Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Reforming dispute resolution

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In this request for comment, several proposals were put forward. The first proposal suggested a unique dispute resolution gadget for a number of different dispute resolution venues. This proposal was supported by a fair number of editors because they believed it would make the user interface to those dispute resolution venues simpler and more newbie-friendly. However, it ultimately failed to gain consensus because other editors felt that it would needlessly complicated matters (WP:BURO was a commonly cited policy) and unnecessarily fragment the dispute resolution processes.

The second proposal nominated a universal dispute resolution wizard. This proposal met with a strong consensus supporting it. By far the most commonly cited reason was that it would reduce fragmentation by reason of the sole entry point, making dispute resolution more friendly for newbies and thereby largely doing away with the "Board XXX is thataway" comments. A couple users, TransporterMan in particular, noted that the form will need to be kept up to date with the requirements of the various dispute resolution boards. Opposers, as before, cited WP:BURO, but they (in particular, Green Cardamom) also mentioned that universal systems can be too rigid.

Jc37 proposed that all dispute resolution venues be merged into one board without the use of any forms or excessive wikimarkup. This proposal was supported as being both more human and extremely simple (the KISS principle was cited). However, this failed to achieve consensus when other users opposed it because they believed it to be "edit at your own risk", to borrow a phrase from Amadscientist, and too crowded, meaning that everything would be placed on one page and overload watchlists and flood the page with many, many disputes.

Shooterwalker proposed a new dispute resolution process to remove cliques, possibly via the use of "complaint statements" and "response statements". This proposal failed to achieve much discussion, preventing a consensus from occurring.

Thank you all for your discussion. Reaper Eternal (talk) 21:53, 25 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Last year, an RFC was opened to examine dispute resolution. As a result of that discussion, many changes were made to dispute resolution generally and to specific venues. This RFC proposes further changes, which are intended to improve and enhance the effectiveness of yet more DR venues.


Until late 2003, Jimmy Wales was the arbiter in all major disputes. After the Mediation Committee and the Arbitration Committee were founded, Wales delegated his roles of dispute resolution to these bodies. In addition to these committees, the community has developed a number of informal processes of dispute resolution. At its peak, over 17 dispute resolution venues existed. Disputes were submitted in each venue in a different way.

Due to the complexity of Wikipedia dispute resolution, members of the community were surveyed in April 2012 about their experiences with dispute resolution. In general, the community believes that dispute resolution is too hard to use and is divided among too many venues. Many respondents also reported their experience with dispute resolution had suffered due to a shortage of volunteers and backlogging, which may be due to the disparate nature of the process.

An evaluation of dispute resolution forums was made in May this year, in which data on response and resolution time, as well as success rates, was collated. This data is here.

Progress so far[edit]

Stage one of the dispute resolution noticeboard request form. Here, participants fill out a request through a form, instead of through wikitext, making it easier for them to use, but also imposing word restrictions so volunteers can review the dispute in a timely manner.

Leading off from the survey in April and the evaluation in May, several changes to dispute resolution noticeboard (DRN) were proposed. Rather than using a wikitext template to bring disputes to DRN, editors used a new javascript form. This form was simpler to use, but also standardised the format of submissions and applied a word limit so that DRN volunteers could more easily review disputes. A template to summarise, and a robot to maintain the noticeboard, were also created.

As a result of these changes, volunteers responded to disputes in a third of the time, and resolved them 60% faster when compared to May. Successful resolution of disputes increased by 17%. Submissions were 25% shorter by word count.[1]

Outside of DRN other simplification has taken place. The Mediation Cabal was closed in August, and Wikiquette assistance was closed in September. Nevertheless, around fifteen different forums still exist for the resolution of Wikipedia disputes.

Proposed changes[edit]

Given the success of the past efforts at DR reform, this RFC proposes we implement:

1) A submission gadget for every DR venue tailored to the unique needs of that forum.

2) A universal dispute resolution wizard, accessible from Wikipedia:Dispute resolution.

  • This wizard would ask a series of structured questions about the nature of the dispute.
  • It would then determine to which dispute resolution venue a dispute should be sent.
  • If the user agrees with the wizard's selection, they would then be asked a series of questions about the details of the dispute (for example, the usernames of the involved editors).
  • The wizard would then submit a request for dispute resolution to the selected venue, in that venue's required format (using the logic of each venue's specialized form, as in proposal #1). The wizard would not suggest a venue which the user has already identified in answer to a question like "What other steps of dispute resolution have you tried?".
  • Similar to the way the DRN request form operates, this would be enabled for all users. A user could still file a request for dispute resolution manually if they so desired.
  • Coding such a wizard would be complex, but the DRN gadget would be used as an outline.
  • Once the universal request form is ready (coded by those who helped create the DRN request form) the community will be asked to try out and give feedback on the wizard. The wizard's logic in deciding the scope and requirements of each venue would be open to change by the community at any time.

3) Additionally, we're seeking any ideas on how we can attract and retain more dispute resolution volunteers.

Proposal 1[edit]

Each dispute resolution forum should have an easy to use form specialized for that forum to request dispute resolution (enabled for all users)


