Fourteen editors proposed for ban in Tea Party movement case
Fourteen editors have been proposed for a six-month page ban in the Tea Party movement case. In the Infoboxes and Kiefer.Wolfowitz and Ironholds cases, the workshop and evidence phases have closed, and proposed decisions are scheduled to be posted.
A proposal to ban 14 editors from the Tea Party movement article was put forward in a Motion for Final Decision: "Effective at the passage of this motion, the parties to this case (excepting the initiator) are prohibited from editing the Tea Party movement article, the article talk page, and all subpages of the article and talk page. This restriction will end after six months."
As an authority for the proposal, the Motion asserts that "the Arbitration Committee's 'at wits end' principle reflects that in intractable situations where other measures have proved insufficient to solve a problem, the Committee may adopt otherwise seemingly draconian measures, temporarily or otherwise, as a means of resolving the dispute."
The case, involving a US political group, was brought by KillerChihuahua after a civility-related discussion at ANI broke down into calls for topic bans. Concerns were expressed over WikiProject Conservatism being "canvassed for backup support for disruptions" on other articles and the possibility of "the same editors finding their way into the same conflicts over U.S. politics, religion, and homosexuality".
The moderator of the article's moderated discussion page has stepped down, saying "... since I can technically be seen as an involved party, it may come to pass to topic ban me too. In any event resignation would be a preferable option than to face a topic ban."
The Signpost asked two arbitrators closely involved in the case, SilkTork and NuclearWarfare, if they would comment on dispute resolution, evidence, and the proposed ban, issues that were raised on the case pages and talk pages when several editors were added to the case after the evidence phase had closed. In particular, we asked how the names of the 14 editors were chosen, given that some editors claim not to have edited the article recently, while the proposer of the case, KillerChihuahua, was claimed to have recently participated in the case. We also asked whether there would be any Findings of Fact to support this motion; and if editors proposed for the page ban would be given a chance to participate in the case before being sanctioned, to have any evidence presented against them, and to answer to any implications of wrongdoing.
Both declined to comment, but on the case page for the proposed decision, NuclearWarfare stated:
||... there are editors being swept up in this motion who do not need to be sanctioned ... And it's a dammed shame they are being swept up into this ... This motion is much a failure on the part of the Committee as it is the part of the editors of this article. I think the drafting Arbitrators as well as everyone else could have gone through each party one by one and isolated where they went astray in not editing according to Wikipedia's policies. I tried that with one or two editors below, but without a full analysis from the rest of the Committee on each of the editors involved, that process is never going to work. And for whatever reason, that was not done in this case.
Arbitrator AGK, the principal author of the motion, provided the following statements to the Signpost. With regard to how the named editors were chosen, AGK stated that "the list of editors is simply a copy of the listed parties to the case. KillerChihuahua was excluded because her involvement in the dispute was as an administrator, not as a contributor to the article."
With regard to the questions about evidence, AGK told the Signpost:
||The dispute has not been caused by egregious misconduct or violations of conduct policy – which is in contrast to the mainspace disputes that usually come to arbitration. As a result, the motion contends that dispute is intractable because it has happened to attract a group of editors who are fundamentally unable to come to agreement or work productively together towards a stable article. Although it is not those editors' fault that they are incapable of collaborating, the situation nonetheless demands a solution. Temporarily excluding the present contributors from the article is the solution proposed by this motion. My purpose in this motion is to make space for a new group of editors (who might otherwise be put off by the conflicts of a large group of entrenched disputants), and to end this distracting and disruptive impasse.
||We stopped voting on findings (which relate to single users) because the problem – broadly speaking – does not lie in the conduct of individual editors. Similarly, authorising discretionary sanctions and closing the case would be inadequate because the problem lies with the fact that the disputants are fundamentally unable to work together (even if they can not work together while behaving impeccably); discretionary sanctions are designed to stop outright misconduct, not polite – but incessant – disagreement.
The proposed "Motion for final decision" is currently being voted on. For the case as a whole, there are 10 active arbitrators, so 6 votes would ordinarily be needed for passage. But according to the case page, for the purposes of this motion, there are 9 active arbitrators, 3 inactive, and 1 recused or abstaining. Silk Tork withdrew from voting after adding his name to the list; so again, according to the current case page, 5 votes are now needed to pass. As of this writing, there are five votes for support, and three for oppose; so the proposal appears to be passing.
This case, brought by Ched, involves the issue of who should make the decision to include an infobox in an article and to determine its formatting (right margin, footer, both, etc) – whether the preferences of the original author should be taken into consideration, if the decision should be made by various WikiProjects to promote uniformity between articles, or whether each article should be decided on a case-by-case basis after discussion. It also involves what is perceived by some to be an aggressive addition or reverting of infoboxes to articles without discussion by some editors, in areas where they do not normally edit. Areas that have seen disputes over infoboxes include opera, the Classical Music and Composers project, and Featured Articles.
The evidence and workshop phases of the case have closed, and a proposed decision is scheduled to be posted 14 August 2013.
This case, brought by Mark Arsten, involves a dispute between Kiefer Wolfowitz and Ironholds, the original account of Wikimedia Foundation employee Oliver Keyes, that began on-wiki and escalated in off-wiki forums, ending with statements that could be interpreted as threats of violence.
The evidence and workshop phases of the case have closed, and a proposed decision is scheduled to be posted 9 August 2013.
Other requests and committee action
- Amendment request: Argentine History: A request was made by MarshalN20 for an amendment to a topic ban for history-related sections of the Falkland Islands article.
- Clarification request: Argentine History: A request was made by Cambalachero for a clarification of whether a topic ban on pages related to the history of Latin America applies to articles about recent politics or a brief mention of historical context in non-historical articles.
- Clarification request: Scientology: A clarification request brought by User:Sandstein that sought to clarify the role of discretionary sanctions and outing after discretionary sanctions for the Scientology case were applied to two editors who posted a link on Sandstein's talk page to an old Arbcom case that contained an editor's previous username was closed and archived without a summary. As of this writing, two warnings and a topic ban against two editors have not been rescinded. A third editor remains blocked indefinitely.