Wikipedia talk:Mediation Cabal/2006 Archive 2

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Restructuring submission process

{{medcab2}} could be redesigned to invite the disputants of a debate to present compromise offers before a mediator is assigned to the case. I think the compromise section of the current template is a good start. As a result disputants in trivial cases would be encouraged to solve their problem on their own, possibly with some helpful comments from outsiders (e.g. mediators). An invitation template, to be posted on the talk pages of disputants by case submitters, could invite disputants specifically to submit compromise offers to the mediation case. Cases could be kept in this stage for one week and only be admitted to mediation with a dedicated mediator afterwards. --Fasten 15:09, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

*scratching head* Ok... we're kinda drifting away from the whole cabal concept though. Hmmm, maybe we can rename mediation cabal to mediation mkII or... no, there has to be a better name... Oh and in any case, be darn careful of adding too much process. You can tie yourself in knots, and then I'd have to find some folks and think up a mediation mkIII ;-) For everything you add, see if you can take something else away. The objective is to keep the medcab pages as short and simple as possible. (Which, looking at it, isn't really happening much atm :-/ ) Kim Bruning 11:34, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, here is a proposal for simplicity: We could drop the assignment of mediators altogether and stop tracking the state of a mediation. All cases would be submitted to the list as before, stay for one month (or until removed by the participants) and then be moved to the archive. All cases would start with an open discussion where all disputants are invited to submit compromise offers or discuss the case. Cabal Mediators and everybody else could be invited to join the discussion and, should a mediator be necessary, the participants of the discussion could elect one or more mediators from the neutral participants. This could be one or more Cabal mediators or anybody else willing to help. The decision process and the assignment would be tracked in a Mediator section of the case form. The decision process could remain open and any disputant would be able to withdraw vis support at any time. Cases where the disputants cannot agree on any person to mediate would not fulfill the requirement to have attempted other means of dispute resolution as required by WP:MC and WP:ArbCom. To be eligible to vote for the mediator a disputant would have to add verself as a disputant to the case form (not in the list of disputants as submitted by the original submitter but in the voting section). To invite people to a case disputants could add their case to Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Opentask but cases could be removed in a FIFO, not when the state of a case changes. --Fasten 09:43, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Why is this easier?

  • The administrative work is less. (No need to track cases in the list or assign mediators)
  • Cases do not need a mediator.
  • Disputants have to take their cases seriously and agree on a mediator; they cannot expect to have their problems solved by others without contributing to the solution.

--Fasten 09:43, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Swarming discussion

This seems like too harsh of a plan. What if someone's case gets overlooked as has happened far too often in the past? Will it simply get archived with a 'Nope, sorry, no one came. Now go away?' There will inevitably need to be some sort of organization process and I have no qualms with helping with the janitor work.
However, what I do agree with is dropping the assignment of mediators. It is too unreliable and often resorts to cases getting ignored. While there are plus sides to it, such as provoking people into mediating other cases (I was first brought here because I was assigned to a case), there are too many downsides to it. Cowman109Talk 19:08, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
It can be much simpler. Just have everyone who is willing to mediate and is free converge on a mediation. You should have an idea which tasks are required (evidence gathering, talking with disputants, witnesses, what have you, finding common ground, finding backrounds, searching talk histories... etc) . So, if you see an open case, do one, or a couple of the required tasks, and let other folks do other tasks. Do the ones you think are fun even. Just like no one "owns" a wikipage, why should we have a rule that says only one person can "own" a mediation? :-) Other than that I think the mediation cabal is working, right? :-) Anyway, you can try this way of working right now, what's stopping you? Kim Bruning 20:19, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
From what I've heard this is just what the mediation cabal used to be: a swarming phenomenon that went off into random cases to work things together as a whole. It seems times have changed, though. Cowman109Talk 21:27, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Wow, that sounds so cool: "times have changed". Sooooo, is that what's stopping you from trying this method out *today*, *right now*? If not, what is? Kim Bruning 11:18, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
There may be a good reason for a single person dedicated to mediate a given case. Some cases may not need this (I'd call these trivial cases) but when a case is sufficiently complicated helpful comments from a changing crowd may not be enough. My proposal contained an election for the mediator to make sure the disputants show willingness to solve the problem before they get a mediator. Getting people there, to recognize their case is trivial or to elect a mediator, is something that can be accomplished by a changing crowd. --Fasten 17:21, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
The complexity of cases the mediation cabal has been able to handle has been going down, rather than up. (Some of the first cases were snarfed from the arbcom even ;-) ), otoh, maybe it's also because the medcab seems to have retooled for quantity. .... hmmm :-) It'd be interesting to study on what things have changed , and how they have improved or hurt the ability to mediate :-) (both in quantity and in quality). I think we'd learn lots of interesting things, in both directions! Kim Bruning 13:45, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
How did you measure that the complexity of cases the mediation cabal has been able to handle has been going down? --Fasten 09:15, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
How many arbcom cases have you snarfed this month? ;-) Kim Bruning 11:01, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
What's wrong with the system that is sort of developing. Cases get submitted and mediators assign themselves to cases. That seems to be working pretty well. jbolden1517Talk 03:31, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
If the disputants of a case have to agree on their mediator you get them to cooperate at least on that first step. That may save the mediator some work and may entirely solve some of the trivial cases. A possible scenario would be, for example, that a page is protected from editing and the disputants have to agree on a mediator before they can go back to editing. If they can't agree on a mediator at all they don't make any progress; that might be instructive. --Fasten 09:15, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
That might take a stretch of the existing page protection policy? What if it's over several articles and no one warrents protection when looked at by itself? And doesn't that go pretty strongly against the "we're just here to listen, no enforcement, etc." feel-good talk on the front page? - brenneman {L} 13:58, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Informal tracking

Ok, how about a half-way point: No ose is "assigned" but if someone has "look" or contributes they make a chalk mark? Check the tally board, if something hasn't been chalked then don't ignore it. - brenneman {L} 13:58, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm aiming this at active mediators.

What do you all think about changing the template to include an obligations section for the person who requests mediation? In several cases I find the person requesting mediation is often just looking for more of a quicky no work solution to a dispute rather then entering into a complex mediation. I'd like to include some language like:

Mediation is a very effective process for dispute resolution. However it is labor intensive. By asking for mediation you should understand that your time commitment is likely to increase during the period of mediation.

Any thoughts? Jbolden1517 01:59, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Adding a comment like this to the template might scare off users as well. We are an informal mediation process, and as such we should be flexible in our ways of helping people with issues. Many times I have had to refer people to other places because they are looking for general help instead of a mediation request, but if they come here for help I don't see why we shouldn't help them. Unless we suddenly become a strict group that harshly deals with requests that aren't suited for mediation, I don't see why we should scare people off. Cowman109Talk 02:06, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Mediation doesn't have to require a lot of time from the submitter. The wording is misleading the way it is. The disputants in a mediation case have as much time to respond as they require. --Fasten 09:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/assignment-table

From time to time I happen across the above link and always question myself: "Why is this here?" This list is rarely kept up to date and it adds unecessary added confusion to keeping track of cases. I am suggesting that the assignment table becomes an orphaned article and that links to it should be removed as it may confuse people new to the Mediation Cabal who use it as a list of assignments as opposed to the actual list at Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases. What are people's thoughts on this? Cowman109Talk 23:39, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Agree. We all go off the main list. jbolden1517Talk 00:35, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree. The idea was to track the assignments of submitters who are willing to mediate a case. The assignment table would have allowed to keep an eye on inexperienced mediators, to track submitters without assignments and to keep track of mediators who had a look at one of the cases (reviewed a case). It isn't particularly useful the way it is being used. --Fasten 13:29, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Well as it appears Fasten was the only one who made extensive use of this page, I am going to go ahead and remove references to it to avoid any confusion. Cowman109Talk 15:02, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

That was simple! The only link to the assignment table (besides an archive in the coordinator's desk and this talk page) has been removed. Should the table page be put up for deletion, or should we keep it for, uh, posterity's sake? Cowman109Talk 15:07, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

WP:MFD the thing. If only Fasten was using it, then no point in even archiving it, imho. ~Kylu (u|t) 04:14, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Formatting of project page

The dispute-resolution template was recently edited, and the effects of this adjusted the formatting of the Mediation Cabal project page. The status board used to be directly above the dispute-resolution template and both were along the right side of the page, though now they are beside eachother. I tried aligning them to the right but am having difficulty. If anyone can do this (or whether they prefer the way it looks now) I would appreciate it! Cowman109Talk 17:11, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Well I got it back as it was (a simple table sufficed) see here for my sandbox of it. However it infringes on the content further down, what do you reckon? it doesn't actually cover anything up but it loks a little messy -- Tmorton166 (Errant Emote)  talk 21:29, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Well the section about how to create a case is a tad important, heh. I guess it would be best to just leave it as it is, since the current way the project page is isn't obstructing anything and looks nice and tidy. Cowman109Talk 21:32, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree, I thought you might say that but I figured it would be best to make sure :D -- Tmorton166 (Errant Emote)  talk 04:03, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
I made a run at tweaking it in my sandbox, though I don't actually know what it looked like before it was broken. I eventually settled for getting rid of the white background and properly centering the Medcab-infobox. I don't know if it suits your fancy, but it at least seems to work in the browsers I tried. Notes:
  • I nowiki'd the category for User page purposes
  • I snipped a bunch of the content down the page for Preview screen purposes
  • I used a modified Medcab-infobox (also in my userspace) that adjusts margins and such
It seems to sidestep the overlap problem and look pretty decent. Aluvus 06:51, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone think it might be a good idea to put numbers by cabalists names to show how many Cases they have so cabalists assigning cases don't overload other cabalists. Geo.plrd 21:37, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

If someone is assigned to a case they have the right to refuse to take that case - besides, generally cases are only assigned to people who say they would like to mediate a case on their request for mediation. Lately cases haven't been assigned much lately either, with the serious reduction of the backlog (though it's creeping up again). Cowman109Talk 22:27, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

What does the Coordinator and Deputy Coorindator do?

See above for question. 21:37, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, that is a good question. I'm the coordinator of the Mediation Cabal; I don't have a clearly defined role as such, primarily because the Mediation Cabal is designed by nature to be as ad hoc as possible, but basically I do what my name suggests - act as the overall person who coordinates aspects of the project, and makes sure it is all going smoothly. I'm the recourse to appeal, also; that is, if people aren't happy with the way they've been handled in the Mediation Cabal, I'm the person to sort it out, and I also inspect the mediation work undertaken periodically and check that people know what they're doing. Basically I'm the "overseer", if you will, of the efforts down here, although I don't impose dictatorial control over anything because obviously we're an informal system. With regard to the Deputy Coordinator, basically he's there if I'm eaten by lions, run over by a 'bus, struck by a bolt of lightning, &c. :) Best regards, --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 23:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Assignments section wording

This doesn't sound right to me:

How do I get a mediator assigned to my case?

There is no reliable assignment of mediators. You can either wait until somebody else is assigned to your case by a cabalist doing a bit of administrative work or you can do that administrative work yourself. If you submit a case and you are willing to mediate just pick another case from the list where the submitter is willing to mediate and write your signature next to the case.

I can speed up the process of getting someone assigned to my case by doing some kind of administrative work? What? How? You mean just mediate my own case?

I can only mediate a case in which the submitter of the case is willing to mediate a different case? As a thank you on Wikipedia's behalf to someone who's willing to help? Can't I mediate a case in which the submitter doesn't want to help?

