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Roger Davies: Wikipedia’s Imperial Arbitrator

By Agahnim and TDA

Unlike other ‘Top Ten’ websites such as Google and Facebook, Wikipedia has no corporate hierarchy to maintain control. The well-funded Wikimedia Foundation exerts no authority over its content, instead leaving the site’s loose-knit community to govern everything. Wikipedia’s editors create and control its content through a continual series of conflicts and wars of attrition, governed by a system of inconsistent and vague policies and rules where one rule may be negated by another rule. Should these factions fail to settle their differences, then Wikipedia’s highest authority, known as the Arbitration Committee, settles disputes based on its evaluation of the parties’ conduct.

The Arbitration Committee, also known as ArbCom, is officially leaderless and its membership is changed in part every year by elections and resignations, leaving its longest-serving members with substantial influence over its operations. Its cases are decided by discussion on the Committee’s secretive mailing list and the Committee is kept

…continue reading Roger Davies: Wikipedia’s Imperial Arbitrator