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This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Roger Davies (talk | contribs) at 11:53, 15 November 2015 (→‎Motion: BASC disbanded: comments). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.


Motion: Removal of Unused Sanctions

For this motion there are 11 active arbitrators, not counting 1 recused. With 0 arbitrators abstaining, 6 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Every so often, it becomes reasonable to terminate sanctions that are no longer necessary,

  1. Remedy 1 of the Lapsed Pacifist 2 case is rescinded;
  2. Remedy 2 of the Mantanmoreland case is rescinded;
  3. Remedy 1 of the Waterboarding case is rescinded;
  4. Remedy 1 of the Vivaldi case is rescinded;
  5. Nothing in this motion provides grounds for appeal of remedies or restrictions imposed while article probations for the foregoing cases were in force. Such appeals or requests to lift or modify such sanctions may be made under the same terms as any other appeal;
  6. In the event that disruptive editing resumes in any of these topic-areas, a request to consider reinstating discretionary sanctions in that topic-area may be made on the clarifications and amendments page.
  1. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yunshui  11:38, 23 September 2015 (UTC)  Clerk note: This arbitrator has resigned. L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 22:17, 7 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Per Yunshi's comment below, I think the small risk that this will flare up without the threat of sanctions is small enough and easily countered enough (cf our recent motion regarding Longevity) that we can take it. Thryduulf (talk) 15:07, 28 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. AGK [•] 23:22, 3 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Support recision except for Mantanmoreland. It's very old, but let's do nothing to encourage its return. Editor misconduct in the other three areas can be more easily responded to via usual dispute resolution mechanisms. -- Euryalus (talk) 07:33, 1 November 2015 (UTC).Reply[reply]
  5. Support since point 6 makes it possible to restore sanctions without having to go through a full case. Doug Weller (talk) 13:41, 1 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. DGG ( talk ) 04:36, 7 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. As the committee retains jurisdiction, these can always be reinstated by motion if the need arises.  Roger Davies talk 06:42, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Enough of these have the potential to flare up that I think this is a bad idea. Courcelles (talk) 19:00, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:10, 28 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. LFaraone 17:36, 4 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion by arbitrators (removal of unused sanctions)

Proposed --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'm going to wait for any community comments before opining here. Thryduulf (talk) 23:22, 13 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • These are all pretty old, and a review of the relevant article histories suggests that they may no longer be needed; however I'm mindful of the fact that the sanctions may be the reason that the articles have been so quiet recently. I'm leaning towards supporting this motion, but like Thryduulf would be happier to wait until a few more opinions are in. Yunshui  08:33, 22 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sod it, I think the benefits outweigh the risks. The option of reinstatement by request at ARCA does, as Harry points out, make this a reasonably safe gamble. Yunshui  11:38, 23 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Community comments (removal of unused sanctions)