I'd reword it myself if I knew for sure what it meant. I didn't read the entire page though. -Barry- 13:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I've taken your case. You are right that the main page description sucks Pretty much there is nothing you can do to speed it up. OTOH its been going pretty fast lately. jbolden1517Talk 16:04, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion for the layout structure

From Wikipedia talk:Mediation Cabal/Cases

Can i suggest a new layout structure for te cases page. Basically having subsection headings for each stage of mediation. eg: new cases, assigned mediator, awaiting mediation and clsoed cases. With this type of structure it would be much easier to see hwat cases need attention (esp which ones have stagnated and have no responses). -- Tmorton166 (Errant Emote)  talk 11:52, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion, the simpler the process, the easier things get done. What I've been trying to do is keep cases without mediators at the very bottom of the last, and those with mediators just get left up top. Closed cases I try to leave for a few days up to a week or so, and then I archive them if no one else has already done so. Adding too many subsections may only confuse matters, though I would at least be in favor of a section of cases with mediators and a section of cases without. Also note that we have an opentasks section at Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Opentask that is put on {{opentasks}}, so that can also be used (if updated consistently) to see which cases don't have mediators. Cowman109Talk 02:52, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I think that was sort of what I had in mind. If there wer 2 sections - cases with mediators and cases without - it would make tihngs easier. Mediators then accepting cases could move them into the 'with' sub-section making your job (seeing as you seem to do all the moving :P ) easier.
Then as you say when it comes to archiving closed cases they can just be removed from the 'with' list. I think 2 subsections as you said would help organise things better without becoming confusing. -- Tmorton166 (Errant Emote)  talk 03:06, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I went ahead and added the two sections. I don't expect there will be any fierce resistance to it, so we will see how it goes. Cowman109Talk 18:50, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Archive template

I recently moved the archive box and the notice for mediators to sign their cases to the cases page as opposed to the main mediation cabal page. In the past we have found that the archives aren't visible enough. Because the archive consists of a great deal of code that would clutter the page, I put it on a template at Wikipedia: Mediation Cabal/archivetemplate. If there's any problems, say so here (and be bold and fix it if I unknowingly made some huge goof). Cowman109Talk 19:16, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


Who else thinks we should establish a review board of senior mediators to review cases on request and investigate complaints. Also the infamous backlog is creeping up. Geo.plrd 22:53, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

My personal belief is that this would be against the purpose of the Mediation Cabal by giving some mediators a sort of title that makes them 'higher' than other Mediators. It is meant to be an informal process where anyone can jump in and help a matter, and this might discourage would-be mediators from jumping in to a case already in mediation to give a third opinion on the matter. If the Mediation Cabal becomes too formal with a sort of strict hierarchy and all that jazz, then the ultimate goal of being a calm, laid-back place to request for help in content disputes is lost. Cowman109Talk 00:10, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Please help!

I am new and don't know how to talk to someone neutral about this. Someone (Ardenn) did not like what I wrote about and then looked at my contributions list and started deleting it all. When I tried to say "Lets just deal with the real issue you have a problem with, instead of deleting my other, unrelated articles" then allof a sudden (within 2 minutes) all these other people started randomly agreeing with his deletions. I guess there is no way to prove it, excpet for the fact that it happened in such a short amount of seconds and to just the pages I had worked on, but I looked it up adn it sounds like "sockpuppeting". I don't knwo what to do! I think I need a neutral, outside person to help, but I can't tell who is neutral from the people who also edit those pages, because it might be him! Please help! I don't know what to do and am so upset and never want to use wikipedia again. :( —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Veritasophia (talkcontribs) .

Hi there! I will respond on your talk page to see if I can help you out. Cowman109Talk 23:17, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I'll look into the situation as well. Could you give a list of articles which were attacked? CP/M 23:51, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
The matter is currently being discussed at User talk:9cds and User talk:Veritasophia. Cowman109Talk 00:07, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Web 2.0 case

I am going to close the Web 2.0 Reference case. Does anyone object? The anon who started it put no info down.Geo.plrd 21:00, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd have to object. The anonymous IP was unable to properly create the page because IPs can't create pages. I'd give it a day or two to see if the IP comes along and adds to it - I left a note on his or her talk page. Cowman109Talk 21:14, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
thanks, I will let it sit for a couple daysGeo.plrd 21:54, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for keeping me informed, I'll leave this too. --Xyrael T 21:15, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Putting that strikeout on the list page is likely to discourage the requester from adding to that specific page. How about removing the strikeout? Have a look at the talk page for Web 2.0 and you will see things are getting rather ugly. --12:21, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Oops, you're right. Thanks for reminding me, I'll go and remove it now. --Xyrael T 12:38, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


There is a line under private contact methods Find us on the #wikipedia IRC channel on Freenode. Do we honor this? Is there anyone here who is a regular on IRC? jbolden1517Talk 12:42, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't use IRC myself, but perhaps the coordinators are active on it. Cowman109Talk 15:31, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
There *were* people there. And irc is a very effective mediation tool.
According to Sannse, a pub is optimal (sit both people down with a pint and talk things over, and you'll see they'll amicably agree to just about anything). Irc is far from that ideal, but is still closer to it than a wiki is :-)
Kim Bruning 15:56, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not arguing whether its good or bad. We are just telling people to meet us there and I'm not sure that there is anyone for them to meet. That's what I'm trying to figure out, do we use not not if we should. jbolden1517Talk 16:07, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
The Wikipedia channel on IRC isn't nearly as civilized as talk pages. It's kind of not suitable for children. I wouldn't recommend it unless there are similar rules created for it to the ones that govern Wikipedia and a monitor to enforce them. -Barry- 03:47, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Do you think there's a lot of children editing these days? I have some suspicions. Kim Bruning 10:22, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
You'd be suprised how many of the editors I see in mediation are ummm about 12! Seriously though alot of people have sensibilities that are easily offended. Also to instant nature of IRC meaans disputes can get out of hand and pretty nasty - talk pages are always better. -- Tmorton166 (Errant Emote)  talk 10:34, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
You've just never heard of sannse's pub rule ;-) (sannse is one of the key people I learnt mediation from).
"If you could only just get the disputants together in a pub discussing things over a nice cold beer, there wouldn't be such a big deal."" (12 yo in .us might try for a root beer instead :-P)
IRC isn't quite a pub, but it's the closest we can get to one online, I suppose.
In any case I often find that mediation goes more smoothly on irc, as long as you stay on the ball. Kim Bruning 01:42, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm "on" IRC 24/7, although not always at my computer :) IRC is good for talking to individual sides, I wouldn't put both sides in the same channel though... - FrancisTyers 10:36, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

OK well then I guess still do use irc. jbolden1517Talk 12:31, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

A less structured approach

I propose that we eliminate some of the sections included in case reports, things like "evidence" and "compromise offers" really just make things more difficult for the mediator. I suggest we eliminate all of the sections beginning at "mediator response" and going down. The only part of the bottom that would remain would be "discussion". I think this would simplify mediation, and make the whole process less formal (Which, after all, is the entire philosophy of the Mediation Cabal) Any comments? The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 23:06, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Some of the sections are distracting and I often find myself deleting them to start with. However - there are some cases in which the evidence section is useful, though that can easily be added by the Mediator if he or she wishes. Perhaps the template could remain as it is with the exception of those sections being commented out with <!-- and --> , so if there is a need to include them, it's a simple removal of the comment tag. Cowman109Talk 23:51, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Neato idea. I like it. The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 08:56, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I can live with that. Most of the sections I don't find useful but OTOH "Mediator comments" is very useful to me. Joebone uses the discussion and evidence sections heavily. I do think the "comments by others" should stay we want a dedicated place for not involved people to toss in comments. Why don't we hold a poll section by section though? We all use the template differently. jbolden1517Talk 12:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I personally only have use for the "discussion" section. I usually conduct mediation over various talk pages, and then copy a compilation of all the discussions onto the case report at the very end (Although I've yet to actually close a case, since I only created my username a few days ago.). Since people obviously find some of the sections useful, It would be best to keep those useful sections on the template. I also really like Cowman's idea of using comments to hide the sections until needed. Yes, a poll might be the best choice. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 13:08, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking of a <references /> section, myself. Stick all the link URL's in one place, keep the page clean. "Summary" "Discussion" "Mediator Comments" and "Resolution", in order that they're used. What'cha think? ~Kylu (u|t) 03:04, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Request for mediation

I would like to make a request for some sort of mediation at the FC Barcelona article. I have looked for a template to intiate a discussion but could not find one suitable. The issue is basicly about article size. In order to keep the article within Wikipedia guidelines, several other articles have been created and are linked together in Category:FC Barcelona. However an anonymous editor has ignored my suggestions to add contributions to other articles rather then the main article. He has persistently overloaded the page with info that is included in other articles and refuses to engage in any debate or log-in. Djln --Djln 23:41, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Hi there! If you follow the directions here, you can file your request for mediation. Thanks. Cowman109Talk 23:54, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Old list of mediators

Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Mediators is way out of date. I think we should either AFD or keep it up to date. BTW it is what links from Category:Mediation Cabal Mediator which is how I found it. jbolden1517Talk 00:39, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Ew, the evidence template apparently links to that list. To save any hassle I will change that link to a redirect to the list of mediators on the main Medcab page and will change the template to go to that as well. Cowman109Talk 00:50, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
There, I changed the evidence template to point people to the list of mediators on the main medcab page, but I forgot you can't redirect to a section of an article. There are very few pages that link here, though, so I will use AWB to change those links to Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal#Cabalists. Cowman109Talk 00:54, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, so much for that. Apparently the only thing to edit was the template. With the exception of this page, the link should be orphaned. It could be speedied I suppose as an article not in use. Cowman109Talk 01:03, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Removing redlinks

Thanks to everyone who's keeping an eye on the redlinks that pop up when people forget to file a case. Just as a reminder and suggestion, when you remove a case, it may be a good idea to put it on your watchlist in case it pops up, and also if it isn't too difficult searching through the history, informing them that the case wasn't filed properly may be a step forward. Thanks. Cowman109Talk 20:09, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Assignment of mediators gone

As you'll see by my edits, I removed mention of the assignment table (which was rarely used and has been orphaned) and of assigning mediators. The assignment process has generally a) been abused by people not necessarily experienced enough people assigned to cases and b) outdated, as the backlog is nonexistant. Cowman109Talk 21:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Talk page mediation

Recently the issue has come up of mediation cabal pages splitting up disputes into a wide-audience consensus-driven discussion to one of one on one talks. Often, pages in which a conflict is occuring are torn apart and redirected to mediation pages, leaving others involved in the dispute left in the dust.

A possibility to make the mediation process more efficient would be to by default, bring problems that are actually content disputes and issues requiring mediation (not just policy misunderstandings) to the talk pages of articles instead of bringing everything to the case page. Basically, what I'm suggesting is the radical idea that the case page is used for describing the problem and explaining what should be done with it, and then a mediator could clarify what is needed on the case page and go to the talk page of the article in question. This way other people can join in on the discussion so no one is left out.

What are your thoughts about this? Cowman109Talk 22:04, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Seems logical, as it requires less effort for others to join a discussion, and doesn't restrict them to merely posting a comment. In case of content disputes input can be important. CP/M 22:53, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed that's what I do currently and I think its a good idea. I think a good model for this is the RFAr pages which prohibit debate. I'd like Joebone's input though since he is a heavy user of the case page for debate so that we make sure that we consider the other side. jbolden1517Talk 14:50, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, I do that anyways. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 22:26, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Coordinator, where we stand

OK. This is worth starting a discussion on. We had a leadership structure where guy doing the coordination (Cowman109) had no title and the guy in charge of coordination wasn't doing it. I've made Cowman109 coordinator since he's been doing the job (excellently I might add) since Fasten became inactive. I think he's proven he can do the job and he wants it so I see no reason he shouldn't keep doing it. Kim Bruning (talk · contribs) who is the original founder of medcab is out searching for a new leader (or getting one of the old leaders back). Medcab used to be relative on par with arbcom or medcom and that clearly that isn't the case today. Having medcab for green wikipedians and medcom for more experienced ones would be fine, except that medcom turns down most cases and the RFC process for issues doesn't work well. So we are for most cases any ways the only game in town and we don't have credibility higher up.

We are avoiding an election right now to give Kim time to see if he can do anything about bring in a heavy hitter (and thus creating a meaningful escalation procedure when we lose control of a case). I'd like to ask everyone if they are OK with this short term game plan. Also if you want to run for coordinator or deputy once we have elections leave a note here. jbolden1517Talk 15:02, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

No hierarchies, no elections :-P. You do need a coordinator to make sure things don't fly off the tracks, but that's a position "on the side" guiding things, rather than "on top" directing things. You do already have me at your disposal in case things go wrong, and I can generally wrestle down someone to come assist, when it's needed.
I'd like to invite more mediation cabal people to come visit irc. A good staging ground is, #wikipedia. You can find medcab members like Kylu and keitei there, as well as several useful wikipedians, who can give you instant advice, feedback, and assistence when required.
You can also watch me wrestle down the kind of assistence I just promised, so you can learn to do it for yourself. (teach a man to fish and all that)
If a lot of medcab people show up, I'd ask JamesF for an own channel, but that's for later. :-)
We need training. The quickest way to do this is to have people teaming up, preferably inexperienced with experienced, so that people can solve situations together, learn to blame the process and not the person, and most importantly to learn from each other. Finally, some of the sneakier tricks of the trade need 2 or 3 people to team up. <innocent look>.
No one is stopping you from partnering up with one or two colleagues *right now*. Exchange MSN, skype or irc nicks/addresses. Get your friends involved. Go for it! If you can't find anyone, try mark mediations as "1 mediator on it, anyone else?" instead of "taken". Many people find it quite fun to team up, and fun is one of the reasons why you're on wikipedia, right?
Finally, I'll also try to get admin coaching done, so all mediation cabal people who are suitable (which should be most of you) can become an admin. That's pretty important. Please contact me if you'd like to join in, so I can gauge how much interest there is, and I'll muddle out some suitable program, possibly together with Esperanza or some friendly bureaucrats (or both ;-) ).
Kim Bruning 15:28, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Just a side note, while I'm not in #wikipedia all the time, I'm on IRC quite a bit. Just because you don't see me in the channel doesn't mean I'm not around! :D
If you're unfamiliar with IRC, just issue the command /whois kylu (or possibly /whois kylu[afk]) to see if I'm about. If I'm online, please feel free to contact me! :D
~Kylu (u|t) 04:10, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I need an advocate and help with mediation


I need an advocate who will walk me through the mediation process.

