilverserenC 22:09, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think he was lying - I think he was trolling. And from the sounds of it, he was trolling you as well as us guys. He said he had all this marvellous evidence - screenshots, pdfs, 24 glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back..... But he never presented any of it. He did keep emailing, initially a lot of requests to have the information that Factseducado was his wife removed from Wikipedia (he was apparently in contact with Larry Sanger to get it removed from Wikipediocracy, despite the fact that his wife was the one who posted it there) but the last dozen emails had only a lot of words and no actual content. A number of my colleagues are convinced that NG and Facts are the same person, and I suppose User:ItsLassieTime managed to create multiple personas quite effectively, but I can't make up my mind. If they are not the same person, it seems very odd that Facts was convinced to the point of martyrdom that Dennis Brown was sending her abusive emails, while NewtonGeek went out of his way to cultivate Dennis, and said it was Wikipediocracy members who were sending abusive emails, even though the alleged abuse started before they apparently had any connection with Wikipediocracy. Elen of the Roads (talk) 23:34, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And considering Factseducado's claim about me personally, um no, I didn't ever reply via email and answered on wiki instead. I did nothing but treat him with honest respect here, but that doesn't mean my memory had failed me. Dennis Brown - © (WER) 21:54, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Was just letting you know why there probably haven't been further emails. SilverserenC 21:58, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Silver seren, we just finished a case where the Arbs went through the evidence that was presented on-wiki. I know that SilkTork, for one, spent a lot of time going through various WR threads. I am sure that they were the recipients of evidence via email, but I have no way of knowing what those emails contained. If you think NewtonGeek had some evidence that was not considered, please post it here. I'm giving you my permission to post whatever allegations you like, because I am curious what misinformation is being spread about me. Otherwise, I will expect you to stop making statements like "Delicious Carbuncle got off pretty much scot-free considering the other things he was doing which, sadly, wasn't presented in the case". Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:41, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FWIW, the moderating team at the BADSITE had to show this person (or people, perhaps) the door because he/she/they were flooding the place with massive amounts of off-topic (or at best tangential) material that got in the way of our (perhaps futile) attempts to try to have serious critical discussions about Wikipedia (which is what we want the site to be about). Any phenomenon worth talking about will have critics, defenders, and (apparently) people who just like to talk in circles. It's really just a matter of how high you put the signal:noise ratio on the priority list. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 23:27, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hm. They told me (personally) that they had left Wikipediocracy because they were being subject to harrassment by Wikipediocracy members who were threatening their personal safety, and they were talking to Larry Sanger about getting all the information they had posted there removed to ensure their personal safety. Am I correct in interpreting what you are saying as that The Wife and In the Gulag were blocked by Wikipediocracy? Elen of the Roads (talk) 23:39, 22 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow. Yes, their posting privileges have been revoked. I don't even know what to say about the other stuff. --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 00:47, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nor do I - really strange stuff Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:58, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New section then

To make this easier.

@Elen: I think you need to consult with the other arbs, because NewtonGeek did send an email regarding DC specifically. NG unfortunately didn't send it during the case, but NG did before being blocked. Check with Roger Davies.

@Arbcom: Let's keep this simple with some questions for you to answer.

Did NewtonGeek ever ask any of you if it would be allowed if they passed on new evidence pertaining to the case? What was the exact reply given to NG by Arbcom? If any of you were asked specifically, did you not respond to the question?

@Delicious Carbuncle: I'll keep this simple too. Did you ever mention an image by von Gloeden anywhere? SilverserenC 00:09, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Elen again: "They told me (personally) that they had left Wikipediocracy because they were being subject to harrassment by Wikipediocracy members who were threatening their personal safety" This sentence appears to be completely incorrect. I think you need to re-read the emails. Maybe you interpreted this or something, but it was never said. SilverserenC 00:11, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Silver - how on earth do you know what he ACTUALLY sent to any of us. Sent you what he claimed to be copies, did he? Can't you just accept you've been rickrolled. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:23, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So essentially you're going to divert the subject and belittle the person that can't respond. Um, Elen, I have no reason to believe you more. SilverserenC 00:52, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have been...or was, a few weeks contact with them both, and in that correspondence are assertions similar to what Elen noted above. What reason do you have to declare that people are being untruthful here? Tarc (talk) 01:22, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quite. The chap told me he'd sent all this marvellous evidence to NYB. He obviously told Silver he sent it to Roger Davies. He kept this up from the 30 June to when Risker blocked him, variously telling people he had given evidence to other people while emailing still other people and asking what evidence he could submit. It was only when we compared notes that we realised what he had been doing. There was no 'evidence'. He repeated a few bits of gossip on Wikipediocracy that everyone already knew is all. Elen of the Roads (talk) 01:29, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I did mention an image by Wilhelm von Gloeden, which I'm sure you already know. A search on WR turns up three results: one in relation to the image that was on Ash's userpage, one in a thread I started about von Gloeden's images on Commons, and another thread that remarked on removals of images from our article on von Gloeden. The image which was on Ash's page was discussed on SilkTork's talkpage during the case. Now that we've established that, what is it you and/or NewtonGeek are accusing me of? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 01:54, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seren; I think you are fighting for the wrong side here. I was subjected to this individuals behaviour; they claimed all sorts of things including levelling accusations, what looked like threats to call my employer etc. I humoured them at one point and gave them my (emminently public) email address to have a "rabbi" and "police officer" contact me about how awfully bad I was. But nothing surfaced (although my work email did get a strange anonymous trolling mail that made various related accusations, I think assuming it was by bosses address - I'm not sure if it is connected, but it is something of a coincidence). In the end I think it is clear; this is an accomplished troll with one aim; disruption and lulz. --Errant (chat!) 08:29, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm, also; are you in touch with this person? If so be very very careful. --Errant (chat!) 08:30, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seren has a habit of making bald statements that he is either unable to back up, or turns out to be based on mistaken facts, he then tends to slinks off with tail between his legs when challenged. So don't be surprised if he doesn't respond with any alacrity. John lilburne (talk) 09:30, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Now now. He does always genuinely seem to believe there has been an injustice, and it is important for him to speak up for the silenced user. It's not fair to imply that it's all posturing. Elen of the Roads (talk) 13:48, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't doubt his faith either, but if you look closely, these two blocked editors have pretty much said that every website they have become members of, someone has sent them harassing emails and threatened to out them. I'm not sure what the game is, if those two (or one person, perhaps) simply likes being the victim or is a rather elaborate and dedicated troll (my guess, on both counts). At some point, even someone with the best of faith has to declare "shenanigans" and move on. Dennis Brown - © (WER) 14:48, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't doubt that he is sincere in his initial beliefs, just that he often grabs hold of the wrong end of the stick, and when challenged finds the foundations of his premises to be built on quicksand. John lilburne (talk) 15:21, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I appreciate the good faith of everyone who has contributed to this discussion, but I fear that we are deep into troll-feeding territory in any further discussion of NewtonGeek, and I don't know that there is much more to be said. Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:29, 23 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm just going to respond down here rather than individually up above. Easier this way.

