Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Special/2008-12/All

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The Wikipedia Signpost

Below are candidate profiles and interviews of candidates for the December 2008 Arbitration Committee elections.

The election guide is intended to be a brief overview of each candidate's beliefs and experiences. More detailed information about each candidate may be gleaned from their user pages, as well as their responses to questions from other users. Not all candidates have yet replied to our questions; their replies will be added as they are received.

ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-K  |  L-S  |  T-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

Candidates[edit]

AnthonyQBachler[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: September 15, 2003
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

My intention is to assist in arbitration on matters of technical or historical fact, or where necessary, disagreement on technical terminology. My list of contributions is rather long, some minor, some major, and include a few articles that I created. I have been a member of Wikipedia since shortly after it began.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

None

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Not on wikipedia.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

It would look good on my resume, and I am looking to get more involved in wikipedia than I have been these last several years.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Wikipedia hasn't come to a crashing halt, so I wont criticise anything they have done.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

  1. As an arbitrator no information other than the decisions on the committee is appropriate for release.
  2. No.
  3. Yes.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I bring to the committee several benefits. I am a member in good standing of MENSA, I am a veteran, have previously held a security clearance, and I am a mature responsible citizen.

Carcharoth[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: January 7, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since October 2007
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I'm User:Carcharoth, and I first edited in January 2005, began editing regularly in January 2006, and became an administrator in October 2007. My editing interests are mostly in the areas of science, history, and history of science - mainly gnomelike work but also bringing several articles to higher standards. I also have a long history of contributions in the project and other namespaces. I am standing for election to the Arbitration Committee to serve all members of the diverse community that build this encyclopedia. The attributes I think I would bring to the role, helping to resolve or end otherwise intractable disputes, are:

  • Flexibility to adapt to the needs of different cases
  • The time and inclination to carry out careful analysis of cases
  • Over two years sustained editing of Wikipedia with wide-ranging experience of different areas
  • Specific experience at administrators' noticeboards (especially AN and ANI)
  • Participation at Arbitration requests, evidence and workshop pages
  • Knowledge of the major Wikipedia policies and guidelines
  • Remaining objective and fair and being able to see both sides of a dispute
  • Being able to argue effectively and articulately for a particular position
  • Attention to detail, research skills and summarizing a debate to move it forward
  • The imagination to propose something different where it might help resolve a dispute

Over the next two weeks, I intend to expand on these and other thoughts in a longer statement in my userspace. I have been reviewing my editing over the last two years, and will be linking to examples of debates and discussions that I have participated in, to demonstrate what I might bring to the role. Concerning the specific major issues that have arisen this year in the English Wikipedia, I will be happy to answer questions on those topics, as well as areas not covered in this statement.

While considering whether to run in this election, I said to several other editors that I thought it would be particularly hard-fought. There are lots of able candidates that are standing in this election, many of whom care deeply about Wikipedia, even if there are differences in philosophy. Regardless of the outcome of the election, I pledge to support those who are elected. If I am elected, I pledge to work closely with the current and new arbitrators to resolve disputes in a timely manner and address the concerns of the community.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I'm an administrator here on the English-language Wikipedia, with my RfA taking place in October 2007. I don't hold any other positions on this or other wikis.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I've been a party in two cases. In both of these cases I was not one of the main parties, but was named due to my involvement in previous stages of the dispute. The cases were the Matthew Hoffman case (December 2007) and the Betacommand 2 case (March 2008). For more details of my activity on the arbitration pages over the past two years, please see my arbitration portfolio page.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I stood in this election because I think an analytical and thoughtful approach to dispute resolution can help resolve some of the intractable disputes brought before the committee, and that this can improve the editing environment in those areas of disputes, and, ultimately, allow better articles to be written as a result.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Overall, it's been an up-and-down sort of year. I think the Franco-Mongol alliance case was a particularly tricky one involving content issues that the Arbitration Committee handled well, getting the balance right between needing to remedy the behaviour shown in the evidence, and reinforcing the need for verifiable sources, but leaving the resolution of the content issues to the community, the article editors, and the mentors of the party to that case. As for a poorly handled case, I think the OrangeMarlin case (and the subsequent hue and cry) was badly handled due to miscommunication and misunderstandings within the Arbitration Committee.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

My opinion is that confidentiality is vital when needed, but it should not be encouraged if openness is a better option. Private submission of evidence should be examined to see if it needs to be private, and a dialogue opened with those submitting such evidence. Often, other parties to a case will need to see the evidence in order to be able to defend themselves, and those submitting private evidence need to be told that when they submit the evidence and asked if they consent to this. If they refuse permission, then the evidence may have to be discounted. In cases based on confidential evidence, the confidential material should remain so (with the exception of the arbitrators and, in some circumstances the parties to the case, as stated above) unless permission is explicitly sought and given to make it public. Any other approach will lead to people feeling unable to approach the Arbitration Committee in confidence. The decision in such cases should, as far as is humanly possible, be made public, along with the reasoning behind the decision. Anything less transparent will result in the community losing faith in the process.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I would be fair-minded and objective at all times, examining the evidence with great care to determine what the correct findings should be, and taking the time to explain my reasonings and decisions. Anything less would be a dis-service to the community and the encyclopedia we are building.

Casliber[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: May 5, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since March 2007
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Hello, I am Casliber (which happens to be an unspaced version of my real name) and have been editing since May 2006, and an admin since March 2007. I am nominating myself for arbcom as I feel I have some attributes which may be of benefit to wikipedia in difficult cases.

My main role is as a contributor and coordinator of (hopefully) quality content; wikipedia excels in its opportunity and use of collaborative editing. No man editor is an island and the skills in various areas of putting pen to paper (or digital equivalent) that I have improved on since I have been here I have been impressed and grateful for. I have spent most time in areas which make use of collaborative editing; Featured Article, DYK and (to a lesser extent) Good Article writing, as well as involvement with various wikiprojects (Fungi, Dinosaurs, Birds, D&D, medicine, some sports etc.), and have thought of ways of how to bring out the best in people with respect to article writing and improvement.

Now in my day job I am a psychiatrist and part of my job/role/skill-set/training etc. involves listening and watching and figuring out things like whether people are able to negotiate and collaborate with others, and if/how they can assume responsibility.

I figure experience in both of these areas may be useful in analysing difficult cases in how firmly to apply remedies or when to cut some slack in figuring out what is ultimately best for the 'pedia and how to get the best out of users.

Another point I'd like to make is that doctors generally shouldn't treat themselves or their families; the analogy here is arbcom. Many currently involved, and seeking to get elected have been involved for some time. This is a good thing and I fully support their involvement. However, I do think the committee may benefit from some experienced wikipedians who may not have been heavily involved and are hence more able to make objective observations and recommendations in some cases where arbcom members may be involved or a particular case is critical of some aspect integral to arbcom in some way.

Thus, if folks feel this is a benefit, I am happy to serve. If people feel all candidates should be heavily experienced, then so be it. Ask away.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I have been an admin since March 2007 on en.wiki. I do a bit on commons but hold no positions there. I have been active in several wikiprojects (birds, dinos, and medicine)

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Only mentioned in one - Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters 2 but not singled out for sanctions.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I thought as a psychiatrist and old-hand people observer, I may have some extra skills in difficult cases in helping figure out an editor's ability to accept responsibility or edit collaboratively with others. I also do alot of article writing and I guess have ideas on how to keep the pedia growing.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters 2 didn't achieve a great deal, but given the underlying problems with notability and arbcom's brief, it was always going to be tricky. Generally a good sign of a good decision is a minimum of fuss and everyone carrying on as usual. Thus the good cases don't 'stand out'. I will try to think of a specific one.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

I can see situations where safety issues arise that material just has to stay private (eg stalking). Thus there are times where a decision might have to be made without much of an explanation. The trick is figuring out what the general community needs to know and where to draw the line.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

apart from above, I have been uninvolved with this area to date. This means I may be more impartial when it comes to arbitrating on people or situations close to recent or current arbs. As doctors shouldn't treat themselves or family members (for loss of objectivity and its impact on decision making), so too a few outside figures may be helpful for arbcom. However, if the community doesn't see this as a good thing so be it. I also like the idea of a level playing field and that we are all in this together. I get down and 'muck in' at DYK and FAC, and sometimes GA. I like the idea that arbs are mucking in and part of the community, and not editing little outside cases or matters related to cases. This isn't rocket science and we don't need to be so specialised. Finally, I am (slightly) more of an ideas person than process person; a good committee has a mix of both and I think there are more process people in and running for arbcom (my impression anyway, but I could be wrong)

Charles Matthews[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: February 25, 2002
Local Rights/Positions: Arbitrator since January 2007
Oversight
Adminship since February 2004
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

You can think of me as a continuity candidate. On leave at the start of 2008, I took more leave in mid-August, returning recently. The reasons were very different. In between we were shorthanded, and I did first drafts in a couple of major cases, because that was needed work. (Then Newyorkbrad returned and I could take some personal time to deal with real life.)

Time away from the Arbitration intray did give me chance to think over the (bruising) job. Basically I’m a backroom boy: I do committee work and drafting in collective discussions, deal with block appeals and people with a beef, and quiet diplomacy. This matters, but why?

First metaphor: Wikipedia is a fantastic vehicle, but the suspension isn’t so great. The “backroom” absorbs some of the shocks so that others can get on with article work. (Which is what I also do, mostly.) Second explanation: the Internet, folks, is a place where the “average case” people and the “worst case” people are very, very different. People should be treated as normal and decent unless there’s a reason otherwise. But the worst case can be pretty bad. Hence there is the toxic stuff, and a need for a group who really can collectively face up to what actually happens (it is going to).

A non-vintage year, 2008, for Arbitration, but there have been reasons. Moving on, here’s my take: Arbitration always has been run much like “WikiProject Arbitration”. The reforms people suggest usually look like conversions to something more like an onwiki process, and that may yet happen. Ask a candidate, not what are the advantages of something more process-like (obviously quicker and more predictable, in routine matters), but what are the potential drawbacks? Things we know from onsite: Would it become the preserve of a smaller group who care most? Full of arcane rules and wonkish? Fine for standard situations but giving odd results when matters required anything unorthodox? Generally, wouldn’t it suffer from restricted insight, when you need the full range of perceptions?