  • Noting Courcelles' objection, but I would have thought that point 6 (allowing the sanctions to be reinstated by request at ARCA if necessary) covers everyone in the event that disruption returns. Some topic areas won't quieten down until real-world events do (the obvious example being Israel-Palestine), but we shouldn't keep discretionary sanctions lingering around where they're no longer necessary or useful. The alerts and warning notices that editors see whenever they edit an affected article potentially deter valuable contributions and give an impression of a dispute that is no longer there. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:33, 22 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Given the state of the US and its jaunts into the middle-east (as well as its treatment of Muslims at home) object to the waterboarding being lifted (no comment on the others). 'Closely related pages' effectively means anything involving state-sanctioned torture. Totally cant see how THAT might flare up... Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:23, 25 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • But the last sanction imposed pursuant to a remedy in that case was nearly five years ago (by strange coincidence, I was the admin imposing it), and the sanctions can always be re-imposed if necessary. Besides, most subjects to do with waterboarding as it relates to the United States' foreign policy would probably be covered by the discretionary sanctions on American politics. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:07, 25 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Well I would generally follow the school of thought that states 'Its calm because of the sanctions'. However you are right American Politics would (probably, someone will argue otherwise no doubt) cover any US based torture problems. Sadly the US does not have a monopoly in torture. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:20, 25 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I hate to keep bringing up essentially the same thing every time, but once again we have a problem (a minor one this time, but entirely avoidable) this time caused by someone referring to the "last" item on a list that is still having items added and removed. This small issue and a number of large issues to come can be avoided by the simple idea of designing procedures and sticking to them instead of winging it every time. To be specific, in this particular situation, anyone commenting on a list item should refer to "item number 6" instead of "the last item. Anyone removing an item should replace it with "6. (removed) instead of deleting it and letting a new item take the #6 slot. Please Arbom, there are members of the community who are experts at designing these sorts of procedures. Let us help. We won't step on your authority and you will get to approve all procedures. Whether because of lack of skills, lack of time, or lack of interest, you really suck at this. Just give the word and I will start recruiting experts and drafting procedures (on-wiki, so you can comment and veto at any point in the process). --Guy Macon (talk)
Re "easily corrected"; it was corrected while I composed the above. My point about procedures still stands though. If anyone wants to dispute this, I can document previous problems that weren't so easy to fix. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:19, 27 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Guy Macon: What are you talking about? You are the first person to edit this page in over two days --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 03:27, 27 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oops. When I went back to look at the page I looked at "Motion: Removal of Unused Sanctions" (which doesn't have the problem) instead of "Motion: Overlap of Sanctions" (which does have the problem -- in the oppose section) and assumed it had been fixed. Sorry for the error. Does anyone wish to comment on my offer? --Guy Macon (talk) 03:59, 27 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, I didn't think so. See you next time the lack of procedures causes a problem, and I hope it is a minor problem like this one. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:25, 4 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even after your post above, I still do not understand what your comment relates to. Thryduulf (talk) 12:31, 4 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regardless of the merits of the numbering in this motion, you'd like us to comment on your view that Arbcoms (now and in the past) kind of suck at concise and accurate wording. You're completely correct. At risk of sounding like the tedious bureaucrat that I actually am, there is a reason for administrative writing and this is it - for precision, and to avoid doubt when the material is read later by people other than those who drafted it. Whenever there is a badly worded motion, please feel free to offer suggested changes. If they're good, the Committee should adopt them (or explain why not). -- Euryalus (talk) 07:40, 1 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@L235: Can you clarify if Yunshui explicitly removed his support for this motion? He was active at the time of his vote and comments. I don't see why his retirement would affect his position on the matter. Mike VTalk 23:18, 7 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Mike V: I was not told if Yunshui explicitly removed his support. However, I was explicitly directed to strike his votes on all matters and recalculate majorities by an arbitrator on clerks-l. Thanks, L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 23:21, 7 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Motion: BASC Reform

1. With immediate effect, the Ban Appeals Subcommittee (email: will hear appeals only from:

  • Editors who are subject to an {{OversightBlock}} or a {{Checkuserblock}}, and
  • Editors who are blocked for reasons which are unsuitable for public discussion.

2. Any current appeals will continue to be handled by the subcommittee until the appeal has run its course.
3. Community appeals formerly heard by the Subcommittee may be addressed to the community via the editor's talk page or sent to the UTRS mailing list.
4. As before, appeals of Arbitration decisions (including Arbitration enforcement blocks) may be made to the Arbitration Committee itself (email:

For this motion there are 14 active arbitrators. With 0 arbitrators abstaining, 8 support or oppose votes are a majority.

  1. The recent Ban appeal RFC is pertinant,  Roger Davies talk 18:57, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Salvio Let's talk about it! 19:05, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. About time. Doug Weller (talk) 19:06, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Now second choice. Doug Weller (talk) 11:02, 15 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. It would be fair to say that BASC is ad hoc at best but the BASC role of arbcom should be limited as outlined above. NativeForeigner Talk 00:43, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Support, though I would also be open to moving appeals of blocks meeting points 1 and 2 to the functionaries and ridding ourselves of this "subcommittee" entirely. GorillaWarfare (talk) 08:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ditto,  Roger Davies talk 09:01, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Now prefer the motion below (Motion: BASC disbanded). GorillaWarfare (talk) 11:06, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Only if Motion: BASC disbanded below fails to pass. LFaraone 19:10, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. At least temporarily, as the clerks have just now been told to go and spread the news of this motion. Also, I don't understand "reforming" something that does not exist in practice, and has never existed in my years on the Committee. Better to just flat out abolish BASC, and direct whatever appeals are left under arbcom's remit directly to the committee proper. Courcelles (talk) 19:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. This is needed but premature. I've seen no evidence that the UTRS volunteers are aware of this proposal to increase their workload and have the chance to prepare for it. The RFC closure included "a separate discussion should be held on if/what conditions may be applied by the UTRS-reviewing admin." So far as I am aware this discussion has not happened, which if true means that there is no mandate from the community for the UTRS volunteers to actually do anything but unconditionally accept or unconditionally reject an appeal (e.g. they cannot require a minimum period before the next appeal). Thryduulf (talk) 19:53, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Further to the above, it has been pointed out (by email) that the UTRS volunteers have not even agreed to take over this work - that is not to say they are necessarily unwilling, but it is not what they volunteered to do and they have not been asked if they are willing to do it. David Fuchs also makes a good point about this removing a level in the chain of appeals, which is not what was discussed at the RfC. These points strengthen my opinion that this motion is putting the cart before the horse. Thryduulf (talk) 01:21, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Until such a time that the community stops remanding appeals of community bans to the BASC or there is a consensus to not hear appeals of community bans by ArbCom, we should not stop hearing them. There is some upside to having a "court of last resort" for community bans; especially when years have passed but someone does not want to brave the day's waves on ANI. (UTRS is a single admin and can not hear true ban appeals anyways.) I support sending blocks of any lengths back to the community. --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 19:57, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Oppose DeltaQuad by email. Posted by  Roger Davies talk 23:41, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Oppose altogether, if the intention is that we should refuse to hear some appeals that we now hear. While the community wishes to send appeals of some bans to us, we should hear them. They make the rules under which we operate, and it would be wrong for us to ignore part of the job that community consensus has assigned us. If they wish to change that, they can, for they have the right to limit our jurisdiction, because we exist under community policy. Whether they should change that is another question, about which I am undecided. Our job would obviously be easier if they did remove this function, but we on the committee accepted the burden when we accepted the position, and we have the obligation do do what we promised. DGG ( talk ) 00:46, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. AGK [•] 21:05, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion by arbitrators (BASC Reform)