@Elen: The evidence does appear to be real. I have some of it at the moment. The majority of the reason why it wasn't presented appears to be because, repeatedly, Arbcom was asked what sort of information was proper to present both in the case and in regards to emails to the committee itself, with concerns of copyright liabilities and privacy lawsuits if the wrong information was given, and Arbcom members never responded to this question from NewtonGeek. It appears to be falling under the common action of not responding to emails altogether, admittedly.

@Delicious Carbuncle: I didn't know about the talkpage discussion. That helps somewhat and I do have to agree with you that you apparently never used the word pedophile yourself in the discussions. It just appears that, wherever you went, you opened up discussions about Fae (say on WR) geared toward one specific aspect, such as said photo, and they descended into discussions of pedophilia or other things in relation to Fae, things that would certainly be considered harassment and intimidation. This happened over and over again for an extended period of time. Perhaps all of that is just a coincidence. If it is, I apologize.

@Errant: It really doesn't appear to be trolling to me at all. It appears to be a person who really is from outside of Wikipedia at this point and is reacting to unexpected threats and intimidation (and actual attacks, per said computer issues) as a normal person would. And they don't seem to know who to trust exactly regarding this, considering they never really got any sort of warm welcome from Arbcom or Wikimedia officials when their concerns were sent.

@Arbcom/Everyone/whatever: Really, I shouldn't have turned the discussion this direction, it's really just diverting from the main point of this entire section in the first place, why I started it. Simple questions that I ask to be answered: Why was NewtonGeek blocked? If it was for "trolling", that's one thing, but why is this an Arbcom block then and not something subject to the consensus of the community? Lastly, what exactly is this "checkuser" evidence and how does it relate to this block at all? That last one is the most perplexing to me and it still feels like it was pulled out of nowhere as a last minute justification for an Arbcom block. SilverserenC 06:11, 24 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just stop. I am the one that has been most critical about the Gloeden image not DC, and it has not been DC that has pursued that image either, but friends/supporters of Fae who, like you keep bringing that image up as a stick to beat DC with. The result is that as with Wnt on my talk page and on SilkTork's talk page (since deleted), I feel obliged to remind those that mention it why it is that the image is a major problem, and should not be dismissed as just a 'humorous image of a youth'. John lilburne (talk) 07:20, 24 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Silver seren, yes, I started discussions on Fæ's edits and activities on WP and Commons. For the most part, the things I was bringing up were the same things that you can see in the evidence section of this case. There is no doubt that von Gloeden is associated with paedophilia, but suggestions of that supported paedophilia by his choice of image were unfounded and I said so. Still, the image was deliberately provocative (and I have no doubt that Fæ knew what the un-cropped image showed). It makes Fæ's later statements like this proposal seem hypocritical at best, especially when combined with knowledge of Fæ's "alternate accounts". I have been severely admonished by ArbCom for my part in this and narrowly avoided being banned - your allegations at this late stage are not helpful. I think you realize now that you were bamboozled (again) and will be more careful in the future. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:11, 24 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Very little of that really addresses anything I said and your last sentence isn't appreciated at all, especially considering the evidence given to me isn't about you for the most part, the von Gloeden thing is just noted as an example of the worst direction the threads you made went. It also really appears that you don't feel you did anything wrong, regardless of being severely admonished. Though, I guess that's irrelevant at this point, since the main point from Arbcom was to make sure it doesn't happen again in the future. But, as I said above, I should have never mentioned you in the first place, as this is just a sideshow and a distraction from the main questions i've been asking this entire time.