  1. Support. Standardization and simplification can only be a good thing in this important and complex area. -- Hex [t/c] 13:53, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Support if takes into consideration issues raised below. Maybe you'll actually have to preview the one for each noticeboard, some being much simpler than others. Also, work with WP:Dispute page so it becomes a bit clearer when one should do, for example, RfC vs. NPOV. CarolMooreDC 12:32, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Support The wizard I tried at the DRN is much, much friendlier than the systems in use today at other pages. In addition, it also provides better guidance on when to file a case (and when not to) than a wall of text. David1217 What I've done 15:30, 29 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Strong Support - After some time considering these options I have come to the conclusion that the very best idea is to have a form at each location. Perhaps even a slightly tweaked version of a universal form for each noticeboard tailored more to that location, but with the same qualifying questions. If they answer a question that shows they are at the wrong venue, it will redirect them to the proper noticeboard and save the filing editor a great deal of grief. The second proposal means that an edior with a dispute still has to know where to go in order to even file. We don't want to redirect someone who goes to each location unless it is to an actual form. This way...if every noticeboard has a similar, if not exact same form, an editor who may be at the wrong venue will be guided to the proper board as well as having the case filed, ready and posted..but can do so at the location of the board they seek help at! This makes far too much sense to support the other proposal in my opinion.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:17, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Strong Support. I have carefully examined all the arguments on this page, and I agree that the imaginary form that everyone is against really sucks. The actual form that is in place at WP:DRN, on the other hand, makes filing a dispute much simpler. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:41, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Support. I've been so confused at some venues before, that I had to give up. (Is that a good thing?  :) If we want people to use resolution methods, which tends to force civility into a sometimes charged situation that often has festered far too long, we need to make it easier. Wizardry is fine too. There may need, at first, to be an "other" exit from the Wizard perhaps? I'd appreciate any automatic help I can get. When I yell "fire", I hate to have to read a page or two on how to deploy the hose and turn on the water! Then have it not really work! The Wizard should help to avert this. Student7 (talk) 21:31, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Support in principle, but what venues specifically will have this form? --Rschen7754 03:51, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I would envision all the dispute resolution forums that currently exist - Third Opinion, DRN, RFC, formal mediation, and the other DR noticeboards will use a form similar to DRN. Obviously some of them will be very basic (like at Third Opinion) but the underlying reason is to simplify the process but also provide some basic structure. The form was used at DRN and helped focus the discussions, which improved response times and increased the amount of disputes that were successfully resolved. This is why I'm proposing it across the board, but the finished forms will be shown to the community before they are implemented - the reason for this RFC is to get consensus on the idea. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 04:27, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    What about SPI, ArbCom, or ANI? --Rschen7754 04:35, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    SPI doesn't fall in the scope of DR, ArbCom would likely have a simplified way to file a request (as opposed to wikitext) and ANI, well, it doesn't fall in the scope of DR . It could be discussed separately, but it is not part of this RFC. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 04:59, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    FWIW, SPI is listed at WP:DR. I'm reluctant to add ArbCom to the list without their permission, though, and the same with MedCom. --Rschen7754 05:40, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    SPI might be listed there, but it doesn't fall under the scope of regular dispute resolution. I know MedCom is keen on this idea (as I have discussed it with them several times) but I will discuss it with ArbCom on the ArbCom talk page. I do think this is an implementation detail though, and that getting some general agreement on the idea would be of benefit to allow us to move forward. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 06:15, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Oppose if the process follows the DRN model and utilizes a list of editors that have special powers within the noticeboard (see more details below in Discussion section). Support if the process permits all uninvolved editors to comment freely (and, yes, it is okay if the process maintains an internal list to distinguish parties from uninvolved editors). --Noleander (talk) 13:43, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This proposal is just for the creation of a form - the DRN specifics which perform the behaviour you describe (the status template and the bot) are not part of this proposal. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 21:55, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The above assumes facts not in evidence. Nothing about the current system at WP:DRN stops any uninvolved editors from commenting freely. The restriction is on housekeeping chores like closing a case, and even then, everyone is free to put their name on the list of volunteers and do housekeeping chores if they want to. More details below in Discussion section -- probably best to keep the discussion about this in one place. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:41, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Oppose. Proposal 2 is better. Trying to create a bunch of different forms would be like herding cats, and trying to get a bunch of noticeboard regulars to agree would be like nailing jello to a tree. (Note to self: figure out way to insert platypus analogy...) --Guy Macon (talk) 21:45, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Both of these proposals would go through. The univeral wizard would sit on the main DR page, but each forum should still maintain a way to file a request directly at that board. Making it only possible to file a request for DR through one form would be opposed even stronger - this I think can work. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 21:55, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Not only proposal 2 is better (and we don't want yet more duplication, do we?), but in most cases the idea of a filing wizard looses the sense: eg. in 3O the "case" is a wikilink, a short description and a timestamp, which is easier to do manually, then with a wizard. On most other boards the "cases" are ordinary comments, etc. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 23:33, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We're after standardisation. Consider - if someone files a request for dispute resolution with a universal request form (option 2) that they would fill in a wizard anyways. Remember - the DRN wizard makes the process effective because it has some structure - and creates a reasonable limit on the amount of text that can be put in a request. Freeform allows 10k posts to be added, and volunteers are more likely to read a short summary of the dispute rather than a massive wall of text. After all, we are trying to make the process easier, but also attract more volunteers, and I think a standardised format will aid in that effort. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 02:25, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Steven, manual clerking is ways more effective then this. The needed option is not word counting, but explicit license for regulars to replace text in the request (it is already common at WP:3O). Effectively the only things that should be clearly separated are the location of dispute and the participants; the rest of "structure" is unnecessary at best and clutter in most cases. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 08:07, 27 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Oppose People should be encouraged to request assistance or dispute resolution in whatever form they find convenient. The guiding principle is NOT BURO. The change needed is in the exactly opposite direction: I find it tedious and constraining to participate in processes that require forms--rather, I respond to people who ask for assistance, preferably in plain English. Make more processes formal, and you will lose people. DGG ( talk ) 23:16, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The problem with the current system is that it relies on knowledge of wikimarkup, and often the use of complex templates. This is all good and well for people like yourself that have been here for many years and know the system, but is a slap in the face for those who find it tough. Not all novice users who request dispute resolution are trolls. Remember - the form just changes the way the information is inputted. It has very little impact on how the content is outputted on the relevant page. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 23:28, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If it really is all good and well for people who like wikimarkup, then please keep that around. Go from having 17 options to having 2. Not 1.Connor Behan (talk) 03:42, 9 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The new wizard isn't mandatory for use - it's preferred, but we're not going to remove the ability to file a request manually. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 04:33, 9 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Oppose - WP:BURO and WP:CREEP, among other things. And I agree with DGGs comments directly above. These should all be made much more straight-forward. The process so far seems to have been to design things to make things easier for bots than for editors. We need to reverse that. - jc37 23:27, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    How is making no change at all to the process going to make things more straightforward? Personally, I think a visual interface is much simpler to use than complex templates with lots of variables and wikicode. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 23:31, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think that a gadget will actually add complexity. But that aside, anything which moves further away from "you too can edit this page" - in this case, such as forms and such - is a bad thing. I strongly dislike the current "systems" I'm seeing. - jc37 23:36, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm not sure that I agree that complexity and structure are the same things. I see needing to fill out a template in wikicode as complex. Filling out a basic form to describe a dispute is structured. I refer to the trial at DRN, where this model has been in use. Since the move from a preloaded template (with wikicode comments) to a form, disputes have become more concise and focused, and as a result, volunteers responded to disputes in a shorter timeframe (compared to long threads of free text) and more disputes were resolved. If the goal that we're after is to improve the effectiveness of dispute resolution, then we need to consider making changes. The DR system has never been very effective, this change has shown some promise. It won't be mandatory, it's not like editors will be barred from filing a dispute the old way. But just doing nothing is the wrong approach, imo. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 23:46, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, filling out most templates is complex; templates with hidden options are particularly difficult. The need is to stop using them also. Perhaps I am one of the few people left who wish to respond personally to requests for assistance, but perhaps the reliance on forms and templates is the reason why it is so hard to find others. The universal complaint is that we are already too bureaucratic. The way to deal with bureaucracy is not to become better bureaucrats, but to see what we have in the way of bureaucratic interactions, and remove all of it. DGG ( talk ) 00:12, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think a balance needs to be found here - from all the work I've done over the last five months, I've come to the conclusion that this is the best option. Templates are complex to use, and of course freeform is ideal - but we've tried that before, and the lack of any structure that comes with the freeform approach led to a wait time for a volunteer to respond to a dispute of up to two weeks, in some cases, the disputes were ignored altogether. Bureaucracy for the sake of bureacracy is bad, but if it has a valid reason and addresses a real problem (that dispute resolution is ineffective) then I think it's worth considering. Like all things, if we try something and it doesn't work, we can always go back to the drawing board. But this has been tried and tested, and DRN. It was implemented as a result of feedback from a survey, where volunteers stated their reluctance to volunteer because threads had no structure and were most often TL;DR, and editors expresses the difficulty of using dispute resolution. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 00:23, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Oppose per DGG -- bureaucratic nonsense. Users should be encouraged to simply ask for help using, you know, words. Nobody Ent 21:05, 27 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Oppose It is troublesome for users to discover which forum is the appropriate venue at which they should register their dispute. This process, which is the current process, has the problem of multiple points of entry. Having multiple points of entry means a huge duplication in labor and effort in repeating the process for accepting dispute resolution requests plus unnecessary difficulty in sorting those requests. I would instead favor a single place to report any kind of dispute followed by a sorting of that report into the appropriate forum. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:37, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, not really. A single point of entry will create far more problems by simply discouraging editors with disputes from filing if the are being redirected from location to location. A single point will not help, it will hurt as editors will be come confused and perhaps just walk away. HOWEVER if all entry points used a Universal form that takes the editor to the proper venue no matter where they enter...THAT WOULD BE EXCELLENT!!--Amadscientist (talk) 23:03, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    So having one script is bad, but numerous identical scripts is excellent? Could you elaborate on this, please? Or are you talking about script's locations? — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 23:12, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There must be a misunderstanding. I think we are talking about the same thing. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:20, 7 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. Oppose per DGG and WP:BURO. If dispute resolution is too complex, the solution is not to add another level of complexity. A plain statement of the problem should be sufficient. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:00, 30 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Oppose - fragmentation is a serious problem with everything behind-the-scenes at Wikipedia. This simply promotes fragmentation. Some guy (talk) 19:44, 5 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  11. oppose (see section 3.2) - Nabla (talk) 00:34, 13 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Neutral with Comments[edit]

