Wikipedia talk:Arbs are people too

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Thank you[edit]

Just a word of thanks to let you know that your thoughtfulness is appreciated. There is something about these processes that brings out the worst in people (arbitrators included), and some of it comes from different belief about what the Arbitration Committee is supposed to do and to be. That applies both within the community and, in some cases, within the Committee. It is easy to criticize (and sometimes it happens internally too) but it is much harder to empathize. I appreciate that those who have added their names here have decided to take the harder path. Risker (talk) 03:50, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I fully agree with Risker. AGK [•] 00:15, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
I am pleased to see that this effort has been appreciated. I'm somewhat disappointed by the rather low number of signatures, but I guess 10 is better than 0, right? AutomaticStrikeout (TC) 00:19, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, now it's 19. The Anonymouse (talk | contribs) 15:56, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
This is nice, but not too easy to enforce because talking about (or to) arbitrators is basically political speech. We don't have a rule protecting political speech, but it's generally understood in society to have special protection. If someone calls a regular editor a nazi thug, they can be shown the door. If they describe the ArbCom or individual arbitrators in similar terms, kicking them out could be described as punishment for speaking truth to power. That's silly, but there you have it. Herostratus (talk) 02:19, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I realize that enforcing civility is difficult, but that's not what this page is really about. This is simply a way for the ordinary (or extraordinary) editor to express his/her support for the ArbCom members. AutomaticStrikeout (TC) 14:42, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It is? I'm not expressing either support or non-support for the ArbCom members. I know little about them, although I suppose they're mostly reasonably decent fellows who are trying to muddle through life, like most of us. I signed because I think it's ridiculous, destructive, and hurtful to call them "Gestapo" and so forth (as one editor did recently). Herostratus (talk) 20:47, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I was not amused by the Gestapo reference either. Frankly, I feel that this essay can be used to counteract the mistreatment that the ArbCom members receive. They can click into this page and be encouraged by those who have expressed support. It doesn't carry any weight as a policy, but it can still be helpful. AutomaticStrikeout (TCAAPT) 20:55, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It would of course be nice if people like Risker would return the favour and accord normal editors membership of the human race, rather than considering them beneath contempt. Rich Farmbrough, 03:21, 20 March 2013 (UTC).
Wow, that's pretty strong language. "Membership in the human race"; "Beneath contempt". Color me skeptical. I understand that you got hauled up on charges for something or other, Rich Farmbrough. I infer that you feel you were treated unfairly, and maybe you were. This happens. Life is not fair. Strong egos contend, and it's not all roses and sunshine. Decisions have to be made, and sometimes there are winners and losers. There is politics, there are mistakes, there is human failing. Were you given to understand that the human earth is not like this? Let go of bitterness and stop looking outside for the source of all your troubles would be my counsel. And stop addressing your colleagues in this manner, please. Herostratus (talk) 20:47, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It may seem strong. But Risker objected to a proposed policy on the grounds that "... if there's a constant (and I do mean constant) threat hanging over every arbitrator's head that they're going to have to spend days and weeks fighting off recall motions every time they do something that someone doesn't like, then they can't do their job." I explained, fairly light heartedly, that this is precisely how I feel having to actually spend days and weeks fighting off ANI and Arcbcom cases form a couple of malcontents, she was very dismissive, and even accused me of threatening her. Shortly afterwards she wiped the thread form her talk page. She clearly believes that it is fine and dandy for me to have a year of my life wasted by process, but not for her to ever have to worry about spending "days and weeks" fighting recall motions. "Subjects of arbitration" (the expression used in a recent closure) are clearly a lesser breed. Rich Farmbrough, 05:27, 22 March 2013 (UTC).

Simple solution[edit]

There's a simple solution here, of course: quit. Coren recently did. Others have before him and others will in the future.

In a similar vein to Wikipedia:Leave. Please., this is a volunteer project. If the activities you're engaging in here cause you stress and grief and make contributing to the encyclopedia unenjoyable (or impossible), please go find something else to do. It's really simple.