So, I am still waiting for a response from Arbcom about the block, the reason why it's an "Arbcom block", and what the heck this checkuser evidence has to do with anything. If you don't want to say it in public, feel free to email me. But if I don't get a response, then i'll just have to, once again, take my questions to other venues until I get a response. I don't think a response is too much to ask for. SilverserenC 23:08, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lol, you demand that they give privately-held evidence to you, that's rich. What don't you go hopalong over to the Commons and ask Saibo how he's faring in his pestering of the WMF regarding Beta M. Tarc (talk) 23:36, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whatever "evidence" there is doesn't appear to have come about between conversations with NewtonGeek. And checkuser evidence should have to do with sockpuppets, correct? Why can't that just be stated if that's the reason? At this point, considering how long it took them to decide to make it an Arbcom block, it seems like it was made as such so the community wouldn't be able to overturn the decision and embarrass Risker. Because no evidence was forthcoming at all. SilverserenC 23:44, 25 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When someone says "Delicious Carbuncle got off pretty much scot-free considering the other things he was doing which, sadly, wasn't presented in the case" that is a direct and unequivocal statement that they have knowledge that I was doing something nefarious and it was not raised or dealt with in the case. I have already told you that so far as I am concerned you are free to say what you want without fear of me requesting admin action. So, let's get it all out in the open, Silver seren, or you risk looking like you were talking out of your ass. What was I doing and where was I doing it? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:29, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The von Gloeden thread was my main reason for that sentence back then, as the things stated in the thread were really rather horrible. But then, after looking closer, I saw that you yourself didn't actually make the statements specifically or join in agreeing with them when I thought you had, being the creator of the thread and the subject overall and still posting in the thread itself. Like I said above, you've stayed away from being outright involved in such things, though posting in them is still rather bad, I think. SilverserenC 10:48, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Will you please stop saying things like "being outright involved" when, if what we're talking about are allegations of pedophilia advocacy, I made clear and unambiguous statements disputing any such claims. As for posting in those threads where such allegations were made, would you rather no one had spoken up to refute those allegations? If your flawed and incomplete understanding of the von Gloeden episode was your "main reason", would you please tell me what your other reasons were so that we can put this nonsense to rest? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:08, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you feel that strongly about it, then why don't you ask Arbcom to allow all evidence to be presented and help them by revealing any discussions about Fae that have occurred on the hidden Wikipediocracy board and any email conversations between you and other Wikipediocracy members? Then everything will be completely visible and if there's nothing there, then clearly everything is fine. SilverserenC 22:38, 30 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I feel strongly about people making statements alleging that they have knowledge of things I have done. I have asked to tell us what it is I am supposed to have done and where it is that I am supposed to have done it, but you have yet to come up with any response other than to say you went off half-cocked in regard to the von Gloeden stuff. It seems pretty clear that you were just talking out of your ass and you are now grasping, vainly, at straws. I have given you ample chance to produce some sort of claim here so that we could put the matter to rest, but rather than admitting there was nothing to your first statement, you have blustered and weaseled yourself into a corner. Are you done with this now, because this thread was your last chance to make your insinuations without me taking action. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:45, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmmm. The Gloeden things go the way they do because of the nature of the Gloeden image, in a private message to me on WO NG or the Wife or whomever wondered if anyone that used 'that' image might not be a threat to children (my response there was that nothing should be read into the posting of the image other than its lack of judgement in the noncensored effect). In any case I'm truly shocked that Seren of all people is here complaining about the none suppression of information. Apparently he was going to "reply in a moment" some 5 hours ago. John lilburne (talk) 10:21, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was busy working on something else and had my half-written response opened up in another tab. SilverserenC 10:48, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So mostly correct then. John lilburne (talk) 11:34, 26 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Going back to your comment two above, John, why don't you copy over the Wikipediocracy statement that led to that email to you? SilverserenC 22:41, 30 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No part of this discussion is useful at this point. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:44, 30 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably not, but I'd hate for Seren, due to lack of data, to turn into some sort of Alex Jones. John lilburne (talk) 00:09, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No need to copy anything it is already copied here and consists of the section "Least you are still ignorant ... naked below the waist" John lilburne (talk) 00:09, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Newyorkbrad, since you're the first Arbcom member to actually respond in days, i'll just reiterate, "So, I am still waiting for a response from Arbcom about the block, the reason why it's an "Arbcom block", and what the heck this checkuser evidence has to do with anything. If you don't want to say it in public, feel free to email me. But if I don't get a response, then i'll just have to, once again, take my questions to other venues until I get a response. I don't think a response is too much to ask for." SilverserenC 00:13, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NewtonGeek is blocked by direction of the Arbitration Committee for reasons that have been discussed in general terms above. The evidence behind this Arbitration Committee block includes non-public information, such as the many e-mails that NewtonGeek himself sent to the Committee and to several individual arbitrators and groups of arbitrators. The block is based in large measure on that evidence. Beyond what has been discussed above, which really should be ample, I cannot provide more detailed information on-wiki, nor will further information be e-mailed to you. For you to "take [your] questions to other venues until [you] get a response" will be pointless, as no further public information is available, and administrators other than arbitrators are not privy to the private information and hence would have no ability to review the block (even if they were authorized to do so).
I understand that you desire to make sure no editors are blocked unjustly, and also that you generally seem to dislike and distrust the Arbitration Committee and/or some of its current members. Nonetheless, one of the reasons for having an Arbitration Committee is to deal with situations that cannot be fully addressed on-wiki. I trust you will have noted that other editors, who initially shared your concerns about this block, have been satisfied with the further information we were able to provide and have dropped the matter. I hope you will do the same and I advise you to kindly not pursue this issue in multiple venues as you have said you are considering. Rather, I hope that you will accept this assurance that the ArbCom block was a carefully considered action that we concluded was necessary and stand behind as a sufficient response to your inquiries. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:38, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I count myself as one of those users who initially shared those concerns, but who have now moved on (except of course to the extent of this comment here). My reasons for being satisfied arise from piecing together what I can understand from things stated on-Wiki, rather than from a clear explanation in a single place from the Arbs. That really is something that the Arbs might want to consider. Actually, both with the NewtonGeek situation, and with the Fae-Philippe conversation, the Committee has been vague-er than you really needed to be, in your explanations to the community, and you should understand that something (including a conspiracy theory) will always try to fill the vacuum. In any case, I can see that NewtonGeek seemed entirely reasonable on the arbitration case pages. But I also came to see, first, that there clearly was a connection to the Factseducuado account, and second, that there clearly were talk page comments from these accounts that, taken as a whole, could not have been in good faith. It required a lot of reading for that "taken as a whole" to come into focus for me, but if I could do it, so could other people who were sufficiently interested. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:54, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If only it were possible to take a small fraction of the effort that the community expends advocating for these sorts of obviously disruptive accounts, and instead apply it to support constructive, productive editors, I think our editor-retention issues would disappear. I understand the psychological need to crusade against injustice, but sometimes I wish it could be coupled to a sense of perspective. MastCell Talk 16:38, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would prefer more transparency to say what I believe happened, but not only is that desire not shared by a majority of the committee, it has the real effect of either disclosing confidential materials, or being "unsubstantiated" allegations. If you could find a way to help me solve the latter problem, I'm sure the committee would be more open to sharing more. Jclemens (talk) 17:12, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Tryptofish that we could have communicated more effectively what happened in this situation. My guess is that we've been unusually busy recently with 3 contentious cases running in parallel, and when this happens we don't communicate as effectively as we should. Anyway, my take on this situation is very similar to Dennis Brown's above. That is, there are a number of possible explanations, such as being attention seeking, or being a conspiracy theorist, or an internet troll, or a blogger engaged in some sort of breaching experiment. The point is that while I don't think we can be entirely certain what the situation is, and while some of the on-wiki posts were entirely reasonable, overall as MastCell has commented, this was a highly disruptive user that has taken up a great deal of our time. Taking up Jclemens comment above, if we were allowed to just quote a few of the weirder sentences in one of the emails, that alone, I think, would explain the decision to block the account. However, if we were allowed to do that, my guess is that we would have to adjust the arbitration policy, so that people emailing us were aware of the rules. PhilKnight (talk) 17:36, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me offer this suggestion, in response to what Jclemens asked for. I realize that you shouldn't post confidential material or bogus allegations. But there are ways of partially quoting the weirder e-mails in a way that sheds light without spilling the beans. You can say that you got numerous e-mails claiming that someone (whom you will not name) is involved in a conspiracy to publish an exposé of Wikipedia doing something ridiculous along the general lines of X, without giving too much of what X consisted of. Or if that's too much, you could simply say, in a manner that you really never did, that you were getting large numbers of e-mails that were nonsensical/confrontational/contradictory/unresponsive/whatever. (I could, just by looking around onsite, find the account saying on someone else's talk page that they had been deeply involved with advocacy for mental health rights, but when I suggested on NG's talk page that they explain their openly weird comments on their own talk page in those terms, they dismissed the suggestion using an argument that could not possibly be reconciled with what I saw in the sockpuppet investigation.) Anyway, I honestly thought everything NG said during the arb case was entirely good faith on the face of it (so, MastCell, it wasn't obviously disruptive), and I was initially very worried about the block, but when I looked more carefully, I began to realize that things did not add up. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:19, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First off, PhilKnight, regardless of the fact that you are just listing possibilities, they are still personal attacks backed by no evidence. It's just as likely, 100% likely in my opinion, that NewtonGeek is a person who found themselves way too involved with...let's call them the "bad crowd". NG found this out and then decided to take action against it. Unfortunately, part of this action was to try and show Arbcom what had been found and Arbcom, for the most part, didn't respond or more or less belittled anything NG said. I am quite interested in what you consider to be the "weirder sentences" in the emails, as i've seen them and they all seemed fairly straightforward to me. It seems, like other Arbcom members, you are making comments about NG to try and discredit them while not having any backing for the statements.