  • Neutral But see the comments I made in Proposal 2, about the editability of the form code and keeping the form statements in sync with the individual DR forum requirements. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:36, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Neutral this is more of a "should", as in "let's try". But definitely far from a "must". Far more useful to just start building these forms on a case-by-case basis, and stopping/adapting in the face of any obstacles. Shooterwalker (talk) 16:20, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Neutral - I'm all for streamlining and obviating procedure however this is instruction creep. Furthermore in my only experience of DRN as an enduser I have serious issues with how volunteers are (not) being prepared for handling disputes - specially in relation to contentious area (ie those under probation/sanction). There is less need for software and java script than there is for human oversight of well intentioned but ultimately unhelpful/counter-productive interventions. Have we got data on both quantitative and/or qualitative benefits that DRN has brought dispute resolution since the last changes: i.e how many disputes escalated to ANi or WP:AE after intervention?
    Currently we are granting anyone the ability to intervene as an official unofficial voice of reason without vetting/policing their knowledge of policy or abilities WRT third opinions and the like. MedCom has a check & balance procedure for vetting its volunteers. Something like this needs to be introduced - not everyone is as skilled in resolving issues as Steven is. This should be a priority rather than software & bureaucratic developments--Cailil talk 23:08, 5 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Cailil, yes, sometimes, DRN volunteers might seem unprepared, but another problem is that there are boundaries to DRN, and so DRN can't be as effective. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 16:18, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Sure, I understand, but we should be putting "our best forward" so to speak with DRN. If the volunteers at DRN make things worse (and if we get rid of all the other venues) even in a small number of cases then there's a problem (that's why I'm asking Steven for data). This would increase the workload at the higher end of the WP:DR scale (ANi, AE & RFAR); potentially loose us users; and given the current way that DRN draws it volunteers (from ppl who've been there) create the potential for spill-over. Basically Ebe123 if all DRN volunteers aint up to the task then the process is counter-productive. There need to guidelines to help these ppl act as skilled mediators not as new participants in a dispute, which seems to be teh current modus operandi--Cailil talk 16:38, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This is the wrong place to criticize my work as a DRN volunteer, as is User talk:Steven Zhang#DRN data. There is a correct place, where the right people will see it and the conversation won't get fragmented across multiple talk pages. Wikipedia talk:Dispute resolution noticeboard is the right place to discuss the performance of a dispute resolution volunteer. This RfC would be an excellent place for any specific "procedure/policy X can be improved by doing Y" suggestion you might have, but if your comment is about whether "volunteers at DRN make things worse" or "DRN volunteers aint up to the task", this is the wrong place. Nothing about the reforming dispute resolution RfC involves restricting who can and can't be a volunteer or requiring any sort of training. That option is not on the table here. That might be a good thing to create another RfC about, but it isn't what this RfC is about. Again, if you have a problem with my performance as a DRN volunteer, Wikipedia talk:Dispute resolution noticeboard is the right place to discuss it. You haven't actually crossed the line into WP:FORUMSHOPPING but you are heading in that direction. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:09, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • My comments in both locations are not about you Guy - relax. I'll ask you to withdraw your above allegation of forum shopping. I am very happy for uninvolved sysops to review my conduct in this whole thing if you prefer. But be assured my comments here and at Steven's page are not about you personally - they're about the DRN system. And for the record I took my criticism of you to the page where I noted the issue was resolved - there is no need to be defensive--Cailil talk 19:11, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I made no allegation of forum shopping. I said that you have not crossed the line into forum shopping but that you were heading in that direction. I stand by that statement, and I again ask you to discuss the behavior of dispute resolution volunteers at Wikipedia talk:Dispute resolution noticeboard, not here. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:08, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal 2[edit]

A universal way to file requests for all types of dispute resolution (which would be in a format like this) and hosted at WP:DR should be created. (enabled for all users)


