UDWiki talk:Administration/Policy Discussion/Arbitration

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Stick your thoughts under the appropriate header. :) Thanks.

Like it as is

This header was lonely. You might want to provide an example arbitration case, but this policy looks alright so far. --  AHLGTG THE END IS NIGH! 20:19, 2 October 2008 (BST)

Possible changes

Some things:

  1. If an arbitrator may call for the deletion of a page, why not also a page move?
  2. I think restraining orders should have a maximum time limit (3 months?). Also, they should never be able to restrict either user's participation in the community (suggestions, deletions, promotions, policy discussion etc.) as happened in Grim vs. Akule.
  3. Forced apologies and such should be explicitly forbidden.

--Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 20:18, 30 September 2008 (BST)

  1. I was thinking about that. Couldn't think of how to word it. Added
  2. Also a good point. Added.
  3. That'd help too. Added.
Thoughts on this update? -- Cheese 21:03, 30 September 2008 (BST)

Hate is such a strong word. In the past a number of people have been brought to arbies on formatting issues (The classic Sign your fucking posts gambit.) What if any position would arbies have on these issues, referring people to use the "correct" procedure, the idea that for instance a player must submit suggestions to talk suggestions before posting etc? --RosslessnessWant a Location Image? 21:47, 30 September 2008 (BST)

And if we are redesigning arbies it should exclude petty things that can fall under "newbie mistakes" - improper formatting, not signing a post, or "trolling". Those are things that should be addressed on VB which says that they should be addressed by talking to the user/note on their talk page. --– Nubis NWO 01:39, 1 October 2008 (BST)

A further appeal will only be allowed if the appealing user can prove that the second arbitrator was biased against them. Hard, hard, hard to prove.

Two things I've wondered about the current system of arbitration that are a bit vague at the minute:

  1. If a ruling says don't do action A, but you do A then get charged with vandalism, and then you do action A again, do you get charged with vandalism again? One person might think if a ruling is broken, it's broken - you pay the penalty for breaking it but after that you're free of it and you can do want you want again without penalty. Another might say the ruling is like a rule - if you break it twice you get vandalism charges twice. Which should we follow?
  2. This is from the current arbitration page: "As a note, by requesting an Arbitration, all parties are thus obliged to accept the outcome of the Arbitration. Not doing will be considered Vandalism, and such vandalism attempts will be treated as if the vandal has already received two warnings." Does this mean you'll be banned for 24 hours? What if you have more than two warnings already? Will it be treated as three steps up the vandal data ladder, or one?

Also, it might be worth deciding/clarifying what happens if no arbitrator can be decided upon, although it might be outside the scope of what you're trying to achieve here.

Could you clarify that although the ability to participate in community discussions mustn't be taken away, the ability to use those discussions in detrimental ways can be. For instance, if someone decided that from now on they were only going to write in huge flashing pink letters, that sort of thing could still be restricted, even though it's in a community discussion. Restrictions allowed on anything detrimental to the community.

If an arbitrator thinks of some other measure that's not on the can-do list, but would be appropriate for the case, they're still allowed to use it, right? --Toejam 01:26, 1 October 2008 (BST)

I have been trying to post this for a while but I keep getting kicked offline - stupid laptop. Anyway -

If you are going to leave in Criterion 14: Arbitration Ruling. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis and the request may be denied by the attending sysop if they believe it should be kept. we need to make a change. I would hate for the 3 parties to work out a decision that involves a sysop action and have it all undone by one person that wasn't really involved. Why not have a section on all cases that involve sysop actions (deletion/moving etc.) where any dissenting sysop can weigh in? Almost all sysops are listed as arbitrators and they should be monitoring that page anyway. They can weigh in on the decision, however, not "change it". (maybe have the arbitrator address the concerns raised)

Again, I don't want to make it more complicated, and I don't think this will come up that often if at all, but I also want to avoid one sysop saying no, another one doing it anyway and a misconduct case to come up one way or the other. If one sysop says no and the arbitrator can't address his concerns in a manner that makes him agree with the decision then 3 sysops voting FOR the decision can override the dissent.