I am trying to get the following added to the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Max Tegark is a renown physicist and a PhD profressor of cosmology at MIT. He agrees with my addition.

I am having problem with an editor by the name of Lethe who follows me around Wikipedia reverting all my edits without commentary.

I have tried reasoning with him on discussion pages, but he refuses to read what I write.

<irrelevant section refactored out. Kim Bruning 22:12, 17 June 2006 (UTC)>

It seems Einstein's main objections with quantum mechanics had more to do with the Copenhagen Interpretation, than with quantum mechanics itself. While MWI does not quite generate the kinds of worlds necessary to justify the anthropic principle, it is a step on the way to Stephen Hawking's No Boundary Proposal and Max Tegmark's All Universe Hypothesis which do justify the anthropic principle.

Michael D. Wolok 18:45, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Hi Michael. To start with, have you thoroughly read the page Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal, particulary the section entitled, "Making a request for assistance"? That tells you step by step how to request mediation. Aguerriero (talk) 19:37, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
And uh, no offense, but repeating this same explanation to every single person on the list of mediators in addition to the one here is a tad excessive. Cowman109Talk 21:11, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

"Taking" vs "In Mediation"

Recently many mediators (myself included) have been using the word "taken" to show that a case is in mediation. However, we do not own cases. Using the word "taken" would imply that one person is handling it, no one else is needed. However, we are (hopefully) moving into a phase where we can be more community-based. I was going to refactor the case page to change the word taken to something like "in mediation", but that would take a while. Instead, try to avoid the use of that word in the future, as other mediators are encouraged to hop on a case to assist in any way possible as well. Thanks. Cowman109Talk 14:55, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Cowman can you expand on this a little? This is a big shift in recent policy and I think we need more than a side comment. Right now mediators own their cases. They can ask for help and by in large it is given quickly but generally they remain in control until they drop the case. I love the idea of team mediations become more common and support Kim fully in moving towards this. However, are we really moving to a situation where "the cabal" has responsibility for the case and not any individual? If so:
  1. How do we assure that cases get addressed and not dropped with no particular name associated?
  2. What do we do about cases with long lags?
  3. What do we do about cases where research is being done?
  4. What do we do about cases where lots of the conversation is occurring in email.
  5. How do we as mediators settle differences without discrediting cabal? (the no talking out of school or do we openly debate one another)
  6. If a medcom cases goes to arbcom then who represents us?
  7. What if a participant of a participant's friend joined medcab so as to influence the case? 'I definitely could have seen this happening on my perl or my "You are the man now dog" cases where there strong pre-existing communities organizing externally.
And all of that assumes every case wants a team. I'll pick an example from one of my cases where I would not welcome assistance, Every Nation.
  1. The case is complicated
  2. The people in this case genuinely hated and mistrusted one another when it started. I've had to work hard to build up rules of communication to allow them to work together. I don't want other people messing with those rules of communication.
  3. I'm getting lots of confidential information in email, that I cannot freely share, which I'm using to organize when I address certain points and how they get addressed. So far this information has been reliable but using non public information is delicate since the article ultimately has to cover public information.
This case is going to be a huge success for the medcab when its over. There are about a 1/2 dozen articles that will be improved and new policy regarding how to handle people paid to edit wikipedia may emerge out of it. But if I have to get into a pissing contest with random cabalists then this whole mediation goes down the tubes.
I for one think this needs a lot of discussion. This is a very big policy change. jbolden1517Talk 15:55, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Well as mediators we are not there to support one side of the argument more so than another. We are there to help those involved come to an agreement. I recently hopped on to a case at Talk:Red_Hot_Chili_Peppers, for example, which at first was declared as failed. The mediator there was clearly overwhelmed, so I jumped in giving my own suggestion about what could be a step to coming to some sort of consensus.
Mediators getting involved in other cases isn't for them to give an opinion of the matter, but to help out if the mediator is experiencing trouble. The thing is, however, that we don't own cases. That would be against official WP:OWN policy. Mediators are editors just as everyone else in a dispute is, and mediators should just be recognized as a neutral party working to resolve a dispute. Anyone could go around refactoring comments to remove personal attacks per WP:RPA, but the problem is when you have a disputant who is arguing for one side of the mediation, removing attacks by the opposing party may be controversial.
Basically, mediators should not be afraid to give suggestions that may improve the situation. Generally, you may have one mediator who would organize the structure for the discussion. If conversation is occuring privately, make note of that. I'm not forcing people to jump into other cases that are already in mediation, just stating that if the mediation is clearly getting nowhere, a suggestion about where to go next would be very helpful.
Does that clear things up a bit? Cowman109Talk 16:31, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Some. It exposes a definite disagreement on the role of mediators. This may turn into a subpage of talk
  1. I think mediators are not editors on the article they are mediating. For example my rule of thumb is anything the two sides agree to regardless of how dumb stays (though I can make a weak suggestion they reconsider). As an editor I certainly don't feel bound by those rules and just because two parties agree to something doesn't mean I can't edit in. I think it tremendous violation of mediator ethics to act like an editor. We have the 3rd opinion dispute resolution system if people just want another guy to jump in. Mediators have additional restrictions. And to pick myself again, I have 0 cases where the eventual resolution was the one I would have chosen as an editor, and that's because my opinion is irrelevant.
  2. On the other hand disrupting a mediation process is a charge that get land you before the arb committee (and has in several cases). Disrupting a conversation between two editors doesn't have nearly that kind of effect.
  3. Mediators can be addressed by people outside the wikipedia community interested in the topic, editors generally aren't so addressed.
  4. OTRS respects mediated articles and submits to the mediator not the offending editor
  5. etc...
AFAIK the only power that medcab doesn't have that medcom does is:
  1. The power to submit reports to Jimmy Wales in an official capacity
  2. The ability to impose sanction for non participation
What's the advantage of self castration? Quite simply our job is to create a consensus where none existed. If at the end of the day there isn't a consensus its a failed mediation. That's far more than just removing personal attacks, its exposing the reason the attacks started in the first place and resolving the underlying issue. I have no objection to mediators being able to request help, nor to group mediation. I have huge problems with the idea that we editors when we take cases. jbolden1517Talk 17:08, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Well that's just the thing. The Mediation Cabal is an informal process. We aren't above other people, instead we are simply there to help people come to an agreement. Sure, when discussions are held on the case page there is a stricter structure and a clear notice that mediators have the right to refactor comments, but other than that we have no power. Walking into a mediation case experiencing difficulty and adding a suggestion is not disruption, but a good faith attempt to propel things in a positive direction.

We are editors because we work towards the same goal - building an encyclopedia. Even though indirectly we are leading others to build the encyclopedia through dispute resolution, we are there for the purpose of the encyclopedia. Cowman109Talk 18:33, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Do you want to go for the area of agreement. A "right to re-factor" as part of Wikipedia:Mediation (2005)? Also what do you think medcom's Wikipedia:Mediation#Who_will_mediate.3F, that's a policy that allows for replacement that I can live with. jbolden1517Talk 02:37, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Cowman, we need less of this formal stuff. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 02:27, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
And this is based on what? You've done 3 cases so far none of which were complicated. So in the 12 days you've been active in wikipedia what formal procedure got in your way? How would a less formal structure have helped you with your three cases? Oh and what does formal structure have to do with either side of this argument. Please educate me.
If you want to self delete feel free. jbolden1517Talk 02:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
The right to re-factor is not put into policy anywhere from what I understand. When I refactor unhelpful comments I generally do so in the interest of WP:IAR and WP:RPA. It is something that anyone could do to move things forward. It's just the fact that the people have a recognized neutral party removing these things show the removals are not an attack, but an attempt to calm things down.
And concerning Wikipedia:Mediation#Who_will_mediate.3F, we are not the Mediation Committee. While it is a plus if all sides agree to the presence of a mediator, if someone does not agree, informal mediators are encouraged to mediate with those who are still interested to at least come to some sort of compromise. Cowman109Talk 14:52, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, before I begin, please do not bite the newcomers. Now... moving on.
Regarding your request to explain where the formalness of MedCab even applies to this discussion:

Well that's just the thing. The Mediation Cabal is an informal process. We aren't above other people, instead we are simply there to help people come to an agreement. Sure, when discussions are held on the case page there is a stricter structure and a clear notice that mediators have the right to refactor comments, but other than that we have no power.

Pretty much every part of that quote involves some sort formalness/strictness, so it's obviously not a factor oblivious to this discussion.
Now, onto your second request, which inquired how formalities have hindered my mediation. They haven't. I've pretty much ignored anything that would get in the way of my style of mediation. (Needless case page sections, handling discussions on the case page itself, etc) So, it's not really a problem that is impeding me... because I've totally ignored it. Thank you for your time. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 18:13, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I have to comment that Cowman's notion troubles me a bit. While it is correct that mediators are not above any editor, there is some degree of credibility automatically lent to the mediator since they have volunteered to take responsibility for something. The mediation process (not just here - anywhere) depends on the concept of balance; that is to say, the mediator attempts to achieve balance where there is none. While in that process, any external element introduced to the equation can disrupt the progress toward balance.

I do not think it is appropriate for another mediator to introduce themself into a case unbidden. If the current mediator requests it, then yes. Aguerriero (talk) 18:57, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

A possible solution: If the taker-of-the-case doesn't want someone else assisting, and a second mediator decides to assist, then the original taker-of-the-case can plainly request that the second mediator leave the issue. Unless the second mediator is a total dick, then he'll probably comply. :) -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 19:17, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Well I figure I might as well explain why the suddenness of this whole thing. Basically, the Mediation Cabal used to run in a much more informal way where mediators just swarmed about and worked on cases together. In those times, the MedCab was much more efficient and apparently often 'snarfed' cases off from Arbcom. NicholasTurnbull, the previous coordinator, was trying to shape the Mediation Cabal back into that, but apparently attempts at that have failed. I don't expect the Mediation Cabal to ever go back to that exactly the same, as things have clearly gone quite astray, but I figure that there are ways to at least improve upon current methods.
The way things work now is you have a mediation page that generally excludes people outside of the loop. By encouraging discussions to occur on talk pages, everyone has their say and the argument remains in one piece instead of being brought to two separate pages. Also, when a mediator 'takes' a case, they are effectively blocking out all outside help. People are either too afraid to ask for help or just don't know how to go about doing it. Especially people who are just starting out mediating, we cannot expect them to jump into their first case and magically make everything right again and cure cancer in the process.
The fact is there are clearly some flaws in the current system. I removed a major one recently by removing the assignment of mediators: this was horridly flawed and often resulted in cases getting left in the dust because no one checked up on the assigned mediator and wouldn't realize that the case was ignored.
What I am trying to do could be seen as an experiment to see if it is possible to partially change some of the current processes back to ways that were apparently more efficient. I'm of course open to separate suggestions as well. Cowman109Talk 19:40, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, Nicholas was the person who first introduced formalisms, actually. Kim Bruning 20:58, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Ah, in that case Nicholas was apparently trying to undo the formalisms he created (at least it says so on his talk page, heh). Cowman109Talk 23:18, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Well how about this. We separate off the issues of new mediators and team mediation.

