Wikipedia:Gordian Knot Solution

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In progress, seeing how the proposal under way goes.[1]

What is it for?[edit]

Users, over various issues from content to policy, to all sorts of tiny or great details, sometimes get into downright prolonged battles to see who can win in the end. None of this is ever helpful to Wikipedia, as it's a massive time and energy drain for everyone involved, or on the sidelines. Sometimes, these issues can only be resolved via arbitration--but that is an even larger time sink, and expenditure of time and energy for even more people. Is there another way?

What is it?[edit]

There certainly is a way to fix their own little Gordian Knot--they can cut it themselves. The typical "Gordian Knot Solution" is simply a fixed framework. What is it?

  1. All the involved people are topic banned, broadly construed, from ANY of the specific topic(s), or their talk page(s), or discussing the topic(s) in related community discussions beside possible WP:RFAR action.
  2. All the involved people will go to a user sub page of their choosing and hash out a compromise amongst themselves. They will have to come to a common understanding. Consensus here is not numerical, such as 66%/33%, but they can amongst themselves use methods like polling or voting. Or pulling straws. Or counting coup. Or whatever they wish to use, to get to a final solution they all are agreeable to. If the parties want, they can appoint a mediator, or a negotiator, or a bodyguard. Whatever they would like, as long as it gets them talking.
  3. Other users may weigh in with advice or suggestions on the talk page, but the "Main Page" of discussions is restricted to the 'involved parties'. The purpose is to get them working together as directly as possible, to cut their own Gordian knots.
  4. Once they agree on a binding plan of action, with binding penalties for failure to comply, they can post it to WP:ANI for review. Once a decent number of users sign off on their specific Plan, the topic ban comes off of the topic(s), and any additional restrictions they agree to amongst themselves go live. They write their own penalties, rules, and restrictions. Any previously uninvolved (uninvolved in any administrative action with any of the three) Administrator can enforce the Plan with admin tools if required.
  5. None of them may use any available admin or higher level tools in regards to the restricted topic area while this is under discussion, or against other participants in the discussion/planning.
  6. If the discussions for crafting a plan appear broken down, the next stop for the participants is directly to WP:RFAR; the topic bans/tool use bans remain in effect until they come back to finish the Plan, or the RFAR concludes.
  7. If they want to revise their Plan, they all go back under topic ban until it's revised.
  8. Any of the users, once the Plan is first live, can appeal to end it/break away from it by requesting WP:RFAR.

What qualifies for this solution?[edit]

Any intractable, long-term fighting group can be subject to this, with community or Arbitration Committee consensus.

What restrictions are in place for them, while it's in discussion mode?[edit]

Simple: Topic bans, broadly construed, from ANY of the specific topic(s), or their talk page(s), or discussing the topic(s) in related community discussions beside possible WP:RFAR action.

What if they violate the topic bans during the discussion period?[edit]

Escalating blocks for the blocked user, under the standard formulas: 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, etc.; the topic bans remain in effect on other participants during this time period. If the given Gordian Knot Solution consists of just two people, and one is blocked, the deal is void until (if) the indefinitely blocked individual returns. If it's some other numerical, or "opposing side" combination and a major player(s) on one side or the other is blocked indefinitely--which is highly unlikely--then a community or WP:RFAR clarification can be called for.

How long can the discussion period last, along with the topic bans?[edit]

It depends. How willing and/or stubborn are the users in question?

What if the discussion period totally fails, again?[edit]


How long will an agreed-upon "Plan" last?[edit]

It depends. How long did the involved users agree to restrict themselves?

Doesn't this just force people to clean up their own messes?[edit]

It depends. If they would really like to edit the given topic(s) ever again, then it would certainly benefit them to clean up their own messes together.