Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2023/Candidates

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2023 Arbitration Committee Elections

Status as of 21:06 (UTC), Monday, 26 February 2024 (Purge)

  • Thank you for participating in the 2023 Arbitration Committee Elections. The certified results have been posted.
  • You are invited to leave feedback on the election process.

The nomination statements of editors running in the 2023 Arbitration Committee elections appear below.

Eligibility criteria
An editor is eligible to stand as a candidate if they:
  1. have a registered account which has made at least 500 mainspace edits before 1 November 2023,
  2. are not prevented from submitting their candidacy by a block or ban,
  3. meet the Wikimedia Foundation's criteria for access to non-public personal data,
  4. are willing to sign the Foundation's non-public information confidentiality agreement,[a] and
  5. have disclosed any previous or alternate accounts in their election statement (legitimate accounts which have been declared to the Arbitration Committee before the close of nominations do not need to be publicly disclosed).
Caution about scrutiny
Candidates should be aware that they are likely to receive considerable internal and external scrutiny. External scrutiny may include attempts to investigate on- and off-wiki activities; previous candidates have had personal details revealed and unwanted contact made with employers and family. We are unable to prevent this and such risks will continue if you are successful.
Simultaneous membership on other committees
To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, current arbitrators may not serve as members of either the Ombuds Commission or the WMF Case Review Committee.
Candidate statements
Statements must:
  1. be submitted after 00:00 UTC on 12 November 2023 and until 23:59 UTC on 21 November 2023,
  2. not exceed a limit of 400 words[b] (although candidates are free to link to a longer statement if they wish),
  3. confirm that the candidate will fully comply with the criteria for access to non-public data,
  4. include a disclosure of all prior and alternate accounts or confirmation that all such accounts have been declared to the Arbitration Committee, and
  5. be created using the inputbox below, by appending your username to the existing text, clicking the button, and following the instructions.

Applications are considered complete only when properly filled out and transcluded by the deadline. Deadlines will be strictly enforced regardless of technical problems that may occur. Candidates are advised to have their application ready early.

The nomination period is now over.

Footnotes

  1. ^ From the Wikimedia Foundation's Access to nonpublic personal data policy:

    Because we believe that safeguarding the privacy of the Wikimedia community is an important Wikimedia value, those who have access to nonpublic personal data need to:

    • Be at least 18 years old (except email response team members, who must be at least 16 years old);
    • Provide contact information; and
    • Sign a confidentiality agreement.
  2. ^ The mandatory disclosure of alternate accounts and declaration of intent to comply with the WMF identification policy are exempt from the 400-word limit, although candidates are encouraged to be concise.

Standing candidates[edit]


Sdrqaz[edit]

Hi there. I'm Sdrqaz, an editor and administrator.

If elected to the Committee, I can offer:

  • An independent voice that will stand up for the right thing, even if it is unpopular.
    • As a deliberative body, the Committee needs diverse perspectives to make the best decisions.
    • I will not be obstructionist or contrarian for its sake, but will speak up to refine and strengthen the Committee – I will take others' opinions into account, working with my colleagues and the Community.
    • I have consistently shown this through my votes at requests for adminship, as well as my willingness to decline requests when they are out of policy, even when they come from highly-experienced users.
  • A belief that all administrators hold position of responsibility and trust – it is their (and my) duty to the Community to be accountable.
  • Nuanced thinking: very few things are black-and-white.
    • I will not be a hanging judge – every editor is human too and can make mistakes. What matters is how they respond to feedback and scrutiny – do they listen and improve, or do they scold the person that was brave enough to call them out?

If I fail to keep these promises, please tell me. Part of being a Wikipedian is the need to always listen and learn: that did not change after I became an administrator and will not change if I am elected.

An overview of my content work (such as shadow docket) and administrative work is on my user page. I look forward to listening to the Community and welcome your questions.

Sdrqaz (talk) 03:10, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Pursuant to the requirements, I have signed the confidentiality agreement and have only edited with this account and an alternative account for public devices. In addition, I have an unused Doppelgänger account.

HJ Mitchell[edit]

Hello, I'm Harry. I'm in a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, serving on ArbCom would mean taking a step back from the front-line admin work I enjoy and find rewarding, and instead focus on more abstract and internal-facing matters. On the other, SilkTork's resignation statement, encouraging people with a variety of experiences to put themselves forward, struck a chord and I began thinking that perhaps this is something I could be good at. There have also been calls for more arbitrators with article-writing experience and I have 39 featured articles to my name on a variety of subjects, some of them potentially controversial. Sitting on ArbCom is one of the few things I've never done in nearly 15 years as a Wikipedian and certainly brings a different intellectual challenge, which could be rewarding in a different way.

I'm familiar with much of ArbCom's work. I've been an administrator since 2010 and an oversighter since 2015. I've been one of our most active oversighters, I've participated in discussions on the functionaries' mailing list, and (although some years ago) I've participated in a handful of arbitration cases. I've also been involved with arbitration enforcement on and off for much of the time I've been an admin, so I have experience of evaluating patterns of edits and making sometimes difficult decisions. Not all my decisions are perfect, and I've always been open to discussion among admins on the best way to proceed. In real life, I'm a manager; although not entirely analogous, I do have training and experience in confidentiality and handling conduct issues in the workplace which is applicable to some of what ArbCom does.

I've been generally pleased with the direction ArbCom has been moving in in recent years. It has tried to become less bureaucratic, do more of its business in public, and devolve some of its non-core responsibilities to the Foundation or to the community. I would seek to continue this process; in particular, I would like to see most ban appeals turned over to the community except where the reason cannot be made public. Ultimately, my Wikipedia activity has always been focused on writing the encyclopaedia and defending it from people who would do it harm (maliciously or otherwise). That is what I would hope to continue to do as an arbitrator. And just to make four hundred words exactly, that's all folks!

Disclosures:alt accounts; I am over 18; as an oversighter I comply with all requirements for access to non-public information and have signed the NDA; I'm not a member of any other committees.

Wugapodes[edit]

Hello, I'm Wugapodes, and am seeking a second term as a member of the arbitration committee. Rather than repeat my 2021 nomination statement I want to use this space to lay out some projects I hope to accomplish should I receive another term.

  1. Email is a major part of the Committee's work, but handling poorly formatted block appeals or inappropriately addressed correspondence is time not spent on the merits of issues. To streamline our workflow, I had been working to set up the contact page extension to provide more detailed contact forms than the EmailUser interface allows. Due to committee business and personal obligations in the last few months, development stalled so I hope to pick it back up in the coming term.
  2. The (re-)establishment of a subcommittee to handle ban and block appeals. There is often one or two arbs who carry the burden of wrangling arbitrators for appeals, and even then the committee has made increased use of "downgrade" votes which punts the work to the community. Feedback on this point from other arbitrators has cautioned against a repeat of the ill-fated ban appeals sub-committee. With that in mind, I imagine a subcommittee with set membership chaired by the handful of arbs who coordinate our appeals work, and comprising community members appointed to vote on appeals received by the committee. This increases community participation, relieves some of the workload from the committee through delegation, and hopefully leads to more a more streamlined process.
  3. A personal goal: I want to preserve some time for content writing. I originally did not intend to stand for re-election because the workload kept me from other kinds of contributions that I enjoyed. One of my goals if elected is to strike a better balance between my Committee work and the kinds of work I wrote about in my 2021 nomination statement. I've recently been eyeing up the Low Back Merger Shift article which recently changed scope and finally getting Phonetics through GA or FA.

I'm over 18. I have signed the NDA. See my list of other accounts.

ToBeFree[edit]

Hi, I'm ToBeFree – Tobias Be. Frei, born in 1996, currently a Linux systems administrator at a small German datacenter.

I've been an administrator for the English Wikipedia's community for exactly 4 years now, and a clerk for the Arbitration Committee for about 1 year if my traineeship is included (1, 2). During this time, I have processed thousands of noticeboard requests mostly at WP:AIV, helped updating {{discretionary sanctions}} to {{contentious topics}}, and clerked WP:HJP as well as WP:AA3.

Working with the Arbitration Committee so far has been:

  • surprising, as I hadn't considered becoming a clerk before being invited to;
  • bureaucratic, about as expected and usually in a positive way;
  • cordial, as you've evidently made good choices in the previous elections.

Speaking of elections, I'd love to become part of the Committee if you allow me to. 🙂

Z1720[edit]

I have been actively editing Wikipedia since 2020, and humbled when I was promoted to adminship without opposition. Since getting the tools, I have used them to promote preps at DYK, process unblock requests, evaluate WP:AE postings, completing RD1 redactions, and addressing WP:ERRORS concerns. I am most proud of my work at WP:TFA and WP:URFA/2020, where I evaluate older featured articles to determine if they are still ready for the main page. I also have three featured articles, conducted numerous WP:FAC reviews, and worked with editors to improve articles at FAR. At the 2023 Wikiconference North America I presented a talk on URFA/2020 and FAR.

If chosen for ArbCom, I would bring a mix of content experience and skills from evaluating editor conduct. When considering sanctions, my first question would be, "What is the best way to end disruption so that the most amount of editors can add high-quality content?" Time is the only resource that editors cannot get back: editors fighting over content, reverting each other, or constantly removing poorly sourced or unsourced material are not able to use their time to build high-quality articles. I believe ArbCom is here to figure out how to end long-term, complicated disruptions that are too complex for Wikipedia’s current consensus model to solve.

I am posting this candidacy near the beginning of the nomination period because I want the community to have additional time to consider my strengths and weaknesses. I hope editors give feedback throughout this process and, if successful, continue to send feedback so that I can improve my skills and address concerns. I want to be a responsive Arbitrator who is transparent about why and how I made my decisions; I will describe these reasons on-wiki in detail when appropriate.

I am over the age of 18. I have signed the Access to Nonpublic Personal Data Policy and will post a diff link to the confirmation when it is posted by the WMF here's the diff. I have only edited Wikipedia with this account and I do not recall an instance where I edited Wikipedia as an IP.

I look forward to answering your questions when that period opens up.

Maxim[edit]

I'm Maxim, and I'm running for a third term on ArbCom, having previously served from 2020 to 2022. I am also an administrator and bureaucrat, having served 16 years and 12 years, respectively, in those roles. When I was an arbitrator, I focused most heavily on the behind-the-scenes work. Most significantly, I was involved with appeals and general email/issue management. Additionally, I worked on functionary-related matters, including appointments, inactivity audits, and investigating allegations of misuse of functionary tools.
I'm running again to resume the work I had done during my previous two terms. While I myself have highlighted the need for more arbitrators willing to do behind-the-scenes work, it seems to be a common theme in recent arbitrator experience essays. Another strength I would bring is expertise with the CheckUser tool, which is indispensable to a lot of ArbCom work, including appeals, functionary management, and certain complex investigations undertaken specifically by ArbCom. While this sort of work can definitely get exhausting, it is equally rewarding, especially when looking back at the three years I had served, because of the variety of complex issues that ArbCom ends up handling that have no other place to go, in addition to the more-obvious dispute resolution done on-wiki. Now having not been on ArbCom for almost a year, I feel ready, willing, and able to contribute as an arbitrator again.
I am compliant with the Foundation's policies on access to non-public information. My sock-drawer is declared to ArbCom and includes User:Maximr, User:Maxim's JS test account and a few others in my user creation log. Maxim (talk) 16:36, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aoidh[edit]

My name is Aoidh (pronounced //) and I don't mind if you mispronounce that name, it comes with the territory. I created my Wikipedia account in 2009 and have been actively editing the English Wikipedia since 2011 (though I was not as active in 2017-2020). I had an RfA and became an administrator in March 2023. I understand and acknowledge that I have not been an admin for very long, but I think that would be beneficial to ArbCom as it would bring a fresh mindset to the Committee, and I have experience handling requests for dispute resolution on Wikipedia (example).
If elected to ArbCom, I intend to serve with the mindset that one can evaluate a situation with empathy, but still act decisively when a tough decision must be made. Though as of this year I am no longer in that role, I have years of experience as a claims adjuster in taking that approach and also in the evaluation of evidence and the handling of highly sensitive nonpublic personally identifiable information (PII). My adjuster's license also involved regular continuing education classes regarding the proper handling of PII as well as how to evaluate sensitive information in an ethical way.
I also think it is important to explain oneself (which shows in my AfD comments for example, though sometimes they end up a bit wordier than intended) but also to be willing to change one's mind based on new information. As an adjuster I tried to avoid using boilerplate language but to take the time to explain why a decision was made, and that would be something that I would carry over into ArbCom. Doing that not only helps the individual(s) understand the reasoning for the decision, but also shows that it was properly evaluated and not just dismissed out of hand.
Disclosures: I have an alternate account User:Aoidh (Away) that I have for devices that leave my home (phone/laptop) and I originally edited under the name User:SudoGhost until I changed to User:Aoidh in 2013. After the name change I accidently made a single edit under that name since renames were not global at that time and it logged me in as my old username when switching from Commons.
I meet the criteria of the Wikimedia Foundation Access to Nonpublic Personal Data Policy and will sign the confidentiality agreement.

Robert McClenon[edit]

I am Robert McClenon, and I am submitting my name as a candidate for ArbCom. My activity in Wikipedia includes ten years at the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard, both as a mediator in content disputes, sometimes simple and sometimes complex, and by assessing and screening dispute filings to see which ones are suitable for moderated discussion.

