User talk:Newyorkbrad

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September 14: WikiWednesday Salon / Wikimedia NYC Annual Meeting[edit]

Wednesday September 14, 7pm: WikiWednesday Salon / Wikimedia NYC Annual Meeting
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You are invited to join the Wikimedia NYC community for our evening "WikiWednesday" salon and knowledge-sharing workshop by 14th Street / Union Square in Manhattan.

This month will also feature on our agenda, upcoming editathons, the organization's Annual Meeting, and Chapter board elections.

We will include a look at the organization and planning for our chapter, and expanding volunteer roles for both regular Wikipedia editors and new participants.

We will also follow up on plans for recent (UN Women and CFR!) and upcoming edit-a-thons, and other outreach activities.

We also hope for the participation of our friends from the Free Culture movement and from educational and cultural institutions interested in developing free knowledge projects. We will also follow up on plans for recent and upcoming editathons, and other outreach activities.

Along with the main meeting, hummus and refreshments and video games in the gallery!

7:00pm - 9:00 pm at Babycastles, 137 West 14th Street

Featuring a keynote talk this month to be determined! We especially encourage folks to add your 5-minute lightning talks to our roster, and otherwise join in the "open space" experience! Newcomers are very welcome! Bring your friends and colleagues! --Pharos (talk) 18:07, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

(You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future notifications for NYC-area events by adding or removing your name from this list.)

Continuing our conversation[edit]

At the RfC about ArbCom elections, you pointed me to some very interesting (to me) comments from your blog, and I thought I would continue that discussion via a, um, change of venue to here. (And the talk page, too, was quite an interesting read.)

It really is a remarkable time pattern, regarding the sharp decline in the number of ArbCom cases, and I was unaware of it until you pointed it out to me. I agree with your blog post, that most stuff that used to go to ArbCom now does not make it that far up the ladder. And, broadly speaking, that's a good thing about how Wikipedia may actually be maturing in its/our ability to deal with conduct issues and content disputes. One point that stands out particularly to me at this moment (because I've been focused on it very recently) is the role of DS and AE. As you know, I came out of the GMO case with a pretty sour feeling about it. And yet, the massive problems that the case itself pretty much got ass-backward have, in the last few months, been handled remarkably successfully at AE, to the extent that, as of the past week or two, I believe that we now have a stable situation in the GMO content area (probably famous last words).

On the other hand: maybe it's just me, but I feel like those disputes that don't get resolved quickly are getting uglier and uglier. Citation needed, and I cannot provide that. It's more like my personal gut feeling. An awful lot of the lower-than-ArbCom noticeboards (ANI, etc.) are full of team-versus-team shouting matches. And I have a strong feeling that, in the years ahead, the edit-Wikipedia-for-pay-to-promote-what-our-clients-want industry is going to grow and mature, and create vast new problems. Or maybe I'm just jaded.

Your blog post also pointed out something that I've been commenting on for some time: that there is a significant workload for the Arbs in dealing with emails, whereas the supposed purpose of the Committee is to arbitrate cases on-site. My guess is that a factor in the declining number of cases is a rising amount of problem-solving via email (again, citation needed). To some extent, there has been some success in getting the WMF to handle things that ArbCom really should never have been stuck with by default, so that's good. But I've noticed that whenever I have raised ideas about ArbCom doing less behind the scenes, the community responds very positively and sitting Arbs react quite negatively. It's like, once someone joins "the club", there is a reluctance to let go of email work, even if it would make sense to do so. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:44, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

