AMA nominated for deletion

Association of Members' Advocates nominated for deletion

Following a comment by kingboyk and discussion on the administrators' noticeboard regarding an editor who was "challenging" the closure of an articles for deletion debate through the Association of Members' Advocates, the Association was subsequently nominated for deletion.

The controversy began when the article List of multiracial people was nominated for deletion on 6 March 2007 by Gadavis, who wrote that the article "is offensive, has no place on Wikipedia, has no value as a resource, and could contain a plethoric amount of names." Following a lively discussion in which eleven people voted in favor of deletion, while two opposed, the debate was closed in favor of deletion on 10 March by kingboyk. While explaining his decision to delete the article, kingboyk wrote that he was "closing a little early as the consensus is already evident and the continued presence of this article is rather odorous."

On 15 March, five days after the deletion of the article, Jalabi99 commented on kingboyk's discussion page questioning his handling of the situation and a number of other factors. Kingboyk responded by explaining that as an administrator his task was to determine consensus. He continued writing that Jalabi99 could appeal the deletion of the article at deletion review, but he would be amazed if the deletion was overturned.

Instead of appealing the deletion of the article to deletion review as kingboyk mentioned, Jalabi99 turned to the Association of Members' Advocates, opening a case on 21 March. The Association of Members' Advocates (AMA) is an organization that is "devoted to advocating, counseling, and protecting Wikipedians in need." This is done by guiding users through the dispute resolution process with special focus placed on assisting at the mediation and arbitration stages. While their stated goals are beneficial, their actions in the dispute resolution process have sometimes proven to be controversial due to conflicts with administrators and the Arbitration Committee (ArbCom). Keith D. Tyler, an AMA member, expressed his opinion on the conflict between the groups:

The whole point of an advocate (okay, [in my opinion]) is to provide assistance to a regular member, particularly with navigating the sometimes complicated, unclear, and underavailable WP:DR process, but [in my opinion] especially where they face an uphill climb versus an administrator bringing an action or up against the pro-admin tendency of the ArbCom. It is not to play parent or admonisher, but to support the member, aid them through the process, and aid with presenting their side of the matter. Otherwise, we may as well just dissolve into WP:ADOPT or something. Bottom line is, [with all due respect], I really don't think ArbCom is the best group for determining what sort of help a member needs when there's a case brought against them. The goal of advocacy is not to set the user straight, but to help them acheive (sic) a good outcome from the DR process.

Like it or not, ArbCom proceedings in particular, with all the deliberations, accusations, questioning, demand for evidence in particular formats, and etcetera trappings, are an awful lot like judicial proceedings. The only thing that tends to be lacking -- because the ArbCom vilifies it with the pejoratively-used term "wikilawyering" -- are arguments of merit on policy, or about misconstruction of statements or actions, whether actions are within policies and guidelines or warranted by circumstances... etc., etc. But unfortunately, ArbCom proceedings are not about whether the accused was right, or justified; they are about who the ArbCom likes more. A little rule of law would be a Very Good Thing. Alas. I joined AMA because it was a group of advocates, not a group of reeducators.

Responding to a suggestion that an AMA-ArbCom Team be formed, Arbitrator Raul654 expressed the Arbitration Committee's position on the Association of Members' Advocates:

For the sake of brevity, and the fact that we are now rehashing discussions that have already occurred multiple times, I'm going to cut right to the chase - The AMA has not shown itself to be useful at all during arbitration. The arbcom has no desire to add more work for itself, so we will not be doing anything jointly with the AMA. Much as they may fancy themselves to be part of the arbitration process, the AMA has no official status in arbitration. Prove yourselves useful using the process as is, and we may change our minds, but until then, kindly leave us alone.

After the opening of the case, kingboyk discussed on the administrators' noticeboard the role of the AMA and how he felt that by opening a case with the Association the editor was seeking to "personalise an administrative issue and [avoid] the correct forum (WP:DRV)." He went on writing "I was not notified of this "case" (I found it when looking at "what links here" for my user page), and the "advocates" dealing with it have responded to the "case" as though they are lawyers who have already judged me "guilty"."

It was quickly pointed out to kingboyk by TheronJ that in this case the Association had provided sound advice, such as referring the user to deletion review, suggesting that Jalabi99 ask for a copy of the content be restored to a userpage, or simply drop the issue. While kingboyk quickly acknowledged the usefulness of the Association when put into context, following continued discussion on the administrators' noticeboard the Association of Members' Advocates was nominated for deletion by Consumed Crustacean on 29 March. In proposing deletion Consumed Crustacean wrote that the deletion of the Association "was suggested by multiple people on [the administrators' noticeboard]. Specific reasons include the bureaucratic and lawyering nature of the AMA, and that the most useful of its functions can be served by the help desk. The AMA tends to be more divisive than anything."

This nomination for deletion comes in light of the recent deletion debate and decentralization of Esperanza (see archived story). So far, many comments have been added, many arguing for judgments including its deletion, keeping the article, and marking it {{historical}}, similar to the solution enacted in the case of Esperanza.

The debate over the future of Association of Members' Advocates continues this week.

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Given this article will affect the prominence of this issue, I've mentioned it at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Association of Members' Advocates#Votestacking Mark Hurd 01:42, 2 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think we really need to be going into such great detail about my involvement and my "AMA case" do we? I'm quite sure my posting was simply the "straw that broke the camel's back". I'm not trying to censor you, if you want to go with that level of detail fine :), but it's apparent to me that there was a lot of resentment to AMA among the admin community, the "case" I was involved in was really quite trivial compared to some of the other complaints, but for whatever reason my post was the final straw. --kingboyk 10:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

FYI, the debate is now closed. --Iamunknown 05:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]


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