Talk:Requests for comment/Dispute resolution committee

Active discussions

For previous discussion, see Talk:Requests for comment/Global Arbitration Committee.

ScopeEdit

Wouldn't it be sufficient to reduce the scope to wikis without an arbitration committee and less than x active editors per month? Some larger communities don't have an arbcom but also haven't really made a decision whether they wanted one or not. At the same time, as long as that threshold is reached, within that community, there should be enough people around to deal with whatever external disruption is taking place. I'm also not sure what is meant by "Dispute-resolution which involves one or more communities as whole (or as majority)". Could someone please clarify? sebmol ? 11:24, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, please clarify that statement! Is this a "next level above local arbcom" for projects that have one (i.e., appealing an arbcom decision that many disagree with)? Is that currently in the purview of stewards? If so, how about some data for how often (especially for some of the larger projects with local arbcom) and their overrule/affirm scorecard. Or is it just an optional "arbcom at large" for projects without their own? DMacks 22:04, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
As stated at the beginning, the main purpose of DRC is to remove judging responsibility from stewards, who are not elected to judge, but to manage. As stewards are not dealing with well established communities, DRC shouldn't, too. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
DRC should deal with problems on projects which lacks of transparency because of small number of speakers. Thus, ironically, but not without any true, according to the present situation I would say that DRC should have authority over all projects without ArbCom which language has less than 50 millions of speakers and for all projects with ArbCom which language has less than 20 millions of speakers. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Can you elaborate how you come up with these numbers and why you would use number of speakers rather than size of community as the threshold? sebmol ? 12:35, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I said that ironically. That irony came from the fact that there are just a couple [north European] societies which have less than 20 millions of speakers and which have developed good internal discussion about various matter. Yes, of course, size of the community should matter, but in that case I am very skeptical about numbers. Norwegian community is of the size of Persian, but the first one works much better. --Millosh 13:45, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
However, there are a number of border cases, where, let's say, community can be big enough, but relations inside of it are not well defined (for example, fa.wp two years ago). It is also possible that ArbCom exists, but that it is too young to be relevantly strong or that the community is too small, but it has ArbCom. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Part of dealing with conflicts is also learning how to deal with conflicts. It's an integral step in the evolution of any of our communities. It's one of those defining moments where a common understanding is created on what is tolerable within that community and what is not. I fear that by setting up an external dispute resolution process, you're robbing the community of making these experiences, thereby taking away their opportunity for development. sebmol ? 12:35, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Good point. I've added below the additional scope of the DRC: it should work with communities on building their own capacities. It should be worded more precisely. --Millosh 13:45, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
DRC shouldn't have authority to define alone which projects are affected. It could be able just to suggest the list to the Board, which should be able to decide. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Without saying is there a real problem or not and with looking just into the topic, issues for the period 2008-2010 which would go into the second class would be: Locally indef-blocked global sysops, Violation of local policy by Ukrainian arbitration committee, Continuing serious conflict between users in the BAR-Wikipedia, Korean wikipedia, Lombard wikipedia - problems, Zazaki wikipedia, Azeri wikipedia, Meta-wiki suffrage in regards to local elections, Problems on ko.wikisource. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
There are also disputes between communities. As there is no institutional way for solving them, the battlefield for the most of them is en.wp. Some of such disputes are problems and they should be solved. Some of them presents problems inside of one community, which that [usually smaller] community wants to raise inside of one bigger. For example, [the most of the] community from Yoruba Wikipedia doesn't like how French Wikipedia covered West-African topics and it complains first to the French Wikipedia structures. However, they are not satisfied, still. It is good to have a place for resolving such issues exactly because it is most probably that it is a bias of the Yoruba community, not French Wikipedia. Detailed explanation of what is the problem, what is acceptable and what is not would help to the development of Yoruba Wikipedia. If opposite, and as fr.wp has an established community (and by definition out of scope of DRC), DRC would be able just to ask fr.wp community to reconsider some particular policy. However, it is very unlikely that something like that would happen. And to conclude this part: Again, the purpose of this body won't be to interfere in issues of well established communities, but to help to smaller ones to become well established (if number of speakers allow it to them). The purpose of this body would be to solve problems, not to make them. And making decisions against will of well established community is making problems. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
At last, it is true that definitions should be more precise. Thus, please, help to make it more clear. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Why is this needed? What is the purpose of this suggestion? Some communities may refer an alternative way to resolve disputes. I think something along the lines of RfC could be useful when community participants feel an issue is too large or too complicated for one or more communities to resolve on its own. Just have some neutral people that have never contributed to the projects in question and gain nothing from helping to mediate and negotiate a solution (other than bringing peace back to community), help to mediate and negotiate a solution. Perhaps the mediators could make temporary low impact decisions that solve the issue on behalf of a community that lasts only as long the local communit(y/ies) cannot come to a consensus on what to do instead and while the negotiations are on going. The purpose in that would be to help the community to function again quickly while the negotiations continue and a solution is still being worked out. --darklama 16:54, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