(talk page watcher) At least some of the "reluctance to let go of email work" you refer to is that by definition, one only becomes aware after being given the Golden Ticket just how much of what gets done behind the scenes needs to be done behind the scenes. When the non-arbs who are most vocal about demanding transparency are actually pressed as to which functions which are currently dealt with by email should be brought into the sunlight, they tend to go silent. The idea of a clique of arbs making all the decisions in secret just because they don't want to be held accountable is something of a myth; would you really want "Someone who has been stalking me on Wikipedia has tracked Tryptofish down in real life and emailed me a photo of himself outside my house to prove it", "I think I've identified Tryptofish as a convicted sex offender", "Tryptofish accidentally emailed me from his work email which demonstrates that he's an employee of a company on which he recently wrote an article", "I am in a relationship with Tryptofish in real life and want to notify someone just in case we get checkusered for some reason and look like sockpuppets, but I'm not comfortable making our relationship public knowledge" (all genuine incidents during my brief tenure on Arbcom, although obviously the names have been changed) to be dealt with in full public view with every piece of ANI pondlife offering their 2c and Wikipedia Review giving running commentary, rather than quietly discussed in private? Opabinia regalis crunched the numbers and found that the rate of email traffic has also dropped to the same degree over the last five years; OK, part of that is an artefact of their being fewer arbs and thus less CC'ing, but the idea that business has moved from public to private view is largely a myth. ‑ Iridescent 21:22, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
You may well be right, and I may well be wrong, because I am unencumbered by personal knowledge. But I do remember when Wikipedia Review published those leaked emails, and I read pretty much everything that was there. I could see numerous examples of things that could easily have been dealt with in public, that instead went on too long in a sort of clubby way. Of course, there are many other things that should, indeed, be kept strictly private. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:33, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
The actual numbers are on my other computer, but the two bits that stood out were the very high email volumes when the committee had 18 arbs, and the dramatic decline since then, to maybe a third of peak traffic. Of course that's not entirely a fair comparison - I only looked at the main list - but the hypothesis that arbs are shifting work to the mailing list that was once done on-wiki doesn't seem to hold up.
As for the topics on the mailing list, one thing I've been surprised about is just how much of the current off-wiki traffic is ultimately harassment-related. Obviously I knew that was an issue beforehand, but that's different than getting the complaints in your inbox. (And I've been either fortunate enough or boring enough to get very little of it actually directed at me.) I was surprised how quickly I went from "transparency for all!" to "Jesus Christ that shouldn't be on-wiki".
I've said before that I actually think the trend toward fewer cases has gone a little too far, and the community is now getting not-great-but-good-enough decisions from messy fora like ANI rather than going through the structured and moderated process of an arbcom case because it's perceived to be too slow, too bureaucratic, too sanction-happy, etc. But then I've voted to decline two of the cases we've had this year, so maybe I'm full of it :) Opabinia regalis (talk) 22:55, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

[Just a note to say that I'm reading this thread with interest, but am just getting home from a trip, and will chime in here in a day or so. Please feel free to carry on in the meantime. :) Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:13, 12 September 2016 (UTC)]

I totally agree that harassment-related stuff needs to be handled in confidence. Of course. Although I generally like transparency, my interest in the email issue really came from complaints from previous Arbs about how heavy the workload is, and my wish to help find ways to make the workload more manageable. If more transparency comes as an added bonus, fine. But I really got into it because of the workload complaints, and I was disappointed at how the same people who complained about workload reacted negatively to suggestions to make less use of email – particularly because they had said that the workload was made heavy by the amount of email traffic, not by the on-Wiki arbitrating. Weird. When the leaked material appeared on Wikipedia Review, it wasn't that much about harassment, then, although there certainly was some of it. But I saw an awful lot of what I would call "lining up one's ducks in a row". Things like, when a Proposed Decision was being posted, discussing if a particular revision would convert an oppose to a support. There's no good reason for that kind of thing to be private, except to avoid letting the community see the sausage getting made. Now, maybe it's not like that any more; I wouldn't know. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:51, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I double-checked the numbers; were the people who complained about email traffic on the committee in 2009? Because they are the undisputed champions of chatter ;) Email traffic on arbcom-l is down to about a third of the 2009 peak (again, not quite a fair comparison as additional lists were created since then, but no doubt that 2009-2011 were the chattiest years). Traffic on all lists in 2016 gives an overall average of ~38 messages a day. To be honest, if we moved some of the not-really-private logistics/prep work from email to another venue I'd probably just get less done, because sending an email is much easier than editing a wiki from a phone while waiting in line/sitting on the train/taking a coffee break/etc. (The alternative view, I suppose, is that a venue with a higher barrier to entry would cut down on the volume of messages that aren't productive or well-thought-out. But I suspect the actual result would just be that everything takes longer.) Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:00, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
It must have been some years after 2009, because 2009 was just after I started editing (late 2008), so I would not yet have been following that sort of thing. If, as things stand now, you and your current Arb colleagues feel like the overall workload is manageable (do you?), then the issue is moot, and that would be good. In that case, we probably come back, instead, to what you said about maybe some more disputes should be sent up to the ArbCom level. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:42, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
I think it's manageable - I'd say takes up a fair amount of "mental space" but not as much raw time investment as some people were suggesting before/during the election last year. But then again, drafting cases is one of the more time-consuming tasks and there haven't been many. If I had to list workload problems, it wouldn't be in terms of volume; it's more a) things come in unpredictably, so it's hard to plan your arb-time well; b) there's a lot of things going on at once, and you have to keep track of them over long-ish periods of time; and c) some of the individual matters at hand are draining to deal with. Opabinia regalis (talk) 06:11, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

