Arbitration report

The Report On Lengthy Litigation

The Arbitration Committee devised a way to handle violations of the No legal threats policy last week, a type of conduct for which it had not previously needed to construct a specific remedy. New cases also came up as problems over circumcision-related articles continued, this time involving a different editor, and a privately negotiated arrangement with Anthony DiPierro collapsed and went into arbitration.

No using the wiki while maintaining legal threats

While threats of legal action had been cited in the original decision against RK, no specific remedy was applied on that point beyond the general four-month ban RK received. In the case of WikiUser, however, the arbitrators had to consider evidence that he had directly stated that he planned on suing Wikipedia.

In June 2004, only a few days after first beginning to edit Wikipedia and getting into a dispute with several users over the England article, WikiUser resorted to a request for arbitration without any of the usual preliminaries for resolving disputes. The request was dismissed, and when WikiUser tried to bring it again, he claimed to be collecting evidence and building his case for a lawsuit. An edit on his talk page also threatened to sue the "Nazis" who own Wikipedia.

Besides all of this, the arbitrators found evidence of personal attacks and determined that WikiUser had significantly disrupted Wikipedia in a variety of ways, including vandalism and edit warring. These problems, rather than the legal threats themselves, led first to a request for comment and then finally the arbitration case. The personal attacks and disruption each earned a one-year ban, with the bans to run concurrently.

After the year was concluded, the ruling provided that the ban for making legal threats would also end, assuming that WikiUser did not make further threats or take other legal action. The ban would have to remain in place if legal action was initiated; arbitrator Sannse made the point that she considered this a protective measure rather than a punitive one. Meanwhile, if WikiUser returns at the end of one year, the decision includes a six-month probation period during which he can be blocked for disruptive behavior.

New cases

The ban of Robert the Bruce (arbitration) apparently was not sufficient encouragement for some of the activists on the circumcision articles to improve their behavior, and this time one of the editors on the opposite side of the controversy, Robert Blair, became the subject of an arbitration case requested by Alteripse. The arbitrators voted for a temporary injunction prohibiting Blair from editing articles in the subject area, as they had previously with Robert the Bruce, which was scheduled to go into effect on Monday.

Meanwhile, a dispute that had narrowly avoided arbitration on previous occasions came to a head over Anthony DiPierro's efforts to preserve articles that have gone through the Votes for deletion process. DiPierro was subject to a standing order allowing him to be blocked for making provocative edits, to which he had agreed rather than go to arbitration over a dispute with Raul654. Recently, problems had centered on Votes for undeletion and DiPierro's use of his user space to store deleted articles.

The arbitrators voted to accept the case on Saturday, and DiPierro withdrew from the agreement to the standing order after the case was accepted. In addition to Raul654, four other arbitrators decided to recuse themselves due to various levels of personal involvement in the matter, leaving only six arbitrators to hear the case with mav on a temporary leave of absence from arbitration duties.

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