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ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-M  |  N-R  |  S-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

Sam Blacketer[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: N/A
First edit date: December 12, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since April 2007
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I have been thinking about running for a bit and hope I am not too late. I would very much like to be on the Arbitration Committee and help its work. I may not be the first to jump into threads on the administrators' noticeboard but I have often helped with three revert rule checking and enforcement which has taken me into some arbitration cases, and I have commented on others where I was not involved.

If appointed I would want to spend some time drawing out from the parties how they see their editing on Wikipedia, to make a calm judgment about whether they are able and willing to work with others who they do not agree with. Particularly with harassment (including off-wiki) I will try to determine whether problem editors have become disruptively obsessed with personal power struggles either with other users or with their point of view.

There are some big arbitration issues coming up, which include multiple editors edit-warring to push 'nationalist' positions. There are areas where policy is vague or non-existent, where editors try to push boundaries, and I would look to test whether this is 'trolling' or good faith belief. I am also concerned with precipitate action by administrators. There is rarely a good reason for applying lengthy blocks to established editors where disruption is neither happening nor imminent; discussion should be preferred. In crafting arbitration decisions I think it would be helpful to write findings which do not just indicate where someone went wrong, but also indicates what procedure should have been followed. Arbitration should help guide, not just criticise.

I hope that I have shown good 'people skills' in my time on Wikipedia. I have tried approaching all difficulties with diplomacy and tact but this may be deceptive. I have learnt not to get fooled when dealing with disruptive editors but I have also learned to keep cool and civil with them even when they are unlikely to reciprocate.

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

First and foremost I'm an article writer. I am also an administrator, since April. I have volunteered to be an OTRS member but I haven't heard anything back from it yet.

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

I was a party in Miskin because I had handled the initial three revert rule report. I looked over the The Troubles case having tried to solve the earlier editing dispute. I have offered evidence in Winter Soldier 2 where I was again involved as 3RR enforcing admin, and also commented on proposals in Privatemusings.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Mostly because I would really like to serve on it. I have seen arbitration cases progress and think I could bring a thoughtful input into deliberation, better understanding the parties' approaches and likely future behaviour, and considering the best result for the encyclopaedia.

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

I like some of the broad restrictions which the committee pioneered with the Armenia-Azerbaijan 2 case, allowing uninvolved administrators for good cause to place users under editing restriction without getting further sanction from ArbCom but with appropriate review. This model was recycled for The Troubles case and by and large it works. I regret that the THF case, which concerned several very important issues, did not go through to a conclusion.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I hope, because I have been able to maintain civility and not let feelings of personal pride intrude. I hope users recognise me as an editor who has the best interests of the encyclopaedia at heart.

Shell Kinney[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: Jareth
First edit date: June 10, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since November 2005
Global Rights/Positions: OTRS representative
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

There are two main reasons that I would be an asset to the Arbcom. First is my commitment to the Foundation's projects and the community that supports them. Second is my experience with Wikipedia, dispute resolution and OTRS.

I've been an editor since June 05 (my account name was previously Jareth) and an Admin since November 05. I started working on the now defunct Wikipedia helpdesk email shortly before becoming an administrator - when this closed, I was invited to volunteer at OTRS. While some of the answers to OTRS emails are simple, many involve research to resolve and all require delicate handling of disputes and a solid knowledge of policy.

The ArbCom needs members who can stay active and nimble even under the weight of a rather thankless job. Thank you for this opportunity.

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

Admin, OTRS

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

Yes, I've taken two cases to arbitration, Shiloh and Monicasdude. In both cases, I was a party.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I can help and have the skills to do so.

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

I think the Attack sites case was a bit of a mess. It was a sticky thing to be going into and ended up producing a rambling list of decisions to try to remind the community of our policies. I think it would have made a lot more sense to either just clarify the earlier ruling or, once the case was opened, deal with the problematic behavior instead of making general statements.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Because you probably don't know who I am -- this means I manage to contribute, clean-up, mediate and work for OTRS and still manage to resolve problems without creating issues and or drama.

