Wikinews talk:Arbitration Committee/Elections July 2008

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Just to clarifyEdit

Just to clarify, I do not intend to run for re-election, as I feel I am no longer active in the wikinews community to the extent an arbcom member should be. Bawolff 04:45, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Candidate shortageEdit

To date, we have three candidates. We need at least another three; there are six seats up here, not an optimal situation, but what we have to deal with.

Candidates should be prepared to identify to the Foundation. Access to Oversight and CheckUser require this, and ArbCom cases have the potential to need such tools. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:34, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I will identify if vital, but ultimatly I do not feel I need the tools. Is this still required? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 06:29, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
If it is considered appropriate to grant these rights to Arbitration Committee members then it must surely put the community at a disadvantage if a member is without these rights. Personally I'd feel unable to support a candidate who chose not to identify themselves to the Foundation and in doing so potentially put themselves at a disadvantage in performing the role to which they are elected to do. Adambro (talk) 06:35, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
The tools are generally, as Adambro says, granted to ArbCom members. Any case has the potential to require use of CheckUser if sockpuppeting or other forms of block evasion are involved. It may be some comfort to know that identifying to the Foundation does not require that you divulge personal details on-wiki. The process involves sending a scan or photocopy of some form of id (preferably photo id) to Cary Bass. Once it is proven you are over 18, you get the extra rights. The age requirement is part of Foundation privacy policy. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:13, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think its necessary to require that people identify themselves to the foundation or apply for the extra rights. (I never identified myself, and some of the people who served on the arbcom in the past were minors) We have several people with these rights, the number of active bureaucrats is equal to the number of active check users and oversighters - theres more then enough to go around. Bawolff 21:28, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
That's much my opinion. Anyway, I withdrew for several reasons, not just the whole privacy thing, so it makes little difference to me, although I do wonder if it needs looked at again. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 06:24, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Staggered electionsEdit

I'm not convinced that an entire ArbCom reelection is the best solution for the future. I would prefer to see about half of the arbcom reelected at a time, possibly with elections every six months. I'm not sure how to work out having some of the people who get elected this time round have shorter terms and keep it fair; do we extend the term for those with the most votes, or shorten the term for those with the least? Thoughts? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:46, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

The length of terms was increased to one year as opposed to six months as recently as January this year. Having ArbCom elections twice a year was considered to be too disruptive, I can't see what advantage would be gained by having elections every six months. Adambro (talk) 11:44, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
My suggestion is to ensure there is continuity and not a complete new ArbCom every election. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:32, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Does that matter though? It isn't like ArbCom is used much so it can't be said that anyone on the committee has any more experience than anyone else in handling cases. Adambro (talk) 12:38, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
If we wanted to go back to staggered elections, we could do it like we did the first election. However if we do, I think the term length should be 2 years, with half being up for re-election once a year. (but that is an extremly long term in wikitime). However having an election every 6 months is too much imo. Bawolff 03:46, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Election extendedEdit

I notice that the election period has been extended such that it ends after the previous terms end. I feel that is highly inappropriate. Why was this changed? --SVTCobra 18:41, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

We lost a day, so we added on an extra day. The winners will be announced on August 1 and they will be official immediately. I don't see why this is such a huge issue to you in the first place; as I said before, we've used ArbCom, what, twice in four years? Not having a sitting ArbCom for less than a day will not be something that's pressing. Mike Halterman (talk) 22:05, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
We lost a mere 15 hours. The voting is going to be open for more than 12 days anyway, isn't that enough? It is important because it is procedure. It makes no sense to let the terms expire before closing the vote. Will it matter? Probably not. But why set a bad precedent for future elections. --SVTCobra 22:18, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
That's just it, it doesn't have to set a precedent. There will be new election committee members then, they can decide what to do; in fact, they will probably want to revert back to the old model. That's totally fine with me, but it just seems like an argument to start an argument, which isn't very helpful. Mike Halterman (talk) 22:20, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I think, rather than a new election committee deciding what to do, it will be the community that decides whilst still entrusting a few users to manage the election in accordance with the community consensus as to how it should be run. Adambro (talk) 22:23, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
In the middle of an election? I don't see how this is a good time at all to do that. People could have brought up their hypothetical concerns before the election started and nobody did. Dare I say it, I think it's too late right now. Mike Halterman (talk) 22:27, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
What gave you the impression that I was referring to this election? Adambro (talk) 22:38, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
My mistake, I thought you were. Sorry! Mike Halterman (talk) 22:45, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Why is this discussion taking place both here and at WN:AAA? Cirt (talk) 22:39, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure. I'm guessing SVTCobra, who first brought it up, wanted the largest number of people to know about it, which meant cross-posting. I think we should wrap up at least one of these discussions, if not both, and then outline how next year's election will be improved either now or when this election ends (I vote for the latter). Mike Halterman (talk) 22:47, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Cirt (talk) 23:14, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Why the hell is a piece of trivia like this getting so much attention when I spent an enormous amount of time and effort at Wikimania networking and trying to get help to move the project forward? I spent hours in a cafe at Cairo airport typing up what I learned and the opportunities open to us as a result, yet a couple of contributors will waste everyone's time on a silly little detail like a minor extension of the voting period? It is argument for argument's sake. I certainly don't want to see anyone who would engage in such behaviour on the Arbitration Committee, and - to be blunt - I don't want people who will nitpick over stuff like this on Wikinews. We can do without importing the dysfunctional aspects of English Wikipedia. Drop this, get on with the project goals, and be constructive. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:39, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Can't vote, but...Edit

