Thanks for the opportunity to participate. Below are my responses to your questions.
- What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?
- I am an administrator on the English Wikipedia.
- Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?
- I have made statements and provided evidence (particularly in the Tango case), commented on workshop and proposed decision pages for a range of cases before the Arbitration Committee. I have never been a party, and have never filed a Request for Arbitration.
- Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?
- Several of our colleagues, including many whom I hold in high regard, have encouraged me to put my name forward over the last several months. I think it's important for the membership of the Arbitration Committee to be reflective of the broad diversity of the project. My candidacy brings an additional dimension to complement the many other excellent candidates.
- How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?
- The advance posting of the shortlist of CheckUser and Oversight candidates was a good first step in the right direction, and hope that this "experiment" will continue to evolve so that in the future more community input is sought before appointments are made. I believe that the Mantanmoreland decision turned out to be the right one, despite the uproar that it caused at the time the case was closed; the community was still very divided on the seriousness of any sockpuppetry at that time. When definitive evidence was developed to show that sockpuppetry had recurred well after the decision was released, the community was readily agreeable to banning of the Mantanmoreland accounts. I agree with the general dissatisfaction with the length of time it took to resolve the C68-FM-SV case. The handling of the OrangeMarlin matter was a serious misstep. These two cases in particular have had a serious effect on community confidence in the committee. The development of the closed motions process is a positive way to resolve certain narrow disputes in a timely way.
- What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?
- I understand that there is some information the Arbitration Committee receives that should be kept confidential to protect the privacy of an editor or to ensure the well-being of an editor or even the encyclopedia. On the other hand, I believe that the Committee has permitted the definition of "confidential" evidence to be stretched beyond a reasonable point, allowing editors to submit evidence that does not contain any private information under the cloak of secrecy, preventing the community and any editors named from assessing the significance of this evidence, and responding to it. I'd like to see a middle path, where only genuinely private or harmful information is kept confidential, and editors are required to submit any other evidence on-wiki. It is impossible, however, for those of us not already privy to the Arbcom mailing list to determine how much private evidence has been involved in prior cases; thus, I am not in a position to propose an appropriately crafted protocol at this time.
- Why do you think users should vote for you?
- I bring a different voice to the table. I continue to believe in the core philosophy of the project, and try to exemplify it in my editing and administrative actions. My own wiki-history features collaborative work on a wide range of content, as well as involvement in most administrative areas; in other words, I have worked successfully with a broad range of contributors throughout the project. I have a strong interest in, and awareness of, privacy and personal security issues related to editing Wikipedia, as can be seen in this essay, which I largely authored. I recognise that there are many ways in which one can contribute to the development and improvement of the encyclopedia, and that helps me to better understand and address the conflicts between those who primarily focus on specific functions of encyclopedia-building.
1. What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?
- I currently hold no authority over wikipedia.
2. Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?
- I am glad to say that I've never been sufficiently impugned or sufficiently injured to come before the ArbCom. However, I have succeeded in resolving an informal dispute: I managed to resolve a troubling edit war over the death of Robin Cook. I would like to build on this type of experience in a larger capacity.
3. Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee? 6. Why do you think users should vote for you? '''I answer both together'''
- I'm running 'cause I believe that Wikipedia is losing sight of the 'pedia and is focused only on the wiki.
- User:Franamax has provided an excellent summary of the candidates' contributions. I played around with them on Excel, and noticed something striking.
- Most of the candidates are well and truly sunk into Wikipedia's introspective policy arguments. Many of the candidates have edited WP space (policy etc.) more than they've edited actual articles. Over half of them have edited it 30% as much as they've edited mainspace. The only ones who have edited less policy than me as a percentage are two editors with a handful of contributions, and Charles Matthews. Whatever his merits might be, this is an artefact of his prolific editing all round and he is as clearly part of the wiki-village as anyone.
- Why do I mention this? Because it is the articles which are the lifeblood of Wikipedia. Yet the Economist recently reported that 25% of all Wikipedia's text is given over to policy and policy discussion. Policies are eminently necessary, but we need arbitration which is focused on content, and not personalities. If I am elected, I will decide cases by setting as little precedent as possible, having the least impact on policy, and avoid the personal bickering which has come to epitomise Wikipedia's top institutions.
4. How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?
- One particularly good case was Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Homeopathy. I think it is vitally important that partisan editors, representing the peculiar professional interests and beliefs that they do, must be shown the door if they persistently push POV. Ultimately, this is far more harmful to our project than mere incivility, or even trolling.
- As for poor handling, this does not lie in any specific case but in the fact that the committee has become a buzzing hive of controversy, rather than the faintly boring and arcane thing which it ought to be. I promise that my tenure will be as boring as reasonably possible :).
5. What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?
- If confidential information is being used to block or punish an editor, the assumption must be that the 'defendant' is able to respond to this in some way. The only exception I would make to this is if the defendant has been guilty of stalking or physically threatening behaviour towards another, which is thankfully relatively rare.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to me, and I hope your readers will consider supporting me in this election.
A brownie for you!
Sue Gardner has given you a brownie! Brownies promote WikiLove and hopefully this one has made your day better. Spread the WikiLove by giving someone else a brownie, whether it be someone you have had disagreements with in the past or a good friend. From Sue: Ral315, I am bestowing this brownie upon you, using Kaldari's Wikilove tool, because you once served as editor of The Signpost. The Signpost is really, really great at helping the enWP community stay informed about important goings-on: I am really grateful that you worked on it :-)†
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MfD nomination of Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/SPV
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