ArbCom results "a healthy balance between continuity and turnover"
The upswing in both candidate and voter numbers in 2012
The support–no-vote–oppose votes from 2008 to this year, showing reasonable stability since 2010. In 2012, supports were down slightly and no-votes were up slightly.
Seven days after the close of voting, the results of the recent Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) elections have been announced by two of the four stewards overseeing the election, Mardetanha and Pundit.
Of the 21 candidates, 13 managed to gain more supports than opposes, and the top eight will be appointed to two-year terms on the committee by Jimbo Wales, exercising one of his traditional responsibilities. Three of the 21 candidates gained the support of more than half of the 824 voters: Newyorkbrad, with 70.1%, NuclearWarfare, with 55.1%, and Worm That Turned, with 54.1%. Unlike last year's results, only two sitting arbitrators were returned. Four will be first-time arbitrators, two are sitting arbitrators, and two will be returning members who served in the past. Three of the four first-timers have participated at ArbCom as clerks, so seven of the eight members have already exercised official ArbCom-related roles.
Arbitrator Newyorkbrad commented, "I think it's fair to say that no one was selected who was a complete stranger to the arbitration pages and process. ... On the other hand, several of the new arbitrators have not exactly been supporters of everything the Committee's done in the past couple of years. I also think there will be a healthy balance between continuity and turnover within the Committee from year to year, which is generally for the best." Retiring arbitrator Casliber said, "Having worked with (and seen) lots of folks who ran, I can say there is a diversity of opinion which probably trumps whether the person has been a clerk or [arbitrator] previously".
The eight candidates elected are drawn from many areas around the English Wikipedia:
This election saw 824 editors cast votes (with a further 34 ballots found to be invalid), a figure consistent with what Electoral Commission member Lord Roem told us last week: "While we had a one-day delay in getting the poll up, we've seen consistently higher turnout than last year; 800 votes by the end is a realistic goal." Surprisingly, the number is higher than those for the previous two years, despite the decline in the size of the active community; but it is lower than in 2008 and 2009, when more than a thousand people voted.
Among interesting patterns, a graph by SmokeyJoe shows that the voting for three candidates—Elen of the Roads, Beeblebrox, and Jclemens—was relatively polarised, with a significant dip in their "no vote" (red line). Hahc21 produced a table that displays a rough numerical summary of voter-guide support against the actual election results. This shows a remarkably close match, whether or not by coincidence, in which only one of the eight slots turned out to be different: only Guerrillero was among the top eight candidates in terms of voter-guide support numbers but did not gain a term; and only Coren was not among those eight, but did gain a term.
Meir Sheetrit, member of the Knesset, played an important role in the debate leading up to the decision.
Israel modernizes the status of government-copyrighted images: In a move that the Israeli chapter has pushed for since 2010, the Israeli cabinet has decided to allow limited free use of all images uploaded to government websites for which the state holds the copyright. Commercial clauses will be decided by each government agency, and the share-alike license will not be changeable, nor will derivative works be permitted. The Israeli press and Wikimedia Israel, reporting about the reform reacted positively to the move (English wrap up), which was facilitated by Meir Sheetrit, a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
Annual fundraiser on track: The WMF said in an informal update that it is on track to reach its goal in the first phase of the annual fundraiser. While in-depth key numbers will be published in due course, preliminary statistics to date can be found on the WMF wiki. A second phase of the campaign will be held in other geographic areas later in 2013.
Wikisym 2013 CfP: Wikisym, the annual research conference on wiki-related topics, has published a call for papers for its upcoming conference in early August 2013.