Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy/Proposed amendment (May 2023)

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By May 16, 2023, 100 editors signed a petition requesting the following change to the arbitration policy to be submitted for ratification by the community. As per the formal ratification policy, this community referendum is a simple "yes" or "no" vote on whether the amendment is to be adopted. This amendment to the arbitration policy will enter into force once it receives majority support, with at least one hundred editors voting in favour of adopting it. Until this amendment is ratified, the existing arbitration policy remains in effect.

Proposed amendment[edit]

The final sentence of Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Appeal of decisions, which reads Remedies may be appealed to, and amended by, Jimbo Wales, unless the case involves Jimbo Wales's own actions, is removed.


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the proposed amendment to the arbitration policy be adopted? 11:16, 17 May 2023 (UTC)


  1. Certainly. A left-over from a previous incarnation of Wikipedia, no longer relevant, given Jimbo's disconnect from the community. Having someone to be able to appeal to is fine, but it shouldn't be Jimbo. Beyond My Ken (talk) 11:54, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Overruling ArbCom without community support would cause a severe crisis, and Jimbo is no longer sufficiently connected to the community to determine when that support exists. BilledMammal (talk) 12:00, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Couldn't be used without huge community uproar. Pointless to retain this obsolete provision from another era. As for the opposers saying that the proponents did not consult with Jimbo to seek a compromise, I say what I said at the petition stage: Jimbo was free to propose whatever he wanted, and run it up the flagpole, and I think people would have given it serious consideration, whether or not they supported it. He did nothing.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:43, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. In an all-volunteer project exemplified and dictated only by consensus of its participants (and legal requirements), there is no place for a single unbeholden, unelected super-administrator for-life. — Fourthords | =Λ= | 12:45, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Largely per Beeblebrox's comment here, and with no ill will at all toward Jimbo Wales himself. The community has evolved beyond the need for its founder to hold emergency overrule powers. In some worst-case-scenario runaway arbcom scenario (which likely never happens) the community is perfectly well equipped to change the way arbcom operates if needed (indeed, look at us go right now). Ajpolino (talk) 13:08, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. There are two points that need to be addressed here: 1) Does arbcom need a point of final appeal who can overturn their decisions, and 2) is Jimbo the right person to hold that position.
    I think the answer to 1) is "no" - It is no longer the case that arbcom is an experiment that could fail at any moment, and at this point Wikipedia has well established, long used procedures for dealing with arbitration appeals. These powers have never been used, and it is hard to imagine a situation where they would be used that wouldn't simultaneously be a massive constitutional crisis resulting in a complete rework of the site's governance. The Wikimedia foundation is no longer a "3 people in a shed" type operation, and the trust and safety department routinely deals with matters that used to be handled by arbcom (e.g. child protection), and at the Croatian Wikipedia's they have shown that they are willing to involve themselves and take action in the event of large scale failure of a project's governance.
    I think the answer to 2) is also "no". At this point Jimbo simply is not active in the governance or administration of the English Wikipedia. Arbcom deals with complex, messy cases that cannot be handled by the community - to review their decisions a detailed knowledge of policy, guidelines and how Wikipedia works on a day to day basis in 2023 are required. The fact that he is no longer a part of the arbcom mailing list and cannot access deleted/suppressed materials or make use of the checkuser tool also massively limit the range of decisions he would be able to to effectively review.
    If it is decided that IP's can't vote here, you can move this to a comments section or something. (talk) 14:13, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. I don't get the opposition. We don't trust an elected, temporary group of our peers to always make the correct decisions, so we need an unelected single person, who has had all his other powers (admin tools here and at Commons, checkuser/oversight, ...) already removed because he caused problems with them, to be able to overrule them? When your solution is worse than your problem, then it is time to abandon that solution, no matter if you have another solution for the problem or not. Fram (talk) 14:18, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. An obsolete process from the olden days. This has no functional use anymore and if actually used it would cause a much greater problem than anything it purports to remedy. Jimmy has long since ceased direct involvement in the day to day operation of en-Wikipedia and process should reflect this. Several "No" voters seem to be poisoning the well by insinuating all "Yes" voters have some kind of animosity towards Jimmy, which is not the case. Please remember WP:AGF. - Who is John Galt? 14:20, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. If we are worried about ArbCom oversight, the solution is not to retain a benign monarch (no offense meant, truly), but to ensure that the ArbCom elections systems can adequately respond to community consensus in the event of a crisis (recall mechanisms, referenda, etc.) Who watches Jimbos the watchman Jimbo? WhinyTheYounger (WtY)(talk, contribs) 14:25, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. The current wording means that Jimmy isn't accountable, while ArbCom is held accountable by elections—blindlynx 14:30, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  11. I don't believe veto power over the entire community dispute resolution apparatus can be wielded by one person, even Jimbo. With respect to his immense contributions to humanity (and my own life in particular), Jimbo is fallible and I've seen periodic errors of judgement at critical times that make me doubt this is an appropriate remedy to the problem it purports to solve. Lastly, Monarchy ain't us. It's a bad look, and it's against our trend of maturation when everything else has a sophisticated committee and thoughtful process behind it. Ocaasi t | c 14:40, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  12. Graeme Bartlett noted in his oppose that he is quite often disspaointed with ArbCom decisions. Well I'm on ArbCom and I'm somewhat regularly disappointed with our decisions too. But I think Jimmy having this reserve power to overrule ArbCom would, in practice, be disasterous. What would be less disastrous is the community to exercise its powers under ARBPOL to dissolve an ArbCom and hold new elections (through the same process that led us here). I have a lot of good things to say about Jimmy (some of which I'll be saying in a moment) but I don't think hearing an appeal of an ArbCom decision plays to his strengths. I think we saw how this is the case with the event that kicked this all off. Someone caught Jimmy's ear and he was out of touch enough that he didn't recognize a common UPE scam setup - impersonation of an admin/CU/arb. So he decided to publicly accuse that admin, who was himself a victim of the scam through the misuse of his identity. This shows poor judgement. What would have happened if Icewhiz, in his Eostrix persona, had managed to catch Jimmy's ear with his appeal that was, on the surface level, compelling? Might Jimmy have been unable to see what a majority of the Arbitration Committee, as well as a handful of other longtime CU, saw and decide to overturn that ban? That's a hypothetical but it fits with Jimmy's penchant of sticking up for individuals who he feels have gotten a bad deal (as the vicitim of the UPE scame did). I lay it out because I truthfully don't trust Jimmy's decision making in that kind of scenario, not to mention in the future Jimmy could no longer examine the CU evidence behind it because he does not have the permission. And if, in a scenario like that, one where the community supports ArbCom's decision, Jimmy were to overrule it then the communtiy has no recourse to actually reverse the decision because unlike the community exercising its reserve powers where a new ArbCom could repeal that decision, under ARBPOL a new ArbCom could not overturn Jimmy.
    I have lots of nice things to say about Jimmy. For instance, I am really glad for his recent high visibility comments about how the Wikimedia Foundation got the ban of Wikipedia in Turkey overturned. And a couple of people have made reference to Jimmy's role in resolving WP:FRAM. That too was great. He, and Doc James who was right there with Jimmy, were instrumental in charting a better course. But that was not Jimmy overturning ArbCom. It wasn't even Jimmy overturning the WMF - he can't do that. Instead he used his both his influence (which this change to ARBPOL would not change) and his access to the board and high level foundation leadership (which this change to ARBPOL would not change) to make good things happen. Jimmy continues to have a lot of influence and can attract a lot of attention. Were he to speak out against a decision of ArbCom it's going to matter. But letting him overrule a decision comes with a risk, would be hugely divisive in the community, and 15 highly experienced editors (or even the 11 that we seem to be operating with this year) are far more likely to be able to reach a good decision than 1 person. Let's leave in tact the community's ability to dissolve ArbCom and remove the highly volatile risk filled option of appealing to Jimmy by passing this amendment. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:41, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  13. Agreed, this seems like a good idea. Not sure who would have the final word in this case though. Oaktree b (talk) 14:49, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  14. Yes. If arbcom were to go amok, the community can already overthrow or depower the committee through multiple means. Having the ability for one person to create and apply binding decisions on every other editor (via the unfettered "amend" power included) is excessive. — xaosflux Talk 14:54, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  15. I had referenced the recent resignation of tools in my comment supporting the petition [1], and as Barkeep49 also notes above, this lack of tools now appears to limit an ability to adequately review ArbCom decisions, but Jimbo still retains significant influence with this community and with the WMF. So this policy change seems reasonable based on the current circumstances, including because ArbCom is not left without any checks; I also mentioned an available check on ArbCom in my comment supporting the petition. We also can continue to develop policy in response to these changing circumstances; from my view, this is a removal of a part of a policy that no longer appears capable of working as originally designed. Beccaynr (talk) 15:24, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  16. It's entirely false and misleading to say that there are no constraints on ArbCom without Jimbo Wales. I urge voters to avail themselves of learning the process by which the community can reverse an ArbCom decision. Knowledge is power. Moreover, "being disappointed" with ArbCom decisions has absolutely no correlation with Jimbo's power of reversal whatsoever. Under what circumstances over the past years would he have ever seen fit to use it to reverse an ArbCom decision? What would have been the reason for it? What would have been the remedy or proper decision? That's a non sequitur if ever I've heard one, and perhaps even an ad hominem. --WaltClipper -(talk) 16:00, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  17. Given the recent loss of tools needed for this role, revoking this clause is appropriate and necessary. Schwede66 16:17, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  18. Checks and balances are good, but giving one person this authority is contrary to our ethos. When that one person is not particularly involved in the daily functioning of our project, it makes this policy even less reasonable. It doesn't matter to me that the process hasn't been used; limited use cases are not a reason to maintain bad policy. Vanamonde (Talk) 17:26, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  19. I have given comments on this in the petition procedure. You really should go read those pages. Izno (talk) 17:34, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  20. This policy clause reads like a relic of '90s open-source software development. I think Barkeep49's analysis above is accurate and well stated. I've nothing against Jimbo personally, and I think he makes a fine public face of the project when that is necessary, but this is not a role he should have the option of playing. XOR'easter (talk) 17:53, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  21. I've said more than enough on the petition page. I agree with Izno that everyone should read the petition page. Galobtter (talk) 17:57, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'll add though that one thing in particular that people should consider is that there still exists a safety valve through the ARBPOL amendment process - see Mz7's comment below for a good explanation of that. Galobtter (talk) 18:06, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  22. If Jimbo decides he wants to override ArbCom, then he can act through his seat on the Board of Trustees. RAN1 (talk) 18:03, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  23. Indignant Flamingo (talk) 18:04, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  24. Per my comments at the petition stage as well as those of Barkeep49, Fram, etc. above. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 18:19, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  25. Gog the Mild (talk) 18:24, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  26. I agree with the words of Ocaasi (#11). Doughbo (talk) 18:31, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  27. This referendum is not about substantial change in our processes. I don't see much practical relevance for either outcome. And it is certainly not about judging Jimbo's contribution and commitment to the project.