  • BASC does not exist. Appeals are decided by a consensus among whatever arbitrators bother to comment, and this may or may not resemble the published list of BASC members. Courcelles (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Um, that's right but the point is that this motion moves appeals of community bans to the community, which is what the RfC suggested and certainly IMHO where they belong. We've been asked to and we've said we would move as much as we can to the community (I certainly supported that when I ran), and this is a good chunk of our time which would be better spent on cases. Doug Weller (talk) 20:19, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Then why are you supporting doing this by reforming the BASC you admit doesn't exist, rather than abolishing the BASC at the same time as divesting the work? Courcelles (talk) 20:53, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Ok, I'll modify that. It works the way you and Beeblebrox says it does. It exists as a mailing list and as a committee set out at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Ban Appeals Subcommittee. You can argue that it isn't a proper subcommittee as that implies a limited membership. I think that the mailing list should still be kept as a separate list, and nothing in this motion stops that from happening. We could I guess rename the list (although I'm not sure the software will allow that and keep the archives), but I don't see the point. The main difference between the proposal and what you seem to want might only be a change from having appeals sent to the BASC list to having appeals sent to our list. Doug Weller (talk) 21:38, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • Keep the list if others find it useful for workflow management , but dispense with any pretending that the BASC as a thing exists. Courcelles (talk) 22:51, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • I'm finding this line of reasoning very strange. How ever much you argue around it, the fact remains that BASC is a quasi autonomous subset of ArbCom and it functions (and always has functioned) on that basis. And for as long as it functions, it exists, whether or not it is functioning as intended. (cf. Being and Nothingness) A subcommittee with an ad hoc membership is still a subcommittee.  Roger Davies talk 07:10, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Salvidrim!: Also in the interests of transparency, I've sent you the following email commenting on yours (which you've quoted) to the Clerks. Thanks for your comments. For information, BASC has always been the forum of last resort so all appeals should always have gone first to UTRS before going to BASC. ("BASC is a last resort, available only if other means of appeal are exhausted.")diff What's more, the motion simply reflects the position that is already set out in the "Guide to appealing blocks".diff  Roger Davies talk 06:54, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • WJBscribe and Worm That Turned. New motion posted,  Roger Davies talk 11:11, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Community comments (BASC Reform)