I can't vote on this unfortunately, but I'd like to express support for Brianmc and Cspurrier who I am familiar with from other places, and who I think would be particularly good arbitrators. Cheers, Majorly (talk) 16:06, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

"Oppose" voting?Edit

Looking back at:

It looks like the last time there was a custom of "Oppose" voting was back in January 2006. As this was not the practice in the last three elections, I do not think it is appropriate in this election. Also, after looking at the previous four elections, all seem to keep votes to very very brief, if any comments, certainly no longer than a few words or one sentence, maximum. Cirt (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

It's clearly labeled in the FAQ (which everyone should have read before voting) that this is a support voting system. The way you oppose candidates in a support voting system is to not vote. I have removed Adambro's vote. Please follow directions, everyone. Mike Halterman (talk) 22:55, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. Cirt (talk) 02:22, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I've reinstated this as a "comment" rather than an "oppose". If the "election committee" still feel this is inappropriate, and I wouldn't say the length of comments previously is a good reason, then I would invite them to assist me in finding a more appropriate venue. I am not aware of anything, beyond Mike Halterman who was being canvassed on IRC by Brianmc to remove the vote, which says we aren't allowed to choose not to support a candidate and comment as to why. As I've said, if we don't have a reasonable opportunity to comment on candidates who are looking to be on the Arbitration Committee and receive oversight and checkuser rights then there is something very wrong with this whole process. Adambro (talk) 05:50, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
You can kindly remove the accusation that Brian McNeil told me to remove your vote. He wasn't even on IRC all day (to my knowledge) and I haven't spoken to him since well before you added your oppose vote. I saw it on recent changes and I removed the vote of my own accord. Take your petty vendetta against Brian McNeil someplace else, and speaking for myself, stop wasting my time with it. Mike Halterman (talk) 05:52, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I've not made any accusations, rather what I've stated is a fact. Brianmc did tell you on IRC to remove the vote, whether this played any part in you doing so is of course impossible to say and I've not suggested it did. Adambro (talk) 06:04, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
No, what you suggested is that he told me to jump and I said "how high?" You know quite well what you're doing and I'm really surprised, considering you've been chastised for this behavior against him before, that you're going after him again (especially after the community just voted you back as an administrator last week, with hopes that you would change your judgment calls about nearly everything). I don't want to hear any more about this; if you would like to leave the last word, you're more than welcome to it, but I won't be responding to you. Mike Halterman (talk) 06:07, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

<unindent> I tried to ping Mike about this on IRC, there was no response for several hours so it is quite possible he was not aware I had been in IRC last night, or seen the message. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:42, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