  1. I agree with you regarding new mediators needing support. How about first 3 cases they have an assigned "mentor"? First time they assist. Second time they co-mediate and 3rd time they are silently critiqued.
  2. We also team critique experienced mediators every few months after the case is over.
  3. We create the ability for people to team mediate and start dealing with policy for team mediation. We just don't make it mandatory as per the previous suggestion.

jbolden1517Talk 01:07, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Ah, now we're getting somewhere. It shouldn't be mandatory, true. Each case is different and some are very sensitive. Ones that involve private contact methods are obviously best handled through one person. However, we must remember to keep things as simple as possible. Assigning certain processes to each number of the mediation would only add to the complexity of the mediation cabal. Instead, I feel that proper instructions for new mediators (and putting strong emphasis on the use of asking other mediators for their help if it is needed) would do a lot of good.
Adding guidelines as to how team mediation should (usually) run is a good idea as well. We must remember that people aren't forced to mediate in one particular way or another. The goal should be same, but different cases call for different means of coming to a sort of compromise. Cowman109Talk 01:15, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. Agreed. We got a deal. Now we have to address all my issues above. (Kim any suggestions?).


  • It sounds like for #4 we agree that just goes to one mediator.
  • Do you want #6 to be you or a representative chosen by you? I have to tell you a mediation to arbcom if you take the lead is over well over 20 hrs of dedicated work. Its not a trivial undertaking.
  • I know Kim's pushing for IRC for #5. I can live with IRC or email. I'll even agree to do IRC (bleech!) :-) But here we need the notion of primary. We never fight out of school. I don't want people playing mediators against one another.
  • I think we assign mediators who take long cases as leads to handle cases that fall under #2. Joebone is also good for that, as am I. I think David might be good (though I don't know if he is game). Anyone else?

jbolden1517Talk 02:22, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

A tad too formal for my tastes. I prefer a more loose working atmosphere, rather than all sorts of guidelines and required-things-to-do. Adding more structure just sort of makes the mediation process a bit more difficult, in my opinion. If someone doesn't want other mediators working with them, they could just kindly inform anyone who attempts to do so. As for the mentor part: let's just encourage the newcomers to ask for help when they need it, rather than making it a sort of guideline to follow. Not putting words in his mouth, but I think Cowman wants I'd personally like a more relaxed procedure, so that the mediator has choices and can simply mediate without worrying about a system. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 01:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

When there's a group of mediation cabal people, then , as an example, one person can be the official contact, and others can dig up information, or edit some page or talk page in question whilst pretending to be innocent bystanders. Hey, it's not called a cabal for nothing! It's not like a single person has to fly solo. Even when complete confidentiality is maintained, they can still ask people to help out in other, clever ways. Just so long as you inter-communicate.

In some cases it might be better to have no official contact at all. "Oh, we fixed it ourselves" (so... who was that anon who totally refactored the page, and why isn't she coming back?).

Here's the deal. Current reports on medcab show that while it may be taking all cases, it occaisionally spectacularly bombs. Enough of these spectacular crashes have happened that some oldbies have started to take notice, and took their time to complain to me personally. So we really REALLY need to make sure to police ourselves. In the most unobtrusive way possible, of course!

That's the other reason we need mutual overview and intercommunication. Let's nurture precicely that. If there's a medcab case, stick a couple of heads together and look at it. Forget any rules or regulations or whatnot. Your job is to be flexible where others cannot. Try to be imaginative, use your wits, be clever! Do what you think will keep people on their feet, and do whatever is nescesary (Gah... within limits... do behave!) to gain a fair consensus.

I'm doing one case myself now, and helping out on one or two others. I can't do everything on my own all at once, but hopefully over time I'll be able to help out everyone else with one case at least once. Kim Bruning 19:48, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

WP:IAR, too. :) Cowman109Talk 19:52, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like fun :D -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 19:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Possible replacement for suggestions for mediators

At User:Cowman109/personalsandbox I have been creating a set of guidelines and suggestions to hopefully replace Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Suggestions for mediators. Feel free to improve the list and discuss it, so I can fix any problems before replacing the suggestions (I attempted to merge the original suggestions list into this one). Cowman109Talk 00:36, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Keep it up that's a useful page. I've been constructing something more ad-hoc if that would help at all. User:Jbolden1517/NotesOnMediation jbolden1517Talk


Does anyone think the guerilla program should be deleted. Geo.plrd 00:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Uh, what? It's a completely separate mediation initiative. It basically mimics the earlier procedure of the mediation cabal only in a more radically community-based way. It's a completely separate entity created by NicholasTurnbull (and Kim Bruning, the creator of the Mediation Cabal, is also cooperating with him as well). If you have criticism of that process, the best idea would be to go to Nicholas and talk with him about it, but as it stands now there's no reason it should be deleted. Cowman109Talk 00:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Withdrawn, causes for complaint cleared


(It might help to read the last bit of talk under the "talking vs meditation" section if you're a little confused.)

What medium do you suggest we use for all of this intermediator communication? Could we put random shoutouts on this talk page, or would finding someone individually make more sense? I absolutely adore that last idea about being flexible and using inventive techniques to solve a problem, and I'd like to see more stuff like this being postulated.

It seems to me that many people are at least somewhat unhappy with the current methodology, or maybe they're just getting bored with it, heh. So, this section will be for discussing any changes that would make us more efficient. I like all of the ideas that people have formed up so far, so I figured I'd make a section for getting even more cool ideas. Essentially this is a brainstorm, but I'd like to see it bloom into a brain-icane. Post up any oddball idea that comes to mind, as it just might be a serious consideration.-- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 19:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

This is not just being postulated. It's the traditional modus operandi. Actually I've never stopped working that way. Please don't cross me on procedural matters (like efficiency or reliability) just right now, as I'd like to get some minimum sanity in there first, and I'm not yet sure which medcab members I can trust with that yet. Note that I'm not very big on the dictator thing, so I will be handing things off as quickly as I can practically do so. (And you'll likely hate me for it :-P )
As to brainstorming on contact methods and such, that's great! I strongly reccomend irc at least., #wikipedia and #wikipedia-en . You can find other people there, and brainstorm faster too. Pair up with whoever you like, try talking with them on their talk page or on irc, or elsewhere, if you can figure something out.
When you do discuss stuff, please try to get Jbolden or Cowman involved too. (or in weekends, you could drag me in too, I suppose. I'm curious what people can come up with!) Kim Bruning 22:05, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, even though I seem to have been declared persona non grata here (not only have I been deposed as coordinator, but I've also been marked "Inactive" as a mediator, which is nice - especially since nobody has either assigned any cases to me, nor asked me whether I wished to remain as a mediator) I am always available for any kind of assistance I might be able to offer on how to fix things. Really my little Wikipedia:Guerrilla Mediation Network thing was something of a test-bed, perhaps, of what the medcab might want to look at implementing. I would be glad to be of service in discussion, analysis, etc. Best regards, --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 01:48, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I did it. If you weren't inactive as a mediator you'd know we don't assign cases anymore at all. Now do you actually want to help, with jobs that require you show up on a regular basis and have follow through (like mediation)? jbolden1517Talk 11:40, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Please don't patronise me, jbolden. If you would like me to mediate, I am at your service; however, your insinuations that, in so doing, I would renege upon the cases I engaged in, are unnecessary. As for being unaware that assignments don't take place, then how is the backlog to be shifted? If cases really are just left for people to take as they wish without any coordinator intervention, there is a strong danger that cases will be overlooked, especially where they are undesirably ugly. --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 23:43, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
We handle it the way we usually do, we discuss cases here and bring them and one of us volunteers for the "ugly" cases. By in large that infrequently happens and when it does the cases still get taken with days. In the last few months the backlog has been running at about a day on average.
As for my "insinuations" they weren't meant as insinuations so I'll make the outright statements. You have been negligent and derelict in your duties as coordinator. You had obligations and you didn't bother to show up.
  1. There are 3 cases currently before arbcom that matured under you watch. You've had 0 input on any of them. You've offered 0 assistance to the mediators.
  2. We have about a dozen cases that could have used administrative assistance. You've helped on 0 of them.
  3. We've had major policy shifts which you knew nothing about and did nothing to assist
  4. We've had changed in leaders
  5. We've had a breakdown in our communications with other part of dispute resolution. As well as the fact that other parts of dispute resolution have had perpendicular problems to ours, and if you had been present to negotiate cross functional resolution wikipedia as a whole would be a lot better off.
So yeah so I feel perfectly within my rights to consider you irresponsible. When you want to walk away from a position of leadership you transition the office you don't just stop showing up. I can't imagine doing what you did. I'd love to hear an explanation for your actions but don't for a second think that you act like an injured party here is going to make me feel guilty about saying mean things to you. The amount of pain, distress and destruction you've caused by your dereliction of duty far outweighs anything I've said to you so far. We have junior mediators start a case and then drop it all the time, they get marked as inactive. And you've done far worse. jbolden1517Talk 03:20, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

By the way, I really like the way the Guerilla Mediation Network works. The only concerns I have is that it provides less information for mediators to work with, in comparison to the sometimes-insightful case pages. I wonder what would spawm from a mixing of the two systems? -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 06:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


Ok, since there's not really a place to put requests for being critiqued, I've got the wonderful idea of having a section on the talk page for it, so that all the requests aren't sprawled out everywhere. Thoughts? -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 23:55, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Hmm maybe a subpage since this is where random people come to for help anything cabal-related. Cowman109Talk 00:01, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Huh? I think we might be talking about two different things here. I'm referring to mediators request to be analyzed and given suggestions and whatno, just to clarify. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 02:23, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Hm.. no I don't understand :D. Are you proposing that a part of this talk page is set aside for asking for assistance in cases? Cowman109Talk 02:43, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
That is a good idea, especially crucial for aspiring med cabalists who seek improvement. -- Evanx(tag?) 02:54, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, wow. It took me three read-throughs to understand that. Note to self - reading these sorts of things when I'm half asleep is not a good idea. A section aside for critiquing definitely would be beneficial, yes. Cowman109Talk 02:59, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

This could also apply to other community-request stuff, maybe a section for "Requests for assistance in meditation". But, then again, having a section specifically for assistance requests might accidentally discourage spontaneous assistance... you never know. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 06:13, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Simplified case submittion (More ease-of-use)

I was thinking about the whole case template thing, and I think it may be possible that the complexity of the case templates might be detracting potential case-fillers. Unfortunately, I can't really think of any ideas for simplification or ease-of-use... so this is just a placeholder for any ideas on it. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 06:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

And this differs from the same idea you proposed 2 weeks ago Mediation_Cabal#A_less_structured_approach how exactly? In any case in the meanwhile I've actually thought about your idea and I'm starting to believe that we actually need to offer a variety of types of mediation services. That really the problem is we have a "one size fit all approach" which doesn't work as well as it should for a variety of cases. But I will say this. I lost this debate with Fasten way back but I still believe that anyone not willing to fill out a form is not going to be willing to engage in the work of mediation. I'm not sure we shouldn't discourage those people. Cases where the participants refuse to engage are a big time waster for everyone. Mediation takes a lot more time than editing. It takes less time then pointless edit wars. jbolden1517Talk 11:50, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Eh, it's mildly different, the ideas refer to different concepts and all (One is less structure for mediators, one is simplicity for users of the system.), but yes, they do tend to merge a bit on principles. I agree wholeheartedly, we need a better variety as you described above. Would it make sense to simply let the mediators themselves choose the method of approach? I realize we do this already, of course, so that's probably not a problem that needs dealing with. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 21:17, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah I like that idea, or perhaps joint. Person asks for method A mediator can accept to do method B and then everyone can accept B or we go back to A. jbolden1517Talk 04:34, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I was understanding that the whole point of the MEDCAB was informality. I think the idea of, "I'm not sure we shouldn't discourage those people." is heading extremely in the wrong direction. We should be heading for a system where it doesn't matter if half of cases peter out without serious consensus being made, or if the requesters abandon them. The point is we should be there, with easy access for people who need it. If procedure is getting in the way of this, and we're starting to feel that "it takes up too much to clean up after each case" then we're doing it wrong. - FrancisTyers · 00:59, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. I wasn't suggesting any more procedure at all, I think jbolden misunderstood what I said. Allow me to clarify:
Rather than adding needless "types" of mediation methods into our system, I'm saying we simply let the individual mediator choose the way they handle a case, no changes in the system at all. The idea is, after all, "simplification and ease-of-use"... not "add more procedure". -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 05:05, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Removal of User:Jbolden1517 as co-coordinator; reinstating myself in place

Dear Cabalists: Due to persistent incivility shown by Jbolden1517 (talk · contribs) towards myself and other users, both on this talk page and others, I am confident that this individual does not possess an adequate ability for rational discussion in order to carry on a position as co-coordinator. If this is the manner in which Jbolden1517 treats colleagues, frankly I do not see that permitting this user to work with mediation dispute participants is at all advisable. I am undertaking this action on the authority of Kim Bruning's initial decision to delegate the management of the Mediation Cabal to me, although should the Coordinator disagree with this decision he is of course entirely at liberty to reverse it - and likewise should any users here disagree with this decision, I will reverse it. Yours sincerely, --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 03:37, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