The answer is inside of the "Rationale" section of the page. Mediation already exists as RfC and more than 50% unsolved problems, with those which lasts for at lest two years, couldn't be described as successful. Thus, there is a pressure on stewards to act as local ArbComs. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
DRC members have to be wise enough to make a decision of as smaller as possible scale. The problem is that many issues are not solved for a long time and this is exactly because of lack of possibility to make mandatory decisions. --Millosh 05:00, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
  • In practice, probably, the only solution which can be realized is the one similar to global admins: only applicable to communities which did not opt out. Which, technically, are small communities which can not resolve conflicts inside themselves.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:07, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    Additionally, it could also deal with the cases where users want to appeal their home wiki arbcom's decisions. But I am not sure it would be taken well by the communities. At least as an arbcom acting member I am not sure I would like trolls to appeal every second decision of our arbcom in a more authoritative body, and see our decisions repealed.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:13, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Counter-proposal on scopeEdit

The scope of the DRC is limited to disputes between users that span more than one community without an established arbitration committee or other local methods of dispute resolution. This scope is extended to disputes within one community where no established arbitration committee or other local methods of dispute resolutions exist.

This new scope honors the well-founded principle of subsidiarity: local communities can deal with their own disputes if they so wish and are capable of it. Only in cases where that is not the case does the DRC actually have any "jurisdiction". At the same time, this scope allows for communities to build their own processes and gain their own experiences with dispute resolution. sebmol ? 12:35, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. It could be added into the scope of DRC that, if asked, it should work with the communities on building their own processes for dispute resolution. --Millosh 13:35, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, what if a community has an ArbCom which doesn't work well? I mean, if it really doesn't work well; not about complains against, let's say, en.wp ArbCom. --Millosh 13:52, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

What do you mean? Inactive? Can not elect an arbcom? Consistently taking decisions contradicting to 5 pillars? I just can not imagine that. If smth goes wrong the arbitrators will not be reelected.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:15, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
We are not talking about big communities, but about small ones and in some cases medium ones. As stewards, we are constantly looking at various kinds of power usurpation. If we say that DRC won't deal with any community which has ArbCom, it can produce a couple of dozens of new ArbComs inside of the small communities, which are probably not ready for ArbCom. There are no limits in number of active users for ArbCom creation. That means that community with 10 active users can create ArbCom. And it is possible that majority of one small community is not following 5 pillars. --Millosh 14:24, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
You mean, the small community like ru.wikibooks three years ago would speedily elect an arbcom and becomes ineligible for DRC? I guess if it all boils down to an opt-out we can not do anything anyway. And currently electing arbcom looks like kind of an opt-out in terms of the proposal.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:36, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the example is a good one. Actually, inside of the proposal, there is a note that DRC would be responsible for keeping the list up to date and that the Board should sanction any changes, like it does for chapters (Chapters committee) and for new projects (Language committee). So, if ru.wb community elects their ArbCom instantly, they would stay under the DRC jurisdiction until DRC suggest removal from the list to the Board and Board approves it. And, of course, DRC has to suggest what should be done with the community with newly formed ArbCom in reasonable amount of time. --Millosh 14:42, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I am personally fine with this suggestion, but I think it stands zero chances to be approved. (Even more, I do not think the suggestion which says every community which say by 01.08.10 does not have an arbcom (including de.wp and es.wp) deals with DRC. I think the only suggestion which stands a chance is that every community which does not have an arbcom and does not opt out deals with DRC. I guess you still remember what happened during the first vote for global sysops?)--Yaroslav Blanter 14:58, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
We should create the initial list here. And this is not about large communities. The scope of the projects of this body should be more or less the same as the scope of the projects of stewards. Probably, exactly the same. --Millosh 15:10, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I think we'll have to see when it happens. There's not much sense in architecting grand solutions for all possible scenarios because, as history has shown, such grand solutions (1) rarely work well, (2) always omitted some crucial scenarios not thought of at the time of architecting, and (3) are rarely flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances. I'd therefore say we leave this question open until we get to it. Remember that what is set up in this proposal isn't set in stone for all eternity. Future decisions may very well cause changes to this structure when it's prudent to do so. So let's be pragmatic about it sebmol ? 16:26, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
OK. Sounds reasonably. I've replaced the original scope with yours formulation. If there are no other important points, this one should stay. --Millosh 17:02, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
call me too cautious but i would be in favour of a minor clarification other local methods => other (working/institutionalized) local methods for two reasons: 1) if there is a wiki like the wikis of wmf there is - at least - one method (open discussion) 2) drc, if i understand the idea in the right way, is to assume conflict management falls, undecidable by local methods and until now inofficially managed by the stewards. it should not slow down the need and process of developing working local conflict management structures in growing communities because there is always a well known door to knock on to carry out minor local problems.
i'm sure that working (or institutionalized) would not impede the work in practice because the decision space in each individual problem wouldn't be limited different compared to the other formulation and the history of the en.wp-ArbCom and - by far more impressive - the german "SG" have shown (with very different results) that it would be a benefit to be as precise as possible, best regards --Jan eissfeldt 17:51, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that makes sense. It leaves room for the determination of whether a process is working or not. But I think that's good actually in that it allows some flexibility when addressing specific cases. sebmol ? 20:24, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Building capacitiesEdit