The pointy comments by AdambroEdit

I, too, cannot vote but I feel the need to comment on Adambro's absurd behavior. What is your problem? Each WMF project has a different mission and scope, so trying to enforce philosophies from one project on another is not helpful. Furthermore, Wikinews is entitled to set policy on fair use according to that mission. Anthere, the chairperson of the WMF board, made this abundantly clear. If anyone is to provide guidance on the foundation resolution you kept on bringing up, she is the one to do so. This is not Commons, the collection of free media that anyone can reuse. This is Wikinews, the free news site which anyone can write. The difference is in the audience that Wikinews serves as opposed to that which Commons serves. Where as Commons is concerned with freedom of redistribution and reuse, I believe Wikinews is concerned with providing the freedom of accurate reporting and non-biased presentation. More to the point, the news is a very visual medium, so having visual media, even if non-free or even if non-redistributable (GOL), is absolutely necessary. Current events are time sensitive and the luxury of getting free media is not one that can always be afforded. Even worse, changing stories long after the fact is not helpful, either, as media provide important factual and contextual information. So why do you feel the need to rehash your very disruptive behavior towards non-free media? You exhausted the patience of this community with your flood of bad-faith IfD nominations and your absurd wikilawyering. Brian was quite ticked off as were others. You were asked politely to stop and even heard from the aforementioned WMF board chairperson. In the face of all of that, you continued your disruption. Is it any wonder that Brian was less than polite? Even English Wikipedia arbitrators get frustrated when faced with intransigent, disruptive behavior. They are human beings, after all. Your concerns about Brian's fitness are without merit. I submit to you that it is merely sour grapes which motivates your improperly placed rant. You should withdraw it. --Dragon695 (talk) 14:09, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't believe this is an appropriate venue to reopen the free media/fair use debate. --+Deprifry+ 15:58, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
No it isn't. Dragon695 seems to want to try to defend Brian by attacking me, rather than doing the constructive thing and explaining why the points I have raised shouldn't be taken into consideration. I think it is somewhat odd that someone's first edit here is to make such a comment. I must apologise for doing so but I'm afraid I can't help feeling slightly suspicious about this. Whilst Dragon695 tries to use my background to devalue my comments, perhaps we should question the value of theirs considering their apparent lack of activity here. Maybe you should be explaining what prompted you to suddenly pop up here on Wikinews and make these remarks? Adambro (talk) 16:48, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Who can vote?Edit

I take it as a given that those on the election committee cannot vote due to the obvious conflict of interest, but what about candidates? I am reluctant to place votes without one or two of the election committee members saying it is acceptable to do so. I am also reluctant to place a vote for myself even though in a conventional election it is a given that candidates will vote for themselves and use this as a publicity opportunity. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:42, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Voting for other candidates should be fine, several candidates (myself included) did so in the January 2006 election. As for voting for yourself, I believe it is assumed that you're supporting your own candidacy. --+Deprifry+ 16:01, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree: voting for other candidates is no problem, voting for yourself is not advised, imho. And obviously, committee members shouldn't vote due to COI. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:50, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the responses, Deprifry (talk · contribs) and Stevenfruitsmaak (talk · contribs), this was something I had wanted some clarification on as well. Cirt (talk) 22:01, 22 July 2008 (UTC)


If my count is correct, these are the results:

  • 7 votes: Brianmc, Cirt, Cspurrier
  • 5 votes: Skenmy
  • 4 votes: Nzgabriel, Brian
  • 3 votes: SVTcobra
  • 2 votes: TUFKAAP
  • 1 vote: Chris Mann

I therefore propose that the ArbCom should consist of Brianmc, Cirt, Cspurrier, Skenmy, Nzgabriel and Brian. I'll await confirmation by Thunderhead and Mike Halterman. Others are requested to confirm and comment as well. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Oops, I was an hour early, damn UTC... embargoed until deadline passes...--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:23, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Already done on the results page, you can second the results there. Mike Halterman (talk) 20:04, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Checkuser / Oversight accessEdit

I want to point out that anyone with checkuser access must be appointed with support of 25 members of any community. In order for an arbitration committee to enable checkuser access, the arbitration committee must have been elected by that same margin. I'm unsure of how access was granted the last time, or whether the arbitration committee circumvented the requirements, but that 25 person margin is important because of the sensitivity of private information. As it stands, the members of the current arbitration committee will not be automatically granted checkuser access. Cary Bass (talk) 20:54, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Do we even need that? Brianmc, Brian and Cspurrier currently have Checkuser... IIRC, not every member had checkuser granted in the previous election. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:26, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

The point of electing an arbcom here is to circumvent the 25 vote requirement. It seems to have worked 'till now. Maxim(talk) 22:21, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Update: Cary Bass removed m:Checkuser/m:Oversight access to all those that previously had it locally on this project. See Checkusers and Oversighters. The relevant information as to why is under the "Access" subsection at pages m:Checkuser/m:Oversight. Cirt (talk) 22:26, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
To get CU and Oversight rights, you must have atleast 25 supports and 80% support and to do that you might have to allow more people to vote and the requirement right now for people with 250 edit count halts it, have a re-election probably ...--Cometstyles 23:17, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
See separate m:Checkuser request discussions going on now at WN:A. Cirt (talk) 01:57, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
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