You were removed from office. Kim was aware and this occurred prior to Cowman and I taking office. So KIm's authority (as far as it goes) cuts the other way. I've always recognized Cowman's authority and I continue to. If he wants my resignation he can have it but you sure as hell can't fire me. jbolden1517Talk 03:51, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
But you appointed Cowman, as you indicated in your e-mail to me on the subject. However, I won't revert war. You make unpleasant and uncalled-for responses to what I thought was a perfectly reasonable point, and if you behave like that to your colleagues then I cannot see how you could possibly be placed with any authority over this initiative. You write as if I did nothing; but in fact, I was the designer of the Medcab as it is at present, and was the one who developed it from an inactive beginning into a functioning system. I cannot see how you can make such vile responses to reasonable comment and expect to be permitted to remain in partial responsibility over a mediation initiative. --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 03:56, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Let me make this clear. A long time ago you did good stuff, no questions asked. Its what happened after that I find totally unacceptable. And as for my "vile responses" you didn't actually address them. You aren't my colleague you are a predecessor. I never worked with you on any cases. Fasten was running the show by the time I joined medcab. Its been a long time since you've been running things on anything but paper.
I have made a clear stance that we are going to have standards and we are going to have ethics and we are going to get medcab back to where it was when Kim was running the show. If people want misbehavior to go unmentioned and unpunished then I should be removed.
I tried to be gentile with you, you'll notice no conversation of why you were removed when it happened it was all in email. Right now, you can feel free to delete the comments on this page. I still think I'd rather do it quietly, it was you who forced the issue. jbolden1517Talk 04:19, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm tempted to make a case page for Wikipedia talk:Mediation Cabal. ^.^ -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 04:31, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Jbolden1517: Rather than making further remarks about my absence from duty being "totally unacceptable", it is thus clear, then, that you must know the reasoning; I have had recurrent mental health difficulties which have caused my occasional absence from Wikipedia, and undoubtedly Kim Bruning can verify this for you - hence, also, the reason behind my elongated Computing course at college. I offer this not as an excuse in the slightest, but merely because you appear to be under the impression that my failure to carry out coordination duties was via direct commission; I can assure you that was not the case, and I will not accept accusations to the contrary.
It is clear, sir, that you misunderstand the nature of the Mediation Cabal, if you believe that the Mediation Cabal deals with issues by them being "mentioned" and "punished", and that I believe I am not in error about; thus if you really are going to take this authoritarian stance, then you should change it, or be removed. The Mediation Cabal is an informal mediation initiative. The idea was that we had a free-form structure that could be easily changed, not a hierarchy of authoritarian command. The difference between you and I of what counts as "gentle" clearly varies. As for your e-mail, you specified Cowman as coordinator, to which I raised no objection; but your self-appointment as co-coordinator was neither mentioned, nor given tacit consent by myself nor Kim. I stand by my comments, and will not remove them, nor will I permit them to be removed. Sincerely, --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 04:35, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Based on what little info I have on the situation, I'd have to say Nicholas made a pretty hasty movement, although I have no background info on these emails and whatnot. However, I also can't disagree with him too much. (I now have more information, and thus take back the above statements) Jbolden hasn't really been the friendliest of chaps to me. And after:

I agree with Cowman, we need less of this formal stuff. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 04:51, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

And this is based on what? You've done 3 cases so far none of which were complicated. So in the 12 days you've been active in wikipedia what formal procedure got in your way? How would a less formal structure have helped you with your three cases? Oh and what does formal structure have to do with either side of this argument. Please educate me.
If you want to self delete feel free. jbolden1517 02:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty reluctant to claim Nicholas' decision was a bad idea. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 04:51, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Jbolden1517, a hostile approach is not the one that contributes to resolving disputes, and certainly something that we should be looking for in a mediation co-ordinator. In your experience of mediation, if that kind of tone has ever been successful I would be very interested to know, as I've only got mileage from being calm, collected and sparingly forceful. I think we're both trying to do our best, but comments such as "Oh and what does formal structure have to do with either side of this argument. Please educate me" come accross as sarcastic and on the verge of incivility. - FrancisTyers · 13:36, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed I was being sarcastic to TPWCC. I was not attempting to resolve any dispute with him. Look there are two specific people here:
  • A newbie who made really dumb comments and was getting in the way of a more series policy conversation. I was trying to indicate to him that his input was poorly informed and destructive to the flow of conversation. There was no attempt at dispute resolution there, there was no dispute. Wikipedia_talk:Mediation_Cabal#.22Taking.22_vs_.22In_Mediation.22. My dispute was with Cowman; we did resolve chunks of it successfully. TPWCC provided interfering background noise. This is similar to what he's done in this engagement, where he has re-factored a talk page and moving a comment of mine without providing context, making a more serious discussion more difficult and bringing you in. That's generally called trolling when done intentionally, though I see no evidence of intent on TPWCC's part. That is he seems annoying but not really a serious threat to the smooth functioning of the organization. Incidentally Cowman and I debated back and forth on how to handle this and I agreed to take it on the chin and not set a precedent for deletion. But there was no debate the comments by TPWCC were stupid.
  • A former coordinator who agreed to step down to avoid a full fledged impeachment hearing. As a courtesy I got his buy in when we removed him, but by that point the choice to remove him had been made. Contrary to Nicholas' belief I'm trying desperately to avoid major incivility here. A full fledged removal from office / impeachment if contested means pointing and dozens of cases derailed by the hundreds of places where Nicholas has failed in his duties. He thinks my comments above is vile he has no idea what that's going to feel like. I really do not want to be forced to do that.
    • The same problem is already starting on his new initiative where a process that promises a mediator in hours has been sitting around unattended for a week Talk:Alexander_Hamilton#Whitewash.21
    • And the fact on the very day he was attacking me as unfit to lead we had 5 new issues arise in medcab, 4 of which any mediator could have dealt with and he handled 0.
As a recently deposed leader there are people such as yourself who will give him considerable say and influence, which makes his potential for harm much greater than someone like TPWCC. As I indicated at the start, without a change in attitude regarding responsibility on his part I do not want him here for a year or two. Medcab has a well deserved reputation for letting cases fall through the cracks, and I would like to change that.
Anyway, I never wanted to be deputy coordinator. What I wanted was someone qualified in office willing to take on the responsibilities of office. You've been a solid member of medcab for a while. If you want to be accept a responsibility on a daily basis I have no problem handing the reins over to you. Then you can make these calls and I can go back to worrying about my 1/2 dozen cases.
Finally, if you are arguing that I'm unfit to be a mediator I'd like you to point to specific cases where my "character defects" have derailed a solution. In my opinion my case record speaks for itself, I consider your charge baseless and false and I think I'm entitled to a retraction. jbolden1517Talk 14:37, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I will say one thing (a long one) I'm new I have no traceable edit history of any value I never mediated anything here, I am however fully human and not wet behind the ears. I have professional experience in resolving disputes and leading young inexperienced teams. You guys have no idea how happy I am that the mediation cabal exists. If wikipedia was just about rules, arbitration rulings, contention not consensus, admins, power, social cliques, in groups, outgroups, point scoring, never backing down, fits of pique no matter how elgantly expressed, then I would would feel sad about its possible future. But having seen the discussions here I can see the future is certain, one might say innevitable. (yeah just an ip in the history) (This statement like wikipedia is about the idea not the person or personality who made it.)

Physician heal thyself.

Organisation debates

Ok kids, cool down. Currently I think you guys gave me the last word on organisation, so what's this about arguing over things you've already delegated?

Please contact me per E-mail.

Kim Bruning 15:24, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok, got mailed. Sorted stuff out. Now returning you to your regularly scheduled service. Kim Bruning 21:15, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Mind filling the rest of us in? I'm a tad curious myself just what all this racket was about.
Oh, and I sincerely apologize Jbolden, I had no intention of displaying any sort of troll-like behavior, I was actually attempting to project a calm tone of voice, but I guess it didn't transfer into text very well. If I display any hostility in the future, please inform me. -- The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake {Prophesize) 21:21, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Lot of ado about everything and nothing. It's in the archives basically. In the end nothing big changes for today, except no more fight, which is good. In any case, this case does not require further mediation at this point in time ;-) Kim Bruning 21:41, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Unused templates nominated for deletion


I nominated these template for deletion. --Fasten 20:07, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Welcome back, Fasten! And thanks. Cowman109Talk 02:44, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Jbolden1517 is not a member of the mediation cabal

Jbolden1517 edited the mediation cabal page to state that he was a co-coordinator of the mediation cabal.

He has claimed before the arbitration committee that he is a mediator.

Both these claims are now false.

As of this moment, Jbolden is not a member of the mediation cabal, and there has never been any kind of consensus on wikipedia allowing him to claim he is a mediator. Jbolden does not speak for the mediation cabal, and has no authority wrt the mediation cabal. Kim Bruning 17:06, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Oh no, please don't say the magic spell. Ouch, I'm melting I'm melting. Get a grip, Kim. jbolden1517Talk 01:29, 29 June 2006 (UTC)


Please note that this is mostly a process complaint. Digital_me undertook this mediation, which was to resolve an evenly divided poll. He did not facilitate discussion in any way; he essentially decided that one side was right and they had won.

I understand that this is a temptation; but he should have recused himself and joined in the poll. I do not find this an acceptable process of mediation; and I do not expect to accept him as a mediator again. Septentrionalis 01:16, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Mediation Cabal channel on freenode

#wikipedia-medcab on freenode is registered. Just to let'cha all know. :)

I 49'd myself for the time being (happily open for moving it to someone else if needbe) and added a limited number of users to access level 45. Questions, comments, etc... happily discussed. ~Kylu (u|t) 01:48, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

You beat me to it by a mile, cool! :-) Kim Bruning 09:30, 29 June 2006 (UTC)


User:MSTCrow has recently added himself to the mediator list; as he is someone with three recent blocks for personal attacks [2] (one of a week's duration), I feel he is unsuited to be listed on the page. Do we have a process for establishing consensus on these things? Sdedeo (tips) 11:39, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

As far as I have seen, anyone can add their name to the list. I guess if they take a case and the person who filed doesn't feel they are credible or neutral, they can request a new mediator. --Aguerriero (talk) 13:48, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
His blocks were two months ago, and a lot can change in that time. As I've been been saying for some time, if we get into the habit of watching eachother's backs, we can prevent any major goofs from happening in advance. So instead of discouraging him, assume good faith and simply keep an eye out for trouble in his cases as you would for any other new mediator. Cowman109Talk 15:54, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, given that I've already had rather negative interactions with him -- [3] -- and he seems to be liberal with his anger and threats [4] -- all my AGF was quickly exhausted. He doesn't seem appropriate, IMO. Sdedeo (tips) 18:54, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Cowman109, he may have changed. we should wait and see.Geo. 22:49, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I also have concerns about MSTCrow, but I'll just keep an eye on his cases. Ideogram 22:28, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

New ideas

So, there's been a lot of banter going on in the IRC channel about new ideas, so I'm putting all of the proposed ideas here. If I forgot any, please add them. This is now the "ideas" section, for discussing new ideas and stuff, so any new ideas are welcome to be put here. Yaaay.

An opentasks styled case list:
Kylu suggested we change the current case list to an opentasks-like template, with links on the side such as "create a new case" and "file a complaint" and other such conviently-accescable buttons.

I suggested that we change the current method of case creation to a inputbox style. An example of such an inputbox(still in development) can be found at Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Inputbox, created by Keitei. You can also check out my dabblings with the inputbox at My Box of Desert.

Please check out Template:Medcab, which is the information that will show up just above the case-page editbox after someone clicks "create a case page" on the inputbox. At the moment, it's mainly composed of copied and pasted stuff, and really doesn't explain things well. Please revise it when you can, as it needs some work.

I'm thinking a different color might look neato for the inputbox, any sugestions for a new color?