I would add into the scope "DRC is also responsible for building capacities in dispute resolution of small wikis." -- or something similar. --Millosh 10:24, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Seems fine--Yaroslav Blanter 12:59, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Added as: "DRC is also responsible for actively building dispute resolution capacities on wikis which don't have established arbitration committee or other local methods for dispute resolution.". Fix it if needed, including my English. --Millosh 12:07, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Choosing membersEdit

I want to briefly comment on the possible choosing procedures. Further discussions could go directly to the appropriate section. --თოგო (D) 12:22, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

The initial set of proposalsEdit

Wikimedia-wide elections.Edit

I find it not very useful to have all Wikimedia users voting, as (we all know that) the majority of voters would be from large wikis, and as the committee would not have to do anything on them, mostly only people would vote for whom the committee is not made. --თოგო (D) 12:22, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I am not convinced in reliability of one judicial body which is directly elected periodically. If elections, then they should be like steward elections and especially like steward reconfirmations. Maybe to start with stewards-only, then to separate those two groups formally in a couple of years. (I mean, not to force them to decide what should they be, but to separate bodies and elections.) --Millosh 14:02, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Simultaneoulsly with the steward elections, with the powers given for a year. Next year they must stand for reelection--Yaroslav Blanter 14:18, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Stewards are able to make unpopular decisions just because they are passing though the process of reconfirmation, not reelection. The same problem stays with future DRC members: if they make necessary but unpopular decisions, they could finish after one year, although they would make the right decisions. Thus, some kind of soft method is needed (like reconfirmation is), not a hard one (like reelection is). --Millosh 14:28, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Again, I am now serving (for the second time) as an arbcom member, and I am sure I want to quit after 6 months, not to stand reelection. I do not thing this is such a big problem. Especially since the vast majority of voters come from the communities not affected by DRC.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:37, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
This discussion about reappointment warrants its own section, as opinions on that will be quite varied. IMO, we have such a large global community, I don't believe there should be any need for reappointments. John Vandenberg 15:40, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I think it is sensible to limit suffrage to communities who will be affected. I would also prefer a one-vote-per-project approach as Millosh and I discussed in June 2008 at Talk:Global_rights#Time_frame, as this allows local communities to discuss the matter in their native tongue first, and also means that larger communities can not dominate the discussion and/or result. John Vandenberg 15:35, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for raising this. One vote per project looks like a good option. And there is no need then for removing big projects from voting. --Millosh 15:37, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
It makes sense, but it is difficult for me to imagine how big projects will fit into this scheme. For instance, should fr.wp first discuss and have primaries, or delegate somebody a vote? I am not sure that this is a well-suited mechanism for big projects.--Yaroslav Blanter 15:45, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Large communities are perfectly capable to make decisions on project scale. For example, choosing ArbCom members. Any community also could choose not to vote. Time for voting should be limited. Let's say, one month. --Millosh 15:51, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
And it would be up to a community to decide how they would vote. --Millosh 15:52, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Right, but now we are talking of elections of somebody they are not at all involved with. I am not against the suggestion, but it needs to be thought out, otherwise big communities will show no interest, and the voting gets taken over by trolls.--Yaroslav Blanter 15:54, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that large projects would not need to be excluded in a one-vote-per-project system. As each project only has one 'vote', each community needs to locally discuss the 'cost' of holding a local decision making process vs the benefit of their vote. Decision making on bigger projects usually 'costs' more. With a one-vote-per-project system, the costly & often messy big-project decision making process doesn't occur on the same meta page - it happens in their own project space, according to their own customs.
I think the big projects will opt out of this decision because it is clearly not going to benefit their community. But that is a decision for each community to make. John Vandenberg 16:02, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Elections by only people from projects which fall within the scope of the committee (ie, ruling out enwiki, dewiki etc)Edit

