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From Encyclopedia Dramatica
|Description||Fake court to resolve Wikipedia edit wars|
|Stated Agenda||Sworn to uphold NPOV and the Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines.|
|Hidden Agenda||Compromise NPOV and the Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines when noone's looking. Also cocks.|
The Arbitration Committee is the Internet court and ruling body of Wikipedia. As a faux court of law, it can ban editors and alone possesses the power to court martial and castrate sysops, which it rarely does because other admins would shit pure uranium. In the tradition of other institutions of truth and justice such as the Ministry of Love and the INTERNET HATE MACHINE, it also has the newspeak nickname of ArbCom. Although they are billed as a bastion of fairness and impartiality, the ArbCom is in fact an e-reincarnation of the dreaded Committee of Public Safety as Wikipedia's Star Chamber meting out arbitrary rulings and acts in secret proceedings, with no chance to see the charges against you, and of course no appeal. The cases are accepted on whim and decided by fiat. Backs are stabbed and cocks are removed and fed to pigs.
The ArbCom also has the responsibility of assigning CheckUser and Oversight abilities to users. (CheckUser allows you to see editor's IP addresses and Oversight permanently removes edits from the server. Simply put, Oversight is censorship. Yes, Wikipedia is censored.) Unsurprisingly, these powers are only granted to the Arbitrators themselves and to their loyal minions. "Separation of powers" is a joke on Wikipedia, although dick pics are always popular.
Before going into ArbCom, it's best to prepare yourself for being in a kangaroo court. The closest real world comparison to ArbCom is traffic court, where the judge and chief witness both act as prosecutor, you are denied a lawyer, the cops lie and change their story after you give evidence of your innocence, and no matter what, those in power win and you always lose.
The current (2015) Arbcom membership is AGK, Courcelles, DeltaQuad, DGG, Dougweller, Euryalus, GorillaWarfare, Guerillero, LFaraone, NativeForeigner, Roger Davies, Salvio Giuliano, Seraphimblade, Thryduulf, and Yunshui.
How to win at ArbCom every time, guaranteed!
- Gather your wiki friends. Find also prominent Wikipedians of which you have "dirt" on them. Make it clear that you need their support on the RFAR...or else.
- Find a loyal administrator, but do not let him get involved on your RFAR! You will need him to watchlist the ArbCom case and block any "trolls", IPs, or young accounts trying to bring evidence against you. Allow, of course, them to bring evidence against your opponent, whether the evidence be true or not.
- Make it clear that you only did something minor. Whatever you did is really no big deal. It happens all the time and no one should be angry at the person who did it, especially if it was a mistake.
- Spin this case against your accuser. Point out his flaws. Ignore your own. Note his Conflict of Interest by how your actions happened months ago. He's obviously out for vengeance and has no legitimate grievance against you.
- Never say you're sorry. Make him say he's sorry. Talk calmly like a telemarketer or IT person. Eventually your opponent will say something uncivil. No need to block, but if the Arbs don't seem to notice, point it out in evidence or on the workshop. Never attack your enemy directly. Make him attack you and he will be judged as vicious by others.
- When this is over, your accuser will be angry and upset. Go to his talk page and kindly say something like "I hope we can put this drama behind us, move forward, and do what we came here to do...write an encyclopedia!" This can for now end if your opponent does nothing or archives a week or more later. But if he archives within a week, he is being uncivil! How dare he remove a "good faith" attempt at reconciliation! Unarchive the comment and make clear that is uncivil, that he does not own his talk page, and that he should be ashamed of himself and he should know better! Get one of your admin friends to block him if he persists. Remember, he is a vicious anti-you monster and he must be stopped! Encourage via IRC those weirdos that put Wikilove templates on everyone's talk page to go put one on your DICKnd let those weirdos tell him that being angry with you is uncivil and we should all be happy all the time and never be sad on WP. If he reacts negatively to this, it is like kicking a puppy and uninvolved admins will likely block him. So subjected to abuse, he will eventually lose everything.