Aaaaand, I can't remember the rest.. someone fill them in. The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 23:05, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm in the process of setting up a new way to list cases such that it's all automated. The idea is that the template for case creation subst:'s Category:Wikipedia Medcab new cases. Then when a mediator decides to mediate, they change that to Category:Wikipedia Medcab open cases. Likewise, when closing, it's changed to Category:Wikipedia Medcab closed cases (not created or used yet). With these categories in place, I'm making a bot that will list them and automatically update. This way nobody needs to update the Cases page (except my bot), it's friendlier for new users and case filers (because coupled with the Inputbox, they'll need to do close to nothing), and is fairly streamlined.
The idea is that the bot will put pages in the new category in one section, and the pages in the open category in another. When a case switches to closed, the bot automatically archives it. Depending on how intensive on the database the bot is, it'll probably run every half hour to fifteen minutes. I'm not sure, and it'll have to go through the bots stuff first.
Also, if a case needs a new mediator, it can be put back to new. I'd think if it needs more mediators, it could be mentioned at the coordination desk? I'm not quite sure how everything will work out... but this should be better. :] --Keitei (talk) 02:33, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Heres an idea that probably wasnt in the IRC as I wasnt there and I just thought of it.

Recently the cabal had discussion here that was moved to IRC. That was a good idea. It is something you do from time to time. Recently there was also a discussion about things getting formalised, and I dont like rules(a POV of mine, as I find rules are generally silly), especially for things like you guys are doing, they as programmers say smell wrong. So my twisty suggestion is that you formalise a list of things that while they do happen will not be formalised. :) The idea seems twisty and round, either that or Im twisted...

Things not to be formalised

  • Some things are discussed here for good reason. Some things are discussed elsewhere, which is which and why shall not be formalised.
  • Some mediations need one guiding mediator, some wiki problems mainly need a role model to remind people what we are here for. That person has no status and is just wikipedian who has decided to contibute to an article becuase they can, this is as always a wiki whether or not a dispute is being resolved in a public forum. There no need to step back hands off and only gawk.
  • Some mediations need one guiding mediator, and also must be conducted in private, which is not transparent but sometimes transparency must be sacrificed. In these cases you also lose the possibility of other Good faith wikipedians providing role models as there is only protagonists in the room.
  • How to decide which is which shall not be formalised, but the benfits and hinderences learnt by experience may well be shared by colleagues.

Finally as far as I have observed the most powerful weapon you guys have is that you dont just assume good faith, you know the other cabalists here have good faith, so you can just pass the ball when cornered. Eg. Sdedeo raised a point, Aguerriero, Cowman109 basically teplied 'trust in the wikiness' and assume good faith. Sdedeo replied yeah but Im human, and thus the ball was passed. None was in postion to both identify and resolve things, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So what is this nirvana you guys (IMO) should search for? You will know you are close when you start finishing one anothers

Who am I? Well Im not a mediator and I am not a member of your cabal, and presume that as this is wiki you dont mind me butting in, in good faith. I recently measured myself and I am also not a even good wikipedian, however I am a rather good problem solver and optimiser, and especially of the kind of things that when they are formalised become inherently broken. Hence my tiniest poke in the wall with a hole in it. The future is no longer clear to me once more I proceed into wikipedia with naive optimism. :) AccurateOne 04:49, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


There is a bot written (by Ericj) which will put all pages in the new cases category in an area specified on a certain page (namely the new cases section, on the Cases page, but it hasn't been set up yet). The bot request is here. I can do the same for open cases, but it will eliminate the mediator from the list as well as any comments. I'm inclined to think that is a GoodThing, and that comments should be on case talk pages, but I'd like community input. Eventually I'd like to set up automatic archiving, but there isn't any now.

To accept a case
  1. Change the category from Category:Wikipedia Medcab new cases to Category:Wikipedia Medcab open cases. That will remove it from the new cases section. If open cases is automated (as I would like), it will also be moved to the open cases section automatically. If it isn't, you'll need to put it there yourself.
  2. If automated, you might want to indicate somewhere that you're looking at it and can be contacted, etc.
To close a case
  1. Change the category from Category:Wikipedia Medcab open cases to Category:Wikipedia Medcab closed cases. Then list it at the archive. If open cases is automated, it won't appear on the cases page anymore. If it isn't, you'll need to remove it also.

I think that's about it. Please ask questions, give suggestions, whatever. --Keitei (talk) 12:23, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Bot is approved for a trial run. It is running about every 10 minutes (need to tweak a bit), and the bot generated list has not replaced what is there already. We're trying the inputbox on a trial run as well. Please give input as to how well you think these work. --Keitei (talk) 21:51, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

New cases are getting added to the bot list but not the oldstyle list. Is this deliberate? Ideogram 22:26, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Okay, you know I'm old and senile and all, so wasn't quite understanding this: Can I continue archiving cases, or is the bot going to do something weird and/or break if I keep trying to keep things archived? I haven't touched it so far, since figured that's what the bot was for. Thanks! ~Kylu (u|t) 23:02, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't talking about the archiving. I noticed that "QDB" and "POV on Joe Lieberman" for instance aren't listed under "Cases in need of mediators" but are listed under "Bot generated list of cases needing mediators". Ideogram 23:10, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
The new input box creates an orphaned case page with [[Category:Wikipedia medcab new cases]]. When the bot checks the list every 15 minutes or so, it puts the cases with the new cases category in the bot generated list. At the moment the new cases list is not being used. When a case is taken, it should still be moved to the list of cases in mediation and the category tag should be changed to [[Category:Wikipedia medcab open cases]]. The bot at the moment just deals with listing new cases, I believe. Cowman109Talk 00:33, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Adding new->open moving functionality is in the works. It'll be followed by some stuff for administrative tasks. EricJ 01:12, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Umm, is this bot going to fill the history with edits every ten minutes? That could be kind of annoying. Ideogram 01:23, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

The bot only edits when there is something to update - it's the same as someone adding a new case, only it makes it so that all someone has to do is create the case page instead of create the case page and add a link to it in the open cases section. Cowman109Talk 01:24, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I see that now. Ideogram 01:25, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


I don't know enough about the background to this to have been able to get involved earlier in the fuss over User:Jbolden1517. I still don't really understand what's going on, but I would like to share what I do know: I and others recognize that Jbolden1517 has put a hell of a lot of effort into mediation, and has been instrumental in rescuing some very dire situations (eg on Every Nation). Now that Jbolden1517 has announced s/he (someone help me out with the whole gender thing here) is leaving Wikipedia, I'd like to appeal to others to reconsider how this situation might be resolved more amicably, and with a better outcome. Ya'll are supposed to be mediators! ;¬) Seems to me Jbolden1517 has put too much good work into Wikipedia for it to end in this way. Sincerely, David L Rattigan 09:24, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

I've talked to the parties concerned and, beleive you me, I desperately wanted a mediated outcome. Hopefully none of them mention that I actually begged them on IRC to come to amicable terms, but I'm afraid it didn't work out that way this time. :( ~Kylu (u|t) 22:55, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Please list the status of a case in the mediator response section

Due to current bot limitations, please explain the status of a case in the mediator response section of a case, so that way discussion will not clutter the case list and will instead be in the case page itself. Thanks. Cowman109Talk 00:44, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Changing the inputbox a little bit

I've changed the inputbox a little bit (as the section title suggests). I chaged it to say "the name of the article in dispute " instead of "a short description of your dispute"... hopefully this will eliminate some of the assuming-bad-faith and NPOV case names that have been poping up lately. I've also changed the look and feel of the whole thing, to make it look spiffier.

Tell me what you think, and give some suggestions while your at it. --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 05:38, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

new template: Broad input

I found myself typing this a lot so I created a template, Template:Broad input. Here is what it looks like:

You may wish to appeal to a broader community for input by asking at the Village pump, posting a Wikiquette alert, or filing a Request for Comment.

I also found Template:Tilde, which I didn't know about before. --Ideogram 06:07, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Who is working on what

With this new system, there is no way for a cabalist to see who is working on what, I found that kind of handy to be honest, to just see a list of what everyone was working on. TruthCrusader 18:50, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that the names of mediators certainly was handy. I believe there are plants to get the bot to recognize who is assisting in the mediation of a case and list it on the main page, along with any comments through the use of a template. You'll have to ask Keitei about that, though. Cowman109Talk 19:13, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
That is indeed in the works. Since I'm not writing the bot, I don't know when it'll be up and running, but it should be soon. What the bot will be able to do is take input from a template on each case page and grab who the mediator is (and perhaps a few other details) and print that on the Cases page. It'll be a {{user}} format, as far as I know, perhaps a different template with a similar purpose for mediators/cabalists. Anyhow, the idea is to make everything simpler for everyone and to make filing and accepting a case simple. In the interim period, there are several drawbacks, but it should be a lot cooler soon. :] --Keitei (talk) 01:27, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

jumpTV listed twice

jumpTV is listed under both open and needing mediators. Looking at the case itself I see it is tagged as open but no mediator is listed. Ideogram 18:20, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

That was due the case accidentally being in both the open and new cases category. I have moved the category listing a bit further down in the template so it is not overlooked in the future. Cowman109Talk 23:20, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Someone to relieve me

I am working on a Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2006-07-02 QDB, however I need to take a rather urgent Wikibreak (or rather I am already sort of on it) due to real life matters and I don't know when I will be back. Could be just a couple of days or could be over a week. So could someone please take over this case for me.

It is just a matter of deciding whether QDB should be a disambiguation page or whether it should redirect to the page of the most popular website that uses the acronym QDB. The discussion is taking place at Talk:QDB (and it seems since that it is growing a bit out of hand - in one day of my absence there appeared what looks like a list of ad hominems with an argument over those rather than an issue). I hope someone can take up this case quickly - if I return soon I will be willing to can take it back on my shoulders again. Thanks in advance!--Konstable 07:00, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Never mind that, I have it all sorted early - so I'm no longer on a wikibreak.--Konstable 01:49, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

templates on TFD

it would be *really helpful* if medcabers could drop by WP:TFD and comment on Template:DisputedMC and Template:ActiveDiscussMC, I don't tknow what to do with them .-- Drini 21:46, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Please archive cases (UPDATE:errr... nevermind)

With the new bot in place it seems that no one has archived a page. This might be a serious problem as cases are being closed and not archived, and are thus lost from pretty much every list other than Category:Wikipedia Medcab closed cases. Please remember the archive when you close things. --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 23:53, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Er.. nevermind. I've been informed by Cowman that we're not really sure what's going to be happening yet.. so for now we don't archive pages, and use Category:Wikipedia Medcab closed cases to find old cases. --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 00:18, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

The critisism hurts sooo good.

Hmmm... so I'm bored, and want to know how everybody thinks I'm doing. Tell me my good and bad points when I mediate an issue, so I can get an idea of what you folks think.

Be honest!!! I promise I won't rip your head off for being blunt. I want your honest opinion, not flattery.

Current cases I'm involved in:

Some old cases: (Chronological order)

Thanks. --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 18:25, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Confusion over case page prefix

I notice someone accidentally deleted the "Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/" prefix from their case and apparently created the case in article space. This could easily be avoided if the input box didn't require the user to enter the prefix and simply added it to the user's input. --Ideogram 23:53, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

