Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-03-12/Arbitration report

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The Report on Lengthy Litigation

By David Mestel, 12 March, 2007

The Arbitration Committee opened one case this week, and closed four cases.

Closed cases

  • Occupation of Latvia: A case relating to the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1945 article. Several editors had disagreed over the title, scope, and content of the article. Some editors, notably Irpen, alleged that the issue was merely a content dispute (upon which the committee has traditionally declined to rule), but others, especially Constanz felt that there had been abuse of dispute tags,and possibly WP:NOR violations. As a result of the case, certain named parties were admonished for their behaviour and encouraged to enter into mediation, and the article was placed on article probation.
  • Philwelch: A case regarding the actions of Philwelch. A number of editors, principally Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington alleged that he has taken "very controversial" sysop actions. Philwelch has since been voluntarily desysopped. The principle that admins who are desysopped under controversial circumstances may have adminship restored only through the regular channels was refined to provide that an administrator who resigns while an arbitration case is pending will be deemed to have done so under circumstances of controversy, unless ArbCom decides otherwise. The committee determined that Philwelch's voluntarily desysopping took place under controversial circumstances and that he must reapply through RfA if he wishes to be considered for adminship again in the future.
  • Sathya Sai Baba 2: Thatcher131 alleged that Andries repeatedly added a link to an unreliable source to the Robert Priddy article, in violation of a remedy in a prior case on the subject, and that SSS108 had edit warred and exhibited signs of article ownership on the page. Both users denied the allegations. As a result of the case, Andries, Wikisunn, SSS108 and Freelanceresearch were banned from editing the article, and Ekantik was required to edit under one username only.

New case

  • InShaneee: A case involving the actions of Inshaneee. 81.179.115.188 (formerly Worldtraveller) alleges that InShaneee inappropriately blocked him in a dispute in which he was involved in violation of WP:BP, and that he responded agressively to criticism. InShaneee in his statement points to an apology admitting the block was premature, and denying any aggressive response.

Evidence phase

  • Falun Gong: A case regarding the conduct of various editors on the Falun Gong article. Olaf Stephanos and Asdfg12345 allege that Samuel Luo has edit-warred in removing pro-Falun Gong material from the article, while Luo, Tomananda and others allege that Stephanos, Asdfg and others have edit-warred (including page blanking) in removing anti-Falun Gong material.
  • Armenia-Azerbaijan: A case, brought by ex-arbitrator Dmcdevit, regarding a dispute between Armenian and Azerbaijani editors on a large number of articles.

Voting phase

  • Barrett v. Rosenthal: A case brought by Peter M. Dodge involving the actions of Ilena and Fyslee. According to Dodge, Ilena was initially reported to AN/I for "posting links to sites that some considered to be attack sites". Various users attempted to assist Ilena, but "This was sabotaged...when Fyslee posted a link to a site that attacked Ilena in a personal manner". The title of the case refers to Barrett v. Rosenthal, a decision of the Supreme Court of California, which ruled that internet users and providers were not liable for the republication of defamatory statements, which some editors believe provides protection for Wikipedia. It has been alleged that some editors were involved in the real-life litigation of the case. Fred Bauder has proposed remedies, which are under consideration, banning Ilena for one year, and prohibiting her and Fyslee from editing the articles in question.
  • Starwood: A case involving links to Starwood Festival-related articles from various pages. Paul Pigman, who brought the case, alleges that Rosencomet "persistently and systematically" added these links, perhaps to an extent that violates WP:SPAM, and raised allegations against several other editors, which they have denied. Fred Bauder has proposed a remedy, with the support of SimonP, cautioning Rosencomet "to avoid aggressive editing of articles when there is a question of conflict of interest".
  • Robert Prechter: A case regarding the behaviour of Rgfolsom and Smallbones on the Socionomics and Robert Prechter pages. Rgfolsom alleges that Smallbones has violated WP:NPOV, WP:CIVIL and WP:DR (by abusing the mediation process), and that he has added "smears, demonstrable falsehoods, and a calculated overemphasis on quotes of critics". In response, Smallbones alleges that Rgfolsom has violated WP:V and WP:NPOV by removing claims critical of Prechter, and adding claims complimentary to him, and WP:COI because he is one of Prechter's employees. Fred Bauder has proposed a remedy banning Smallbones from editing articles and talk pages relating to Prechter. It has the support of three arbitrators.

Under review

  • Waldorf education: In pursuance of a remedy passed in the initial case, Fred Bauder has initiated a review of all parties' behaviour, and has proposed a remedy banning Pete K from this and related articles indefinitely, which has been supported by Matthew Brown.


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