Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-03-07/Arbitration report

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The Report On Lengthy Litigation

By Michael Snow, 7 March 2005

The Arbitration Committee last week closed the case of one of the most problematic users it has dealt with, imposing a lengthy ban. In a separate case, it backed off from its experiment with POV paroles as a remedy.

Litigating can be vexing

In their second case dealing with CheeseDreams, which involved a variety of disruptive activity, the arbitrators imposed several different bans last Thursday. The grounds for banning included her disregard of the previous ruling, misuse of the dispute resolution process, and abuse of sockpuppet accounts. The total bans add up to 18 months and will run consecutively, but the Arbitration Committee has adopted a practice that the maximum length of a ban at any given time is limited to one year.

In addition to CheeseDreams' disclosure of her password (see archived story), the matter was further complicated by the involvement of one of her antagonists, Rienzo (who received his own three-month ban in January), and the use of numerous sockpuppets. The use of sockpuppets and impersonation accounts was such that the arbitrators could not determine for each specific instance which of the two was responsible. Instead, they banned both users for six months, and instructed that attempts by either one to implicate the other would restart the running of the six-month period for both users.

Due to CheeseDreams' attempts to start a number of requests for comment as well as a few requests for arbitration, which the arbitrators concluded were "unreasonable" and did not meet the guidelines for those processes, the decision ruled that CheeseDreams was considered a "vexatious litigant", and restricted her use of the dispute resolution process. CheeseDreams was required to submit any such requests to one of two arbitrators for clearance, The Epopt or sannse, and failure to do this could lead to a ban of up to one week.

Cooling down global warming

On Sunday, the arbitrators issued their ruling in the case against JonGwynne, brought by William M. Connolley based on allegations of POV editing and personal attacks. The decision found that JonGwynne had engaged in a mixture of incivility and personal attacks, so they placed him on a standard personal attack parole, which allows bans up to a week in length for any personal attacks.

The arbitrators also considered imposing a "POV parole", such as was previously applied to -lothario- (see archived story). However, arbitrator Fred Bauder reiterated his objection to a procedure that "gives the majority of those editing an article the ability to block another user on the basis of addition or removal of content." Instead, the decision settled on placing JonGwynne under a restriction of one revert per 24 hours for all articles related to global warming, the subject that was the focus of the dispute.

New cases accepted

The Arbitration Committee opened three new cases last week. A request from several editors on Tuesday led to the initiation of a case involving JarlaxleArtemis, after complaints about a variety of bizarre behavior. Disputes over Turkic issues and the Caucasus prompted another request. Also, the recent block war (see related story) was one of the issues raised in a new request brought by Netoholic against 172.

Correction: A previous story included Jakew as part of a group of anti-circumcision activists warned by the Arbitration Committee about their editing habits in the Robert the Bruce case. As Tony Sidaway points out, Jakew actually tended to side with Robert the Bruce against the anti-circumcision activists.