Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-06-29/Arbitration report
The evidence phase closed 13 June and when the workshop closed on 20 June, it included comments from seven editors (not counting one entry considered unsuitable by a clerk). In some cases, the workshop items call for investigation of content changes such as "intricate detail" removal or excessive article redirection, which remain contentious as an Arbcom matter. Other issues being considered include harassment or following; POV or advocacy editing; and off-wiki discussions of other editors, their content, and associated meatpuppetry.
Another content question under discussion is how to correctly use a biased yet reliable source. This requires careful framing and context.
Proposals floated prior to workshop closure included limiting redirects by an editor; blocks, bans, or a one-way interaction ban on LargelyRecyclable; or a two-way interaction ban and (tentatively) an admonition of K.e.coffman (KEC) for advocacy, downgraded from "battleground mentality".
If Arbcom's decision comes down purely to editor interactions rather than considering content, then this comment by TonyBallioni will be of great importance:
[T]here has been no evidence presented that K.e.coffman has acted inappropriately towards LargelyRecyclable. Multiple administrators have commented here saying that they consider LargelyRecyclable's conduct both towards K.e.coffman to be problematic, and evidence has been presented against them both in terms of how the have interacted with K.e.coffman, and their interactions with Bishonen during this case [...] K.e.coffman should not be subject to [an interaction ban or site ban] if there is no evidence of their wrongdoing.
A great deal of discussion has revolved around alleged long-term "civil POV pushing" by KEC. One commenter at the workshop called this an "insidious" practice. To this, editor Beyond My Ken has replied:
A number of these editors have made complaints about KEC's editing, and some of those complaints may have merit, but what they have consistently failed to do is to show that KEC is atempting to bias articles in a certain direction [...] KEC's editing has the effect of keeping articles properly neutral [...] The same cannot be said for the complaining editors, who, the evidence shows, are—either deliberately or simply by not understanding the effect of their editing—the ones skewing the articles [...] It's worth noting, also, that the editors I am referring to also control WikiProject Military History, which points out the danger which can come about when WikiProjects basically claim ownership rights to articles.
The issue of bias brought about by an editing clique, institutionalized through a WikiProject and its coordinators, is a significant concern brought up by multiple editors in addition to the one quoted above, and may be examined by the committee.
A proposed decision was originally due by 27 June, shortly before The Signpost's publication deadline, but has since been extended to 7 July.
The case was accepted on 8 June with the scope being "the editing of Philip Cross in the topic area of British politics, especially as it relates to potential violations of the Biography of living persons policy and/or the Conflict of interest guideline". The evidence phase closed 22 June.
According to JzG (Guy), who created the case as a spin-off of an Administrators' noticeboard dispute, "this is an off-wiki dispute about Wikipedia, imported to Wikipedia. It is inherently difficult for the community to handle not least because some off-wiki material would result in an instant block or ban if repeated here and we have very blurred lines about linking to off-wiki outing and harassment." (emphasis added)
On 11 June, a large amount of material was suppressed, leaving the impression it involved the off-wiki evidence that Arbcom demanded be sent to them privately.
One of the parties has posted doubts about Arbcom's integrity, especially "the complete concealment of off-Wiki evidence" in reference to the other party's offline identity.
A number of remedies have been proposed, including:
- no additional actions, since Philip Cross has already received a topic ban on a particular contentious article;
- discretionary sanctions for all articles related to post-1979 British politics;
- amending the Biographies of living persons policy to restrict editors from "offensive or disparaging" social media posts on their on-wiki work;
- an RFC to enact the social media strictures above if Arbcom can or will not;
- a broader topic ban; and
- a smörgåsbord of other civility restrictions and topic bans, including other restrictions of off-wiki behavior.
The unusual off-wiki restrictions noted above were not embraced by everyone; whether this is permitted by Arbcom's charter remains an open question.
Some commenters have suggested we are headed for wide-ranging discretionary sanctions for British politics paralleling American politics 2.
Related content: In the media § Arbitration committee thrust into the media spotlight
Open and shut case
In a case filed reluctantly by Beeblebrox on 5 June, user Andrevan—who acquired administrator and bureaucrat rights at 13 and 10 years ago respectively—was accused of being from the "cowboy admin" days "retaining an attitude of shooting first and asking questions later." The case was accepted by 11 Arbitrators with one recusal. Faced with a long list of evidence of poor blocks, closing an RfA he had voted on, and numerous behavioral incidents while editing, Andrevan requested the removal of his Admin and Bureaucrat rights while already blocked for another issue. In less than 48 hours of being opened, the case was closed by motion on 11 June with Arbitrators voting 12 to 0 that Andrevan may only regain permissions through new RfA and RfB submissions per the removal "under cloud" policy provision.