Going to split this one from Wikimedia-wide elections, because it is really something else and requires additional details. If you go wikimedia wide, you are likely going to do a popularity poll amongst the big projects. If you only do projects that are affected, you most likely have a lot of voters who dont know who the candidates are. It seems however only fair that only those who are in the game, have a say in who referees the game. It is easy to be critical if you are not affected by it. Effeietsanders 13:13, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

  • How would you define participants of these projects? By number of edits souffrage? Or are we still in the paradigm öne project - one vote"?--Yaroslav Blanter 14:21, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the one project one vote and one person one vote are totally different concepts. I dont believe many communities are able to make a joint decision on candidates, so I think one person one vote would make more sense indeed. And yes, XXX edits on the relevant projects combined would probably be a workable way of determining, but I guess that is open for other suggestions. Effeietsanders 14:31, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

A group of stewards who are willing to volunteer for this purpose. (This is the suggestion of one of the Board members.)Edit

That's also my favorite. First of all, stewards are elected by a broad community. Secondly, they are to be confirmed annually, and as we have seen last time, it is easily possible to be not confirmed. Thirdly, until now stewards do the task which this committee is meant for, so there is already some experience. However, I would also include global sysops as potential members of the committee. --თოგო (D) 12:22, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

  • If the purpose is really to take a number of tasks from the stewards this is the worst option. We can just leave things as they are.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:16, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, this is a valid question and I am still not convinced that this is the best idea, although it looks like the most reasonable. The main reason behind this suggestion is related to the fact that DRC needs to be a body with high level of community trust. New bodies won't have that and the idea is to take the trust from stewards. If the members would be filled by stewards, that should be just a temporary solution. In a couple of years those two bodies should be split. --Millosh 14:35, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    Maybe we can fill the initial body with stewards and leave the group for year or so to be established. Then we can make steward-like elections and reconfirmations. --Millosh 14:35, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    To me the proposal below - half elected, half appointed by stewards - seems to be more balanced.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:39, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Some stewards would be very good candidates for this dispute resolution role, but the community should be the judge of that. Also, they should stop being a steward when they are appointed to the committee because many disputes involve the actions taken by stewards in order to restore order. John Vandenberg 15:50, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
    Yes, anyone on this committee should definitely stop being a steward, and stop being on any arbcomms or similar bodies, to avoid conflating the roles. SJ · talk | translate 07:38, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Appointing the group by some other body.Edit

Which body could that be? The Board of Trustees? They won't do that, I guess. Any other body? --თოგო (D) 12:22, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

If the stewards are selected, a number of them will not wish to do dispute resolution. It's a technical position, of course. There's not much preventing stewards from creating a sub-group staffed with stewards who will exercise only dispute resolution abilities and not technical abilities, creating a de facto separate resolution board. That might even be better, as then that group would be operating under the aegis of the stewards. Ionek 15:59, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
And what about a temporary "DRC electors" body, composed e.g. by all stewards (or at most all stewards and all sysops of participating projects, to avoid a crowd of sysops from bigger wikis)? I would very much like to avoid one more election (!). --Nemo 13:59, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
Probably best to syncronize all elections to the same time (i.e. board elections, steward-election, drc-election, arbcom-elections, etc.)... Laaknor 18:02, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it would be useful to sync all political elections, like for Board and ArbComs are. However, managerial elections (stewards, CUs and similar) should stay out of that timeframe as they need much more discussion. --Millosh 19:15, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
If some volunteer council would be to exist, this could be that body. Currently that is not the case though. Theoretically, "Staff" could also be that body (not my preference though). Effeietsanders 13:08, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I too think this would be a useful role for a volunteer council. SJ · talk | translate 07:34, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia-wide election for most of the members, and two or three stewards elected from and by the stewards (for fact-finding, etc.)Edit