It is currently impossible to do that with the inputbox code. We are currently hoping a developer will optimize the code in the future *cough Rob cough cough*. Cowman109Talk 03:37, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
To be honest, I think the input box was a bad idea from the outset, for exactly that reason. When designing user interfaces, it is of paramount importance that the user interface is designed in such a manner as that it is as near to impossible as possible for the user to make an error. One of the architects of the Toyota Production System, Shigeo Shingo, called this principle in Japanese poka-yoke, literally translating to "mistake prevention" - although I hardly think the old system embodied this principle, the current one introduces more margin for the user to misunderstand what to do, and make an error. What we need to do is simplify as much as possible versus implementing pretty technical gizmos; really I suggest moving away from using a fixed case page creation system and instead either having a serial list on the main medcab page, or alternatively using a category based system as I piloted at the Guerrilla Mediation Network (which never, admittedly, got off the ground; but served as a model for how a system like this could work). --NicholasTurnbull | (talk) 00:20, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
The category idea works in principle but if you have a discussion ranging across several articles and talk spaces it might fall down... just a thought! -- Tmorton166 (Errant Emote)  talk 11:51, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I notice now people are not adding the date to the prefix. Can we generate a prefix including it? --Ideogram 00:54, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Also a limitation of inputboxes at the moment, unfortunately :/ Cowman109Talk 00:56, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
This is really bad. We're going to spend a lot of time cleaning up after people. --Ideogram 01:00, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
No, we are not. These aren't overwhelming technical limitations. When I suggested the inputbox, I assumed that en.wp had the same extensions we use at uncyc (prefix option, etc), which it doesn't. However, it was my understanding that it was going to be fixed within a week or so, which is why I thought we might as well go ahead with it. Code exists which will hide the text, if Rob isn't going to be doing it anymore, I'll see if I can bug some devs. If they give a ridiculous estimate of time, sure, let's go back to template stuff which is more confusing imho. But in no way am I suggesting the default option be permanent. --Keitei (talk) 01:16, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Just brainstorming, here, but I think this method is both pretty much foolproof and workable with the tools we currently have. So, (again, just brainstorming) we could nix the inputbox, and instead use a complicated edit URL: [5]. That link takes you to an edit page for Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Newcases, but it does so with the editing instructions and preloaded text that we like, and it's got "section=new" (so while your edits are added to /Newpages no matter what you do, you basically get the illusion that you're working with your own page. Then, we have our lovely Keiteibot patrol /Newpages for recent edits, give the case an appropriate case name, create the subpage, and bam. Other benefits I see, we could edit the Medcab2 template, so that sections like "Mediator response" and such aren't available until the case page is created (reduced confusion), and have the bot add those in as it creates the case page. I hope I'm making sense, here. I think this is workable. Not perfect, but workable. Thoughts? Luna Santin 08:26, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Sounds confusing but workable. Is anyone able to modify the bot though?? -- Errant  talk(formerly tmorton166) 08:49, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
How do you propose we automatically assign a case name? Some of our current limitations are due to lack of consensus and the fact that some people who shall remain nameless hate my design style (even those they are easy things to change, I'm not being paid enough to do web design for a type-A anymore). We need a method that is more-or-less foolproof and capable of being automated, meaning the process needs to be chosen and there needs to be something in the page to work with if we want status information on the cases page. Adding additional sections after the page is created is easy, but it might cause edit conflicts with n00bs that EricJ 17:37, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I see what you mean about the difficlties of making the bot do as Luna Satin suggested, mostly because (as you noted) it will never be foolproof. SO why not a completely different approach. How about we cetae a template to add to the article. eg: {{Template:medcab_article}} that then took the article name and the current date and created and edit url like the one suggested above BUT with the correct URL (cases/date-article name) which the user could then click on to create the article - this would then make the case have a useful name (instead of one they make up) and it will be easy to follow.
The only other solution I can think of is for someone to knock up a Javascript app that has an input box (like the one for tool2 for example) where the user enters the case name and hits enter and it gives them or takes them to the created article. What do you think of those 2 ideas? -- Errant  talk(formerly tmorton166) 18:03, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Mmm, good points. Bots are still magical black boxes, to me. :3 So, I worked out a link which would do as you've described -- place it on a page, and it creates a link to an edit page as described above, for a MedCab case page named for the article, dated for when the template is added. See an example here (permalink). Before you ask: yes, it ignores "Talk:". Then put the link into a template, and it's good to go and be placed wherever. This method would have pros and cons. Pro, by default it notifies everyone that a request has been made, achieves an objective case name, and is a foolproof link to the right case page. Con, it involves some of the template-placing-and-hopping-around that I think we wanted to avoid, from before... though, at least it'd be significantly easier, this time. As far as naming such a template (if we make it), how about {{medcab request}}? Something very simple and memorable. Luna Santin 21:53, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately what you coded doesn't work - even in the template namespace (see below) so we may need a diferent solution. Bear with me for a bit whilst I try and work it out...

See where this link points (subst from Template:Mediation_request which I created) to see why it doesn't work -> [6] -- Errant  talk(formerly tmorton166) 22:10, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Forget all that :D I am a fool and forgot to subst: it!!! So I created the template with the name suggested (see blow) take a look and see what you think. We need to work out the wording (all that is just 'placeholding' for now) but it is a start right? I think if we do things this way then it will be the easiest for the user and make the bot more useful.

Comment This article or section (Mediation Cabal) is currently subject of a mediation being resolved by medcab, the submission is located here. We ask that you dont edit the sections under discussion until a consensus has been reached. Of course you are welcome to join in with your opinion.
If you have placed this template here please follow this link to create your mediation submission

Anyway hi ericj I was under the impression that you weren't developing the bot anymore so it's good to see you might still be around. Sorry if we seemed a little ungrateful for your efforts. I'll take a look at the source code and see if I can perhaps do some work on it :D -- Errant  talk(formerly tmorton166) 22:22, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I may have misinterpreted you guys slightly, but the comments above are exactly how the system used to work. A user placed {{subst:medcab1}} on the case page, clicked the link and substed {{subst:medcab2}}, saved the page, and then filled out the answers. Cowman109Talk 22:53, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

This method is similar, but (I think) much simpler for the end user. Steps would be as follows:
  1. Place the request template on the article's talk page. The case is named and dated for them.
  2. Follow the edit link in the newly placed template. Template:Medcab2 will already have been substed, saving a step, and we can have any special instructions we like appear in the text above the editbox (currently, the contents of Template:Medcab).
  3. Fill out the form, save the changes.
Saves a few steps from the old version; I think it's almost foolproof, with some more work. We can of course change the details as much as we like, it's all a work in progress, just the general thrust of things could be along those lines. I'd encourage you to go ahead and click the edit link, if you haven't already; don't save the changes, but just to see what any user posting a case would be presented with. I like it. Luna Santin 23:08, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I second that! I see what you are4 saying Cowman; about going back to the old method. But although using an input box makes things easier in principle the limitations of it make it (IMO) more complicated than original. That said the way it was done before was not the easiest method. This way may make things easier. As luna Satin says lets see where this goes and what everyone thinks / contributes and maybe it will become a suitable replacement (temporary or otherwise) for a more elegant solution. -- Errant  talk(formerly tmorton166) 00:45, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

With the system shown above (the template with a link), it's possible to do the bot as I originally intended. We just need the status template (template & usage example) to be included in the template that is subst'd when creating the case. It'll also set the category for the page so it can be placed in the correct spot on the case list. So, all I would need to do is add the function so it reads the case page and places the mediator, comment, and any other information deemed worthy on the case list page. Ericj 21:06, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Mediator handling case

I really miss being able to scan the list on one page and see who is handling which case. Can this be put back? --Ideogram 13:26, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Hopefully we are getting a nice little template to put on the case page that will let the bot automatically update the current mediators and a nice little comment to the case. I'm not quite sure how that's coming yet, though. Cowman109Talk 15:55, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Is there a Mediation how-to for those finding themselves drafted as a mediator? CovenantD 21:00, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Suggestions_for_mediators you mean? Cowman109Talk 21:01, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
What Cowman said! But also, you may want to look over some cases in progress being mediated by others for ideas. What works for one may not work for another, but you should find your style fairly easily. I have found that most involved parties are just glad someone is there to help - they are usually patient with little glitches along the way if they know you mean well. --Aguerriero (talk) 21:04, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for the link. Is there a list of Cabal subpages somewhere, especially the forementioned case pages? I'm relatively new to Wiki (3 months) and I'm still learning my way around, so there might be a simple nav guide around I just haven't seen. CovenantD 21:23, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Duh. I just got to Cowman109's edits to the MedCab page. Nevermind. CovenantD 21:28, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Advice requested

I am on my second mediation case, ongoing at Rainbow Gathering and its talk page. While three editors have participated in the mediation process, a fourth "anonymous" editor who I cannot identify continues to disrupt the page and has not participated. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this? --Aguerriero (talk) 13:14, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

The fact that they are editing the section under dispute suggests that it is someone involved already - maybe one of the other participators in the mediation. You need to sort it out quickly by possibly starting again. By this I mean Start a new section on the talk page, set out the current status of the issues and the progress that has been made and then say regardless of what happens over the article the important issue is getting a decision made between them.
As to the article there is very little that could be done, although if you know a friendly admin ask them to semi-protect the page so anon editors can't log in.
DOnt let them rest control of the mediatioon from you. Although you are there only to guide the process you have to make sure they dont get sidetracked into an edit war. Try to ignore the edits being made and advise the otehr editors to do the same.
Finally watch lookingheart, he doesn;t seem to be very civil and may be getting quite angry (from what he is writing) in that state he could ruin all that the three of you have managed to progress so far.
Good luck and well done for asking! -- Errant  talk(formerly tmorton166) 14:22, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
See if it meets Wikipedia:Abuse Reports criteria.Geo. 20:17, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
If you think its one of the three editors who is in doing it, you might want to ask for a check user. Or even make note of the ip addy of the anon, and look to see if anyone related to the dispute left a message unsigned, revealing their ip addy. I wouldnt right out accuse anyone of being a sock, but it wouldnt help to dig into contributions if the problem persists. SynergeticMaggot 20:28, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice everyone. I believe having the page semi-protected has brought the situation a little more under control. I took Errant's advice and "started over" in a new section, and we are making headway. --Aguerriero (talk) 23:24, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Other advice requested

I am working on an article that I think has problems. It is an article on which there is some heat, perhaps because the topic involves both religion and disputes about religion. To my eye, it appears that the page has been sort of taken over by one particular editor who takes one side and reverts or eliminates other sides. He repeatedly argues that NPOV does not fully apply to this article and so his reverts are appropriate. He has sort of taken ownership (WP:OWN) of the article. I am concerned that editing will be difficult. I am going to try but he has already pretty much agreed to dismiss anything I do or say as biased (I have been putting my research on the talk page for comment but I have not made any changes to the article. Just my research bothers him).

My question is as follows: What happens when an editor owns an article, rejects NPOV and refuses to accept other editors except on the margins? How can you folks help, if I need it (I am going to try to go forward on my own and only seek help if I really need it). --Anon 64 20:17, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia encourages as much participation and input as possible. If you are having a problem with one editor, the best solution is to ask more people for their opinions. You may wish to appeal to a broader community for input by asking at the Village pump, posting a Wikiquette alert, or filing a Request for Comment. --Ideogram 20:21, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I have to admit, I am a bit concerned that a wide announcment will attract people on both sides who want to argue over the issues rather than meet in concensus. But I will try to follow the advice you have given and see what happens. If it does not go well, it will be a lesson!
This gets to something that sort of concerns me about wikipedia. It seems that MOST people who are really active and have successful wide-ranging lives, often will not bother to deal with such a thing as wikipedia. I do not know this for sure and I do not mean to cast aspersions on myself or other editors, but isn't our community likely to attract the oddballs MORE than the normal? In that case, isn't democracy here sort of a problem? Just a thought. I don't think we have any other choice.
Wikipedia does attract a large number of nutcases (although mentioning any by name would violate no personal attacks). However, Wikipedia is not a democracy for that reason (among others). We base our decisions on neutral point of view, verifiability, and no original research. The community enforces these principles through consensus and group decision-making. If one or a few editors defy these principles the community can stop them, up to and including official sanctions. --Ideogram 21:29, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly enough, while I was seeking your advice, the editor in question promised to take anything he disagrees with and move it to another page. In short, he is already promising an edit war [here]. This concerns me. The article that I am referring to is Exmormonism and on the talk page you will see the brewing problem.

An Example (I think)

It was not mediation, but there is an example (I think) of a highly divided group coming to a reasonable concensus on an article. Look at the list of archives on the talk page. We went around and around and around -- but the final article was MUCH better when many people contributed and worked together. It is really an inspiration to me. The article is Homosexual agenda. --Anon 64 21:05, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I think you will find that when people agree on basic principles including allowing everyone to have their say and making good faith efforts to reach consensus the system works surprisingly well. --Ideogram 21:31, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Closed case