  • I believe that the motion uses "and" where it should have used "or". --Guy Macon (talk) 19:39, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • It doesn't really make any difference, as the motion is saying that arbcom/BASC will still hear appeals made by this group of editors, and that group of editors. Thryduulf (talk) 19:56, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Precise language is important. If you get it right up front you save a huge amount of time explaining it later. As written, it can be read as requiring that you be a member of both groups of editors or your appeal will not be heard. Yes, you can decide to use non-standard fleemishes and the reader can still gloork the meaning from the context, but there ix a limit; If too many ot the vleeps are changed, it becomes harder and qixer to fllf what the wethcz is blorping, and evenually izs is bkb longer possible to ghilred frok at wifx. Dnighth? Ngfipht yk ur! Uvq the hhvd or hnnngh. Blorgk? Blorgk! Blorgkity-blorgk!!!! --Guy Macon (talk) 21:23, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Per the community's desire as expressed here is that BASC should be abolished. Retaining it in this role, which shifts its focus to an entirely different area, seems bizarre. Tranclusion counts for {{OversightBlock}} and {{CheckUser block}} number 205 and span at least eight years. I.e., about 2 possible cases per month. Actual appeals are probably a minority subset of that, thus appeals to the new scope of BASC might be heard once a month. We need a special committee to do something once a month? (struck thanks to Courcelles pointing out other data) The community said abolish BASC. Abolish it. Appeals for oversight or checkuser blocks go to the committee, full stop. Less bureaucracy, less mess. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:58, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • In practice, I don't think BASC ever produced much bureaucracy (time sinks, on the other hand...) Other arbs could chime in on appeals at their leisure. What you're asking for is essentially abolishing a name and task checklist. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 20:01, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • And, also, a BASC appeals only requires three arbs, whereas an arbcom appeal requires a majority of active, non-recused arbs. Salvio Let's talk about it! 20:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • (addressing Fuchs) Maybe, but that can be expressed via procedures for appealing to ArbCom, rather than a (in practice) fictitious committee. As noted by others, appeals were routinely heard by one arb, rather than a committee. So, the whole notion that there is a committee to review bans is false. At a place where I used to work, there was a committee that was created to oversee X. Many departments would routinely do X. The departments that tried to do it right tried to go through the committee...which hadn't convened in eight years. This created unneeded bureaucracy, headache and stagnation, waiting for approvals to requests that were never heard. Last I knew, the committee still 'existed'. BASC is in a similar position. It is creating a falsehood, and obliging editors to follow it. ArbCom is free to create whatever procedures it wants to handle its area of remit. But to deliberately create falsehoods that serve to hamper (via increased bureaucracy) rather than enhance the community? Especially when the community has asked for it to be abolished? No. Just no. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:09, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • As a point of order, most uses of those templates are as block reasons in the block log, and those will not show up in transclusion counts. Courcelles (talk) 20:07, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Looking at the last 5000 blocks, fair enough and you are correct. So question; how many appeals does ArbCom get for oversight/checkuser blocks in, say, a month? --Hammersoft (talk) 20:13, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • If memory serves well, five would be a very busy month. Usually less. Courcelles (talk) 20:23, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • And the way BASC works now it mught get that many in a day, or an hour. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:35, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • Beeblebrox, I was referring only to checkuserblocks, not general appeals. We never get that flow of checkuserblock appeals, and oversightblocks are exceedingly rare. Courcelles (talk)
          • (edit conflict) Looking at the log of appeals, which is mostly complete but not fully so, we've received 96 appeals since January, which works out as an average of between 8 and 9 a month, but the workload is very uneven (the maximum was 17 the minimum 4). Thryduulf (talk) 20:36, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • Right, but I'm primarily interested in how many appeals for oversight/checkuser. It sounds to me like very little traffic on those? --Hammersoft (talk) 20:40, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
              • Indeed. The log of appeals doesn't record why the appellant was blocked so I can't give you figures, but from memory they are only a tiny proportion. Which is why we need to make sure the UTRS system can handle the almost all the workload - CU and OS blocks are often easy to investigate as you have a very clear starting point and (generally) a lot less material to read. Thryduulf (talk) 21:06, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
                • And that goes to my point; if we were starting from scratch, I seriously doubt anyone would imagine creating BASC to deal with the 'problem' of OS/CU appeals. This motion is seeking to do just that. It's a solution looking for a problem. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:15, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
