This case resulted from the merging of several Arbitration requests on the same topic into a single case, and the failure of a related request for comment to make headway. Innovations have been introduced for this case, including special rules of conduct that were put in place at the start of the arbitration. However, the handling of the case has received criticism from some participants (for example, although the evidence and workshop pages were closed for an extended period, no proposals were posted on the proposed decision page and participants were prevented from further discussing their case on the case pages (see Signpost coverage).
Last week, a proposed decision drafted by Newyorkbrad, Risker, and Rlevse was posted. This sparked a large quantity of unstructured discussion which mostly consists of concerns about the proposed decision (see also last week's Signpost coverage). Recently, arbitrators started modifying the proposed decision as they attempt to address these concerns. Participants also started managing the quantity of unstructured discussion which has significantly increased during the week.
This case concerned accusations of incivility, disruptive editing, a flawed informal mediation, and tag-teaming to control the content on articles related to race and intelligence. Following a number of delays (see Signpost coverage from June 28, July 5, and July 12), the case moved to the proposed decision phase. The decision that was proposed by the drafting arbitrator, Coren, sparked several concerns among participants and non-participants, and 9 out of 10 active arbitrators opposed the proposed outcome (see last week's Signpost coverage for more details). Several proposals by other arbitrators were voted on, a number of which were drafted by Roger Davies. The case was closed during the week, and the final decision was posted.
What is the effect of the decision and what does it tell us?
Captain Occam is topic-banned from race- and intelligence-related articles.
David.Kane is topic-banned from race- and intelligence-related articles.
Mathsci is topic-banned from race- and intelligence-related articles.
Mikemikev is indefinitely topic-banned from race- and intelligence-related articles and is restricted to editing with a single account. Mikemikev is banned from Wikipedia until 24 August 2011.
Mediation is a voluntary process; it cannot impose involuntary or binding outcomes about content on Wikipedia. The attempt at mediation in this dispute was flawed because it went ahead even though major participants in the dispute refused mediation, and it purported to make a binding decision.
When working in a highly contentious topic, it is crucial for editors to adhere to fundamental Wikipedia policies. This includes maintaining a neutral point of view, citing disputed statements to reliable sources, and avoiding unseemly conduct like edit-warring, harassment, uncivil comments or assumptions of bad faith. Editors should not engage in tag-team editing to thwart core Wikipedia policies or to otherwise prevent consensus prevailing. Single-purpose accounts are expected to contribute neutrally instead of following their own agenda, and should take special care to avoid creating the impression that their focus on one topic is non-neutral – this could strongly suggest that their editing is not compatible with the goals of this project.