Wikipedia:Working group on ethnic and cultural edit wars
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As part of the recent arbitration case on Palestine-Israel articles, a working group is being appointed to look freshly and with a completely open and wide remit at the kinds of nationalistic, ethnic or cultural based editorial conflicts which came to the fore in 2007, which often reflect deep feelings, advocacy, and unreconciled viewpoints in the real world. The aim of the group is to:
- Gain a detailed understanding how such conflicts occur, and the structures and approaches administrators and experienced users face in trying to obtain stability, appropriate conduct, and a neutral point of view.
- Generate ideas to cover different aspects of these.
- Report their findings and conclusions within 6 months of appointment.
FT2 00:01, 23 January 2008 (UTC), for the Arbitration Committee.
In 2007, a number of large scale edit wars came to the fore, with many common features:
- They involved a significant number of users on both "sides"
- They involved a large range of edit war behavior (overt and covert, good and bad faith, blatant and borderline, honest and gamed)
- They covered issues of nationalist, ethnic, and cultural significance, and the real-world disputes were reflected in the Wikipedia disputes
- They gave rise to a large number of arbitration cases, often after protracted problems
- Even after arbitration remedies were obtained, they proved difficult for users and administrators to resolve, often requiring further or ongoing arbitration or management by administrators.
- To date few or none of these have shown signs of moving beyond edit warring into a long-term stable, high quality style, based on neutral point of view, as envisaged by Wikipedia communal norms.
Examples that reached arbitration include:
- Northern Ireland (The Troubles)
- Macedonia (Macedonia)
- Catalonia (Catalonia)
- Armenia-Azerbaijan (Armenia-Azerbaijan, Armenia-Azerbaijan 2, )
- Palestine-Israel (Allegations of apartheid, PalestineRemembered, Deir Yassin massacre, Israel-Lebanon, Israeli apartheid, Zeq, Yuber, Palestine-Israel articles), leading to the creation of WP:IPCOLL
Examples for conflicts that are being successfully mediated:
Scope of working group
The formal decision which facilitated this group's creation contained four parts:
- The Committee shall convene a working group, composed of experienced Wikipedians in good standing, and task it with developing a comprehensive set of recommendations for resolving the pervasive problem of intractable disputes centered around national, ethnic, and cultural areas of conflict.
- The membership, structure, and procedures of the group shall be subject to the approval of the Committee.
- The working group shall be free to develop recommendations of any form, including those requiring Committee action and those requiring community adoption of new or changed policies, at its discretion.
- The group shall be appointed within two weeks from the closure of this case, and shall present its recommendations to the Committee no later than six months from the date of its inception."
Passed 10 to 0 01:38, 19 January 2008 (UTC).
— Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles
Announcements, participants, and activities
- The final report by the Working Group is available at: 2008 report.
|Nominations/applications (Jan 23, 2008)|
Applications for places on the Working Group are now open. If interested, please read the working group guidelines first, and then email any arbcom member or the Arbitration Committee's private mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application is open to any editor in good standing, meeting the tentative criteria (broadly interpreted and subject to improvement). The Committee will seek to appoint the users it feels would have the best chance of producing a successful report with insightful findings, as its primary criterion.
Users wishing to suggest others may do so, but usually are best advised as a courtesy to check beforehand if they would wish to be nominated.
Applications should be received prior to January 29 2008, 7 days from now (to allow time for Committee discussion after that date), and the Committee will announce the working group membership by February 2 2008. Arbitrators also invite any general comments and suggestions that are related to the issue, or the proposed approach to it.
Please see the working group guidelines for more.
Please ensure you state clearly your username, or a link to your talk page.
|Appointment and participants (Feb 6, 2008)|
Membership in the working group was considered between January 23 and February 2, 2008. On February 6, the following users were appointed to the working group. In addition a number of others were given observer standing, explained below.
The arbitration committee, in choosing the working group members, deemed that "The Committee will seek to appoint the users it feels would have the best chance of producing a successful report with insightful findings, as its primary criterion". This was carefully considered. Accordingly there are likely to be some surprises, also explained below.
1. Working group members:
We feel strongly that this group should be created genuinely fresh and cover a wider than usual range of experiences and viewpoints, subject to the guideline requirement to be able to work with others and to value communal norms. Of the above, some have rejected adminship, some have criticized past decisions (of various kinds, communal, arbcom etc), a few have been mediators and others "just good editors" or administrators putting work into the relevant areas. A few have had controversy attached. In each case, our sole criteria in the decision has been whether the group will be more likely to produce better results for their involvement, and their ability to meet the criteria set out in the guidelines and work beneficially.
A number of users who applied, will be given access to the working group's discussions as described below. Users who are not in the formal working group but are given access this way include:
The intent is that the group may benefit from the views of users who are uninvolved in the main discussion but may come up with additional perspectives and analyses for consideration now and then. Observer status also better suits certain people's skills and approaches, users who are interested but expect to become busy or away, users who are uncertain about their level of involvement, and users with other specialist insight and experience relevant to an aspect of the issue. Movement between the groups will probably be allowed in some cases.
To all who applied and are not listed above - thank you for your interest and time. It was valued, and brought several names to attention that would otherwise not have been. Much of what was said did make a difference.
Matters are in hand for the working group, and an email will be sent to all the above by the end of the week with further details. Anyone wishing to discuss any aspect of the working group or its activities, please feel free to email me.
- The Committee and Working Group members maintain this page and its sub-pages.
- The Working Group operates from a closed-access site, which runs the MediaWiki software and is operated by the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation
- WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration
- Wikipedia:Assyrian-Syriac wikipedia cooperation board
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Lithuania/Conflict resolution
- Wikipedia:Greek and Turkish wikipedians cooperation board
- User:Elonka/Hungarian-Slovakian experiment
- Wikipedia:Ethnic and cultural conflicts noticeboard
- Conclusions of the Folantin's discussion (The Great Debate)
- Private (password-protected) workgroup wiki