I can't speak for the e-mail workload for the past year and a half as I haven't seen it, but it remains obvious that the on-wiki case workload is way down. To a slight extent, that is counterbalanced by a rise in the clarifications-and-amendments docket—which makes sense, as more and more current disputes are outgrowths or extensions of past disputes, rather than brand-new ones.

Not only is the case workload this year low, but it should have been far lower still. This isn't intended as criticism of my former colleagues or successors on the Committee, whose dedication I respect and efforts I appreciate, but I disagree with some of the case acceptance calls now just as I used to when I was arbitrating myself. Viz.:

  • The case that was decided in January should have been declined as a case and privately addressed off-wiki (that is not just post hoc second-guessing based on subsequent events, but what I was saying at the time, though let's not discuss details of that case here for obvious reasons).
  • The Wikicology case was rightly accepted, given that a lengthy ANI thread closed with an actual consensus to refer the matter to ArbCom (how often does that happen?)—but it was, in my mind at least, an easy case.
  • The Gamaliel case should probably have been declined; cases should address problems that are either very serious, or recurring, and the Trump April Fool's joke was (IMHO) neither.
  • The Michael Hardy case should certainly have been declined, being the arbitration equivalent of Gertrude Stein's Oakland; and in any event the case should now be dismissed as unnecessary; and it surely should not be decided based on the proposed decision being voted on, which contains very few findings or remedies I could support. (Yesterday I wrote a long essay on that case and how it should be disposed of, but I'm not sure it would be helpful to post it, plus the voting has passed it by. Suffice it to say that my workshop proposals a couple of weeks ago were obviously designed to offer an off-ramp both to Michael Hardy and to the Committee, and everyone missed their cues.)

As for discussion on-wiki versus off, for matters not involving privacy or quasi-legal issues, I understand the arguments for transparency. There are some counterarguments too, of course. One counterargument is that a lot of the drama in which the Committee has been involved over the years originates from one or another arbitrator making a comment or a proposal that a lot of the community has a problem with. Arbitrator A on-wiki suggests XYZ, and there's a week of loud discussion in which a couple of dozen people say XYZ is a bad idea and that Arbitrator A is a dummy for suggesting it. So the Committee doesn't do XYZ. But now alternatively suppose A arbitrator A had suggested XYZ on the mailing list instead, and five other arbs said no, XYZ is a lame idea, and so XYZ doesn't get discussed on-wiki at all, and 25 hours of editor time are spent doing something else instead of denouncing XYZ. Which is better? The upside of letting it all hang out is that when Arbitrator A runs for reelection, people can say "no way I'm supporting him—he's the lame-o who proposed XYZ." But how much editor time is that worth?.....

