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A request for arbitration is the last step of dispute resolution for conduct disputes on Wikipedia. The Arbitration Committee considers requests to open new cases and review previous decisions. The entire process is governed by the arbitration policy. For information about requesting arbitration, and how cases are accepted and dealt with, please see guide to arbitration.

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Tea Party movement

Initiated byArthur Rubin (talk) at 23:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Case affected 
Tea Party movement arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Remedy 8.1
List of users affected by or involved in this amendment
Confirmation that the above users are aware of this request


Information about amendment request

Statement by your Arthur Rubin

It has been 7 months since my last reported violation of the topic ban, although this may be a technical violation, which is part of the reason for my request. Per a previous clarification, I'm allowed to revert banned editors at TPm pages, but I'm not allowed to talk about it. I was going to make an arguably gnomish edit on Citizen Koch (combining 3 references which all support the same statement into one), and, today, I discovered a MonkBot error on Tea Party movement which I technically cannot fix without violating the topic ban. I'm willing to abide by a 1RR per area of an article if it helps your decision, but I would prefer not to be bound by that in an active discussion. If I'm the second and fourth in A → B → A'b → B → B'A', I have made 2 reverts, but I'm actively working on the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 23:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

@Roger Davies. I don't see how you could reach that conclusion. I admit that I consider the IP's edit on Citizen Koch, restored by a real editor, absurd. But I wasn't planning to actually revert it. Consolidating 3 references (including the one added by the banned IP) into one isn't reverting the addition. And I was planning to revert a bot on Tea Party movement. My further discussion on a potential edit war was hypothetical, but in that particular configuration, I would be trying to improve the article, while the opponent would be attempting to revert to the present state. However, I would agree to a 1RR limitation if the committee feels it necessary. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:38, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, I didn't mean to imply that I would be edit warring; I would prefer to be able to try variations, which would technically be "reverts", as it would probably be changing the wording (which I don't like, or find objectionable, or in violation of Wikipedia policies (but not BLP)) to something more like what was there previously, but it would never be exactly a revert. I'm willing to abide by 1RR per section or 0*RR (never revert reversions of my edits; 0RR is problematic, because of the expansive definition of "revert") if you feel it necessary. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:05, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Collect

Arthur was swept up in the prior case for fairly minor sins, and the "time served" argument which is rarely pertinent actually does apply here as he has "noted" - especially where a result occurs which makes no reasonable sense to any outside observer. Collect (talk) 15:12, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved A Quest for Knowledge

The Committee based its findings of edit-warring on the following 4 diffs:

Yep, that's right. Four reverts over the course of 5 months. Had this occurred in a 24 hour period, then sure, yes, this would be edit-warring and would warrant a 24 hour block. But it didn't happen over 24 hours. This is 5 months of editing. We don't topic ban for 4 reverts over 24 hours nor should we topic ban for 4 reverts over 5 months. If we topic-banned every editor who was at 4RR over a 5 month period, there would be scant editors to edit.

Nevermind the fact that many editors consider WP:BRD to be a best practice.

Face it, the Committee f***ed up and f***ed up royally. Not only should this request be granted, the Committee should apologize for such a ridiculous, absurd ruling. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:59, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {other user}

{Other editors are free to comment on this amendment as necessary. Comments here should be directed only at the above proposed amendment.}