                  • BASC is not a problem in and of itself, the problem is simply the workload of non CU/OS appeals. BASC is actually a good mechanism to handle appeals of CU and OS blocks as it just requires a consensus of interested arbitrators not of all active arbitrators. The other appeals do not require people with the CU or OS right to decide and so this motion is attempting to divest arbcom of that part of its workload - this needs to happen, but not until the structure of what replaces it is in place. Thryduulf (talk) 01:16, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Thryduulf: When the UTRS system was in place we were usually getting appeals escalated from it. The only functional difference this creates is probably not one of UTRS workload, but that there is no next-in-the-chain appeal process for UTRS decisions compared to now. (This opinion given with the grain of salt that I haven't seen in the nature or volume of appeals has changed since I was on the committee/keeping track of stats.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:59, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • As a former BASC member I can certainly affirm what Courcelles says: BASC doesn't actually exist. The way it actually has worked is that whatever arb wants to comment comments, and then someone decides to unblock or not. And we do appear to have a consensus in the opened-long-ago-but-just-recently-closed RFC I initiated to adress the problems with this process to change the way the subcommittee works. 4-6 weeks is not a reasonable time frame for a response to block appeal, but given howmuch the committee has on its plate in a addition to BASC business that's just how it is. This could change that. It's not perfect, and it's not what I wanted at all, but it's better than how it works now. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • In the spirit of transparency, here is what I replied to L235 when she e-mailed the UTRS tooladmin list notifying us of this motion: "The motion does not seem to consider the possibility that UTRS might refuse this shift in responsibility. We're all volunteers and I don't think ArbCom has the possibility or ordering another volunteer team to take up specific duties if it is unwilling to so so. I'm not saying it will be the case, but the possibility exists and that ArbCom has seemingly failed to consider it worthy or consideration reflects poorly on the intentions behind this motion." The "responsibility shift" I am addressing is not one of workload -- it is that the "last resort" venue would stop being BASC and that would fall unto UTRS. I'd like to hear from the community what they think about the "final resort" for appeals being shifted away from a panel of elected arbitrators and towards single volunteer admins.  · Salvidrim! ·  01:41, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'd expect the committee to review en banc any appeals of CU/OS blocks as well as of the committee's own sanctions and blocks/bans applied via AE, which essentially negates the point of anything called BASC. I've thought Arbcom should divest itself of reviewing community-placed bans and blocks since before the review panel was called "BASC" so I strongly support this devolution. Risker (talk) 01:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support trashing BASC. With Wikipedia about 14 years old and human life spans around 80, the problem will just grow. My current crazy idea is "Extinction" -- briefly, after three years of an account being banned we simply declare we're done with worrying about it -- we discuss it never again and give the person a do-over -- start from scratch with a new account. Simple, no-fault, low drama ... NE Ent 03:28, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Arbcom is there to arbitrate, but it seems to have ended up as the catch all for a lot of other issues. Ban appeals is one of them. Now, I think it's worthwhile for the community to have an option of ban appeals where they don't have the AN pile-on and can be actually considered - but I don't believe it should be Arbcom that does that. Removing bans from BASC's remit, or indeed just straight up disbanding BASC sounds like an excellent idea to me. WormTT(talk) 10:02, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Please add an alternative motion to disband BASC altogether. It's an alternative that may well garner more support looking at where this is heading. WJBscribe (talk) 10:29, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Worm, I might well agree that the appeals should be handled differently, but whether arb com is to handle them is not for arb com to decide. It's a community question. They make the policy for what we are obliged to deal with. DGG ( talk ) 00:55, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    DGG, The community has spoken - with consensus to get rid of BASC. Arbcom has the right to define Arbcom policy, it's always been slightly apart from the community in that respect. The committee has the ability to divest roles, roles are taking away from it's primary purpose - to sort out stuff that no one else can sort out. If other people can sort it out, Arbcom shouldn't be. WormTT(talk) 09:47, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In that extremely confused RfC, the community did indeed vote to get rid of BASC. We had set up BASC as a internal device to deal with the appeals, & Roger has elsewhere reminded me that it was done by ourselves, not the community. The community, thru changing policy, can limit our powers or change our mechanisms, tho they almost never have done so. They did do so in this instance. They have not decided how to replace it--I do not see that any consensus on that was determined. Arbitration Policy still reads
The Arbitration Committee of the English Wikipedia has the following duties and responsibilities:
2. To hear appeals from blocked, banned, or otherwise restricted users;
We as a entire committee have therefore been assigned this job, DGG ( talk ) 18:07, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Motion: BASC disbanded

