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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-09-30/Special report

Post-Framgate wrap-up: Summary of actions around a formerly banned former administrator: Arbitration Committee action and withdrawn request for adminship



The Arbitration Committee case examining the conduct of English Wikipedia administrator Fram concluded, with the Committee vacating Fram's ban by the Wikimedia Foundation, and assuming responsibility for the removal of Fram's administrator privileges. The intent to open a Request for Comments discussion on "how harassment and private complaints should be handled in the future" was also announced. Subsequently, Fram filed a request for administrator privileges. A day later, after more than 200 editors expressed opinions with over half against Fram's reinstatement as an administrator, Fram withdrew the request.

Background

Framgate, as it was called by many – more formally, "Community response to the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of Fram" – was a wide community response to an abrupt WMF office action on June 10, 2019 that effectively banned English Wikipedia administrator Fram. In its wake, many administrators resigned and others questioned the role of WMF in English Wikipedia governance, especially without the involvement of the Arbitration Committee. It ended with a détente: WMF turned the decision about Fram's future as an editor and as an administrator back over to the English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee. An Arbitration Committee case was opened on July 24 to answer these questions about Fram, and the committee began discussing how to handle similar situations in the future.

Arbcom decision

On September 21, the Arbitration Committee (Arbcom) case stemming from the incident was closed. Findings reaffirmed usual policy considerations including civil behavior and administrator behavior, but hinted at supra-community responsibilities with a "Proportionality of sanctions" section and stated "Private evidence" requires a commensurate private hearing. Remedies applied were un-banning Fram, requiring a new RfA, and announcement of a future "Arbcom RfC regarding on-wiki harassment".

Re-RfA

On September 26, Fram moved a request for adminship out of user draft space. The application was co-nominated by five individuals (Chowbok, Fastily, Iridescent, Lourdes, Xeno) – all but one of whom are either administrators or bureaucrats.

In this RfA, as with pretty much every one before, especially persuasive arguments were echoed by other contributors with the comment "per so-and-so". Supporters cited "per Iridescent" more than any other participant's argument. His co-nomination provided praise for Fram and said "atrocious" behaviors that attracted censure in the past "have been virtually non-existent" since 2018 warnings. Editors opposed to returning administrative tools cited Drmies's oppose rationale, in which he highlighted actions that have been suppressed but are alleged to be labeled "Potentially libelous/defamatory", more than any other. Other editors additionally cited more mundane temperament and civility issues.

On September 27, a little more than 24 hours after it began, with the vote standing at 109 in support and 122 opposed, Fram withdrew the application, stating:[a]

There clearly is widespread concern about my behaviour and attitude (though also a heartwarming bunch of supports). I will continue to edit, take the applicable concerns to heart, and hope to reapply in a year (or later) with a better track record.

Footnote

  1. ^ Some portions of the RfA history have been suppressed