Maybe it would have been better if Arbcom had instead focused on actually responding to the question asked multiple times by NG of "What evidence am I allowed to present to Arbcom?", instead of trying to "clarify email rules". Unless the rules of email evidence are what you're speaking of and, in that case, it would have been must simpler just to respond to NG with an answer to the question. But no such answer ever came.

Oh, and i'm quite interested in what this "disruption" is you're speaking of in relation to NG. What edits of theirs were disruptive? Surely you can link to them, right? SilverserenC 02:36, 1 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Jclemens: Oh, and you can certainly email me about more specific allegations, considering i'm quite sure I already know all of the confidential information about NG that you're concerned with oversharing. SilverserenC 02:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I apologize in advance for being so blunt, but here's what I have to say about the whole situation. Please consider that                                  and                               . So when                  is taken together with                   , we can plainly see that                and that                                   means                            . So I believe we can all agree that                                        . And I think that settles the issue of                               . Now that I've made my position crystal clear, I'm going back to working on articles. (talk) 09:28, 1 August 2012 (UTC) P.S. we must be very serious here.Reply[reply]
Thanks to Tryptofish for his constructive criticism. From my perspective, it seems that everybody in this thread has reached the correct conclusion about NewtonGeek, apart from Silver Seren, of course. I don't intend to continue answering Silver Seren's questions - it seems obvious to me that Silver Seren has got hold of the wrong end of the stick on this one. As Elen has already commented, it would be better if Silver Seren just accepted that he has been rick rolled. PhilKnight (talk) 14:19, 1 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See, now you're just continuing with the personal attacks against NG. I'm done at this point. Clearly, I can't continue a conversation with you if you're just going to be making personal attacks against a blocked user. You've basically just shown that you are unfit to be on Arbcom with this kind of behavior and I sincerely hope that you are not reelected in the future. It's sad that you are acting like this and Arbcom's actions as a whole, if they continue in this regard, will likely end up with a situation in the future with some confused user where they do the same thing to the user and get sued for it. Then that will be the end of Arbcom. Either that or the community will get rid of Arbcom eventually as you all keep making poor case decisions. We'll just have to see. SilverserenC 00:15, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I obviously disagree entirely with what Silver seren said above, and I would urge them to reconsider it. But anyway, I would ask the Arbs to take a look at what I just said at User talk:Tryptofish#Concern. If there is any concern on the Committee's behalf that I'm going against the block, please let me know, and of course I will desist immediately if you do. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:45, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • As far as I interpret the rules, Silver Seren is welcome to relay post, but if he does so, accepts responsibility for all such comments proxied. While it seems kinda pedantic to say so, the expectation is that he will refuse to proxy an edits on behalf of a banned user that would be themselves unproductive or pointlessly inflammatory. Jclemens (talk) 04:46, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • It would be far easier just to allow NG to have talk page access. Was that removed for some reason, by the way? There didn't seem to be any abuse of it. SilverserenC 05:40, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Silver seren, I read their talk page comments, and found them strange to the point of being troll-like. Jclemens, I'll keep that in mind. I don't want Silver seren to feel unreasonably inhibited from communicating anything (to me – added in reaction to DC) if he does it in good faith, so I'll be careful to rapidly redact anything that I think will be contrary to your advice. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:30, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • I would like Silver seren to feel justifiably inhibited about posting anything which relates to me. As Jclemens states, seren is taking responsibility for whatever he posts from blocked users. I gave seren a chance to say whatever he wanted and he had nothing. The case is closed and I have had quite enough of this nonsense over the years. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:15, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • DC, as far as my user talk page goes, there is nothing there about you, and I would not have permitted anything there about you. And I'm now done with this. There is no remaining need for anything on my talk about any of these matters. It's time for everyone to move on. Really. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

-b/-c List archiving

In light of this addition, was there ever a resolution to this question? Specifically, what is/are the preservation and access policies for these lists? Do we have a positive assurance that a previously involved party will not have access to earlier material? Thx & regards. Franamax (talk) 04:50, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good question, and to be perfectly honest, I don't speak mailing list administration well enough to answer with any confidence. I've sent a message asking someone who does to stop by. Courcelles 06:22, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The archives are active for both lists. Access is for all arbitrators, by default; for individual cases, this is modified. We also use one or the other of these secondary lists for special projects that require a significant number of emails within a single topic (e.g., Checkuser/Oversight and AUSC processes). Arbcom-en-C was originally created to handle a specific case that centered around non-public information, so that parties could more easily be copied in to relevant emails. Aside from the criteria mentioned in the motion, the alternate list is used for cases where one or more arbitrators is recused. The archives remain in place for these lists and arbitrators who have been removed from the list temporarily in relation to a case are not permanently excluded from them (it's not technically possible with current software). We are continuing to examine other options that will allow us to have permanent "case by case" access restrictions; different software will be required. Risker (talk) 06:37, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, so given the entirely reasonable notion that arbs who are recused or involved shouldn't have privileged access during a specific incident, how can I improve the wording to reflect that they will have access after the affair? Is it the case that all arbs have access to all archives always? So if you're plotting against me I can read about it tomorrow but not in my inbox? I suppose that what I'm asking for is a very clear statement on who gets to read what and exactly when post facto. Franamax (talk) 07:34, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think most arbitrators actually bother going through the archives in any case. Risker is the point-woman on all matters mailing-list related; if people can access the -b or -c list and check up on what they missed after the fact, I suppose it's possible someone actually would. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:57, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not very clear what you are asking. The point about segregating lists is to so that arbitrators who are parties don't have an advantage, by being privy to internal deliberations, over other editors who are parties. Post facto, as you put it, it doesn't really matter ;) It might even be sobering if an arbitrator learns later what his/her colleagues candidly think about an aspect of their conduct. Certainly, I'm not seeing a downside.  Roger Davies talk 15:58, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As well, just like on any other mailing list, discussion can often drift into other topic areas that may prove relevant to currently absent arbitrators. And development of new principles or areas of focus may occur on a case where an arbitrator is recused; that process may be relevant to the arbitrator for future cases.

