News and notes

News and notes

Page patrolling enabled

Page patrolling has been enabled for Special:Newpages. The feature, active for all users registered for at least 4 days, allows users to mark new pages as patrolled, meaning that they're either appropriate pages, have been tagged with appropriate maintenance templates, or tagged for speedy deletion. A log is also available to provide oversight as to who made specific tagging decisions on any given page.

ArbCom nominations continue, age requirement imposed

Nominations for the December 2007 Arbitration Committee Elections remained open this week. This week, Alexia Death, Danny, John Reaves, and Mercury nominated themselves for the position. Meanwhile, NHRHS2010 and Phil Sandifer withdrew from the election, and Messedrocker and Cbrown1023 were forced to withdraw due to a new age requirement for the position, bringing the number of candidates in the election back to 27.

This age requirement is the result of discussion on the private Arbitration Committee's mailing list. Candidates must be both 18 years of age, and of legal age in their jurisdiction. This requirement was added, according to arbitrator James Forrester, because:

It is the considered consensus of the Arbitration Committee that our working practices are incompatible with having a minor as a member of the Committee, and that any changes to facilitate this would be impractical and severely damage the effectiveness of the Arbitrators. Specifically, a minor could not take part in discussion of or even be shown privileged information, including that sourced from the CheckUser and OverSight tools, without violating the confines of the Foundation's privacy policy and related terms which govern our practices. This is a significant part of the work of the Committee, and would result in, at best, a two-tier Arbitration Committee with some members unable to participate in, or even be aware of, most of the activity.

Of the five current arbitrators, only Raul654 will stand for re-election. Fred Bauder, Mackensen, Neutrality and SimonP have all indicated they will not run for another term. These five seats will expire in 2007; it has not yet been noted whether any other seats will be added or replaced.

Fundraiser continues

The Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser continued this week. In the first four weeks of the fundraiser, about 25,200 people had donated at least US$1, and the Foundation had raised about $763,000.

The large bump realized from changing the sitenotice displayed at the top of all Wikimedia projects has since disappeared; November 19's donations reached a fundraiser-low $17,522.75.

Large donations this fundraiser include a $10,000 donation by Michael Minor, and a $3,000 donation by Andrew MacMillan.


Also this week:
  • Anthere interview
  • Khobar plagiarism
  • WikiWorld
  • News and notes
  • In the news
  • WikiProject report
  • Features and admins
  • Technology report
  • Arbitration report

  • (← Previous News and notes) Signpost archives (Next News and notes→)

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    Discuss this story

    These comments are automatically transcluded from this article's talk page. To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache.
    The "what" reached 10,000 articles?--Rayc (talk) 10:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Heh, I was just coming here to say that too. KnowledgeOfSelf | talk 10:25, 20 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Age requirement

    I don't know the exact wording of the privacy policy, but if that policy doesn't allow for minors to take part in the arbitration comittee, that is a serious omission. Rather than limiting the age of applicants, the policy should be altered. Why is it such a problem to share private info with minors? Age isn't an issue with administrators either and it shouldn't be. Administrators should be reliable and mature and that depends on conduct rather than age. - Mgm|(talk) 15:55, 25 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    The "exact wording" of the privacy policy, or at least of the resolution controlling access to nonpublic data, is directly linked from the story. The Checkuser and Privacy policies were significantly tightened after the Essjay incident. All persons with checkuser access must be of legal age in their jurisdiction and must disclose their real identity to the Foundation. Thatcher131 18:49, 25 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I have carefully reviewed the wording of the policy and am not at all convinced that, in and of itself, it excludes editors younger than 18 from service on the Arbitration Committee, nor am I convinced that there is any reason for such exclusion. There has been discussion of this issue on the elections talkpage. This talkpage to an article in the Signpost is watchlisted by no one (I only saw it because it was cross-referenced in an edit that came up in a feed of arbitration-related edits in the arb-clerks IRC channel), and is probably not the best place for any discussion of the matter. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:01, 25 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I think you mean almost no one: for some reason, this page attached itself to my watchlist. Your point still stands, that here is not a good place to discuss this issue. -- llywrch (talk) 18:01, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    It is also discussed at WT:RFAR. It seems clear that if minor editors were to serve, there would have to be a two-tiered system, with a separate mailing list for issues involving checkuser information and minor Arbitrators automatically recused from all cases involving checkuser evidence (at a minimum). Thatcher131 00:32, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I know that's the conclusion that some of the arbitrators have come to, but I've read the policy carefully and it does not actually say so. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:34, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    Um, 2. Any volunteer who is chosen by any community process to be granted access rights to restricted data shall not be granted that access until that volunteer has satisfactorily identified himself or herself to the Foundation, including proof that such user is at least 18 and explicitly over the age at which they are capable to act without the consent of their parent in the jurisdiction in which they reside. Obviously this means minors can not be checkusers. Why do you think this does not bar minors from discussing data obtained from the checkuser tool in the context of an Arbitration case or appeal of a community ban, for example? Thatcher131 11:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    I'll follow up on this with you on another page or elsewhere. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:13, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    A reminder: These talk pages are normally used primarily for discussion of the story. I don't particularly mind having a discussion on whether the move was a good one or not, but the result of having such a discussion here is that it's fragmented amongst multiple pages, and I'm not convinced that's a good thing. Ral315 » 13:31, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]


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