Of two kinds of good Arbitrators: “legal naturals” and “people of good sense” (non-exclusive), I can’t claim to be the first, rarer sort, so I’ll run as the second. My old credo will do. Single tough case to remember: “Attack sites”. I was active in horsetrading it to a conclusion. Not everyone was pleased, but the underlying issue stopped being so divisive.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

Admin, arbitrator, oversight (ex officio: I hardly use the tool) on enWP.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Three (I think) as party, a large number in three years on the Arbcom.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Standing again. I think it is good to deal with my record in a public way, considering the accumulation of issues; and on a couple of the biggest of those issues this has been my first real chance to speak out (for different reasons, re Matthew Hoffman and re Poetlister). I still have time to deal with arbitration work - the reasons I was on leave in 2008 will not recur in the same form. We expect and hope for new blood on the ArbCom; but the committee works best with a broad mixture of people. So I'm offering my services once more.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

2008 (including late 2007) was a classic curate's egg. Big mistakes were made, and some exceptionally tough cases brought to conclusions that will probably last the test of time. Things were too fast or too slow, at least for public opinion; things were sometimes too prolix, and probably other things left out points that should have been included. I can quite see why people think this wasn't inspired stuff. Some initiatives seem to have run away into the sand. But since no one really has a better model for dispute resolution when all else fails, we have to move on. (External factors had a big impact, as everyone should understand.)

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Confidentiality should be absolute, except by agreement. If emails come to the ArbCom, they are treated as confidential until such time as we have figured what is the appropriate way to pass on anything and checked back with the sender. In a private hearing it is in some cases to the right way to solicit evidence as private under explicit conditions (to be passed to other parties, or not). We had such a case this summer. In cases involving "conflict of interest" (WP:COI) it may really only be the ArbCom who can handle the delicate matter of whether an apparent conflict of interest of a pseudonymous editor is real, and the ArbCom who can fairly deal with the situation. Often we might know a real-life identity of an editor because the editor disclosed it to us. In that, case, clearly, we do the right thing in the case about COI but do not "out" the editor, and do not comment on the identity and speculation about it. What else?

Why do you think users should vote for you?

"The devil you know"? I'm still a prolific editor committed to the project, as I was in 2005. The difference would be that I know more about Wikipedia and the dispute resolution process.

Cool Hand Luke[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: February 7, 2004
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since October 2004
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Hello. I've been around for a while, and I've worked on complex arbitration. I'm running because I want the Arbitration Committee to be what it ought to be: a speedy, just, respectful, and respected institution.

In the last year, ArbCom has frequently failed us. ArbCom has tied up hundreds of valuable volunteer hours in dragging cases. ArbCom has declined to make public votes about the very issues they were asked to resolve. ArbCom needs reform.

I believe ArbCom's mandate flows from the community and from the Foundation's mission to create free content. Unless ArbCom serves the community's encyclopedic objective, it serves no legitimate purpose at all. We must put it back on track. I intend to do so.

As a candidate, I pledge commitment to speed, transparency, and subservience to the community.

Speed is important because Wikipedia is a volunteer project. This encyclopedia exists because thousands of uncompensated volunteers donated valuable time to write it. We should be suspicious of any dispute resolution process that burdens contributors with bureaucratic busywork—drudgery that burns out users and distracts from the encyclopedia. Disruptive users always waste contributor time, but ArbCom can minimize the damage and disillusionment by conducting speedy and orderly arbitrations. Trolling should not be tolerated, and ArbCom should regularly update parties on their status. Draft findings should be regularly posted to elicit input.

Transparency similarly respects Wikipedia's volunteers. When a valued contributors sets aside time—often hours—to produce detailed evidence, ArbCom must minimally explain how their findings are supported by the evidence. Too often, detailed evidence has passed completely unnoted. Not only does this give the impression that evidence has been unfairly handled, it also demeans the work of volunteers.

Although many deliberations are sensitive and cannot proceed publicly, I would make factfinding open whenever practicable. "Secret hearings," apart from being unseemly, don't allow public examination of claims. I believe that truth prevails under vigorous scrutiny, so I am wary of private evidence that cannot withstand crossexamination.

Finally, ArbCom must behave as the community's servant. When an insoluble case arises, ArbCom must resolve the problem with existing policies. Sometimes, ArbCom may note that existing policies are inadequate, but it should always answer the question posed to it.

To ensure my responsiveness to the community, I stand with the option of "Arbitrator recall." I also pledge to never stand in the way of the community's choice of leadership.

Thank you.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I am an admin on English Wikipedia.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have added commentary and analysis to a number ArbCom cases, and I added a non-trivial amount of evidence to the Mantanmoreland case. I was also named as a party to a case in 2005, but no evidence or findings mentioned me.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I'm running because ArbCom is in need of reform. It must be made speedier, more transparent, and more of a servant to the community.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

I don't think there were any stand-out cases this year, but I pick RFAR/Tango as a case that went reasonably well. This case had the potential to be enormously dramatic, but ArbCom handled it in such a way that the problem de-escalated, while making an important statement about the necessity of having uninvolved admins issue blocks. Even in this case, however, the ultimate remedy was not seriously considered until late in the day. The OrangeMarlin affair was a dramatic fiasco—a stunning failure—but I'm not sure if it even counts as a case. The combined Omnibus RFAR/C68-FM-SV case was also a failure, for lasting over four months, feeding drama and wasting hour upon hour of editors' time. The committee needs to work on speed and transparency.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Evidence submitted to confidence to ArbCom must be held in confidence. That is not open for debate. However, if the evidence is used to sanction a third party, the third party should be afforded an opportunity to respond to the allegations. Once the relevant parties are given a fair process, non-public evidence can be used to make decisions.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Because I'm an outsider with a strong independent streak and a history of analytical work. I like to get to the bottom of things, and am not satisfied with cloistered hearings and evidence which cannot withstand the rigors of cross-examination. I believe that an effective ArbCom must be transparent and accountable, and I will strive for that in every case.

Coren[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: May 27, 2003
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since November 2007
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Hello!

I've been a Wikipedian since 2003. While my contribution to the encyclopedia contents have always been modest, I've done everything I can to help protect and support the work of our invaluable contributors by fighting vandals, checking copyvios, and gnomish work. As an administrator, I've gained a reputation of being a "hardliner", who has little patience for gamers, those who destroy the hard work of others, or corrupt our encyclopedia to make a point or a political statement. Accordingly, I am one who tends to act decisively to protect and defend, mindful of the legal traps that lie around biographies, editor privacy, and copyright compliance.

I've been a clerk since January, able to observe ArbCom's successes and failings up close, and I feel the current Committee is too soft collectively to be effective as it must: an injection of fresh "hardline" blood may be just what it needs to tackle the increasingly difficult issues that face it. Being willing to sit on ArbCom may require a little idealistic insanity, but Wikipedia is worth the pain.

I am seeking the mandate to bring a some energy and "down-to-earth-ness" to the Committee, and to help tackle what I feel should be its priorities:

  • More awareness of a growing issue that is poisoning the very essence of collaborative editing that makes Wikipedia possible: real-world factions that vie for control over articles, turning them into polemical battlegrounds where surface civility is used to cover bias, tendentiousness and even harassment. ArbCom needs to take a strong stance against that sort of "polite disruption" and those who use our rules of civility as weapons, recognize that long-term warriors are toxic, not vested, and investigate beyond surface behavior issues.
  • Less timidity in addressing issues related to contents (POV warring, tag teams, academic dishonesty). While it is appropriate that the Committee never rules on contents, it should be more active at curtailing content disputes. Academic integrity should become a priority; unlike "simple" incivility, the damage caused by editors misquoting, plagiarizing and editorializing destroys the credibility of our encyclopedia.
  • Increased transparency in the arbitration process, the Arbitrators must explain their decisions in better detail beyond a simple "aye/nay" and expose their reasoning and justification. It is important that the community understands why the Committee rules as it does, not just receive seemingly arbitrary edicts from "on high".

Thank you for your consideration.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I'm an admin, a clerk of ArbCom, and an (inactive) BAG member, on enpw. I am also an OTRS volunteer for the info-en and permissions lists.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I was a participant in the Sadi Carnot case.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Simply put: because I think I can make a positive difference. I used to think one would have to be crazy to run for ArbCom; turns out that you only need to be crazy about Wikipedia. I run because I care about what happens.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

I think ArbCom is feeling the pain of its increasingly conservative outlook and rendering increasingly poor decisions because it looks too much at how things once were to notice how things have become. The problems facing the Wikipedia of today and tomorrow aren't those of three years ago, but the Committee fails to adapt.

I think the handling of cases where real world factionalism have seeped into Wikipedia conflicts has been poor in general. ArbCom still acts, and proposes remedies, under the presumption that most participants in disputes do so for the good of the encyclopedia but disagree on how to go about it. This used to be mostly true, and is still true in some cases, but there are now battles being waged about real world concerns where Wikipedia is just another battleground and the participants do not care about writing an encyclopedia.

ArbCom needs to learn to protect the encyclopedia and editors from those warriors who have gotten very good at gaming with faux civility, edging the rules, and other subtle manipulation of a system that was designed with the presumption that, ultimately, everyone was trying to improve the encyclopedia. Admonitions to "play nice" are futile gestures when participants are not of good faith, and it's high time the Committee started waking up to that reality. What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public? Confidentiality is the primary obligation entrusted on arbitrators. Transparency demands that we share as much of it as is possible, but to do so without ever risking breaches of privacy or security. This means that yes, rarely, decisions may have to be made based on information that cannot be made public; but as much of it as possible should be explained. Why do you think users should vote for you? Because I can do the job. I'm not a revolutionnary trying to topple the system, which mostly works, nor am I blind to the desperately needed improvements and the glaring flaws. I am willing to yell when things go wrong, and to support the system when things go right. I respect rules and traditions, but I am not slavishly obeying just because.

Ultimately, however, editors should vote for me because they can trust that I will continue what I've always done: remain impartial in disputes, avoid needless drama, be quick to act decisively, but most importantly to be willing to admit and correct the errors I make. To err is human, to act as though one is infallible is what destroys trust.

Dream Focus[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: July 18, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I don't believe any one person should be able to decide if an article is deleted, or even a significant portion of itself deleted. Nor should this be decided by just whatever three random strangers are around at the time a third party moderator is called for. If dozens of people have contributed to an article over the years, and none of them had a problem with its size, then why should the opinion of a handful of people who don't care about the subject at all, be able to decide this? Most users will never bother to post their opinions unfortunately, and most people don't return to reread an article they liked, or mark it to watch, to keep track of what's going on.

  • If there is ever a arbitration called for, to settle a dispute between editors, I'll make certain the "its too long, and I prefer short articles" excuse for editing is never considered valid. An article is judged by its context, not its length.
  • The size of an article is never an excuse to erase information from it. If the information is valid to the article, it should remain. If it can be put on a side page, so be it. If not, leave it alone. I doubt most people mind scrolling down to read through a lengthy article, if they are interested in the subject.

I might not always make the right choices straight away, but I do patiently discuss things, try to figure everything out, and then make a rational decision. I will listen to all sides of any argument, and work to settling things in a fair and logical way.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I am the administrator of the Voltron wiki

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

No official arbitrators cases. I try to discuss things with people, and fully understand everyone's mindset. I believe that's the main skill a good arbitrator needs.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

To help people.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

That'll take some time to get into. I'll try to find the time later to answer it, and all the other questions asked on the official questions page.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

If the information could be revealed, without identifying the person who submitted it, who wishes to remain secret, then there is no reason not to reveal it. And I would always seek to make certain the information is valid, not just something made up by an enemy of the person to attempt to manipulate us.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I think I have handled most things rather well. I don't take things personally, I stay focus on the subject at hand, and I do my best to fully understand everyone's opinion. I strive for what is fair above all else. Please vote for me, and I promise to do my best.

Fish and karate[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: March 31, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since April 2006
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Hello. I'm Neil, also known as User:Fish and karate. I've been on Wikipedia since March 2005, and an admin since April 2006.

In that time, I've contributed a great deal to Wikipedia, both as an editor and as an administrator. I believe the experience and knowledge I've accumulated over this time would stand me in excellent stead as a member of the Arbitration Committee.

Why do I want to volunteer my time to be a member of the Committee? Because I believe I can contribute in a positive manner, and help the Arbitration Committee to act as the body it was created to be - a group of experienced users that resolve disputes that the community could not resolve. I participated extensively (under my former username, Neil) in the recent RFC on the Arbitration Committee's standards and practices - see here, here, and here. I am knowledgeable in the way ArbCom functions, and would not become overwhelmed by the volume of work or of the complexity.

The priority is to make Wikipedia a better encyclopedia. This means everyone's priority should be "what makes the encyclopedia better"? Things that make Wikipedia better:

  1. Well-written, researched, interesting content
  2. Collaborative editing
  3. A strong, consistent, and ethical approach to decision-making
  4. Clear and timely communication
  5. Politeness
  6. The avoidance of hostility
  7. Understanding
  8. Empathy with another's point of view

My decision-making, as part of Arbitration work, will be made based on the above. I believe strongly in trying to rehabilitate "problem" users. I believe in a light touch when it comes to "punitive measures". Targeted editing restrictions rather than wholescale blocks, progressive blocks rather than indefinite bans for those whose intentions are good but methods are poor. I believe in Wikipedia, and want it to continue to be the single best example there is of collaborative contributing. I believe that as a part of the Arbitration Committee, I could play my small part in enabling that to continue. Thanks for reading.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I am administrator on this wiki. I have no other positions other than user on any other wiki.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Almost all workship stuff. This is a list of all arbitration pages I've contributed to in some manner. Some in a minor way, some more so. /Sarah Palin protection wheel war, /C68-FM-SV, /Betacommand 2, /Geogre-William M. Connolley,/Tango, /Mantanmoreland, /Anonimu, /Alkivar, /Pigsonthewing 2, /Daniel Brandt deletion wheel war, /Philwelch, /Husnock. Here's a statement I found I made for a case that wasn't accepted, and here's one that was.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I would like to see Arbcom improve its relationship with the community, and function in a constructive and valuable manner. I believe that I can help the Arbcom achieve this, and would like to play a greater part in making Wikipedia work better.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

For the most part, things have been okay. Not always excellent, but reasonable. A case handled exceptionally well was Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Tango - an appropriate verdict, arrived at in a timely manner. The big case of the past year, perhaps, which had some plusses and minuses, was Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/C68-FM-SV. While I believe the JzG-Viridae issue should not have been merged into this case, and the time the case took was regrettable, the final findings were very good. As for poorly, the OrangeMarlin case was handled poorly. Discussions should only ever be made in private if there is very good reasons for them to be private. This did not meet that threshold in any way, and the case was a huge mistake. OrangeMarlin was given no opportunity to state his case (see [1]), and this was not acceptable. That it was vacated was entirely appropriate. I believe this case was the primary cause of the recent loss in faith the community has suffered with regards to Arbcom.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Evidence should be shared with other parties so far as privacy is maintained. If a piece of evidence that would be detrimental to another party is submitted, I believe the party at risk of detriment should be aware of such evidence, and recieve some kind of summary (at the very least) with any identifiable information excised. Being tried by private evidence without being made aware of that evidence's existence, or the general content of such evidence, is unacceptable.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I'll do a good job; I'm bright, experienced, trustworthy, and ethical. I believe strongly that Arbcom exists to serve the requirements of the community, and would strive to further this in thought and in act.




George The Dragon[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: January 30, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I, George The Dragon, am standing in order to give the community a chance to decide how they are governed. Currently, User:Jimbo Wales decides who to appoint to the Arbcom. Mr Wales retains the right to ignore the results of this poll and appoint whomever he so desires. A vote for me will be a vote to say this situation is not right and then Mr Wales will have to decide whether to appoint me or use his powers as Wikipedia's de facto Constitutional Monarch to appoint someone else.

Has not Wikipedia now reached a stage where we need to be free of the whims and personal views of one man?

It's really as simple as that: Who governs Wikipedia - one man or all of us?

George The Dragon has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

Hemlock Martinis[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: April 3, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since April 2007
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I've been an active contributor since October 2006 and an administrator since April 2007. I have three main issues. The first one is speediness. Like many members of the community, I am frustrated by the drawn out, time-consuming endurance feats that some of these cases have become. Last year when I ran, I promised a speedier and more efficient case evaluation. This year, we saw a case so long that ArbCom actually apologized. These kinds of delays make it more difficult for the Arbitration Committee to effectively deliver judgment. These delays undermine ArbCom's authority. They need to stop. I was right then, and I'm right now.

The second is boldness. There is a feeling of fear among Arbitration Committee members about overstepping perceived bounds. This has caused two negative results: first, there is a stagnation in new ideas and novel approaches to solving cases; and two, the Arbitration Committee often finds itself unwilling or unable to punish long-time entrenched editors due to the perceived status of those editors. This is baloney, and it needs to end. The same boldness that allowed us to build this encyclopedia must now be used to police it.

The third issue is common sense. I've watched these proceedings get bogged down in legalese jargon and misleading explanations. If one editor says its raining and another editor says its snowing, ArbCom ought to be able to just look outside. ArbCom needs to move away from stirring testimonials and stories of how so-and-so is a "valued editor" or a "longstanding member of the community", and start moving towards actually assessing an editor's actions and effects. In judging these cases, I would use what I refer to as the "House test" - does an editor's positive contributions to the encyclopedia outweigh that editor's negative impact on the community? Change is needed.

Please help me put ArbCom back on track. Thank you.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I have been an administrator since April 2007. I was a candidate in the 2007 Arbitration Committee elections, where I was defeated primarily due to my relative newness at the time. I've learned a lot in the past year and feel that I'm ready for a seat on the Committee.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have not been in an Arbitration case as either a petitioner or the petitioned. I've weighed in on some cases I felt particularly notable, including the Durova case and the allegations of apartheid case.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Because ArbCom needs reform, and I feel I'd be good at that. We need cases deliberated in a timely manner, with judgments given that accurately reflect the situation and don't bow to external pressures or established editors. We're drifting away from our prime directive of writing an encyclopedia. The community is being consumed by petty differences, internal struggles and power trips. The same energy and enthusiasm that was used in Wikipedia's infancy to build the best resource in the world is now feeding upon itself. We need a rudder to right the ship. We need a strong hand amidst the storm that is Wikipedia's adolescence. We need something new, we need something better and we need it now. And in that respect, I want to help.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Overall, I think ArbCom was weak this year in handling its responsibilities for the community. The C68-FM-SV and SlimVirgin-Lar cases in particular deserved a harder look at the continued actions of all participants; ArbCom should've been more willing to hand out sanctions for disruptive and unwarranted behavior. I think the unwillingness of ArbCom to step up in those case was detrimental to its authority.

I'm happy to say that it was not all bad news, though. In particular I was pleased with Newyorkbrad's levelheaded and fair approach to cases, especially with regards to the recent IRC-related proposals in Piotrus 2. As far as cases go, the Palestine-Israel articles case from January demonstrated some good rulings on what many editors would shrug off as a "content dispute". I particularly appreciated the creation of the working group on ethnic/nationalist conflicts, although I do have disagreements with the findings of said group and noticeboard. The comprehensive and useful thinking, as well as the outside-the-box approach, is what I would like to see be the hallmark of all major ArbCom cases.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

This is an incredibly complex and multi-faceted situation, and it's almost one that should solely be decided on a case by case basis. There are two spheres we as arbitrators must consider. First, we have to look at the secret evidence as it relates to the accused. One of the most fundamental precepts of any legal system based on fairness and justice is the ability to face one's accuser and to hear the evidence made against one's self. That should only be suspended in extraordinary circumstances, and even then the accused should at least be given a summary of the evidence. Second, we have to look at the impression ArbCom gives to the community when handling secret evidence. The community should be made aware when secret evidence is used, and be given a summary of what the evidence contains. This would help build a measure of good faith between both the community and the Committee. The community needs to trust the Committee to only use secret evidence when privacy matters are a concern and not to become a Court of Star Chamber. The Committee needs to trust the community's ability to distinguish between secret trials and confidential evidence. These are the fundamentals I would use when assessing secret evidence and its role in a case.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I could go on for hours about ArbCom's flaws, but fundamentally you're not voting on ArbCom - you're voting for or against me. And to be honest, there's ample reason to not vote for me and maybe even to vote against me. I've done some stupid things as an administrator. I gave Giano a cooldown block a month after I got the tools and was eviscerated by the community for it. I've been called "anti-science" for misinterpreting SPOV. I blocked a trolling IP for voting against me in the last ArbCom election. I'm not exactly orthodox when it comes to Wikipedia policy: I've proposed an Editorial Council and once suggested we rename all positions of trust (arbitrator, administrator, bureaucrat, etc.) to Imperial Roman titles (praetor, quaestor, legate, etc.). If you wanted to vote against me, you certainly wouldn't be unjustified.

So why should you vote for me? I learn from my mistakes. I now oppose cooldown blocks and excessive civility patrols (see my "House test" in my candidate Q&A). I listen. Please feel free to peruse my talk pages archives and see instances in which I do so. I haven't been around here since time immemorial, so I've got no allegiances and fewer enemies. This makes me ideal for fair and neutral arbitration. At the same time, I'm also not afraid of any of you. I can distinguish between the times when we need to crack some skulls, and the times in which a lighter hand is needed. I have the temperament, the experience and the judgment needed to be an effective and judicious arbitrator.

But the reason you should vote for me, foremost among all others, is the need for change. I know that's a slogan that's been tossed around many a time this year, and I know many of you probably rolled your eyes upon reading it here. But it's not cliched. We need change. The old way isn't working. As Mikhail Gorbachev said, "We can't go on living like this." We need to step back, reassess what we as a community and as individuals are doing - are we pursuing vendettas and feuds, or are we improving the encyclopedia? - and fix whatever we're doing wrong.

I believe in this community. We wrote over 2.6 million articles and went from the doldrums of the Internets to being one of its defining features. But we've gone astray from our rightful path. On any other site, this would mark the start of an inevitable decline, but not for us. We're not afraid to fix what's wrong, correct what's mistaken or improve what's broken. We now must harness that same boldness and channel it into self-correction. Please elect me, and help us preserve in peace what we have won in war. Thank you.

