Jonathan and Fae, I see the disagreement about details as part of the systemic bias. The evidence in question was widely available; one did not have to be a functionary to see it. I looked at it with a view to searching for the holes, because of course it was possible that someone was making mischief. (And I don't mean Lightbreather; I mean simply that someone may have taken the opportunity to troll.) So I examined it extremely carefully, but I found no holes.

It's important to bear in mind that the porn images were just the last straw. The person suspected of posting them had been harassing Lightbreather onwiki for about a year. The ArbCom either looked at that evidence and didn't see harassment, or didn't look at it. We don't know which.

The LB and GGTF cases are mirrors of the O. J. Simpson verdict, in that two groups of Wikipedians appear to have examined the same evidence, but ideology inclined them to radically different conclusions.

What can we do to bridge that gap? I would say that one of the things we should do is question whether we need an Arbitration Committee. But if we do, we urgently need to fill the committee with people who can demonstrate insight into sexism, racism, homophobia and harassment, and who are deeply committed to ending it on Wikipedia. As things stand too many people feel excluded by the committee and fearful of becoming involved with it, either as a committee member or party to a case.


On Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 10:34 AM, Fæ <> wrote:
Jonathan, I think there's a bit of talking past each other going on.
Rehashing details of one of the many dramafest Arbcom cases is not

>From my viewpoint Sarah hit the nail on the head with "Something
systemic is happening here. As a result of those cases and many other
examples Wikipedia now has a terrible reputation for being sexist."

Improving reputation and recognizing that there is a systemic problem
is a far more useful direction to take. Think about a bit of

P.S. I was approached by the Atlantic due to my work in the area of
revert-wars and the potential relationship to bias. I did a little
digging around it, but my thoughts are too slow to satisfy
journalists' deadlines. ;-)


On 22 October 2015 at 18:12, WereSpielChequers
<> wrote:
> Hi Sarah,
> I'm not a "functionary" so I haven't seen the evidence - clearly it
> convinces you, but it did not quite convince the functionaries.  Reading the
> result and for example Yunshui's comment I would simply prefer that the
> record shows we were not fully convinced by the evidence, rather than that
> we were convinced, but chose not to act. I think what we have here is more
> than a detail difference. If the decision had been, as reported in the
> Atlantic, that Arbcom had decided this "on the grounds that it may “out” the
> editor that had posted the pictures, or link his username to his real name."
> Then I would have supported a change in policy, or Arbcom membership, so
> that future Arbcoms in similar situations would be willing to risk outing
> someone, or just ban them without public reason, rather than leave a
> harasser unpunished. But if the issue is not that, but instead that the
> evidence was inconclusive, then I think we have a very different problem to
> work on. As for the broader picture I don't dispute that Wikipedia has
> several problems around gender, and some terrible publicity, but if one took
> that article at face value the obvious next step would be to get a change in
> policy so that if Arbcom were convinced of the evidence they could and would
> have acted.
> Jonathan
> On 22 October 2015 at 17:37, Sarah (SV) <> wrote:
>> WSC, the evidence as to who posted the porn images was, I would say,
>> conclusive. We nevertheless ended up with a situation in which a man who had
>> been engaged in harassment (much of which was onwiki and had been going on
>> for about a year) was let off the hook, and the harassed woman was banned.
>> There was a similar situation in the GGTF case, so the Lightbreather case
>> was not an unfortunate one-off. For example, the man who was blocked for
>> harassment during the Lightbreather case should have been blocked for it
>> during the GGTF case, but wasn't. He only ended up being blocked during the
>> Lightbreather case because he admitted that he had done it. Otherwise he
>> might still be editing.
>> Something systemic is happening here. As a result of those cases and many
>> other examples Wikipedia now has a terrible reputation for being sexist.
>> (See this selection of stories.) Rather than arguing about which details
>> various journalists got wrong, we should focus on what they got right and
>> how we can fix it.
>> Sarah
>> On Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 8:45 AM, WereSpielChequers
>> <> wrote:
>>> Thanks Francesca,
>>> It seems a shame that an Arbcom case in which one person was blocked for
>>> offwiki harassment and another would have been if the evidence had been
>>> conclusive has been reported as if they'd decided instead to spare the
>>> harasser for privacy reasons.
>>> As Thryduulf put it "there is no doubt that had we been able to
>>> conclusively connect the perpetrator to a Wikipedia account that action
>>> would have been taken (almost certainly a site ban)."
>>> You could point her to
>>> A story warning mysogynists that Arbcom will and has acted against those
>>> it catches would have made it easier to attract women to wikipedia and deter
>>> misogynists.
>>> WSC


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