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Arbitration report


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By Bri, JPxG, and Claude Anthropic II

Once again, we have invited an AI, Claude Anthropic II, to summarize some lengthy discussions of interest to the community. This is presented as a Q&A format with the AI.

Missing from AI summary: BrownHairedGirl, an editor since 2006 with 2.9 million edits (#2 on the list of Wikipedians by number of edits) was banned.

Preliminary statements[edit]


The following is a set of preliminary statements for an English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee case request. Can you read it and summarize the broad strokes of points raised by the statement submitters, the gravamen of the complaints made, and an outline of the original dispute which prompted this case request?

Claude Anthropic II:

The original dispute centered around disagreements over the application of the Wikipedia guideline WP:SMALLCAT, which deals with the deletion of small categories without potential for growth. The user BrownHairedGirl was accused of making incivil comments about and personal attacks against several other editors in Categories for Deletion (CFD) discussions related to SMALLCAT.

The statement by RevelationDirect initiated the case request, detailing numerous alleged violations of policies and guidelines such as WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF by BrownHairedGirl. RevelationDirect felt BrownHairedGirl was wrongly accusing them and others of being part of a coordinated "tag team" targeting her editing.

BrownHairedGirl's statement defended her comments, arguing she was upholding the actual wording of SMALLCAT while others were ignoring or misapplying it. She felt she was being unfairly accused due to a legitimate content dispute.

Of the various other people to make statements, some echoed concerns about BrownHairedGirl's incivility and lack of assuming good faith. Others argued BrownHairedGirl's comments were not necessarily uncivil, just strongly worded, and an ArbCom case may be unnecessary.

There was also discussion about the actions of involved administrators, particularly a block of BrownHairedGirl by Paul August during the case proceedings.

Overall, the central concern seems to be charges of long-term issues with BrownHairedGirl's conduct and incivility, which some feel may warrant ArbCom action given the lack of clear community consensus on handling it. But there are disagreements on the severity and nature of the issues.

Evidence phase[edit]


The following is an evidence page for an English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee case request, along with a summary of the previous items in the case. Can you read it and summarize what evidence was presented, by who, and what other participants thought of it?

Keep in mind that the statements given for an "evidence phase" are claims, usually from parties to the case, which are directly posted to the evidence page without having been vetted, verified or cross-examined (this is done by arbitrators after the evidence is presented) — the claims should not all assumed to be automatically true or neutrally described.


DanCherek presented evidence that BrownHairedGirl has repeatedly accused other editors of "gaslighting" her, as well as some past ANI discussions involving Laurel Lodged.

DIYeditor presented evidence that BrownHairedGirl often accuses others of malice or incompetence when challenged, and highlighted an insensitive interaction between her and Nederlandse Leeuw at ANI. DIYeditor felt some of BrownHairedGirl's allegations of hostility were not clearly evidenced.

QEDK presented evidence suggesting BrownHairedGirl engages in battleground behavior and ignores direct questions when focused on content disputes.

Nederlandse Leeuw presented evidence from past sanctions that BrownHairedGirl has issues with incivility. He argued she does not recognize the importance of civility and deflects using "whataboutism".

Laurel Lodged presented several examples of BrownHairedGirl lacking assumption of good faith and making accusations of bad faith or vindictiveness.

Oculi presented extensive evidence on the history of small category deletion discussions, suggesting consensus at CfD aligned with their view, not BrownHairedGirl's. Oculi felt unfairly targeted.

jc37 gave background on the history of the SMALLCAT guideline.

Pppery presented an example of BrownHairedGirl having a productive dispute on another topic.

Valereee presented evidence that Laurel Lodged edits disruptively and ignores communication, while BrownHairedGirl argues constructively. They highlighted the "brace yourself Bridget" edit summary.

Tamzin highlighted a past incident where BrownHairedGirl avoided incivility in a difficult dispute.

Red-tailed hawk presented evidence about recent blocks of BrownHairedGirl and how they were overturned.

JaggedHamster showed examples of BrownHairedGirl accusing others of bad faith and incompetence regarding this case.

MJL presented evidence of past conduct issues with Laurel Lodged, including around category topics.

Mikeblas presented a few examples of BrownHairedGirl lacking civility.

Trainsandotherthings argued BrownHairedGirl bludgeons discussions against consensus, using a Signpost article dispute as evidence.

RevelationDirect extensively documented claims by BrownHairedGirl of a coordinated "tag team" against her, which she did not evidence. He felt the accusations were uncivil.

PamD felt that BrownHairedGirl's interpretation of the SMALLCAT guideline is correct based on the wording.

Marcocapelle acknowledged CfD may have drifted from a strict reading of SMALLCAT in practice over time.

Thryduulf presented examples of alleged bludgeoning and battleground behavior by BrownHairedGirl.

Beccaynr highlighted the "brace yourself Bridget" edit summary directed at BrownHairedGirl as problematic.

Extraordinary Writ provided examples of BrownHairedGirl assuming bad faith in a deletion discussion.

SamX presented evidence that BrownHairedGirl intensely bludgeoned a discussion about a Signpost article.

In summary, the evidence covers allegations of longstanding incivility issues by BrownHairedGirl, focused heavily on the recent SMALLCAT dispute and her accusations of bad faith. There are disagreements on whether the evidence demonstrates uncivil conduct or understandable frustration on her part.

Workshop phase[edit]


The following is a workshop page for an English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee case, along with a summary of the previous items in the case. Can you summarize the general shape of the development of consensus, as well as the process that took place during the workshop phase?


