Editor conduct the subject of multiple cases
- The author apologises for the recent absence of the "Arbitration Report."
The Arbitration Committee has an unusually large case load at present. Although perhaps not on a par with the high-profile, multi-party cases seen towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year, with five open cases the arbitrators are likely to be kept busy for the next several weeks.
Collect and others
Collect and others and American politics 2 were opened simultaneously after a single case request. This request focused on the conduct of Collect—a prominent and sometimes controversial editor on articles related to American politics—both in that topic area and elsewhere on Wikipedia. The filing party, MrX, alleged that Collect's editing demonstrated a "battleground mentality", which manifested itself in edit-warring and other combative behaviour. Collect rebutted that the case request was vexatious and grounded in a minor content dispute. During the evidence phase, several editors accused Collect of attempting to game the system in content disputes, disingenuously invoking the biographies of living persons policy ("BLP") to justify his position in disputes, misrepresenting source material, edit-warring, and other misconduct. A handful of editors submitted evidence in Collect's defence, praising his use of the BLP policy and suggesting that the case was politically motivated. The committee's final decision was posted on 10 May, with the result that Collect was topic-banned from American politics and subject to a one-revert restriction. Although almost two weeks elapsed between the posting of the proposed decision and the closure of the case, no drastically different remedies were discussed.
American politics 2
As mentioned above, this case was opened concurrently with the Collect and others case; this one has a wider scope, and is intended to evaluate the conduct of multiple editors—at the time of writing, the list of parties contains 22 names (including Collect), making it the largest the committee has handled for some time (for comparison, the long and acrimonious GamerGate case had 27 named parties, see the Signpost's coverage). Despite the apparently broad scope, participation in the case has been relatively sparse—six editors presented evidence and only one made proposals in the workshop. The proposed decision is two weeks overdue, but such delays are not unusual for large cases, especially when the committee has a large caseload.
Sockpuppet investigation block
This unusual case was opened on 23 April to examine a block, and related accusations, made by checkuser, admin, and former arbitrator Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk · contribs). Chase me ladies blocked an account he believed was being used by (or on behalf of) Grant Shapps, a senior UK politician (see previous coverage in ITM). It emerged that Chase me ladies' actions were prompted by the receipt of evidence from a journalist at The Guardian (a left-leaning newspaper which had previously criticised Shapps), and several editors raised concerns about his handling of the case. Due to the potential sensitivity of the matter, the committee is hearing the case entirely in camera. The period for evidence submission has passed (after having briefly been re-opened until 18 May), and a proposed decision is now due by 26 May.
OccultZone and others
- Full disclosure: The author is a named party to the OccultZone case.
The main party to this case, OccultZone requested this case himself after being involved in a series of disputes and noticeboard threads which resulted in his being briefly blocked four times and three of those blocks being reversed by other administrators. OccultZone alleges that several administrators have behaved improperly towards him and that the blocks were unjust; other editors allege that—since the incident which led to the first block (on 23 March this year)—OccultZone has embarked on a pattern of disruptive editing, including accusing opponents in disputes of sock-puppetry, and has failed to heed advice to modify his behaviour. OccultZone observes that some of his accusations of sock-puppetry have been proven at least partially accurate. Evidence closed on 14 May, and several proposals are under discussion in the workshop. The target date for the committee's proposed decision is 28 May.
Opened on 3 May, this case was requested to examine the conduct of Lightbreather (talk · contribs), whose involvement in topics relating to gun control and to Wikipedia's gender gap (both sensitive topics on Wikipedia, prone to heated disagreement between editors) has been a source of controversy for around the last year. The case focuses on accusations that Lightbreather, who is a party to four interaction bans, has perennially behaved disruptively and that community-based attempts to address the problem have failed. Lightbreather, meanwhile, alleges that she has been harassed by other editors, and has requested that another eight editors be added as parties in order for their conduct to be examined as far as it affects Lightbreather. Due to the unusual number of interaction bans among editors mentioned in the case, the committee has waived interaction bans for the purposes of presenting evidence, and for the other phases of the case has decided to treat all one-way interaction bans as though they were two-way. The case has generated controversy elsewhere on Wikipedia, as requests have been made to two arbitrators to recuse themselves from the case (GorillaWarfare, who some felt was biased in favour of Lightbreather, and Salvio giuliano, who some felt was biased against Lightbreather); neither request was granted, resulting in a request to the remainder of the committee to forcibly recuse Salvio giuliano—a request which was debated internally by the committee and denied. A proposed decision is anticipated by the twice-revised date of 16 June.
At the time of writing, there are three open clarification and amendment requests, relating to Infoboxes. Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and Scientology respectively. At the time of publication, none had gained significant traction.
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