Wikipedia:What Mediation Cabal is not
|This is a decree by the Mediation Cabal. It expresses opinions and ideas that are absolutely and irrefutably true whether you like them or not. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects the supreme wishes of the Cabal. If in doubt... well, don't press your luck.||
The Mediation Cabal is a lot of things to a lot of people (even though it may not even exist). With few rules and as many mediation styles as there are mediators, it is difficult to say exactly what MedCab is. However, there are some things that it certainly is not.
MedCab is not Arbitration!
No matter how much you want an issue to be decided in your favor, your mediator will not make decisions like that. We cannot make decrees or decisions, nor can we impose sanctions on editors. Some mediators may protect articles if parties engage in an edit war or may issue blocks for issues such as vandalism or sockpuppetry (or may request those things if they are not an administrator), and some mediators may offer their opinion about the best or proper resolution of your dispute, but we do not decide content disputes. It is up to parties to discuss, negotiate, and form their own consensus.
MedCab might not accept your case, for totally arbitrary reasons!
We generally try to help people when we can. However, there is nothing requiring us to accept a particular case. In days of old, when the land of MedCab was run by the Grand Poobah Nicholas, cases were assigned to mediators. This didn't work, because mediators didn't want to work on cases that were boring or outside of their expertise. So, we stopped doing it. If nobody wants a case, it will rot on the cases list. Sometimes, we even decline a case outright because we feel we can't help them, or because we feel it's outside our scope or expertise. If a case has been sitting on the new cases list for at least a week, start a thread on the MedCab talk page and we will have a look into it, or advise on alternative steps you can take.
MedCab generally can't do anything about vandalism or user conduct!
MedCab mostly handles content disputes. While there is often overlap between content and conduct, simple user conduct disputes should be taken elsewhere.
If you have a problem editor who is simply vandalizing, and not discussing the issue, take your dispute to AIV; if operating multiple accounts in a manner inconsistent with policy, take it to Sockpuppet Investigations. If an editor is operating against consensus or otherwise simply being disruptive, we've got a place for that, too.