  1. Support. Single points of entry into systems are extremely useful for inexperienced users. Also, the name "universal dispute resolution wizard" is one of the best things ever. -- Hex [t/c] 13:56, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Support, but first we should make sure that all noticeboard consolidation is finished (see question below asking "have we consolidated all the noticeboards already?" in Discussion section). --Noleander (talk) 13:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Support' • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:16, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Support sounds good. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:31, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Support this. If it were 1 form, no need for option 1. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 19:46, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Both need to be an option - making it mandatory for all to file a request through one form will get a fair bit of pushback. Let's create both, and see how things go. Creating a universal form is ideal, but having a similar form at each DR forum will at least create some structure and make it less confusing. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 21:57, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Support I like the idea of a universal access point for dispute resolution to help streamline the process.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:38, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Support. Just because we are doing something a certain way now, that doesn't mean that it is a good idea. Expecting users to find the right noticeboard and then edit WikiMarkup is a terrible idea. If someone proposed the current system today the idea would be instantly shot down. The Right Thing To Do is to have software that automates the process. Yes, it will need to be done properly, but it is obviously needed. It is time to drag Wikipedia kicking and screaming into the 1980s .--Guy Macon (talk) 23:02, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Conditional support, and I would suggest to add a link to this filing wizard to toolbox for talk pages, so that it could also be used to help novice editors to find a most appropriate forum. "Conditional" because no wizard is there yet, and too livid imagination may render the whole thing useless or even unusable. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 23:36, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. Support. "I like the idea of a universal access point for dispute resolution to help streamline the process." I also like the fact that this process doesn't seem rushed and that it proceeds in a transparent way. --LFOlsnes-Lea 01:46, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Support - I've looked at the current wizard and I think it's so excellent I'd like to fork it for the next version of the Article Wizard, as well as maybe place it in some other venues, such as the help desk. The Teahouse pioneered this and it's really gone viral for new editor introduction. Let's keep moving forward! --Nathan2055talk - contribs 19:26, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  11. Support would avoid (or reduce) the abortive misfiles that are so common. Rich Farmbrough, 20:55, 25 September 2012 (UTC).Reply[reply]
  12. Support Anything that makes dispute resolution more user-friendly is a good thing. It is my belief that getting a "SPI (or wherever) is thataway" as a reply when trying to get help with a problem is a leading cause for new editors going out the door, which is also "thataway". Gtwfan52 (talk) 22:31, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  13. Support - seems sensible. Ironholds (talk) 23:43, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  14. Support. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 19:42, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  15. Support This goes a long way to help inexperienced users (and regular users who are inexperienced with dispute). Good stuff. --JaGatalk 05:02, 27 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  16. Support. As noted above, "a universal form is ideal." Guoguo12 (Talk)  19:19, 27 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  17. Support Universality simplifies everything. Dan653 (talk) 23:55, 27 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  18. Support Excellent, though don't make it so long people will get frustrated and not complete process. CarolMooreDC 12:27, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  19. Support All points of entry should redirect to this form for standardizing reporting of the dispute and to facilitate directing of the dispute to the appropriate venue. Nothing is lost and a lot is gained by following this process. This proposal cannot disrupt any current processes and only eases future interaction with dispute resolution boards. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:41, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  20. Support I think this will add a lot of value to the DR noticeboards by easing its accessibility to editors who are new to the process. I, Jethrobot drop me a line (note: not a bot!) 20:21, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  21. Conditional Support I certainly do not oppose a form which makes it easier to navigate to and file a DR request, but first I have some concern that doing so may dilute or remove some of the filing requirements for the various DR forums which have been established by consensus over a considerable period of time. Second, unless the code underpinning the form is available to and subject to being edited by all editors there is a substantial risk that the filing requirements stated or summarized in the form will become out of sync with those in the DR forums if they are changed in a forum. Either of those can cause confusion and potential resentment. Moreover, even if the code is universally available for editing, then the community will have to be conscientious about actually keeping it in line with what the forums require. That's been a problem with, for example, keeping the Dispute resolution policy page current with the various forums and, if there is code involved, may cause it to be a bigger problem with a form since not all users are, or feel, competent in editing code which is more complex than standard page-editing code. Third, as some other editors have mentioned, there needs to be some discussion about what is and is not a DR forum and what role and purpose non-strictly-DR forums such as RSN and BLPN play, if any, in the DR process. In short, I like and support the idea in principle, but feel that there's a considerable devil in the details that must be worked out in prototype before any system is actually implemented by a new RFC once the prototype has been hashed out. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:31, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  22. Support yes, this. --Jayron32 21:45, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  23. Support For new users, a single form from which they will directed to the proper noticeboard is very useful. David1217 What I've done 15:32, 29 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  24. Support - Looks good. Buttons might include YES, NOT YET, and WHAT'S A TALK PAGE?, the latter explaining what it is and steering filers unfamiliar with the concept to discussion and potential rectification there. Carrite (talk) 14:34, 30 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  25. Support, especially if it is available, as opposed to required. Getting started at a dispute resolution page can be intimidating, especially for inexperienced users, and the option of a software wizard to guide one through the process is an excellent idea. If inexperienced users find it too difficult to make use of constructive DR procedures, the dispute just festers longer than it needed to, and that is to no one's advantage. We should make inexperienced users feel that their concerns are taken seriously, without making them jump through too many hoops, and this proposal makes that hoop-jumping less onerous. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:39, 30 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  26. Support the wizard form thing should validate the location and users fields, to protect against typos. Autocomplete, as per the search box would be even better. Stuartyeates (talk) 02:34, 1 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  27. Support as long as we don't get WP:BUROCRATIC on users who understand DR processes well enough to skip the wizard. Obviously we don't want people escalating conflicts straight to ArbCom, but we also don't want every conflict to go through the the DRN / universal wizard. Shooterwalker (talk) 16:36, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  28. Support The best of the various proposals on this page, all laudable. Serious kudos to everyone working on this, including those with constructive proposals/ideas/comments/suggestions that aren't taken forward. This is one area where we burn out good editors and we can definitely do much, much better. --Dweller (talk) 14:20, 4 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  29. Support - the fragmentation of all of the policies, procedures, and venues behind the scenes at Wikipedia are a severe obstacle to new and even regular editors. A universal wizard is an excellent tool to filter the fragmentation into an interface usable by everyone. Also, support per Hex. Now, we just need an AfD wizard so it doesn't take an hour to set up an AfD... Some guy (talk) 19:39, 5 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  30. Support: I support simplifying procedures for DR. Nevertheless good communication and flexibility to adapt to the specifics of each particular case should be a must. --Jdemarcos (talk) 09:48, 10 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  31. Strong Support: I am highly in favor of this. Wikipedia is becoming increasingly complex and bureaucratic. A form of this type would allow for the dispute resolution request reach the correct noticeboard, but would make things much easier for an editor who is unfamiliar with the different boards.--¿3family6 contribs 17:52, 9 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  32. Support--KeithbobTalk 15:42, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  33. Support - Make things simpler and easier, especially for new users. -- FutureTrillionaire (talk) 15:47, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  34. Support - I support this proposal in principle, with the caveat that the diversity of DR avenues that have been created and grown over time not be thrown on the trash heap, but instead collected into a universal and streamlined starting point. Xaxafrad (talk) 16:27, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  35. Support - processes should be simplified for regular users. Newbies who find themselves in a dispute needing escalated resolution usually are unfamiliar with our policies, guidelines, structures, and etiquette, and find themselves afoul of them. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 18:16, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  36. Strong Support Common sense dictates one form, one page, one place, one area, and as Carlos brings up, new people need help, and having 18(or whatever) different places to go isn't going to help much/at allLibertarianSupport 01:13, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  37. Support. The concept of a single form and point of entry would certainly make navigation easier for editors, though I think further consolidation of the number of dispute avenues would also be useful. • Astynax talk 17:59, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  38. I like it, if it looks nice when its done and works well. Needs to have some review period and evaluation, etc. Also, we should give it a cool name, like Wizard of Argument Resolution - which can be shortened to WAR and given a neat little icon of a wizard fighting a dragon or something. Nathan T 19:23, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  39. Support. This looks smooth and delivers essential information quickly to someone who hasn't used the process before. Student7 (talk) 21:34, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  40. Support - if this can be done, it looks to be a much simpler and less confusing system for those new to WP or its inner workings, which seems to be a high proportion of those needing this kind of assistance. Anaxial (talk) 16:28, 13 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  41. Support Corn cheese (talk) 19:49, 13 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  42. Support Yes. — ΛΧΣ21 20:10, 18 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  43. Support. Absolutely. Lord Roem (talk) 18:51, 20 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Oppose People should be encouraged to request assistance or dispute resolution in whatever form they find convenient. (Having a greatly reduced number of forums, that part would help; having an optional form-driven process to help people select a forum would help--but the present example is too rigid: it insists on sending people to article talk pages, and this is not always relevant.) The guiding principle is NOT BURO. The change needed is in the exactly opposite direction: I find it tedious and constraining to participate in processes that require forms--rather, I respond to people who ask for assistance, preferably in plain English. Make more processes formal, and you will lose people. (I do examine requests in one process using forms, AfC, but I only do so because it is possible to ignore the forms and do whatever meets the situation. ) DGG ( talk ) 23:21, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    See my comments up above. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 23:28, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Oppose. I agree with Steven. There are basic structures in place now for dispute resolution. As long as these processes refer to the various options (and both WP:DRN and WP:RFM have a link in the lead to the dispute resolution policy), I don't think a common form would add any value. Disputes are variable and the needs of participants change over time. WP:DR spells out the options. Creating an all-seeing eye seems to add a layer of bureaucracy, without added utility. Sunray (talk) 01:53, 1 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Oppose "Universal" systems are notoriously authoritarian, inflexible and fragile. Better that each sub-system retain local control over its particular requirements and needs. We need to weigh the benefits of a universal system versus the loss of local control. In WWI, the smallest unit was 100 men. In WWI it was 10 men (squad). Today, it is an "Army of One" (in theory). The smaller the unit the more flexible and effective. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 04:08, 7 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. oppose, per most of the above, plus: the process could/should be simplified, normalise as much as possible, simplify as much as possible, sure. But there is no need to a form, that only a few can change. Just about the same "guidance" can be done with a few simple wiki pages with links; using forms will only make them accessible (for improving them) only by a few. The "problem" is not technical, it needs no technical solution. First people should learn how to write decent English (I can't but I'm not native...): the form shown as an example is plain wrong, I quote: «[...] disputes primarily concerning user conduct - they should be discussed with the users involved first, and failing that directed here» So here is not the place to discuss user conduct, if you want to discuss user conduct you should go... here? Is here the place or is it not? "Who's on First?" Yeah, right, common error (so common most will bet it is not, and maybe it is not already...) but the reasoning stands: first simplify / clarify the process, only then, maybe, modify the technical part of it. Otherwise, reforming will become increasingly difficult - Nabla (talk) 00:32, 13 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Neutral with comments[edit]