Swatjester[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: N/A
First edit date: January 4, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since February 2007
Global Rights/Positions: Communications Committee representative
OTRS representative
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

My name is Dan Rosenthal, user User:Swatjester, and I would be an excellent choice for an Arbitrator. I have been an English Wikipedia editor since December 28, 2005 as an anon, and January 4, 2006 as a registered editor. In my time here, I've been promoted to administrator, accepted onto the Wikimedia Foundation Communications Committee (a.k.a. wmfcc/ComCom), OTRS, and from May 2007 through Sept. 2007, I served as a legal intern for the Wikimedia Foundation.

Arbitrators have to deal with sensitive matters and are given not only a public, but a private trust. I believe my time dealing with privileged material, such as OTRS legal complaints, and communications committee matters, shows that I can be trusted to have the information security required as an Arbitrator.

I'm also a law student, at American University in Washington D.C. I believe that this provides an interesting perspective of looking at things. Law school teaches one to think like a lawyer. It teaches one to draft solutions to often complex problems, to find broader principles from specific rulings, and to present arguments effectively and to the point.

I do NOT wish to bring the legal profession to Arbitration Committee cases. Law suits are slower than ArbCom cases. A recent case I've been following, a standard defamation case, was filed in July, and the "Evidence" (discovery) phase is not scheduled to end until January. In addition to expediency, Arbitration is simply not court. Though there is a panel of decision makers, similar to appellate courts in the United States, the Arbitration Committee is not usually bound by precedent, there is not an adversarial system of lawyers arguing, there are no complicated rules of civil procedure and evidence. It's a system unique to Wikipedia, and it deserves to be treated that way. I believe that I can make the Arbitration process faster, and in some cases more fair (for instance, recent cases have taken far longer than necessary due to lack of presence of some arbitrators, and some have been accepted, only to be later dismissed. While this is sometimes appropriate, other times it is not).

As a final word, I'm also familiar with the Arbitration process, and the stresses it entails. I've been a party in a couple of Arbitration cases, both as the requesting party, and as a requested against party. Arbitration creates a lot of stress on its participants, some would say in a manner similar to litigation, and I believe that it is important to have Arbitrators who understand what the parties are going through, and the causes that led them to that stage, rather than an aloof, distant decision maker.

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

Currently I am an admin, an OTRS legal queue volunteer, and a Communications Committee representative. In the past, I have served as a legal intern for the Wikimedia Foundation.

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

Yes, a couple as a party on both sides (requestor and requestee), and I occasionally leave a commentary on cases awaiting acceptance.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I believe it is something that I would be good at. The committee needs new members, and I'd like to help.

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

I believe the nationalism articles, such as azerbaijan/armenia, have been handled well, though obviously there is room for improvement. Also, the Derek Smart arbitration resulted in a good decision that has eliminated the problem. I do not wish to single out certain cases as being poorly conducted, as we are not privy to the inner workings of the committee's decisions, however, I think all of the cases could be moved along much more quickly.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Trust. Users can trust me to carefully handle the sensitive information that arbitrators are privy to, things that the foundation has already entrusted me with as an intern. I will be active, and try to keep these cases moving, while ensuring that all evidence is carefully reviewed. I believe that I am a good candidate for the job. I hope the community will place their trust in me as an arbitrator as well.

Thebainer[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: N/A
First edit date: October 7, 2004
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since December 2005
Global Rights/Positions: OTRS representative
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

G'day, my name's Stephen and I'm a law student from Melbourne, Australia. I've been an editor here since October 2004, and a sysop since December 2005. I also do a little OTRS, and I'm involved with many of the mailing lists.

I feel that I have a good mind for detail; I've presented evidence in a number of arbitrations (such as this one and that one) and it always seems to have been received well. I feel that I have a good grasp of policy, having rewritten a number of them (such as the three-revert rule or the blocking policy).