- Thus, your accuser can either drop his grievances against you or commit WP seppuku.
That is how the Cabalists destroy their enemies via ArbCom. My super secret evidence has discovered this!
Founded in 2004 by Jimbo Wales, the ArbCom's history has been that of one debacle after another. In a move of pure genius, its procedures were designed by Jimbo's adjunct Fred Bauder, a disgraced lawyer who was disbarred for misconduct. Each case is a cruel battle for survival, with insults and accusations flying, and after maximum drama and hatred has been generated the Committee hands down a ruling completely irrelevant to anything that actually happened. Infamous examples include pardoning the abusive sockpuppeteer and cabalist favorite Mantanmoreland, despite overwhelming evidence indicating his guilt.
Unlike an actual court, where are the rules governing who can testify and submit evidence, and who talks when, in an ArbCom proceeding anyone can participate. Some people fancy that they're Alexander cutting the Gordian Knot, when in reality they're just another butcher with a knife. As a result, people with no standing in a dispute nor anything relevant to contribute, can obfuscate any issue with their uninformed opinion. Imagine the Grand Jury replaced with a panel of randomly selected MySpace users.
On the other hand, there actually is a need for some sort of attempt at dispute resolution, this just isn't the way to do it. Wikipedia is akin to an insane asylum run by the inmates, a place where all the misfits, aspies, trolls, nerds, and other detritus of the Internet are swept up and set loose on each other. Now picture trying to get these people to behave, let alone work productively with each other, and you begin to see the scale of the problem.
The ArbCom spends much its time throwing cold water —or gasoline depending on your view — at the Israel/Palestine wikiwars and other nationalist feuds, and debating wherever having the username of "Mr. Throbbing Monster Cock," is in itself a bannable offense.
Wikipedians fancy that the ArbCom is the last line of defense against trolls and other disruptive users, breathing a sigh of relief when their archenemy receives a year-long ban. The irony is that it's impossible to ban someone from the internet. They can change their ISP if you track them by IPs. If you require them to answer a phone call or receive mail, they can just rent a number/mailbox. If you use credit card for validation, they can buy a gift card. If you demand a social security number, they will just buy a stolen one. Any editor banned from Wikipedia will most likely be back within hours.
Comprised of the most corrupt administrators possible, the ArbCom has been discredited so many times that people don't even try anymore. But what else could be expected from a wiki-government of appointed cronies and anonymous furries. Just like Communist Russia, mock elections are held and candidates run, although the winners are handpicked anyways by the dictator, in this case Jimbo Wales. It is in this manner that vindictive partisans like Jayjg, who failed to break the top five in the vote, or blatant frauds like Essjay, who didn't even stand for election, receive the keys to power.
Following are sections of currently listed members on the basis of the year when they joined. It may be incomplete and not include new appointments, or those who work in association with groups such as the audit subcommittee which includes non-arbcom members.
The Audit Sub-committee (AUSC) is supposed to guard against abuse of the checkuser weapon, as well as the oversight erasure mechanism, but there is no indication it ever actually did this. It is comprised of current arbs and then some non-arbs appointed by the arbs. Have a look at the dedicated article for Arbcom AUSC. Like a laxative, it's a real release.
Ban Appeals Subcommittee
The Ban Appeals Subcommittee (BASC) more aptly referred to as the Ban Rejections Subcommittee because successful appeals are as rare as a living Tyrannosaurus Rex is comprised of the four most genuinely dumb arbitrators. Please refer to its light yet satisfying main article here: Arbcom BASC.
The ArbCom Clerks are the sycophants and lackeys that have nothing better to do than police other people's formatting on case pages. It was created as an attempt to completely ignore the fact that some weren't elected for a reason, giving the likes of Kelly Martin and Phil Sandifer the ability to rig cases. A list of clerks can be found here. The current (2015) clerks are: Becky Sayles, Callanecc, Ks0stm, Lankiveil, Lixxx235, Penwhale, Robert McClenon, Sphilbrick, Bbb23, Lord Roem, and Seddon.
