Arbitration report

The Report On Lengthy Litigation

The Arbitration Committee closed a case brought against Xed last week with a three-month ban, but avoided the touchy issue of whether private emails could be considered as evidence in arbitration.

Xed and Slrubenstein

In a dispute that didn't even particularly involve any articles, but was conducted on user talk pages and by email, Slrubenstein and Xed got into a war of words over Xed's treatment of Jimbo Wales (one of Xed's first actions on Wikipedia last September was to request arbitration against Wales over an email he had sent to Secretlondon). The only connection to the encyclopedia was that the argument could be traced back to a dispute at the beginning of the year over whether to add a banner about relief efforts for the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake to the Main Page, when Xed again took the opportunity to criticize Wales for suggesting that the banner be removed.

At the time, Wales had an exchange with Xed about how he felt Xed was treating him. A month afterward, Slrubenstein left Xed a message in the same section of his talk page saying, "You have such a small, petty mind." About ten days later, Xed responded with a message that concluded, "Fuck off you little shit". After Ed Poor had blocked Xed for this personal attack, Xed sent Slrubenstein a rather offensive email, but rather than deal with the question of whether they could base a decision on evidence of this nature, the arbitrators chose not to consider the email.

The Arbitration Committee ultimately considered other evidence showing a history of personal attacks by Xed on a number of users. In spite of Xed's contribution in helping start the Countering systemic bias project, the arbitrators decided to ban him for three months based on "a continuing pattern of personal attacks and disruptive assumption of bad faith". He was also placed on a personal attack parole for one year. Slrubenstein was cautioned to avoid personal attacks, but received no other sanctions.

Xed maintained that the case, originally based on a request for arbitration by Snowspinner, was brought in bad faith due to Snowspinner's dislike for the Countering systemic bias project. He argued that his responses to Slrubenstein were natural human reactions to abuse, and also criticized Snowspinner's presentation of the evidence as misrepresenting his contributions to Wikipedia.

Other cases closed

Personal attacks were also the focus of the case against PSYCH, which was closed on Saturday. In this matter, the arbitrators imposed a personal attack parole on PSYCH for a period of one year.

Finally, the case against Robert Blair (not to be confused with one of his opponents in the dispute over circumcision, Robert the Bruce) appeared set to close, but has not been formally closed at this writing. It appeared that Robert Blair would be banned from editing articles related to the dispute for a year, subject to 24-hour blocks for violations.

Snowspinner initiates two cases, offers to bring more

Two of the new requests had a tangential connection in that they dealt with the significance of the term "republic", which has figured in various politically charged disputes. On Tuesday the arbitrators accepted a case brought by Snowspinner regarding WHEELER, who developed an article entitled Classical definition of republic when his text was removed from the Republic article. The complaint cited this and other discussions as examples of original research and POV pushing.

Meanwhile, the question of whether Australia is a republic, part of a dispute over the Government of Australia article, led to a request when Adam Carr was briefly blocked Wednesday for making personal attacks. However, the arbitrators suggested that the earlier stages of dispute resolution would be more appropriate for this case.

Snowspinner also made the request in the other newly opened case last week, involving Dr Zen. In this case, Snowspinner indicated that he had been asked by other users to make the request, and he was later joined in making it by Raul654. The dispute focused on daily reverts over the Clitoris article.

Snowspinner later added on the mailing list that he was willing to submit any case on behalf of others if he felt it had merit. With Snowspinner's controversial participation in other aspects of dispute resolution (see related story), this proposal received a decidedly mixed reaction.

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