On 22 October 2015 at 17:31, Sarah (SV) <slimvirgin(a)gmail.com> wrote:
*People are elected to the committee for two years, and not allowed to
stand again for another five. No more tranches.
I'd suggest ensuring that there is not 100% change every year (so keeping
some form of the tranches), because someone's got to be around who has some
experience; realistically, we're starting to see a return to the times
where fewer arbs are completing their full terms and so you're going to get
better than 50% change every year. On the other hand, I agree that
incumbency has been an issue. Suggest a 2 year break; if there's someone
the community thinks is good at the job, they'll never have the chance for
that person to do it again if a 5-year break is required. (And I want you
to think about this...who's going to do the job? It's still going to be a
cruddy job no matter how much is divested from it.)
*Arbs are not given access to CU or oversight. This will weed out people
who nominate themselves to gain access to the tools. It will decrease the
amount of work the committee can do; should increase their work rate on
cases; and will decrease the "them and us" mentality.
Not automatically being entitled to hold CU or oversight isn't likely to
change things for arbs - if they were CU or OS beforehand, they'd continue
in those roles while they are on the committee, just as many arbs continue
to edit or carry out routine admin tasks; after all, it's important for
arbs to keep involved in the community as they were before election. More
useful would be to relieve them of the "responsibility" of selecting CU and
OS, and not granting them automatic access to the tools. The community
should have grown into selecting for those roles 3-5 years ago. There are
times when the arbs may need access to the CU/OS data (the "Sockpuppetry"
case of earlier this year is a good example), but there are other options
such as written requests to CU/OS for data, or view-only access for
suppressed edits, that should be sufficient.
*Arbs must excuse themselves if asked, including from trying to influence
cases behind the scenes, unless the request for recusal is clearly silly.
While I agree with the intent, we may have a different definition of
"silly" - so perhaps a bit more definitive would be helpful here.
However, I don't think "gaming the system" is nearly as common as some
people would have us believe, and in my experience about 90% of recusal
requests would not have had any adverse effect on the outcome of the case.
Arbitrators could afford to swallow their pride a bit on this.
*Most Arb discussion must take place in public. The mailing list should be
used only in exceptional cases involving privacy. But most privacy issues
should be left to functionaries. The mailing list should have a functionary
as clerk to ensure that it isn't misused.
I was going to say, and even started to type, "unless something has really
changed"...but I think something *has* really changed in the last couple of
years. Even I can see lots of evidence that those off-wiki discussions are
more frequent. On the other hand, don't think they're all happening on the
mailing list. Skype, hangouts, gchats, smaller circulation personal
emails....just as likely. Not much benefit to anyone clerking the list.
Incidentally, the "functionary as clerk" was tried in 2009. It lasted 2
months. Poor guy nearly died of boredom.
*Functionaries would not be chosen by ArbCom.
See above - agree that CU/OS can, with some careful work, be done more
effectively by the community. A word of warning, though. Compared to
every other project under the WMF umbrella, we are the most vicious about
elections (RFA) and reappointments. Set hard activity standards, but please
don't require annual reappointment elections or you'll wipe out CU/OS in no
time. It's pretty much impossible for the community to assess the quality
of work of a CU - it's hard enough for other CUs to assess it.
*Abolish the workshops. They're used to continue the dispute or harassment.
*We should maintain a small list of experienced editors who are willing to
do jury duty. Anyone brought before the committee can request a jury
"trial". Jurors would be chosen randomly. Any juror involved with a party
should say no, and the next editor on the list would be picked. The parties
would then have the right to object to a certain number.
Does it become a "jury" trial if one of 15 people listed as parties
requests one? Who decides which "parties" are really parties enough to
have that right? What happens if none of the "small list of experienced
editors" is willing or able to be available for the period of time that
even a simple case takes? (Keep in mind there are no simple cases, those
have been dealt with at ANI and AN for years.)
*Cases must be resolved within a much shorter time frame, or closed as
What's a suitable timeframe for 15 people to read and analyse 500 pages of
evidence then come up with a proposal to resolve the issue? (The evidence
itself is not usually 500 pages, it is all the links that are added which
need also to be reviewed in context - not just the diff but the discussion
- that makes up the overwhelming percentage of evidence.)
*The Foundation should be asked to pay for an expert in dispute resolution
to offer regular classes on Skype for any Wikipedian who wants to sign up.
This should go at the Idea Lab. In fact, I think it has before. It would
fit into one of the hypothetical "strategies" that the WMF is bandying
about right now, although in fairness they've been bandying it about for as
long as I've been editing. I'm not entirely certain of the value of this -
but not opposed to it.
The above wouldn't solve everything, but I think it would help.
> On Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Risker
>> On 22 October 2015 at 16:27, Sarah (SV) <slimvirgin(a)gmail.com>
>>> Daniel, I happen to think that any
Arb who is asked to excuse themselves
>>> from a case should do so, within reason.
>> I tend to agree with you on this,
>>> But in
particular I think women who see certain Arbs as sexist should be
>>> able to require recusal. Otherwise the case is hobbled before it begins.
>>> Ditto for anyone with concerns about racism or homophobia.
>> I'm a little less certain about
this one: if there are five parties to a
>> case, and everyone decides to brand three different arbitrators as
>> sexist/racist/homophobic etc, you're down to .... nobody.
>>> I would
like to see a jury system replace the committee, with small
>>> groups chosen to resolve particular issues. The committee has not worked
>>> for a long time. It isn't the fault of any individual or group. It's
>>> combination of the way Arbs are nominated and elected, and the way they end
>>> up cloistered away from the community. It creates a "thin blue
>>> mentality. I would like to see a grassroots approach, at least as an
>> That was what RFCs and mediation
committees did, although I grant that
>> their "decisions" were not binding. They fell apart - RFCs because
>> genuinely uninvolved Wikipedians stopped participating. The Mediation
>> committee fell apart because there were so few people who were any good at
>> dispute resolution actually mediating them, and also because mediation
>> required the "participation agreement" of long lists of supposed
>> (I was once listed as a "party" for a mediation on an article where I
>> one edit to remove poop vandalism.)
>> There's no evidence at all that
jury systems are any more fair or
>> accurate or impartial or unbiased than any other dispute resolution
>> systems. (A quick look at the number of convicted prisoners who have
>> subsequently been exonerated proves my point.) Add to that the simple fact
>> that "volunteer" pools of jurors are, simply by dint of numbers, going
>> be made up of the same types of people who are already
>> arbitrators/functionaries/admins (or potentially people who were rejected
>> for those responsibilities because they were unsuitable), and that
>> compelling participation of people who have deliberately NOT wanted to
>> participate in such activities is more likely to result in those
>> individuals leaving the project entirely rather than making great decisions
>> (other than the obvious "this is stupid, ban them all so I can get back to
>> my categorization"). In fact, I suspect that a jury system made up of
>> conscripted jurors would actually result in much harsher sanctions all
>> around. There are some who argue that would not be a bad thing.
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