My example is A and B have a case that C decides. Sysop D says he doesn't agree with the action. C addresses why he thinks this is the fair decision. D still says no. Sysops E, F, and G say they support C and the action is done anyway. --– Nubis NWO 01:36, 1 October 2008 (BST)

Updated - I've addressed most of the things noted above except those which I didn't know who best to word. Thoughts on this version? -- Cheese 10:12, 1 October 2008 (BST)

'No Shows'

After viewing this case it has brought something up which, so far, hasn't been addressed -- as far as I can tell, that is.

If a representative from the other party doesn't decide to show up for the case, what is the correct procedure to follow, and can the user that brought the case to arbitration actually do anything to resolve the issue? ----Ash  |  T  |  яя  | 10:29, 2 October 2008 (BST)

It's been more or less accepted for a long long time that if one party doesn't show up the case (assuming the other party doesn't lose interest) proceeds with the arbitrator being chosen solely by the other party, and with a much lower likelihood that the ruling been in their favour. It would be nice to see something like this included in the policy, but I don't think it would be any more palatable overall. --HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS 11:44, 2 October 2008 (BST)
If one party refuse to take part in an arbitration process then there can be no Arbitration, there can be an appeal made for a "arbitrators" opinion but that is a judgemnt call not an arbitration... For arbitration to work it needs both sides to be willing to accept an arbitrator and willing to abide by there decision. If someone refuses to accept arbitration they cannot be bound by the findings of an arbitration case! --Honestmistake 14:09, 3 October 2008 (BST)
yes, they can. --HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS 16:07, 3 October 2008 (BST)


It concerns me that the appeal process in its current version is a little mushy. IMO: the decision of the first arbitrator should be given greater weight, or greater deference if you prefer, than any review decision that follows. If it's too easy to get a ruling reversed/modified, every arbitration would potentially be argued twice, because in most instances one litigant will be unhappy with the initial ruling. I don't believe we want to encourage that. Additionally, an appeal should not involve a complete rehearing of the entire case, or presentation of new evidence, but should be limited to an appellate review of only what was presented in the original arbitration, in most cases.

Appeals should be allowed to go forward only where an aggrieved litigant can establish that:

  • the arbitrator made a mistake of law (wiki policy, including this one) invalidating his/her decision;
  • the decision is not supported by substantial evidence; or
  • new evidence that could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the original arbitration has come to light that would have led to a different conclusion.

The third point should almost never happen, given the wiki's edit history function. The first point should almost never happen if people are carefully selecting their arbitrators. And the second point is what guarantees the original decision is given deference: if there is an apparent basis for the arbitrator to have ruled the way s/he did and none of the other grounds for reversal or retrial apply, the decision must stand. -- Atticus Rex mfu pif Δ 17:04, 2 October 2008 (BST)

Hate it and any future reincarnations

Oh, come on... bleatings about arbitrators that supposedly reach beyond their mandate (always done by the losing party you'll note) is some of the tastiest drama going. Don't take that away from me ;_; --HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS 01:58, 1 October 2008 (BST)

I'm not going to vote for an arbitration policy that sets out what ways arbitrators can rule, it will just lead to people whinging when a decision is made that doesn't fall neatly into something listed in policy... and arbitration needs to be flexible. Perhaps there is a need to set out what rulings would be invalid -- boxy talki 10:57 1 October 2008 (BST)

Goes too far into red tape. First it says an arbitrator is not a sysop, then later it lists the vandal escalations that will result if the ruling is not adhered to. Surely, not adhering to an arbies ruling is something that can result in a vandal report, rather than it being automatic. As boxy: just make a list of invalid rulings / things beyond the power of an arbitrator (like sysop powers, for example). Make it short and easy to digest, and you'll probably have something worth discussing here. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 17:29, 1 October 2008 (BST)

Are you saying that actions that a user takes that break an arby are always actions that violate the normal vandal rules? Because if so, that isn't true. For instance, there was an arby about some insulting images created about one user by another. The arby said they should be deleted and (IIRC) no more created within a time frame. Now, creating images about other users is hardly vandalism, but in this case they would be treated as such. --– Nubis NWO 13:40, 2 October 2008 (BST)
Creating images about other users would not be vandalism. Creating images about another user in violation of an arbies ruling would be. Rather like sanctions for contempt of court: you violate a court order, even by doing something that is ordinarily perfectly legal, and you risk imposition of punishment. -- Atticus Rex mfu pif Δ 16:47, 2 October 2008 (BST)
"can" == "may". And, what Atticus said. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 19:40, 2 October 2008 (BST)

