I'm incredibly disappointed by arbcom's current approach to this case, to the point that I haven't responded to this thread yet because I'm so flabbergasted that I have little idea what to say.  The case is ending with banning a bunch of women with flimsy excuses (mostly that when harrassed, they eventually pushed back,) and is ending with Eric getting another slap on the wrist for gross and repeated vicious personal attacks on other editors.  I have no doubt that this will both worsen our gendergap and is even disappointing to the point that I am reconsidering my own degree of participation on the projects until something is done about these issues.

Erik: I would encourage you to reach out to arbcom directly, whether via direct message or a talk page.  WMF isn't always liked by the ENWP community, but closing the gendergap is supposed to be one of WMF's few primary strategic priorities, and this is a decision by the highest regular authority on ENWP that flies in the face of both general editor retention issues and flies in the face of the WMF's goals.  I will be making personal appeals to Jimbo (who does have at least the theoretical authority to overturn the decision and Lila (who, I would hope as ED, whose word would carry substantial weight to intervene in this case.  It's completely ludicrous.  Eric has become an editor retention problem as bad or worse than Betacommand was years ago (at the first edu summit, I met at least three editors - who, mind you, were significant enough contributors that they received scholarships to come out) who all almost quit over Betacommand's behavior - this is worse.

I'm sorry to those emails I haven't replied to yet; I've been fairly sick, and was hospitalized while arbcom nominations were ongoing - otherwise, despite my reluctance to run, I'd be a listed candidate.  Wikipedia is a critically important project, and is too important to be sabotaged by bullshit like this.  Arbcom need substantial and immediate reform.  As list moderator and an ENWP admin, I would encourage everyone here to discuss issues openly and candidly.  Although blocks based off of mailing list posts are uncommon, if anyone receives a block in part or whole based on a post to gendergap-l over this, unless it's an arb block, I will personally reverse it.

Kevin Gorman

On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 12:03 AM, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:
On Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 9:52 PM, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm not going to opine on the decision that's being voted upon by Arbcom;
> I've been there, and ultimately the decision is based on the quality and nature
> of the evidence that people bother to present

Risker, I think your remarks are overall spot-on. I take your point
about any decision only being as good as the evidence which informs
it, but what I'm seeing happening in this case specifically goes
beyond that, IMO.

Just reading through the diffs and links in this case, it's hard for
me to see the proposed decisions as being based solely or ultimately
on the evidence presented. From my reading, there's a pretty visible
undercurrent here of babying an editor with a clear and unambiguous
history of toxic behavior. The best outcome ArbCom was able to muster
is apparently to give air cover to admins who enforce basic site
policy, as opposed to the ludicrous state of affairs where admins who
enforce civility policy are reverted by other admins and the
individual is openly declared to be "untouchable".

That this same individual is also on record ranting about a "feminist
agenda" and "alienation of male editors" while a topic-ban isn't being
seriously considered speaks volumes about the impact of the gender gap
on the set of shared beliefs and consciousness in our community. If
our community was majority-female, would such remarks be regarded as
conducive to neutral participation in a topic? If it was
gender-balanced, would they be?

I think inclusion is often about treating the same behaviors the same
way. If you imagined people switching roles in the case, would the
sanctions remain the same? From my understanding of some of the
history here, it seems more likely that one particular contributor who
is anti-social to the point of toxicity is being protected by an old
boys club in the community, and ArbCom's weak enforcement approach is
simply an institutional reflection of that bias.

As with any institution implicitly acting in accordance with biases
that exist in the larger community it serves and from which it
constitutes itself, these biases are expressed more explicitly and
openly in informal venues, such as user talk pages. But I see in this
case the trappings of an evidence-based approach, not the reality.


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