1. With immediate effect, the Ban Appeals Subcommittee is disbanded. The associated mailing list is to be shut and associated Wikipedia pages marked {{historical}}.
2. Any ban appeals of whatever nature open at the time of the passing of this motion will be handled by the Arbitration Committee until the appeal has run its course.
3. The Arbitration Committee will, for the time being, take appeals (i) from editors who are subject to an {{OversightBlock}} or a {{Checkuserblock}}; (ii) from editors who are blocked for reasons that are unsuitable for public discussion; and (iii) from editors blocked or banned by Arbitration and Arbitration Enforcement decisions.

For this motion there are 14 active arbitrators. With 0 arbitrators abstaining, 8 support or oppose votes are a majority.

  1. Per discussions below above,  Roger Davies talk 10:59, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Tweaked "historic" to "{{historical}} per Harry Mitchell below,  Roger Davies talk 23:01, 12 November 2015 (UTC
    Added (iii) from editors blocked or banned by Arbitration and Arbitration Enforcement decisions. for completeness and to avoid the otherwise inevitable questions. Please revert if you disagree,  Roger Davies talk 11:33, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. NativeForeigner Talk 11:05, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Preferable to the above. GorillaWarfare (talk) 11:06, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Doug Weller (talk) 12:52, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. If we are going to do this, we might as well do it 100% --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 13:29, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Second choice. I'm not entirely satisfied, because, now, a majority of active, non-recused arbs will be required to unblock someone, rather than jut 3 arbs, but, at least, we get rid of this sime sink. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:45, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. First choice to the reform motion. LFaraone 19:13, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Support DeltaQuad by email. Posted by  Roger Davies talk 23:44, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. This is premature for exactly the same reasons as as the motion above - I am very strongly opposed to abolishing (partially or entirely) BASC until the replacement structures are in place, doing otherwise is grossly unfair to the appellants and to those volunteers handling the appeals. Thryduulf (talk) 12:18, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This has been discussed for years in various fora. Those volunteers handling appeals are already doing so. There is no extra work for them.  Roger Davies talk 12:45, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Discussed without reaching consensus. We have received nearly 100 appeals this year, if we are not handling them then they have to be handled by somebody else - UTRS, AN(I), or random admins, how is that not extra workload? The RfC explicitly noted that more discussion was required to define mandates regarding e.g. unblock conditions before reform could move forward - that discussion has not happened. Yes we need to push on this, but the correct next step is starting and shepherding that discussion, not throwing it all up in the air and tell random passing admins to just deal with it. Thryduulf (talk) 13:15, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It seems that we rather did reach consensus, given that the motion carries. AGK [•] 20:51, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Oppose, if the intention is we should nstop hearing appeals that we now here. We have no right to refuse to do the job for which we were elected. If the community wants to stop sending appeals to us, they can of course reach that decision--we operate under their policy. Whether they should' do that is another question, & I am undecided on that. But if the intention is to continuet o accept appeals, and hear them by whoever in the full committee wants to participate, definitely yes, because that is really what we do at present. This is procedural matter for which we have the right --and indeed the obligation--to set our own procedures for how we deal with our job. DGG ( talk ) 00:53, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. I must be persuaded by Callanecc that this motion to no longer hear appeals is effectively a change or ArbPol, and we lack that authority directly. This needs to be a change to ArbPol, one which I would happily support. Courcelles (talk) 18:47, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Except that upon explanation, Callanecc concluded it was a matter of "interpretation changing". BASC is not mentioned in policy so there is no policy issue about disbanding it; we have never been tasked with hearing all appeals so it is not a policy issue to re-define those types that we will hear; we have always referred some appeals to the community so there is no policy issue with the community hearing them.  Roger Davies talk 11:53, 15 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. I am convinced by the view that policy requires us to sustain BASC. In the context of this proposal, that view could only be counteracted if BASC were created after the arbitration policy was adopted. That is not the case. Furthermore, I note BASC was established in a motion expressly noting that "One of the Arbitration Committee's responsibilities is to address appeals received via e-mail from banned or long-term blocked users". This has always been our responsibility. It is also a responsibility created by ArbPol, and this change therefore requires community ratification. On that basis alone (I support the proposal itself), Oppose. AGK [•] 21:02, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We continue to hear community appeals where the basis of the appeal/block/ban is unsuitable for community discussion. That in my view satisfies the requirements of policy.  Roger Davies talk 11:53, 15 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion by arbitrators (BASC disbanded)

  • Dweller Yep! And fixed. Thanks,  Roger Davies talk 11:08, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Perhaps current should be ongoing? It took me a bit to figure out what the intent of that point was, although I am in support regardless. NativeForeigner Talk 11:08, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I wondered about that. I've changed it to: Any ban appeals of whatever nature open at the time of the passing of this motion , which is longer but clearer.  Roger Davies talk 11:17, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Perfect enough! NativeForeigner Talk 11:32, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Am assuming that all other appeals go to a community noticeboard? -- Euryalus (talk) 12:47, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • Yes. Either, either via one of the talk page templates or via email request by the appellant (for want of a better word) to someone prepared to sponsor it or to UTRS.  Roger Davies talk 12:50, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Salvio giuliano, there's no reason the committee cannot define a different voting procedure if requiring a full majority becomes onerous. LFaraone 19:13, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • How to handle what we refuse to handle is a community decision. We can decide what we want to handle if we do it in a rational way, but though I think that a refusal to handle all community appeals is not the least reasonable and an abuse of our power to set our working procedures, if we do indeed take that step ,and return it to the community then its up to them what do to with them. DGG ( talk ) 01:03, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This motion doesn't suggest how to handle anything. We're not refusing to handle "all community decisions"; we will specifically handle those that are unsuitable for public discussion (in exceptional circumstances, typically where significant privacy, harassment or legal issues are involved, the Committee may hold a hearing in private which is wholly consistent with ArbPol). It is NOT an abuse of our power to set our working procedures: policy specifically says that the Committee may create or modify its procedures, provided they are consistent with its scope.  Roger Davies talk 01:26, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We regularly refer appeals to the community when we see fit. I don't see how doing this for all appeals that could be referred to the community (that is, appeals that do not involve checkuser or oversight blocks, or privacy issues) is an abuse of our power, when we do this case-by-case already. GorillaWarfare (talk) 08:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Community comments (BASC disbanded)