We must always remember that the English Wikipedia is largely an anomaly: most wikis function fine (better, even) without an Arbitration Committee. I haven't seen much evidence to suggest that the English Wikipedia wouldn't be better served without one. Though, of course, the Arbitration Committee itself continually finds ways to entrench itself through various made-up policies, guidelines, rules, and other forms of bureaucracy. The Arbitration Committee is a monster and it's very difficult to find sympathy for anyone who actively and willingly feeds it. --MZMcBride (talk) 15:00, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

P.S. This page (and Wikipedia:Admins are people too and Wikipedia:IPs are people too) are all subsets of the much older WP:BELLYBUTTON, of course.

This type of disrespect is exactly what we are fighting against. You may be entitled to your opinion, but please be more thoughtful in how you express it. Whether or not you think they should exist or remain here, the Arbs are people too and there is nothing wrong with an essay reminding those who somehow forget. AutomaticStrikeout (TCSign AAPT) 16:43, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
The fundamental principle of WP is collaboration and compromise. Slogans like "if you don't like it get out" are a cancer to the success of this evolving WP project, and a deterrent for new volunteers and an incentive for talented, knowledgeable editors and Admins to quit.-- KeithbobTalk 23:15, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Sure. But what do collaboration and compromise have to do with setting up a kangaroo court? There's this underlying assumption (mostly due to ArbCom's age at this point) that ArbCom is necessary. I don't think this is true (or at a minimum, I think its scope could easily be greatly reduced). And I don't seem to be alone in this view, a number of current Arbitrators seem to agree, for what it's worth.
I'm not suggesting it's acceptable to be uncivil or anti-collaborative. I am suggesting that the people participating in a volunteer encyclopedia not feel as though it's some great burden or stress to them. (Unless they're into that kind of thing....) I don't believe Wikipedia should feel stressful or burdensome to anyone.
A lot of mini-bureaucracies have sprung up all over Wikipedia. In many ways, ArbCom is just another one of them. Much as I'd like to see the account creation cabal destroyed, I'd like to see ArbCom (or the lion's share of ArbCom) similarly put to rest. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 00:31, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
ArbCom is necessary. If there was no governing body to keep order, we would have disorder. The problem does not lie with ArbCom. The problem lies with the whiny crybabies who throw a fit whenever ArbCom makes a difficult decision. If ArbCom was as power hungry as they are made out to be, they wouldn't put up with all the stupidity that they are tolerating. AutomaticStrikeout (TCSign AAPT) 00:35, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
If it's so "necessary", why are there so many projects (cf. m:Arbitration Committee) that manage to function perfectly without one? Legoktm (talk) 01:21, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Maybe because they aren't as big. Also, how do we know they are functioning perfectly? How do we know they aren't torn with dissension? AutomaticStrikeout (TCSign AAPT) 01:26, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It looks like we're fast-approaching your one-year anniversary here. And in that time, you've made a very impressive number of edits (over 21,000!). But even with as much experience as you have here, I'm not sure you fully understand and appreciate some of the history and complexity of this. This isn't just about ArbCom making difficult decisions and people being unhappy with those decisions. This is mostly politics and personalities. (And it's supposed to be about writing a free online encyclopedia, of all things.)
Take a look at what ArbCom does and then take a look at how other wikis handle (or ignore) similar problems. Wander around Meta-Wiki and some of the other Wikimedia (and non-Wikimedia) wikis. If you spend a few weeks on other wikis, I think you'll return enlightened. --MZMcBride (talk) 01:31, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
You may have a point (although I wouldn't glean a lot from a foreign language wiki). Still, I don't see the harm in an essay that reminds people to treat Arbs with common courtesy. No, they don't get everything right. Yes, sometimes Arbs behave badly. However, I think that would happen less often if they had to endure less hostility. AutomaticStrikeout (TCSign AAPT) 01:35, 17 April 2013 (UTC)