Wikipedia:Community enforceable mediation

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Community enforceable mediation is an experimental alternative in dispute resolution to address persistent conflicts between established editors where content disputes include user conduct elements. In this special process participants have the option to choose remedies and enforcement procedures modeled after arbitration precedents. These solutions would be agreed upon by both parties, screened by the person mediating the case, and then submitted for community approval.

The aim is to resolve persistent disputes in a more streamlined and dignified setting than full arbitration for content disputes with a user conduct component. The challenge of distinguishing policy enforcement from content discussion discourages administrative intervention in all but the most obvious calls, such as clear violation of WP:3RR. This creates a forum where responsible editors could select remedies and enforcement schedules for themselves. As with all mediation on Wikipedia, both parties must consent before the mediation can begin.

Format[edit]

The participants receive a page to resolve their differences and work out appropriate remedies. Third party comments are welcome at a related linked page, but not on the mediation page itself. The mediator's level of involvement is generally low: primarily a sounding board and checkpoint. Although a mediator may take a more active role in bringing the participants to agreement, this venue is designed for editors who show enough independence and initiative to examine policies and past arbitration cases for themselves.

When the participants reach an agreement the mediator screens their proposed solution. Remedies should be in line with past arbitration precedents and include enforcement provisions. Participants may impose remedies only upon themselves, not to third parties or articles as a whole. No proposed solution may be submitted to the community until both of the participants have agreed that it is complete and agreed to all of its provisions. The mediator may return the proposed solution to the participants for revision or submit it to the community, but may not alter it without the agreement of both participants.

Community approval[edit]

The mediator submits the proposed solution to the Wikipedia community at the Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. The community selects one of three options by consensus:

  • Accept - accept the entire proposed solution.
  • Return - return the proposal to mediation for modification and resubmission.
  • Reject - reject the proposal and close mediation.

In the absence of a consensus, the default outcome is return. The community is not empowered to modify the solution without the participants' consent, but community members may suggest changes if the proposed solution returns to mediation. At the end of five days, or when the matter appears to have been discussed sufficiently, an uninvolved administrator will close the discussion and declare an outcome, noting the outcome at the bottom of the mediation page. The mediator will then certify a community acceptance and close the resolved case, creating an enforcement log beneath the certification. Acceptance of a community enforceable mediation does not preclude future community remedies: the community may, for example, siteban an editor by consensus. Arbitration overrules community enforceable mediation.

Enforcement[edit]

The usual venue for requesting enforcement of community-approved mediation solutions will be by post to WP:ANI with a link to the mediation page. Enforcing administrators will log their actions.

Withdrawal from mediation[edit]

Either of the two participants or the mediator may end mediation unilaterally at any time before the community accepts or rejects a proposed set of remedies by consensus. Type I withdraw. and include a date stamped signature at the bottom of the mediation page to end the case. Potential close calls will be determined by comparing the time stamp of the community discussion closure against the time stamp of the withdrawal signature: attempted withdrawals after closure are invalidated. If a disputant or mediator ends the case by valid withdrawal, no community-enforceable mediation outcomes will apply (even if they had been agreed upon tentatively). The community or the arbitration committee may impose remedies through separate action and may cite community-enforceable mediation discussion in deliberations. If an editor goes inactive during community-enforceable mediation, the mediator will note that the participant has withdrawn by default one calendar month after the editor's last edit.

After the community has accepted a community-enforceable mediation solution by consensus, the participants are bound to abide by its terms or accept the consequences. Any editor who does not understand community-enforceable mediation or feels pressured to participate should withdraw from it before the case closes. Participants cannot withdraw afterward.

Application[edit]

Community enforceable mediation is not for everyone. In the experimental phase acceptance of cases will be highly selective and limited to two person disputes. This may expand if the test program succeeds but would not become automatic. This format is inappropriate for certain types of disputes such as those that involve sockpuppet and meatpuppet accusations.

Potential participants should demonstrate a working understanding of arbitration or the ability to educate themselves on the subject by reading past arbitration cases with minimal guidance. Potential participants should also demonstrate willingness to abide by the outcomes they would impose upon themselves. Mediators involved with this process are not required to explain their reasons for rejecting a case: assume good faith has already degraded by the time disputants consider this solution, so in order to avoid worsening a situation the mediator who rejects a potential case or withdraws from a case in progress is not expected to elaborate.

Experimental phase[edit]

The experimental phase will run for three months. At the end of that time the community will decide whether to keep the program, modify it and keep it, or close it and mark it historical.

Editors may request community enforceable mediation by posting to Wikipedia:Community enforceable mediation/Requests. If the mediator accepts the case the mediator will announce the opening on Wikipedia:Community noticeboard and create mediation and comment pages.

See also[edit]