Arbitration 2018

Today we look at the English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) election 2018.  6 members will be elected to serve one or two year terms as Arbitrators, a group of Wikipedians who nominally oversee the behaviour of administrators. 

Whether the candidates get one or two year terms depends on the amount of support they receive in the voting period. Only established Wikipedia editors can vote, and the voting process works as follows:

You will be given 3 options for each candidate: Support, Oppose, and Neutral. Candidates will be ranked based on S/(S+O), where S is the number of support votes they received, and O is the number of Oppose votes they received. Voting neutral is effectively an abstention from voting with respect to that candidate. The top 6 candidates on that list will receive 2 year terms, so long as they all got more than 60% of the non-neutral vote, and one year terms if they got 50-60%. Seats will remain vacant if there is an insufficient number of candidates with more supports than opposes; to date, this has not occurred. The influence your ballot has on the results of the elections is maximized when you select Support or Oppose for every candidate, and Support approximately the same number of candidates as there are vacancies.

 5 Minute guide to ArbCom Elections

The job comes with a great deal of work answering emails and making complex decisions on cases of behaviour presented by the community. Members of the committee are highly scrutinised and their personal lives meticulously researched by critics and the community. They must disclose their identity to the Wikimedia Foundation and sign a non-disclosure agreement with them.

The candidates 

Fifteen people entered the nominations which ran from 4 – 13 November 2018. Two withdrew, Patient Zero and Doug Weller. This left thirteen candidates for six positions, voting will start on 19 November 2018. The candidates are as follows;

Joe Roe




Robert McClenon



Fred Bauder






Voter guides are very popular, these guides represent the thoughts of their authors, and detail individual opinions on each candidate.


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