Jayvdb[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: September 5, 2004
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since September 2007
Checkuser, oversight
Arbitration clerk emeritus
Global Rights/Positions: Adminship, Wikimedia Commons
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Hi. My name is John Vandenberg. I have provided a detailed history about myself on my userpage. I believe that arbitrators should be very open and honest about their formal education and experience in order that the community can make informed decisions about who to vote for, and so that people coming to the committee for arbitration can get a feel for the people that will be making the decisions.

I served as an Arbitration Clerk for much of the first half of 2008. I resigned due to a messy affair, which has since been settled amicably. This experience, and the termination of it, was an eye opener. I am aware of the responsibility, workload and difficulty involved.

My commitments:

  1. I will not edit policy pages or influence policy. This is the responsibility of the community, and arbitrators should not write the policies that they will use in decisions.
  2. I will oppose any remedy that is not substantially grounded in existing policy that was written by the community, or on resolutions passed by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  3. I will be highly active and available, or I will step down and turn in my "access".

I will bring to the committee:

  1. Broad technical skills to automate tasks that the committee regularly performs, and improve processes where possible.
  2. Broad experience and exposure to the culture, policies and leaders of most of the WMF projects. There are very few arbs, ex-arbs, or other candidates who have measurable experience outside of English Wikipedia.
  3. Broad language skills - I can only write in English, however I enjoy working with foreign languages and people who don't have a good grasp of English
  4. Limited patience for long & drawn out cases. Quick and measured solutions that result in the least amount of pain and disruption are good. Perfect is the enemy of good.
  5. Limited wiki-friendships with the elite in the power structure here on Wikipedia. It will be rare that I need to be recused.

Whilst on the committee, my mission for reform within the committee and arbitration process will be to:

  1. Encourage participatory democracy.
  2. Fire the slackers and the lurkers and people whose term is up.
  3. Require that arbitration cases have a clear scope before they open.
See here for more detailed explanations of these three points.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have not been a party to any cases, I was an Arbcom clerk for six months until mid July 2008, and have submitted evidence and opinions a few times, privately in some cases where all parties were shown the bulk of my submissions.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

To reduce the friction between Arbcom and the community.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

This year has had lots of outcomes that fall on the extremities of the scale. Many of the cases were completed within reasonable times and obtained a workable outcome. While it was not a typical case, Poetlister was the success of 2008. The Omnibus and SlimVirgin-Lar cases were especially troubled, as I dont believe they achieved anything except pain, coupled with a lot speculation and disappointment in the process and result. Orangemarlin brought to a head many problems with the way the committee was working and communicating, both within the committee and to the community.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Confidentiality is vital for personal security and well being. It is a basic principle of humanity. However, confidentiality can also be a guise for a lack of accountability. Wherever possible and appropriate, evidence should be given as much scrutiny as possible; the other parties should see it as much of it as is appropriate, and the community should be given as much of it as is reasonable. I have always sought confirmation before passing on private information/correspondence, stating who will be receiving it and why I feel it is necessary, even when I have submitted evidence privately to Arbcom. My approach will not change. I also feel that no arbitrator should ever make decisions that bind someone, based on evidence that only I have seen; I can understand if someone doesnt trust all of the committee, however a majority should agree with any conclusions, or at worst, one or two additional sets of eyes are needed. I have answered this question in more detail on the Q&A page.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I have clearly articulated objectives, and the skills, experience and passion to achieve them.

Jdforrester[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: February 27, 2003
Local Rights/Positions: Arbitrator, 2004, July 2005-Present
Adminship since June 2003
Checkuser, oversight
Global Rights/Positions: Bureaucrat, Meta-Wiki
Administrator, Wikimedia Commons
OTRS representative
Communications Committee member
Wikimedia IRC contact
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I'm now coming to the end of my fifth year as an Arbitrator, having helped found the Committee in 2003/4. I've decided to stand again because I believe it is what I am best at providing to the enwiki community, and, more importantly, that this is of value over and above that which some/many others would provide. Necessarily, in the five years I've been working on and around the Committee, I have given a number of people reasons to take a dislike to me, to find something I've said or done, or some position I've held, with which to disagree. Further, I can understand - and empathize with - those who think that it's time for a change, that long-serving Arbitrators are part of the problem, having habituated ourselves and our working practices to the processes as we've developed them. It is inappropriate for me to comment on the validity of those concerns; that's the community's rôle, and reasonably so. Indeed, I do not expect to be given the community's support; nevertheless, I ask it, and welcome any and all questions.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

User privs on public wikis:

enwiki
Sysop/Arbitrator/CheckUser/OverSight
metawiki
Sysop/Bureaucrat
commonswiki
Sysop
Also a few other things like OTRS, WMF CommsCom, IRC GC, Foundationwiki access, Wikimania team, etc.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Obviously, lots of cases as an Arbitrator. Also, I was mentioned in a case in 2006, reminding me of my own policy about appropriate decorum.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

From my candidate statement, "I've decided to stand again because I believe it is what I am best at providing to the enwiki community, and, more importantly, that this is of value over and above that which some/many others would provide."

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

I'm not sure it's appropriate for me to comment on my and my fellow Arbitrators' actions; that's for the community to decide.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

I think confidentiality is a matter of great importance to the community, and something that we should all expect of the Committee; only with permission (though I would expect us to continue with our policy of outlining to the parties concerns expressed; and yes, but only if I strongly felt there was a good reason so to do, and that it was for the project's benefit.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

From my answer to a question, "I think that the community is best served by a Committee with a spectrum of experiences and points of view on the various topics that surround our community, so that the widest range of responses is considered appropriately. Having helped to create Arbitration, I suppose I offer more of a reflective position to the discussions, both around individual cases and also on meta-issues like evolving and reforming the Committee to better serve the community. I do not see the inputs of "new" and "old" ("seasoned"?) in competition at all, but instead as each complementing the other."

Jehochman[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: March 21, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since October 2007
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I first came to Wikipedia in March of 2005. Several people in my industry, search engine optimization, had told me that Wikipedia was a good place to get some free links. So I tried it,[2] and received a gentle warning.[3] To those of you who don't bite the newbies, thank you.

Wikipedia is a tremendously useful and entertaining website. I enjoy reading articles on many different topics. I also use the encyclopedia as a reference for work, and to help my kids with their homework. My content editing interests currently include German submarines, Russian submarines, shipwrecks, naval battles, computer technology, and whatever else catches my eye.

In October 2007 I became an administrator. My areas of administrative interest include controlling sock puppetry, disruptive editing and harassment. These types of cases frequently end up at arbitration, where I have been a named party in eight cases, more than any other candidate. I believe my experiences, both positive and negative, would bring value to the Committee.

Our Arbitration Committee has performed well in a thankless and difficult job. However, we cannot take for granted that the English Wikipedia community will continue to thrive. Every generation of editors must guard against the destructive forces of blight, including:

  • Vandalism and worse, the addition of misinformation or unreliable information;
  • Parasitic marketers who spam, spin, and whitewash our articles;
  • Sock puppetry and other types of gaming the rules;
  • Harassment, personal attacks, and outing which discourage participation;
  • Cabalism which disenfranchises individual editors and turns some of our articles into battle zones.

I think I can help guard against these threats, and help the Committee not only make the right decisions, but also enhance their reputation within the community. Perceptions matter. Thank you for your consideration. Please vote.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

Administrator. I find it keeps me quite busy enough. My logs show that I have used the sysop tools extensively: Jehochman (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA).

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have been involved in eight cases, more than any other candidate. I brought four cases which resulted in bans or sanctions that I had requested. Two cases were brought against me, though there were no findings against me, and I was named as a witness in two other cases.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

My goals are to improve the reputation of the Committee and to help maintain Wikipedia's content at the highest possible standards.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

I think the Committee has done a good job, though they have sometimes failed to communicate effectively with the Community. They eventually come to the right conclusion in almost every case. One decision that I criticized heavily was Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Matthew Hoffman, but they just took action to correct the worst problems with that case. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Zeraeph was a very difficult problem that was resolved well because all of the individuals involved were protected, including the user who got banned. Obviously, some cases this year dragged on far too long, such as Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/SlimVirgin-Lar.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

The key idea is that confidential information should never be shared without permission. I would normally want to share evidence with the accused to given them a chance to explain. If there was no permission to share, I might have to disregard the evidence because it is not fair to consider only one side of a story. However, there might be extraordinary circumstances when it would not be possible to share the evidence.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Users should vote for me because my experiences with arbitration, both positive and negative, would be valuable to the Committee. I can definitely empathize with the concerns of the typical user who finds themselves at arbitration. It can be a daunting experience.

Additionally, even with my substantial volume of administrative work, I have continued working on articles. I still remember that Wikipedia is for generating high quality content.

Justice America[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: June 12, 2008
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I feel Wikipedia's Arbcom needs a real shaking up, and I'm the one to do it. I've observed this site for years, though I generally have shied from making physical edits. In real life I'm a lawyer, and will use my legalese to work through even the most difficult cases. I feel my lack of connection here makes me an ideal candidate, as I have no conflicts of interest. Thanks for reading this, and I hope you look past my inexperience.

Justice America has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

Kmweber[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: May 7, 2004
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

My beliefs on the Arbitration Committee are fairly well-known, but if you're out of the loop...I think it's utterly illegitimate. However, I do recognize that my efforts to either formally eliminate it or, (preferably, for a variety of mostly symbolic reasons) simply convince the community to ignore it altogether are not likely to be successful in the short term. It's a long road ahead, and while I'm traversing it I need to find a way to minimize its negative impact on the community in the meantime.

The Arbitration Committee (yes, I have a better name for it, and besides what it engages in is not "arbitration" in any sense anyway, but I digress...) operates primarily by exercising power it does not and has never legitimately possessed. Though, true, the members are elected by the community (ignoring for a minute the fact that one man who is not all that special and also exercises power he does not and has never legitimately possessed holds a veto over anyone he disapproves of), the Committee itself was never created by the community. It was forced upon the community, and so regardless of how its membership is chosen it remains illegitimate.

So why do I want to participate on an illegitimate committee? Frankly, I don't. As a member, I will vote to decline any and all cases submitted to it, politely suggesting instead that the involved parties go to a legitimate form of dispute resolution, such as RfC, mediation, or any other mechanism that may be created by the community (and therefore has legitimate authority).