There could be some additional community-elected members, who are not stewards or global sysops. --თოგო (D) 12:22, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

That suggestion is that we have i.e. five community elected members, and say two stewards, where the stewards are not elected by the community, but by stewards (how stewards elect those two members would be up to stewards to decide among themselves, but I'm thinking something like changing one of two members every 6 months). Laaknor 12:55, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Hm, but would you then allow other stewards to candidate as the community-elected members, too? And do you suggest that the exchange is mandatory, so that every steward doing the job has to step back after a year? --თოგო (D) 13:15, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm thinking that the community-elected members can be whoever that want to put their name up, regardless of their existing rights. How stewards want to fill "their" seats, is up to stewards. Life-time appointments is not a good thing, so some kind of election should happen, but forced retirement is not something I would put in a policy; people should be able to be re-elected. Laaknor 14:10, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
This is also an option: some members get elected, some will be appointed.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:18, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Up to this moment, this seems to be the most supported option. May we start to talk about details: How many elected members? How many stewards? Would the number of members be fixed or open? --Millosh 15:12, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

My experience is that one needs 5 to 10 members in total (assuming all of them are active). Less than 5 is non-representative and too subjective; more than 10 is a crowd. If we have 8 I would suggest 3 steward-elected and 5 community-elected members, so that the community has a formal majority.--Yaroslav Blanter 15:15, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
OK. Let's say 8 (5 elected, 3 stewards) at the beginning, but we should give to them right to say that they need more members. --Millosh 15:25, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I only see this to be necessary in case some of them become inactive. A body with 10+ active members I believe can not function efficiently. In case of inactivity, I guess, we can ask stewards to fill the openings, to avoid extra elections. Of course we may want to evaluate the whole system say after a year and decide we need 10 members instead of 8, but this is a different issue.--Yaroslav Blanter 15:28, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
This sounds reasonable to me. The appointed members could be drawn largely from current or former stewards. The elections could take place at the same time as steward elections. Until the next Steward elections, it might make sense to appoint an initial group to help refine the definition of the committee and do related research, but not take any cases. SJ · talk | translate 07:37, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
The number of requests may raise a lot and it could be possible that DRC members are not able to fulfill all requests. --Millosh 15:40, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
In case we underestimate the capacity I guess a better option would be re-evaluation. 8 member suggestion means all members should be in principle involved in all requests. Expanded (say 20 members) would mean somehow splitting the requests and assigning a number of members to each request. These are two different models, and I do not think it is a good idea to switch between them without re-evaluation. Of course we can opt for the second mode from the very beginning; then it is not really important how many members there are, it could be even 50.--Yaroslav Blanter 15:47, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Self-appointing (ie, the remainder of the committee chooses replacements)Edit

Ehm, no. ;) --თოგო (D) 12:22, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Does not seem to be the best idea in terms of credibility--Yaroslav Blanter 14:39, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
To be a devils advocate here, I've wondered whether it would be useful for a committee to appoint one or two members to serve a second term; the remainder of the committee would exit after their term is up. This could provide a limited 'w:institutional memory', stability, predictability and sense of direction. If the sitting committee chooses badly, their reappointments are in the minority, and they will be out in the next term. John Vandenberg 16:10, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I guess stewards can do the same, and then it fits into another model. --Yaroslav Blanter 16:19, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is likely that steward-members will come from the same pool of stewards and it is highly unlikely that stewards would regularly change its own members in that body. --Millosh 17:10, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Although I am no big fan (I only suggested it because it should be considered), it is a common model in many foundation boards. You could consider having some self-appointed "expert seats" like the WMF has. That way you can also include some not-so-popular people or people who are not keep of standing for election under public scrutiny. Effeietsanders 13:10, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Further discussionEdit

During previous discussion, we've concluded that a mixed type of body formation is a preferable one: Wikimedia-wide elections and a couple of stewards chosen among stewards. --Millosh 12:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

All other questions are open:

  1. How many members would be there? Fixed number or open number? --Millosh 12:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
  2. How elections would look like: usual RfA-like discussion, stewards-like election, SecurePoll elections? --Millosh 12:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)the same way as stewards elections, possibly with the same souffrage--Yaroslav Blanter 14:24, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
    I do not see how RfA can elect smth, it is very difficult to summarize and it is vulnerable to all kind of manipulations. I would rather do it in
  3. When the elections would be? Separately from other elections or with some of other elections? --Millosh 12:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
  4. If elected members are accountable to the community (i.e. the next elections), steward-members would be accountable to whom? --Millosh 12:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
    Steward members are accountable in their capacity as stewards, which presumably concerns the same voters as DRC elections.--Yaroslav Blanter 14:23, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

There are probably some other questions related to DRC elections. Please, list them and please give your opinions. --Millosh 12:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Objection to the whole ideaEdit

Hello,

I do not contribute much to Wikipedia, and I was blocked for good on the English Wikipedia, so the idea will have little effect on me, and yet I call upon you to be careful about it and perhaps abandon it altogether. The experience of the English Wikipedia shows this kind of committee does not solve anything. In fact it enhances conflicts and gives disproportional power to admins against simple users. It also helps users who game the system rather than the innocent ones.

  1. The English WP ArbCom uses pseudo-legal language and procedures. This makes it discussions very hard to follow unless you are well acquainted with the English legal language.
  2. The English WP ArbCom does not solve disputes. It usually makes general comments about the need to use sources and use WP in good faith. Then it gives a series of Draconian measures at the hand of admins. The admins use these measures without discretion. Whenever someone complain about an seeming violation of ArbCom decision (which are generally very vague), the admins are quick to ban the alleged "deliquent".
  3. The aforementioned ArbCom uses a cumbersome system of bureaucracy. It has plenty of pages dealing with various issues. It is hard to follow all this material and understand the dos and donts resulting from it. Addressing the Committee is an awfully hard task, especially by those who are unacquainted with the system.
  4. Too many times have I seen users say "but the ArbCom said" in order to justify their edits or reverts. This argument usually frightens other users to death, because the next step could be a complaint and blocking. In short, the ArbCom, whether it means it or not, has become a huge baton carried by those who want to game the system.

In my personal opinion, the English WP would do wisely canceling this institute. I do not think that adding another institute like that would do any good. Disclaimer - Nothing I said above suggests any of the Committee's members has done anything wrong or acted in ill-faith. Quite the contrary. I am sure they all meant this idea to work and improve Wikipedia, but the idea has proven to be a failure. Dror_K 09:17, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I sympathize with this view. In my view, an effective DRC would offer very short, simple resolutions to disputes; perhaps only a few a year. They would use particularly simple language, since the results would need to be understood by contributors in many languages. It should avoid self-nominations, but acknowledge those where a number of trusted users or admins from various projects ask for help. (How do we handle a cross-wiki vandal who occasionally makes a few good edits? How do we handle a great editor who also exhausts every community s/he works with? What should be done about two wikis each of whose admins is blocking editors from the other wiki?) The resolutions could be a statement that a local wiki (or wikis) need a certain type of policy, or a direct recommendation for handling one specific case. Most cases suggested would not be heard. The process for asking for help could be very simple; a single page with one section per request.
The only policies and enforcement I imagine being carried out on Meta would be those involving global blocks (see global locks and blocks for a draft policy on how and why). SJ · talk | translate 07:30, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Obligatory Arbitration CommitteeEdit

I recommend rather the addition of global rule which would apply to all Wikipedias, that every one should have an Arbitration Committee.

It would save a Dispute Resolution Committee a lot of work, since there is a number of Wikipedias who do not have ArbComs and they would all immediately go over to here, instead of using the local resources which are available for dispute resolution.

The Wikimedia should only be used when it is obvious that there can be no dispute resolution on the corresponding Wikipedia, i.e. when all means available have been exhausted (and instead of making everyone lodge their appeals here, just make the Wikipedia's lacking those bodies elect their own ArbComs). --SavoRastko 20:21, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

No. It should at least be specified that wikipedias need a certain size (or even have major conflicts, for that matter) before this becomes mandatory; setting up an ArbCom-site when the 10-50 people who edit there cooperate just fine won't make sense. It's just clutter. Seb az86556 23:22, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Seems to me, in order for members of a project community to usefully function as an ArbCom, that community has to want an ArbCom. Making it counterproductive to force any project to have an ArbCom. --Pi zero 23:40, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
The Croatian Wikipedia has closed its own ArbCom under the argument that it causes more troubles than helps - however, the controversial closure seems to have led to an even deeper crisis over at that Wikipedia, as it had apparently fell into a tyrannical dictatorship of several magnates with administration powers. --SavoRastko 16:33, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
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