Statement by {yet another user}

Clerk notes

This section is for administrative notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Thinking about the request, but in the meantime I'll just say this is the first time I've seen an edit-war described in sonata form notation. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Unless I'm missing something, this does not seem to be such a good idea. Just to clarify ... the request is about restoring access to someone who has been topic-banned for edit-editing so that they may return to edit-war. No?  Roger Davies talk 08:30, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Arthur Rubin I was just taking at face value what you'd written: "I'm willing to abide by a 1RR per area of an article if it helps your decision, but I would prefer not to be bound by that in an active discussion". Can you clarify what this means please?  Roger Davies talk 08:12, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Arthur Rubin Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps you should familiarise yourself with the Edit warring policy as from you've just said you probably won't be sticking to 1RR at all,  Roger Davies talk 10:14, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd be willing to downgrade Arthur's sanction to an indefinite 1-rr coupled with the standard one-year keep-your-nose-clean topic ban suspension. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:32, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Although I sympathise with Arthur Rubin's frustration that the Tea Party movement articles require further work, I think an insufficient amount of time has passed since the original case for it to be in the interests of the project to reduce or remove the sanctions adopted a year ago. I would therefore decline this request, with absolutely no prejudice to considering it again in the future. AGK [•] 23:12, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Amendment request: Infoboxes

Initiated by Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits at 12:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Case affected 
Infoboxes arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. "Pigsonthewing is indefinitely banned from adding, or discussing the addition or removal of, infoboxes."
List of users affected by or involved in this amendment
Confirmation that the above users are aware of this request
  • n/a
Information about amendment request

I request a relaxation of the above restriction, so that I can include an infobox in each of a limited, specific, set of new articles, as described below.

Statement by Andy Mabbett

My GLAM collaboration work with the BBC is well-known and has resulted in much positive publicity for Wikipedia, and the creation and donation of valuable content, including the first-ever broadcast material released by the BBC under open licence (281 files uploaded, so far, of a planned 1,000). As part of this project, I plan, over the next few weeks, to create articles for many of the 160 (approx) red links for notable people in the sub pages of List of Desert Island Discs episodes (a BBC show). I wish to include an infobox in each of these.

Should anyone remove one of the infoboxes, I will neither restore nor discuss it (unless asked a question directly).

I invite suggestions as to how to deal with the unlikely case of someone stalking my edits to remove the infoboxes en mass; or to pre-emptively mass-create the articles described. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits at 12:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

@Worm That Turned: You mean "last week's infobox upsets" in which I was found not only to have done nothing wrong, but to have been relentlessly stalked by another editor? This request - made over a year after the original case opened - has been in hand for a while before last week (as RexxS, with whom I discussed a draft will confirm), and is timed to coincide with a long-planned mass-creation of articles. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:15, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

@Worm That Turned: Well, you yourself said "Seems pretty clear that there was an infobox there. Just because it didn't use the infobox template doesn't mean it wasn't an infobox." (you'll recall that the issue hinged on a false accusation that I had inserted an infobox where none had exited previously); and the request for enforcement was closed as "No action taken; no violation.". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:25, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Ritchie333

I'm a complete outsider to all of this, but the creation of these articles is a positive thing for the project. I think this request is a little premature - I would focus on making sure those articles are well written, broad in coverage and factually accurate above and beyond any forms of presentation. If you have already created a large (say, over 100) corpus of new articles, and you can't find anyone else who wants to put an infobox in, that would be the time to consider this. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 15:43, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Sitush

No, just no. You've recently tested the margins regarding infoboxes and (rightly) got away with it. This is an attempt to extend those margins too far. You have a strong view regarding infoboxes that is not necessarily shared by others and allowing your proposal will almost inevitably result in another edit war spanning multiple articles even if you do not war yourself. You're are asking for permission to fire the first shot and, because you are seen as something of a standard-bearer for the pro-infobox faction, this request is likely to be the start of something nasty. If anyone else chooses to add infoboxes to your new articles and take the risk by association that goes with their action then more fool them, but there is no deadline and they are entitled to try.

PotW, like it or not, anything involving infoboxes and you is akin to a honeypot. I'd strongly advise that you do not even string the letters together for the foreseeable future, anywhere on-wiki. There is much other stuff that you can do and it seems that you are doing it. - Sitush (talk) 09:14, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Gerda

Did you know that the so-called infobox war was over in 2012? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:09, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {yet another user}

Clerk notes

This section is for administrative notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • It's a "definitely not" from me. Aside from being almost banned over the infobox dispute, you were recently testing the borders of your restriction; so, as far as I'm concerned this request is much too soon. Salvio Let's talk about it! 15:54, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I more or less agree with Salvio. I was not on the committee during the original case, but I know it has been an incredible time sink and that there was good reason for the topic ban put in place. Also the request as framed seems to be putting the cart rather far in front of the horse. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:17, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Definitely not for now from me too, for the reasons articulated above,  Roger Davies talk 09:27, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I am afraid it is a no from me too. Decline. AGK [•] 23:12, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Decline. GorillaWarfare (talk) 02:56, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • We've already got more than enough trouble surrounding infoboxes. I can't support risking more at this time. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:26, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Given last week's infobox upsets, this is pretty dire timing Andy. I have to agree with my colleagues, that a relaxation should not be happening at this time. WormTT(talk) 08:12, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
    Andy, I wouldn't agree that you'd been found to have done "nothing wrong". The edit was in the grey area, otherwise there would not have been discussion of it. Yes, the committee agreed that you had not violated your restriction - but "nothing wrong" is a step beyond. I don't see that you needed to make this request now, before the dust settled, it was inherently poor timing. WormTT(talk) 12:56, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Clarification request: Pseudoscience

Initiated by jps (talk) at 15:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Pseudoscience arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Link to relevant decision

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request:

Statement by jps

I have never liked the fact that ArbCom included content rulings in WP:ARBPSCI, but we have, in the past, simply let this slide as it never seemed to be problematic. However, now it does seem to be problematic in a conversation I'm having about a proposed name-chase for a list: [1], [2].

I respect John Carter's position, and I think he has a point with regards to how Wikipedia tends to enforce jurisprudence in practice, but I also think I have a point that ArbCom is not supposed to make content decisions. There is no other way, in my opinion, that these principles can be interpreted except as content decisions.

The easiest thing would be for ArbCom to vacate the offending Principles as outside of ArbCom remit. Alternatively, a statement that these principles should not be used to trump discussion about content could be done.

jps (talk) 15:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Note that there is precedence for changing this part of the ruling: Wikipedia:ARBPSCI#Modified_by_motion. jps (talk) 18:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

@User:Newyorkbrad: Glad you think so. Now, whenever I see comments like this, should I just refer them to your talkpage and you can hash it out with them? jps (talk) 03:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Thought not. So.... can we just remove those principles then? jps (talk) 23:38, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by John Carter

This rather dovetails with recent discussion at Talk:Intelligent design, which I asked @Adjwilley: to review and summarize. He summarized it in the following table

When an article's subject is generally considered to be pseudoscience in reliable sources... Example 1 Example 2
Must the word pseudoscience be used in describing the article's subject, or are alternate wordings acceptable? "<Subject> is pseudoscience" "<Subject> is rejected by mainstream scientists"
If the label pseudoscience is used, how prominent should it be? Does it need to be in the first sentence of the Lead, or should the first sentence be a general definition of the subject? "<Subject> is a pseudoscientific idea that <definition of subject>." "<Subject> is <definition of subject>...<Subject> is regarded as pseudoscience by mainstream scholars."
Should the assertion that a subject is pseudoscience be attributed, or can it be stated in Wikipedia's voice? "<Subject> is pseudoscience." "<Subject> is considered pseudoscience by a majority of scholars."

He went on to say, “I think the clause that needs clarification would be: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience#Generally_considered_pseudoscience. In my opinion, some good questions to ask the committee would be:

These suggestions were made here. As can be seen in the recent request for clarification regarding chiropractic, I personally have had no reservations about wikipedia using the word, and it was only after a comment by NYB that I saw "pseud-" words are specifically included in WP:WTW. I do believe it would be very useful for this to be addressed. Also, with the possibly annoying (to you arbs anyway) regularity that this particular decision gets brought up here and elsewhere, maybe it might be useful to ask for some guidelines specific to pseudoscience be prepared.

