Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard

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Behaviour on this page: This page is for discussing announcements relating to the Arbitration Committee. Editors commenting here are required to act with appropriate decorum. While grievances, complaints, or criticism of arbitration decisions are frequently posted here, you are expected to present them without being rude or hostile. Comments that are uncivil may be removed without warning. Personal attacks against other users, including arbitrators or the clerks, will be met with sanctions.

Armenia-Azerbaijan 3: Arbitration case closed[edit]

Original announcement

Is this the first time "probation" (what reads as a suspended topic ban) been implemented? I can't remember it from my time on ArbCom, though it could have been before or after my time, and I just haven't noticed. -- Amanda (she/her) 20:55, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's an older term; you can see it in this search. Izno (talk) 21:27, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. Probation is a remedy that dates back to 2004, and can be seen as a precursor to discretionary sanctions due to how it was implemented back then. Essentially, back in '04-'07, probation allowed uninvolved admins to summarily topic-ban someone from articles they were being disruptive on.
Honestly, the fact they brought it back, albeit in a more limited form, speaks more to the issues that AE has had enforcing AA2 sanctions, considering that was the impetus for this case to begin with. The use here is very unambiguous - cause trouble, and you will be topic-banned from the AA2 area. —Jéské Couriano (No further replies will be forthcoming.) 22:31, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think in general that probation is a good idea as a "less severe" sanction immediately preceding a topic-ban, and I'm surprised that we don't use it more in the administrative space in general; although it could very well be that those open-shut cases that make it to WP:ANI are well past the point where probation would be considered, much less merited. --WaltClipper -(talk) 12:27, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Thanks goes to the arbitrators for concluding this case, and doing so in a timely fashion. I also appreciate and support the sentiment behind robust restrictions. I think, though, that one of the reasons we end up with warned users getting additional warnings instead of sanctions, is because a warning is so much less stressful to impose. Because, it seems like at least half the time, sanctioned users appeal their sanctions immediately, a process which can often be... unpleasant to the sanctioning admin. Whereas a warning forgoes all that. I don't really have a solution to this, nor am I proposing diminishing the right of appeal—but this problem of compounding warnings is far from unique to this particular topic area. The point is: warning is easy, sanctioning is hard. El_C 12:36, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    When Arbcom applies a sanction, it is usually with the caveat that it cannot be appealed for at least six months. I have also seen this done with community-imposed sanctions, so long as it is discussed and there is a consensus on that point. I don't see why a consensus of reviewing admins at AE could not do the same. There are plans to have some discussion with AE patrolling admins, this is something that should for sure be on the agenda. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:00, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There're quite a few AE sanctions I'm aware of that required appeal intervals (and at least a couple instances where one was added after relatively rapid-fire failed appeals). Nothing stops AE admins from mandating that a given sanction cannot be appealed for X number of months (usually 6). The main reason they aren't used as often, from what I've grokked, is because they're generally reserved for instances where a shorter-than-indef topic-ban didn't have the deterrent effect intended (i.e. recidivism). —Jéské Couriano (No further replies will be forthcoming.) 17:16, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    An appeal interval can be imposed by consensus at AE or AN, but very explicitly cannot cut off appeals directly to the Committee. Only the Committee could impose that sort of appeal restriction. Courcelles (talk) 18:41, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I should indeed have clarified "at AE". —Jéské Couriano (No further replies will be forthcoming.) 23:41, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Beeblebrox we authorized that very thing during the CT reform. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:37, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I have to stop saying things before I've had coffee. Beeblebrox (talk) 07:26, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    While it can be imposed at AE that would require there to be a group of admins who (1) contribute to the thread, (2) agree on a sanction, (3) someone to think of a minimum appeal timeframe, and (4) a group of admins to agree to a minimum appeal timeframe. Most AE sanctions are imposed by admins acting alone, or with input from other admins but not a formal rough consensus supporting the action. I don't have a solution for this but I think it's worth noting that it's not so easy to have happen in practice. Additional to what El C raised re appeals, there's also ADMINCOND which requires admins to justify the sanction whereever and whenever they're asked even outside an appeal. Again I don't have a solution, but this is worth considering in addition to El C's point about appeals. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:54, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and sorry for hijacking this AA3 case close announcement (I say as I continue doing so). I was unaware of the amendment Barkeep points to above, but then again winter was a bit of a haze for me (haze!), where even when I was around, I wasn't really around-around. But I do recall the issue coming up when a single admin restricted the timing of an appeal. I remember saying in response that my understanding has always been that that could only be recommended. Only ArbCom or the community could set binding restrictions on appeals.

I still don't think a single admin should have the power to set such limits, singularly, but expanding that to a quorum of uninvolved admins at AE per that amendment — that's a good thing in my view. But it might require a new approach as to what the AE board is, a discussion which is probably beyond the scope of this. But briefly: while AE might continue to serve as a venue for when a actions/evaluation by a single admin fail to materialize, decisions by a quorum of AE admins should, at least in some ways, hold more weight than those made by a single admin. I don't think that's a controversial stance, but defining those 'some ways' is the tricky part.

And then there's the flipside of the pitfalls for when appeals occur much later than the given sanction. So on the one hand, it's a bit much to have a case essentially relitigated via an appeal immediately following a closure. But on the other, it's often difficult to recall all the relevant details months or even years later. Which goes beyond ArbCom-authorized or community-authorized sanctions, extending also to normal admin actions. So whether extreme in its unpleasantness, like this thread from a few days ago on my talk page, or neutral like this one (coincidentally directly above it) — in either instance, I couldn't remember what's what all the same. So it is a double-edge sword. But I ramble, so thanks again for indulging me! El_C 08:39, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Explanatory supplement mention of first alert[edit]

In Awareness of contentious topics I read "Editors no longer need to be alerted every 12 months, as they are presumed to remain aware after their first alert." But is a discretionary sanctions alert issued more than 12 months ago, i.e. expired before the changes, a first alert and therefore no longer expired? If so, would it be clearer to say "first discretionary sanctions alert or first contentious topics alert"? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:06, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am anyway giving the new alert else for sure someone will claim that they were not made aware. Selfstudier (talk) 15:26, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I personally think that Template:alert/DS is helpful for these cases, but I can't point to a policy/procedure section explicitly justifying this use. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 16:27, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've now found footnote: "An editor who has not received an alert may also be presumed to be aware of a contentious topic if the editor: ... Ever received a discretionary sanctions alert ... for the same topic; ... Has otherwise made edits indicating an awareness of the contentious topic." So that answers my first question. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 17:25, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There was an intentional effort to not mention discretionary sanctions in the main body of WP:CTOP so I'm not so interested in making that wording tweak myself. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:33, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is not about WP:CTOP it is about "Wikipedia:Contentious topics/Comparison with discretionary sanctions", the explanatory supplement. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 00:25, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes to the functionaries team[edit]

Original announcement