There has been little to report from the Arbitration Committee since the December elections, but the case schedule is now starting to pick up speed. There are three open cases. A final decision has been given in the Doncram case.
Shortly before the Signpost was published, arbitrator Hersfold published his resignation on the Arbitrator's noticeboard, saying in part:
It has been an honor serving with my fellow Arbitrators, the Functionaries, and the ArbCom Clerks, and I wish them all the best of luck. I also hope that they receive greater support from the community at large, so that they may better exercise the trust the community has placed in them for the good of the project as a whole; please remember that we are all volunteers working towards the same purpose, and while disagreements may arise, there is always time to stand back and attempt to understand one another.
Hersfold elaborated on his reasons for resigning on his talk page, stating that the recent outings of several editors led him to believe that there was an "increased risk of being harassed and outed [for administrators, and] it seems likely that that net will expand to include one or more arbitrators before too much longer, if action is not taken to stop it. I value my privacy and personal safety, and have an obligation to protect my family as well." This is Hersfold's second resignation from the committee, as he also resigned in May 2010.
This case, brought by SarekOfVulcan, involved a user-created script for creating new articles from an external database, subsequent interactions over the created article stubs, and challenges to content added from other databases by other users. The script, created for the National Register of Historic Places WikiProject, uses a database of National Register properties from the National Park Service to generate an infobox and categories for the start of an article.
Arbitrators passed three findings of fact regarding Doncram. 1) Doncram has been "uncivil", has "repeatedly made accusations of harassment or misbehavior", and has "continued to make such statements after dispute resolution fora have concluded otherwise". 2) Doncram has a history of repeatedly creating articles with notability issues. 3) Doncram has move-warred regarding titles. Two proposed remedies regarding Doncram were passed: that he be "placed under a general probation" and that he be "restricted from creating new pages" in article space.
The committee passed a proposed finding of fact regarding SarekOfVulcan: that "SarekOfVulcan has admitted to edit warring with Doncram in order to try to have Doncram blocked for an extended period of time." A proposed remedy was also passed regarding SarekOfVulcan: "For edit warring with Doncram, SarekOfVulcan is strongly admonished to behave with the level of professionalism expected of an administrator." Arbitrators voted 9–5 to desysop SarekOfVulcan, but the motion failed by one vote and the admonishment remedy was passed instead.
A proposal for an interaction ban between SarekOfVulcan and Doncram was enacted. "The question of how substantive the content of a stub must be before it can legitimately be introduced to the mainspace" was remanded to the community.
This case, brought by Mark Arsten, was opened over a dispute over transgenderism topics that began off-wiki. The evidence phase was scheduled to close March 7, 2013, with a proposed decision due to be posted by March 21.
This case, brought by Fram, involves allegations of an ongoing pattern of copyright violations in uploaded files, and in links to copyright-violating off-wiki pages. The case is complicated by the fact that a portion of the evidence has been deleted and can only be viewed by administrators. To address this, a select number of files were restored, with the contents visible via a template, for the duration of the case. A decision was scheduled for March 9, 2013.
This case was brought to the Committee by KillerChihuahua, who alleges the discussion over this American political group has degenerated into incivility. Evidence for the case is due by March 20, 2013, and a decision is scheduled for April 3, 2013.
Other requests and committee action
Monty Hall problem: An amendment request has been made to the committee for removal of discretionary sanctions on Remedy 3.
Oversight-related blocks: The Oversight-related blocks motion was passed by unanimous vote of the entire committee. It states that administrators should not unilaterally reverse an "oversighter block" or a block marked "do not unblock without consulting the oversight team." This has implications for editors with access to suppressed information that other administrators cannot access, as well as for the current motion regarding Kevin, an administrator who performed such an unblock in the recent "outing" controversy. The blocking policy was changed, and there was further discussion on the appropriateness of changing policy to reflect arbitration cases at the policy talk page.
Motions to return Kevin's administrator rights: In the requested case Temporary desysop of Kevin, a motion vote to reinstate Kevin's administrator privileges, in lieu of hearing the full case, failed with a 5–6 vote (6 votes needed to pass). A second motion was proposed adding an admonishment to the reinstatement, which has been enacted.
Motion on Audit Subcommittee: A motion to allow community Audit Subcommittee (AUSC) appointees who did not hold advanced permissions prior to their term may apply to retain Checkuser and/or Oversight tools was enacted.
Motion on CheckUser/Oversight and inactivity: The committee "reaffirmed" the current procedures along with renaming them from "Advanced permissions and inactivity" to "CheckUser/Oversight permissions and inactivity".
Motion on removal of CheckUser/Oversight for reasons other than inactivity (Level II procedures): A motion for changing the requirements for removal of advanced tools was not enacted.
Clarification request: Climate change: A clarification request of the climate change case was filed by NewsAndEventsGuy, who requests clarification of who can post arbitration enforcement notices to talk pages and add to the notifications, blocks, bans, and sanctions log.
Clarification request: Discretionary sanctions appeals procedure: A request to clarify the appeal process for discretionary sanctions warnings was filed by Sandstein