Other points perhaps worth addressing are how to, if at all, differentiate between philosophical hypotheses and the generally woo theories based on them, and maybe specific indications as to how this might be relevant to the social sciences. John Carter (talk) 16:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Re iantresman's comments below, Wikipedia:WikiProject Skepticism/Encyclopedic articles lists the articles and named subarticles in the encycopedic parts of two encyclopedias of pseudoscience. John Carter (talk) 17:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

@NYB and arbs: should the questions of the use of the word "pseudoscience" in the title and lead as per WP:WTW and other matters be raised separately, or are the existing two current requests regarding that single decision here perhaps enough page area regarding that decision? Both matters seem to me anyway to relate to the unmodified use of the word pseudoscience itself. John Carter (talk) 20:56, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Regarding some of the comments below by others, while clarification of the existing policies and guidelines is basically what is being sought here, I do not see that even the recent change either directly addresses the matter of the relative prominence of such a potentially perjorative word to all other forms of description. Also, with all due respect, there is a serious question whether such a rapidly made change to far-reaching guidelines with such short consultation will stand. This is beyond the fact that the change was obviously made to "save" the use of a word several people, including recently one arbitrator, have at least implicity acknowledged as being a cause for reasonable concern. The questions of when, where, and how such "loaded" words should be used, when less emotive words are preferable, and the relative prominence or weight to give them, have so far as I can see not yet been addressed. And those are the concerns which are at the heart of the ID matter raised here. John Carter (talk) 14:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

@Arbs: I think one question which perhaps is in some way actionable here is Adjwilley's question "Does Intelligent design fall into the category of Obvious pseudoscience (obviously bogus) or Generally considered pseudoscience (theories that have a following but generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community, like Astrology)?”" If as is perhaps understandable ArbCom believes they should not be the ones to determine this perhaps they could request community input in clarifying guidelines in this matter. I would think such a clarification or revision might merit such a request of the community. John Carter (talk) 18:56, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by iantresman

The problem as I see it, is as follows:

  1. Because of the Demarcation problem, there is no "obvious" pseudoscience.
  2. Yet Wikipedia gives the impression that there are gifted editors who are able to make this judgement using WP:SYNTH and a handful of often dubious sources (rarely peer reviewed).
  3. Wikipedia sets a high bar for contentious material, requiring several SECONDARY sources. Yet we readily label subjects as "Pseudophysics", and even as "fringe", when there are ZERO sources that may describe a subject as such, contrary to the requirement that the "Categorization of articles must be verifiable"
  4. Even where we have additional sources, eg. Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, editors cherry pick those subjects to fit their own agendas[3], and exclude subjects that are "inconvenient".
  5. In reality, in the outside world, individuals have their own opinions and reasons why they consider a subject to be pseudoscience. In general, mainstream science does not, and leaves the matter to the philosophers of science.
  6. Statements such as "<Subject> is considered pseudoscience by a majority of scholars" is untestable, unverifiable nonsense, pretending to be science. Where have we heard that description before?
  7. For the record, I have no problems attributing a description of a subject as pseudoscience, but consider the general label to be wholly inappropriate as it generally fails WP:V and WP:RS.