    What this petition is actually about is how the community regards itself. Do we trust the system of self-governance we have evolved or not? I say: Of course we do. Paradoctor (talk) 18:35, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  28. I'd once again like to stress that I feel this is a problem with ARBPOL, not a problem with Jimmy Wales. This is a relic of an older era of this project, when the community was much smaller, Trust and Safety and the Ombuds commission did not even exist, and Wales was also called on to officially appoint the members of the committee. That era is long gone, except for this one sentence in the arbitration policy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beeblebrox (talkcontribs)
  29. Fram's rationale is compelling. Also per Barkeep49. — Diannaa (talk) 18:54, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  30. For anyone not understanding the inside baseball: the recent issue that is leading the community to reconsider Wales' role is discussed in the Signpost. I would support this technical change regardless of which individual was named in the policy. ArbCom is elected but Wales is not. Wales has had a much more personal, communicative and important role in the community he started than most similar website (co-)founders. However, the recent scandal regrettably evidences that a benevolent dictator for life is not guaranteed to be up-to-date on the conditions of the project forever. This is why regular elections and activity requirements for privilege-holders are important. — Bilorv (talk) 18:59, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  31. Fram said all that needs to be said. LEPRICAVARK (talk) 19:08, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  32. I can't find any compelling rationale to not support the proposed amendment. A lot of the opposition seems to be weighed on the "While I am not in favor of Jimbo in particular, I am against removing the veto as we need something to check ArbCom" logic which I just find unconvincing. Jimbo still having power is archaic, and while we may need something to check ArbCom I don't see a reason to keep Jimbo as that check. Just because the policy change isn't perfect isn't a reason to not do it. FlalfTalk 19:14, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  33. Largely per Fram's rationale and Schwede66's rationale, but also per Joe Roe's comment in that ArbCom is accountable to the community but Jimbo is accountable to nobody. I'd also like to explicitly and vehemently disagree with ValarianB's comment as being the last thing we need. stwalkerster (talk) 19:15, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  34. Always seemed a bit silly and precious to me. Valereee (talk) 19:18, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  35. I'm thoroughly convinced by the nuclear option proposed by Mz7 in the discussion section. We've had our run with a benevolent dictator, but I think it's time to make the change (however uncomfortable it may be). EggRoll97 (talk) 19:22, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  36. Yes, agreed Galebazz (talk) 19:35, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  37. We elect certain individuals to ArbCom for a reason. Having a non-elected member suddenly superceed consensus and the community is in need of a re-education on how this community works. Jerium (talk) 19:39, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  38. Letting one single person, without any checks to balance, overrule a collective (ArbCom) that's brought upon by consensus is dangerous. I trust in people who I support or those supported by who I trust. — DaxServer (t · m · e · c) 19:42, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  39. JoeRoe cogently argues that everyone with power should be accountable to somebody else. Why he concludes that therefore the final court of appeal should be a single man accountable to nobody rather than ArbCom, who are individually accountable to one another and collectively to the community, I do not understand; his position is precisely why I support this motion. Other than that, Fram, Barkeep, and IP have all made convincing cases. I understand the opposing argument that the provision has never been problematic until now and we shouldn't fix what isn't broken, but I still cannot conceive of a legitimate use of the power by Jimbo which would solve more problems than it would create. (The scenario proposed by Thincat at oppose #7 is irrelevant because the part of ArbPol at issue does not give Jimbo the power to override the WMF board.) Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 19:47, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  40. Per Barkeep49.-gadfium 19:48, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  41. Obsolete provision. No need dictator's power in a well-established "wikilegal" framework. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a perennial question of infinite recursion, which stops at the supreme power is wikipeople, i.e., the wikipedia community. Lokys dar Vienas (talk) 20:11, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  42. Yes, it's an obsolete sentence and ArbCom should not be superceded by a single individual. Abzeronow (talk) 20:22, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  43. WP policy is (or claims to be) descriptive, not prescriptive. Jimbo has said somewhere that he would never overrule an ArbCom ruling, so this provision should be removed to match the facts. No sense in getting anyone's hopes up that they can run to Jimbo. In addition, I think we've reached the stage where Jimbo's power should be exclusively social power, rather than any de jure power. Jimbo is simply nowhere near active enough on this project to wield this kind of final authority. He still holds quite a bit of goodwill among many users; he can use that to persuade if he wants to. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:30, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  44. It’s time we ditched the monarchy, constitutional or otherwise, and became a republic. — Trey Maturin 20:32, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  45. Utterly anachronistic. If this Jimbo-the-king throwback wasn't current policy, how much support would a proposal to add it get? I suspect that anyone making such a proposal would very likely get blocked for trolling... AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:53, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  46. It's run its course. Intothatdarkness 20:55, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  47. Yes. Absolute power is never a good thing and could lead to misuse of it, intentionally or unintentionally as Barkeep49 eloquently expressed above. As Beccaynr and others have expressed, lacking the tools to evaluate fully issues in a case, clearly point to a serious reason that the authority should be eliminated. Further swayed by Caeciliusinhorto's statement. SusunW (talk) 20:59, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  48. Other safety mechanisms now exist that do not rely on a single person, and are staffed to deal with issues that arise. isaacl (talk) 21:24, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  49. Yes. I understand the idea of having a final authority for arbitration, but I don't think it should be in the hands of just one person. I think there are other solutions that would work better. Beggarsbanquet (talk) 21:37, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  50. Yes. Not needed, and other override mechanisms exist. StaniStani 22:11, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  51. Yes. It's about time. -Asheiou (they/them • talk) 22:20, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  52. I sympathize with the "libertarian" (for lack of a better word) leanings of the opposers to provide a relief valve from ArbCom, but after more than 20 years it's finally time to pass this Statute of Westminster and modernize the WikiConstitution. – John M Wolfson (talk • contribs) 22:21, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  53. Yes, per Fram, Stanistani, and others. Yngvadottir (talk) 22:23, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  54. Yes. A single user with a super-vote is not an appropriate method of checks and balances. MrsSnoozyTurtle 22:25, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  55. There is no good reason for this policy to exist. ArbCom is already subject to the oversight of the WMF. Any attempt to actually use this power would result in a crisis of Framgate-level proportions. This isn't about "sticking it to Jimbo" or whatever, but simply having sensible policies. Hemiauchenia (talk) 22:43, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  56. Per my reasoning at the petition. Heavy Water (talkcontribs) 22:49, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  57. It serves no purpose or use for the sentence to remain and it's good not to clutter main policies such as this with things that may mislead or misinform about how processes work. SilverserenC 22:56, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  58. Accountability in governance is achieved by direct democratic control, not the arbitrary separation of power. Although in this case, it's also a dead letter and nothingburger, which makes all the political showboating somewhat hollow. signed, Rosguill talk 23:29, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  59. Yes. A single man should not have final say on disputes within the largest encyclopedia in history. The opposition's argument doesn't make much sense to me. wikimannumberone 23:44, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  60. Yes, Per MrsSnoozyTurtle. SVcode(Talk) 23:46, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  61. Look, I'm of the opinion that Jimbo should be treated just like any other editor (although blocking would be rather tricky.) If he wants to run for admin, he can. If his articles need to be deleted, they can be. If he becomes an arbitrator, he could be. Jimbo has a lot of editing experience, but certain powers need not be granted because he owns the site. Look, if I say, bought Wikipedia and the WWF (even though Wikipedia is not for sale) it would be a bit unfair to the rest of us if I was given special privileges because of that. And although I respect Jimbo as a person, I don't think it'd be fair to the rest of the community to have these privileges. (edit conflict) Adding on. First off, I want to thank Barkeep49 for their excellent response, and I agree. No one person should have the power to overturn ArbCom-- it's part of what makes Wikipedia work better. If we need this power, there should be an emergency committee, but not one person. Wikipedia works off of consensus. Consensus could be ruled at ArbCom in one specific way-- and even if it's clear consensus, one person could overrule that. For those in the oppose section talking about a reserve plan, as I mentioned before, there should be a backup committee if there is large dispute over an ArbCom decision and especially if there's no clear consensus. They would only be used in this scenario, and the users on this backup committee would go about their daily editing lives, remaining dormant until they're necessary. And hopefully they wouldn't ever need to be. But going back-- no one person should have the power to overturn large decisions. Wikipedia has no "president". (Sorry, adding a bit more.) I wouldn't want anyone with this power, regardless of who they are. Bye-- ‍ ‍ Helloheart ‍ 00:57, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  62. I am satisfied that the "nuclear option" is a sufficient check. It has the benefit of being a community-driven process, rather than being entrusted with one individual. The procedures for such an amendment are structured enough that I'm confident such a process wouldn't generate unnecessary heat. The vote (to some extent, at least) would limit ANI-style back-and-forth bickering, and the result wouldn't be subject to an expensive process like closure review because it would only be evaluated numerically. If the decision being reviewed involves private evidence, such evidence could be referred to functionaries for evaluation, who could opine whether or not the decision was reasonable in light of said evidence. I'm sympathetic to Visviva's argument that the community needs to kept accountable to the project and the movement as a whole, but the WMF already has that ability, which they've exercised on the Croatian, Arabic, and Chinese Wikipedias. The WMF is by no means perfect, but I'd still rather the community be accountable to an organization than a single individual. If this amendment is adopted, I'd support moving User:Mz7/Nuclear option to project space and designating it as an information page. — SamX [talk · contribs] 00:48, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  63. Yes. Wales has no special knowledge or wisdom to make him a good oversight on Arbcom; indeed, in the last decade his very rare actions have generally shown a disconnect with Wikipedia processes and policies. If we were to pick someone now to be the dictator over wikipedia decisions, we wouldn't pick him; as a result, we shouldn't leave him in that position just because he's already there. --PresN 00:50, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  64. CandyScythe (talk) 01:21, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  65. Yes. Ultimate authority with the community trumps ultimate authority with Jimbo. Leijurv (talk) 01:24, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  66. Yes. 0xDeadbeef→∞ (talk to me) 01:30, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  67. Yes. The community already has mechanisms to express dissent with ArbCom, and even to overrule it if need be. No one other than the editing community should have that ability. This is a relic of a bygone era. – bradv 01:31, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  68. Agree. I don't see a solid analogy among the No votes regarding "separation of powers" where a single specially designated person should be able to overrule a committee. A better preventive would be to emphasize the need for greater diversity of viewpoints among committee members, thus the "challenge/dissent" would be dealt with directly by them as part of their democratic mandate. Martindo (talk) 01:36, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  69. Yes, especially per, Fram, and Barkeep49. Ultimate veto power need not lie with a single person; Wikipedia has no need for such a nuclear escape hatch, particularly because of the downsides of keeping it: the possibility of incorrect decisions being made and the specific connection to Jimbo Wales as an ultimate authority instead of a community-based model that accurately reflects Wikipedia today. TypistMonkey (talk) 02:01, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  70. Yes, somewhat reluctantly. I believe that Jimbo being the appeal point is a bygone relic from an outdated era when he was the only major authority on the project. Would prefer that the WMF as an organization is explicitly mentioned as the appeal point though just as a check and balance against ArbCom and wish we could have had more options than just a blanket yes or no. --Thebirdlover (talk) 02:25, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  71. Absolutely. There was a time where this was needed but with a mature Arbcom, the presidential pardon from an unelected dictator is not needed and doesn't reflect community values. Ravensfire (talk) 03:23, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  72. Yes. Wikipedia should not be a monarchy, and we should remove his powers BEFORE we have our own version of The Dismissal (a highly analogous event from Australian government). The idea that we should rely on some sort of Jimbo infallibility or him acting 'super-arbitrator' is not reflective of how Wikipedia is governed in this modern era, nor is it reflective of the important role Wikipedia plays in today's internet and world. Tomorrow and tomorrow (talk) 03:25, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  73. Obviously. An outdated and unneeded exception that could either result in two things: a negative result or nothing. Aza24 (talk) 04:31, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  74. As I said to Jimbo on his talkpage shortly before Galobtter started the petition, the role he envisions for himself as entity-of-last-resort is one in which his power would be redundant with that of the community itself. Ironically, I'd be more likely to oppose if Jimbo envisioned a more expansive power; but if his view is that he would only exercise his powers at the request of the community, there is no need to have a middleman. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 04:48, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  75. an Elon Musk-like benevolent dictator who could Right a Great Wrong, if an emergency truly arose is the most cursed thing I've read today Hyphenation Expert (talk) 05:31, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  76. Mostly per PresN and Tomorrow and Tommorow. The English Wikipedia of today does not need a monarch, no matter how benevolent they may be. Llwyld (talk) 05:44, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  77. Yes. Nigej (talk) 05:53, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  78. Zippybonzo | Talk (he|him) 06:24, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  79. Graham87 06:33, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  80. Frankly, the ways in which Jimmy Wales is or isn't out of touch with modern community norms and expectations aren't something that even needs to be considered for me to support this. Appeals to the big man upstairs? Please, people, we're not building a Tesla here. Dr. Duh 🩺 (talk) 06:38, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  81. This is a holdover from a time when our other safety mechanisms were less robust. But at this point, putting all our trust in one person, no matter how much we may trust his good faith, is a weakening of our system rather than a strength. —David Eppstein (talk) 06:39, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  82. The provision has always seemed weird to me, and not needed (in agreement with many others above). DanCherek (talk) 06:43, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  83. Any governance system that relies on specific individuals by name is broken by design. Removing the dependence on Jimmy in policy is a sign of English Wikipedia's growth and maturity. This is an acknowledgement of the success of what he helped build. Legoktm (talk) 06:56, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  84. Yes: it's an old-fashioned royal-like power and inappropriate in today's Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PamD (talkcontribs) 07:14, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  85. Regretfully, thanks for all your work for free knowledge Jimmy. Also those Bomis babes Andre🚐 07:16, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  86. Without denying the profound(ly positive) role that Jimbo played to improve Wikipedia over the years, I support this the proposed amendment. Jimbo's reserve power is not "the only way the committee can be held directly accountable in its primary function" of arbitration; as repeated stated on-wiki, the ArbPol amendment process can be used to dissolve or overturn ArbCom if needed, ensuring that the Committee will always be "held directly accountable" to the wider community. NotReallySoroka (talk) 07:29, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  87. It's not about Jimmy Wales personally, and my vote is not a reflection on him at all. But this bit of policy is an anachronism. It might have made sense in the old days, but it's long past time to move on from it. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 07:56, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  88. Per above. A relic of a bygone era. -FASTILY 07:58, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  89. I deeply respect Jimbo (despite teaching his WikiKittens to bite his ass). But due to strong dislike to anything un-democratic, I don't think that such strong power as ArbCom-overturning-super-veto should be held by someone unelected by community. If some safety valve to check ArbCom is really needed, it should be someone elected, like President of the Wikipedia (POTW, lol). And if Jimbo will be candidate I would gladly vote (or !vote) for him. Jimbo for POTW! USS Cola!rado🇺🇸 (CT) 08:26, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  90. Yes, per Barkeep. Modussiccandi (talk) 10:13, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  91. Yes, per my reasoning given in the petition. AddWittyNameHere 10:18, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  92. No longer appropriate. —Kusma (talk) 10:21, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  93. By all means another venue for final appeal but not a specific individual.Selfstudier (talk) 11:30, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  94. Yes. This worked in the older days of Wikipedia, but due to Jimbo's disconnect from the community, and the fact that one person being able to overturn a consensus is simply not democratic, this should no longer be the case. ~ Eejit43 (talk) 12:20, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  95. Yes, convinced by the argument of Barkeep. I think this change is beneficial. — Ixtal ( T / C ) Non nobis solum. 12:38, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  96. Yes, per Fram & Barkeep (among others). WJ94 (talk) 13:39, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  97. Yes, because it is undemocratic. One person, no matter who, being able to overturn anything is extremely dangerous. DrowssapSMM (talk) 13:43, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  98. Yes, per my previous comments, as well as Barkeep and Fram. 13:57, 18 May 2023 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jip Orlando (talkcontribs)
  99. Wikipedia isn't some podunk dark web tech bro experiment in creating a website - maybe there was a time when Wikipedia needed a benevolent dictator to save it from itself, but we're a very long way past that if it was ever the case. The English Wikipedia in particular is a community ecosystem with hundreds of thousands of active participants, and has mature, stable, and democratic oversight through its elected Arbcom and other community-developed governance models, which we've been refining and improving for two decades. None of this is perfect, but we've shown time and time again that we're capable as a community of resolving our own problems rationally, and Jimbo's best moments in recent years have come from using his substantial influence and profile to help guide the community, not overrule it because he thinks our decisions are wrong. Retaining the ability of an individual (any individual, not necessarily Jimbo) to substitute community decisions with their own is actively harmful to our growth as a community, and it's high time for this power to be eliminated. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:00, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  100. This would basically end Jimmy's hard power in the community, while doing nothing to his soft power. And since using it would be a constitutional crisis writ large (we have the amendment process for anything that actually justifies using this clause), let's get rid of it. Courcelles (talk) 14:05, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  101. Yes, because no project with the breadth and (aspirations to) longetivity of wikipedia should have an individual name hard-coded in its policies. Abecedare (talk) 14:09, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  102. Jimbo has stated that he will only overturn ArbCom in the case of a "constitutional crisis" scenario, and in such a scenario, the community itself is likely to be able to dissolve ArbCom. The oppose voters' rationale seems to be akin to having the Supreme Court answerable to the ghost of George Washington: sure, you might not agree with some of their decisions, but what's the guarantee that one person will come up with a better decision than 15 people? AryKun (talk) 14:40, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  103. Long overdue. --MZMcBride (talk) 15:32, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  104. With reluctance, and after much hesitation. In real life, I've worked for some toxic bosses, and I know what that's like. Jimmy, in contrast, has actually been a truly outstanding leader over the time of this project. (Don't bother trying to argue with me about that.) So my vote is not a criticism of him. But I agree with Barkeep49 and others that his skill set does not match well, any more, with this particular task. And I agree that the de facto reality of practice today is that the one-person role is an anachronism, and that therefore the policy should be updated to reflect current practice. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:50, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  105. Agree with Fram and AryKun AdJHu 16:12, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  106. Yes as per BMK, Fram, Fastily and PresN - He's been disconnected and out of touch with this place for a very long time (as evidenced here), Whilst Arbcom isn't perfect it's not the place it was in 2002, Bygone era. –Davey2010Talk 16:28, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  107. Yes, per Barkeep49. Meanderingbartender (talk) 16:32, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  108. The idea that one person should be able to overrule an entity elected by the entire community is insane. If we need an alternative I think this process could actually serve as that, a petition for an amendment that the current ArbCom is dissolved and a new one elected that reaches 100 signatures and then a vote that gets majority support in the succeeding vote isnt ruled out from the amendment and ratification process afaict, so theres your accountability. To us, not to somebody who, for all the gratitude he is owed for helping Wikipedia get to a place it could succeed in the earlier years, really is not that involved as a member of this community anymore, certainly not to the point of holding lifetime veto power over decisions made by the elected representatives of the community as a whole. nableezy - 16:41, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  109. May have been useful in the past, but no longer necessary. MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:48, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  110. Yes remove power, the false hope is harmful right now I was one of the organizers of the Wikimedia LGBT+ Queering Wikipedia conference which happened this week. As we have been doing for years, we discussed the intense LGBT+ harassment which wiki editors experience both for being LGBT+ and for editing LGBT+ topics. The very existence of "appeal to Jimbo" is harmful because it is a fake inaccessible procedure which everyone knows, but which no one can actually use, and its existence is a barrier to the creation of functional processes which can address problems. The "appeal to Jimbo" process is one piece of a series of options which people are supposed to be able to use if they get unfair treatment anywhere along the chain of Wikipedia:Dispute resolution, but in practice, the option of appealing to Jimbo is a threat and ordeal which deters victims of misconduct from accessing usable services. The typical case is that an LGBT+ editor encounters a homophobic/transphobic activist in Wikipedia who targets them for harassment. The victim goes to lower level dispute resolution which is an hours-long process for them and a bureaucratic mess for 5-20 other people processing the complaint. I do not wish to criticize the Wikimedia dispute resolution process directly, but I will say that Wikimedia LGBT+ observes and believes that LGBT+ editors who go through mediation tend to disproproportionately lose their cases as compared to other demographics. I believe that anti-LGBT+ sentiment is the reason for this. "Appeal to Jimbo" is harmful in this cycle because it gives the false hope that there is a fair process in reach if the wiki justice system fails; when LGBT+ people are repeatedly as a group found at fault, then seemingly they can appeal for additional opinions, then to ArbCom, then to Jimbo. The social conclusion that goes into circulation is that if no one is escalating issues to Jimbo, then there is no severe injustice in the Wikimedia community. In fact, there is injustice. The path to an appeal to Jimbo takes hundreds of labor hours from dozens of people. No one uses it, because it is not viable, and keeping it communicates that there is hope when in fact the entire process is hopeless. We have had so many LGBT+ editors experience harassment without getting relief. The Wikimedia Foundation knows this, as they always contact LGBT+ Wikimedians whenever they do harassment research, which they have done regularly for nearly 10 years. Jimbo should know this too, but the only contact he has made with the organized LGBT+ community of which I am aware is him wandering into transphobic promotion, presumably in inappropriate but tolerable ignorance, of the LGBT+ hate group LGB Alliance. It is possible that lightning may occassionally strike the earth in some useful way but we Wikimedia community members need to be practical and have demonstrably working processes than put faith in unproven miracles. It is not entirely Jimbo's fault that the LGBT+ community gets harassment, but at the same time, we are a vulnerable demographic and a community which needs working accessible appeals processes in place. For as long as "appeals to Jimbo" exists and is taught as a viable option not used, it is difficult for community organizers to start fresh and design processes which actually work. Get rid of it because the current process is not working and not protecting. Bluerasberry (talk) 17:11, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  111. The procedure has only been used extremely rarely. Although Jimbo is our founder, the community has clearly shown that he is no longer our leader. Schminnte (talk contribs) 17:24, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  112. Per Fram and Barkeep49. No such user (talk) 17:25, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  113. Yes; see Mz7's comment on the "nuclear option." ezlev (user/tlk/ctrbs) 17:58, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  114. This is a holdover from a very different time; the powers are theoretical in that they've never been used, and would cause more problems if they were used than nothing. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 18:04, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  115. Yes, per the insightful arguments above.--NØ 18:09, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  116. Yes. The English Wikipedia is the only project with an "appeal to Jimbo" clause. This is a relic of the time roughly 20 years ago when everything was new and Arbcom was an experiment. I think we have outgrown that. Note that I do respect Jimbo and think he has a role and a voice in the project he founded, but I do not think court-of-last-appeal is or should be that role going forward. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 19:27, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  117. Yes, but I also agree we need a replacement and the Foundation may not be best placed. Perhaps we need an elected President of Wikipedia, whose job is advocacy for the project and a safety valve on key areas like this. For a fixed one-year term. And with our thanks to Jimmy for his service. Onceinawhile (talk) 19:30, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  118. Yes Very out of date sentence, has no place in modern Wikipedia. sovietblobfish (talk) 20:27, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  119. Yes. Antiquated clause. The elected ARBCOM should be the highest authority, not some unelected dictator-for-life, no matter how benevolent or important. I say this with appreciation and respect for Jimbo's accomplishments and hard work over the past two decades. Festucalextalk 21:00, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  120. Yes. It's time. - CorbieVreccan 21:40, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  121. ~~ AirshipJungleman29 (talk) 00:44, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  122. Yes - We need to consider whether there should be an appeal mechanism from the ArbCom, or whether the ArbCom should be a court of last resort. If there should be an appeal from the ArbCom, maybe it should be the UCoC, or maybe some other elected body. The appeal to an unelected Founder is a historical relic. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:52, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  123. Yes. The committee is accountable to the community, and I concur in the opinion of Caeciliusinhorto above. Adumbrativus (talk) 05:13, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  124. plicit 07:02, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  125. YesThere are numerous ways I can think of he can fix an issue also without the phrase. To remove the phrase would encourage less editors to turn to his talk page with requests, he anyway isn't interest in. I'd say a Win-Win. The timing is a bit unfortunate though, we could have thought of it also before.Paradise Chronicle (talk) 08:46, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  126. Yes - aside from being an archaic holdover from the early years, I find the fact that this only exists on the English Wikipedia a bit weird and see no reason why it needs to exist here when all other Wikimedia projects manage without. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 🐱 12:07, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  127. yes just as most other monarchies lost their power to overrule the government long ago, so is it time to but this aside as a relic of the past. Mangoe (talk) 21:26, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  128. yes We may not be a democracy in terms of determining content, but I cannot see how enhancing democratic forms of governance is not in the general interest of editors. Regards, --Goldsztajn (talk) 21:54, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  129. Yes. See Onceinawhile on the idea of an elected President of Wikipedia. - FenrisAureus (talk) 22:16, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  130. Yes Chris Troutman (talk) 23:22, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  131. Yes Wikipedia has grown beyond being owned/operated by one person, so this doesn't seem necessary. It feels very much like a relic of it being a "personal project". There is no problem with being more of a "thought leader" without some arbitrary authority. If there is to be a single person with veto power, they should be picked in a democratic way. ᴢxᴄᴠʙɴᴍ () 23:30, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  132. Yes. It's about as relevant now as trial by combat in modern law. Ann Teak (talk) 00:02, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  133. Yes: Aside from the many cogent comments above, I'd like to address what seems to be the leading argument on the No side: that Jimbo hasn't yet abused his reserve powers to overrule ArbCom. Quite aside from that as a citizen of the United States who's followed politics all his life I think anyone advancing a "But of course no authority figure would ever abuse tacit norms of decency and conduct!" argument has been sticking their heads in the sand the last decade, Wikipedia is far too important an institution to be governed by the premise that because nothing fatal has happened yet, nothing is amiss. Ravenswing 00:24, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  134. Yes It completely goes against the community driven ideals of Wikipedia to give power to one person indefinitely to override the highest level of community arbitration. Photos of Japan (talk) 04:41, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  135. Yes: as Photos of Japan said, it is an outdated structure that goes against the central pillars of Wikipedia. There's no need for Jimbo to have unique special powers. Edward-Woodrow (talk) 05:07, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  136. There is an argument that we need checks and balances in the system. But Arbs are only elected for fairly short terms, those who think a decision is flawed are never more than a year from an Arbcom election. ϢereSpielChequers 07:02, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  137. Yes: resting this power with one arbitrarily-chosen person who, like all of us, has bad days as well as good ones doesn't seem healthy. Furthemore, it's odd to rely on a perceived safety like this veto power even though I don't see any incentive on Jimmy's side to face such a process with the seriousness the community at the time may believe that it deserves. ~ lovkal (talk) 07:15, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  138. Yes. The sentence reads like a relict of a long-gone era. Time to clean it up. Gawaon (talk) 08:18, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  139. Yes We're not a monarchy, and putting the ultimate appeal power into the hands of one person is not the wisest of decisions. Even if things haven't gone wrong yet, that's no guarantee they will never - Jimbo is a human like all of us and might have bad days. Chaotic Enby (talk) 09:35, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  140. Yes GodzillamanRor (talk) 09:59, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  141. GMGtalk 11:54, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  142. There are some well presented views expressed on both sides but ultimately I am more convinced with the rationale presented by Barkeep49 (and others similar) who said what I generally think rather eloquantly. Bungle (talkcontribs) 12:04, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  143. Per Barkeep49. ArbCom may or may not need a system to keep decisions in check, but it doesn't matter who the person is, no one person should have such overwhelming unilateral authority in that way. The project has long outgrown the need for that. A singular person is more prone to mistakes (evidenced by recent events) than a body of multiple people who can challenge each other and arrive at a better version of a decision than a lone unchecked person, so I don't see it in the best interest of Wikipedia for one lone person (no matter who it is) to be able to unilaterally amend ArbCom decisions and outcomes. - Aoidh (talk) 12:15, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  144. Yes No one person should have the power to reverse community decisions. Smallchief (talk) 13:24, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  145. Yes Atrapalhado (talk) 17:28, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  146. Yes reminds me old English laws that are still exist FuzzyMagma (talk) 20:15, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  147. Yes, long overdue, Huldra (talk) 22:06, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  148. Yes As recent events show (as well as patterns over the years), it's time to remove this. spryde | talk 23:41, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  149. Yes Shellwood (talk) 00:12, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  150. Yes. Alkari (?), 21 May 2023, 00:39 UTC
  151. Yes. I am glad to see that Wales has relinquished many of his "honorary" positions granted to him by virtue of being the Founder. Removing this clause seems like the next logical step in light of his stepping-back, and I fully agree that no one individual should have the ability to reverse decisions made by the community. Patient Zerotalk 01:04, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  152. Yes I see no reason why he should retain this power. I find many of the above yes !votes compelling and the vast majority of the no !votes below to be lacking. TipsyElephant (talk) 14:06, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  153. The provision may once have made some sort of sense. It doesn’t now. KJP1 (talk) 18:55, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  154. Yes There has to be some sort of highest court in any system, and I would rather it be ArbCom than Jimmy Wales. Clay (talk) 18:58, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  155. Yes A hypothetical "rogue ArbCom" could be dealt with through office actions and no dictator-for-life, no matter how benevolent, is necessary. Stockmausen (talk) 19:42, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  156. Yes and it's a bit odd to say Jimbo is a safety valve when that has not been the case for a lot of situations WMF did in the past few years. – The Grid (talk) 02:05, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  157. Yes. I don't trust Jimbo to have this authority. If a safety valve is needed, it should be another person or group. Eluchil404 (talk) 05:52, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  158. Yes Honestly, Jimbo's judgement has gotten increasingly erratic over time. We probably should have an appeal, but not to him. I suppose that we could always have a petition and referendum in a pinch. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.4% of all FPs. 05:54, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  159. Yes In the event that a "safety valve" is required there are probably more urgent and wider things to be fixed than a specific remedies being appealed so a different mechanism would be needed. And in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, Jimbo shouldn't (and indeed doesn't) overrule the elected community representatives . Scribolt (talk) 06:21, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  160. Yes, remnant of a long-past era. Stifle (talk) 09:04, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  161. Yes Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:31, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  162. Yes ~StyyxTalk? 12:45, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  163. Yes, barkeep summarizes nicely. AugusteBlanqui (talk) 13:00, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  164. Yes, I'm not anti-Jimbo but this looks like an anachronism. MaxBrowne2 (talk) 14:58, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  165. Yes: Per Barkeep49 and others. Hey man im josh (talk) 16:49, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  166. Yes. I was one of the arbitrators who helped to re-write the Arbcom Policy back in 2011. There was serious consideration of removing all mention of Jimbo even back then, but the timing wasn't right yet. It is more than right now. No other community has *ever* granted this level of authority to Jimmy Wales. I am very aware that Jimmy does many positive things for the Wikimedia community and the movement, but I think even he would admit that he isn't closely following the day-to-day activities of this or any other particular project. This proposal is part of the normal and healthy evolution of the project. Back in 2011, we quietly removed the bit that said Jimbo appointed the Arbitration Committee, and there wasn't a single negative effect of this. It's time to eliminate the uncharacteristic authority granted to Jimmy for no other reason than "it was like that in 2003". Risker (talk) 17:29, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  167. Yes, this is a relic of old times and WP:OFFICEACTION can take this job over if necessary. Jumpytoo Talk 17:41, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  168. (edit conflict) Yes, since Jimbo is no longer active in Wikipedia (focusing on WMF generally and WT Social) and Jimbo rarely overrides ArbCom decisions. Also even though Wikipedia is not a democracy, it also shouldn't be a dictatorship (should be best left to the community). 2NumForIce (speak|edits) 17:47, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  169. Yes. SpiderMum (talk) 18:12, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  170. Yes - when Wikipedia was initially created, Jimbo taking control of it was a necessary evil. It's now no longer necessary, but it's no less evil to give any one person this much authority. Animal lover |666| 19:45, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  171. Yes, of course. ɱ (talk) 20:38, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  172. Yes per Barkeep49 and others, with all due respect. Jusdafax (talk) 22:46, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  173. Yes. 1857a (talk) 23:48, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  174. Yes per Barkeep49. Single unelected human beings, no matter how experienced or well-intentioned, are fallible. lizthegrey (talk) 06:23, 23 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  175. Rschen7754 07:03, 23 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Besides the obvious "get Jimbo" sentiment of this entire recent process over the last few months that I have found distasteful, I still think we need an "emergency brakes" mechanism and Jimbo is uniquely positioned to be that person. --Jayron32 11:34, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. I think it's important that everybody with power is accountable to someone else. ArbCom is accountable to OmbCom in part of its work, and individual arbs are accountable to the community in elections, but the appeal to Jimbo provision is the only way the committee can be held directly accountable in its primary function (arbitration). Is it ideal that the appeal is to one arbitrarily-selected person? Probably not. But this amendment doesn't propose anything better, and indeed I can't think of an alternative appeals provision that isn't either equally arbitrary, or overly bureaucratic given how seldom it is used. Speaking as one of the few people who's actually been involved in one of these rare appeals (as an arbitrator), it seems like Jimmy approaches the task with seriousness and fairness, and I haven't seen any evidence that having this provision has ever caused a real problem. – Joe (talk) 11:38, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Jimbo has not abused reserve powers. I am quite often disappointment with ARBCOM actions, so good to keep a reserve to control really bad outcomes. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:00, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Per Jayron32, Joe, and Graeme. Plus, it's disrespectful for the petitioners to have refused to cooperate with Wales on crafting an alternative proposal after he asked them to do so. Sandizer (talk) 12:27, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. No change is good change. Pavlor (talk) 12:34, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. This needed to go to VPIL first. The proposers did not consult with Jimbo as mentioned above, and with the removal of this clause it leaves ArbCom completely free of oversight. Let's take a few weeks, and consider whether this is necessary, or if we're actually just a mob with pitchforks who want to cast Jimbo aside entirely. Snowmanonahoe (talk · contribs · typos) 13:18, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Imagine this: the community gets into a state of outrage like it does every few years. Asked to review things Arbcom agonizes over whether the expressions (at WP:ANI or wherever) are really those of the community as a whole or just those of a considerable but unrepresentative vocal minority. The committee decides to leave things alone. WMF, for ethical or legal reasons, rightly or wrongly, decides to intervene. Expecting not to succeed by persuasion, WMF plans instead to use technical measures for mass blocking, page protection, deletion or whatever. In these circumstances, and as a last resort, it might help to still have Jimbo’s constitutional involvement. I hope nothing like this ever happens. Thincat (talk) 13:27, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. I am very much open to retiring Jimbo in favor of something/someone better suited for the role but am I in favor of allowing ARBCOM to operate without any actual accountability whatsoever in the meantime? No, as a matter of fact, I am not. Don't let your dislike towards Jimbo cloud your judgment; this proposed amendment is pure power play. (talk) 14:07, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. (Comment copied from the discussion on the proposal page). Call me a royalist, but the safety valve concept has value, somewhat similar to how WP:IAR provides a theoretically-all-powerful override, but which in practice isn’t used that way. Given that there is a process for removing our monarch should he cross a line, his power is in fact checked (perhaps we should say checkable). I think such a constrained sovereign adds to the pluralism of the process, and can actually strengthen a democracy, by providing an out-of-band alternative branch of power, even and maybe especially if it is never used. The threat of an outside force overruling ArbCom lends them a healthy humility, while posing no actual threat to the community due to the aforementioned process by which any heavy-handed behaviour could be reined in. If Jimbo did not exist, we would do well to invent him.
    The proposers should have taken Jimbo up on his offer to discuss alternative arrangements. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 14:22, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. I agree with Graeme. --The Cunctator (talk) 14:25, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  11. I don't see a compelling need to change a constitutional provision that has not so far proven to be a problem in practice, and indeed has never been used as far as I know. If it is ever abused or misused, then a change such as the one proposed here would be warranted. Sandstein 14:28, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  12. Solution in search of a problem, especially given that Jimbo appears to know what invoking this provision would mean. * Pppery * it has begun... 14:56, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  13. Sojourner in the earth (talk) 16:24, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  14. the problem with "majority rules" is that sometimes the majority is dumb. i like the of an Elon Musk-like benevolent dictator who could Right a Great Wrong, if an emergency truly arose. ValarianB (talk) 18:26, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, Elon Musk, famously known for his extremely wise decisions. AryKun (talk) 14:21, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yeah, I'm not sure Musk was the right analogy, unless you are going for irony. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 19:32, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Dear God, what a nightmare of a sentence. Festucalextalk 21:01, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm new here, but do you really think something Musky should be Elon-gated? Ann O'Dine (talk) 17:35, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  15. I am all for a variety of checks and balances in governance, and so a think it is still useful for Jimbo to hold this last-resort power. - Donald Albury 18:29, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  16. I do not believe Jimbo's position as the potential safety valve operator should be removed. The current system is operating fine; we don't need to lose this balance of power. Nythar (💬-🍀) 18:34, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  17. Joe has articulated my thoughts better than I could. ThadeusOfNazereth(he/him)Talk to Me! 18:36, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  18. No per Joe. I have seen enough tenacious discussions that cannot solely be left to ArbComm or the community. I'd support other solutions if proposed. ~ 🦝 Shushugah (he/him • talk) 19:12, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  19. I don't have an interest in removing this. I hold trust in Jimbo to reserve this power and be correct in his decision-making. SWinxy (talk) 20:09, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  20. No- We should not be removing the last avenue of appeal. 747pilot (talk) 20:26, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  21. No. A last avenue of appeal is needed for adequate checks-and-balances, just as Joe Roe notes above. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 20:50, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  22. Solution in need of a problem, nothing wrong with a constitutional monarchy, nothing wrong with having a last mechanism for a sanity check. Wasted Time R (talk) 21:10, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  23. Per Joe. The notion that Jimbo has dictator powers is incorrect. He knows full well that he cannot use it in all but the most extreme cases, without extreme community backlash. He's proven that he understands this, by having not used this power so far throughout several major crises, including FRAMBAN. The check on his power is informal, but strong. The notion that it would cause a constitutional crisis is also incorrect. Recently, on his talk page, Jimbo said that he would only call for new ArbCom elections if they disobeyed a clear and overwhelming community consensus. If we get to that point, it's already a constitutional crisis. Calling for new elections solves that crisis, rather than creating a crisis. Where's the problem? DFlhb (talk) 21:27, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  24. It's called 'check and balance' and/or 'piling on'. Wales gave up some powers and almost immediately was asked to give up more. Let's see the naysayers create something like Wikipedia and then we can talk. Randy Kryn (talk) 22:07, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  25. If Jimbo's ousted from this role, it falls to WMF. They will not allow you to operate without some sort of corporate veto, the trust isn't there. Jimbo has shown he understands and respects the best interests of enwiki. Even his recent gaffe had good intentions behind it. WMF has shown no such concerns, rather, they stymie us at every turn. They have repeatedly demonstrated both hostility and incompetence towards enwiki's values and culture. You know both devils here and Arbcom is not flawless. It remains to be seen if enwiki will even endorse UCoC, and if it doesn't the relationship will become even further polarized. Jimbo at least seems to see this as more than a cash cow. Remove Jimbo and id make a bet that next time you want to reject fundraising banners you'll lose the right to even have an Arbcom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:28, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  26. Jimbo hasn't abused powers; he has voluntarily given most of his additional rights up, and more should not be stripped from him. Trying to shame this website's founder is not the way to go about things; we shouldn't bite the hand that fed us. Moreover, even JW has said that he sees his role like that of the British monarch: subtly influencing some things, and in extreme circumstances, allowed a veto (and, much like the British monarch, would never use that veto either). So, if this is going to be the end of the Wales era on Wikipedia? it'll be a sad day. Tim O'Doherty (talk) 22:34, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  27. Per others, if Jimbo used his veto against the community there would be outrage. it is nearly impossible for him to use it negatively. I don't see a reason to take the power away now. it may come in handy some day. Clone commando sev (talk) 22:50, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  28. This individual can be trusted to use the power correctly.--Harper J. Cole (talk) 23:32, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  29. First, because the presumption should always be in favor of policy stasis, and it has not been shown that there is a problem that needs solving here. And second, because in general the community lacks means to course-correct (since those who disagree with major shifts in policy will typically leave the project) and it is a good idea to have some sort of external check to keep things from getting completely out of hand. Electoral mechanisms keep Arbcom accountable to the community, but that's only half the battle, and this clause is the closest thing we have to a mechanism of keeping the community accountable to the project. I would prefer to see a stronger mechanism for accountability-to-the-project, but we certainly shouldn't eliminate the mechanism we have. -- Visviva (talk) 23:43, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  30. No. Having reserve powers is useful. If it ever becomes necessary, he can be overruled by the invocation of the process currently being undertaken to remove him. Some "yes" voters above admit the need for some way to hold ARBCOM accountable, suggesting the creation of recalls, or what have you, but more bureaucracy is not the answer. This system seems to work well enough. --Jahaza (talk) 00:11, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  31. I don't see anything wrong with having an appeal to Jimbo. Banedon (talk) 01:08, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  32. No. It's better to give Jimbo the power. The person who loves reading (talk) 01:56, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  33. Jimbo's shown he won't abuse this power. Take it away, and it'll end up in the Foundation's and their Orwellianly-named Trust and Safety department's hands. However little trust I have left for Jimbo, it's considerably more than I have for them. —Cryptic 02:00, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  34. No. Read this. His own position during a conflict between ArbCom and the Wikimedia Foundation: "To be clear: ArbCom could overturn the ban. I will personally back ArbCom in whatever they decide. Any further action of this type from T&S will not happen without agreement from the community. There should be no fear here that T&S would defy the board, me, ArbCom, and the gathered best users in the community.--Jimbo Wales 07:32, 3 July 2019 (UTC)" He has no recent history of meddling in the affairs of ArbCom, so the appeal is only likely to become relevant in the event of a conflict between the community-elected ArbCom and the community-independent Foundation. The specific conflict referenced had legal issues but the approach of the Foundation was unusual and differed from the approach that would have been taken by ArbCom, with whom no attempt to communicate was made even within legal limits prior to or immediately after the ban. As conflicts between the legal obligations of the Foundation and the policies of the community increase in frequency in the coming years, would you rather have to appeal to a single individual or to a corporate group? Ivan (talk) 02:03, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's a good point, but what is the actual evidence for "increase in frequency"? Martindo (talk) 06:07, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  35. No. I would trust Jimbo Wales more than I would trust the worst possible group of people who could hypothetically be on ArbCom at some point in the future. —Lights and freedom (talk ~ contribs) 03:29, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  36. I've always liked the constitutional monarchy kind of setup. Keep the final appeal power with someone who would lose it if they use it, helps keep people a bit accountable. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 05:28, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  37. No – The yes side relies on the assumption that Jimbo would be unreasonable in exercising this power, when his past behaviour indicates nothing of the sort. 5225C (talk • contributions) 05:30, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  38. No. I don't know who is even going to be reading this far down the line, but I may as well pop off, since I started to do so during the petition and didn't really finish my thought. What I said then was that the main argument for taking this measure, as far as I can tell, is that permitting appeals to Jimbo reduces the gravitas of Wikipedia's formal judicial processes, and that removing it would increase their gravitas; but I'm not convinced that we are lacking for gravitas. Do we need additional gravitas? There is a bit of a half-hearted effort, whenever the newspapers write about Wikipedia, to reassure everyone that ArbCom isn't really the Supreme Court of Wikipedia. So why should we make haste to increase the resemblance? More importantly, why should we break stuff that works fine for the sake of increasing the resemblance? Some people who support this amendment have talked about how bad it looks, or how outdated the system is, or how silly it is -- as opposed to what? We do it for free. If it's absurd for this guy (some nerd who created the website and has been here for 22 years) to have veto over stuff that goes on here, it's just as absurd for us (some nerds whose hobby is arguing about policies on an encyclopedia for free) to do so. And, on a gravely serious note: if there is some serious problem with the balance of power that comes from having the unaccountable Jimbo (I don't know about that, he seems pretty accountable to me) be the final route of appeal, what are we planning to replace him with? The Trust and Safety department is not elected, and the Ombuds commission is not elected. Currently, six of the twelve trustees are selected from communities, but last year, candidates were required to submit applications to the board, and the board picked people to be candidates out of the applicants they liked (said application form requiring several college-application-style essays). I do not hate the WMF, and they certainly do a lot of good for the project, but for the specific purpose of serving as a final resort in outrageous situations where the shit has completely hit the fan, I have more trust in Jimbo than in a large organization that operates by often-opaque processes. While ceteris paribus I would prefer for ultimate symbolic authority to be vested in a democratic process, it's not clear to me that simply devolving Jimbo's role to the WMF works toward that end, and it seems to me like a step backward. jp×g 05:32, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Also, what Joe said: the scenario in which the shit hits the fan with such force that it requires the person or entity of last resort to overturn a decision is unlikely and hypothetical. A more realistic scenario is one in which some institutional incentive causes a stupid thing to happen, and a minor amendment is made by someone reasonable who is capable of observing without involvement. In this case, it seems even more clearly the case that I would rather have this entity be some guy who's had a leading role in the project for two decades than another large set of committee members following institutional incentives, which would likely have been the cause of the issue in the first place. jp×g 06:16, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  39. Not as written. I'd support this if it came with a workable alternative check and balance. I'm concerned that a high level of arbitrator inactivity might lead to a committee becoming skewed or unrepresentative. We wouldn't know until too late because Arbcom's deliberations are secret.