UDWiki:Administration/Policy Discussion/Arbitrationpolicy

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Why arbitrate ?

Arbitration is a needed process in the Urban Dead Wiki to solve edit conflicts. When two or more users don't agree on how a page should be edited, a case in arbitration should be created, so an outside and neutral person can help solve the conflict.

Arbitration can be used to resolve simple edit conflicts on community pages. Since user and group talk pages belong to the user/group, they are free to remove any comments they might dislike from said pages, thus not requiring an arbitration case to resolve this problem.

In the event of a user repeatedly editing a page whose owner already asked (politely asked, preferentially) for the user to stop editing, an arbitration case can be created to obtain a restraining order of the first user to edit pages that belong to the second. This kind of arbitration should be avoided, and only used when all attempts to resolve this situation have failed. The arbitrator that rules in this case should be experienced in the Ways of the Wiki, and understand how far he can drawn the line of no-interaction between the involved users.

In rare situations, arbitration is the best (or least bad) available option for personal disputes. However, one should think carefully about the downsides before taking this course of action. It is strongly recommended to try to informally iron out differences with other editors (even editors you dislike) by talking to them before you consider arbitration.

Often starting arbitration with someone is seen as an attack on them, and it's likely to further sour your relationship with them. Weigh up the pros and cons of other options such as talking with the person, gathering third opinions or even letting the issue slide before deciding to begin arbitration. Starting arbitration over a petty matter can make you look like a troublemaker. Bear in mind that the arbitrator may not see things in the same way as you do.

Can I Arbitrate?

Users who are willing to arbitrate usually add their name to the Current Arbitrators list, but in fact all users from the Urban Dead Wiki can arbitrate a case.

In order to arbitrate a case, it's advised that the user maintain am active stance of contributions of the wiki, being part of most decision making discussions, in order to learn how the wiki works and how each case should be judged.

Arbitrators not only are active users, but neutral ones. A good arbitrator is neither in one side or another, but one that focus on a middle ground where all sides gain the most. Sometimes a neutral ground might not please the involved sides, but it's the one that must be used in order to avoid further conflict.

How to arbitrate

On the Arbitration page

  1. A user who has a problem on the wiki creates a case
  2. Name all users involved in the case
    • Both the person who started the case and the other involved users can name who else they want to be in the case
    • Other editors can add their names if they want to be a part of the case. (Not recommended)
  3. Any user can volunteer to arbitrate the case
    • "i offer to arbitrate" should be enough to demonstrate interest to arbitrate the case
    • Users are asked to refrain from further commenting on the case unless they are directly involved on it or asked a question
    • In the case of a user refusing another's offer to arbitrate, discuss on that user talk page, not in the arbitration case
  4. Between them, the involved users choose an arbitrator
    • The people in the case can choose any user of the wiki, be them listed in the Current Arbitrators list or not.
    • You can see how an arbitrator has conducted their previous cases at Category:Arbitration Cases.
    • If no arbitrator is agreed upon, one will be chosen by the administration team.
  5. Move the case to a sub-page of UDWiki:Administration/Arbitration
  6. Using the {{ArbitrationStatus}} template, keep track of the status of the arbitration case
  7. The arbitrator writes a short summary about the arbitration case
  8. Anyone can archive the case once a week has passed after it has reached a verdict
    • Cases which haven't reach an agreement in four weeks after it's creation should be dismissed and moved to the archive by anyone

On the Arbitration case page

  1. Move all previous discussion from Arbitration to the page. Anyone can do this step.
  2. Categorize the page under Category:Arbitration Cases. Anyone can do this step.
  3. The arbitrator creates a header for each user involved, where which one will state their case
    • Start with the user who created the case, followed by all others in alphabetical order
  4. The arbitrator creates another header for each user involved, where which one will reply the state of the opposing parties.
  5. The arbitrator creates a header where the arbitrator will provide his ruling for the case
  6. Wait for all users' input.
  7. The arbitrator makes his Ruling.