I'm not an opponent of hierarchy and authority in the abstract. I am an opponent of de facto authority that does not have its source as an express creation of the community. The Arbitration Committee is the latter, and a vote for me is a vote for restoring power to where it rightfully belongs.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

None

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

No

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I seek to disrupt its operations as much as possible so as to minimize its negative impact on the community while we wait for the community to develop the revolutionary courage and consciousness necessary to throw off this illegitimate body altogether

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Its mere existence is illegitimate; therefore, everything it does is ipso facto wrong.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

See above; however, as a matter of general principle I believe all Wikipedia dispute-resolution processes should be totally open. Anything else is ripe for abuse, and makes people feel (quite justifiably) that they weren't given a fair hearing. Nothing trumps that.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I am the only one running whose ultimate aim is to return power to the community, where it rightfully belongs. All the other candidates--even those who truly seek AC reform--are, at best, only treating the symptoms. AC's unreliability and corruptness and shadowiness are not the basic problems with it--though they are problems, to be sure. The basic problem lies with its mere existence. No dispute-resolution entity in a "community project" can hope to hold any legitimacy if it was not a creation of the community in the first place. I believe the vast majority of the Wikipedia community recognizes this; they only put up with it because it's "the best we have" and because those with a vested interest in this corrupt status quo are so powerful as to make the bulk of the community too timid to do anything. The Revolution will come eventually, as the community develops its revolutionary courage and revolutionary consciousness, but in the meantime those of us who are brave and aware enough to speak out need to do our part to mitigate the AC's inherently dangerous influence.



Lankiveil[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: August 12, 2004
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since August 2008
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I've been editing Wikipedia since 2004, and I thought that I might as well throw my hat in the ring here. Arbcom is an important mechanism for resolving disputes and solving problems that can't otherwise be solved, but despite the best efforts of the current slate of arbitrators, I feel that it has not lived up to the community's expectations. Wikipedia needs a strong and decisive arbcom that can solve problems quickly before they flare up into serious issues, and not an arbcom that is seen to conduct its affairs in secret, dither on controversial cases, take astonishing amounts of time to come to decisions, or end up delivering "soft" resolutions that do little to resolve antisocial behaviour and little to prevent further disruption to the project.

I can't promise to resolve all of these problems myself, but I will promise to:

  • Involve myself in a limited number of cases at first, in order to maximise the amount of attention that I can devote to each one.
  • Vote on proposals promptly in an attempt to reach a consensus as quickly as possible, thus avoiding delays in closing cases and all the uncertainties involved for those concerned.
  • Promote an arbcom that is as open and accountable as possible.
  • Engage with any and all parties to ensure that both I and the arbcom as a whole remain accessible to the community at large.
  • Should I go inactive or be unable to discharge by arbcom duties in a timely manner, I will resign in order to allow another, more active arbitrator to take my place, thus allowing the committee as a whole to continue with a 'full team on the park'.

Reasons that you should support me:

  • I have a long editing record stretching back to 2004, free of any major disputes or drama.
  • I have a level head and can make reasonable, commonsense decisions; I was described as "Steady, clueful, trustworthy" and "can be trusted" at my RFA.
  • I believe that drama of any sort only hurts the project, and will take a strong stand against it.
  • I have a solid record of contributions, both as an editor and as an administrator, which I believe show that I am dedicated to this project, and that my judgement is sound and that I can be trusted.

Thankyou for your consideration, and best of luck to all the other candidates.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I am an admin here on English Wikipedia, an (inactive) admin at English Wikinews, as well as a sysop on an in-house Wiki we use at my company.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Only as an observer.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I feel that the community has lost faith in the committee, and in a large part this is because it is, to an extent, dominated by an "elite". I think that by coming in "from the outside" and lending a hand, I can help the encyclopædia by making sensible, commonsense, drama-free calls that restores ArbCom is a functional part of the project.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

There is a tendency to focus on the occasional badly handled case, which gets a lot of negative press, and not on most of the cases the ArbCom handle, which are dealt with efficiently, promptly, and non-controversially. I have gone into some depth on my questions page as to a couple of cases I thought could have been handled better.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Confidentality is important, and it should be respected. If evidence is submitted to the committee under the understanding that it should remain private, then I will not share it outside the commitee. However, I would endeavour to make as much information as I could on ongoing cases public, to ensure that the ArbCom (and I) remain as transparent as possible.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

My record speaks for itself - four years of steady contributions, without any of the drama, controversy, and upheaval that has occured around some other members of the community. Voters who vote for me are voting for a steady hand on the wheel; I'm not glamourous or flashy, but I can get the job done.

Lifebaka[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: January 21, 2007
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since July 2008
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Looking over the other candidates these past two weeks, I haven't seen all that much diversity in them. Pretty much all the strong candidates have lots of involvement at ANI, RFA, other arbitration, etc. While there's nothing wrong with this, I'd like to supply at least some sort of alternative. So, here I am, metaphorically standing as a candidate (I do most of my editing seated, to be honest).

As far as arbitration itself goes, I'm a complete outsider. I've never participated in any case in any way. I do, however, learn fast (then again, so do we all; the learning curve for Wikipedia is pretty steep), so I should be fine in the long run. I assure voters that I wouldn't be running if I didn't feel I am capable of doing a good job on the Committee.

Most of the time I've been active on Wikipedia, both before and after becoming an admin earlier this year, has been spent around the various article deletion processes, at first AfD and then the CSD and DRV. I've worked at DRV for nearly a year now, and am active in editing the CSD policy page and the talk pages of all three. The skill set used in making the decisions for these processes is entirely different from those used at ANI and the like, which I believe would be a useful asset to ArbCom. I also hope it gives me a slightly different perspective than most of the other candidates.

My thoughts on what ArbCom should be doing are pretty much what everyone else says. It should be fast and responsive. Supposing that I am elected, I will do my best to be both, insofar as I am able. Beyond that, I'll try to cause as few drahmahz as possible.

Well, here goes nothing. I sign here, right?

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

Here, I'm an admin. I've got some accounts on other Wikimedia wikis, but none of them have many edits or any user rights.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Nope.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I like the idea of giving the community a slightly more diverse choice. Unlike the other candidates, most of my on-wiki time is spent around deletion review and the criteria for speedy deletion. This gives me a different perspective than them, and a different skill set. I'd been toying with the idea of running for a few months, and no one who looks like me was in yet, so here I am.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Besides occasionally being entirely ineffectual (such as in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters, which had to come back to arbitration for a harder solution), it appears to be doing a fairly good job. For one I think was handled well, the resolution of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Sarah Palin protection wheel war, toothless as it is, is an elegant and clean solution (and it would have caused huge drahmahz pretty much any other way).

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Depends on the evidence. If there's a damn fine reason for keeping it private, then I would. If there isn't a good reason to, I'd make it public. I plan to make decisions based on all evidence I have access to, whether public or private, in order to get the most full picture of the situation as possible.

In general, by which I mean this is my opinion about the whole of ArbCom and most of the 'pedia, unless there's a good reason (such as privacy concerns) to keep something confidential, it's best to keep in out in the open.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I'm going to be a very different Arb than a lot of the other candidates. I don't have their backgrounds on-wiki; I've got a different perspective and skill set. However, this is pretty much my biggest selling point. So, dear readers, if you don't like it, don't vote for me.

Privatemusings[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: August 24, 2005[1]
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: Advisor, Communications Committee
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

G'day Wikipedians :-)

I've been around the wiki for a few years now - less than some, but more than most, I'd say (reader from 2003 onwards, dabbler 2004, registered my first account 2005).... Head over to my userpage for important background, and of course feel free to ask any questions of me you'd like

I've been fairly critical of arbcom on a number of levels for quite a while, and feel it's only fair to stick my hand up, and offer a few ideas as part of my candidature. This is a preliminary statement - there is more here, and here are a few 'key' aspects of my thinking;

  • I am not an admin - it is a 'good thing' to have a non-administrator representative on arbcom.
  • I will stand for re-election after 1 year regardless of term lengths - if I'd like to go longer, I can stick my hand up again, and you will get to decide :-)
  • Arbcom has fallen way short of best practice on a number of levels, and in many ways we set up some of our best editors to fail... I'll be sharing more of my ideas about ways to fix some things, which I hope you may consider :-);
  • Arbcom Communications are appalling! - I will respond to emails, discuss matters on my talk page, and post actively to case pages. I will be a dynamic arb where possible!
  • The two watch words of my approach (tatooed on the backs of my weary hands) will be "De-escalate" and "Resolve" - to this end I will ask questions, offer suggestions, and where necessary apply sanctions.
  • Content is king - and the best content editors are the true kings of the wiki. This is important.
  • I will create an Arb Surgery - not as painful as it sounds, rather the concept that I will be regularly available, in real time, 'on wiki', in voice conversation, or via any practicable means to talk about anything any Wikipedian would like to. Every Sunday evening, UTC, any wiki editor can simply talk something through with me as an arb, if they'd like.
  • I don't really like the existence of 'Oppose' voting - so if you'd really really like to Oppose someone - make it me, and make me your only 'Oppose' vote - this too is important in my view, so please give it some thought. Thanks!

Vote Privatemusings!

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I'm a contributor to wikiversity, commons, and meta-wiki, as well as occasional activity at wikisource, and a dipped toe at simple - I an administrator on the WMF ChapCom wiki, my only official 'position' :-)

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have followed many cases quite closely, commented in several, and was the subject of one. It's my belief that the arbcom is currently systemically flawed, and that we set up some of our best users to fail.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I have 5 'big ideas' which you can read more about here shortly, and I would be proud to be a new broom to clear out some of the many cobwebs around the arbcom.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

It's my view that the committee performs embarrassingly poorly, failing to lead, failing to engage the community, and listen properly, and critically, failing to resolve, or de-escalate problematic sitations. The 'Orangemarlin' debacle was widely criticised, more worringly the mistakes were not internalised and resolved at all, in my view - a private internal committee vote, without an 'on wiki' arb process, banned another user shortly afterwards. If this concerns you... vote for me!

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

This is a very sensitive area, and basically there's no 'right answer' except to be firm in adhering to high ethical standards. Whilst certain evidence may be necessarily confidential, I consider it basic tenet of fairness to allow parties to 'hear the charges and evidence against them' in order to fully respond. No Josef K, thanks...

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Check out my 5 big ideas for the main reasons - but I'll add that I'm polite, honest, care about the project and its goals, and represent a real chance for positive change in an important spot for the community. As I've said in my candidate statement, if you disagree, and would like to Oppose, please consider making me your sole 'Oppose' vote - it's also my view that these are unhealthy for the community - and I'll take 'em on the chin with a smile :-) Vote Privatemusings!

Risker[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: December 27, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since May 2008
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It’s created by people from all over the world, drawn to the opportunity to share their knowledge, skills and talent, without material benefit. From brilliant writers to wikignomes, with many in between, there is one common thread: we all have hopeful hearts. We see value and potential in freely sharing knowledge with the world, in a single, widely encompassing source.

The same thing that makes Wikipedia special is also its Achilles heel. Bringing together such a large group of people from different cultures, social skills and educational levels means there is plenty of room for normal human disagreements. Disputes are magnified and can quickly escalate as a result of the imperfection of written communication combined with strong feelings and divergent interpretations of policy, English usage, and intention. When behaviour violates our policies, we employ dispute resolution. These processes seem to have more good intention than good effect, because they often fail to change the behaviours or resolve the dispute.