The project has changed a great deal in the more than three years that I have been participating in it; users have come and gone, the volume of work produced here has dramatically increased, and even many of the ways in which the community has run have evolved significantly. Yet there are many important things which have stayed the same: our fundamental goal to write a free encyclopaedia, our aim to build a strong and cohesive community to support that effort, and the principles that underlie those goals. Arbitration fulfils the essential function of championing that second goal: resolving disputes, defending against passion, reinforcing our basic policies. It's a role that requires eternal diligence, to borrow a phrase, a role to which I hope I can contribute.

Who knows where the project will be in another three years. I am confident that the principles at the heart of the project will continue to drive it, and that I will be doing what I can, in whatever capacity, to aid in that end. The things that motivated people to pick up their keyboard and edit back when I joined continue to motivate them to do so now, and while the community remains strong, they will continue to motivate people in the future.

After all, if we can survive the userbox wars then we can survive anything.

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

I'm an administrator (since December 2005) and an OTRS volunteer (since early 2006).

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

I was peripherally involved in the Internodeuser (aka Zordrac) arbitration. I was listed as a party to the Husnock arbitration, as the maker of a block that preceded the case. I've also presented evidence in a number of cases in which I haven't been involved, including the Brandt deletion wheel war case and the Miskin arbitration.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Arbitration requires a continual investment of energy and enthusiasm to make it work. I feel that I have a good mind for detail and a strong grasp of policy, and that I have skills and knowledge which would be useful. I think that I could assist in improving upon the methods of arbitration to help it run more smoothly. Ultimately this is just another way in which I hope to contribute to the well-being of the project.

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

The Brandt deletion wheel war case was handled swiftly but efficaciously: the Committee quickly identified it as an important case, and were able to hone in on the key issues in it, and kept the case focussed and the parameters of the dispute well-defined. In the Badlydrawnjeff arbitration, the Committee managed to distill an extraordinarily complex raft of proposals and suggestions into a few choice principles that were broadly acceptable to most people. That this was done during a groundswell of community-driven change in the underlying policies was even more impressive, with the Committee accurately judging this shift.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

I don't know of anyone else who has received barnstars for arbitration evidence they have presented :)

Seriously though, I hope that, after more than three years contributing to the project, I have a good enough understanding of its workings and of the community to be able to be contribute to it further in this way.

White Cat[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: Coolcat, Cool Cat
First edit date: February 4, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Hi, everybody out there. For those who may be surprised why am I even a candidate there is a very simple yet unorthodox explanation for this. I have had gotten into a fair share of disputes. Of course being into disputes is by very nature not pleasant. It isn't necessarily a bad thing either. After how can anyone truly be able to deal with disputes big or small without experiencing big or small disputes. I'd like to talk about my "failures"

I am not "proud" of any of this and I will not even attempt to make excuses. But I can't change the past. I was not genetically engineered with wikipedias policies and I do have a learning curve with a finite slope. I have been recommended to have a fresh start with an unconnected account but I desire not to do that. My reason for this is simple. I value honesty above everything else. It would be dishonest for me to come and claim to be a different user - at least in my own mind. I refuse to give up on my ideals simply because it is convenient.

So in sum I am not any near your "ideal" and popular candidate. I think I have a lot of experience that I can put to good use should I get appointed as an arbitrator. I hope to offer a different perspective which I feel is healthy in any median. I strongly fell that if everybody is thinking alike, often nobody is truly thinking. Weather I have grown adequately with my involvement with wikipedia and other wikimedia projects such as commons in my 2+ years here is for you to judge.

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

I am just a mere editor on en.wiki. I am a commons admin if that matters at all... I would not classify any of those examples and etc as a "position". None of them is a big deal.

