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Below are candidate profiles and interviews of candidates for the December 2007 Arbitration Committee elections.

The election guide is intended to be a brief overview of each candidate's beliefs and experiences. More detailed information about each candidate may be gleaned from their user pages, as well as their responses to questions from other users. Not all candidates have yet replied to our questions; their replies will be added as they are received.

ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-M  |  N-R  |  S-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

Newyorkbrad[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: N/A
First edit date: February 25, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since January 2007
Arbitration Committee clerk
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Thank you for considering my candidacy for the Arbitration Committee.

I registered my account in February 2006, began editing actively in July 2006, and became an administrator in January 2007. I have participated extensively in arbitrations for more than one year and have drafted many workshop proposals, several of which have been included in the final decisions.

Someone sought to "draft" me to run for the Arbitration Committee in last year's election, but I believed I was too new a user at that time. Instead, early in 2007 I was named as a Clerk for the committee. Clerk responsibilities including opening and closing cases, monitoring the case pages, providing procedural advice to parties, and preparing implementation notes for decisions. This work has familiarized me with all aspects of the arbitration process and with its strengths and weaknesses.

My off-wiki resume includes 20 years of experience as a litigation attorney in Manhattan. Despite this, I would not bring a legalistic approach to the Wikipedia arbitration process. What I would do is seek in every case to analyze the evidence carefully and to reach a result that is fair to all users involved in the case and will best serve the project as a whole.

It is essential that the Arbitration Committee speed up its process of considering and deciding cases. This year as in the past, there have been delays in deciding many cases. Too often, these delays have caused bitter disputes between editors, which were brought to arbitration to obtain a just and speedy resolution, instead to fester and worsen. Such outcomes defeat the whole purpose of having a high-level body of experienced and respected editors to resolve disputes as fairly and expeditiously as possible.

I respect the difficult role that the arbitrators and the Arbitration Committee play. Dealing with some of Wikipedia's most intractible disputes and most truculent users—to say nothing of the sensitive matters that the arbitrators must sometimes address off-wiki—is inherently a time-consuming, challenging, and sometimes tiring role. If the community chooses me among the editors to play this role, I will do so diligently and to the best of my ability. I look forward to answering questions from members of the community.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.)?

I've been a registered user since February 2006 and an active contributor since July 2006; I became an administrator in January 2007. I've also been an Arbitration Committee Clerk since the beginning of 2007 and have been one of the most active clerks during the year. I was also one of the members of the committee that coordinated this year's election for three members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have never been named as a party to an arbitration case. However, I have presented evidence in a couple of cases, and I have made workshop proposals in quite a number of others, several of which have been incorporated into the arbitrators' final decisions (I have probably written more words of official ArbCom decisions than some of the sitting arbitrators). I have also dealt with many cases as a clerk; this role primarily involves opening and closing case pages, notifying the parties and giving them procedural advice, and the like, but it has familiarized with me with the arbitration process and with what types of approaches have and have not been successful over the past year.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

As an observer, a participant in cases, and a clerk, I have experienced the strengths and weaknesses of Wikipedia's dispute resolution processes, which culminate in arbitration when other methods fail. I believe that my Wikipedia experience make me a good fit to join as one of the members of the committee and that I can contribute to deciding the cases and performing the committee's other duties fairly and expeditiously.

In the past year, are there any cases that you think the Arbitration Committee handled exceptionally well? Any you think they handled poorly?

Looking back over the list of cases decided in 2007, there are not many cases in which I think that the final decision contained an outrageous misjudgment. In other words, I believe the committee's final decisions this year have generally been sound. This is not to say that I agree with every word of every decision, but I am reluctant to reopen old wounds, or to multiply the length of this response, by closely analyzing the final decisions and identifying deficiencies either of substance or of form in cases that were closed some months ago. (If anyone is truly curious, ask me to elaborate on my candidate questions page.)

While the committee's final decisions have usually been sound, there have certainly been some proposals made by arbitrators on workshops or proposed decision pages, that were ill-thought and in some cases totally unacceptable, but fortunately these have not been adopted. There are also matters on which I've disagreed with the committee outside the context of a specific case, such as the concerns I have expressed regarding the "4 net vote" case-acceptance policy and regarding the newly announced minimum age requirement for arbitrators.