More anon, maybe. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:28, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

FWIW, Amanda mentioned on the PD talk page that there was some internal discussion about dismissing the Hardy case (is that what you mean by sausage-making in private, Trypto?). At this point I think the best thing for that case is to finish and close it, but I'd be interested in reading your essay as a postmortem of sorts, NYB. Opabinia regalis (talk) 23:06, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
OR, I guess that's the type of thing I was talking about, although I haven't been watching that case and did not have it in mind. And I'm glad that the workload is mostly manageable.
Brad, I can certainly appreciate how Arb A would not want to be called a dummy in public, and the rest of the Committee (hopefully) would not want that either. But I think that points to an institutional tendency not to want to look bad in public – which is definitely a part of what I meant about sausage-making. It's understandable, but it's a bad reason. Indeed, the community would want to know about it come the next election, and the community has a legitimate interest in knowing. And I think the community's interest in knowing trumps the Arb's interest in not being embarrassed. It's not about wasting editor time with an on-site discussion, because anyone who does not want to have their time "wasted" can choose to edit elsewhere. Last year, during the strange experience of my block, I had the even stranger experience of exchanging emails with some then-Arbs, some of whom spontaneously vented privately about their exasperation with other then-Arbs who were ignoring their responsibilities and thereby dumping work on the ones who told me about it. That was private, but the community should have known about it. And, Arb conduct aside, there are good reasons to keep discussions about cases in the open. The community doesn't just call Arbs dummies (although maybe it feels like that!), but can also provide useful feedback on the merits of how a decision should be formulated. After all, that's what workshops are for. Indeed, I think it should be typical practice for a first draft of the PD to be posted, first, in the workshop, instead of just discussing it privately. After all, that's part of the theory of how Wikipedia works: by crowd-sourcing. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:44, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) You know, I wonder if part of the reason why this communication is private is because handling complex disputes implies harsh words. I know that on TV Tropes, a website I am a moderator on, we sometimes use verbiage like "X is a raging asshole. How long are we going to put up with them?" and that's one half of the reason why we (the moderators) discuss such in issues in private. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:07, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm going to reply here, because a reply occurs to me, and because I have not been following the case below at all. About harsh words about an editor, I'm reminded of the advice that is often given, to never say anything in email that one would not want to be made public. Some years ago, there was a leak of the ArbCom emails, and just imagine if something like that emerged in the leak! Heads on pikes! If I were a party to a case, I would not want Arbs talking like that about me privately, regardless of the face put on in public. Although, in fact, I was the filing party in the GMO case, and a then-Arb sent me an email that came pretty close to saying that about me (not like that in details, but like it in tone). --Tryptofish (talk) 22:40, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

@Tryptofish: I certainly agree that the Michael Hardy case could have benefitted from workshopping the proposed decision so the issues with it could have been identified. I am sure you don't remember it, but I made workshop comments in several cases before I became an arbitrator myself; it was one of the ways I made sure I'd want the job and learned something about how to do it. There are pros and cons to the proposed decision (as opposed to non-arb proposals) being placed on the workshop, which I'm sure you've seen discussed elsewhere.

@Opabinia regalis: With the Committee committed to pushing the proposed decision through, I'm not sure that refining and posting my essay would be useful, and I think it might be taken badly by the drafter of the decision. Kirill's votes last night have identified some of the most obvious contradictions in the decision, such as: (1) it is senseless to criticize an editor for filing an arbitration case, when the Committee voted 9-to-2 to accept the case, and several arbitrators still think it was right to accept it; (2) it also is senseless to criticize an editor for looking for administrator misconduct going back to 2005, while simultaneously including a finding about the same ancient conduct in the decision; (3) the "probation" remedy is inane, even apart from the fact that it is being imposed on non-parties—the ArbCom hasn't put a single editor on "probation" in at least eight years, and this is a hell of a strange place to start, and if it were aimed at me I'd be enraged; and (4) the self-criticism of the ArbCom for taking on the case is miscast as a "remedy," criticizes the arbitrators for the wrong thing—as Kirill notes, they may have made a misjudgment in accepting this case (though Kirill himself thinks otherwise), but reviewing allegations of admin misconduct, weak as they were, is a core function of the Committee and not out-of-scope at all— and if indeed accepting the case was a mistake, then the correct response is to fix the mistake rather than perpetuate it, as is happening. Although it appears that I'm more unhappy with the PD than anyone else, which is why I'm just venting on this page rather than on PD talk, it seems clear that the net effect of this case will have been to perpetuate a minor dispute that would otherwise have been long since forgotten. I am sure doing that is not why you, or three times I, or anyone else wanted to be an arbitrator.