Realistically, few arbitrators actually read the archives, and the archive for the main list is essentially unsearchable unless someone knows pretty precisely what they're looking for. Several sitting arbitrators have said they haven't even obtained passwords to gain access to the main mailing list archives, and others have never (or only rarely) made use of the ones they have. Risker (talk) 16:28, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Hmm, just looking at that chart, I'd like to suggest that someone combine the listings for the -b and -c lists, because they are used interchangeably for the same purposes. However, looking at the chart template and all the fancy coding, I know if I tried to do it, something would break very very badly. Any takers? Risker (talk) 19:59, 3 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Done. I also included a note about arbitrators gaining access to the case archives upon the conclusion of the case. Regardless of whether people are likely to actually go back and read the archives or not, I think it's worth highlighting for those who are emailing the Committee. NW (Talk) 18:09, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

template does not follow policy

Originally from WT:ACN

While reviewing the above, I've noted the the Template:Article discretionary sanctions does not follow the Committee's policy, which states "Warnings should be clear and unambiguous, link to the decision authorising the sanctions, ". It's like #4 -- (sorry can't link directly to an anchor, someone has unnecessarily fully protected the page and I'm not a member of the correct caste) The template does not provide a link to the committee's sanction. Nobody Ent 03:13, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WP:NOTBURO. All cases that authorize discretionary sanctions do so by the wording listed at WP:AC/DS, and the full list of cases is listed at that page. By prior discussion at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification, discretionary sanctions such as 1RR can be imposed on articles and the "warning" requirement is satisfied by an edit notice. NW (Talk) 05:32, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AC is the bureaucracy. It should follow its own rules. Nobody Ent 11:42, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The template was created at a time when we wrote a new "discretionary sanctions remedy" for each case. After a while, differences in the wording of the DS remedy from one case to the next were creating confusion and unnecessary disputes at the enforcement stage, so we adopted the "standard discretionary sanctions" language instead. Obviously this template was not updated at that time.
There are two ways we could fix the issue that Nobody Ent has identified. One would be to edit that paragraph of the policy. The other would be to create a parameter for the underlying decision to be linked from the DS template. Which of these would be preferable? Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:52, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Parameter, such that when a user comes upon a page, as AQFK did they can easily trace the reason for the template. Nobody Ent 19:04, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • From "warnings should ... identify misconduct", it is obvious the warning in question is the one given directly to an editor whose behaviour is disruptive. Thus the only relevant template is {{Uw-sanctions}}, which complies with policy. {{Article discretionary sanctions}} is a courtesy note optionally added to an article talk page, and is not governed directly by the discretionary sanctions policy. AGK [•] 20:17, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That makes sense, although it still might make sense to add the parameter to the article-talkpage template as well. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:21, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suppose that functionality could be useful in future, so I have added it to the template. However, there is no pressing need to update any existing instances of the template (unless anybody has the time to do so). AGK [•] 22:00, 11 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template revision

Concern regarding the template was raised by A Quest For Knowledge that the existing template is "extremely unfriendly and unwelcoming warning". NYB concurred that "I agree that the notice could be worded is a different and more positive fashion; perhaps you or someone would like to propose a variation." I proposed this two days and received no objections. Noetica improved the wording with the comment a very useful and informative revision, by the way ☺. AGK states above the template is intended as a courtesy notice. Both myself -- perhaps misled by the stop sign and its Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger! -- interpreted it as a warning. Nobody Ent 21:37, 13 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposing a variation is good, but implementing it on many articles without telling anyone in a centralized location is less good. Your notice, while it had some good changes, is also very unclear to someone who doesn't know what "discretionary sanctions" means or why they might be imposed. I have made some changes to {{Article discretionary sanctions}} which I think you will appreciate. Let's work with what we already have rather than replacing the old template entirely. NW (Talk) 22:25, 13 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The existing template has issues. It's overly complicated, with the Engvar variants and the complicated switch statement -- which implies the template would have to be updated every time a new AC DS remedy is passed. The documentation is wrong ... "uw-sanctions"? And an editor looking at it the page buffer would see something inscrutable like {{Article discretionary sanctions | ipa}}. (Personally, to me ipa means India Pale Ale). Seeing {{DS Courtesy Notice | Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/India-Pakistan#Final_decision}} in the edit buffer is much clearer for the ordinary Randy. When viewed normally, the Article discretionary sanctions has six hyperlinks, which is more confusing than the two (hopefully three, if parameter is used), of DS Courtesy Notice. In the context of the talk page, what's important to the newbie is What the heck is this "committee" and what are discretionary sanctions. We've got way too much WP-this and WP-that around this place as it is. (The veteran are gonna know all that stuff). Putting walls o' text at the top of article talk pages makes them invisible Nobody Ent 18:29, 14 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would support an update to the content of the template that increases newbie-friendliness, and I do prefer your title (DS Courtesy Notice) so perhaps the template could be renamed. However, I am not convinced that a newbie who reads the presumably-understandable output (ie. what is shown when reading a page) of the template is likely to be subsequently baffled by an acronym in the template's wikicode (ie. what is shown when editing a page). I therefore see no reason to change the current requirement to switch between final decisions using an initialism like ARBPIA. The ENGVAR switching is an additional feature and can be ignored on many pages. AGK [•] 21:58, 14 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How many article discretionary sanctions templates link to the decision? All the DS courtesy ones I had posted did. Nobody Ent 22:20, 14 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know, but your new template should not replace all iterations of the existing template without some sort of agreement from the community that it is a good idea to do so. AGK [•] 23:10, 14 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. Which is why I first manually did the change to WP:Article Titles (per NYB's suggestion on the other AC page), waited for reaction, got a little pos positive vibe from Noetica, did a batch, waited. The issue of the lack of link was first raised by me last December, reiterated by ASCIIn2BMe in February -- and totally ignored. When I asked about the link above and stated (incorrectly, but in good faith) that the warning wasn't compliant with the AC's own policies, NW's first response was NOTBURO and AGK stated " is not governed directly by the discretionary sanctions policy" which to me makes it fair game for any nobody to edit per the anyone can edit meme. Was there a community discussion when the Article Discretionary Sanctions was created last November? Nobody Ent 23:24, 14 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it would be helpful if the template explained in a bit more detail what discretionary sanctions are and what their purpose is. Editors who see the template, who may be relatively new editors, may not think to click on the link ... and if they do it takes them to a relatively complicated policy page. A couple of sentences of straightforwardly worded summary within the template itself would I think be helpful. Perhaps Kirill, who first developed the concept of discretionary sanctions a few years back, might have some thoughts. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with this 100%. Although I haven't faced discretionary sanctions, I saw the warning page (random surfing) and was wondering what it is. I even asked some peopel who have been here for years who said "Not exactly sure." Explaining exactly what these sanctions are is a MUST! --Activism1234 05:33, 19 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FYI: closure of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Expansion of Ban Appeals Subcommittee

Folks who watch this page might be interested in my closure of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Expansion of Ban Appeals Subcommittee. Or they might not, but the link is there just in case. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:32, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for posting this here. I think many of the arbitrators watchlist this page, but I'll mention your close in the mailing list for the benefit of any who don't or are away. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:52, 24 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arbcom-imposed redundant referencing?