—S Marshall T/C 06:30, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  40. No per Jayron, Joe. No evidence/indication this clause ever caused a problem. ResonantDistortion 06:59, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  41. Procedural No per WP:NOTDEMOCRACY. We don't have votes on Wikipedia, we determine consensus. I see no evidence that that is being applied here. Voice of Clam (talk) 07:21, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  42. No. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Maproom (talk) 08:06, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  43. No per Joe and Trust the judgement of Jimbo and we need somebody to appeal the judgements of Arbcom.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 08:50, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  44. No per Joe. Solution in search of a problem. TrangaBellam (talk) 08:53, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  45. No this provision has never caused problems and very probably will never be used in the future. Honestly, it's a bit embarrassing how seriously some people are taking this – we're not writing a constitution here, it's Wikipedia, you're not the next Rousseau. – Teratix 10:37, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  46. No Uncalled for. Joe makes complete sense. ─ The Aafī (talk) 10:39, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  47. Per Joe, but noting the selection of Jimbo was not arbitrary. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:54, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  48. No, at least not until another last ditch appeals process is presented to the community. schetm (talk) 12:16, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  49. No, not yet, I just opened bio Jimmy Wales to read. On serious note, per WP:NOTDEMOCRACY and WP:NOTANARCHY. Bookku (talk) 12:33, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  50. In practice, there is no need for this change. I understand the support, but I'd like to see this be thought out more. Anarchyte (talk) 13:06, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  51. No. ~TPW 13:28, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  52. No Unless this provision results in an actual highly divisive controversy in the future, there is no reason to remove the last of Jimbo's constitutional powers. StellarHalo (talk) 13:50, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  53. No per Joe Sweet6970 (talk) 15:02, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  54. I thought about this for a while and I can see where the supporters are coming from but then again, even most countries with an independent judiciary have some kind of system on the books as a kind of final appeal if something has gone seriously wrong (e.g. pardons), so why shouldn't we? Regards SoWhy 15:53, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  55. No I was on the fence, but am unconvinced by the arguments supporters make. It's not democratic, true, but why should Wikipedia have to be? It's not needed? Not now, but I can envision a scenario where it would be useful. Jimbo is disconnected from Wiki processes? He may not know all the minutiae, but he is certainly connected to Wikipedian values that would lie at the core of any dispute requiring intervention. Simply put, I think Jimbo provides a useful, knowledgeable, and (largely) respected "third party" perspective that is separable both from us editors and from the WMF, and that's a worthwhile function. —Ganesha811 (talk) 16:35, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  56. No I fail to see the need for this change.14GTR (talk) 17:18, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  57. No because I'm in a bad mood and want to see what happens if Jimbo ever tries to use his special power.  Tewdar  18:42, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  58. Don't see a problem that this would fix. Better to leave this provision in place for the rare occasion it may be needed.-- Pawnkingthree (talk) 19:03, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  59. No No problem being solved by this. And the current wording contributes to Jimbo's soft power which we need to be strong. Excellent analysis by Barkeep but IMO I put less weight on those issues due to them being so far non-existent and more weight on him retaining soft power. Also as noted by others, if Jimbo is not in the role it could fall to the self-appointed ivory tower of WMF which I absolutely do not trust. North8000 (talk) 21:07, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  60. No; I second North8000. Panini! 🥪 22:02, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  61. No because bureaucratic systems often fail; because this has caused no problems and seems well set-up for a worst-case scenario; and because Jimbo, having co-created this great knowledge effort and ceded control for 99.9% of it, should not be treated poorly for holding on to that one thread. --Nat Gertler (talk) 23:35, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  62. No Sharing power is good. Is Wikipedia a democracy? -Bart Terpstra (talk) 00:48, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  63. No per Jayron32 and etc. This looks like a solution in search of a problem. And in this case, the solution to the nonexistent problem could inadvertently create a real one down the road. If this last, or close to it, reserved authority is actually abused; removing it will be a fairly simple process. -Ad Orientem (talk) 02:38, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    See my comment in the discussion section for a slightly broader view of my reasoning. -Ad Orientem (talk) 14:01, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  64. No; checks and balances – there should be a means of reigning in the ArbCom when needed. Baffle☿gab 04:06, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  65. No - I tend to agree with many of the "no voters" above that this is more a solution in search of a problem. If Jimbo had asked to for the community to remove this power from him, like he has his other powers, then that would be different but as far as I'm aware he has not, so I see no benefit that comes from this change. If he were also to name a successor for the "Monarch of Wikipedia" role then I would support that also. Wikipedia is NOT a democracy and I have no issue with a single individual having the power to overrule some ill-conceived pile-on decision should the necessity arise. A7V2 (talk) 07:21, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  66. No I share the same view that a final resort emergency brake is a good thing, and Jimbo has been discretionary in staying out of community processes unless absolutely necessary. Curbon7 (talk) 12:47, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  67. No - The supporters have granted no real reason for how exactly Jimbo's role would backfire, just that "it may," which is not a really strong argument. As previously stated, this seems to be more of a solution in search of an issue. The argument that Jimmy will abuse the position is null by the fact that he's already not too involved in Wikipedia politics today, which is something that many of the supporters outright state. Essentially, you have two opposite camps in the support - those who support because they view Jimbo as a malevolent dictator who will override the community, and those who support because they view Jimbo as a barely involved individual whose absence has made the above proposal effectively de facto true. I also dislike how the support seems to believe that removing Jimbo would create some sort of utopia where the community is beholden to no one. If Wales is removed, you know whose finna be calling the shots? The WMF. Considering the vast majority of editors here have been here long enough to have at the very least heard of their antics, are you really going to swap out Jimbo, someone who at the very least views Wikipedia as more than a cash cow or a faceless de facto corporation who will wag the finger at you if you dare complain? Even if the WMF doesn't seize control (which is not going to happen), all this does is invite more bureaucracy, which from Medieval China to modern America, to corporations to governments, strangle their organizations via lack of imagination and parochialism. We are not a bureaucracy, nor are we a democracy, nor an anarchy, and I have yet to see a coherent or reasonable argument against the quasi-constitutional monarchy we have besides "maybes" and "well it won't really change anything in practice anyway anyway". - Knightoftheswords281 (Talk · Contribs) 13:02, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  68. No: I think I disagree with a great deal of what Wales has said and done over the years but sometimes an arbitrary rule granting effective veto powers is a good check to have. ~ Pbritti (talk) 15:28, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  69. No - basically per Jayron. It's a good idea to have a final stage of appeal from Arbcom. FOARP (talk) 15:36, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  70. No - The deletionists have wrought enough destruction over this site already. I trust Jimbo more with power than ArbCom Jack4576 (talk) 16:49, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  71. A method of overriding ArbCom is important to have. Frostly (talk) 17:31, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  72. No - this feels like a continuation of "GET HIM!" sentiment regarding Jimbo after the unfortunate allegations he made, instead of a meaningful update to the Arbitration policy. As far as I know, this is the only case he used this power, and it was not to "overturn" the decision but rather to humanize it. Removing this will not benefit the English Wikipedia community. Merko (talk) 18:25, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  73. A solution looking for a problem. – Ammarpad (talk) 18:55, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  74. No. This hurts nothing and has never been abused. It's good to have a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency backup plan if anything ever goes catastrophically wrong. And the simple knowledge that such an emergency power exists may tend to help a future ArbCom consider non-frivolous requests for reconsideration or amendments more seriously than they otherwise might. In the unlikely event this power is ever abused in the future, we can remove it at that point. Station1 (talk) 19:34, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  75. No Although a better mechanism is needed, this proposal is inappropriate. This mechanism was not involved in the incident in question. This is a personal slight on the basis of what ever excuse is at hand. Invasive Spices (talk) 21:07, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  76. No: This seems like a proposal to concentrate power, rather than a coherent proposal to distribute it with checks and balances, and I find that unappealing for a number of reasons (many of which have already been said above). I'm not saying never, I'm just saying there's no alternative being proposed. -- zzuuzz (talk) 00:33, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  77. No, mostly as per North8000. An emergency override is a good idea, and it is better for it to rest with someone is NOT enmeshed in the internal politics that often make Wikipedia a nightmare. Ingratis (talk) 10:46, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  78. No: Per Joe, North8000 and others above. CX Zoom[he/him] (let's talk • {CX}) 12:16, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  79. No. I don't necessarily believe that all members of ArbCom can be trusted to make impartial decisions. We, on the outside, have no idea of how chummy some ArbCom members are with each other and how their solidarity influences final decisions. I prefer that there be an individual such as Wales to floor the brakes on ArbCom if needed, because he will have the access to investigate the who-what-where-when-why-how of ArbCom decisions. All guards need a warden. Pyxis Solitary (yak yak). Ol' homo. 13:18, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  80. No - Ingratis says it well. - L'Maynerque - ("May you [insert query here]?") - 13:47, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  81. No Barkeep49 says above But I think Jimmy having this reserve power to overrule ArbCom would, in practice, be disasterous. But Wales has had this "power", and it hasn't been disastrous. There is no indication or evidence that he would use that authority to the detriment of the project. Not broke. Schazjmd (talk) 14:44, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  82. No. I've considered this carefully and wasn't sure which side I've come down on, but on balance I think it is important that there is some venue of absolute final appeal, that is independent of arbcom (and I speak as a former arbitrator here). I'm open to arguments that this role be taken by a person or body other than Jimbo (although he has done a good job of it, declining to even consider frivolous appeals, endorsing arbcom's decision when it is the correct one, encouraging clarification and moderation on the rare occasions where required) but I oppose removing him until we have an alternative in place. Thryduulf (talk) 15:01, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  83. No. A better proposal would have had a replacement mechanism on tap that was more palatable than nothing at all. —Locke Coletc 16:35, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  84. No If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Also, I think we owe him this respect, lest we become like the creation who turns on its creator. Also, I think this is a pointy proposal. Debresser (talk) 17:22, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  85. No This power has rarely been used and it's cool that Wikipedia has a vestigial system whereby any decision can be appealed to its founder as a final recourse. voorts (talk/contributions) 21:25, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  86. A reluctant no. I am not opposed to this removal in and of itself, but we do need to slow down and figure out what to replace this with—pretty much what Thryduulf said. Rotideypoc41352 (talk · contribs) 21:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  87. A reluctant no mainly per Thryduulf's analysis; I also agree with Joe's and North8000's comments above. VickKiang (talk) 22:39, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  88. No per Jayron, Sandizer, and Graeme.--v/r - TP 00:38, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  89. No per Joe Roe. The proposed amendment would give increased power to the arbitration committee. There needs to be a means of appealing ArbCom decisions to someone other than ArbCom. James500 (talk) 03:41, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  90. No. Locke Cole and others make a good point that replacing/improving the checks-and-balances mechanism is wiser than removing it. BBQboffin (talk) 04:01, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  91. No Jimbo should have the rare power like dissolving parliament as Elizabeth II, but seldom used. -Lemonaka‎ 11:55, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  92. No per Joe Roe, Maproom. Shotgun pete (talk) 03:03, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  93. No Classic case of a solution (and a poorly thought out one at that if there is nothing planned and agreed to replace it) in need of a problem.Muchclag (talk) 16:50, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  94. No per Jayron32, etc.Dobrichev (talk) 19:30, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  95. No, per Joe and Graeme. François Robere (talk) 19:31, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  96. No per Thryduulf. Also given the unintended messes that can be made by the bureaucracy around here some form of oversight should be kept. Deadman137 (talk) 19:34, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  97. No Gaming the system is far too easy. Painting17 (talk) 22:12, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  98. No per Jayron32 and Joe Roe. It could be replaced with something else, but I don't see a need to remove this. --Tristario (talk) 00:22, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  99. I agree with Jayron32, Joe Roe and Thryduulf. Also, referendums are a bad idea. Acalamari 00:40, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  100. No per all above. Jimbo is still a co-founder and should have this ability. I support the addition of others who would have this power, but stripping Jimbo of this power seems distasteful. WhichUserAmI 02:06, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  101. Oppose This should not be a direct removal of oversight, but rather a suitable replacement mechanism that deserves its own discussion and consensus. – robertsky (talk) 04:23, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  102. Opppose In his comments on the policy, Jimmy correctly notes that "Currently if there were a massive community outcry about some seriously problematic ArbCom decision, there is no clear answer as to what might happen." This is true. It's also true that appealing solely to Jimmy is an outdated escape valve for this possibility. Instead of just removing our only remedy for overturning bad ArbCom decisions, we should formalize a policy alternatives that allows for a snap election / vote of no confidence in ArbCom to be called for under limited circumstances (similar to how this amendment came to be under discussion) to enable overturning wildly unpopular decisions. Steven Walling • talk 05:28, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  103. No Per everyone above. Jimbo makes sense as a court of final appeal. – SD0001 (talk) 05:47, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  104. No Personally I think that as long as he is part of the Board of Trustees he can have that power. Nobody (talk) 07:38, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  105. No per others. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 08:27, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  106. No As a deeply committed Australian republican I didn't expect to post in support of a form of constitutional monarchy, but here I am. I'm actually in favour of this clause being removed, but it needs to be replaced with a better alternative which isn't the case at present. A readily workable mechanism for the community to over-ride ArbCom in the unlikely event it goes mad is needed to replace this clause. As ArbCom has been very sensible over its history, there's no need to rush this. Nick-D (talk) 11:15, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  107. No per the above. Constitutional reserve powers like this continue to exist for very good reasons. The fact that it hasn't been used means it is working. Unless there's an alternative in place, removing this gives ArbCom unchecked power, but leaving it in place reminds them that they can only wield their powers with the very distinct possibility of being overridden. The override helps to keep them from running amok. Imzadi 1979  13:55, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  108. No. Joe and Pyxis above reflect my sentiments. DigitalIceAge (talk) 16:03, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  109. No / not without some sort of replacement. Maybe Jimbo is too checked out to serve in this role, but find some other elder statesperson to do it then. SnowFire (talk) 22:34, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  110. No - This remedy has rarely been used, and there are limits on what Jimbo could do to amend or repeal a remedy. However, this catchall appeal, similar to the concept of pardon is useful to make sure that the Arbitration rulings continue to reflect the long term values of the organization. Finally,season has been provided as to why this rarely, if ever, used exception should be repealed. --Trödel 23:57, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Community discussion[edit]

  • Procedural discussions can be found on the talk page. Discussion on the amendment itself should take place here.
  • I just want to thank Barkeep49 for their excellent, well reasoned, explanation behind their vote. I am not convinced to change my vote for reasons unrelated to their rationale, but I think if more people had that kind of things to say about this situation, it would make it feel less like a witch hunt. --Jayron32 14:59, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Barkeep49: I'm curious, were you aware that Icewhiz did appeal his ArbCom sanction to Jimmy? (And didn't fool him – that was the appeal I alluded to in my vote). I realise it doesn't invalidate your hypothetical scenario of him appealing with his sockpuppet, it's just an interesting choice. – Joe (talk) 15:24, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I was aware Joe. Esotrix, someone who was on path to be easily on track to be elected by the community to adminship, was far more sympathetic at the time of the appeal to ArbCom than Icewhiz was when he made his appeal to Jimmmy. And crucially I think Esotrix fit the profile of the type of person Jimmy likes to advocate for far more than Icewhiz did. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:43, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I dunno about that ­– he was the same person, after all. Icewhiz-as-Icewhiz was also quite charming, until he wasn't. But thanks for the reply. – Joe (talk) 15:47, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It's interesting that so far both supporters and opposers are focused on a hypothetical "rogue ArbCom" scenario, even though everyone seems to agree that is extraordinarily unlikely. A more likely scenario is that someone appeals a part of a decision they think is incorrect or unfair and, if he agrees that the committee made a mistake, Jimmy amends it. We know that this is the more realistic function of the appeals provision because that's what it's actually been used for (I have no idea where this idea that it is "never used" comes from). – Joe (talk) 15:50, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    New ArbComs overturn old arbcom decisions all the time including because the new ArbCom disagrees with the judgement of the old arbcom. This normally is done subtly but one clear example of a new committee overruling an old committee is the departing 2020 ArbCom voting to open a Warsaw Concentration Case and the new 2021 ArbCom voting to close it by motion. But the substance of my support remains that the judgement of elected arbs is far more likely to lead to a good result, and crucially a result accepted by the community, than the judgement of a single person and in this case a single person who isn't as in touch with the community as he was when he exercised those powers. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:55, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The fundamental logic of an appeals process is that even the most competent bodies make mistakes, and everybody with authority benefits from the prospect of someone looking at their working. In practice, the fact that Jimmy has apparently only amended an ArbCom decision once in twenty years suggests that he does defer to the judgement of the committee by default. And being detached from the community can be a good thing. We all know that we have a susceptibility to groupthink around here; ArbCom is no exception. Jimmy's (perhaps unique?) strength is that he has a deep knowledge of our norms and principles but is no longer engaged in day-to-day wikipolitics. I'm imagining an unpopular editor who is unfairly sanction by an ArbCom that was too overworked to properly look at the evidence. Are they going to be able to convince 'the community' to overrule it? Or the next iteration of ArbCom? They might have a shot in appealing to Jimmy. – Joe (talk) 16:17, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It's a little galling but unfortunately not entirely surprising that one of the oppose !votes just boils down to "I don't like ArbCom, therefore Jimbo must have emergency powers". Reminds me of how some RfAs get opposed due to bewildering personal issues outside the candidate's control. WaltClipper -(talk) 15:57, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    He is also an ex-arbitrator, so he has some experience on the point. Izno (talk) 16:53, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • At the petition phase of this process, I was skeptical because I do believe some kind of "safety valve" or check on the Arbitration Committee is needed outside of annual elections. However, Galobtter made a convincing argument that the community possesses a kind of "nuclear option", if you will, in that it can overrule ArbCom or even completely dissolve ArbCom using the very same ARBPOL amendment procedure that we are using for the current discussion—I've written up a brief essay at User:Mz7/Nuclear option with a few examples of what such a "nuclear option" strategy might look like. After thinking about this, I have satisfied myself that this is indeed a sufficient "safety valve" that can replace Jimbo Wales in his current self-defined role of protecting the community from the unlikely scenario of an off-the-rails ArbCom. (In fact, I am now worried because, now that the community has discovered it has this ability, it might be emboldened to try it out in the near future on frivolous things. As I noted on the talk page of the petition phase, the ARBPOL procedure sets an inexplicably low bar for ratification—despite having more steps, it is somehow easier to pass amendments to ARBPOL than to pass amendments to other policies.) Mz7 (talk) 17:36, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm glad what I said made sense. I think frivolous appeals would fail at the petition stage, but I do agree that now that the community has actually considered and come up with this safety valve, that people might try. We do need to overhaul the amendment process, and having a higher bar than 51% of the community seems reasonable (but that's a conversation for later). Galobtter (talk) 18:33, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'd like to add that the committee itself has the ability to call for a special election in the event that the total number of active arbs becomes very low, and has the ability to remove individual arbitrators. So, it is only in the incredibly unlikely case of the entire committee completely losing its way and completely ignoring the community that such a safety valve would ever really be needed. While I'm not personally convinced that we even need this, I am more than convinced that it obviously should not just be any one person. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:43, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I really don't get how this "safety valve" thought experiment has become the main issue here. The provision we're talking about removing is that remedies may be appealed to, and amended, by Jimbo Wales. All it has ever been used for is parties appealing specific actions by the committee, and all that he has ever done in response is to endorse the original decision or amend it (once). What does it have to do with dissolving ArbCom or calling new elections? If I appeal something in the real world, it means I'm asking someone to review a decision that I think was in error, not seeking to overthrow the body that made it. – Joe (talk) 05:53, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Joe Roe The whole safety valve thing comes from a comment Jimbo made here which was linked in the original petition. It was he who really brought in the whole idea of a safety valve and dissolving ArbCom etc, not us. Galobtter (talk) 05:58, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's unfortunate. As you said yourself in that discussion, he doesn't even have that power under the current version of WP:ARBPOL. It does feel like a lot of people are now voting based on a misconception of what the policy currently allows for (even though Nosebagbear stated it quite clearly at the top). In retrospect, it would have been nice to start this proposal with a background section explaining where the appeals provision comes from and how it has been used historically. Too late for that now, I suppose. – Joe (talk) 06:28, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    At the same time, if Jimbo shares that misconception (/I believe the source for the whole "he can dismiss the committee" is himself) and is not willing to accept ordinary appeals, it seems realistic to vote based on what he says he will use the power for rather than what you want him to to use the power for (which seems to be fixing misguided ArbCom decisions caused by groupthink/misreading evidence etc). The fact that people make ordinary appeals is immaterial if he is not going to accept ordinary appeals. Galobtter (talk) 06:34, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Of course we should he consider how he says he would use the power. But we should equally consider how he has used it. If we're talking about me personally, I don't think I'm voting based on what I want Jimmy to do. I'm voting based on a combination of what the text actually says and how I've seen it used in practice (most notably when a decision I voted on was appealed to Jimmy, and he handled it very fairly). – Joe (talk) 07:10, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My concern is – since we're talking about incredibly unlikely scenarios – what if a hypothetical rogue ArbCom managed to get the WMF on-side? The Foundation has supreme power over us, from a technical point of view; they could shut down any discussion or petition before it got off the ground. Jimmy has more influence over the WMF than the rest of the community combined; if he personally overturned an ArbCom decision, the WMF would be unlikely to act against him. And contrary to what Barkeep said above, I think Jimmy's influence over the WMF, at least in matters related to governance, will be diminished if we tell the WMF that we don't place any trust in him ourselves. Sojourner in the earth (talk) 19:06, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I suppose it comes down to who you think is more likely to "go rogue": 15(ish) elected arbitrators plus a substantial number of vetted WMF staffers/board members, or Jimbo Wales? And that's in no way a dig at Jimbo Wales himself. I think I'd trust the odds of the former against any individual. Ajpolino (talk) 19:28, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I recommend reviewing groupthink. I personally trust some individuals more than any committees. Can you imagine if automobile traffic was steered by committees? Or if surgeries were led by group discussion and any given consensus or majority rule process? What if Congress was in charge of when to launch nuclear missiles? Would you like your parachute packing outsourced to the lowest bidding company? What if airline pilots had to get clearance from their supervisor before executing a go-around on a rough landing? If you are in the United States, then you probably know what it is like having your personal M.D.'s orders denied by your insurance company. Sandizer (talk) 19:39, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Can you imagine if automobile traffic was steered by committees? How do you think traffic planning decisions are made? Modern infrastructure works precisely because it is centrally planned and most people who use it agree to follow those central rules; most traffic accidents are a consequence of either individual screw-ups, or deliberate individual choices to ignore those rules. Individual autonomy is good in situations where split-second reactions are necessary (so cars are driven by individuals, and surgeries are carried out by individuals) but larger structural decisions where there is time for deliberation is better carried out by experienced groups (your surgeon is trained according to standards set by a licensing body; roads are planned by committee and traffic laws are set by committee). ArbCom's job isn't to drive you to work in the morning; it is to make decisions about how the rules of the road apply. Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 20:04, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I would choose a different metaphor. There are Supreme Court decisions I really dislike. But I can't imagine letting a single person (even one I liked and trusted) be able to overrule them. I instead prefer our current system where a bad decision can be overturned by a later court or by Congress passing a new law or, in some circumstances, by Constitutional Amendment. Barkeep49 (talk) 19:49, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think these analogies confuse the issue. We're all using the word "trust" without really defining what that means in this specific situation. Trust is complicated; there are people whom I would trust with my life but whom I wouldn't trust to hold a five-pound note for me. In this case, what I mean is that I trust Jimmy not to overrule ArbCom without a global consensus at his back, especially now that he has explicitly said he wouldn't do that. I can't extend the same level of trust to a group of hypothetical future arbitrators, or to a corporation. Sojourner in the earth (talk) 20:20, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think these hypotheticals are starting to get too wild to take seriously. The intervention of the WMF in community matters has been a hotly discussed topic for some time now, and we are already experimenting with a system of checks and balances on that front, see foundation:Policy:Office actions#Appeals. Mz7 (talk) 19:34, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I realize you are primarily talking about the bounds of social dynamics in the status quo, but in the most vulgar scenario, the Board could literally just not reappoint him or throw him out and then use their unilateral control of the infrastructure to do whatever they want. In that light I don't really find this kind of in extremis argument convincing. InsaneHacker (💬) 19:48, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Well, if the community can't handle certain disputes that eventually end up at ArbCom, why should we believe the community is qualified to dissolve ArbCom when they disagree with ArbCom's decisions? We'd get caught in a circle of disputes with no foreseeable end. Nythar (💬-🍀) 19:30, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Mz7 and Galobtter: As I said above, I think it's a unfortunate that discussion has centered on hypothetical constitutional crisis scenarios, instead of the types of appeals we know are more realistic because they have actually happened. Do you think the "nuclear option" option would be helpful in a case where one party to an ArbCom case had been sanctioned based on a misreading of evidence, for example? I find it hard to imagine that someone could mobilise 100+ people to care, even if the decision was manifestly unfair. – Joe (talk) 04:17, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The discussion has focused on those constitutional crisis cases because Jimbo specifically stated he would only use his power in such cases. It sounds like you want to see there exist a body that reviews ArbCom more actively, but Jimbo simply isn’t that. Mz7 (talk) 06:59, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Mz7: It's not about what I want to see, but about what actually has happened. I can't say why Jimbo is taking that position now (he did add the caveat there can also be mistakes in attempting to take out flexibility by pre-defining every possible circumstance), but three years ago he was happy to accept an appeal of a decision I voted on, in just such a scenario, and actively reviewed it. – Joe (talk) 08:24, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    He's been taking that position since 2004, actually. When he established the Arbitration Committee in 2004, he sent this email to wikien-l where he wrote, ... I reserve the right of executive clemency and indeed even to dissolve the whole thing if it turns out to be a disaster. But I regard that as unlikely, and I plan to do it about as often as the Queen of England dissolves Parliament against their wishes, i.e. basically never, but it is one last safety valve for our values. Even in the 2019 discussion you linked, he rejected the appeal on the basis that We need to trust and support our elected ArbCom, and believe me, I stand ready whenever necessary to exercise my (theoretical?) reserve powers to call an election if I see a power-mad ArbCom going off the rails. We are very very far from that situation today. Mz7 (talk) 09:17, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Then it really sounds to me like what's motivating this amendment is a problem with a reserve power that isn't written in ARBPOL and which probably hasn't existed outside of Jimmy's head since at least 2011, rather than the one it actually proposes to remove. – Joe (talk) 10:08, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    See I think something very different Joe: I think we're giving someone a large amount of power who doesn't understand what power he actually has. What kind of cluster would it be if he decided an appeal had merit and "ruled" on it by disbanding ArbCom? The group that we'd normally call on to resolve an issue like this would be unsuitable by definition. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:04, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's a very fair point. That response from Jimmy was regrettable, and I suppose he shouldn't be surprised that has come to this. Still, I hope we can come up with another way to provide external oversight of ArbCom. – Joe (talk) 14:13, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Sandizer: What relevance does the alleged disrespectfulness of the petitioners have for the normative merit of the proposal? InsaneHacker (💬) 19:26, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Basic human decency and more importantly here, essential evidence of being able to work well with others in a collaborative environment. For the sake of argument, suppose Thanos had a compelling ecological reason for the destruction of 50% of all life -- is his lack of respect for those unfortunate individuals relevant to the normative merit of his choice? Sandizer (talk) 19:39, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could just as easily abstract respect for [the life of] those unfortunate individuals away from the question of character and simply say that there is a countervailing interest dictating not to destroy 50% of humans, e.g., the incommensurable value of human life. You are, in essence, backloading that normative position — which exists independent of the question of his moral character — into the phrase lack of respect for.
