Wikinews:Requests for arbitration/Brian New Zealand vs. Amgine

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Case Opened on 02:54, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Case Closed on 20:42, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Please do not edit this page directly unless you wish to become a participant in this request. (All participants are subject to Arbitration Committee decisions, and the ArbCom will consider each participant's role in the dispute.) Comments are very welcome on the Talk page, and will be read, in full. Evidence, no matter who can provide it, is very welcome at /Evidence. Evidence is more useful than comments.

Arbitrators will be working on evidence and suggesting proposed decisions at /Workshop and voting on proposed decisions at /Proposed decision.

Involved parties[edit]

User:Amgine, an administrator, has deleted dozens of user box templates, including the Babel template systems, from Wikinews without appropriate process on Deletion requests, and in violation of speedy deletion guidelines. This constitutes an abuse of administrator privileges.

Other dispute resolution steps[edit]

Statement by Brian New Zealand[edit]

First a user box is just fancy wiki coding, there really is no such thing as a 'userbox' Why is someones's opinion in a box any worse that someone's opinion as raw text?

By telling users they cannot declare themselves an Supporter of the NZ Army or This user wants to keep the queen as head of state, or even this user speeks english, and knows some chinese. I belive that this does not reinforce NPOV. How are you to know what a users POV is if you are telling them “You cant show your POV”

I belive that only articles need reflect a NPOV, and that displaying political, religious, or other beliefs, in the form of userboxes should be okay.

I ask the arbcom to block the user who went and deleted the Userboxes/Babel without taken it thought Deletion request first. For a time that they feel fit, as punishment.

Would “This user is an admin on wikinews” be deleted? also realize there are strong concerns here that may need to be remedied (start with free speech).

Statement by Amgine[edit]

User boxes are a wonderful way to express yourself. There are over 7500 user boxes on en.Wikipedia, with hundreds more being developed. Most user boxes involve categories, often custom graphics. Their primary purpose is prove the individuality of each user.

In no way do the boxes, or their use of resources, materially benefit the project.

Wikinews, and Wikipedia, have policies against users cyber squatting and using their user space as a website. The use of these spaces by users to make personal statements about themselves is merely inappropriate, but the use of categories, templates, and other namespaces should not be tolerated.

The amount of acrimony, argument, policy making (and instruction creep) which has ensued is ample example they are harmful to the community. Their use has caused wheel wars, multiple requests for comment, at least a half-dozen policy extensions or creations, and two appeals from Jimmy Wales to stop their use; it is expected a board decision regarding them will be forthcoming shortly. [1], [2], [3], [4]

For this reason, seeing an incipient development on a user's, I asked the user to remove a custom Babel template which might be considered offensive. The user pointed out another user who had userbox-like elements on the user page. After informing the other user their userbox also must be removed, I deleted all babel templates and other userboxes from the template namespace. In this I may have followed the guidelines of ignore all rules.

For the edification of the arbcom members, here are a few examples of users pages which have userboxes: User:Dragon695 User:Snickerdo User:Magicalsaumy. Please note the number of categories these users are listed in; imagine 1 000 000 users now, and growing at more than 20% per quarter compounded.

Here are "official" lists of user templates:

Wikipedia:Userboxes/Automotive Wikipedia:Userboxes/Funny Wikipedia:Userboxes/Seasonal Wikipedia:Userboxes/Emoticons Wikipedia:Userboxes/Userboxes Wikipedia:Userboxes/WikiProjects Wikipedia:Userboxes/Wikipedia Wikipedia:Userboxes/Sports Wikipedia:Userboxes/Pets Wikipedia:Userboxes/Music Wikipedia:Userboxes/Media Wikipedia:Userboxes/Mathematics Wikipedia:Userboxes/Games Wikipedia:Userboxes/Food Wikipedia:Userboxes/Computing Wikipedia:Userboxes/Colours Wikipedia:Userboxes/Books Wikipedia:Userboxes/Interests Wikipedia:Userboxes/Sexuality Wikipedia:Userboxes/Regional_Politics Wikipedia:Userboxes/Religion Wikipedia:Userboxes/Political_Parties Wikipedia:Userboxes/Beliefs Wikipedia:Userboxes/Personality Wikipedia:Userboxes/Zodiac Wikipedia:Userboxes/Health Wikipedia:Userboxes/Education Wikipedia:Userboxes/Time Wikipedia:Userboxes/Location Wikipedia:Userboxes/Life Wikipedia:Userboxes/Grammar Wikipedia:Userboxes/Programming Wikipedia:Userboxes/Non-ISO_Languages Wikipedia:Babel

Almost all these userboxes have been developed within the past 3 months. An estimate I have is this collection represents about half of the template namespace userboxes; an equal number have been created as custom template creations within user pages, and thousands more have been deleted in several purges.

Preliminary decisions[edit]

Arbitrators' opinions on accepting request[edit]

  • Accept Request Other dispute resolution seems pointless as Amgine idicates it's fruitless. Important issue. --Chiacomo (talk) 07:04, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Accept request for arbitration --Cspurrier 15:37, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
  • accept -argument on Brian New Zealand side not well formed. My bad, valid issue. -Edbrown05 04:24, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
  • accept, all possible steps to resolve have not been taken (as far as I can tell, please provide linky if have) I reread the request. Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 23:28, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Accept. If policy is to be formed, it's better to form it early-on. This is also a good case to test the ArbCom procedure. -- IlyaHaykinson 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Accept. Indeed an important issue. --Deprifry|+T+ 15:26, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Temporary injunction (none)[edit]

Final decision[edit]

All numbering based on /Proposed decision (vote counts and comments are there as well)



1) There is a defined procedure for both speedy deletions and consensus based deletions.

Passed 4/0/0/2

Assume good faith[edit]

1) Users are encouraged to assume good faith in their dealings with other editors. Additionally, users should always act in good faith.

Passed 4/0/0/2


1) Administrators of Wikinews are trusted members of the community and are expected to follow Wikinews policies.

Passed 4/0/0/2

User pages are subject to policy[edit]

1) The content of user pages is governed by the policies of Wikinews. This includes guidelines for civility such as Wikinews:Etiquette.

Passed 4/0/0/2

Findings of Fact[edit]

Amgine deleted templates out of process[edit]

1) Amgine deleted templates out of process, without support by Wikinews:Speedy deletion guidelines or Wikinews:Deletion guidelines policies.

Passed 5/0/1/0


Userbox whitelist[edit]

1) A white list of acceptable userboxes, as approved by the community, shall be created. This white list would start with localization and language identification userboxes and could later, with community support, have other userbox types added as well.
2) A definition of white list is found here

Passed 5/0/0/1

Implementation of remedies:[edit]

The community will develop a whitelist of approved userboxes with the initial priority being given to localization and language identification. Only userboxes approved by the community in the whitelisting process will be permitted. Other userboxes, as approved by the community, will be allowed. Any userbox policy adopted by the community would supercede this remedy.