Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject. Editors should aspire to use talk pages effectively and must not misuse them through practices such as excessive repetition, monopolization, irrelevancy, advocacy, misrepresentation of others' comments, or personal attacks.
Articles related to the Shakespeare authorship question are subject to "standard" discretionary sanctions. The Committee has instructed that such sanctions should be administered in such a fashion as to treat all contributors fairly, while, at the same time, ensuring that future editing of the pages adheres to high standards of both Wikipedia behavior and Shakespearean scholarship.
The Committee endorsed the Community restriction that was imposed on Smatprt (talk·contribs) on 3 November 2010; Smatprt remains topic-banned from any article which relates to William Shakespeare until 3 November 2011.
NinaGreen is banned from editing Wikipedia until 16 February 2012.
Users who disrupt the editing of articles by engaging in sustained aggressive point-of-view editing may be subject to bans, either by community consensus or by the Committee. While the Committee is permitted to lessen the effect of a Community sanction, such action is relatively rare, and would be based on good cause such as a finding that (1) some aspect of the discussion was procedurally unfair, (2) the sanction imposed appears to be significantly excessive or overbroad, (3) circumstances have changed significantly since the sanction was imposed, or (4) non-public information that should not be addressed on-wiki, such as personal information or checkuser data, is relevant to the decision.
The case concerns allegations about problematic conduct, conflicts of interests, notability, and sourcing in relation to longevity articles. Evidence was submitted on-wiki by 12 editors over several weeks after parties requested for additional time to submit evidence (cf. Signpost coverage). Drafter Kirill Lokshin submitted a proposed decision in the workshop, before it was submitted for arbitrators to vote on. The case came to a close during the week, after a total of 11 arbitrators voted on the proposed decision.
What is the effect of the decision and what does it tell us?
Affiliation with the Gerontology Research Group, or any other group named in the evidence to the case, does not in itself constitute a conflict of interest when editing the longevity topics. Similarly, editors do not have a conflict of interest merely because they have personal or professional interest or expertise in a topic. Editors are considered to have a conflict of interest if they contribute to Wikipedia in order to promote their own interests, or those of other individuals or groups, and if advancing those interests is more important to them than advancing the aims of Wikipedia.
WikiProject World's Oldest People was urged to seek experienced Wikipedia editors who will act as mentors to the WikiProject and assist its members: in improving their understanding of Wikipedia norms and editing of Wikipedia.
The Committee invited further comments in the RfC on Audit Subcommittee (AUSC) (cf. Signpost coverage).
Yesterday, a call for applications was also made; the Committee seeks to appoint at least three non-arbitrator members to AUSC. Applications will close on 7 March 2011. Further information about the appointment process will be published in next week's Signpost.