Previous Arbcoms over the Years
Selected former abusive members
In addition to the following more thoroughly documented notable former members, others include: Deskana, Dominic, Fred Bauder, FT2, Jdforrester, John Vandenberg, Jpgordon, Kirill Lokshin, Mackensen, Mindspillage, Morven, Neutrality, Paul August, Sam Korn, the Epopt, UninvitedCompany, and YellowMonkey.
In the real world, Dmcdevit is a dope-smoking ne'er-do-well at Reed College. However on Wikipedia he is a a man of power and importance — yet he still talks in the dully dulcet tones of a 45-year-old hippie burnout transcendental meditation counselor — and stays true to his childhood self by scheming behind everyone's back like a fat 8th grade girl with no friends. Dmcdevit is also the sworn enemy of The Wikipedia Review, as he banned RachelBrown, Poetlister, and company, thus earning him the eternal hatred of the Review and not much else.
He was involved in one of many scandals centered around the infamous Administrators IRC Channel. It is a well known fact that the sysops that hang out in there are mean, bored, and conspire to fuck people over on the TOW admin IRC channel. Dmcdevit's reputation remained spotless until he failed to cut himself out of an arbcom case involving Irpen, and another admin said: "I saw a sitting arbitrator (User:Dmcdevit) and a few highly respected admins discussing the way to get rid of a productive user (Irpen) via a 'slow administrative process that looked like arbcom to them'." As the ArbCom is supposed to be a check on the power of administrators this was considered an A Plus development, and Dmcdevit coincidentally resigned shortly thereafter.
FT2 is infamous for his habit of vomiting out multi-paragraph TL;DR screeds in response to simple one line questions, and has especially worked on his passive voice to ensure unreadability. Before his ascendancy to the inner circle, FT2 diligently worked on articles about sex between animals and humans, safe sex between animals and humans, sadism, torture, and obscure fetishes. This was unusual as most editors wouldn't touch those articles with a pole, or at least a well-made sock puppet. That's out of the ordinary, especially taken with the fact FT2 also works on the articles about man's best friend, furries, and Watership Down. When asked the following question by a well-meaning editor, FT2 removed it as a "personal attack!" Beyond contempt.
—Edward Buckner, 08:34, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
FT2 was also responsible for the "Anvil email" sent to Poetlister, threatening to reveal his sockpuppetry to whatever civil service he works for. This was ineffective, as Poetlister still comprises half the Wikipedia community.
If you see someone on a talk page repeatedly chanting I'm right and you are wrong, there is a good chance that it's Mark Pellegrini. In the ArbCom election of 2004, Raul654 received less than half of the vote yet still awarded himself with a three year term. He then squandered those three years, wasting his time mucking it up with the hoi polloi in edit wars and bullying people over trivial matters of protocol. He was such a do-nothing arbitrator that even Fred Bauder voted against his 2007 candidacy. But don't let that deflate his ego:
—Raul654 telling war stories
As if Raul couldn't be anymore repulsive, he is also a snitch. Raul fraudulently reported Lir to his university because Lir boasted on Wikipedia Review that he was a hero for getting his entire campus banned from Wikipedia. His whiny email was of course laughed out, for universities hate it when their time is wasted by frivolous complaints from a website. As part of his never-ending vendetta against banned users, Raul has blocked over 720,896 IP addresses and hasn't stopped yet, despite this being an Internet war crime.
One of Wikipedia's main E-lawyers, for years Brad was worshiped, respected and destined for glory, that was until he decided to procreate with other bureaucrats IRL. Unfortunately for Brad, pictures were taken and lulz ensued. Brad was an Administrator and a Arbitration Committee Clerk during 2007. He acted as a mentor to the incorrigible Miltopia, yet betrayed him when Miltopia needed him most, Brad playing the part of Judas Iscariot to Jimbo's Pontius Pilate. This enabled him to appear as fair and open-minded without actually having to deliver. Brad ascended to the inner circle when he was elected to the ArbCom in the December 2007 elections where he claimed to have "20 years of experience as a litigation attorney in Manhattan". Because Wikipedians love college graduates, he was supported by over 500 comrades.
Everything was dandy in the Wiki-Kingdom during 2008 and Brad wrote innumerable wise tl;dr statements and final decisions, until one day he decided to go to a WikiMeetup where an evil Wikipedian took pictures of Newyorkbrad. The pictures fell into the hands of The Wikipedia Review mastermind Daniel Brandt who decided that Brad's fans deserved to know the truth: he is not Brad Pitt. He also stalked Newyorkbrad IRL, unveiling the fact that Newyorkbrad had "20 years of experience as a litigation attorney in Manhattan", which prompted Newyorkbrad to commit wikicide in fear of having his real life boss discovering that he spends most of his time not solving real cases...but Wikipedia cases. Thousands of broken-hearted Brad Pitt fans have left pixels and poetry in memory of the dead illusion.
An extract of an eulogy in memoriam:
—User:Animum, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
4 months later Brad was having a crappy summer so he went back to Wikipedia, as if nothing had happened. He doesn't want you to leave "Newyorkbrad's back!!!!" messages on his talk page so please do. DO IT FOR THE LULZ!!!!!111.
Plagiarism by the Arbitrators
In 2010, three Arbcom members were charged with plagiarism. On 22 February, 2010, irregularities in numerous editorial contributions of arbitrator Roger Davies was raised on the Administrators Noticeboard . The discussion was abruptly rushed into closing when arbitrator Risker (Anne M.B. Clin) wondered aloud if "someone can come up with a way of identifying the concerns and permitting him to respond without keeping a thread open for several days on this noticeboard." Wikipedia's copyright head honcho Moonriddengirl then spent a few weeks looking at Davies's contributions and decided in the end that he hadn't really plagiarised at all.
On 10 May, 2010, arbitrator Steve Smith, a law student at the University of New Brunswick, quietly posted an acknowledgment of "rampant plagiarism" on his talk page . Smith stated he "no longer had the moral authority to serve as as arbitrator, and I immediately announced my resignation to the Committee." However, he was "persuaded that this is not necessarily the case" - though he declined to identify which Arbcom members talked him out of quitting.
In both cases, the Wikipedia "community" did not agitate to have either Davies or Smith removed from Arbcom.
On October 31, 2010, arbitrator Rlevse blanked his user page and put up a "retired" tag, with an edit summary that said "you guys want it you got it". His name was removed from the list of current members of the Arbitration Committee. Rlevse retired while copyright and plagiarism concerns were being examined at an administrators' noticeboard discussion. The copyright and plagiarism concerns were about DYK articles by other editors, and after 3 days had come to extend to the day's featured article, which had been co-authored and nominated for FA by Rlevse. Not long after the article had appeared on the main page, the first concern about possible plagiarism from a USA Today article was voiced by an anonymous editor. After 3 minutes, the concern was dismissed by Rlevse, and another 7 minutes later, the IP was blocked for "block evasion". However, further investigation found that an edit by Rlevse in September had (according to a summary) No less than 8 consecutive sentences plagiarised (and in most cases obviously copied) from a passage consisting of 9 consecutive sentences in a single source, in the same order. Only a minimal amount of added information. The only source given for this passage is a website where the text did not originate. (The third concern did not seem to apply to subsequent article versions, as Rlevse had corrected the reference 27 minutes later in the following edit. In one of his last comments, 7 minutes before his retirement, Rlevse defended himself against the plagiarism concerns by stating that the "passage is marked with a ref".)
Jimbo Wales, commenting, said later on that "Even in cases where the attribution is done poorly, as long as there is attribution, there is no plagiarism – just bad style or bad writing;" an assertion possibly at odds with Wikipedia's Plagiarism guideline, which seems to consider copying and/or close paraphrasing of long source passages plagiarism, even if the source is cited.
- David Gerard
- Fred Bauder
- Kelly Martin
- Russian Wikipedia
- Sam Blacketer / David Boothroyd
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