hereby disclosing a message I sent to the BASC 2 months ago, which unfortunately remains
entirely current AFAIK.
No one has indicated whether the bug is known or not.
-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: BASC status and transparency (was Re: [arbcom-appeals-en] Appeal by Chealer)
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 16:25:21 -0400
From: Filipus Klutiero <chealer(a)gmail.com>
To: Chris McKenna <thryduulf.wiki(a)gmail.com>om>, English Arbitration Committee mailing
list (appeals) <arbcom-appeals-en(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
On 2015-05-17 17:09, Chris McKenna wrote:
Thank you for writing to us. The Ban Appeals
Subcommittee will now consider your appeal and report its decision to you in due course.
The current turnaround time for ban appeals can be checked at
<http://enwp.org/WP:BASC#turnaround>. While I appreciate that you would like more
precision than that, we are unable to be more specific as the length of time an appeal
takes depends on many factors including the availability of individual members of the
committee and the specifics of the appeal.
What I meant was not that a single measure was insufficient. I was just pointing out that
as for any static document which contains "Currently", reliability is limited.
Rather than "Currently, you can expect [...] ", this could read - for example -
"As of December 2014, you can expect [...] ", or "Currently (last updated
December 2014), you can expect [...] ". That would make appealing... more appealing
;-) In this case, one may get the information from page histories, but this is less
trivial with templates.
While we're at it, according to our own article on tilde, the usage we make does not
exist in English. Also, "you can expect" is vague - it would be best to say -
for example - that the average time is x, or that the vast majority of appeals are
processed in x, depending on what was meant (apparently the latter).
We do not make appeals public as a matter of course as
this is not normally in the interests of all parties, and in some cases would compromise
I did not mean to say all cases should be entirely public - I can understand some privacy
issues. But I do not see why a public process would not "normally" be "in
the interest of all parties" - or at least, in the project's interest, which is
what we should consider. Speaking for my case, it would certainly be at least in my
interest for the appeal to be public.
Then again, if the subcommittee wants to keep some or all of its internal communications
private, that is a lesser issue. Simply opening external communications would solve most
of the transparency problems, including the one which prompted this discussion, i.e. the
capacity of potential users to evaluate whether an appeal would be heard (and secondarily,
how fast) without requiring someone else keeping an up-to-date assessment (though that
could remain a useful indicator to get a quick idea). As a bonus, potential users could
evaluate the appropriateness of appeal results.
I rarely (less than once a month on average) make a benevolent online contribution to a
project if I cannot do so publically, unless that is due to exceptional circumstances (say
a buggy ITS). As a radical transparency advocate, I may not be a reference, but I am
surely not alone.
Of course, if you care about the possibility of appealing privately, supporting both
options can complicate your work or require investment. I honestly believe though, that
for a project which champions openness like Wikimedia, and for an activity as critical as
ban management in an open wiki, this should be seriously considered. The WMF might be able
to allocate resources to help implementing this.
Finally, regarding the submission problem I noted, my third attempt to submit worked,
unlike the first 2 which failed quietly. Even though there was no error, and even though I
had never used Email this user before, it was relatively obvious that submission had
failed since there was no confirmation (and I had requested an email copy which did not
arrive). Still, I am willing to help if that issue is unknown or not fully understood yet.
I was using Debian 8's Iceweasel 31 in the first attempts. I made the successful
attempt using Chromium, so this may be browser-specific.
For the Ban Appeals Subcommittee,
Chris McKenna (Thryduulf)*
Unless otherwise noted, opinions expressed in this email are solely my own and do not
necessarily represent the views of the Arbitration Committee as a whole.
On 17 May 2015 at 17:50, Chealer <chealer(a)gmail.com