  1. I'm not opposed to the idea of a single starting place for DR, but the initial information given in the proposed screen is a bit misleading. It appears to me that DR actually can, in some cases, do each of those things listed under "This process cannot". Formerip (talk) 23:42, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Important comment - There seems to be some confusion to these proposals as I think becomes clear when reading the comments and support choices of proposal 2. It actually appears that some have chosen proposal #2 believing that this creates a single page only and that no option would be available AT the different noticeboards. Uhm...neither proposal actually says that. A excellent suggestion was made below on September 25 by User:Nathan2055 and then expanded on by User:Rich Farmbrough [1] which basicly allows DR/N to still host a universal wizard and each noticeboard, in turn will carry it on their own page. This could be used inside the customized noticeboard page filling to that board. This allows each board to give their own suggestions for filling under that board, allows each board a direct link to their own filing page AND still use the universal wizrd. This way if the filing editor has chosen the wrong venue, they are directed to the right notice board already filed and ready to go. The Wizrd will need to explain this but I feel it woul streamline the DR process at Wikipedia!
Editors may want to rethink there choices below in case they elected to choose a proposal assuming that no option would be available at the different noticeboards. This is not in either proposal. The discussion was originaly about either a gadget for each noticeboard customized for their use..... or a universal wizard hosted at DR/N. Neither proposal suggested removing a way to file AT a notice board. Hosting merely means that each board's filing page would link the DR/N hosted form by using {{}} (for it to be shown in full) or a simply page redirect.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:58, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably just the wording of the RFC proposal. If proposal 2 is for a universal wizard that is located at one place (The DR page) then that would be bad. Each location must have a form located there and not just a link back to DR. (I don't mean the DR/N page)--Amadscientist (talk) 05:46, 8 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal 3[edit]

Merge all (most?) DR noticeboards to a single process, set up like WP:TFD/WP:CFD, with daily log pages, and a simple "you too can edit this page" interface.

The only wikimarkup needed would be basic for all editors (use 4 equal signs for a header, use double brackets for a Wikilink, and single brackets for an external link or diff).

Any formatting preferences can be noted on the main DR page.

And thus end all the bureaucracy and forms and so on. And closing a discussion would be like closing any other discussion on Wikipedia. And by using the log pages, the process is self-archived.

QED/KISS/etc. - jc37 23:47, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Me, of course. - jc37 23:47, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Also. It is better to be human, mechanization may seem more efficient, but the work involved to do it properly makes it a delusion. I have here been thanked many times by someone who has at last found someone to give personal attention, and their appreciation is the reason I persist in it--I am now limited to trying to spot limit me to people who keep trying and getting nowhere; time and effort would have been saved by doing it in the first place, not to mention the majority who leave, because they do not get it. I am thinking of the self check in machines at airports, which work only because there is a human helping people get started and urging--sometimes practically forcing-- people to use them--otherwise, most people would rather wait in even very long lines for an an actual human to talk to, even if that human is not particularly helpful. DGG ( talk ) 00:22, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support (the most part): I believe that all content DR noticeboards should be merged at WP:Content dispute resolution noticeboard (WP:DR/C) and all conduct DR boards – WP:Conduct dispute resolution noticeboard (WP:DR/U). — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 07:53, 27 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The only problem with concuct issues is that they require a more formally binding process and that requires an administrative level of abilities. Other issues do not even really need the formal structure of DR/N and some may need more.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:37, 29 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think that the level of formality is actually a issue of no significance. There should be the process, and the way this process is organized doesn't matter much unless the organization excludes some disputes that can't be resolved elsewhere. My point is that the guiding principle of structuring DR processes should be the complexity of disputes, not the underlying policy. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 09:46, 29 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Agree with DGG, being human about disputes is very important. Training the editors who handle them that have not gone through MedCom or RFA (to vet their knowledge of policy) is also important. There's no point in merging/consolidating fora if the people who patrol it/them aren't skilled enough to resolve disputes of various kinds (or experienced enough to know when to ask for someone else to help them out). I'm not opposed to software development but only after we get the data on how the people behind it are doing at resolving disputes, and steps to improve their competencies are taken--Cailil talk 11:17, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • support, irony and oversimplification aside: yes, keep it simple. - Nabla (talk) 00:33, 13 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Under this proposal dispute resolution noticeboards would be indistinguishable from article talk pages. Why would anyone imagine that a dispute that failed to achieve a resolution on the article talk page will magically be resolved just because the disputants are now fighting on the original talk page and this proposed secondary talk page?
    (Sarcasm on) The simplest, most non-bureaucratic solution would be to delete all noticeboards and let anyone create any kind of noticeboard any time they want to and then let anyone else delete the noticeboard if they don't like it. No rules at all. If you really want no structure, that's the way to get it. (Sarcasm off) --Guy Macon (talk) 00:10, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If you resort to rhetoric you admit the lack of available logic. The proposed method would work because when it is brought to a conspicuous place, people will pay attention which they caqnnot do as dispersed article talk pages. (It will need some improved talk page formatting to keep threads together and readable, and perhaps moderation to limit the length & repetition) Bringing everything to one place and letting individuals deal with it works--the best example at WP is our one real DR process, OTRS. DGG ( talk ) 00:26, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Guy Macon - The same way that things are resolved anywhere. As drama-filled as it may get at times (as do other DR pages), AN/I follows this process. (facetious comment) Or are you suggesting that this process is ok for AN/I, but not for DR for "regular editors"? (/facetious comment)
    The point of the process is to get more eyes on a situation. And this will do that just fine. - jc37 00:30, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Very strong Oppose - Kinda like saying "Edit at your own risk" and if you have a problem you need to know exactly what your problem is before you ask for help....push A for...push B for.... or give up totally and walk away. At a point when someone is needing assistance we want them to have the easiest route and landing on one or two pages and trying to figure out what link to go to amounts to a hold button or a brick wall to many newer or less experianced editors. It almost becomes a filter. Only editors capable of figuring out how to edit the page right will get help and those that become intimidated at the process give up and walk away.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:33, 29 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose: everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. This might be too simple. In principle, I think this is a good idea. But in practice, we need to be much more flexible. Let's strive for greater unity, consistency, and clarity in the DR processes. Shooterwalker (talk) 16:45, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strong oppose: Way too simple. The noticeboards are crowded enough already. If every single complaint were listed on one board, it would be a massive wall of complaints. Also, there are so many different types of disputes to be resolved that there is no way a one-size-fits-all approach will work. You'd have conflict of interest right next to reliability right next to ethnic and cultural conflicts.--¿3family6 contribs 18:06, 10 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • oppose and strongly object to the soapboxing in the wording: Adding a clearly biased editorial comment like "And thus end all the bureaucracy and forms and so on" to a proposal poisons the well. Proposals should be neutrally worded and descriptive. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Perhaps oppose. "Single notice board" concerns me. I get far too many items on my watchlist now. When these are lumped together, would I then get notices on changes to disputes for which I had no interest (none of them except my own!)? I am not sure about the "bureaucracy" comment either. I want admins involved in this somewhere. Sure, volunteer admins, but admins all the same, not just "volunteers" which often have their own axe to grind. That would pollute the dispute resolution process for me. Something we might consider asking new nominees for admin: "Would you be willing to volunteer in x dispute resolutions per year." Or "how many would you be willing to participate in?" (Talk about arm twisting or lousing up applications for admin!  :) Student7 (talk) 21:42, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal 4: Create a DR process designed to reduce the role of cliques[edit]