  • Roger Davies Do you mean discussions above? --Dweller (talk) 11:06, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes. Thanks for mentioning this.  Roger Davies talk 00:10, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Even better. Thanks Roger. WormTT(talk) 11:22, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • So how does a community banned, no talk page access editor appeal the ban? NE Ent 11:33, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Email any editor in good standing (or indeed UTRS) who is willing to open an appeal on a noticeboard? Until/unless the community sets up something better. WormTT(talk) 11:39, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This really needs the community to agree on these things and set it up UTRS or an alternative process to deal with the appeals, with consensus for how appeals may be dealt with and by whom, before arbcom divests itself from hearing the appeals. Thryduulf (talk) 12:25, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Why Thryduulf? I'm genuinely asking. Arbcom was getting more and more ban appeals so it shunted them over to BASC, and then it somehow became official - but I don't think the community ever actually "asked" for another way to appeal blocks. The community has a process to overturn bans - discussion at WP:AN. It's sub-optimal due to pile on, but it is an available process. Arbcom doing it is to the detriment of the other roles Arbcom does, by taking time away from arbitrators. How many successful appeals have been dealt with in 2015? 8 were announced at WT:BASC... When I was on the committee you'd have 10-20 in per month. That's about 5%. It's not worth the committee's time, look at how many open cases there are right now - that's what you should be dealing with. WormTT(talk) 12:57, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Incidentally, something odd I noticed a few years ago (and I'm not sure if it still holds true) but some unbanned users were saying hullo to everyone, sorting out their user pages, and making a few token-ish articles edits. Then disappearing. I suppose the real objective was not to return to editing but to get the templates off their talk pages. Either that, or they'd decided editing wasn't all it was cracked up to be ...  Roger Davies talk 00:16, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Noting also that in a recent RfC there was consensus to "just get rid of BASC". WormTT(talk) 13:00, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Whether an appeal is heard by BASC or arbcom is not relevant to my argument, they are being heard by arbitrators as the final level of appeals, and the appeals need to be heard by someone. Until there is consensus and agreement on who will hear the appeals instead, and what mandate they have (can they impose conditions on an unblock for example?) - and the RfC close explicitly notes that this was not reached - we need to continue hearing them. Yes, we should be focused on cases but we need to continue doing this part of our job as well until someone else takes it over and there is no alternative body with the mandate to do so. UTRS and Arbcom hearing these appeals is because AN(I) has proven incapable of handling them, so sending it back there is not an option. Thryduulf (talk) 13:08, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    (edit conflict)Also, the community doesn't have much incentive to initiate when it's easiest just to dump the issue on arbcom. Banned editors emailing editors to post requests for unbanning / unblocking on WP:AN has been a recent occurrence, so it's an accepted, if undocumented practice. If the committee dumps BASC that would provide the impetus for discussing / documenting community practice on the ban appeal page. NE Ent 13:11, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Of the 5% of successful appeals this year, 25% are currently blocked. Are you sure that Arbcom are more capable of handling them? The cost is clear, it contributes to arb burn out, it takes away from what Arbcom should be doing, it gives false hope to those appealing. Arbcom needs to start saying "No" to roles it should not do. This is one. There are others. WormTT(talk) 13:13, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don't understand "incapable of handling them"? Here's an example of a ultimately successful defacto banned (indef'd 5.5 years) unblock appeal on ANI. NE Ent 13:20, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Re: Extra workload above. There are currently 2 situations where BASC act - one is where UTRS and {{unblock}} have been tried - removing BASC would result in zero extra work for these cases - just removing an additional method of appeal where 2 have already been tried and failed. How many successful appeals have gone through that process exactly? The other one is Ban appeals and indefinite blocks. How many of those are perennial appeals? They will not result in extra work, the community will toss them out very quickly. Of the non-perennial appeals, how many ban appeals are we talking that have not been taken to the community in any form? I think you are over estimating the amount of extra work needed if BASC wasn't there.