Arbitration is intended to address editorial behavioural issues with the goal of removing roadblocks to the continued improvement of the encyclopedia, yet it tends to do this in a remarkably superficial way. Instead of drilling down to identify the root cause(s) of the problems, it is largely dependent on the commentary of interested parties and context-free “diffs” that give only snapshots of often complex situations. Transparency is not a priority. Well-considered commentary is drowned out by acrimonious hyperbole and self-serving rhetoric. Arbitrators frequently fail to identify the heart of the problem, and their decisions give the appearance of taking the path of least resistance rather than the path to resolution. All who are involved come away disillusioned and disheartened, regardless of the final decision. The process itself exacerbates the harm it seeks to halt.

My contribution, should I be appointed to the Arbitration Committee, will be to ask questions and expect—and give—straightforward responses; to prevent arbitration pages from becoming just another battleground; and to encourage editors uninvolved in the conflict to develop evidence that dispassionately illustrates the core issues instead of the peripheral distractions. We need to re-establish the Arbitration Committee as a place to resolve disputes in a collaborative and positive way without inflicting further harm on ourselves, our hopeful hearts. Because, at the end of the day, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I am an administrator on the English Wikipedia.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have made statements and provided evidence (particularly in the Tango case), commented on workshop and proposed decision pages for a range of cases before the Arbitration Committee. I have never been a party, and have never filed a Request for Arbitration.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Several of our colleagues, including many whom I hold in high regard, have encouraged me to put my name forward over the last several months. I think it's important for the membership of the Arbitration Committee to be reflective of the broad diversity of the project. My candidacy brings an additional dimension to complement the many other excellent candidates.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

The advance posting of the shortlist of CheckUser and Oversight candidates was a good first step in the right direction, and hope that this "experiment" will continue to evolve so that in the future more community input is sought before appointments are made. I believe that the Mantanmoreland decision turned out to be the right one, despite the uproar that it caused at the time the case was closed; the community was still very divided on the seriousness of any sockpuppetry at that time. When definitive evidence was developed to show that sockpuppetry had recurred well after the decision was released, the community was readily agreeable to banning of the Mantanmoreland accounts. I agree with the general dissatisfaction with the length of time it took to resolve the C68-FM-SV case. The handling of the OrangeMarlin matter was a serious misstep. These two cases in particular have had a serious effect on community confidence in the committee. The development of the closed motions process is a positive way to resolve certain narrow disputes in a timely way.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

I understand that there is some information the Arbitration Committee receives that should be kept confidential to protect the privacy of an editor or to ensure the well-being of an editor or even the encyclopedia. On the other hand, I believe that the Committee has permitted the definition of "confidential" evidence to be stretched beyond a reasonable point, allowing editors to submit evidence that does not contain any private information under the cloak of secrecy, preventing the community and any editors named from assessing the significance of this evidence, and responding to it. I'd like to see a middle path, where only genuinely private or harmful information is kept confidential, and editors are required to submit any other evidence on-wiki. It is impossible, however, for those of us not already privy to the Arbcom mailing list to determine how much private evidence has been involved in prior cases; thus, I am not in a position to propose an appropriately crafted protocol at this time.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I bring a different voice to the table. I continue to believe in the core philosophy of the project, and try to exemplify it in my editing and administrative actions. My own wiki-history features collaborative work on a wide range of content, as well as involvement in most administrative areas; in other words, I have worked successfully with a broad range of contributors throughout the project. I have a strong interest in, and awareness of, privacy and personal security issues related to editing Wikipedia, as can be seen in this essay, which I largely authored. I recognise that there are many ways in which one can contribute to the development and improvement of the encyclopedia, and that helps me to better understand and address the conflicts between those who primarily focus on specific functions of encyclopedia-building.

Rlevse[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: December 27, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Bureaucratship since July 2008
Adminship since February 2007
Arbitration clerk
Checkuser
Global Rights/Positions: Administrator, Wikimedia Commons
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Earlier this year, I had no intention whatsoever of running for ArbCom, ever. Then several people started telling me that they wished I’d run for Arbcom, so I carefully studied the situation, and here I am accepting this great challenge.

I have been an editor since November 2005, an administrator since February 2007, and have worked closely with ArbCom since becoming an arbitration clerk in November 2007. However, I am still grounded in what we are here for—building an encyclopedia: I have significantly contributed to 15 featured articles, 1 featured portal, and 1 featured list. Additional ArbCom-related areas I'm active in are sockpuppet investigations, checkuser requests, the incidents noticeboard, and arbitration enforcement.

I sympathize with the many concerns the community has voiced about the committee this year but also understand the frustrations and problems the arbitrators themselves face every day. Every new inductee promises that they will make the arbitration process faster, but they learn on day one just how hard it is to get fifteen people to do something, especially when it's dealing with contentious, emotion-laden situations. That being said, I totally agree that things do need to be handled more swiftly without sacrificing thoroughness and fairness. Taking over a month to vote on an arbitration case and allowing three months for evidence submission is simply way too long and unfair to all participants. I feel that the arbitrators are dedicated editors who have integrity and do endeavor to carry out their duties the best they can; I do not think they are the problem, rather, it's the system that needs to be fixed. The community needs to agree on how to do that. The transparency of the committee needs to be greater, while maintaining due concern for privacy. Their workflow management needs to be modified. As the English Wikipedia has grown so large, these problems have been exacerbated; the process needs to be adjusted in reaction. Arbitrators are inundated with work and we need to see how we can make that flow better.

Additionally, the long term ethnic wars concern me, as do the various cliques that try to control articles' content. We need to be very firm with those who refuse to by our policies and help foster a positive, collegial atmosphere for building the encyclopedia. We want Wikipedia to be known as a reputable reference work, not as a battlefield for vandals and POV-pushers; ArbCom needs to be firmer against these malefactors. I assure you that I will work to the best of my capacity and be as fair as possible.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

Admin, Bureaucrat, Checkuser, arb clerk, ScoutingWikiProject coordinator, and admin on WikiCommons

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I Gave evidence in the Footnoted Quotes and Sarah Palin wheel war cases, never a named party, arb clerk for several cases

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Because users kept asking me too and I feel I can contribute positively in that role

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Arbcom took some hits this year for sure, but it is all fixable. Most of the issues seem to relate to transparency, communicating with community, and apparent splits amongst the arbs themselves. This does not mean everyone will always agree. Reasonable people will not always agree. Arbcom rulings need to be clearer (like all desysops have not always specified if RFAs are available or only an arbcom petition to regain the bit) and more explanation, especially for less obvious rulings would do a world of good. As I said elsewhere, I will do my best to improve arbcom but if elected I would be only 1/15 of that committee. I thought the desyssopping of CSCWEM was done well. He had already been given many chances to respond, and the acted soundly and swiftly. A case I was pleased with was Abtract-Collectonian. This only took two weeks and was a good ruling. Two poor things from this year are the slow case of case handling (especially the Cla58 case) and the Orangemarlin situation where which was released onwiki from private hearings and then they disagreed and retracted are certainly poor examples. I was involved in research on this year's Poetlister case, one of the biggest cases ever.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Certain matters require confidentiality, privacy, common decency and decorum. Evidence submitted privately that is in fact private should stay with arbcom. If this info were pertinent to the case and privacy was involved, it could affect the case without being disclosed, but that would be the exception not the norm. However, privacy should never be a veil to hide behind to avoid accountability.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I have a lot of experience in matters arbcom deals with from my work at ANI, SSP/RFCU (over 700 cases), arb clerking, and arbitration enforcement. I feel my judgment had been generally sound and fair and I can help make wiki, including arbcom, better.

RMHED[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: February 8, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I'm me, yes I can definitely confirm that. Been around Wikipedia for quite a while.
As for my statement I think this sums it up nicely " If you want to see the shit hit the fan, then vote for me ! "

I am happy to answer any and all questions, though I can't guarantee that you'll like the answers.

Oh, and in the interests of full disclosure I'd just like to categorically state that I am not an alcoholic, a drunk maybe, but definitely NOT an alcoholic.

RMHED has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

Roger Davies[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: September 17, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since February 2008
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

With ArbCom perhaps at its lowest ebb, and attracting high levels of dissatisfaction, this incoming tranche of arbitrators will not only have to handle cases but also face reforming the way the committee works. Perhaps the most urgent priority is tackling perceptions of growing irrelevance, lack of transparency through excessive use of private space, and delay. I believe I am well-equipped for the job as I have considerable parallel experience.

Introducing me ... in a nutshell: active editor since April 2007; a Milhist coordinator since August 2007; administrator since February 2008; Milhist lead coordinator since March 2008; significant contributor to five featured articles; copy-editor for six more; dispute resolver; and intermittent wiki-gnome. See my user page for more wiki-biography stuff, article lists, languages and so on.

Otherwise, I'm calm and analytical, with no axes to grind. I try to combine civility with brevity and good humour. (Strangely, I also enjoy drafting text for simplicity and clarity, and have done a far amount of this with Milhist guidelines.) I rarely get irritated and never show it. I am used to negotiating consensus in difficult and/or innovative areas. So although I have had much to do with Wikipedian organisation in general, I have had little to do with ArbCom and thus come to this with a fresh mind.

If elected, I am likely to

  • spend the first month or so easing myself into arbitration, while I learn the ropes thoroughly and familiarise myself with what has gone before;
  • use my position on the Arbitration Committee to work for greater transparency, a minimum of secrecy, and faster decision-making;
  • prioritise winning back the support of the community;
  • seek consensus (probably through open workshops) for developing fast-track and summary procedures.

Finally, if elected, I would prefer a one-year slot: I see some are available.

Roger Davies has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.


Shell Kinney[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: June 10, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since November 2005
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Without pointing specific fingers there are a lot of things broke about the way ArbCom works at the moment - mailing list leaks that haven't been plugged, super secret trials and information - tons of things that seemed like silly little flea bites when they started are now out of control festering sores that no one knows how to fix. I'm afraid my style is a bit more cauterize the wounds and a bit less touchy-feely recovery, but I think some honesty, frankness and transparency might just be the things that can turn around some of these disturbing trends.

Shell Kinney has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

SirFozzie[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: February 6, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since June 2007
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

The last year has been a rough one for the Arbitration Committee. Several tough cases have come before ArbCom, and they'll be the first to admit that missteps have been made. There need to be new blood and new ideas on the Arbitration Committee, and I think that I am a good candidate to bring both to Wikipedia's last step in dispute resolution.

First, I must make a preemptive pledge. The Arbitration Committee has had a high percentage of burnout, since its inception. It takes a lot out of anyone who has to necessarily be knee deep in every major conflict on the encyclopedia. There are items being proposed that would revamp the number of users on the Arbitration Committee, as well as the length of time in a term. I have made a proposal that seemed to get good community support, that would limit ArbCom terms to two years. I will hold myself to those terms: If elected, I will inform Jimbo that I wish my "tranche" to end in December 2010, and will either finish my post at that time, or run for re-election at that time.