Self explanatory. I only propose this in principle, because the specifics would need to be worked out. Perhaps this is an impossible task, but even a partial solution would be helpful. Too many discussions about one user's conduct into a rush of defenders saying "but the other side does it too!" Not sure what would solve this. Maybe a single-complainant single-respondent model would work. Or, alternatively, a wiki-produced "complaint" statement and "response" statement that reflects the views of the parties, and painstakingly removes the unsupported or irrelevant premises through the editing process. I kind of like the latter model, which might take a while to produce the statement of conflict, but might make managing said conflict much easier. Perhaps a pilot project. Again, just brainstorming. Shooterwalker (talk) 16:43, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support ATM cliques rule on many wikipages without resort to consensus but opposition to it. So that some really bizarre results appear cf Anthropogenic Global Warming, Alan Jones (Australian Broadcaster) or Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller Hoax. One absurd situation for me occurred when an anonymous editor who hates the Australian federal conservative leader (according to their declaration reversed my edits in favor of biased ones .. claiming I had an axe to grind. The anonymous editor has many anonymous friends of like mind .. preventing excellence being pursued in favor of spin. I have no easy solutions for this, but it is clearly an issue DDB (talk) 10:41, 10 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. One person's clique is another person's consensus and teamwork. I would very much like to see a proposal for solving this problem in article space, but at WP:DRN we have what I think is a better method; ask the disputants to talk about article content rather than user conduct, and delete the comments about other editors if they are not willing to self-delete. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. A bit optimistic proposal. I haven't seen heavy-handedness in the disputes in which I have been involved (few). The admins need to screen themselves for bias. The disputants must "accept" the mediator. About the best we can hope for, I think. I realize the stakes are higher sometimes but have no experience with those. Student7 (talk) 21:47, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion question[edit]

How we can attract and retain more dispute resolution volunteers?

Discussion question responses[edit]

  • As someone who occasionally chimes in at RS/N, ANI and even ArbCom, I have to say DRN looks way too bureaucratic. The landing page appears more intimidating even than ArbCom's. It looks closest to SPI in complexity. Tijfo098 (talk) 07:55, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree that the setup of DRN is complex - but the process has become more efficient and effective since it went through changes. I think that has to count for something. Szhang (WMF) (talk) 09:54, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'm curious how it appears bureaucratic and how you think it could be changed. Xavexgoem (talk) 10:02, 23 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What purpose does all that extraneous stuff serve? Why bother having designated "volunteers"? DRN is pretty much a model of what not to do. Gigs (talk) 21:19, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Actually, DRN is a model of what to do. Asking volunteers to list themselves allows a number of automated functions. The current system of asking the user to figure out which noticeboard to go to and then edit Wikimarkup with the only help being a few HTML comments is fine -- if you are a UNIX sysadmin. That sort of user interface went out of style -- with good reason -- in the 1980s. For ordinary users and especially for newbies, the current system is craptacular. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:13, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Actually, DRN goes on and off my watchlist nearly every day, as my will to volunteer there balances the pain of coping with a huge high-traffic page with overly aggressive and overly simplistic bot. Making people cope with templates (basic skill on Wikipedia anyway) seems to be less painful to me. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 23:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • That's a False dilemma. The choice isn't between the present DRN bot and the present templates, but rather between a DRN bot with reasonable improvements (lots we can do there) and templates with reasonable improvements (the documentation could certainly be improved). Have you posted about exactly what it is that annoys you about the DRN bot? Perhaps it is easily fixable. --Guy Macon (talk) 08:03, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I posted multiple times, and I don't actually see any path for improvement – the bot can't know if case is opened or not, if it requires assistance or not, if discussion is healthy or not, etc. Effectively the idea of bot-manipulated cases is so flawed, that the only reasonable solution I see is to disable the automatic clerking altogether. Manually adding a parameter to template is not a big deal, and inability to do so flies in face of WP:COMPETENCE anyway. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 21:56, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think that the DR forums (both content and conduct) should be further merged. With 3O, DRN and MedCom being a linear path of dispute resolution, other content DR forums (RSN, NORN, NPOVN, etc) become somewhat of side product of DR process. May be it would be better to merge all of this to DRN (with some kind of dispute categorization via wizard) and make it a catchall? Not only it would help with forum shopping, but also concentrate the volunteers at a single location and help resolve disputes more effectively. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 23:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What some of these processes need is moderators; Arb com clerks are a good model. AN/I is in particularly desperate need of them, for most of the page is taken up by long irrelevant subject discussions that a moderator should be stopping or directing elsewhere. that do not belong there and could only be handled if people focus on what arb com can do. if people ever apply again at RfA, this would help there as well. My own preferred haunt, DelRev, could also use one, though the limited traffic & participants makes it easy for us to ignore what needs ignoring. DGG ( talk ) 23:26, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have to say you're right in the above. Of course, any individuals who do try to implement the proposals on the AN/I page would be held as virtual villains by those whose edits they seek to control. And, also, I have to say that I think there would be really fast requests for desysoping or similar if any of these "ANI clerks" ever did anything wrong, particularly by those editors they may have seriously agitated earlier by some of their actions elsewhere. And, of course, given the amount of, well, b.s. at the ANI page, such clerks would be very very busy. If those matters could be addressed in some way, though, I think it would maybe work. John Carter (talk) 23:57, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • O ANI clerks sounds fabulous. Unfortunately yes, also, to JC's comment - anyone trying to clerk would be subject to a great deal of hostility. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:26, 3 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Actually, ANI is a lot more moderated these days than it used to be some years back. Threads get closed with conclusions and posts deleted, sometimes a bit too aggressively, but usually with good reason. Tijfo098 (talk) 02:14, 7 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you are counting ANI and ArbCom--i.e. blocking and banning--as dispute resolution, then the procedures for dispute resolution become too diffuse to have a coherent identity. (talk) 19:26, 7 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • We're all volunteers, but who really wants to volunteer for the abuse, second-guessing, and accusations that are hurled at anyone who wants to step in to help solve disputes. Solutions often require judgment calls, and everyone's judgment is potentially called into question. If we are a community of encyclopedia writers not a MMORPG, we should behave like one: we have an arbcom who decides what they feel like deciding, but 99% of disputes are handled (solved would be overly optimistic a word choice) elsewhere and elsehow. Many longtime editors have left the project due to disputes that were not handled well (not just unfavorably to them). A pool of editors should be established (a volunteer pool) who are pulled in randomly (say, in a group of 3) to assist in disputes that need more than noticeboard handling. This would be the preferred path of escalation; prior to arbcom. The group would then work to solve (not just handle) the dispute and may utilize any of the other fora for input - RFC? Discussion on relevant project talk pages, etc. - and have done with it, without "evidence" from so-and-so, irrelevant comment from "whats-his-name", etc. that plagues arbcom. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 18:26, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I like the idea of pulling in teams of 3-5 from a volunteer pool. That should carry more weight and remove some of the personal animosity that too often distracts from issues and policy at hand. • Astynax talk 17:52, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


there was a tag that asked me to comment

so i guess i'll go by the prospoals (im not sure if these prospoals are from different ppl or from one

1 Each dispute resolution forum should have an easy to use form specialized for that forum to request dispute resolution (enabled for all users) i dont like this one, because things shouldnt be unnecessary complicated

2 A universal way to file requests for all types of dispute resolution (which would be in a format like this) and hosted at WP:DR should be created. (enabled for all users) i like this one "universal way"