@Jo-Jo Eumerus: That is probably part of the reason, but I don't think the biggest part. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:32, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

'the "probation" remedy is inane, even apart from the fact that it is being imposed on non-parties—the ArbCom hasn't put a single editor on "probation" in at least eight years, and this is a hell of a strange place to start, and if it were aimed at me I'd be enraged' - thank you for validating my feelings on this. --NeilN talk to me 21:49, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
And what the hell (pardon my language) is "at the discretion and consensus of uninvolved administrators" supposed to mean?? To my non-lawyer ears, if something requires consensus it can't be done at "discretion". Seems like a perfect recipe for confusion, wikilawyering, and confused wikilawyering. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:51, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, if this PD goes through I'll have a lot more to say, believe me. Some arbs will not like to hear it (particularly the PD drafters and Drmies) but then again, I don't like the casual laziness that surrounds that PD. --NeilN talk to me 00:00, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
In fairness, I gather that significant time and effort seem to have gone into the preparation of the proposed decision; as much as I disagree with a lot of the draft, I don't think "casual laziness" is at fault. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:11, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
We'll have to disagree. If I ever pulled a stunt like that as an admin sanctioning users, I'd be at ANI/Arbcom in an instant. --NeilN talk to me 00:16, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

As a minor correction, I went back and checked, and I found a single reference to "probation" in a case from 2013. My broader point stands. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:21, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

I decided, after seeing the comments here, to look at the Hardy PD. Somewhere above, I said that the community does not just call Arbs "dummies". Maybe I should take that back. My jaw drops at the illogic of the PD. Now I know why there are fewer cases than in the past! If you open a case or comment in it, the Committee will "remind" you (and themselves!) that you should not have convinced them to accept the case. No wonder fewer editors are bringing cases! --Tryptofish (talk) 00:37, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I should not be surprised. In the GMO case, I was nearly sanctioned for providing "unclear diffs". Fortunately, someone called Newyorkbrad intervened. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:43, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Tryptofish, you'll note that not one of them has responded to my post on the PD talk page. --NeilN talk to me 00:51, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Just noting that I've seen the comments here about the current case, but have nothing useful to say at the moment, because I'm occupied IRL till the weekend. I will say that "laziness" is inaccurate. Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:34, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Opabinia regalis, okay, change that to "the work needed to justify PR 3 is nowhere close to being complete". I'll explain by way of analogy. Trump/Clinton-related article talk pages are fraught with bickering, accusations of bad faith and obstructionism, and constant requests to apply discretionary sanctions to editors on "the other side". As all these articles are under DS, I have wider than normal latitude to apply sanctions. However if I ever said, "All right, all editors who have posted to the current talk pages of these articles are topic banned" (which would solve the problem nicely), I'd be in front of you guys PDQ. No, I actually have to do the work to show the topic ban for each editor is justified. This work is not easy or fast as edits have to be judged, placed in context, and explained how they contributed to the topic ban. And this work has not been done in the FoF section (which is supposed to drive the PR section) of this case. Instead we get the lazy generalities of, "Numerous editors in this dispute communicated with one another in a suboptimal manner" and "Although not named parties to this case, a number of other community members chose to involve themselves in this dispute and commented extensively during the events leading up to the case" (with diffs, at least) and nothing to show how dropping the stick did not occur or why probation is necessary. --NeilN talk to me 08:22, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • (talk page stalker) Having had Brad's TP on my watch list for a few months, I noticed this long convo a day or two ago. Since it's being mentioned, I'd like to express my extreme perplexity at being named in the parties put on probation in the "Other community members" section of the PDs [1]. The wording of the FoF is "Although not named parties to this case, a number of other community members chose to involve themselves in this dispute and commented extensively during the events leading up to the case." I am named as one of them and the sole evidence link is to my Evidence presented in the case [2]. Since that wasn't "during the events leading up to the case", and I have never interacted with Michael Hardy outside of the ArbCom page there [3], I'm not sure why I was mentioned. I was going to ignore that PD since I never and have never interacted with MH anyway outside those ArbCom pages so it doesn't affect me and there was no stick to drop, but now that it's being brought up here and I just now read the wording of the FoF more closely, I'm not sure what I did wrong. If non-parties are not allowed to present evidence in a case, I was not told that by anyone (and in fact I received a talk-page reminder to present evidence if I had any that I wished the arbitrators to consider [4]), and to my knowledge that has never been a previous restriction at ArbCom. Softlavender (talk) 09:23, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