The Arbitration Commitee has generally served Wikipedia well, but as more and more "old-hands" on the committee have succumbed to burnout and battle fatigue, there's been stutters, a sense that sometimes, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. There's also been a sense that ArbCom has become a bit more like a deity sitting on high, taking pleadings from petitioners, and then issuing proclamations from above. In several cases I've been in front of ArbCom, there was a sense of the community that they wished ArbCom would help provide guidance in a case, on what evidence that they wanted to see, which was not forthcoming.

I see a more open Arbitration Committee coming. One more accountable to its users that elect it. One making wiser decisions.

Due to pure turnover, the Arbitration Committee IS changing. Now we, the users of Wikipedia have our own charge. The arbitrators that we elect, over the next two or three years, will greatly influence how ArbCom in turn influences the encyclopedia. It's in your hands. Elect the candidates that you think will be able to influence the encyclopedia the best way.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I'm an administrator on the English-language Wikipedia.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

As a filing party? Several. They include: Great Irish Famine, The Troubles, Mantanmoreland, R. fiend, and Geogre-WMC

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Because I have been one of the more outspoken critics of the way ArbCom is currently structured, and I've always been taught that if you want to criticize something, you better be willing to fix it. Plus ArbCom needs new viewpoints and new blood.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

I think they have made significant missteps on several cases (the Mantanmoreland one comes to mind). Others, I don't agree with, but can see where they're coming from.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Questions about Confidentiality can never be a yes/no question, because it's so vague in general. Would I share information with other parties that would violate Wikipedia's privacy policy? No. Would I make a decision based on confidential information without making it public? Yes, but I would note there's information that I cannot release that was the reason behind it.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Because Wikipedia needs ArbCom to change and become more accountable, and more open. I think that I can do that for Wikipedia, along with other fine, qualified candidates. This is a chance for the average member of the Wikipedia community to directly influence how the encyclopedia changes over the next 2-3 years.



The Fat Man Who Never Came Back[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: May 29, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Greetings, neighbors and colleagues. I am the Fat Man Who Never Came Back. I have voiced my ongoing displeasure with the Committee's performance this year, complaining that the committee as a whole is ineffectual, indecisive, uncommunicative and largely unresponsive to the demands and needs of the community. Many colleagues who share this point of view, or who otherwise tire of the "types" of candidates being perennially regurgitated, have begged me to run for a spot on the Committee. I have avoided declaring my candidacy in the hope that several bold, fresh and plausible voices from outside the crowd of AN/I and RfARB regulars would step onto the stage. For the most part, they have not materialized; the names I see on the ballot (while sometimes indicative of decent editors and administrators, impressive in their encyclopedic accomplishments) do not inspire confidence that an overhaul of the way ArbCom functions is likely, or even possible. With seven open seats, this may be the only real opportunity to radically change the composition and disposition of the Committee over the next few years.

The committee needs an injection of independence, clear communication and common sense. I support a more welcoming environment for expert content contributors and strong writers as well as an end to internal cronyism, favoritism and needless behind-the-scenes machinations. Though the Committee does not dictate editorial policy, I would not refrain from using my position on the Committee to throw considerable weight behind reforms that would help bolster Wikipedia's prestige with the outside world: greater sensitivity toward BLPs; exploring the implementation of flagged revisions; and an easy and straightforward process for demoting poorly performing administrators. Let the Fat Man help regain your trust and confidence.

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

Trojanpony[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: December 6, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I'm just a really nice guy. :)

Trojanpony has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

Vassyana[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: October 16, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since May 2007
Member, Mediation Committee
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I have answered a candidate "vote guide" at User:MBisanz/ACE2008/Guide/Vassyana. My candidacy is based around three principles: devolution, project principles, and coherent interpretation.

Devolution is devolving responsibility to the standing administrators and broader community. This would not preclude me from supporting sanctions and other measures as part of an ArbCom case. The community generally expects action to be taken on ArbCom cases. However, I would clearly and explicitly remind the community of their options and encourage them to take the initiative and action in similar circumstances. ArbCom needs to clearly encourage and support admins and the community in resolving disruptive behavior.

Wikipedia has a number of project principles that form the foundation of our policies and guidelines. I am more likely to support decisions firmly grounded in these fundational principles and would oppose decisions outside of these principles. In cases where the principle is clear but policy is vague, I would act in favor of the underlying principle and encourage the community to clarify the policy.

Coherent interpretation is key to the healthy function of ArbCom and the community. On a number of occasions various policies, principles and ArbCom decisions are perceived to be in tension (or even contradictory). I believe that this is an erroneous approach resulting from a failure to consider the various factors in context. Rules, principles, and standing precedent should not considered individually in a vacuum. I will endeavor to interpret the rules and precedent in whatever manner results in the most complementary and coherent reading. Acting otherwise leads to inconsistant decisions and fragmented rules.

I believe most, if not all, concerns about ArbCom can be addressed by acting on these principles. In terms of process, I support transparent arbitration procedings and decisions. All ArbCom decisions should have explicit reasonings and arbitrators should be open to elaborating on decisions to clear up any lack of understanding in the community. I am open to any and all questions that will help you make a decision on my candidacy.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

Administrator, member of MedCom. Until I recently stepped down, I was a MedCab coordinator.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

The Prem Rawat case. I provided evidence and workshop suggestions.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

A number of editors encouraged me to run in this year's election. I also have strong misgivings about (what I perceive as) Arbcom's trend towards a top-down approach and distance from the core principles of Wikipedia. I also believe that my mediation experience and awareness of some divisive areas will be valuable additions to the Committee.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Overall, ArbCom has a mixed record in handling cases. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Tango and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/September 11 conspiracy theories are good examples of cases handled fairly well in a timely manner. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/C68-FM-SV is a prime example of untimely and unsatisfactory resolution, as well as poor communication and case handling. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Highways 2 is another case with similar issues. I believe instituting additional bureaucracy for the purposes of "special" BLP enforcement was a gross misjudgement by the Committee. It is something that could, and should, have been handled by acknowledging that we have much stronger standards for BLPs than other articles and clearly stating that administrators have the authority to enforce its provisions.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Confidentiality is an important consideration. I have long made myself available via email for confidential communications and held those letters in the strictest confidence. I would fully share evidence with the permission of the provider. If evidence is submitted about a party, I would at the very least make clear to that person the essential facts of the evidence. It is also important that privacy and confidentiality are properly considered. The submission of evidence privately to avoid the perceived threat of retribution is not the same as the submission of evidence involving confidential information. I would be willing to provide a decision influenced by confidential information, but would endeavor to explain as much about the evidence and its essential conclusions as possible without violating the confidence of the private correspondance. To draw a parallel to a common example, it is possible for a CheckUser to confirm connections between accounts (same IP and user agent) without divulging the private information (the specific IP and user agent).

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Everyone is going to have differing issue priorities and preferred qualities, so I cannot make a blanket statement. I believe I am reasonable and principled. In general, if editors agree with my candidate statement and think I have provided solid answers to the questions posed to me, then they should vote for me.

White Cat[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: February 4, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I want to make this statement more of a Q&A to more efficiently express why I am a candidate.

You can see it here: actual statement

The reason why it is a separate page is my statement is a mere 629 words which is "well over" the 400 word limit.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

None.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have been involved with four arbitration cases plus an ongoing case. In all cases I was an "involved party".

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I feel arbcom is broken and needs some fresh blood. Among the things that are broken is...

  • ...an overal lack of communication & slow response rate,
  • ...inability to actually resolve disputes,
  • ...how evidence is ignored at times,
  • ...the ridiclous length of some cases

...comes to my mind

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

I can't think of a single case where arbcom had done an exceptionally well job within the past three years. Arbcom performance had been mediocre at best.

I strongly feel arbcom had done an exceptionally poor job in handling various cases.

  • Among the ones I observed closely was the three year old ongoing case concerning a stalker. I feel remedies discussed today should have been passed three years ago at the first case.
  • I also feel the two "episode and character" case had been exeptionaly inadequate in resolving the actual dispute. Arbcom has went out of their way to ignore some of the objections raised.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

If Privacy Policy allows it nothing should be kept confidential. It may be better to keep some evidence confidential during an ongoing investigation but once the case is over the evidence should be made public. Otherwise the community will slowly loose their confidence in arbcom.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

This is a question everyone will have a different answer. I sincerely believe the reader should be deciding this alone.

WilyD[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: September 30, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since June 2007
Global Rights/Positions: Administrator, Wikimedia Commons
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Too much, it seems, an arbitration case is the goal of those seek dispute resolution. And why? Because the ArbCom is too lenient, passing out hugs and handjobs rather than real measures all too often. Real measures, real sanctions are needed, and it seems Arbitrators need to be unfettered by attachments, which I have in spades.

From here, I promise that if elected, I will support sanctions for every case that gets to ArbCom (which may include topic-bans, interaction-bans, site-bans, desysops, et cetera.) Realise this does not mean these will all come to pass, as Arbs will continue to turn blind eyes and be unwilling to commit to sanctions in many case. The balance, however, will tilt.

As an admin, I (think I) have been fairly lenient, and very willing to engage in extended discussions and grant unblocks after discussion. I do not believe this is incompatible with the vision I present for ArbCom - admins dealing with new disputes low on the dispute resolution hierarchy should be more lienent than Arbitrators at the end of it.

If it should come to pass that you share my vision for ArbCom, and I am elected, just call me Sheriff D.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I am administrator here and on commons.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have made statements about whether the committee should accept or not in a number of requests; I'm not sure how many actually became cases. I have presented tidbits of evidence as an outside observer in several. I was a named party and full participant in Sarah Palin Wheel War case

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I want to offer the option to the electorate of a platform based on a stronger rule of policies and less exhemptions for popular/established editors than the current ArbCom practices. Too much I've felt that the choices were personality based rather than platform based in these elections, and we've had a choice of "Whose judgement to I generally trust?" and not "Who will do the things I'm looking for from ArbCom?". I want to offer the community the latter option.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Cases handled well stick out far less than those handled badly. 9/11 conspricacies was handled well as far as I saw. Handled reasonably quickly - sanction has come about as a result of the case, and there's been less further disruption. The time taken in C68-FM-SV-ABC-123-OMGWTFBBQ with little to no communication really shook my faith in the ArbCom. In my own case (Sarah Palin Wheel War, as above), lack of timely feedback to participants was also a problem (though my related stress levels were much higher, no doubt exacerbating my perception of the problem.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Where there is a need for privacy, or a reasonable request for privacy, that ought to be honoured. This is not the same as confidence - other participants, and in most cases, the wider community, must be allowed to understand what goes on with the ArbCom whereever possible. In a cases where the information might comprimise someone's real world privacy, I would not reveal the information, although unless merely acknowledging its existence effectively "gave it away" I would at least note that additional information had been considered which couldn't be shared.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Users who feel the ArbCom is too lax in enforcing policy should vote for me.