3 i like the 3rd one the best, to combine everything into a single process hope that helps!!

p.s. the editor is broken btw, it doesnt have the correct spaces, you have to press enter mutiple times to get a space........................... forgot to sign again.................. Coginsys (talk)

  • I am going to wait just a bit before I make any determination as to which routes are best. However, it has been my experiance with the DR process that complication is but one reason that editors do not use any DR venue. Many editors are actually encourged one way or another to be a brick wall or use endless "walls of text" to clog the system with never ending arguments and personal perception or interpretation of policy and guideline. Of major concern to me is the lack of conduct or behavioral venues to encourage editors to be more civil or just stop disruptive editing that is harasive or intimidating in design. I don't know the answer on how to solve such problems but...I think it may well be time for editors of the newer projects to step up and be more involved in these processes. I would say that the help projects need to be accessed more and included in some formal manner. WP:WER is an excellent example of a new project that aims to help with such situations in attempting to reach out to editors of all levels and for nearly all reasons in order to keep them on Wikipedia. I guess the best I can offer as a suggestion is this: Wikipedia needs to be more inclusive and encourage all editors to reach out and help one another. Collaboration and consensus is not enough. We need to help in all areas and be willing to answer the call in the DR process and not just with answering questions and pointing out policy!--Amadscientist (talk) 12:39, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • While I think that the content dispute noticeboards should resolve behavioural problems, as without resolving both, the dispute may continue, behaviour is a problem that is harder to resolve. We can't just suggest to stop, we must take out the hammer to keep them in line. Break their legs if they disagree, as behavour is nothing the party itself wants to correct. And so behavoural problems are not fit for all the noticeboards. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 19:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Issue A: Software is like a locomotive - Once software is written to manage a process, it takes on a life of its own and it has a lot of momentum. Once software tools are in place, every little change to the process requires requires a request to the software owner to implement the change. Example: Today, if we decided to eliminate RSN and merge it into DRN, that could be done in 5 minutes (after consensus was reached to do so). But if these RfC improvements were implemented, the change would be a lot more complex: mere editors could no longer make process improvements: every improvement would have to go through a gatekeeper (the bot/software owner). The bottom line is that the owners of the software end up being in positions of power. We need to weigh that against the potential user-friendliness benefits this proposal would bring to the community. Is this a show stopper? No, because the trend in WP is towards a more sophisticated GUI, more forms, more user-friendliness. As WP becomes more user friendly, we need to say good-bye to the good old days where mere editors could improve the processes by simply updating an instruction page. We are now at the mercy of the software owners. But, if it makes WP more friendly to rookie editors, it is probably worth it. --Noleander (talk) 13:31, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Why not try to make a interactive wiki-text system? It would not work. Wiki-text was made to be static, and have templates with parameters. The templates cannot be dynamic. If we wanted to make the interactive system to be more efficient, we cannot have an owner, but "that anyone can edit." It would resolve all the problems you have mentioned. No owner, everyone can push.~~Ebe123~~ → report 19:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Issue B: Cabal - The software used in the DRN process makes for a very smooth process for the parties: even rookie editors can navigate the step-by-step wizard, and there is a DRN bot that helps out. But the DRN bot relies on a list of DRN "volunteers" who have special privileges: only they can mediate DRN cases. This is contrary to fundamental WP principles of egalitarian editing (for instance, see this discussion). I'm concerned that this apparent elitism would now get propagated to other noticeboards. My recommendation is that a policy be established that (except for FormalMediation and ArbCom) these new processes be organized in a a way that there is no list of editors that have special powers. --Noleander (talk) 13:31, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it is wrong to require editors to put their name in a list. Right now, that requirement is only in place at DRN, and only about a dozen editors have thought about the requirement there. But this proposal here is suggesting that the DRN process be replicated in several other noticeboards (ANI, ORN, RSN, etc). Those boards have hundreds of editors that participate. They need to know that the process proposed by this RfC requires them to add their name to a list before they can manage cases. The WP community may decide that is allright. I can live with whatever the community decides. I'm just raising the issue. --Noleander (talk) 20:09, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Noleander's statement is factually incorrect. Nothing about the DRN bot stops anyone from mediating a case. You can check this for yourself; pick a case and jump in. You will find that nothing stops you. The DRN bot's restriction is on housekeeping chores like closing a case without first putting your name on the volunteer list.
Noleander's objection was asked and answered in the discussion he links to above. Everyone at DRN agrees that special rights/powers of any sort are a Very Bad Thing unless there is a procedure on place to evaluate and accept/reject candidates.
As has been explained to Noleander several times, saying that the DRN bot gives some sort of "special privileges" to those who put there name on the list of volunteers is like saying that Wikipedia denies the "special privilege" of editing Wikipedia to those who choose to not turn on their computer. As long as it remains true that anyone can put themselves on the list, then anyone can make case-state changes -- the list is just part of the procedure for doing so. There is a parallel in the way we treat IP vs registered editors. The registered editors do have several extra right/powers, but that's OK because any IP editor can register and thus avoid the restrictions.
Noleander's charges of elitism and behavior that is contrary to fundamental WP principles of egalitarian editing were refuted at his RfC when he first brought them up. They didn't fly there, and I doubt that they will fly here. There really is no Cabal. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:26, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So what's the point of the list? If all I need to do to retain a normal level of editing privileges is put my name on the list and if there is no process for objecting to me putting my name on the list, why not just cut out the middle-man? Formerip (talk) 22:17, 7 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The point of the list is to allow a bot to assist the humans. I realize that you don't think the bot is a good idea, but others here think it is, and the list is part of the automation process. If you succeed in getting consensus against automation, then we can get rid of the list along with the bot that needs it. Until that happens, it has a point -- it helps the bot. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:06, 11 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I haven't actually said anything about automation.
How does it assist the bot? Seems to me like the bot will only need the list if it is told it needs the list. Formerip (talk) 21:23, 14 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Issue C: Any more consolidation? - WQA and MedCab are gone now. Will more consolidation be happening? Eg. should we merge RSN or ORN into DRN? If so (and I'm not saying that is a good idea) that consolidation should be done before either proposal #1 or #2 were implemented. But if we think all consolidations are now over with, it is time to forge ahead. --Noleander (talk) 13:47, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree with 1, 2, and 3. Noting I have never used the "wizard", so no idea about it. - jc37 18:27, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • There will be more proposed closures. I will assure that. The system will change, but my answer to B could answer this. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 19:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note: I renamed the three issues I listed above as "A, B, C" (they were "1, 2,3") to avoid possible confusion with the RfC proposals. So jc37's comment about "I agree with 1, 2, and 3" should perhaps read "agree with A, B, C". --Noleander (talk) 19:44, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Some ideas: I just had two ideas. First, the easiest: Can you make the DR script notify all parties involved automatically? (I know the answer is yes, but will you?) Also, diffs are always very helpful in dispute resolution. What I would like to see is a list of bad behaviors editors could have and a list of the editors involved. A user could click a behavior and a username and a box shows up where they can type in diffs. They can repeat this process for multiple users and multiple behaviors and the result is a very restructured representation of dffs. Good idea or pain in the ass to code?--v/r - TP 16:41, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the DRN bot automatically notifies parties that the case has been submitted. Of course, the notification is limited to those editors that are specifically enumerated by the originator. No comment on the other questions posed. --Noleander (talk) 19:48, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The behaviour proposal will just create a bickering ground and will not help. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 20:10, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Diffs are already required by policy when making characterizations of other people's behavior. How is facilitating policy bad?--v/r - TP 21:05, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Yes, they are reqired by policy, but people could abuse it easily, and if the diff is reqired, some newcomers will not be able to make a valid point. Diffs are required, the user to post the message does not have to be the one with the diff (posting the diff on the user's behalf). ~~Ebe123~~ → report 21:36, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Proposal: That (edit conflict) is kept as main utility against disputes and disagreement. Usually fair to both parties until a justified consensus has built up. Nr. 2. That all the administrators options are available due to the WP:VAN and the rest, with even fine pages to use for the users themselves. That after a normative period of time, and after some sensible opinion has been reached that the Administrators strike, hard or not. Also, that stupid Administrators are moved elsewhere or even removed and banned if useful, that stupidity is to be considered costly with the Administrators themselves (given they are triggerhappy enough). I simply support the above given the Wikipedia history. I haven't got all the experience, but you can take the "Proposal 3" text for what it's worth or not! Good? --LFOlsnes-Lea 17:09, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    "that stupidity is to be considered costly with the Administrators themselves (given they are triggerhappy enough)" Right, it's not that people like to blame Administrator's when the editor breaks clearly written policies either. Let's not even suggest that. Let's also perpetuate the propoganda that Administrators are da evilz without a single diff at all. Really? Can I get a trigger happy admin to block for a personal attack on every admin? Any? Any trigger happy admins around? Guess not. Goodbye.--v/r - TP 18:26, 24 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How we can attract and retain more dispute resolution volunteers[edit]