A couple of points. The outrage expressed by various people at various stages seems to come from not understanding each other. Those upset at Michael Hardy couldn't understand why he was saying what he was. Michael Hardy seems unable to understand why people were upset at him. Those upset at the proposed decision seem unable to understand why people are thinking differently to them. It all seems to come down to variants of "why are people not thinking like me and understanding things the same way as me?". A collective case of failing to listen to others. NeilN is right that the work needs to be done to justify the decision proposed, but even then that is not enough. You have to show that there is a need to take a decision in the first place. Just being outraged is not reason enough. Lots of people get outraged every day. If a bit more effort had been spent trying to understand why people were upset, rather than just carrying on being upset, we might not have ended up where we are. Carcharoth (talk) 09:26, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Oh I very much understand why he was upset. I think it's a stupid ass reason to be upset and it's his own damn fault that he got upset. It's cute how out of touch you are though. --Tarage (talk) 09:37, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
And before you censure me for the above lack of good faith, it's quite hard to have good faith when I get put 'on probation' for providing evidence. As NeilN said, I'm enraged. --Tarage (talk) 09:41, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
OK, I just now read the sole evidence of apparent wrongdoing by Tarage (from the FoF [5]): [6], [7]. Yes, it is baffling and outrageous that someone would be sanctioned (probation) by ArbCom (or by anyone) for that. Softlavender (talk) 10:04, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
So, an 'arbitration committee' on a website, are putting you (Tarage) on 'probation' and you are getting upset. But you think someone else getting upset about something that happened elsewhere on the same website is 'a stupid ass reason to be upset' and it's 'his own damn fault'. How would you feel if people said that about you? That it is your own fault that you are getting upset? I agree that the non-parties to the case should not have been mentioned and shouldn't be sanctioned, but try and get this in perspective. If you (verbally, not through a computer) said to someone you know that you were 'outraged' by what was going on here, they might tell you that you needed to get things in perspective. Everyone should have done that at a much earlier stage here. Got some perspective and walked away from the dispute. Carcharoth (talk) 10:34, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I just commented at the PD talk page. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:19, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
@Carcharoth: But you think someone else getting upset about something that happened elsewhere on the same website is 'a stupid ass reason to be upset' and it's 'his own damn fault'. I want to start by saying that I condemn Tarage's tone and verbiage here. I don't think it's appropriate to speak like this. That being said, I completely understand his sentiment.
Michael's reaction was, by the agreement of all of the Arbs, the majority of people who provided evidence and the vast majority of commenters at the ANI threads Michael started, a massive overreaction. Honestly, if he had said something in more polite terms to me about my tone, I'd have apologized immediately. I've issued "pro-active" apologies more than once, when I re-read something I said, realized how it could be taken, and apologized before the other editor even responded. But I never got the chance. By the time I realized what happened (the very next day, not so long a time away from WP) michael had already turned what should have been a "watch your tone, buddy" chiding into a snafu involving multiple ANI threads, appalled admins and editors, and which stretched across a half-dozen pages.
To compare Michael's motivations to Tarage's is apples and oranges. Michael was the recipient of a rude comment that was provoked by a Gish Gallop of complaints. Tarage was the recipient of a formal sanction that was provoked by his attempting to defuse an escalating situation. It's mind boggling, the logic behind that PD. I honestly cannot, for the life of me, see any reason why anyone involved in this case needs to be the recipient of any sanction, with the exception of Michael and I. (I disagree that I should be the recipient of sanctions, but whatever. At least there are reasons there.)
Coming into this, I wrote off all the complaints about ArbCom as coming from disgruntled editors, more or less rightly sanctioned for bad behavior. Having seen the proposed remedies and votes, I now agree with much of the harshest criticisms of Arbcom. The proposals quite literally make no sense whatsoever, to the point of destroying whatever faith I had in ArbCom entirely. Tarage has every right to be outraged (though he should still control his expression of that better), because he has been treated with nothing even remotely resembling fairness. One user made accusations that a cabal of Admins came to defend "one of their own" when I was attacked by Michael. Instead, all the evidence points to the view that a cabal of Arbs have come to defend one their own when he was attacked by Boing! There may be more to it, of which I am not aware. In fact, I'm sure there is. But what, exactly evidence could there be that would indicate that the proposed remedies are fair? None which I can imagine. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:34, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • You know, the more I look at that case, the more it looks to me like a perfect example of where posting a rough draft of the PD in the Workshop would have led to a lot of feedback (not all of it abusive) that would have prevented the ruckus (putting it mildly) that the PD has now elicited. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:50, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Ok, so there is a lot to respond to and be accountable for here, so please bear with me. If I miss something, bring it back to my attention. Since I ran back in 2014, the community is my top priority, and being accountable to the community for my actions is something I take very seriously. NeilN I was definitely a (if not the) primary drafter, so feel free to put your questions to me directly too.
  • Naming non-parties: Yes, we did name non-parties in the decision. There was enough conduct to go around in the dispute where people outside the named party list were perpetuating the dispute. My problem with having every single party named in a dispute is the fact that the list has to be finalized before the closure of evidence. If we didn't and I put someone forward at the end of the Workshop when I had an idea of where I was going with this case, then there would have been even more screaming that the process was unfair as they did not have time to present a rebuttal, opposition or allow for a chance for everyone else to express their opposition of a user being a named party. So what I feel is being said is that the PD ideas needs to be ready at least part of the way through evidence so that new parties can be added without someone claiming that we are setting someone up. Retroactively each and every day the ideas must be modified so that all new evidence is kept up with and no one gets avoided because of last minute evidence postings. Then, the PD must be done and ready for the end of evidence so it can be submitted to the workshop and get a full and good review by the community to make comments on. Arbitrators at the very least would need to be able to remain on this daily so that the community does not view arbitrators as not being held accountable for not responding promptly to their arguments. Following one week of that, there is the at minimum a week where the rest of the community sees "oooohhh a PD, maybe I should go read it and comment on it after reading the evidence right now and then make my own opinions", meanwhile it's yet another week that the drafting arbs have to remain publicly visible for the justification of their actions. So we are looking at at least 4, maybe 5 to allow for some delays where daily work would then be needed on the case. I get it, it's our job, and I accept that. If that is what needs to be done, well then as much as one arbitrator can, i'll go and make the best of that request of the community. and psst, TRM evidence is due in the next day
  • Probation Remedy: The probation remedy came from the idea that parties did not need something formal to separate them from each other from the dispute, just that they needed space from each other. I didn't watch this in real time, so I didn't process that it had been quiet for the week and change that we drafted the PD. So that's why it was included in the first place. NeilN commented that he would have been required to present layers of evidence to justify this, so it seems like a crap load of hand waving and laziness for us to be firing off at all parties at the same time. I get that. But I am now here to explain everything in the best detail I can, and still remain a community voice. I've heard that it's stupid, inane and ridiculous. Message clearly received and I'm now in opposition to that remedy.
  • Case acceptance and effect and scope: Another concern is that NeilNBoing! was reminded about reviewing things before taking things on to Arbitration, while the committee accepted the rest of the case. So I'd like to be clear on something. Reviewing administrators behavior is one of our primary tasks, and I agree with that. My concern with this is that we had 3 days of a single dispute with no prior attempt at dispute resolution that we were now to review. We're we stupid to accept the case, no. It's our jurisdiction to handle allegations of administrator abuse, and M. A. Bruhn provided that by digging back to 2005. While this is normally something is done, I fail to see how it's relevant to the stuff that happened surrounding ancestral health. Had it just been the original ancestral health, my vote would have been a decline. But now we had a matter of previous administrator abuse that needed review for a pattern by the committee. Ancestral health was a very time limited dispute and was not ripe for arbitration without multiple tries at dispute resolution. So, the committee failed to cut that out of the case scope, and Boing failed to attempt dispute resolution on that first, which would have made this whole mess not even exist. That is why the Committee and Boing were reminded in this case, because they both failed. Some people might still call it hypocritical, that's your prerogative. But the reminder of the Committee had nothing to do with the fact that we had to review behavior of an administrator.
  • Delay in response: I apologize for the delay in response to the concerns expressed. I was around for the first two days after the PD was posted, but I couldn't follow up with the same amount of time due to work and personal tasks to complete. It's not and has never been my intention to avoid a first response. Subsequent ones, maybe depending on if I view it as an exponential timesink or not.
