Personal attacks cases dominated Arbitration Committee proceedings this week. Progress on cases already accepted by the ArbCom continued this week; four of nine cases were concluded since the last report.
A case regarding User:STP remained stuck in the petition phase as arbitrators apparently suffered disagreement as to whether or not the user in question should be blocked as a sockpuppet to another user, Alberuni, who was previously banned for anti-Wikipedian behavior. Arbitrator Grunt suggested an immediate ban, while Arbitrator David Gerard felt that insufficient evidence of sockpuppetry existed to provoke such a response. A decision should be forthcoming as Wikipedia's technical support advisors are consulted.
Another outstanding issue was that of Fadix and Coolcat, a personal attacks dispute that had embroiled five different users. Arbitrators are divided as to whether or not the case should be accepted; current votes are three to accept, two to reject and one abstention, a situation exacerbated by the confusing and rancorous exchange on the petition section. It is unclear whether a consensus is forthcoming, and at the moment it looks as though the case will be remanded back to lower levels of dispute resolution, as recommended by Arbitrator mav.
The accepted case — after an unusual delay of several days for comment — was the matter of Instantnood, et al., a far-reaching dispute over the matter of China/Taiwan naming conventions. It marks the first ArbCom case in which both sides have sought AMA assistance: the petitioner, jguk (joined by Huaiwei and User:SchmuckyTheCat) has gained the representation of Snowspinner, while Instantnood has secured the services of Advocates Wgfinley and Wally. The case was brought and accepted conditional to a merger with another case on the same issue, brought by SchmuckyTheCat against Instantnood a week before that had stalled in the petition phase. The ArbCom has thus agreed to hear both complaints simultaneously, and began accepting evidence from all interested parties on 21 April.
The matter regarding Users Tkorrovi and Paul Beardsell remained in the evidence phase after its acceptance on 1 April. The case involves a dispute over the artificial consciousness page, and involves a number of alleged personal attacks. An injunction against edits by either users on the pages in question took effect 10 April.
Four cases remained in voting this week. The John Gohde case, a dispute over personal attacks and disruption, saw consensus over findings of principle but unresolved questions of fact and a total gridlock in attempts to remedy the situation, as the arbitrator discussion dissolved into piecemeal discussion. A lengthy ban does, however, seem likely. A dispute regarding William M. Connolley and Cortonin over a revert war had no such deadlock, and seemed on track towards a speedy conclusion upon further arbitrators' voting.
The second Netoholic case, meanwhile (about which an injunction was issued on 7 April), despite being an issue of nearly herculean complexity, seemed on track towards a settlement including a referral to the Developer Committee about the viability of meta-templates. The case, which saw several arbitrators in dispute about its acceptance and two recusals, includes several petitioners led by Snowspinner and Neutrality against Netoholic, represented by Advocate Wgfinley of the AMA.
The final case, involving a dispute about classicism centered around WHEELER, involved the usual allegations of incivility coupled with an interesting dispute upon the viability original research as well as the extent to which minority points-of-view ought to be given weight in an article — or even split off into their own. The proposed ruling, which would amount to essentially a slap on the wrist, has already garnered the necessary votes and the case remains only to be moved for closure.
Progress on cases in arbitration continued this week, with a few cases reaching closure since that of Irate, reported upon last week. Motions to close were outstanding on cases regarding 172 and were opened on RJII and Rex071404 3 and his various surrogates. The first is likely to be dismissed, as 172 declared his intention to leave Wikipedia upon the initiation of action against him. The second had a motion to close opened as Arbitrator Grunt noted that significant improvements had occurred in the subject's behavior, as well as objecting to several proposed findings of fact offered by Arbitrator Fred Bauder as being "extraordinarily close to content decisions". In the final case, resolution is likely to involve official sanction of a self-imposed six-month ban, with additional restrictions placed thereafter.