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Below are candidate profiles and interviews of candidates for the December 2008 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ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-K  |  L-S  |  T-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

Candidates[edit]

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: May 29, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Greetings, neighbors and colleagues. I am the Fat Man Who Never Came Back. I have voiced my ongoing displeasure with the Committee's performance this year, complaining that the committee as a whole is ineffectual, indecisive, uncommunicative and largely unresponsive to the demands and needs of the community. Many colleagues who share this point of view, or who otherwise tire of the "types" of candidates being perennially regurgitated, have begged me to run for a spot on the Committee. I have avoided declaring my candidacy in the hope that several bold, fresh and plausible voices from outside the crowd of AN/I and RfARB regulars would step onto the stage. For the most part, they have not materialized; the names I see on the ballot (while sometimes indicative of decent editors and administrators, impressive in their encyclopedic accomplishments) do not inspire confidence that an overhaul of the way ArbCom functions is likely, or even possible. With seven open seats, this may be the only real opportunity to radically change the composition and disposition of the Committee over the next few years.

The committee needs an injection of independence, clear communication and common sense. I support a more welcoming environment for expert content contributors and strong writers as well as an end to internal cronyism, favoritism and needless behind-the-scenes machinations. Though the Committee does not dictate editorial policy, I would not refrain from using my position on the Committee to throw considerable weight behind reforms that would help bolster Wikipedia's prestige with the outside world: greater sensitivity toward BLPs; exploring the implementation of flagged revisions; and an easy and straightforward process for demoting poorly performing administrators. Let the Fat Man help regain your trust and confidence.

The Fat Man Who Never Came Back has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

Trojanpony[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: December 6, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: None
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I'm just a really nice guy. :)

Trojanpony has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.

Vassyana[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: October 16, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since May 2007
Member, Mediation Committee
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

I have answered a candidate "vote guide" at User:MBisanz/ACE2008/Guide/Vassyana. My candidacy is based around three principles: devolution, project principles, and coherent interpretation.

Devolution is devolving responsibility to the standing administrators and broader community. This would not preclude me from supporting sanctions and other measures as part of an ArbCom case. The community generally expects action to be taken on ArbCom cases. However, I would clearly and explicitly remind the community of their options and encourage them to take the initiative and action in similar circumstances. ArbCom needs to clearly encourage and support admins and the community in resolving disruptive behavior.

Wikipedia has a number of project principles that form the foundation of our policies and guidelines. I am more likely to support decisions firmly grounded in these fundational principles and would oppose decisions outside of these principles. In cases where the principle is clear but policy is vague, I would act in favor of the underlying principle and encourage the community to clarify the policy.

Coherent interpretation is key to the healthy function of ArbCom and the community. On a number of occasions various policies, principles and ArbCom decisions are perceived to be in tension (or even contradictory). I believe that this is an erroneous approach resulting from a failure to consider the various factors in context. Rules, principles, and standing precedent should not considered individually in a vacuum. I will endeavor to interpret the rules and precedent in whatever manner results in the most complementary and coherent reading. Acting otherwise leads to inconsistant decisions and fragmented rules.

I believe most, if not all, concerns about ArbCom can be addressed by acting on these principles. In terms of process, I support transparent arbitration procedings and decisions. All ArbCom decisions should have explicit reasonings and arbitrators should be open to elaborating on decisions to clear up any lack of understanding in the community. I am open to any and all questions that will help you make a decision on my candidacy.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

Administrator, member of MedCom. Until I recently stepped down, I was a MedCab coordinator.

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

The Prem Rawat case. I provided evidence and workshop suggestions.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

A number of editors encouraged me to run in this year's election. I also have strong misgivings about (what I perceive as) Arbcom's trend towards a top-down approach and distance from the core principles of Wikipedia. I also believe that my mediation experience and awareness of some divisive areas will be valuable additions to the Committee.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Overall, ArbCom has a mixed record in handling cases. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Tango and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/September 11 conspiracy theories are good examples of cases handled fairly well in a timely manner. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/C68-FM-SV is a prime example of untimely and unsatisfactory resolution, as well as poor communication and case handling. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Highways 2 is another case with similar issues. I believe instituting additional bureaucracy for the purposes of "special" BLP enforcement was a gross misjudgement by the Committee. It is something that could, and should, have been handled by acknowledging that we have much stronger standards for BLPs than other articles and clearly stating that administrators have the authority to enforce its provisions.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Confidentiality is an important consideration. I have long made myself available via email for confidential communications and held those letters in the strictest confidence. I would fully share evidence with the permission of the provider. If evidence is submitted about a party, I would at the very least make clear to that person the essential facts of the evidence. It is also important that privacy and confidentiality are properly considered. The submission of evidence privately to avoid the perceived threat of retribution is not the same as the submission of evidence involving confidential information. I would be willing to provide a decision influenced by confidential information, but would endeavor to explain as much about the evidence and its essential conclusions as possible without violating the confidence of the private correspondance. To draw a parallel to a common example, it is possible for a CheckUser to confirm connections between accounts (same IP and user agent) without divulging the private information (the specific IP and user agent).