Fuck This--/~Rakuen~\Talk Domo.gif I Still Love Grim 00:16, 2 October 2008 (BST)

I'm with Funt. --WanYao 12:29, 2 October 2008 (BST)

Updated - I've taken the points raised above into consideration and stripped out a lot of the red tape, focusing mainly on what an arbitrator shouldn't do. I've also tried to address Funt's concern about the breaches of the arby rulings and rewrote the appeals section to reflect Atticus's idea above which I thought sounded much better than my own. -- Cheese 20:16, 2 October 2008 (BST)

Knee-jerk and reactionary attempt at a policy to back up his previous ruling. This doesn't actually assist the process of arbitration at all, nor even cover the majority of the process. -- To know the face of God is to know madness....Praise knowledge! Mischief! Mayhem! The Rogues Gallery!. <== DDR Approved Editor 11:46, 3 October 2008 (BST)

I'm so against most of what you say an arbiter can't do... especially the apology, and no I'm not going to bother defending why I feel that way..just suffice it to say that if my child does something wrong to someone else, one of the things I'm going to make them do is apologize. (and yes I realize that be condescending to some people on this wiki, but if you act like a child you should be treated as one). Conndrakamod TAZM CFT 22:38, 3 October 2008 (BST)

While I understand you not liking the policy, you need to seriously get with the times WRT forcing people to apologise. That shit was stamped out months ago. --HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS 23:21, 3 October 2008 (BST)
Months? I thought years ::) A forced apology is no apology at all, just meaningless text on a screen -- boxy talki 14:27 4 October 2008 (BST)

Restriction of community participation

Policy quote Restriction of community participation - An arbitrator may never restrict a user's right to participate in community aspects of this wiki (suggestions, deletions, promotions, policy discussion, etc.). This may not be done either directly (by explicitly banning the user from posting on one or more of those pages) or indirectly (by banning the user from posting on the same page as the other party). Community participation is the backbone of this wiki and to undermine it would be detrimental to its purpose.

I think that an arbitrator should be able to restrict some aspects of "community participation", as defined here, in that they should be able to rule that the parties concerned should refrain from commenting on the other parties contributions to community pages directly. This section could be interpreted as disallowing such bans -- boxy talki 14:34 4 October 2008 (BST)
Problems in past rulings tend to be when time-unlimited editing restrictions have been placed. You know, it could be okay to stop someone from replying to the other party for a month, or something. It's difficult to define, which is why I'm only hazarding guesses here on a wording. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 23:21, 4 October 2008 (BST)
Indeed. I meant to mention that. All restrictions on a users contributions to the wiki should have a reasonable timeframe, after which the ruling stops being enforceable. Arbitration should only restrict users rights to interact with others for as long as it takes for most of the fire to go out of their disagreement -- boxy talki 14:21 5 October 2008 (BST)

Maybe next time someone proposes a policy people will actually try and know what the hell they are voting on before voting on it and justifying it by saying it lets them do something they already can so we should ignore everything wrong with it.--Karekmaps?! 03:13, 17 October 2008 (BST)

