The Arbitration Committee remained busy handling a number of new requests for arbitration last week, with three new cases started and more about to be opened. Faced with this influx to deal with, the arbitrators did not close any existing cases, but did continue deliberating and are considering an innovative remedy to deal with one dispute.
With the volume of incoming requests, one of the new cases was merged with the current arbitration caseload. William M. Connolley, already a party to an arbitration case also involving Cortonin, made another request for arbitration against JonGwynne, who had previously been placed under editing restrictions by the Arbitration Committee in a separate case. The arbitrators voted to accept the case and merge it with the existing matter of Connolley and Cortonin. With JonGwynne added to the case, the designation of the case was changed to simply "Climate change dispute".
In this case, the arbitrators are also considering a new justification for placing restrictions on an editor. The proposed statement of principles includes a point with the heading "Competence", which reads: "In order to adequately edit a Wikipedia article a user must be able to understand and adequately interpret references which relate to the subject. A user who persistently and aggressively edits articles in areas which they are unable to understand may be banned from those areas."
The proposed findings indicate that Cortonin has proven unable to understand that the allusion to greenhouses in the term greenhouse effect is metaphorical, so that analogizing to greenhouses is not always an accurate explanation of global warming phenomena. As a result, it appears that Cortonin may be prohibited from editing articles in this field. These aspects of the ruling are still being considered, however, and do not yet have enough votes to become part of the committee's decision.
The arbitrators accepted a request for arbitration by Slrubenstein involving Jguk, based on a dispute arising out of the BC/AD vs. BCE/CE debate (see archived story). Also accepted was a case against Internodeuser for his treatment of other contributors while editing the Port Arthur Massacre.
Another new case was brought by AlexR and several other editors against Njyoder, complaining of "persistent incivility and aggressiveness". The request was quickly accepted and on Sunday, the arbitrators issued a preliminary injunction against Njyoder allowing him to be blocked for 24 hours if he makes personal attacks.
In addition to the cases that have formally begun, two requests have enough arbitrators voting to accept and will likely be started soon. One case ready to be opened is against a group of alleged sockpuppets involved in various heated disputes on articles related to Islam. SlimVirgin has called the person behind these accounts "the new Alberuni". It also appears the arbitrators have narrowly decided to hear a case against Skyring, with four voting to accept and three to reject. The matter involves a long-running dispute over Government of Australia.
One additional request, brought by Netoholic against Cantus, remains in limbo even after all of the active arbitrators except Neutrality have commented, with three voting to accept and three voting to reject the case.