Typical Rulings

Edit Conflict

Edit conflicts usually resolve the conflict by choosing which edit should be used in a page, or none at all. The arbitrator will choose one of the edits, and all sides must comply with its ruling.

In the case of the arbitrator finding no edits appropriate for use in the disputed article (because both edits are POV or offensive against the conflicting side), it should create one that creates a common ground for all sides involved, in a NPOV fashion.

Seldom the arbitrator might choose that the losing side of the arbitration, or even all sides, refrain from editing the page for a specific amount of time. This kind of ruling should be avoided, and only used in the case of heated conflicts of interest between the sides involved.

Restraining Orders

Restraining orders are generally restrictions placed upon the users in the arbitration. It's good practice for the arbitrator to explain the reasoning behind the decision to help reassure the involved parties that the case was fair.

A particularly common ruling is that the two involved parties are to stay away from each other and not talk to or about each other. This is normally used when it's clear that one or more of the parties involved dislike the other and would likely antagonise them, but it can also be used as a precautionary measure. It tends to dampen down the conflict.

Sometimes the arbitrator will make a personal statement asking (but not commanding) the users to refrain from certain negative behaviours.

Analogies to Arbitration

Voting Section

Voting Rules
Votes must be numbered, signed, and timestamped. They can take one of two forms:
  • # comments ~~~~
  • # ~~~~

Votes that do not conform to the above will be struck by a sysop.

The only valid voting sections are For and Against. If you wish to abstain from voting, do not vote.


  1. For - lets close this loophole.--'BPTmz 04:53, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. For Conndrakamod TDHPD CFT 05:25, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


  1. "If no arbitrator is agreed upon, one will be chosen by the administration team.", also forces Arbitrators to no longer be arbitrators as all they do is rule, this is simply making it into A/VB with bigger punishments and no way to limit abuse.--Karekmaps?! 05:11, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  2. The problem is that there are no set limits to arbitration. (The same problem exists in Misconduct.) The one system that does work well is that of A/VB - because everyone knows what the punishment is. I know the same system can't be used for arbitration, because by its very nature it's got to be judged on a case-by-case basis. That said, perhaps we need to vote in arbitrators (community-approved), or have a consensus-based judgement system that requires three arbitrators to agree on a ruling. Something should be done to stop it being used so often as a weapon to bully weak users with. Instead of saying "people are using a loophole - we need to stop them", we should first ask "why are people using a loophole"? Also, I agree 100% with Karek's vote. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 08:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  3. Against I thought really hard about this and I agree with Karek. --Airborne88Zzz1.JPGT|Z.Quiz|PSS 08:53, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  4. --Cyberbob DORIS CGR U! 09:17, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  5. Against - I'd like to see a different alternative to resolving the issue of appointing an arbitrator when the parties cannot agree on one. --ZsL 14:59, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  6. Against. As above.--ShadowScope 19:29, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  7. Read vote 1. --•▬ ▬••▬ • •••• •▬ ▬•▬• ▬•▬ #nerftemplatedsigs 19:30, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  8. Against What Karek said.-- dǝǝɥs ɯɐds: sʎɐʍ1ɐ! 20:09, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  9. Against - For Great Justice!--/~Rakuen~\Talk Domo.gif I Still Love Grim 03:13, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  10. Against - i like it being only a set of guidelines. --People's Commissar Hagnat [cloned] [mod] 14:58, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
  11. Against - Christ on crutch, why do we need more rules?--Jorm 23:51, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
    Against - As per Jorm and ZS. --WanYao Needs a timestamp. --Cyberbob DORIS CGR U! 16:39, 11 April 2008 (BST)
    Against - As Jorm. --Ducis DuxSlothTalk 09:11, 13 April 2008 (BST) Vote struck as placed after two week voting period. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 15:19, 13 April 2008 (BST)

Voting closed. Policy fails: 2 For to 11 Against; 15% in favour: did not meet minimum two thirds in favour or minimum 20 votes. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 15:19, 13 April 2008 (BST)

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