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

I was an involved party on two past cases (WP:RFAR/Coolcat, Davenbelle and Stereotek (2005) and WP:RFAR/Moby Dick (2006)) as an "involved party". The two cases were filed over harassment complaints. I have been "involved" with many cases. For the most part, I observed. Among the most interesting cases was WP:RFAR/Armenia-Azerbaijan and WP:RFAR/Armenia-Azerbaijan 2. I am currently an "involved party" on WP:RFAR/Episodes and characters which opened on 22 November 2007.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I feel this is an area where I can employ my experiences. I do not really have a detailed answer to this question as I merely want to serve the community.

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

I really do not feel I am in a position to question the decisions of arbcom. I really feel it is very easy to look back to a closed case and 'judge' it so anything I put here wont be truly fair. Arbcom is overloaded with cases and they are doing quite a decent job. However I feel there were one case (WP:RFAR/Armenia-Azerbaijan) which were handled less than perfectly. There was a second case (WP:RFAR/Armenia-Azerbaijan 2) over the mater which was handled exceptionally well. I do not believe arbcom did poorly on the first case. Remedies could have been better worded and enacted and the second case perhaps might have been avoided - but all that isn't really important. Resolving such a complex dispute is however an exceptional accomplishment for arbcom - it just could have gone more smoothly though. There may be a third case judging from enforcement logs: case 1, case 2.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Had I been voting for a candidate, criteria I would look for at the candidate would be candidness, honesty, sincerity, impartiality, credibility. I recuse myself from judging myself per coi :P. I'd hope the users would vote for a candidate (whoever it may be) that has these fine qualities.

Will Beback[edit]

Candidate profile
Other usernames: Willmcw, User2004
First edit date: July 13, 2004
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since June 28, 2005
Global Rights/Positions: OTRS representative
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I've been an editor at Wikipedia since 2004, and an admin since 2005. I participate in a wide range of topics, including many that have editors with strong POVs. I've never been blocked or accused of wheel-warring. Off Wiki, I've chaired or served on several real life committees, including juries. I'm patient, work well with others, am good at analyzing situations, and am willing to compromise to achieve consensus.

The ArbCom is an important tool in keeping the project moving along. Its job is to resolve the disputes that haven't been resolved using other procedures. It interprets but does not make policy. ArbCom decisions should always put the good of the project first.

The ArbCom needs to be more responsive and less opaque. I think that clearer deadlines and schedules for action on cases would help both ArbCom members and RfAr participants. Editors expecting resolution of requests for arbitration should not be left hanging, and ArbCom members should make handling cases their top priority. Some of the greatest delays have come after the evidence is completed and some ArbCom members have voted. I think that members should seek consensus before voting is started, and should promptly resolve internal disagreements regarding cases rather than letting them linger for weeks or longer.

ArbCom members have additional official responsibilities, including handling checkuser and oversight requests. There are also unofficial responsibilities, including setting examples for good behavior. I believe that I can fulfill all of the responsibilities involved in serving on the ArbCom.

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

Admin and OTRS.

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

Involved party:

Uninvolved party: (gave evidence or discussed motions)

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

The ArbCom needs committed volunteers who can put in the time and effort to resolve disputes that disrupt Wikipedia. I beleive I could help the committee with my involvement.

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

A recently closed request, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Railpage Australia, is a great example of a simple case that was handled quickly and properly. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/The Troubles was a much more complicated request, and took two months to settle, but I think it is also a good example of a well-handled case. On the other hand, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/THF-DavidShankBone is an example of a failed case. While the case was dropped to the departure of one party, it seems that the committee was unable to decide on the facts or remedies. I think that a more methodical approach to complicated cases may reduce stalemates like this.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Users can judge me by my record and my statements. I'm a longtime contributor to the project who is good at analyzing evidence and summarizing complicated issues. The ArbCom needs people who are willing to put in long hours over a three-year term, who can approach divisive issues with fairness and diplomacy, and who can achieve consensus within the committee. I believe I can meet those requirements.


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

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