ArbCom should avoid either hearing too many cases, in which case the arbitrators do not have time to consider each case with adequate deliberation, or hearing too few cases, so that conduct issues concerning editors or topic areas continue to trouble or divide the community. It is my opinion that ArbCom can and should hear somewhat more cases than it currently does, and in particular that ArbCom should accept cases that are referred to it by the community from WP:ANI, and ArbCom should let it be known that it will accept such cases. Occasionally a dispute at WP:ANI that involves both conduct and content becomes a great monster with tentacles. The community should have the option of referring the matter to ArbCom rather than finding an admin or panel of admins to try to extract consensus from a monster. This does not mean that ArbCom should go looking for trouble, but that ArbCom should let it be known that the community can bring their trouble to ArbCom.

The English Wikipedia ArbCom, the English Wikipedia community, and English Wikipedia admins are responsible for enforcing the Universal Code of Conduct, and ArbCom should establish that we enforce the UCOC, because otherwise either the WMF's Trust and Safety, which is unaccountable and inscrutable, or the WMF's emerging ArbCom, will intervene to enforce them on us.

I will be publishing some of the thoughts on ArbCom as this election progresses in this essay: User:Robert McClenon/ArbCom Thoughts.

I have never edited Wikipedia for pay or been paid to advise users how to edit Wikipedia, and will never edit Wikipedia for pay. I have signed the agreement for access to sensitive data. I have two alternate accounts, User:McClenon Test and User:McClenon mobile.


Firefly[edit]

Hello! I'm Firefly, and I'm volunteering to serve as an Arbitrator. If elected, I would bring two main things to the Committee: my experience as a Checkuser combatting complex abuse; and a pragmatic, problem-solving attitude to business.

Who I am

I have been editing on-and-off since 2005, but became consistently active in early 2021. I passed RfA in March 2022, and was appointed as a Checkuser in October 2022. I have been an ArbCom clerk since August 2021, and therefore have familiarity with the on-wiki administrative aspects of ArbCom. I have written a handful of Good Articles on various subjects - these are linked from my user page if you are curious.

What I believe

Volunteer time is Wikipedia's most precious resource - and one that we risk running out of. It is for that reason that I spend the majority of my time here dealing with abuse - from long-term abusers to UPE operations who wish to unfairly skew our coverage of certain topics toward the point of view of whoever pays them. The Committee does a lot of solid anti-abuse work, and I believe both my technical experience as a Checkuser and my wider knowledge of how abusers operate would be useful.

I am a pragmatist - I believe that every problem has a solution, and that calm, rational discussion is the best way to reach them. It is important for final-decision-making bodies such as ArbCom to act with compassion and fairness, taking into account that we are all human; but also decisively, in order to prevent conduct issues from becoming corrosive to trust in an area, thereby depleting that volunteer-time resource.

What I would look to improve

By and large ArbCom carries out its often thankless task effectively. Any process can be improved however, and if elected I would advocate for the following:

  • Tweaks to the block appeals process: perhaps involving the delegation of Checkuser block appeals to the wider group of Checkusers; and more transparency on rationales for granting appeals, within the boundaries of the Privacy Policy.
  • Improvements to the workflow tools used by the Committee - I understand these are cumbersome and can lead to increased administrative burden.
Disclosures

I am over the age of 18 and have already signed the ANPDP. I have had two previous usernames (old username of current account, old separate account), and operate two bots (FireflyBot, and FireflyBot II) - all of which are also listed on my user page.

Cabayi[edit]

Hi! I'm Cabayi. I have 15 years experience on wiki, 31 months as an SPI clerk, 3 years as an admin & as a WP:VRT agent, 3 years as a global renamer, & a first term Arbitrator with the 26 months as a CU/OS that comes with that.

Last time around my strongest opinion on Arbcom was for the need for a strong, active and vibrant Arbcom to ensure the community remains in control of its own affairs and to keep the Foundation's tanks off our lawn. Two years of having interacted productively with T&S more closely have reassured me that T&S "get it"

Like 2021, my most defining trait would be a low tolerance for behaviour which wastes volunteer time & detracts from the work of building an encyclopedia. I have developed a dislike for WP:DENY - blocked users will appeal their blocks, and they need to appeal at the right forum. ArbCom could shed a fair proportion of the workload if ALL blocked users were properly notified of their block, instead of 15 arbitrators needing to take a look and bounce the appeal to the proper place.

Again, my !votes will not be for or against users but for whatever is good for Wikipedia and to reassure users that the tools are being used within policy

In the coming term I anticipate that we will need to consider how enwiki policy may be impacted by the introduction of UCoC, and whether enwiki policy fully implements it.

Declaration: All my previous accounts are declared on my user page. I've signed the confidentiality agreement.

As was the case at ACE2021 my concern is that the job is done, not that I must be the person chosen to do it. I'm willing to put in the time and effort, but so are my colleagues and the first-time candidates. In that spirit I offer myself again for your consideration for another spin on Wikipedia's honeywagon. Cabayi (talk) 14:03, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]