Arbitration series

Wales appoints six arbitrators

In a Signpost exclusive, Jimbo Wales has announced the results of the 2007 ArbCom elections. In an e-mail sent to us Wednesday morning, Wales named six new arbitrators to the Committee, effective January 1, 2008:

For the 2007 ArbCom elections, I am making the following appointments and shifts:

This fills the 5 vacancies in Tranche Alpha.

Then I am removing Flcelloguy from Tranche Gamma for inactivity, with the understanding that if he chooses to return to active service, he may claim a (perhaps temporary) expansion seat in Tranche Gamma. This is intended to be the same situation as Mindspillage and Filiocht have in Tranche Beta.

Into Flcelloguy's seat, I am moving FloNight. This effectively extends her term by 1 year, moving her from Tranche Beta to Tranche Gamma.

And then finally I am appointing Thebainer into FloNight's old seat in Tranche Beta. This unfortunately gives him only a 1 year term, but he did come in 6th.

Finally, I want to announce a desire that the ArbCom should institute some informal notions of a required level of activity, and that I will gladly act upon the advice and consent of the ArbCom at mid-term to make replacement appointments (June-ish - July-ish) for any Arbs who unfortunately have found themselves unable to live up to the time commitments of the position.

I will gladly leave the choice of those mid-term appointments up to the Arbcom (or, at their desire, make the tough decision myself), but will have a strong preference at that time for appointments (based on the election results) from this list of runner-ups: Raul654, Rebecca, Manning Bartlett, Giano II, David Fuchs, Shell Kinney, MastCell.

I am particularly interested that the community work to heal what appears to me to be perceived rifts between various factions, and encourage everyone to work within our existing frameworks and institutions for positive change with a minimum of drama. We are all here to build an encyclopedia and should understand that there are very often complex judgment calls in which we may not personally agree with every result - our first obligation is to pay attention to making sure that our _processes_ are as just, open, participatory, and transparent as possible consistent with our mission.

I believe that none of my appointments today will cause any surprise or drama, as I have followed the election results quite closely.

All five of the top five finishers in the election received three-year terms, and Thebainer, who received 67% support and finished sixth, received a one-year term. The extension of FloNight's term would lead her term to end in December 2009, giving her a three-year term. She was originally elected in the December 2006 elections, and given a two-year term.

Flcelloguy, meanwhile, was removed from the Arbitration Committee due to inactivity, but can return at any time to serve the remainder of his term (which expires in December 2009). Flcelloguy has not edited since May, when he noted that "I recently had an unexpected period of busyness. I should be back to active editing soon." This arrangement, as noted, is similar to the ones enacted for Mindspillage (Kat Walsh), who resigned when she joined the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees, and Filiocht, who has not edited significantly since December 2005 due to illness, and noted in June 2006 that s/he was "Away indefinitely."

Wales' comments about inactivity would serve as a new guideline for arbitrators; in previous years, some arbitrators have been criticized for their inactivity, but no standards had been proposed about expected activity. Raul654, an arbitrator since July 2004, was not re-elected in this year's elections, in part due to his inactivity, which was cited by some opposing voters. Other than Raul654, seven other arbitrators were inactive for at least eight weeks this year, including Flcelloguy and Neutrality, who has not participated in an arbitration case since October 2006.

Also this week:
  • Arbitration series
  • Board expansion
  • WikiWorld
  • News and notes
  • In the news
  • WikiProject report
  • Features and admins
  • Technology report
  • Arbitration report

  • Signpost archives

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    Why, exactly, does Jimbo Wales have this anachronistic and outdated power to appoint arbitrators? Why can't the five candidates receiving the greatest support in the election be elected automatically? All other Wiki communities are trusted to govern themselves, and I can't understand why he thinks we need or want his intervention here. I don't recognise his authority in the slightest - he may have founded Wikipedia, but he doesn't own it, fund it, or contribute any substantial part of its content. The only people who have any moral right to control Wikipedia are a) the donors and b) the community, being the people who actually keep the encyclopedia running. Jimbo should abandon any pretence to any sort of authority around here. WaltonOne 13:46, 28 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]


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