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Everyone is going to have differing issue priorities and preferred qualities, so I cannot make a blanket statement. I believe I am reasonable and principled. In general, if editors agree with my candidate statement and think I have provided solid answers to the questions posed to me, then they should vote for me.

White Cat[edit]

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

Candidacy statement:

I want to make this statement more of a Q&A to more efficiently express why I am a candidate.

You can see it here: actual statement

The reason why it is a separate page is my statement is a mere 629 words which is "well over" the 400 word limit.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

None.

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

I have been involved with four arbitration cases plus an ongoing case. In all cases I was an "involved party".

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I feel arbcom is broken and needs some fresh blood. Among the things that are broken is...

...comes to my mind

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

I can't think of a single case where arbcom had done an exceptionally well job within the past three years. Arbcom performance had been mediocre at best.

I strongly feel arbcom had done an exceptionally poor job in handling various cases.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

If Privacy Policy allows it nothing should be kept confidential. It may be better to keep some evidence confidential during an ongoing investigation but once the case is over the evidence should be made public. Otherwise the community will slowly loose their confidence in arbcom.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

This is a question everyone will have a different answer. I sincerely believe the reader should be deciding this alone.

WilyD[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: September 30, 2005
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since June 2007
Global Rights/Positions: Administrator, Wikimedia Commons
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Too much, it seems, an arbitration case is the goal of those seek dispute resolution. And why? Because the ArbCom is too lenient, passing out hugs and handjobs rather than real measures all too often. Real measures, real sanctions are needed, and it seems Arbitrators need to be unfettered by attachments, which I have in spades.

From here, I promise that if elected, I will support sanctions for every case that gets to ArbCom (which may include topic-bans, interaction-bans, site-bans, desysops, et cetera.) Realise this does not mean these will all come to pass, as Arbs will continue to turn blind eyes and be unwilling to commit to sanctions in many case. The balance, however, will tilt.

As an admin, I (think I) have been fairly lenient, and very willing to engage in extended discussions and grant unblocks after discussion. I do not believe this is incompatible with the vision I present for ArbCom - admins dealing with new disputes low on the dispute resolution hierarchy should be more lienent than Arbitrators at the end of it.

If it should come to pass that you share my vision for ArbCom, and I am elected, just call me Sheriff D.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I am administrator here and on commons.

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

I have made statements about whether the committee should accept or not in a number of requests; I'm not sure how many actually became cases. I have presented tidbits of evidence as an outside observer in several. I was a named party and full participant in Sarah Palin Wheel War case

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

I want to offer the option to the electorate of a platform based on a stronger rule of policies and less exhemptions for popular/established editors than the current ArbCom practices. Too much I've felt that the choices were personality based rather than platform based in these elections, and we've had a choice of "Whose judgement to I generally trust?" and not "Who will do the things I'm looking for from ArbCom?". I want to offer the community the latter option.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Cases handled well stick out far less than those handled badly. 9/11 conspricacies was handled well as far as I saw. Handled reasonably quickly - sanction has come about as a result of the case, and there's been less further disruption. The time taken in C68-FM-SV-ABC-123-OMGWTFBBQ with little to no communication really shook my faith in the ArbCom. In my own case (Sarah Palin Wheel War, as above), lack of timely feedback to participants was also a problem (though my related stress levels were much higher, no doubt exacerbating my perception of the problem.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

Where there is a need for privacy, or a reasonable request for privacy, that ought to be honoured. This is not the same as confidence - other participants, and in most cases, the wider community, must be allowed to understand what goes on with the ArbCom whereever possible. In a cases where the information might comprimise someone's real world privacy, I would not reveal the information, although unless merely acknowledging its existence effectively "gave it away" I would at least note that additional information had been considered which couldn't be shared.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Users who feel the ArbCom is too lax in enforcing policy should vote for me.

Wizardman[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: March 8, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Adminship since January 2007
Mediator
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

Twelve months after an election that I was not yet ready for, I have kept watch on the Arbitration Committee in the past year, looking through the cases, understanding the ways and means of WP:ARBCOM, and the benefits and flaws this system entails. This year, I believe I am very qualified, willing, and ready for the responsibilities.

