January marked the start of a new term for several arbitrators appointed in the 2021 elections. The election, its outcomes, and the cute photo montage of the new arbs' namesakes can be found in the previous Arbitration Report. So what have they been up to in the last month? A few things, as it turns out. Several cases were declined, a topic ban was lifted, and some old cases were modified. Additionally, a comprehensive review of old discretionary sanctions began, and one case was opened.
Open case: Skepticism and coordinated editing
On 16 January, a case was opened regarding potential issues of coordinated editing by members of at least one group, Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW), led by Susan Gerbic (who is both a party to the case and the subject of one of the articles involved in the case). I made a preliminary statement in the case urging it to be accepted, which means I will refrain from going off about it at length in the Arbitration Report. The basic issue at hand is whether the activities of the group, which are often conducted in an opaque manner off-wiki, embody conflict-of-interest editing; sources and articles involved include the Skeptical Inquirer, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and Center for Inquiry Investigations Group (among others).
Discretionary sanctions review
Several categories of discretionary sanctions are up for review, following a 2021 review of the practice. The discussion, located here, concerns a number of rarely-used sanctions areas, whether they should continue to be covered by DS, and in some cases modifications to existing DS regimes. The sanctions being considered for abolition are:
Additionally, some article probation remedies are being considered for abolition. These are:
Finally, two DS regimes are being considered for amendment. They are:
- Remedy 5 of the India-Pakistan case (instituted in 2012). The current scope is "all pages related to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan"; the amendment would expand it to cover "all pages related to political or religious topics and closely related people in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, including but not limited to castes".
- DS remedies of the Armenia-Azerbaijan 2 case (instituted in 2011) would be rescinded, and a remedy added to the case authorizing DS for "all pages related to political or religious topics and closely related people in Armenia and Azerbaijan, including but not limited to the Armenian genocide".
Closed cases and motions
- A requested case, Warsaw concentration camp, was declined by the Committee; several motions were nonetheless passed resolving the request and issuing an admonishment to one editor. Jehochman, an administrator and party to the case, requested a voluntary desysopping.
- The Scientology case was amended by motion on January 7, with the removal of open-proxy-style blocks on Church of Scientology IP addresses placed in 2009.
- Following an amendment request, the committee passed a motion to modify editing restrictions on Crouch, Swale placed in 2019.
- A clarification request regarding extended confirmed restrictions, made on January 2, sought to determine whether topic-based EC restrictions placed by the Committee applied to discussions of source reliability, deletion, and the like. Generally, the answer was "yes".
- A case request, "Legitimacy about the imposition of never approved rules" (related to political parties in Italy), was declined.
- Amortias was re-appointed as a full clerk on December 28.
- Atsme's post-WWII anti-fascism in the United States topic ban was provisionally lifted.
Nine enforcement requests were closed in January.
- "RafaelJC12" (2 January), resolved with the user in question blocked from editing the article Human shield for 61 days
- "Encyclopædius (5 January), resolved by indefinite COVID-19 topic ban
- "Saad Arshad Butt" (19 January), closed "without comment on the merits, and without prejudice to bring up the same diffs in a future filing if the issues resurface".
- "Cygnis insignis" (19 January), resolved with a 96-hour block for 1RR violations and personal attacks.
- "Lokeshwaran V R" (22 January), resolved with an indefinite block as a standard administrative action.
- "in re Sushant Singh Rajput" (23 January), resolved with Talk:Sushant Singh Rajput protected as a standard administrative action.
- "Devesh.bhatta" (26 January), resolved with an indefinite topic ban from articles related to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
- "Davidbena" (29 January), resolved with a topic ban from Israel-Palestine articles.
- "Critchion" (29 January), resolved with an indefinite block as a standard adminstrative action.
Additionally, two enforcement requests are currently open.
So far, there have been 52 actions logged for 2022. They are as follows: