The Signpost

Arbitration report

Two prominent administrators removed

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By Bri

Two long term administrators, RHaworth and Kudpung, were de-sysopped in February. Both results held individuals to account for their responsibilities to the community, including the norms of communication and special care required in their position. Arbitration Committee member Xeno in the Kudpung case suggested a need to dispel a blue wall of silence,[1] while supporting a surprisingly controversial remedy that "the community is reminded that attempting to have a community-wide discussion of problematic behavior early on can prevent unnecessary escalations."

RHaworth desysopped

RHaworth was desysopped For his failure to meet the standards expected of an administrator, including repeated misuse of the deletion tool. He was made an administrator in 2005.

Kudpung desysopped

The Kudpung case closed on February 29. Of the 15 active arbitrators, 5 abstained or recused themselves for this case. This leaves the majority for the case under Arbcom rules as six. The most severe proposed remedy, "Kudpung desysopped", was adopted by the majority. An alternative was a suspended desysopping, under behavioral stipulations to retain the suspension – a novel proposal as far as we know at The Signpost.

The most significant findings of fact centered around thorny reactions generally, and two specific interactions with administrator, checkuser, oversighter, and arbitrator GorillaWarfare in particular. Kudpung has occasionally made remarks towards other editors that could be interpreted as personal attacks. In disputes with other editors, he has also made nonspecific threats of retaliating against or "investigating" the other party. The term proud women used by Kudpung[2] was described by Arb Joe Roe as "well over the line".

Administrators' noticeboard (AN) cases prior to the current Arbcom case occurred in 2015, 2017, 2018, (which were closed without action), and the 2020 incident that was closed as resolved after this case request was filed in response. Arbitrators considered whether this constitutes a clean history with respect to prior dispute resolution, and whether absence of AN actions implies absence of cause for Arbcom actions up to and including de-sysopping. Multiple iterations of the "Previous attempts at resolution" section seemed to underline the difficulty in determining exactly what attempts at resolution actually occurred and what they mean now.

Kudpung, who was an administrator since 2011, spearheaded the RFA Reform initiative of 2011 (see previous Signpost coverage) and wrote passionately about the subject for The Signpost (see the Adminship series). He also was the force behind the initiatives leading to the articles for creation process (see previous Signpost coverage). He marked his userpage semi-retired on February 29.

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You might also mention that Kudpung was previously editor-in-chief of the Signpost, not simply a contributor. Liz Read! Talk! 20:34, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

  • The way traditional news media (and other media formats) handles a potential COI, is by placing a small note of disclosure in italics at the end of the piece, noting that the subject was once an editor-in-chief of the publication. There are some media outlets who will place the disclosure at the top, but that’s less common. Viriditas (talk) 23:23, 1 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
All the best: Rich Farmbrough (the apparently calm and reasonable) 19:45, 2 March 2020 (UTC).[reply]
  • Without any knowledge of this specific case, and without any desire to personalize the issue: There is nothing more destructive to a community than to announce that long-term members are exempt from the rules. If an administrator is actually "innocent", fine, but litigate that point, then. If they are performing inappropriate actions, the fact that they are a "prolific contributor" or did a lot in the past should not be anything more than a minor mitigating factor. It's a genuine shame if we lose a long-term member who did amazing invisible work, but the standards of community conduct come first. "But they're a prolific contributor" is always a weak defense. SnowFire (talk) 01:37, 4 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]


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