As far as I can tell, Zeraeph closed (himself) a mediation that was opened by me. <sigh> [7] Sandy 02:08, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, since this is an informal process, we can't force anyone to go with a mediation, and once someone withdraws, that's pretty much all that can be done. Best wishes to both of you. I was really tempted to remove my comments, but I'll just strike them out. CQJ 02:17, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks: I just thought I should let you know why it fell off the list. Sandy 02:28, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Generally it should only be closed by the volunteering mediator, though exceptions are obvious if a dispute is clearly over and the mediator has not made a reply - those who are actually involved in the dispute should probably refrain from handling that sort of procedural stuff in the interest of making sure everything gets looked at thoroughly. Cases are not over, though, if one disputant refuses to get involved. You can always give suggestions to the other disputant on where to go further or work out something with them - remember that we can be flexible in our methods and there isn't necessarily one way to go about doing things. Cowman109Talk 03:38, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
In this case, no one had formally taken the case yet, so ... Sandy 04:08, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Wait - I'm a tad confused now. Are the details of that case already being discussed in another case that the one who closed it withdrew? And what did I just say.. do you mind clarifying what is going on a bit, please? Cowman109Talk 04:13, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, now that you mention it, I couldn't figure out what you were saying :-) There were 4 different things going on. Zeraeph first went to AN/I, where he was told he should come to MedCab. Then he opened a mediation, I copied the AN/I comments to the mediation, and he rejected the (his own) mediation, which was closed by Kylu, while I was asking the mediator (Torinir) not to close it yet. [8] Then Zereaph went to AN/I again. Then I opened a mediation, which Zeraeph closed (himself). [9] So, there are two mediations; his own, which he rejected, and mine, which he closed himself, and which had never been accepted by a mediator. The first mediation has copies of the AN/I entries. It was quite a mess, and I do regret that the first mediation was closed so quickly. Sandy 04:31, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
To correct misrepresentations in the above statement here is the actual state of the WP:ANI[10] 3 minutes before I opened [11]. I had not actually read it at that point. Here is the last state before archival[12]. Do you see anyone telling me I "should come to Medcab" in either? Thought not.
Here is the quote: "Hi, if you have an ongoing dispute, please take it though the dispute resolution process. I can heartily recommend the mediation cabal. Please do not post any more to the WP:AN/I on this subject." [13] I do hope you will decide to use the mediation, and I will request that it be left open a few days longer. Regards, Sandy 13:26, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
On my talk page (not WP:ANIas User:SandyGeorgia stated) and 17 hours after I opened [14], which rather invalidates the statement "where he was told he should come to MedCab. Then he opened a mediation" made by User:SandyGeorgia along with all it's underlying implications and connotations. As I said, I have a life, I don't have all day to unpick these vexatious confabulations. --Zeraeph 14:28, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I made my own choice, independent of anyone, to try and seek mediation. However when I saw the nature of User:SandyGeorgia's responses I realises Medcab would be a serious mistake, in this instance, not least because if anything said by, or about, someone does not suit User:SandyGeorgia she is certain to misrepresent it somewhere, sooner or later, and there will always be people who do not bother to check and just believe her, until the resulting distortion does not resemble the facts in the slightest. I have a life and I honestly do not have the time to spend trawling histories to check, and usually debunk, every statement User:SandyGeorgia makes so that any discussion with her will be about facts, rather than fiction of her own concocting, which is the only alternative.
I accept my limitations, I know I do not have the power to persuade anyone to change this type of behavior pattern, whatever I do. But on the other hand I have no intention of brushing it under the carpet, particularlywhen I find myself the focus of it.
I think Medcab is a good thing, but this situation is honestly unsuited to this issue, I should never have brought it here, and will not participate...though I do think maybe someone should point out to User:SandyGeorgia that when somebody says something like "I will not participate", it isn't always a ploy, or a gambit, or a move in a game, sometimes they just mean "I will not participate". --Zeraeph 09:51, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Ah, alright then. Well, he wanted his own case closed, which is fine as he submitted it, though I believe yours should remain open assuming you still want help looked at (though he doesn't need to participate, as he has clearly expressed that he does not to). There is nothing stopping us from working with a single disputant in a case to see if we can help just a bit. I will put your case back in the new cases section and leave a note. Cowman109Talk 04:41, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I do appreciate having something in place in case he comes to the table. And, I'm going to need some assistance if he continues posting allegations to AN/I. Thanks, Sandy 05:02, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
(de-indenting before the conversation moves over into the TV in the next room...) Anywho, apologies to those who were confused by the case closing, it's just when I'm asked to close a case by the person who opened it, I assumed they'd have the right to do so. Anyone interested in helping clarify the not-policy for our no-cabal? :) ~Kylu (u|t) 17:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
How about this: A representative of the MedCab or the case's requestor him/herself may close a case if they feel that the dispute has escalated beyond circumstances where a mediation prove fruitful and the dispute needs to be referred to other dispute resolution methods (i.e. Request for Comment, Request for Arbitration, 3RR) or to administrators for action. A MedCab representative may keep the case open to assist the requesting party should they feel that the requesting party may need assistance working through other dispute resolution processes, however, the MedCab representative should remain neutral, and if necessary, provide an explanation of the facts of the entire situation and not just the requestor's point of view in the dispute. The MedCab representative should only take sides when a clear and detrimental violation of Wikipedia policy has taken place in the spirit of WP:IAR. CQJ 18:20, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd just go for use your darn common sense and do whatever works within wikipedia guidelines and consensus. If you need a further rule or clarification, you should not be on the mediation cabal (yet). (Harsh but true :-P ). Note that even though there's official medcab case pages, that doesn't mean an informal mediator might not walk into a situation and deal with it anyway, closed, open, undeclared, none of the above, or anything in between ;-) Kim Bruning 19:08, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
And I've commented appropriately to your talk page, Kim. Basically, if we're going to adopt an advocacy role against a user that's involved in a MedCab case, that's something that we should state so no one's surprised when that role has to be adopted in a case since we seem to be the only game in town these days. CQJ 15:18, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Not sure what the above conversation is about, but since there has been no change, the case might as well be closed. Thanks to all, Sandy 20:07, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Edit conflict

Tried fixing something small on his talk page.

User: User: got angry, I got involved in a one-upping fight, then we had a mini-wiki-war.

I do watch many user pages, including his.

Right now it has stopped with his being banned for 48 hours.

If it continues I will notify you.

--Qho 20:48, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

This does not appear to have much to do with the Mediation Cabal. We are an informal mediation initiative and there isn't much we can do about this. I will bring the issue to WP:ANI, though, as it seems more suited to being there. Cowman109Talk 22:06, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Israel-Lebanon conflict

We've been submitted a case on the most hot issue today - Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2006-07-25 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. The case itself is dedicated just to links in the article, but, since it is a hot issue, it might spread to whatever else. I'll take the case for mediation, but, if you feel you can help in the mediation or just watch over the process and help with issues, it would be realy appreciated. CP/M (Wikipedia Neutrality Project) 21:40, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Deletionist campaign against high-IQ Societies

If I've posted this to the wrong place, please forgive. Over the past week, there has been a deletionist attack on several major high IQ societies, and one article has already been deleted. That article concerned a reputable society, established for over 20 years, which has received extensive mainstream media coverage and gets 12 thousand Google hits, the Mega Society. Up for deletion is an article about Ronald Hoeflin, who also has received much media attention and is perhaps the leading psychometrician in the field of high-end psychometrics, and also articles about, among others, the Prometheus Society, which has produced major scholarly articles on high IQ testing.

Here's what I wrote during the Mega Society deletion debate. It's worth printing here because it has implications far beyond the rarefied world of high IQ societies.

This deletion debate horrifies me. When I read 1984, where anyone whom the ruling elite didnt like was made an "unperson" and all records of him erased, I thought, thank God that's fiction. When I read about the old Soviet Encyclopedia, and how anyone who fell out of favor had his article (as well as his life) deleted, and all users were sent a letter by the NKVD telling them to cut that article out of the volume, I thought, thank God I dont live there. But this is chillingly real.

There are two aspects to my horror. --Aguerriero (talk) 15:33, 26 July 2006 (UTC) 1. I have devoted my life to halping the ultra-high IQ societies gain the credibility they deserve. I first heard of the Mega Society almost 20 years ago, thanks to a cover story in New York magazine. Some of its members became famous, just by being accepted. It is as respected among us as MIT or Harvard are in the world at large. To find that there are people out there who have never heard of it is as shocking to me as when I moved to the Midwest and found people who have never heard of Wordsworth or Rodin. It means that perhaps my life so far has been in vain.

2. I was at first skeptical of Wikipedia, and the whole notion of a grass-roots internet encyclopedia. I've edited a few entries over the years, but I hesitated to devote much effort to work which could be deleted by the first vandal who came across it. But as time passed I became a believer. The thing worked. But now, in the one area I know about, I have seen just HOW it works. Nameless, faceless, ill-informed accusers can at any time delete an area they object to. They pretend to be a democracy but must out of necessity be an oligarchy. And, since no group of a few hundred people can know everything, they must out of necessity be ill-informed about most of the subject matter they consider for deletions. It's a sad (yet almost humourous) blend of Kafka and Joseph Heller. It doesnt much matter now. Wikipedia is young, and one of many souirces of information. But what happens when it becomes the gold standard? What happens when it becomes the Mega Society of the information world?

Several people have said that they pitied the closing administrator who must decide this case. Instead, I feel envy. This is a great opportunity for him or her to make a contribution to Wikipedia that far exceeds this individual case.My dad was a professor of administrative law and from the time I was a kid he drummed into me three things that make a fair decision under administrative law different from an arbitrary decision by administrative fiat. They are notice, hearing, and (perhaps most important) reasons. NOTICE. As it now stands, the parties affected by a deletion are not told about it. They must learn about it by chance. Yes, these parties may well have a POV. But they are also uniquely qualified to provide relevant information. And uniquely injured by an incorrect deletion. HEARING The deletion procedure does indeed provide a good hearing, provided people are aware of it. Thank you for that. REASONS If the closing admin writes up a short statement of reasons for his or her decision, this will help guide future administrators in future cases. As I understand it, there is no clear policy on notability. It may be applied differently in different cases, and whether or not something is deleted will depend on who the admin is. If reasons are given in this case, they may be used to guide future cases. Not as binding precedent, but for guidance, and, over time Wikilaw will evolve

Some people have told me that Wikipedia works through consensus and not rigid procedure and rules. This may have been possible in the early days but I dont think it is now. Norbert Weiner once wrote that the limit of a small self-governing community where everyone knows each other and can reach consensus is about 100. You cant know every editor and I'm sure not every editor knows about this decision. You might well be a self-organizing system, but if you make a mathematical model of it, you might find that model predicts articles being deleted and then undeleted in an infinite cyclePromking 14:39, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I will reply on your Talk page to avoid cluttering this page. --Aguerriero (talk) 15:33, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, unfortunately this isn't the place, but Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2006_July_22#Mega_Society is. A discussion is already in process there on whether to overturn the deletion of the article or not. Cowman109Talk 15:47, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


Just a heads up. The members list is being used for survey requests See my talk page for details.Geo. 22:10, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

You know there's no direct link to your talk page in your sig, right? Anyway, many of us have already taken the survey. :) (Kylu@Work) 18:36, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

How many times do you need to revert a page to remove a personal attack

Because it is scandaleous enough that the remark was there because everybody knew that it was about somebody. It is even weirder that it takes several reverts because people keep putting it back in and use deceptive edit summaries like the person who originally added the attack.

You might want to consider changing the introduction, because the Mediation Cabal is not a friendly team and considers harassment insignificant and that some embarassing mediation are deleted is no problem either.

Clean up your act, meditators. As always there is nobody helping you on Wikipedia. Only people covering for each other. KittenKlub 00:22, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

The "personal attack" is directed at someone? It looks pretty vague and general to me... I don't know RobChurch's experience with MedCab. --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 00:30, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
That attack is directed against me. That was because he failed a mediation and took revenge by that remark. KittenKlub 00:31, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Looks pretty innocent to me... if it were directed at you it would probably include a name somewhere. *shrugs* I don't care, personally. --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 00:33, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I think he liked this way. It was his kind of revenge. Good that you don't care. Nobody seems to care. I guess that that is the real issue. KittenKlub 00:37, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Just so everyone knows... the problem was solved at User talk:KittenKlub --The Prophet Wizard of the Crayon Cake 01:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

  • sigh* this is my one and only hate of wikipedia - people take offence so esaily. Rob worded the comment deliberately to avoid targetting anyone, the only reason anyone knows it might be a personal attack is because you drew attention to it... In actual fact Kittenklub you are the one who has broken guidelines - WP:3RR --Errant Tmorton166(Talk)(Review me) 08:46, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Request for assignment

Several months ago, I had been assigned mediator of the Natasha Demkina case. My attempted mediation did not go well, as I did not at the time have a proper understanding of what is required of a mediator. I stepped down as mediator and took a break, but have returned to Wikipedia and am now involved with that article as an editor, and have had some success in expanding the article in a way consistent with the current consensus. We are currently dealing with disagreements over the acceptability of certain sources, and there are some civility issues that still need clearing up on the talk page. Still, I believe the article is headed in the direction of a more complete and neutral treatment of its subject.

I have come to request another assignment as mediator. If I were to be assigned a case, I would be certain not to repeat the mistakes I made before. I would not approach the case with an editor's attitude, or with my own preconceived notion of what the article needs. I would contact all of the involved parties at the outset, and would help them work toward consensus, rather than weighing in with my own views. I offer to mediate the Ninja rocks case, if a regular member of the Cabal would be so kind as to assign it to me. Thankyou. Rohirok 12:49, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

You don't need to be assigned to a case to take it. :] Just choose a case from the new cases (or chime in on open case), change the category at the bottom of the page to [[Category:Wikipedia Medcab open cases]], and begin mediating as you please. Thanks for your help! --Keitei (talk) 01:50, 31 July 2006 (UTC)