Yes, AN / ANI is   part of the problem. The formal procedures of arb
com and the consideration by a small group of highly selected very
experienced people who devote almost their full wiki-time to it,
result after weeks or months of discussion at the most in desysop, a
one year block, and a topic ban.   The informal never-codified
procedures at AN & ANI with judgement rendered by whomever care to do
so after a moment;'s thought among   the 700 more or less active
admins, can result after a few hours  in permanent bans.  When arb com
asks for arb enforcement in an ongoing issue, they limit it typically
to blocks of one week, slowly progressing upwards. At ANI, there's no
limit. Because of this sort of problem, we long ago rejected a
community sanctions noticeboard after a brief test for the perceived
injustice of its over hasty procedure. But it seems to have crept in

We have a standard question for admin candidates, what is the
difference between a ban and a block, for which the only approved
answer is, that a ban is a block that no admin is willing to reverse.
If that were followed, it would limit the bans to the undoubted
trolls.  But it is not: a ban at present is whenver a group at ANI can
get temporary consensus to have one.  This is rough justice running

I have previous expressed some discontent  with a good deal of arb
com's work, but most of it has been when they shortcut their own
procedure--they too have been carried away by the rush to dispose of
problems quickly rather than fairly.   Even at their worst, though,
they do better than the recent verdicts by the community at ANI. We
seem to have adopted the Red Queen's Rule: whoever executes someone
first settles the case.

On Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 5:33 PM, Fred Bauder <> wrote:
> It is likely the reason he got into trouble was because he wasn't
> confident that others would back him up, so he did it himself. Which is,
> of course, the third rail. What is missing is the knowledge that
> sometimes, even if you are "right", others will not, for one reason or
> another, not back you up and you will fail. And can't do anything about
> it.
> Fred
>> Admin Rodhullandemu just retired after being blocked for blocking
>> Malleus Fautorum to win a dispute
>> For reference:
>> On and off wiki I have mentioned before that we are really bad, as a
>> project, at identifying people who have worked themselves into an
>> angry corner and feel that they must blow up and leave, and then
>> talking them down and defusing the situation.  This is in my
>> experience the typical (or at least, a major and common) exit mode of
>> longtime highly involved contributors.
>> Our existing policy and precedent really don't address this problem.
>> We have had individual admins and experienced editors spot the pattern
>> start and work to calm situations down on an individual basis, with
>> mixed results.  But typically the pattern is not really recognized
>> until it's too late.
>> Posed for consideration - This is a problem worth putting more time
>> and effort into, and which the project will benefit significantly from
>> getting right over the long term.
>> The question is - what exactly do we do about it?
>> --
>> -george william herbert
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David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.

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