Based on the workshop page, here is a summary of the general shape of the development of consensus and the process during the workshop phase:

The case involved conduct issues related to a dispute over the application of the WP:SMALLCAT guideline for deleting small categories. The main parties were BrownHairedGirl and several editors who she accused of misapplying the guideline.

During the workshop phase, parties and other editors proposed principles, findings of fact, remedies, and enforcement actions. This allowed input into what should be in the final decision.

There was some consensus around principles like assuming good faith, avoiding personal attacks, and participating appropriately during the case. But there was disagreement on findings of fact and who was primarily responsible for the conduct issues.

BrownHairedGirl argued the core problem was misuse of SMALLCAT, but other parties framed it as primarily an issue of her tone and behaviour when addressing them.

Proposed remedies included sitebans, warnings, interaction bans, topic bans, and, for BrownHairedGirl, upholding an existing civility restriction.

Towards the end, BrownHairedGirl expressed disillusionment with the process and Wikipedia overall. She decided to semi-retire after clashing with the format and word limits for submitting evidence.

The workshop saw some consensus on general principles, but disagreement on core facts and accountability. There were procedural concerns from BrownHairedGirl that she felt hindered presenting her case.

Proposed decision[edit]


The following is a proposed decition page for an English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee case, along with a summary of the previous items in the case. Can you summarize the process by which the arbitrators assessed the information and arguments they'd been given in the previous parts of the case, as well as the concepts on which they base their decision-making process?


The arbitrators reviewed the evidence and arguments presented in the earlier phases of the case, including the preliminary statements, evidence, and workshop. In drafting proposed remedies, the arbitrators considered concepts like proportionality, preventing future issues through restrictions, and balancing the interests of the parties and the wider community.

Bans were proposed for the two main parties, BrownHairedGirl and Laurel Lodged, based on findings regarding their past conduct issues and lack of improvement after prior warnings and restrictions.

The decision-making placed emphasis on principles around civility, consensus-building, and avoiding personal attacks and battleground behavior. Recidivism was also an important factor - failure to reform after previous sanctions.

There was extensive discussion of the need to balance BrownHairedGirl's positive contributions against her recurrent incivility and its impact on other editors. Though the decision to ban her was unanimous, the arbitrators wrote at length about their decision; Barkeep stated he took "absolutely no joy in casting this vote", while Primefac expressed his regret that it had "come to this" and Moneytrees expressed that the decision "sting[ed] to make".

For Laurel Lodged, his highly offensive comments made the ban decision clearer. Overall, established norms of conduct took priority over content expertise or longevity when imposing remedies.

The arbitrators aimed to craft a set of remedies that would resolve the issues in this case while being consistent with policies, principles, and past precedent. Their votes on the proposals shaped the final decision.

Final decision[edit]


The following is a final decision page for an English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee case, along with a summary of the previous items in the case (request, preliminary statements, evidence, workshop, and proposed decision). Can you summarize the general decisions of the Committee, the basis on which they were made, and the overall implications?


Based on the summary provided, here are the key points about the Arbitration Committee's final decision:

The case involved conduct issues during a dispute over the SMALLCAT guideline for deleting small categories. The main parties were BrownHairedGirl and Laurel Lodged.

The Committee banned both BrownHairedGirl and Laurel Lodged indefinitely from Wikipedia, with the option to appeal after 12 months. This was due to findings of long-term incivility and failure to improve conduct after prior warnings and restrictions. Laurel Lodged was also topic banned from category maintenance, in case he was unbanned in the future. Nederlandse Leeuw was warned about conduct issues.

The decisions were made based on principles like civility, consensus-building, avoiding personal attacks, and not treating Wikipedia as a battleground. Recidivism after prior sanctions was an important factor.

There was debate over balancing BrownHairedGirl's positive contributions and passion against her recurrent incivility and its impact, but established norms of conduct were prioritized over content expertise or tenure.

The implications relate to enforcement of behavioral standards, especially for veteran editors, the Committee's role in resolving intractable conflicts, and the relationship between content and conduct on Wikipedia.

Overall, the decision emphasizes adherence to policies and guidelines, with sanctions for those unable or unwilling to meet expected standards of conduct, irrespective of the merits of the underlying content dispute. It highlights the Committee's view of Wikipedia as a collaborative project requiring cooperation and good faith.

Missing from report: <XfD editors [closers] reminded> clause in both proposed decision and final decision

Off-wiki thread[edit]


The following is a Wikipediocracy thread about BrownHairedGirl, which took place during an ArbCom case that ended up sitebanning her for conduct during an onwiki dispute. Can you summarize what everyone said in this thread, with particular attention to the sitting arbitrator Beeblebrox, whose participation here was the subject of some later on-wiki controversy?


Based on the Wikipediocracy thread, here are some key points about the discussion of BrownHairedGirl's ArbCom case:

BrownHairedGirl was known for being incivil and aggressive in disputes, and had a long history of conduct issues on Wikipedia. The thread documents her behavior during the latest ArbCom case, where she was confrontational and refused to cooperate with restrictions on submission length.

Many commenters felt a siteban was inevitable and appropriate given her past sanctions and unwillingness to change her conduct. There was debate on whether she should have been given more leeway due to her longtime editor status.

Some Wikipedia editors criticized Beeblebrox for commenting on an open case. Beeblebrox defended it by saying he waited until after the case closed, though some felt it was still inappropriate.

The thread covered procedural issues like BrownHairedGirl's late submission of evidence, her accusations of unfairness, and her threats to leave Wikipedia.

Overall, the thread chronicled the case from initial filing through to the siteban, with commentary on BrownHairedGirl's conduct and predictions on the outcome. Beeblebrox's participation drew criticism from some editors, though he felt it was appropriate since the case was closed.

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