[Wikimedia-l] Will Beback, Arbcom and Community oversight

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Sun Mar 24 00:52:07 UTC 2013

For years, the ArbCom has been the focal point for far more
controversy than they have resolved. In recent times, that's become
even more true - despite all the heat generated by their interventions
on the project, they hear fewer cases and effectively arbitrate less
even than that. Maybe it's time to evaluate whether they continue to
serve an important function in the community. Is there a better model
for resolving disputes? Something that doesn't attempt and fail to
emulate court proceedings, giving people the hope for fairness and
objectivity without its reality?

Now seems like a particularly good time to begin that evaluation.
Several highly trafficked attempts at reform have tried and failed to
restore confidence in the committee; two well known arbitrators, one a
WMF contractor, have resigned in the last weeks. So let's turf it and
start over. In the mean time, ad-hoc groups of administrators will
continue to perform the bulk of the work as they have been for a long
time. When even the committee can't claim they are contributing
solutions, it's clear not much will be lost if their role is
discontinued while a replacement is sought.


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