Hey guys, I need your help. There's an editor I respect who often asks nominators in review processes to change their citation style to the one he prefers: adding a redundant reference to every single sentence (even if every sentence in a paragraph is covered by the cite at the end of the paragraph). He claims, and has claimed for years despite universal disagreement and irritation on the part of some, that this "increases the density of references" and that this "isn't just a matter of style" (because demanding a change of style that there's no consensus for would be a WP:CITEVAR violation). Recently, Iridescent implied at WT:FAC#End-of-paragraph citations that Arbcom had actually imposed this stylistic preference somewhere in WP:ARBEE, for contentious articles. I don't see it at ARBEE; does this ring a bell for anyone? - Dank (push to talk) 02:16, 24 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think there's a misunderstanding here. We have emphasized that reliable sources are needed for articles (especially, but not limited to, BLPs), and that this is especially important when a particular article or assertion is controversial or disputed. As Iridescent noted, there are clearly a disproportionate number of disputes in the overall Eastern European topic areas, and hence editors on disputed articles in that area should be extra punctilious about citing, especially when a particular fact within the article is challenged. One example of this would be providing specific references for the sentence that has been disputed, or for a sentence that is obviously going to be disputed, right at that point, rather than relying on an end-of-paragraph reference that applies to multiple statements. We've also emphasized the need, already widely recognized by the community, for specific sources for negative statements in BLPs. And we've sanctioned editors who have repeatedly cited sources that don't turn out to say what the editor claimed they said, which is a serious threat to the reliability of the encyclopedia.
In general, however, the Arbitration Committee has not specified rules about sources or references that goes beyond the generally applicable policies and guidelines. Given the Committee's limited role, we really wouldn't have the authority to do that, even if we wanted to (which in this instance I at least do not). Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:32, 24 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Brad, that helps a lot. - Dank (push to talk) 02:50, 24 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Best practices regarding recusal

I'd like some feedback, ideally from Committee members as well as the community, about best practices for recusal. My concern is prompted by this current amendment request. When this request was opened, Jclemens recused himself. Then, once proposed amendments were posted, he "un-recused" himself in order to vote on them.

When questioned, Jclemens said that he had forgotten that he was recused ([7]). However, he defended his decision to "un-recuse" himself, offering by way of explanation: "Since my recusal was elective in the first place, I appear to have de facto rescinded it by voting on the motion."

I'm not sure where to start in voicing my concerns about this extremely cavalier approach to recusal. First of all, participants in a case have a right to know which Arbs are voting and which are recused, and not to have the goalposts moved in the middle of a proceeding. Secondly, if an Arb feels compelled to "un-recuse", s/he probably owes case participants a more serious explanation than "I appear to have de facto rescinded my recusal by voting." That's a statement of fact, not an explanation.

I am aware of no precedent for an Arb who had previously recused himself rescinding that recusal in mid-proceeding, although perhaps others with more experience can enlighten me if it's a common practice. It seems to me that the behavior here, both in action and in accountability, falls below the standard routinely expected of the average admin, much less an ArbCom member.