If I said "suppose an all-powerful Gordon Gekko had a compelling hedonistic reason for deciding that all natural resources could be freely and extremely intensely exploited even if it lead to the destruction of all ecosystems in the long term — is his lack of respect for the ecosystem relevant to the normative merit of his choice?" I too would be 'disguising' the normative position that the long-term survival of Earth is more important than short-term pleasure — which exists independent of his character — as a question about the relevance of his state of mind.
With that said, what is the nexus between the fact that the petitioners have apparently been rude, and whether or not this policy — as written — would be good for the Encyclopedia? InsaneHacker (💬) 20:37, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is a much easier question. I have every reason to believe and no reason to doubt that collaboration would have produced a superior proposal. Sandizer (talk) 21:00, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This amendment ends the role of Jimbo Wales in appeals from the Arbitration Committee. Had the proponents and Jimbo collaborated, they would either have composed something that a) did the same thing or b) retained some role for Jimbo. As one who favors community autonomy, I favor eliminating Jimbo's role in arbitration appeals and would like less a proposal that retained a role for Jimbo . Therefore, at least from my perspective, they couldn't have come up with something superior to what is there. At best they would have tied. Wehwalt (talk) 21:13, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Snowmanonahoe: Have you considered that some people might just consider a mechanism like this undesirable regardless of whether the person involved is Jimmy Wales or someone else? A good portion of the supporters are talking about the mechanism completely abstracted from Jimmy Wales as a person. InsaneHacker (💬) 19:26, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@InsaneHacker: I have considered that, and I disagree with it. Snowmanonahoe (talk · contribs · typos) 19:30, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Snowmanonahoe: 'Disagree' in what sense? I stated that some people might just consider a mechanism like this undesirable regardless. I'm assuming you don't mean that literally no one is motivated by this? InsaneHacker (💬) 19:37, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@InsaneHacker: I mean that I personally find the mechanism desirable. All power needs oversight, no matter how trustworthy someone may be, no exceptions. Snowmanonahoe (talk · contribs · typos) 19:39, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Snowmanonahoe: I completely agree in the abstract, but we quickly arrive at infinite regress.
  • P1 — ArbCom has power, and power needs oversight, no matter how trustworthy they are, so we give Jimmy Wales the power to overturn their decisions
  • P2 — Now Jimmy Wales has power, and power needs oversight, no matter how trustworthy he is, so we give n3 the power to overturn his decisions
  • P3 — Now n3 has power, and power needs oversight, no matter how trustworthy n3 is, so we give n4 the power to overturn its decisions
  • Continue ad infinitum
In the real world, the buck stops somewhere. To me it seems like your argument is that you are fine with the buck stopping at Jimmy Wales rather than abstract considerations about oversight. And that's fine, but the argument made by those in favor of removing this provision — or indeed hypothetical persons who might want to absolve ArbCom in favor of dispute resolution at AN/I — is just that the buck should stop 1 or 2 steps earlier, respectively. The central question should thus be the merits of stopping at each step. Those in favor of removal presumably trust the aggregate character of ArbCom in most cases or at least the hypothetical ability for the community to pull the emergency brake in really bad cases via the amendment procedure, while (some) of those against removal presumably put more faith in the character of Jimmy Wales or at least his ability to reason in these cases. Either are defensible for different reasons, but I think it's misleading to make it a question about the abstract presence or lack of oversight. InsaneHacker (💬) 20:11, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Snowmanonahoe:, this is what I'm proposing: An emergency council with extremely experienced and trustworthy users in case there's significant disapproval with ArbCom's decision, and/or ArbCom didn't have extremely clear consensus. They won't do anything most of the time, but in the event this happens, that committee/council would come and make a decision. We won't have one person with that power, yet we have an option if something goes wrong. ‍ ‍ Helloheart ‍ 02:00, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Barnards.tar.gz: Given that there is a process for removing our monarch should he cross a line, his power is in fact checked. I realize this is quite ironic given my preceding two comments, but if the accusations that this whole thing is just the foaming mob coming for Jimbo are true, wouldn't that then make this a use of the very check you are mentioning? I realize that you might be responding to those who are against the current policy in the abstract, but if we assume this is in fact a reaction to recent events, is your argument that this situation is not one worthy of using the check for? InsaneHacker (💬) 19:26, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What I’m saying is that the existence of a process to remove Jimbo makes the accusation of him being a king/dictator overblown. If and when he crosses a line, by all means remove him by this process. But until then, there is value in having an extra dimension of pluralism, even if it is only symbolic in practice. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 20:00, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
there is value in having an extra dimension So why not yet another? And another? There must be a final instance, by necessity. A point frequently overlooked is that this final instance already exists, and it is neither ArbCom nor Jimbo. It's the community. Should an invading alien strike force succeed in taking over WMF and ArbCom and sufficiently many admins, then the community can take its shit and fork off. We're not chained to our superstructure. The content, the encyclopedia this community is about, is free. No one can fence it off.
We must have a final instance, and there is no good argument for making a single person it. We're fellow travelers, not subjects and rulers. Paradoctor (talk) 21:15, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Fram: Is saying Wales "has had all his other powers (admin tools here and at Commons, checkuser/oversight, ...) already removed because he caused problems with them" (emphasis added) truthful or misleading? Sandizer (talk) 19:39, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Truthful. Fram (talk) 20:15, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
False. He asked for an explanation, found out that he was mistaken, and made the learning curve. Then people piled on him. Sad. Randy Kryn (talk) 22:12, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Truthful. Indisputably so. WaltClipper -(talk) 23:13, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would note that in the wake of the most recent dust-up he asked for his remaining privileges to be removed, except for the toothless "Founder" bit. But the context of that request was certainly that he had (once again) screwed up and was being taken to task for it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:28, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What tools did he misuse? --Jayron32 11:12, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
False. The recent episode did not involve the use of admin tools, hence he did not cause problems with [his other powers]. * Pppery * it has begun... 23:47, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A united community disagreeing with the arbitration committee isn't likely to be a problematic governance scenario. As long as there is a clear consensus, the bureaucrats and stewards will be able to respond accordingly. Even in the case of the WMF disagreeing with the community, eventually the WMF will decide how it wants to proceed (historically, it finds a different approach that enough of the community can live with), and the community will decide if it wants to leave or stay. The doomsday governance problem is both the community and the admins being split, and the admins considering the issue fundamental enough to be willing to get into a block war, or just retire en masse. Short of this, there are counterbalancing forces that will slow down disputes and allow a truce to be enacted. (In the doomsday case, mainspace editing might have to be blocked while the community selects a new set of admins.)

I think the ability to appeal decisions based on private requests or private information is a significant concern. However I feel the mechanisms that have arisen since the enactment of the arbitration policy are more suitable courses of action. isaacl (talk) 23:58, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I'm a little surprised that anyone thinks there should be any one person with this kind of power, much less for life. If Jimbo became somehow completely and permanently unavailable for this function tomorrow, would those opposing this be suggesting we need to hold an election to replace him in this capacity? Valereee (talk) 10:48, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Maybe some of us are more used to the idea than others. More seriously, I don't see it is a lot of power in practice. Not much more than an admin or crat, who are also there for life (and for many from the early days, with no more of democratic appointment process). If Jimbo ever can't or won't perform this function, I can immediately think of a few of long-term arbs emeritus who the community could probably get behind as a replacement. – Joe (talk) 13:59, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The reserve powers in the Commonwealth, though, aren't used to hear appeals of cabinet, legislative, or court decisions. isaacl (talk) 14:59, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Technically they can, which is what Joe was getting at. – John M Wolfson (talk • contribs) 15:01, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Individuals appealing to the monarch isn't an option written in the constitution, unlike the arbitration policy having an appeal path to a specific person. isaacl (talk) 15:21, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    A common action among Commonwealth members gaining political maturity is to patriate the final judicial authority and establish a supreme court rather than relying on an outside court such as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Rather than rely on outsiders with only passing knowledge of local conditions, they did it themselves. In a way, in having the community be the check on the Arbs rather than Jimbo, we're doing that, showing our increasing political maturity. Wehwalt (talk) 15:04, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, as I alluded to in my support statement, I feel more comfortable with staffed positions, so there is a replacement process in place. With just a single person, there's a higher chance of that person not being available at the time when the role is needed. isaacl (talk) 15:05, 18 May 2023
    I could get behind a "Governor General of the English Wikipedia" rather than an arbitrary historical monarch like Jimmy. – John M Wolfson (talk • contribs) 15:10, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arbitrary break[edit]

  • Reading over the discussion above, so many people have made excellent points on both sides, it's really difficult for me to figure out where I stand on this. Here's my thoughts. I mean no ill-will to Jimmy, or to arbcom, or anybody else, and apologize in advance if some of this makes it seem that way.
    • I think the recent bust-up over Jimmy's questioning of Bradv was excessive. Jimmy's approach was a bit naive and tone-deaf, perhaps even clueless. I'm guilty of all of those on occasion. Arbcom need not tread where trout are sufficient to handle the problem.
    • It's clear that we need some sort of safety against either a hypothetical future rogue arbcom, or one which just plain went down a wrong path. It was only a few years ago that there were so many inactive arbs that it was in danger of no longer being able to conduct effective deliberations. A small number of arbs could have been a majority taking us in a bad direction that a larger group might not have gone. Anytime we're in a situation where an arbcom decision needs to be overturned, we're in a bad place. So the goal here is to find the least bad path forward:
      • The community. This is the bedrock on which all else stands. But sometimes it moves too slowly. And even worse, sometimes it gets a bug up it's collective butt and goes crazy. Neither of those are good.
      • Jimmy. Perhaps out of touch with daily events, but IMHO firmly in the right place on the big issues and has the best interest of this project at heart. Still, the concept of BDFL is, as many have stated, out of place here. And, as I see Valereee mentioned just above, has a bus number of 1.
      • WP:OMBUDS. As noted by others, they seem to do a good job, but their remit is limited to a subset of what arbcom handles. I don't follow their work perhaps as closely as I should, but my take is they have plenty of street cred, which is a critical factor when wading into any kind of dicey and contentious issue. However right or policy-compliant you may be, if the community isn't willing to accept your judgement, you've lost before you even got started.
      • WMF, i.e. some combination of meta:Trust and Safety and the WMF board, and maybe other entities. I don't explicitly distrust any of those, but I recognize that the WMF's priorities don't always jive with those of the enwiki community. They very much don't have the aforementioned street cred; I suspect that if T&S ever tried to overturn an arbcom decision (no matter how bad a job arbcom did), the project would not survive.
