English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee
The English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee or ArbCom is a kangeroo court that hears cases publicly and also has power to ban users pursuant to secretive deliberations, based on secret evidence, that are not subject to appeal to the community. When a case is heard publicly, the votes of each arbitrator are published; but when a case is heard in secret, the votes are not published, and the user is only informed of the outcome (if he receives any notice at all; sometimes the ArbCom simply opts to not respond to a banned user's inquiries).
Function of the Arbcom[edit | edit source]
In cases that are made public, the ArbCom usually decides on the basis of user behavior, such as incivility or edit warring, or the nebulous category of "battleground" behavior (which simply amounts to being "uncollaborative", ie not agreeing with the admins; ideally it would mean refusal to consider logic or evidence), and hands out either admonitions, or topic bans, or site bans. In some cases, sysops are de-adminned or resign to avoid being de-adminned. The ArbCom also has applied discretionary sanctions to large swaths of articles about contentious topics, allowing admins to unilaterally impose topic bans to address behavior they find problematic.
Notable Arbcom cases[edit | edit source]
A notable Arbcom case was a declined case about the incel article, in which a user was told to go to ANI before making more requests, and was of course banned not long afterward. Another notable ArbCom case was the GamerGate arbitration case that resulted in discretionary sanctions being applied to gender-related topics, including the Wikipedia incel article.