I have suggested that a more formal inclusion of some of the help projects could be a way to encourage editors to participate in DR/N. One easy way to do this would be to add the "list of editors" from these projects as "Volunteers" just as the list is used on the DR/N Volunteer page. It would require a minimum change to the bot and increase visiblity of the DR process to a broader group of concerned editors.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:59, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Of course this would have to have the consensus of the editors of the projects but I see no controversy with the proposal.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:07, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or just get rid of the bot and the bureaucracy. I haven't come close to DRN because it seemed like a very overly complex system for no good reason. Gigs (talk) 13:18, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What's wrong with the bot? It updates the cases and archives disputes for us automatically. Electric Catfish (talk) 14:57, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Gigs, that's innaccurate as well, considering the amount of work that went in to making it easier for editors to work there. Unfortunately it seems that editors don't want resolution they want bans and blocks. They don't want to rescue editors in disputes they want black lists and community sanctions and...well, scarlet letters placed on some. Dispute resolution is not unique to Wikipedia. It is a process used in a number of organised situations. I hear people complain about the lack of structure on the one hand and then complain about bureaucracy the next. Conflict and dispute resolution is a structured process. To do away with these things is just doing away with the DR process. I would indeed incorporate a number of noticeboards Gigs to decrease bureaucracy, but not doing away with the structure of the DR/N. I would merg 3RR and AN/I into AN. They all require admin intervention and there is no need for the seperation. If there was any change I would make to DR/N it would be to allow the handling of conflicts between editors that does not involve specific content, but not for the goal of blocking, but for the goal of ending the conflict without blocking the editor.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:15, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's structured approaches and unstructured approaches, but certainly having a bot take car of the archiving and so forth seems standard. Rich Farmbrough, 20:51, 25 September 2012 (UTC).Reply[reply]
There is nothing wrong with using both approaches on Wikipedia in my opinion. The most important part of the equation are the editors themselves. No one wants to feel that they are being left out of the decision making process. The bot certainly doesn't do that. But the most important issue to me is getting more involved in those processes.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:34, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I pretty much agree with Gigs. I am active in WP because it is possible to work here informally. If you want to attract people who will work, remove forms; if you want to attract people who like to fill out forms, then use them. DGG ( talk ) 23:33, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ultimately, one of the things that I think dispute resolution really needs is, unfortunately, people who can quickly learn or access material regarding the subject. I am, to a fair degree, for various reasons, not as active in the process as I might be, because, honestly, some of the times I am far less than certain that I know wtf people are talking about. I think that is a serious concern for a lot of topics. Maybe, and this is just a maybe, what we might be able to do is get some editors, who either know a lot or who have access to a lot of sources, gathered from the various WikiProjects and noticeboards to serve in DR effectively, maybe by inviting some of the better informed regulars at those locations. Many might see that as being a kind of unofficial "bureaucracy," but if discussion isn't limited to such people that might be a step in the right direction. Maybe. John Carter (talk) 00:04, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is an amazing suggestion that takes what I was thinking to an even better level...very logically concieved. I support that very much!--Amadscientist (talk) 00:57, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I volunteered in Wikiquette Assistance because I was dismayed about the level of incivility. I just returned from a hiatus to find that the board has been eliminated. I'm sorry to see that, and I think that there needs to be stronger and more consistent enforcement of the rules on civility. As far as volunteer rention is concerned: Casual volunteers need to know that A) they're appreciated and B) that they work in a system that is fair and sane. Improve that and you won't have problems getting volunteers. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 12:10, 30 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Civility is a thing that can be blocked for, but it is hard to block for. Check User:Orangemarlin. The user is a good example. WQA has been closed quite recently. I agree we need to get stronger on civility, but the only 2 processes that will action incivility is AN and ArbCom. Sysops do it very rarely. ~~Ebe123~~ → report 00:22, 1 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It makes me quite ill that we spend so much time on this red-tapery and just managing the fact that we don't get along with eachother. There are a great number of editors (I use the term loosely) who spend far more time just policing other users and poking at cobwebs instead of actually creating and improving content. Why has this not been mentioned at all? Why has nobody suggested that we aim to reduce the number of disputes in general rather than change the process by which we handle disputes? ... aa:talk 17:29, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above elitist attitude, with content creators as the elite, is sadly too common. I wonder if, in real life, these people think that everyone should be an artist or engineer and that we should not have any police officers or graffiti removal crews. We already have a system where everyone is free to create and improving content without anyone "policing other users and poking at cobwebs". It's called the World Wide Web. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:40, 12 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about both options?[edit]

It was mentioned above that there could be forms on all the dispute pages and a universal wizard at DRN. This makes since, as it would make things less complicated than herding everyone into one system on one page. Any suggestions? --Nathan2055talk - contribs 19:31, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes I think this would be excellent. It would land the issue on the appropriate resolution page, which is often the second mistake of people coming to the various fora. Rich Farmbrough, 20:53, 25 September 2012 (UTC).Reply[reply]
To expand, in case I misunderstood, each location should provide access to the same wizard. Whether some fields should be pre-filled is user interface question that should probably be A/B tested. Rich Farmbrough, 20:57, 25 September 2012 (UTC).Reply[reply]
/me facepalms. Why didn't I think of just adding the wizard to all pages? That would by far be a better option. --Nathan2055talk - contribs 21:02, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That sounds like a good idea, actually. Steven Zhang Help resolve disputes! 22:07, 26 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:46, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes...absolutelly I just realised this myself and added my choice as proposal#1.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:32, 2 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree to this idea! Ahmer Jamil Khan (talk) 01:44, 5 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it makes a lot of sense to do it that way! Oldrookie 12:36, 9 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since it seems like this is a good proposal, how about modifying the core RfC to add it? --Nathan2055talk - contribs 18:11, 10 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Allowing the use of multiple forums[edit]

Sometimes, in a large/complex dispute, smaller issues are resolved at different forums. For example, in the MedCom case I am mediating, we have agreed to use RSN for specific disagreements where the reliability of a source cannot be agreed between the involved parties. While option 2 looks good, my concern is that it will be difficult to use a specific DR forum (such as RSN) as part of a wider dispute resolution process (at MedCom, or the DRN, for example). ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 14:07, 28 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.