    • So I don't know where this really leaves us. I'm tempted to say Jimmy is the least bad of the alternatives, but not yet ready to put that down in the form of a vote. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:27, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My thinking was that Jimmy is the path of least resistance, given that any proposed replacement is going to involve a whole round of new discussions and rules which, for a process that is needed but barely used, is a waste of time. Since we are already over 100 support votes above though, it seems that this has to be the next step for those of us who think that arb decisions should have some oversight. Apart from your suggestions, there are other WMF-affiliated committees that could fit the bill, such as the newly-constituted Case Review Committee or indeed the U4C, if they ever manage to get that running. Or locally, there's the crats, who we already trust to not do a lot of important things. Or one could imagine a variant of the current set-up that addresses some of concerns above: making it not just Jimmy bit a triumvirate (or whatever) of project grandees, periodically rotating or holding elections for the position, etc. – Joe (talk) 14:42, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Since when has it been normal to accept a majority vote and not read the consensus? I for one clearly see there isn't any consensus. Is this still going to pass? Nythar (💬-🍀) 16:15, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    At this point, one of the two criteria have been met, that at least 100 vote in favor. If at the close, those constitute a majority then it will pass. Wehwalt (talk) 16:19, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Is there anything inscribed in policy that allows majority votes in certain cases? Nythar (💬-🍀) 16:22, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Nythar WP:ARBPOL#Ratification and amendment -- RoySmith (talk) 16:25, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This comment is awfully telling about changing the process to change ARBPOL. The yes side has a 2-1 advantage at current count, which is a difference which has been mostly steady in the past 48 hours. Anywhere on wiki (but not RFB), that would be sufficient to say that is consensus usually, and in the unusual case the closer would get dragged to AN for a close review (even if he was right).
    That said, if you want to discuss that, there is discussion on the talk page with a link to another drafting place about changing it. Izno (talk) 16:37, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm just a bit surprised that consensus here is unnecessary. Normally, I'd have expected to see a closer leave a thorough analysis of the !votes, but for some reason this is simply a majority vote. Not sure how that's a good thing. Nythar (💬-🍀) 16:49, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don't think there are many people still around that participated in the initial development of WP:ARBPOL in 2004, I suspect the contemporary community would go with a different framework, but the only way to make that change is... wait for it... to go through this exact same process again. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:29, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've been poking through some old diffs related to this and found this comment from Jimbo after what appears to be the first attempt to use this process back in 2005: "The vote is solidly in favor of the proposal (80%+) even though only 70% was required. The goal of 100 votes was overly ambitious, probably due to the relatively high voting threshold. I'm not even sure whether or when or why a vote is necessary or valid or desirable for such things. But, since 80%+ have voted for it, and since I support it, and since these amendments do more accurately reflect our practical operations, I ratify this vote as having been completed successfully, and declare this to be a proper amendment to policy, but I don't necessarily ratify that this is the way policy amendments should be decided in the future. Maybe so, maybe not." Beeblebrox (talk) 18:45, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Under the UK's unwritten constitution, the monarch still has the power of the Royal Assent. In theory the King could refuse his assent to any legislation or acts of government that require his signature, effectively a royal veto. In practical terms, the last monarch to exercise that power was Queen Anne way back in 1708. But the authority remains and is mostly uncontroversial outside of hardcore republicans. It serves as an emergency brake in case of a constitutional crisis. No monarch would even think of using the authority absent an extreme crisis precisely because if one did not already exist, the use of the authority would certainly precipitate one and might well endanger the survival of the monarchy itself. I think it is a very good constitutional guardrail and I like the idea of something similar existing here, even if it is extremely unlikely to ever be needed. Some have asked about what should be done when the time comes where Jimbo either voluntarily surrenders his remaining rights or dies. That's a fair question, worth discussion. FWIW, I don't have a strong opinion on the matter. -Ad Orientem (talk) 13:51, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It is a guardrail, but there are other guardrails available without having an unelected god-king whose actions over the years on en.wi have proven controversial and divisive. If ArbCom goes further off the rails than usual, the community can act just as its doing now. Pass a policy amendment to end the terms of all arbitrators, declare null and void all actions taken by them in the last 30 days and call new elections. It would be a truer test of whether ArbCom still has the confidence of the community than seeing who can galvanize one person into acting, possibly precipitously. (and Jimmy Wales does sometimes leap before he looks, we all know that, he just did it, after all.) Wehwalt (talk) 13:59, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Re:"No monarch would even think of using the authority absent an extreme crisis precisely because if one did not already exist, the use of the authority would certainly precipitate one and might well endanger the survival of the monarchy itself. I think it is a very good constitutional guardrail". No, it isn't a constitutional guardrail, not even remotely. Royal Assent would never be withheld, period. And if any monarch tried it, the government would change the law to abolish it. It's of no more relevance than those old laws allowing freemen to drive their sheep over London Bridge (or whatever it is). And I suspect the law is only still on the books because American tourists think it's quaint ;-) Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 14:01, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I doubt 1 in 100 Americans have ever heard of it. -Ad Orientem (talk) 14:03, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That bit wasn't serious ;-) Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 14:04, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Royal Assent would never be withheld, period. And if any monarch tried it, the government would change the law to abolish it. As in King Charles III (play). - Donald Albury 14:16, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It's really not appropriate to compare Royal Assent here, firstly because, at least in the case of the British monarch, the powers cascade through multiple representatives (governors and governors-general) across the Commonwealth. Second, despite claims above, Royal Assent has been withheld subsequent to the early 18th Century, some examples: Victoria, Australia, "The power of royal assent was used to prevent thirteen pieces of legislation from 1856 to 1910." New Zealand, 1981 in St. Kitts. Regards, Goldsztajn (talk) 03:35, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The fact that 'royal assent' is being referred to here as if it provides any meaningful comparison; quite hilariously illustrates just how Anglophilic English Wikipedia unfortunately is Jack4576 (talk) 15:07, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was just thinking that. It's really odd and somewhat amusing how cultural differences are on full display in this ARBPPA. WaltClipper -(talk) 15:13, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh yeah, forgetting that a lot of people simply do not live in a monarchy and find the entire process of royal assent just as ridiculous. Chaotic Enby (talk) 23:38, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think a supra-majority should be needed for changes to policies. I hold that a simple majority is not enough to make the change. Debresser (talk) 17:24, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And that stance isn't influenced by the fact that you voted No and No isn't winning? SilverserenC 17:28, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whether that is or is not Debreser's motivation, it is a perfectly legitimate position to hold. What I don't think is legitimate is your assumption of bad faith. Thryduulf (talk) 18:00, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I asked a question to them about their stance, especially when they made it just after voting above. How is asking that question in relation to their immediately prior action assuming bad faith? And the majority result of how this all works was noted and discussed before this poll was even started, back when it was just in the 100 votes to even start this phase. And ARBPOL is quite clear on how this works, we're arguably even violating it by not already concluding once one side reached 100, but it does make sense to run the full 30 days before closing. Funny enough, if one wants to amend the policy to change how this system works, one would need to use this system to vote on the changes. SilverserenC 20:21, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You may have intended your comment to be read as a genuine question, but because you phrased it as a statement presuming that their stance was influenced by their being in favour of the option that "isn't winning" that is not how it reads. Also, ARBPOL is not clear on how this all works - it is very clear that proposals must receive 100 votes in support to pass, but nothing else is - as evidenced by the multiple questions and discussions about how long it should be open, what level of support is required, etc. Thryduulf (talk) 20:54, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Claiming someone's position stems from not liking a particular outcome, is quintessentially an accusation of bad faith
Jack4576 (talk) 03:47, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Silver didn't claim anything, they asked a question. WaltClipper -(talk) 14:46, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
it was a premise to their question ...... Jack4576 (talk) 02:02, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is the process by which one would amend WP:ARBPOL so that referendums of this magnitude would require a super-majority? And I guess we're talking something along the lines of 75% support? WaltClipper -(talk) 14:47, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See the final topic on the talk page for discussion and links. Wehwalt (talk) 15:13, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If this amendment proposal doesn't pass, and if Jimbo Wales dies years later, what would happen to the rule allowing Wales overturning any ArbCom decision? (hopefully, doesn't look too morbid, does it?) George Ho (talk) 21:16, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'd assume the process for appealing to Jimbo would simply be dissolved in its entirety, and we'd just continue to putter along without that safety valve. This is assuming Jimbo does not try to put forth a proposal to designate a successor. WaltClipper -(talk) 22:50, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Checks and balances are important[edit]

Checks and balances are important to limit power. ArbCom has previously pushed the scope of its authority. What if they go mad, and do it again, but worse? Who has the standing to say “Hold on, you’ve gone too far, take it back to the community?”. Moving forwards, the answer may not be Jimbo, but let’s make sure there is an answer, and that it doesn’t default to an anonymous WMF account.

Infrequency of the need to exercise checks on power is not a reason to abandon checks and balances. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:50, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This reasoning is the entire reason I support the proposal. ArbCom is not a monolith, it's a group of individuals, and those arbitrators frequently disagree and tone down or completely shut down proposals from other arbitrators that go too far. In this, ArbCom is a check against ArbCom. It perhaps shouldn't be the final check, but a lone person should not have the ability to singularly modify ArbCom decisions unchecked. That's too much authority vested in a single person, a person who is prone to mistakes (as we all are), and who is the "final word" with no check or balance in place against their own actions in kind. Arbitrators being able to check against their fellow arbitrators is more than the current wording enjoys in regards to the lack of a check or balance against this lone individual should they amend a decision single-handedly. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Discussion of a new check and balance for ArbCom might be warranted but for now the outright removal of this unchecked authority is an improvement. - Aoidh (talk) 05:41, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd say the petition and referendum is at least something of a check. The community can add in an overturning if needed. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.4% of all FPs. 05:56, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that “Remedies may be appealed to, and amended by” is too broad. I’d replace it with an RfC mechanism. SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:24, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. and it ought be mentioned; a large power of a check is not its exercise, but the fear of its exercise
The existing rule ensures that ArbCom maintains perspective and does not get carried away Jack4576 (talk) 07:52, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think a single one of the current members thinks about Jimbo when making their decisions. Every single one of us thinks about how the community will react. Izno (talk) 16:44, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1 Barkeep49 (talk) 17:04, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SmokeyJoe and Jack4576: I've made a rough proposal at User:Barkeep49/ARBPOL_amendment_sandbox. Probably easiest to have overturning an Arbcom proposal be similar to changing the rules around Arbcom. It shouldn't be an easy step. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.4% of all FPs. 16:45, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The best check on power would be a democratic recall mechanism for both the existing committee and decisions it makes. Appointing a separate individual or body doesn't increase the community's control of the process, it just adds more layers of pointless complexity and hands arbitrary power to the nth empowered individual instead of n-1th. The separation of powers was an important development in the transition from monarchy to republicanism in the English-speaking world, but it is not an improvement over more direct democratic measures that are easily at our disposal on Wikipedia. signed, Rosguill talk 17:37, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we're talking hypotheticals, one would be more wary of a rogue Jimbo than a rogue ArbCom. At least we can elect a new ArbCom, while electing a new Jimbo is impossible. Festucalextalk 21:28, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think the fear is a rogue Jimbo, just a Jimbo self-deceived through his distance from the community, doing the wrong thing in the utter conviction that he is doing right. There was a time, admittedly before I was involved in Wikipedia, when Jimbo indeed had his finger on the pulse of things. But since then, he has grown more distant and shown a tendency to act before he really knows what is going on, witness his block of Bishonen some years ago, his actions regarding Bradv more recently.
I haven't always been the biggest fan of ArbCom but I'd rather put my faith in a group of people selected by us (and, if necessary, removed by us) who are much closer to the center of things than Jimbo is today. The people cited by the opposers, the kings, or governors-general or other people who can step in and make right when the lawmakers go wrong, they spend their time being in touch with the nations that are their charge. That isn't Jimbo anymore. Jimbo isn't here. He can't give the job of appeals court to ArbCom the attention it deserves. He's got other fish to fry. Having an appeal available to Jimbo isn't a good thing to have, because he isn't going to be able to do things better than ArbCom has. Recourse can be found, not in Jimbo, but in the community, which can pass an amendment like this to terminate the terms of the Arbs and elect new ones pledged to put whatever went wrong right. That's why I think the opposers who are saying they can't support because nothing is replacing Jimbo are wrong. The community is already there. Wehwalt (talk) 22:06, 22 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • People always forget about the most effective"check and balance" to Arbcom decisions. There have been several occasions where the community has just said "yeah, yeah", and totally ignored an Arbcom ruling. (This is particularly true of any "recommendations" for reviewing content or reconsidering policies and/or guidelines.) It's more often than not that events completely outside of the ambit of Arbcom are those that result in changes in project philosophy and process. (BLPs were not a big deal until someone accused an article subject of having something to do with the assassination of a former US president. Classroom work only became a big deal when it became actively disruptive. The community changed the rules to allow any admin to indefinitely block accounts, a preserve that was once Jimbo's alone, and then was delegated to Arbcom.) Arbcom has a near-zero effect on the day-to-day operations of the project, and its major impact is in topic areas where conflict is rife in the real world, not just on Wikipedia. I say this, not only as a longtime community member, but as someone who wore the Arb hat for five years. Let's keep things in perspective. Jimbo hasn't had the level of community involvement to justify his continued "court of appeal" position for the better part of a decade. Arbcom doesn't have the level of influence on the project that Jimbo had prior to around 2010. That's because the project and the community have matured, and doesn't need a parental figure to make decisions for it. Risker (talk) 01:35, 23 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]