There have been also been several instances in which the committee has eventually reached a sensible result in a case, but the process has dragged on for so long that much of the value of the decision has been dissipated (because the parties have been using the case pages to call each other names for another two months so that relations among editors at the end of the case are worse rather than better, or one of the parties has become disspirited and left the project completely). Fortunately, within the past few weeks, the serious problem of undue delay in resolving cases has been greatly lessened. I hope and expect to see this improvement continue into the future.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

This is the type of awkward question that invites all the candidates to say nice things about himself or herself, requiring one to steer between the Scylla of self-deprecation and the Charybdis of cloying self-flattery. In an effort to stay clear of both of these perils, I will allow my record on Wikipedia to speak for itself. Those interested are of course welcome to take a look at my candidate statement and my answers to about 70 more questions for further information.

Raul654[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: N/A
First edit date: August 31, 2003
Local Rights/Positions: Arbitrator since August 2004
Featured Article Director
Bureaucratship since July 2004
Checkuser/oversight
Adminship since December 2003
Global Rights/Positions: Communications Committee representative
OTRS representative
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Hello all. I've been an arbitrator now for almost 3 1/2 years. I was elected back in August of 2004. The reason I wanted to become an arbitrator was I was very unhappy with how the (then-newly created) dispute resolution process was working. In particular, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Plautus satire vs Raul654 left a very bad taste my mouth. Plautus was ultimately banned, but only after weeks of unbelievably outrageous behavior that caused several good users to permanently leave. I wanted to join the arbitration committee to make it better serve the purpose of building the encyclopedia - to favor those who do good work, rather than bending over backwards to give 3rd and 4th chances to users who do not share our goals of building an encyclopedia. How far we have come since then.

In the early years of the committee, I authored many cases - not as many as Fred Bauder, but certainly more than my fair share. Owing to time spent on the other work I do here - as an administrator, checkuserer, oversighter, member of the press committee, featured article director, and contributor to the encyclopedia - in the last year or two I have not authored as many cases as I used to. However, I have made it a point to take the lead on some of the more controversial ones (for example, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pedophilia userbox wheel war). I consider it a badge of honor that many of the trolls on WikipediaReview detest me (with good reason - I am the reason many of them are banned). I am not here for them - I am here for you, the editors and administrators.

Just to lay out a few of my other accomplishments:

I stand by my record as an arbitrator, and if re-elected, I will continue to do so in the same fashion.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.)?

Administrator, Arbitrator, FA director, OTRSer, Checkuserer, Oversighter, Comcom member

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

I have been involved in many arbitration cases - mostly as an arbitrator, but occasionally as a participant.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Because I like it now that I brained my damage the last time ;) -- (on a more serious note) because I think my participation on the committee, voicing my opinions in disputes that matter helps improve the site.

In the past year, are there any cases that you think the Arbitration Committee handled exceptionally well? Any you think they handled poorly?

Being on the arbcom is sort-of like being in the CIA -- nobody knows about or remembers your successes, but they sure remember your failures. I think the arbcom did particularly well in the wheel-war last February (admittedly, that's a bit more than a year ago). After a wheel war that threatened had broken out and was quickly becoming very ugly, we got Jimbo to do an emergency intervention to stop the war, and then rendered a decision that was speedy (fastest arbitration committee decision ever) well thought out, and in my opinion, generally fair all around. (Although I took exception to one or two of the final remedies).

Why do you think users should vote for you?

They should vote for me because of my knowledge and experience on the site and in interacting with its users, and because of the personal values and insights I bring to the arbitration process.

Rebecca[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: Ambi, Ambivalenthysteria
First edit date: July 9, 2003
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since July 2004
Arbitrator emeritus, January to July 2005
Checkuser, oversight
Global Rights/Positions: Checkuser ombudsperson
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I realise that it's a late stage in the nominations, but I've decided to throw my hat into the ring. So, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Rebecca. I've been around Wikipedia since 2003, and I've been involved in most areas of the project, including serving a previous stint on the arbitration committee in 2005. I've changed quite a bit over these last three years - I'm older, wiser, albeit surlier, and though I once swore that I'd never go near the place again after I stepped down, I've been convinced to nominate once more.