Wizardman[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: March 8, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since January 2007
Mediator
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Twelve months after an election that I was not yet ready for, I have kept watch on the Arbitration Committee in the past year, looking through the cases, understanding the ways and means of WP:ARBCOM, and the benefits and flaws this system entails. This year, I believe I am very qualified, willing, and ready for the responsibilities.

I've been a user since March 06, admin since January 07, WP:MEDCOM member since February 08, and have been deeply involved in WP:RFC/U since July 08. The combination of the final two has given me a strong insight into what being an arbcom member entails. Heck, I even wrote up a proposed decision for a case this year (wasn't used by arbcom obviously, but it was good practice). Though while I have my own version of experience, I can also provide change. How so? Simple. Arbcom is a body that can be good, but there's a few flaws I can fix: How fast we handle issues, how transparent our actions are, and how well we do what we're supposed to.

You see, ArbCom has had several cases go over three months, with voting going 1+ month. That won't do. It just punishes the innocent who have to wait for a ruling. Waiting a month for an arbitrator to vote is a sign they're not doing their job. As for transparency, i'm talking about arbcom makes sure that users know why they're ruling how they're ruling. This includes when voting is in place; put up many possibly FoFs and remedies and let all arbcom members vote how they see fit.

You do not have to agree with every decision I make. But if you know why I made the decision I did, why I voted the way I did, and if you can respect my decision despite disagreement, than I have done my job. I promise that I will do my job strenuously to the best of my ability, and I guarantee that I will not disappoint you if I am worthy enough for your vote.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I've been an admin for nearly two years, and have been a medcom member for about 9 months.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I haven't been a party in any, though i've provided workshops discussion for some, such as E+C 2 and the big one. The big one (the c68 case) I drafted a proposed decision for arbcom to look at when i noticed the speed at waht the case was going.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Arbcom needs sensible reform, and I can provide it.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Arbcom's been hit and miss. Some good cases, but some which were definitely handled poorly, such as the Highways case and the big case due to how slow everything transpired.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

I favor transparency. Of course, there are instances where things need to be confidential. A good deal of the time, if someone submit s evidence through arbcom I'd presume the other party would at least have an idea of what it is. There are times where one may have to make a decision based on confidential information, though it wouldn't be ideal for me.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Because I have a track record of doing what is right for the encyclopedia. I say arbcom needs sensible reform because anyone can say arbcom needs reform, but I know I can provide it based on my edits and career so far. If a user's acting up I'm not gonna turn the other cheek, and if they come to arbcom I'm going to deal with it.

WJBscribe[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: November 20, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Bureaucratship since November 2007
Adminship since March 2007
Chair, Mediation Committee
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

A longer version of this statement is at /Full version

I confess to having always been rather astounded by the trust the community has shown in me and yet I find myself once again asking if I have your confidence. I have been a bureaucrat for roughly a year and an administrator for just under two. I have also been chairing Wikipedia's Mediation Committee since January. I am proud of my achievements in those capacities and now am offering to serve on the Arbitration Committee.

A lot of mistakes have been made by the Committee - especially in the past year - and there is little sign of it learning from them. The Wikipedia community is looking for a change of direction from the Committee and there are several areas where I believe learning from past failures is a particular priority:

Transparency. Whilst some deliberations may have to occur privately, I think it important that ArbCom give more thought to whether an issue truly needs to be discussed privately and, if not, move the discussion on-wiki.
Clarity. Clear wording and certainty of interpretation is essential in ArbCom decisions.
Appropriate sanctions. If a problem is such that ArbCom is being asked to intervene, targeted sanctions are needed. The overuse of article probation is becoming problematic – whilst it can be useful in some circumstances, it is not a magic solution to all content disputes – and frustration with “general amnesty” and “hugs all round” decisions is understandable.
Speed. This year there were comparatively few cases and yet some have taken months to resolve. It is crucial that cases do not languish unresolved for months.
Block reviews. Often blocked users are told that they should email ArbCom to appeal their block. The Committee should be providing a public log of what appeals it has received and what has been done in respect of them. Who has reviewed them, who have they asked for evidence and what was their conclusion?

Throughout my time at Wikipedia I have always been open to questions and willing to explain my actions. I don't promise you'll always agree with me but, were I to be elected, I will make myself available to discuss anything which you find problematic and I will listen carefully to your opinion. For me the ArbCom of the future is one less defensive and more open, willing to make difficult decisions even where these may be unpopular, and able to respond constructively when challenged.

WJBscribe has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-K  |  L-S  |  T-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

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Withdrawn candidates[edit]

BillMasen[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: June 8, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I have been a Wikipedia editor for three productive years. I have not been an admin or official, but an ordinary contributor who has, I hope, contributed to the project in some small way. In the spirit of a recent election victor, I would suggest that the true essence of wikipedia is best represented by the ordinary editors who work in the background to improve neutrality and sourcing. I will do my best to carry that spirit to the Arbitration Committee if elected.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I currently hold no authority over wikipedia.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I am glad to say that I've never been sufficiently impugned or sufficiently injured to come before the ArbCom. However, I have succeeded in resolving an informal dispute: I managed to resolve a troubling edit war over the death of Robin Cook. I would like to build on this type of experience in a larger capacity.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I'm running 'cause I believe that Wikipedia is losing sight of the 'pedia and is focused only on the wiki.

User:Franamax has provided an excellent summary of the candidates' contributions. I played around with them on Excel, and noticed something striking.

Most of the candidates are well and truly sunk into Wikipedia's introspective policy arguments. Many of the candidates have edited WP space (policy etc.) more than they've edited actual articles. Over half of them have edited it 30% as much as they've edited mainspace. The only ones who have edited less policy than me as a percentage are two editors with a handful of contributions, and Charles Matthews. Whatever his merits might be, this is an artefact of his prolific editing all round and he is as clearly part of the wiki-village as anyone.

Why do I mention this? Because it is the articles which are the lifeblood of Wikipedia. Yet the Economist recently reported that 25% of all Wikipedia's text is given over to policy and policy discussion. Policies are eminently necessary, but we need arbitration which is focused on content, and not personalities. If I am elected, I will decide cases by setting as little precedent as possible, having the least impact on policy, and avoid the personal bickering which has come to epitomise Wikipedia's top institutions.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

One particularly good case was Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Homeopathy. I think it is vitally important that partisan editors, representing the peculiar professional interests and beliefs that they do, must be shown the door if they persistently push POV. Ultimately, this is far more harmful to our project than mere incivility, or even trolling.

As for poor handling, this does not lie in any specific case but in the fact that the committee has become a buzzing hive of controversy, rather than the faintly boring and arcane thing which it ought to be. I promise that my tenure will be as boring as reasonably possible :).

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

If confidential information is being used to block or punish an editor, the assumption must be that the 'defendant' is able to respond to this in some way. The only exception I would make to this is if the defendant has been guilty of stalking or physically threatening behaviour towards another, which is thankfully relatively rare.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

[BillMasen answered this question in his response to the third question, Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?]

Gwen Gale[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: February 14, 2004[2]
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since May 2008
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I made my first edit to Wikipedia almost 5 years ago and began editing steadily, as User:Wyss, about 4 years ago. I've been an admin for 6 months. Arbcom is meant to deal with behavioural worries. It is in no way a means of handling content disputes. Although article content may sometimes come up in an RfAR, since traits like PoV pushing and long-term straying from WP:BLP are behavioural, arbcom must always stay wholly neutral as to content. I believe in wide transparency for arbcom, since this is the only way its decisions can gain deep support across the community. Arbcom's meaningful and lasting sway (or authority) upon a living, growing Wikipedia will never be arbitrary, because it cannot be. Its decisions are drawn from the experiences, character and thoughts of its members, such as they are, not as we wish they were. So if, say, decision-making talks are witheld off-wiki, the community is thwarted because editors do not have the means to understand how or why a decision was made, which can make it seem empty or worse, driven by something other than our notions of fairness and Wikipedia policy (which might be nothing more than laziness, or the sloppiness of a rushed task). Meanwhile arbcom can seem like one of Wikipedia's weakest projects because it has to deal with some of Wikipedia's worst aspects. I haven't even been on the admin IRC channel since about the first week after my RfA (it was very helpful for getting me up to speed with some admin tasks). Lastly, arbcom's decisions need to be swifter and more keenly targeted at understanding and resolving the pith of behavioural/Wikipedia policy problems in a preventative way. Arbcom is neither an Anglo-Saxon court drawing from a growing body of common law, nor a Napoleonic court fussily implementing tiny-grained bits of law and regulation. It's only a means of arbitration and last resort on a private website. Most editors can and do learn how to fit into this wonderful project, each in their own way.

Gwen Gale did not respond to questions before withdrawing.

Sam Korn[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: October 8, 2004
Local Rights/Positions: Arbitrator, 2006
Adminship since April 2005
Checkuser, oversight
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

This hasn't been an easy year for the Arbitration Committee. I think it is entirely reasonable to say that the degree of mistrust in the Committee is as high as it has ever been. I am running for election to the Committee, therefore, in an attempt to increase the esteem in which the Committee is held.

I believe the first requirement for a member of the Committee is integrity. This means more than recusing when appropriate and not voting in favour of my "friends" in disputes: it means strictly following my conscience in the decisions I support. "Right" beats "expedient", in other words. For this reason, I don't promise to support a principle that has popular support but that I oppose. The Committee must be a servant of the community, but it must not become merely an instrument. I do, however, promise to listen to those who disagree (whether they are members of the Committee or not), to attempt to understand their arguments and to enter into dialogue with them.

I believe further that, for there to be community trust in the Committee, there must be openness. To be effective, the Committee must have the respect of the community; to gain this respect, the Committee must in turn respect the community. The potential for secrecy and cabalism is high; radical openness -- a central Wikipedia principle -- is necessary to combat these.

The third feature necessary in a member of the Committee is energy. It is useless to have someone with the greatest integrity and the greatest commitment to openness if they aren't going to take an active part in dealing the the Committee's business. I know I have that energy to get things done efficiently and effectively.

Finally, it is vitally important that the behaviour of a member of the Committee is exemplary. Resolving disputes is the job of the Committee; it is fatal if the behaviour of members of the Committee themselves are, by their behaviour, aggravating those very disputes. Making the process confrontational is highly counter-productive.

I think I am qualified by these tests, and that my record (over four years on-wiki, of which three-and-a-half as an administrator; I was a member of the Committee in 2006) will bear this out.

My thanks to you.

Sam Korn has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-K  |  L-S  |  T-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Privatemusings' first edit under previous usernames was on August 24, 2005. First edit under current username was on September 23, 2007.
  2. ^ Gwen Gale's first edit under previous username Wyss was on February 14, 2004. First edit under current username was on November 23, 2006.