The Arbitration Committee closed four cases last week and accepted no new requests, thus severely slashing its caseload. It also continued to act on cases more quickly than in the past, taking one case from start to finish in eight days.
The Everyking case went quite quickly, as a final decision was reached early on Monday, 24 January, after the case had been accepted on Sunday, 16 January. Since the dispute was already the subject of a lengthy request for comment, as well as two previous arbitration requests that were withdrawn, the expedited handling may be due to the fact that much of the evidence was already organized and the arbitrators already had some familiarity with the case.
After considering several different ways of restricting Everyking from articles related to Ashlee Simpson, where his editing was the focus of the dispute, the arbitrators finally settled on prohibiting him from all reverts except for cases of obvious vandalism. Otherwise, for the next year Everyking is subject to 24-hour blocks for any reverts to these articles.
The arbitrators considered requiring Everyking to reapply for adminship, a possibility that had been suggested by Everyking's critics, but decided not to take this step. Notably, several people pointed out that Everyking had not in fact misused his administrator capabilities, as even his opponents had to concede.
At one point during the case, while Everyking was blocked for violation of the three-revert rule, some controversy ensued when he continued to use the admin rollback function to remove vandalism while he was blocked. However, it was explained that blocks specifically only prevent users from reaching the edit window, and the feature is intentionally limited so as not to restrict other capabilities.
In a case closed last Tuesday, IZAK received a ban and was placed on personal attack parole thereafter. This resolved the last of several cases related (at least partially) to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The case against IZAK was originally brought because he was campaigning against User:Sam Spade's adminship nomination by posting identical messages to a large number of talk pages. Also raised was his general practice of widespread "spamming" on talk pages regarding various issues dealing with Israeli-Palestinian topics.
However, while the arbitrators noted IZAK's crossposting of messages to multiple users in their findings of fact, they imposed no remedies to address it. As arbitrator Ambi had urged in declaring her recusal, they appear to have considered the lack of a clear spam policy with respect to talk page messages.
Instead, the ruling gave IZAK a ten-day ban for making personal attacks, followed by a two-month parole period in which he can be given short bans if he repeats these offenses. A ban from Israeli-Palestinian subjects was considered as a remedy, but rejected.
Previously, arbitration cases have resulted in a number of users being placed on a probationary status, where if they violate the terms of probation they may be blocked for short periods of time (usually 24 hours). So far these have dealt with reverting or personal attacks, allowing blocks if the user exceeds a certain number of reverts or makes personal attacks on other editors.
According to the ruling, the POV parole covers situations in which -lothario- "re-inserts any edits which are judged by a majority of those commenting on the relevant talk page in a 24-hour poll to be a violation of the NPOV policy". As the lone dissenter on this remedy, Fred Bauder called it "An abomination, an invitation to bans based on bias and misunderstanding of the NPOV policy". In response, mav pointed out that the parole applied only to reinsertion of material after a determination on the talk page that the material did not conform to NPOV.
Since none of the available evidence indicates that -lothario- has edited Wikipedia, at least while using an account, since the underlying incident took place in November, it appears that an opportunity may not arise in this case to determine how a POV parole would be applied in practice.
Besides the POV parole, the decision gave -lothario- a three-day ban "for repeatedly vandalizing OneGuy's userpage with personal attacks." The arbitrators also admonished OneGuy "not to respond in kind even to severely provocative personal attacks", but did not impose any penalties on him.
The case of ArmchairVexillologistDon, accused of harrassing AndyL was closed without any action because ArmchairVexillologistDon indicated on his talk page that he was "resigning from Wikipedia" on 3 January. (If he should return, the arbitrators indicated that the case could be reopened.)
The only requests for arbitration last week came from Ollieplatt, an alleged sockpuppet of Libertas, and were unanimously rejected. Since Ollieplatt is already involved in the arbitration case regarding Libertas, Fred Bauder commented, "I think your plate is full right now, please resolve your own case first."
In the actual case involving Libertas, Ollieplatt, and a number of other accounts identified as sockpuppets, the Arbitration Committee also issued a temporary injunction last Saturday. The different accounts were all prohibited from editing any pages other than those related to the case (as well as their own user pages and user talk pages). Ollieplatt, the most active of these accounts recently, was later blocked for violation of the injunction, after already receiving several earlier blocks for violation of the three-revert rule.