Arbitration report

The Report On Lengthy Litigation

With the arbitration caseload whittled down, activity was relatively slow last week with only one new case accepted and none of the existing cases being closed. (Since this column was missing for a few weeks, it will also briefly report on items that have yet to be covered).

On 4 May, the Arbitration Committee issued its decision in the case of Netoholic, which was opened as a separate case after a significant amount of evidence focusing on Netoholic's conduct was added to 172's case. The complaints focused on revert wars and non-productive behavior on a variety of issues, such as the use of meta-templates and a proposed system for de-adminship.

The arbitrators found that Netoholic engaged in revert wars and consistently assumed bad faith on the part of those disagreeing with him, thus creating "a bad working atmosphere". They also acknowledged that on the meta-templates issue he "was arguably completely technically correct — but he interacted so negatively with others that he actually convinced people he was not". Because the disputes generally involved questions of policy development, the arbitrators avoided settling the underlying issues, leaving those for the community or the developers to resolve. Instead, the decision focused on Netoholic's "editing habits and interactions with others".

The Committee enacted, with full agreement from all parties, an innovative remedy which the arbitrators called a "mentorship". The ruling provided that three mentors would have the authority to restrict Netoholic's editing as they deemed necessary, but that they should also work to assist Netoholic's communication and interactions with other editors. The mentors assigned are Grunt, Kim Bruning, and Raul654 (Grunt and Raul654, both Arbitrators, had both recused themselves from the case itself). The agreement indicated that the mentors would have a "free hand", and recommended that any future problems be referred to the mentors before taking action. Should mentorship prove unworkable, a contingency was included which would restrict Netoholic to one revert per day and prohibit him from editing the Wikipedia and template namespaces. This is suspended while mentorship is in effect.

The one new case opened last week was a complaint against Wareware, in which deeceevoice alleged that Wareware had directed a series of racial insults at her. Even with this, the Arbitration Committee currently has a total of only six cases open.


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