Discussion of Votes

  1. For - This is most definitely an improvement on the old system. No, it's not perfect, but additional issues such as not showing up, not choosing an arbitrator, time limits on rulings, the financial crisis, world hunger etc. can be resolved with another policy. This one doesn't have to handle everything. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 17:53, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Like so: UDWiki:Administration/Policy Discussion/Arbitration Timelimit. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 23:03, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Ummm, this policy doesn't seem to fix anything, except perhaps the "forced apologies" thing, in fact it makes things worse by stating that a ruling cant "restrict community participation", and as I said below, that's one of the main things that an arbies ruling needs to be able to do. Telling someone to stop trolling another user for 3 weeks, on the Suggestions pages, for example is restricting their community participation -- boxy talkteh rulz 09:42 16 October 2008 (BST)
    It introduces the appeals, "no forced apologies" and "no restrictions on community participation". You do realize that it was me who suggested it be included in the policy? Community participation is essential to wikis, and the only thing that should be able to restrict that is a ban. One of the problems with the current arbitration is that most of the rulings go way overboard. You don't have to ban someone completely from certain pages just to stop them from trolling someone. And no, separation of users is not the main thing arbitration should be able to do, it's solving content disputes. Separating users doesn't solve problems, it merely pushes them aside. If both subjects of the ruling are still active users after it ends, what's going to stop them from going at each other again? A new arby ruling? Then what, another arby? Now that's just stupid. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 11:54, 16 October 2008 (BST)
    Fine, remove one of the few things that arbitration is actually good at, separating waring parties for a time so that they don't gum up high profile pages with their idiocy, and replace it with nothing. This will be fun to watch -- boxy talkteh rulz 12:07 16 October 2008 (BST)
    Point me to a case where extending a "restraining order" into community participation had good results. I'm pretty sure I can counter each of those with one where it caused nothing but more drama. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 14:29, 16 October 2008 (BST)
    APPEALS ALREADY EXIST.--Karekmaps?! 03:11, 17 October 2008 (BST)
    That just shows exactly why you don't need this system, refusing to use the current system is much akin to sticking your head in the sand or lalaing and hoping the problem will go away. You can't fix it without trying to fix it and you can't fix it by trying to fix something that's already fixed because you didn't like how it got fixed. These are not the droids you are looking for.--Karekmaps?! 15:30, 17 October 2008 (BST)
    Just because we have an ugly hack that hasn't failed yet doesn't mean we shouldn't substitute it with a proper system. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 16:26, 17 October 2008 (BST)
    And yet your vote essentially admits that this is not that system.--Karekmaps?! 02:59, 18 October 2008 (BST)
    What I meant with "not perfect" was "no, the policy does not solve all the problems that Arbitration has", not that "it has flaws in the ways it solves some of the problems". --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 07:58, 18 October 2008 (BST)
    Honestly, at this point I don't think you even know what you meant or what you really want from this other than a change. You don't seem to understand that this is essentially the worst escalation of the old system that we can possibly have and you seem to believe that we need to indoctrinate common sense, something that will only end in claims of support through absence. That's all this really does, this policy, it says that arbitration does have a stake in administrative decisions of any sort, something it currently doesn't have in any real way. This whole section is purely idiotic, there's only two things in it that are currently under the say of Arbitrators but it's claiming they have power on the level of Kevan himself and in the process raising the expectations of what they can do. Arbitration exists to diffuse arguments, it is not an administrative job and should not be elevated to that level ever lest you want more Wikigate type rulings.