  • I do have comments about the discussion above this before it was hijacked to talk about the PD, i'll get to that in due course though on my list of things to do. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 02:32, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
My response to DeltaQuad: NeilN did not file the case request, Boing! said Zebedee did. As you rightly note, no one forced ArbCom to accept the case, or to accept it so quickly. Once accepted, parties who had commented were requested by talkpage message to submit evidence we wished the arbitrators to consider. Yet after merely complying with this request to submit evidence, I am put on "probation" for one month, having had no warning or other explanation, and having been falsely accused (without evidence) of "comment[ing] extensively during the events leading up to the case". Since zero evidence has been presented that I did any such thing, please remove me from the "Probation" sanction section. Thank you. (I'll also add that if the Committee finds that they do not have enough time to process and conclude a case, please extend the deadlines for the relevant parts of a case, so that the Committee in the future does not merely throw PDs together (and !vote on them) without due consideration and evidence.) Softlavender (talk) 03:02, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
The NeilN mistake is corrected. I simply inserted the wrong name. While I have corrected the factual inaccuracy, removing you from the sanction list I currently oppose would be inappropriate. If Arbs started removing names from PDs where there is a majority standing on a remedy already, what's to stop others from removing other names? And what about the others who want their names removed? It would be extremely one sided to do it only for you. I get that it's not what you want to hear, and this will likely just piss you off more, but it's better than me ignoring you or lying to you. I realize I had the responsibility of reviewing the FoF (which I did not write) for factual accuracy as I posted the PD, and that my failure would influence the minds of the voting Arbs. That's on me and you have every right to be pissed at me. But I can't do anything about it at this point in time. I've moved to oppose before I posted my long message above, I hope that my other arbitrators will follow suit to understand this won't help the community.
I still believe your conduct was less than optimal by dragging out the fact that Michael may have edited from IP addresses in the past and that this needed to be investigated. There was no evidence of abuse that you provided, but you dedicated a section of evidence to it. That's picking up the stick and running with it, or in familiar terms for those normally in the arbsphere, casting aspirations. I get that you had no stick to drop to begin with, but picking it up and going with it is not appropriate.
About the deadlines, I don't feel you understand what i'm saying. Extending deadlines wouldn't solve anything that I made in my statement, except more time for people to forget about it and be enraged even more when a PD comes they don't like. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 04:57, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
So instead of taking your time, you choose to rush, thereby ensuring that we would be enraged by the lack of thought presented by these incredibly inappropriate sanctions. You saved your foot from frostbite by shooting it off with a shotgun. --Tarage (talk) 06:53, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
Nowhere did I say I rushed it. We took 5 days over the normal schedule. I missed it. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 07:45, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

I have posted what I describe as the Hardy precedents which come out of this case and proposed decision. Thoughts / criticisms / etc welcome. EdChem (talk) 10:06, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

  • I just want to say that, while I would like to comment here, I have a legitimate fear that I will be sanctioned for doing so. If anyone thinks that I am being silly, I would point out that I am already being threatened with a sanction for answering a question an admin posted on my talk page. This will be my last post on this topic. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:48, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

FYI[edit]

Discussion may be of interest to you: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sports Lawyers Journal. Montanabw(talk) 21:17, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up. I've read through the AfD, but I don't have a strong view on this one. Obviously the Harvard Law Review gets an article and there are less prominent publications that don't, but I don't have any particular thoughts on where exactly to draw the line. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:21, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for September 21[edit]

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Fixed. Domo arigato, Mister Roboto. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:26, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I am not the only one who talks to them, I see? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:30, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Let me know if you hear them talking back. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:29, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

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