I'm running again because I'm frustrated with the current state of the committee. I believe the committee should be here to facilitate the work of writing an encyclopedia, and at the moment, I think it's doing as much to hinder as to help that goal. I think some of the members of the current committee have lost touch with the community, especially with those of us who primarily work on writing articles. My perspective is to some extent affected by my presence on the arbitration mailing list (which I have access to as an arbitrator emeritus), as I've felt that the deliberations on some recent cases have been a little bit bizarre. I'm running because cases are once again taking far too long to process. Most of all, though, I'm running because I'm frustrated that many of the editors I respect have lost faith in the committee as it now stands to do its job. I ran on a similar platform three years ago, and for a time, we managed to get the committee running smoothly and effectively. Three years later, I'd like the chance to help do that again - although hopefully with a more lasting effect this time around.

As a final point, I also want to note that I've recently been appointed as one of the English Wikipedia's ombudspersons to handle complaints over abuses of the privacy policy and CheckUser. I don't think this poses a conflict of interest if I were to be elected, as UninvitedCompany previously held both positions simultaneously. However, if necessary, I would be prepared to resign from that position in order to avoid any perceptions of a conflict of interest.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.)?

I'm an admin. I also have oversight and checkuser access, as a former arbitrator, and I'm currently serving as one of three checkuser ombudspersons, with responsibility for investigating complaints about privacy policy violations.

Have you been involved in any arbitration cases? In what capacity?

Aside from the cases I handled as an arbitrator, they've been two that come to mind. The first, Rex071404, was way back in 2004 - he was the editor who was pretty much singlehandedly responsible for keeping all our articles about the Kerry campaign protected in the leadup to the 2004 US presidential election. I was one of numerous editors who had tried to keep him in line - I believe he later left after repeated arbitration sanctions.

The second case was, I believe last year, concerning a couple of Australian political figures who decided to try and use Wikipedia to smear their opponents. I spent some time keeping said smears out of the articles, and both users were banned for a period and subsequently left.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I ran for the committee the first time around because I felt that the committee was dysfunctional, and that this was affecting the capacity of the project to do what it's supposed to do: write an encyclopedia. I was elected to help reform the committee then, but alas, I feel that three years later, we're in the same position. As someone on the arbcom mailing list (as an arbitrator emeritus), I feel that the current committee has lost sight of the goal of writing encyclopedia, and gotten out of touch with the broader community. I also feel that some of their deliberations have at times over the past few months been a little bit bizarre. I'm also frustrated with the continuing failure of successive committees to keep the backlog down. It just isn't good enough to take one or two months to deal with a case - as such, if elected, I'll be working to ensure the committee runs a lot more efficiently than it has been.

In the past year, are there any cases that you think the Arbitration Committee handled exceptionally well? Any you think they handled poorly?

As I said in my answers to various people's questions, I'm generally reluctant to express opinions on specific cases. I think the committee often does a good job of trying to untangle some pretty complex situations: if I had to give one example, I'd probably say the Highways case was one of these. As for the second question, I'm explicitly not going to answer this one, because most of the cases where I've disagreed with the current committee's handling have the potential to come before the committee again.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I've been around the traps for a long time. I've been an arbitrator before, and I did that at a time, like now, when the committee was in a position of needing to reform itself to maintain the trust of the community. Beyond that, however, I am frustrated with the current committee's tendency to treat itself as a supreme bureaucracy, rather than a dispute resolution body that exists for the sole purpose of supporting the project in its mission to actually write an encyclopedia; if you would like to see the committee regain that focus, please consider a vote for me. Finally, if elected, I will - as I did last time - actually keep up to date with cases. I believe that arbitrators should not have to be nagged by clerks to actually do the job they were elected to do, so if elected I will be working to keep the committee running efficiently, rather than drawing to a standstill as it so often has over the years.


ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-M  |  N-R  |  S-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

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