On 19 January, the Arbitration Committee announced that it will begin accepting applications for membership on the Audit Subcommittee ("AUSC"). AUSC was established by the committee to investigate complaints concerning the use of CheckUser and Oversight privileges on the English Wikipedia, and to provide better monitoring and supervision of the CheckUser and Oversight positions along with the use of the applicable tools.
There are three vacancies in non-ArbCom positions on the subcommittee, due to the election of past members to the full committee itself. Applicants for the positions will be reviewed by arbitrators in internal discussions before the community is invited to submit questions to candidates. On 29 February, the committee will announce the appointments.
More information on application requirements and submissions can be found on the AUSC appointment page. Applications must be in by 31 January.
This case was opened to address user conduct over a dispute on what depictions of Muhammad, if any, are appropriate to display. New arbitrator AGK published a proposed decision in this case on 20 January, which was his first drafted decision. While a great deal of proposals involve sanctions on disruptive editors, the largest debate among arbitrators have been over proposed principles to guide the handling of future disputes in this area. As of publication, Newyorkbrad's proposed principle on editorial decisions has attracted the greatest support in this area, with a total of eight arbitrators signing on. The principle in part explains that "reminding fellow editors that 'Wikipedia is not censored' will often be the beginning, not the end, of a well-informed analysis regarding inclusion or exclusion of content."
The Betacommand 3 case remained at the proposed decision phase this week. Originally the case was opened to address the multitude of sanctions in effect on this editor. None of the proposed remedies, ranging from site bans to editing restrictions, has garnered adequate support to pass. A motion to close was withdrawn yesterday as the committee continues to work towards consensus. The newest proposal again divided the Committee, so far, in a 5 to 4 vote.
This case, which is one of the most active at present, was initially opened due to the actions of several administrators in relation to a user who was blocked over perceived incivility. The evidence and workshop pages were closed after submission deadlines passed. A proposed decision is due to be posted by the end of the week.
This open case was brought to the Committee by an editor to appeal a site ban that was imposed by Jimmy Wales. The expected proposed decision, as mentioned in previous Signpost coverage, is yet to be posted. The tentative date for release had been 16 January. Nevertheless, discussion has continued on the workshop and workshop talk pages.
Other requests and committee action
A Request for Arbitration on the matter of "Block review and Afghanistan, India and Pakistan disputes" is likely to be declined, with 5 arbitrators voting against accepting the case.