Hmm. Did I get it backwards? Should it be the mediator who is anonymous and the identity of the silent overseer which is made public? I'll have to think some more on this... -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 12:19, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
- Just wondering what the rationale is behind the "silent overseer"?
Well, since in the context of wikipedia we don't have experienced mediators with a demonstrable record of integrity and training (no offence to those who have both in RL), I think an extra safeguard might no go amiss. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 19:25, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
- If the mediator doesn't want to go on with the mediation or the participants don't want to go on, isn't it their prerogative to end the mediation?
This is not overridden, I need to add that. Thanks. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick
- Thus a silent overseer might not be really necessary.
The situation (rare I hope), that I envision is a "railroading" of the mediation process by the mediator, trying to force it into the mediators own conception of the dispute, or even worse, colluding with one of the disputants. Since we are basically all living in each others barracks, the mediator can not be a totally disinterested party, so having an extra (non-interfering) pair of brain-lobes should ameliorate this aberrant pre-condition to the mediation. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick
- Might such a role also intrude into the confidentiality of the mediation process and make it difficult for the participants to freely participate (if they know someone is looking over their shoulder)?
Hopefully it should only do so as regards the mediator. In that respect, it is a feature, not a bug, in fact it's rationale. Since the person would be chosen from the same pool as tha mediator proper, there should be minimal added fear of breach of confidentiality. (As a joke, let me point out that even the Catholic confession has a "third party" reviewing the process.) -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick
- Also how can a procedure remain confidential if there is a record of it that is communicated to the silent overseer? Shouldn't there be no record of a mediation so that it cannot be referenced again?
Alas the requirement of no record is unrealistic, given that we cannot meet to do the mediation in a physical location secure from surveillance. There are only gradations of confidentiality. And since the silent overseer is chosen from the same pool as the mediator, we should be able to require that he be as bound by the confidentiality as the mediator. This may not address your requirement, but since this is the best we can do in the general process, another (primarily observing only) participant doesn't compromise the process too much further, but provides a useful safeguard against mediators abusing their office. Or for that matter all participants stubbornly refusing to give up on the process, even though it is in fact going nowhere. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick
- Otherwise the structure as presented seems useful to the mediation process. It respects the confidentially of the mediation process without seeming too secretive (i.e. divulgation of the names of all involved). It would be best to keep the interactions with Jimbo to a minimum. Isn't the idea that mediation is a means by which respected members of the community can help the community to resolve it's problems without them being imposed upon the individuals involved? Alex756 12:24, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. As to the matter of interactions with Jimbo, I hope that all mediation processes should infact go smoothly, and the silent overseer mostly never need do anything other than lend legitimacy to the process by observing. Thus there indeed should not be a need to involve Jimbo frequently, or at all. And those interactions should be formal, codified, pretty much ritual in fact, like the Queen opening parliament, say. Jimbo's role would be to provide an added aspect of legitimacy by being in charge in a ritual fashion. If he does so, we should have a lessened tendency for people taking pot shots at the mediation process, and "asking Jimbo to rein in a runaway process". The symbolic "stamp of approval" Jimbo can give to the process is not entirely meaningless. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 19:25, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
- How about just letting the committee appoint a silent overseer (I like the term mentor better) for each mediator or mediator group someone would be reviewing their mediation or they could ask that mentor questions if there are problems with the mediation? If the process breaks down the mediators would know it and then they could recuse themselves and ask that the committee appoint another mediator (unless the parties were unwilling to do that). This would keep the mediation going. Only when the mediators and their mentor(s) decided that mediation had reached an impasse would then inform the parties of that fact and declare the mediation session "terminated by the mediators" rather than "terminated by the parties". The parties should always be allowed another chance at mediation if there is a reasonable expectation that they might reach an amicable conclusion. I really don't agree with the pomp and ritual aspect of having Jimbo raising or lowering his finger. It still does not seem necessary to me. The process and the people involved should give mediation its legitimacy, not any arbitrary reference to our own personal God-King. Alex756 18:09, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
- Well, not to be glib, but the framework as I have set it up, does not require Jimbo to appoint the silent overseer. It merely states that he may do so. The way it is set up, the mediator (or mediator-team; hadn't thought of that either) can certainly work "on trust". But how widely have you considered this. I didn't write this up (primarily, if at all) for the English wikipedia. There are languages where the circles are very small indeed, and requiring that they choose a team as illustrious as our "Mediation Committee" on the English Wikipedia, may well be much too much to ask. Let's not focus on the English Wikipedia too much. Jimbo already voiced a concern that on wikipedias whose language he does not understand, often the most fluent participant petitioning him carries the day. Well, it's something to think about, anyway. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 08:09, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Removed from content page:
- The mediation process is private and the mediator and disputants are expected to keep the process confidential. However, the mediator may consult with others in the "mediation committee" for guidance.
OK, we really need to start using mediation. However the above statement scuttles the whole damn thing. How in the world can anything on a wiki be private? Why in the world should it be private? At most a /mediation page should be made that can later be deleted if at least one mediation party agrees. But even that gives me an icky feeling since I think all our records should be public. --Maveric149 01:27, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)
- in truth Mav, some conflicts should be resolved publicly, but often private conversations are very helpful. The process "should" not be private imho, but it "could" be. It already was several times.
Remember that mediation, unlike arbitration, does not result in binding decisions. As such, a private discussion is fine - nobody needs to feel excluded from it, because it needn't concern them. By contrast, arbitration requires open process because it creates binding decisions that the community as a whole is expected to help enforce. For example, if arbitration results in a temporary ban, the community will help enforce that ban, which means they need to be listened to, and they need to see that justice has been done. Very different.
For example, suppose that I(MyRedDice) and Danny were to have gone to mediation over a time I inadvertantly insulted him (using as an example because it's old and resolved). So my objective is to defend my reputation, and avoid any hard feelings with Danny, and Danny's objective is to make me understand the reason for his offence, and get an apology. During the mediation, Danny explains the problem, I show that I have understood the problem, explain my actual meaning, and apologise, and Danny accepts my apology. (In practice we just chatted, but in another world we might have needed mediation).
Now, does that mediation process need to be public? Well, it could be, if we both agreed to it. On the other hand, Danny might have been happier to explain his reasons privately, if he felt they were personal. Also, if private, we have no problem with the peanut gallery putting in their two cents, which helps. All the general public really need to know is that we've come to an understanding, and consider the matter closed. It's not a back room decision, because it only directly effects us two, and we took part in the decision.
Also, we want to allow non-wiki mediation where appropriate: eg, email, IRC, telephone, face to face meetup. Whatever the participants agree on. I'd expect most mediation to initially start by email. -- MyRedDice
- thought of mentionning that irc (or telephone or face meetup) should be differenciated from wiki pages or email, because of the very short time span between 2 exchanges. Irc might make it easier to have an exchanges between 3 or 4 people, and may help solving issues very quickly. On the other hand, the speed of the exchange might be dangerous, and things said that would not have been in a slower exchange.
I beg to ask why the silent overseer must use a standard codified phrase in declaring derailments. -- Lord Emsworth 22:09, 4 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- These are the magic words that any Lord, such as Your Lordship, should recognize are necessary for the Lord to bring his vassels to their knees. As always, your humble and obedient servant... — Alex756 | [http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Alex756 talk] 21:33, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)
This is a very important project.Supposed 04:45, 27 August 2006 (UTC)