I've been a user since March 06, admin since January 07, WP:MEDCOM member since February 08, and have been deeply involved in WP:RFC/U since July 08. The combination of the final two has given me a strong insight into what being an arbcom member entails. Heck, I even wrote up a proposed decision for a case this year (wasn't used by arbcom obviously, but it was good practice). Though while I have my own version of experience, I can also provide change. How so? Simple. Arbcom is a body that can be good, but there's a few flaws I can fix: How fast we handle issues, how transparent our actions are, and how well we do what we're supposed to.

You see, ArbCom has had several cases go over three months, with voting going 1+ month. That won't do. It just punishes the innocent who have to wait for a ruling. Waiting a month for an arbitrator to vote is a sign they're not doing their job. As for transparency, i'm talking about arbcom makes sure that users know why they're ruling how they're ruling. This includes when voting is in place; put up many possibly FoFs and remedies and let all arbcom members vote how they see fit.

You do not have to agree with every decision I make. But if you know why I made the decision I did, why I voted the way I did, and if you can respect my decision despite disagreement, than I have done my job. I promise that I will do my job strenuously to the best of my ability, and I guarantee that I will not disappoint you if I am worthy enough for your vote.

What positions do you hold (adminship, mediation, etc.), on this or other wikis?

I've been an admin for nearly two years, and have been a medcom member for about 9 months.

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

I haven't been a party in any, though i've provided workshops discussion for some, such as E+C 2 and the big one. The big one (the c68 case) I drafted a proposed decision for arbcom to look at when i noticed the speed at waht the case was going.

Why are you running for the Arbitration Committee?

Arbcom needs sensible reform, and I can provide it.

How do you feel the Arbitration Committee has handled cases and other situations over the last year? Can you provide an examples of situations where you feel the Committee handled a situation exceptionally well, and why? Any you feel they handled poorly, and why?

Arbcom's been hit and miss. Some good cases, but some which were definitely handled poorly, such as the Highways case and the big case due to how slow everything transpired.

What is your opinion on confidentiality? If evidence is submitted privately to the Committee, would you share it with other parties in the case? Would you make a decision based on confidential information without making it public?

I favor transparency. Of course, there are instances where things need to be confidential. A good deal of the time, if someone submit s evidence through arbcom I'd presume the other party would at least have an idea of what it is. There are times where one may have to make a decision based on confidential information, though it wouldn't be ideal for me.

Why do you think users should vote for you?

Because I have a track record of doing what is right for the encyclopedia. I say arbcom needs sensible reform because anyone can say arbcom needs reform, but I know I can provide it based on my edits and career so far. If a user's acting up I'm not gonna turn the other cheek, and if they come to arbcom I'm going to deal with it.

WJBscribe[edit]

Candidate profile
First edit date: November 20, 2006
Local Rights/Positions: Bureaucratship since November 2007
Adminship since March 2007
Chair, Mediation Committee
Global Rights/Positions: None
Questions? here
Vote: here

Candidacy statement:

A longer version of this statement is at /Full version

I confess to having always been rather astounded by the trust the community has shown in me and yet I find myself once again asking if I have your confidence. I have been a bureaucrat for roughly a year and an administrator for just under two. I have also been chairing Wikipedia's Mediation Committee since January. I am proud of my achievements in those capacities and now am offering to serve on the Arbitration Committee.

A lot of mistakes have been made by the Committee - especially in the past year - and there is little sign of it learning from them. The Wikipedia community is looking for a change of direction from the Committee and there are several areas where I believe learning from past failures is a particular priority:

Transparency. Whilst some deliberations may have to occur privately, I think it important that ArbCom give more thought to whether an issue truly needs to be discussed privately and, if not, move the discussion on-wiki.
Clarity. Clear wording and certainty of interpretation is essential in ArbCom decisions.
Appropriate sanctions. If a problem is such that ArbCom is being asked to intervene, targeted sanctions are needed. The overuse of article probation is becoming problematic – whilst it can be useful in some circumstances, it is not a magic solution to all content disputes – and frustration with “general amnesty” and “hugs all round” decisions is understandable.
Speed. This year there were comparatively few cases and yet some have taken months to resolve. It is crucial that cases do not languish unresolved for months.
Block reviews. Often blocked users are told that they should email ArbCom to appeal their block. The Committee should be providing a public log of what appeals it has received and what has been done in respect of them. Who has reviewed them, who have they asked for evidence and what was their conclusion?

Throughout my time at Wikipedia I have always been open to questions and willing to explain my actions. I don't promise you'll always agree with me but, were I to be elected, I will make myself available to discuss anything which you find problematic and I will listen carefully to your opinion. For me the ArbCom of the future is one less defensive and more open, willing to make difficult decisions even where these may be unpopular, and able to respond constructively when challenged.

WJBscribe has not yet responded to questions. This page will be updated as answers are submitted.


ArbCom candidate profiles:    A-F  |  G-K  |  L-S  |  T-Z  |  All  |  (Withdrawn)

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