    This policy doesn't solve any problem and it adds a few new ones to the mix; for example this makes the conclusion that arbitrators have the ability to determine if a page should be deleted or protected through the course of a ruling but, I'm sure that's what you meant by it not being perfect.--Karekmaps?! 10:33, 18 October 2008 (BST)
    :P --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 11:28, 18 October 2008 (BST)
  1. (Against) I made a couple of key points in the discussion, one of which was half addressed ("just make a list of invalid rulings / things beyond the power of an arbitrator (like sysop powers, for example). Make it short and easy to digest, and you'll probably have something worth discussing here") whilst the other was completely ignored ("Problems in past rulings tend to be when time-unlimited editing restrictions have been placed. You know, it could be okay to stop someone from replying to the other party for a month, or something."). This policy proposes that we neuter arbitration to the point where it's useless (by refusing to allow two warring parties to be separated) whilst magically (at the same time) making it over-powerful by joining it directly to the A/VB process, so that vandal escalations must result if rulings are broken, when it would make much more sense if they could result. In short, it doesn't solve the problems of the current system (which is what it claims to do) but actually adds more problems. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 16:26, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Arbies cases should be over content not personality conflicts. You don't think the fear of an A/VB escalation is enough to stop content trolling? Just because two users have a conflict over the content of one page doesn't mean that they can't get along on others. How many people disagree with you on somethings and agree with you on others? Restricting one users right to post where another user posts just means that whomever gets there first is "the winner". How is that any better? --– Nubis NWO 15:14, 16 October 2008 (BST)
    Nubis, I agree with nearly everything you've posted, none of which is actually in the policy. The policy says that "An arbitrator may never restrict a user's right to participate in community aspects of this wiki". Never. Why not? Why not ban all people in the case from a particular page for one week, to let them cool off? Why isn't that allowed? And yes, cases should be over content not personality conflicts. That doesn't mean that they always will be. This is a wiki populated by lots of people whose greatest level of wit is to call their opponent in any given debate a fag, or a retard. So, there's reality biting your ideals in the arse. And I'm not against the fear of an A/VB escalation, but on the one hand this policy makes it very clear that the arbitrator cannot vandal escalate someone, whilst then implementing a method whereby they can do that by proxy. This is why: if someone breaks the arby ruling, and is then reported, they must be vandal escalated. The judgment has been removed from the sysop team, as all they can now decide is whether or not the breach happened, never mind the context. That's why I say that this version of the policy doesn't address the problems it says it's trying to. It needs re-written. Cheese should recognise that and withdraw it from voting for a re-write. Even some of the for votes are suggesting it needs changing, and some of them are saying stuff like good enough and iron out the wrinkles later. Why later? Iron them out now, before this half-way house of ambiguity becomes policy. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 16:08, 16 October 2008 (BST)
  2. (Against) An arbitrator needs to be able to separate users, even on community pages. And they need to set time limits to their rulings (6 months is a good general timeframe) -- boxy talkteh rulz 16:32 15 October 2008 (BST)
    So separating users is a good idea? Then what if the Group A starts arbies cases against tons of people? When they aren't allowed to post on the same community pages as Group B you have essentially made any voting or discussion slanted in favor of the first group that gets there. It's like a sanctioned "ban" on the slower group.--– Nubis NWO 15:14, 16 October 2008 (BST)
    If all the arbitrators of all those cases are stupid enough to allow such a situation, then there is always the fact that the sysops can refuse to enforce such idiotic rulings. When I say separate users, I'm not saying that they shouldn't be allowed to post on the same community pages (user and group talk pages are different), however the arbitrator should be able to tell them not to comment on each others contributions to such pages (in fact any pages across the wiki) for a time -- boxy talkteh rulz 10:20 18 October 2008 (BST)
    You know, when I went through the arbitration archives a couple of days ago, there were these interesting rulings in the older cases that said: "don't flame the other person". I think that's a much better solution because they get to interact with each other in a civil way. It might stick to them even after the arbitration ruling ends. And all this is achieved without limiting their community participation. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 10:29, 18 October 2008 (BST)
    Look, the great thing about arbitration is it's flexibility. Sure, sometimes telling people "don't flame each other" works well, but there are plenty of others ways to annoy. Limiting someone's "community participation" by telling them not to comment on someone who they've being fighting with long enough, and vehemently enough to warrant such a ruling isn't much of a problem for them, surely, as long as it is time limited (and no, I'm not argueing that it is the only way to fix problems between members) -- boxy talkteh rulz 11:21 18 October 2008 (BST)
    You think this fixes that problem? All this will do is force more arbitration cases into A/VB regardless of how minor, this will make more TerminalFailure like crap. There have been times where that kind of restriction is exactly what both parties wanted from the arbitration system, I've ruled on one such case myself.--Karekmaps?! 03:20, 17 October 2008 (BST)
    I think there's been a misunderstanding, because groups' talk pages certainly wasn't what I meant with "community participation" when I proposed it added to this. I meant discussing and voting on suggestions, policies, deletions, protections, promotions... that kind of stuff. What it says in the parentheses in the clause itself. Not group talk pages. Not user talk pages. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 16:26, 17 October 2008 (BST)
    Funny, cause it says community participation, That's everything and most certainly is included in that absurd etc. that has no place in any policy ever. Group pages and all Talk pages are community pages even though they have limited ownership. Anyone that tells you differently doesn't know anything about what the word community means.--Karekmaps?! 10:20, 18 October 2008 (BST)
    Seems I thought of "participation" in too limited a way. Meaning that the misunderstanding was on my end. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 11:15, 18 October 2008 (BST)