I'd like to know what sort of best practices govern recusal. My question isn't "can Jclemens get away with this?" Because, obviously, he can. My question is whether this represents an acceptable approach to recusal which case participants should be prepared for, or whether this is an aberration falling below best practices for an ArbCom member. MastCell Talk 07:42, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are there any written, formal procedures governing recusal? If not, I expect the arbitrators would feel free to interpret recusal norms according to what they think is best for the situation. The community of active wp.en wikipedians is so small nowadays, we all interact with each other to some degree. Cla68 (talk) 07:52, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I get that Arbs interpret recusal according to their own unwritten rules. My question is: what are the unwritten norms for recusal? This behavior falls outside anything I would have previously considered normative, which is why I brought it up. As to your last sentence, I'm not arguing that Jclemens should or should not have recused. I'm wondering why he thinks it's OK to first recuse, and then "un-recuse" 3 weeks into the proceeding once there are proposals to vote on. MastCell Talk 07:56, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jclemens has some very odd interpretations of many things. For example they offered my the choice of an apology for their baseless accusations in the middle of a case they were officiating on, or a re-hearing of my case. Neither occurred, of course. Rich Farmbrough, 05:48, 25 August 2012 (UTC).Reply[reply]
Rich, how funny it is that you choose Jclemens' comments during the case about your conduct to demonstrate an ostensible pattern of "odd interpretations". I think you need to drop the stick. (Also, it's bad form to add a comment to the middle of a stale discussion when your remark could be as easily made at the end, where most people are watching.) AGK [•] 13:32, 25 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I can speak only for my own practices when it comes to recusal. I recuse when I have been actively involved as an editor in the dispute in question; however, I have had to draw lines in the sand in the past, particularly when one or more editors have decided that they don't want me to participate for reasons that have nothing to do with impartiality. There are also situations where I recuse for personal reasons, for example if the core topic of a case is something I feel strongly about or which has an overlap with my non-Wikipedia life. Generally speaking, I'll try to *stay* recused on those cases as they continue through the Arbcom system (i.e. clarification/amendment requests), but after a while these requests often stop being about the core topic and are just run-of-the-mill interpersonal disputes or behavioural violations (e.g., edit-warring or carrying disputes to other topic areas). At that point, I may "unrecuse". It's often difficult when a case is first accepted to determine where it will lead, or what the nature of the evidence or proposed decision will turn out to be; there are times where, as it turns out, a recusal may not have been necessary. I have taken to listing myself as "inactive" in some cases, rather than "recused", if there is not an immediately obvious reason for me to recuse, and have occasionally recused myself on one or two aspects of a case while remaining active on the remainder. One needs to bear in mind that it's pretty much impossible to impose "real world" recusal practices on Wikipedia, because most real-world practices focus on financial or personal benefit, which is well outside of the scope of the community to determine in almost every case. Risker (talk) 13:11, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I think that's a good idea, Risker, and in the future will probably follow that path. I'm not accustomed to listing myself "inactive" on a case while still active on-wiki (And, indeed, I think I have among the lowest percentages of arb inactivity overall) due to case fatigue, but in hindsight that's essentially what I should have done in this case. Jclemens (talk) 13:58, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Following John Vandenberg's example, my own rules for when I should recuse are listed at User:PhilKnight/Recusals. PhilKnight (talk) 14:37, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • PhilKnight, since it isn't covered in your list, if an account had been blocked based on checkuser evidence that it was controlled by a "vanished" user, and you unblocked that account, would you recuse yourself from a case in which that person was a party? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:45, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • I think that's covered by "I'd recuse if I was the blocking or unblocking admin". PhilKnight (talk) 14:47, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Ah yes, missed that bit right at the end. Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:53, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • Please remember that there is no basis to expect arbitrators to recuse in future when they have taken an action in relation to their role as an arbitrator (as opposed to as an editor). There is no "Arbitration Committee" account designated to carry out blocks/unblocks or other actions, so individual arbitrators must use their own accounts to carry out Committee-approved or -requested actions. There are actually two "role" accounts, User:Arbitration Committee and User:Arbcom, but they are blocked and have no permissions; their function is to create an "email this user" portal that leads directly to the Arbcom-L mailing list. Risker (talk) 15:21, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • How does one distinguish between admin actions carried out for ArbCom and admin actions carried out as an individual admin? Lacking something in the edit summary positively stating something is an ArbCom action, I assume it is an individual admin action - is that reasonable? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:30, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
              • Typically {{ArbComBlock}} or the text For the Arbitration Committee will be in the block "reason" field. AGK [•] 15:43, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
                • So in the situation I presented above, if there is no mention of ArbCom in the comment when unblocking, one should assume that this was not an ArbCom action. In that case, would you expect that the Arb who performed the unblocking to recuse themselves in a case where the sockpuppeting vanished user was a party? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:12, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
                  • It would be nice, but it doesn't always happen. One can't modify logs so if someone legitimately forgets to put that in the summary, then there's no way to correct that. I've seen occasions where someone being blocked per arbcom gets unblocked and reblocked with the correct summary, but I cannot recall a situation where an unblock log entry was corrected. It would be the height of process wonkery to reblock someone who is supposed to be unblocked just to revise the unblock summary. There's often an onwiki discussion somewhere as well, which may or may not be linked. Again, much as we'd all love to be perfect, it's worse to reblock someone just to change the unblock edit summary than it is to leave it as it is. Risker (talk) 16:22, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sorry, but that's even greater process wonkery. If someone is not sure whether an action is an arbcom action or not, just ask the arbitrator who took the action, or email the Arbcom mailing list. Risker (talk) 21:08, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Doing that wouldn't be wonkery. Making a rule that says that's what you should do would be wonkery. Point is, the "I forget to put it in the summary so there's nothing I can do" excuse is just lame. Nobody Ent 21:17, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
                      • No question that if that were the case then there might be no reason to recuse, but there's really no way of knowing if the unblocking Arb doesn't make that connection clear. I sent an email to ArbCom recently asking in part about a situation that is not dissimilar and got no reply. Can we agree that Arbs should be open to questions about such situations to avoid the appearance of bias, at the very least? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:41, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Delicious carbuncle, you seem to want to ask one of the arbitrators a specific question. You know where his talk page is, please post it there. Not every arbitrator logs in multiple times a day, and since you have not asked a direct question you have no reason to expect a direct result. Your edit summaries are uninformative and unhelpful in the general discussion. Risker (talk) 21:08, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Risker, I asked a direct question, via email, five days ago. I got no response. Now there is a discussion of the general topic of recusal, so I'm throwing in my hypothetical scenario for any Arb to answer. I suspect that the community would like to know that Arbs will recuse themselves if they have been involved in a situation such as I have described. Would you recuse yourself in that situation, Risker? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:18, 18 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm actually a bit stuck at seeing why it is important, worthwhile, or even necessary for Arbitrators who have been sitting out a case – for whatever reason, recused or not – to be able to pop back in on a whim. The ArbCom has fifteen sitting members, but I don't think that anyone here operates under the misapprehension that fifteen voters are required or even desirable to properly decide a case. Indeed, I suspect that everyone – Arbitrators and the community that they serve – would be happier and more productive if cases tended to be handled by a smaller number of more-fully-engaged, not-burned-out Arbs. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:39, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am of the opinion that an Arb can elect to sit out of any case for any reason, but once they recuse themselves, they shouldn't be able to jump back into that case, particularly at the very end which seems to have happened several times in the last few months. I'm not saying that anything inappropriate happened but it does give the appearance of it. Arbcom cases should, IMO, avoid negative perceptions. Kumioko (talk) 20:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What other cases are you referencing, Kumiko? Jclemens (talk) 00:59, 18 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well the Rich F case for one, but as I recall virtually every case had someone that recused and then jumped into the discussion. Kumioko (talk) 01:16, 18 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you're confusing recusal and inactivity. There is an expectation that inactive arbitrators may come back and participate in any manner if and when the matter that caused their inactivity is resolved before the case/motion/whatever is decided. Jclemens (talk) 03:03, 18 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you're confusing your (or Arbitrators' in general) beliefs with the expectations of the community. If a case has had, from its outset, seven or eight or nine clearly active Arbs who have participated throughout, I strongly suspect that it's jarring indeed – for the parties and for the community at large – when an Arb decides to 'activate' himself at the last minute and cast a slew of votes shortly before a case closes—particularly when those votes suddenly alter the case's conclusions. Whether it's a question of fairness or simply a question of perceived fairness, the credibility of the ArbCom as a whole is damaged every time one of its members does something that looks that sloppy.
I know that direct comparisons to off-wiki courts and judicial processes are often best avoided, but such situations have a certain feel to them. Consider a case where a judge (from a panel in an appellate or supreme court) or a juror had spent most of a trial sleeping at his bench, or on vacation at a remote fishing camp. The day before a verdict is handed down, the judge or juror announces that he is fully cognizant of the relevant issues; he swears up and down that despite his absence and lack of perceptible involvement in the case up to this point that he has read all the transcripts and exhibits; and he will be issuing a decision in the case, and that everyone involved should just accept that. Parties would not believe that they had received a fair hearing, and outside observers would question the integrity of the proceedings.
Arbitrators, for their own sake and for the sake of the project, should avoid jumping in at the last minute to cases where they have not bothered to be involved throughout. They should instead concentrate on a more limited number of cases to which they can give their full and complete attention. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:14, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is there an arbcom "best practices" page or code of ethics somewhere that we could look at? If so, could the recusal rationale detailed by Risker and others above, which appears reasonable, be included in it, if it isn't already? Could someone point me to that page? If that page has numbered paragraphs, in the future and arbitrator could simply say something like, "I recuse per 1.2.3." Cla68 (talk) 03:37, 18 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, and I don't understand why you're getting into process wonkery too. Arbitrators recuse from time to time. The reason is irrelevant. There is a process for *requesting* that an arbitrator recuse, which is as it should be. Risker (talk) 01:07, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have a problem with inactivity or recusal or whatever else you want to call it. I also can't speak for the community but what I have seen and find troubling is that Arb's seem prone to activate themselves in the last days of a long debate and then reappear and vote. What's even more troubling to me, frankly, is they think its ok and justify it. If they want to sit out that's completely fine but IMO if they haven't been an active participant for more than 50% of the length of the debate then they shouldn't be allowed to vote. In the end though it really doesn't matter because for the most part you can tell the end result for a lot of them at the beginning anyway. If it deals with an editor they'll be blocked or desysopped seemingly just for taking up the Arb's time with very little difference being present regardless of the discussions. Let's face it Arbitration is a loaded weapon. Very few know about it, how it works or want too. Many that do understand it want to stay as far away from it as possible for fear they be blocked or desysopped, etc. So the only ones voting, for the most part are the Arbs and those that want to see a specified result. Even in real life people rarely participate in these things unless they have a problem with something. They just aren't willing to use valuable time just to say hi. Some will say i should assume good faith but I have seen the process and how it works. Its not designed for good faith, its designed to be JUdge, jury and executioner. And that's how its used, often times as a howitzer when a scalpel is required. Kumioko (talk) 03:48, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Thank you to those of you who responded to my initial question. If I'm reading the discussion correctly, it sounds like participants in ArbCom cases have no reasonable expectation that "recused" Arbs will remain recused for the duration of a proceeding, and that the decision to recuse can be rescinded at any time during a proceeding, solely at the discretion of the recused Arbitrator. (I'm sorry for the legalistic phrasing, but that result is actually quite surprising to me). I understand that ideally, Arbs will label themselves "inactive" rather than "recused" if they expect that they might later change their minds, but that this does not appear to be a particularly big deal either way based on commentary in this thread and at User talk:Jclemens. Is that a fair summary? MastCell Talk 04:03, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there any particular reason that arbitrators need to have absolute discretion over the decision to recuse? I think an ethics policy governing arbitrator conduct, considering how important it can be here, wouldn't be out of place. It could give some clear situations in which recusal was mandatory, others in which it was advised, etc. There doesn't need to be a "next highest body" for enforcement in these situations. The committee can enforce the rules that govern it, as can the community. This "I'm recused" "oh wait I guess I'm not" is a clear instance of where a policy could be a useful reference. Nathan T 15:10, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Too much bureaucracy. Make rules about recusal and then there are more rules to argue about. Solution is simple. Pay attention. If an arbitrator ain't cutting it, vote Da Bums Out. Nobody Ent 16:59, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article talk page warning templates?

There seems to be a proliferation of templates used for roughly the same purpose of notifying article talk page participants of sanctions. These include {{Article probation}}, {{sanctions}}, {{ArbCom discret sanctions}}, {{discretionary sanctions}} and {{DS Courtesy Notice}}, not counting some area-specific ones like {{Sanctions-abortion}} and {{Arab-Israeli Arbitration Enforcement}}. I'm tempted to TfD some of these for merger, but I though I'd first ask ArbCom about their preference if any. Tijfo098 (talk) 06:52, 5 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't mind working to harmonise these, with a view to merging them all at some point, but deleting them seems a little silly. AGK [•] 08:52, 5 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it should be possible to merge {{ArbCom discret sanctions}} and {{DS Courtesy Notice}} into {{discretionary sanctions}}. PhilKnight (talk) 13:55, 5 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's also {{Article discretionary sanctions}} besides the ones I've listed above. Tijfo098 (talk) 16:36, 5 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Invitation to all editors to participate in WikiProject ArbCom Reform Party

See here. I've just written up the rudimentary outlines of this. Instead of bickering about ArbCom, let's change the ArbCom system via the elections. Count Iblis (talk) 16:38, 8 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clarification request: The Troubles

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Initiated by Cailil talk at 14:55, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Case affected
The Troubles arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

Statement by Cailil

Per the closure of this WP:ARE thread I'm seeking clarification regarding whether enforcing sysops can impose Mandated External Review (MER) under the currect provisions for discretionary sanctions?
The above thread saw significant disruption both from long term and newer editors and it was felt by the admins at AE that MER would significantly help the topic area under the WP:TROUBLES probation.
AGK already commented on this[8] but felt this request for clarification appropriate--Cailil talk 14:55, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Penwhale

I actually hold the belief that MER should not be randomly given out as a part of discretionary sanctions.

Putting an editor on MER requires other non-involved editors to look into those proposed edits. It takes much more time and effort for MER to work, and I believe that such declarations should not be left under discretionary sanctions.

I would like to propose an alternative that MER can be sanctioned either by ArbCom approval, or as a community opinion at the appropriate locations because this way more people will know that said user is under MER (and thus require more scrutiny regarding edits).

Also, I would like to propose that the list of users under MER should have its own subpage (instead of being grouped with other editing restrictions), because the editors in question is not under a topic ban (and a different page/section/etc would make it easier to track). - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 15:24, 18 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by TC

I agree with Brad that any other measures which the imposing administrator believes are reasonably necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the project surely includes MER. I'm not sure, however, that formalizing MER right now with a motion is needed. Of the three editors placed on MER in ARBFLG2, two are currently topic-banned, and the remaining one (Colipon) hasn't edited much since the case closed. If we limit MER to the Falun Gong area only, it is unlikely that we'll have enough data to make an informed decision for a long, long time. I believe that it is best to allow AE admins to employ MER in other areas under the catchall provision for now, and reconsider whether to formalize MER as a discretionary sanction once we have enough data. T. Canens (talk) 18:44, 18 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by other user

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Motion 1 is unsuccessful. Motions 2 and 3 now both carry, so I have asked a clerk to action these motions then archive this clarification request, at the clerks' first convenience. AGK [•] 14:00, 6 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I concur with AGK, Mandated External Review can be imposed under discretionary sanctions. PhilKnight (talk) 15:04, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The original thought behind this would be that MER would have to be explicitly authorized for use in an area (that is, beyond "simple" discretionary sanctions). Further, we've yet to formalize the sanction for use in other areas. I'd meant to do this with the page you linked to after Falun Gong 2, but got tied up and forgotten about it (thanks for the reminder). So my thoughts would be "No, the Committee needs to explicitly say 'MER can be used in the Troubles area'" but am open to it being merged into the rest of discretionary sanctions. I'll open up a motion to formalize that user page once I get home, that should help here. Hersfold non-admin(t/a/c) 16:39, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]