    You're basing this on the premise that it must be replaced like-for-like and there's no reason to believe that. As long as there are reasonable ways for people to appeal, then that's all that is needed. WormTT(talk) 13:23, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It seems like the lion's share of the workload might fall to UTRS but I'm having a hard time finding out who is in that group, what its process is and who composes the group. Wikipedia:Unblock Ticket Request System is short of information that might be of concern to any blocked editors who are thinking of submitting an appeal. This deficiency lies outside this motion but I think more transparency about UTRS would be welcome. Liz Read! Talk! 19:04, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a UTRS tooladmin, I don't like the opacity of its process either. A lot of the time when I process appeals that aren't immediate and unambiguous rejections, I prefer to direct the user to an on-wiki appeal (restoring talk page access if need be). I also don't like that the "last resort venue of appeals" would shift from BASC (a panel of elected arbitrators) to UTRS (tickets responded to by single volunteer admins) if this motion passes.  · Salvidrim! ·  19:28, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Salvidrim! It's not for me to say how UTRS should operate but setting up a couple of templates/boilerplates to facilitate referring email appeals to community boards for a community decision might well be a good way forward.  Roger Davies talk 23:08, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why on earth should the UTRS process be so secretive? I mean, checkusers and oversighters are publicly identified. Given that UTRS is the only way for editors who are blocked without talk page access to request an unblock review, the process shouldn't be so murky. Liz Read! Talk! 00:35, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We agree on the problem of transparency for UTRS. Any ideas? I've long said all admins should at least request accounts to be able to read appeals, and I've personally made an effort that any on-wiki action or question relating to a block appeal sent via UTRS makes it clear what ticket number it is referring to.  · Salvidrim! ·  12:44, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If UTRS used, say, MediaWiki OAuth, you could drop the requirement for requesting an account. Instead, you'd rely on CentralAuth, and could check at login time that the user was a member of the administrator group. Is the right place to start a discussion around that? LFaraone 16:23, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In theory yes, but we only currently have one developer and DQ is far too busy with other matters to take on any such new development project. I have commit access but I'm not a programmer -- I barely qualify as a low-level maintainer when it comes to code. So it's a good idea in practice, I suppose, but actually making it happen is another matter altogether.  · Salvidrim! ·  21:13, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Filed. I'll look over the codebase and see if its something I could implement. LFaraone 22:23, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Doesn't point 2 To hear appeals from blocked, banned, or otherwise restricted users in §Scope and Responsibilities of the Arbitration Policy prevent the Committee from offloading this, or is the Committee just dramatically changing it's interpretation of the policy? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 22:34, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Nope, Callanecc, we've never heard appeals from all "blocked, banned or otherwise restricted users". Just some of them; and the committee will continue to do so.  Roger Davies talk 22:48, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    So you're just changing the interpretation to users whose block/ban/restriction was imposed by the Committee, through AE or a functionary block rather than the broader anyone who has exhausted the community's patience? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 22:52, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Put that way, I suppose so :)  Roger Davies talk 23:10, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's changing the interpretation too far, a questionale use of our power to set our own procedures. Decided just which appeals are worth bothering with for reasons such as being too short for elaborate process, is justifiable and I think we allagree necessary; deciding that a whole major class of serious appeals should be ignored because we don't want to do the work is not. The community implicitly recognizes that we'll deal only with reasonable requests, andg ives us considerable scope to decide it, but not to decide we won't deal with their request at all. DGG ( talk ) 01:00, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    But they're NOT serious appeals. Only 5% are accepted, and 25% of those get reblocked. That means 97% of them are spurious.  Roger Davies talk 01:37, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We are using the word "serious" in different sense-- I mean appeals of decisions having major consequences, such as banning, you apparently mean appeals that have a serious poossibility of being granted. DGG ( talk ) 15:25, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • BASC is an ineffective mess that an older arbcom invented out of thin air without community conesnsus or support. It doesn't work. If we get rid of it I suspect we will discover we didn't really need it, or are able to come up with a better process. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:08, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Question per item #2 of this proposal: If this passes, Will UTRS members be aware of what cases you have open? (or the community?, or those appealing? or anyone outside Arbcom)? — Ched :  ?  05:13, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Courcelles: (et al.) Thinking more about it, I've changed my mind (ie I don't think it's a vio of ArbPol). There is still an avenue of appeal via a case request if there is a particularly divisive appeal (which I think is closer to ArbCom's role in terms of dispute resolution). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 11:28, 15 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]