--Iantresman (talk) 16:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

  • @John Carter. Thanks, I don't recall seeing that page and list before. --Iantresman (talk) 18:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Second Quantization. I have no problem with classic examples of pseudoscience, such as astrology, where there are books and a preponderance of quality secondary sources. My issue with the more modern examples, where editors take a handful of primary sources, often from personal blogs, and judge for themselves (ie. WP:SYNTH) that they feel that a subject meets certain criteria, and that the editors decide that this means that a subject is considered pseudoscience. And then based on a dearth of sources, they write that "mainstream science considers...", or "the majority of academics consider..." where no such consensus is verified in reliable sources. Hence we should not be claiming that a list of subjects are considered pseudoscience, just because you and I may think that a subject meets some vague and subjective criteria. Encyclopedia Britannica doesn't do it, and no science dictionaries do it. That Wikipedia does it uniquely, raises red flags. --Iantresman (talk) 20:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @dave souza. Thanks for that. This seems that Arbcom have made an extraordinary content decision: that despite the Demarcation problem, gifted editors can somehow clearly identify articles as "Obvious" or "Generally considered" pseudoscience .. "without more justification". Does this imply that uniquely, and contrary to Wikipedia core policies, editors do not need to meet the exacting standards of WP:V and WP:RS, when such contentiousness suggests that we should be using WP:V and WP:RS far more carefully? The Demarcation problem is a philosophy of science issue, not an excuse to subjectively label subjects under the guise of science. --Iantresman (talk) 11:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @dave souza. Yes I'm well aware of WP:ARB/PS (I started the case), and its "Appropriate sources". But the principles "Obvious pseudoscience", and "Generally considered pseudoscience", and "Questionable science", all seem to blur their requirements for WP:V / WP:RS, and how also how editors word their findings. eg. Articles which sources suggest would be "Questionable science" at best, and according to the description "generally should not be so characterized", are actually described as if mainstream science as described them as pseudoscience. This has been going on since I started with Wikipedia, and the reason I brought the original WP:ARB/PS case. --Iantresman (talk) 15:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @jytdog. I oppose your amendment to deal with the term "pseudoscience", because (a) of the demarcation problem (b) there is no general agreement of the term "pseudoscience" (c) there is no general agreement on the reliability of sourcs (d) science itself does not label topics in this way (e) it is, and always has been one of the most contentious areas of Wikipedia (f) the label adds little to a topic, when there is already much non-judgemental and well-sourced critical material available. --Iantresman (talk) 12:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Jytdog My apologies and thank you for the clarification. I oppose the WP:FRINGE/PS statement "Proposals which, while purporting to be scientific, are obviously bogus may be so labeled and categorized as such without more justification." as it clearly contravenes WP:V and WP:RS. Any topic that is "obvious bogus" will have numerous reliable secondary sources that will both verify this view, and allow it to be checked. There is no reason why this labelling uniquely does not require justification (verification). --Iantresman (talk) 22:20, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Jytdog and jps. Perhaps jps could clarify whether he is asking for clarification on the orignal principles in WP:ARB/PS, or on the naming of the List of psuedosciences,[4], [5], as this may change the emphasis of the discussion? --Iantresman (talk) 07:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Second Quantization

  • ArbCom made no content decisions that I can see nor have they set any policy. They have some principles that underlie their decision, but that is not a content decision. We are not obliged to follow, read or care about their principles they operated under. There is no reason any editor should pay one iota worth of attention to what is written there since it's not indicative of what editing policy we should operate under. Some editors under the misapprehension that arbcom dictates content policy put undue emphasis on the ideas of some arbitrators some time ago. So this is a non-issue; we are under no obligation with respect to that behavioural decision. Second Quantization (talk) 19:02, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Here is the specific text Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Policy_and_precedent: "The Committee does not rule on content". They can suggest ways of seeking remedies, but they can not provide remedies. This is policy, Second Quantization (talk) 20:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Iantresman "Because of the Demarcation problem, there is no "obvious" pseudoscience." Demarcation is one of ongoing philosophical research but is an issue for the borderlands between science and non-science, not for the obvious cases. There are certain examples that meet most criteria of philosophers, and are recognised by the scientifically literate as obviously pseudoscience. Astrology, Time Cube etc are obviously pseudoscientific. Care to provide a specific example of point 4)? For 7), on the contrary, where I've seen it used it's generally well sourced. Second Quantization (talk) 19:02, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by dave souza

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience identified four groups, two of which could apply to intelligent design (ID):

From the outset, it was obvious to experts on science and science education that ID is not science, but creationist religious views relabelled as science. That said, it clearly had and to some extent still has a following outwith science, essentially among creationists or proponents of its predecessor creation science.
The scientific community, educators and philosophers of science have clearly shown that ID is a religious view presented as science and is not science, failing to meet the methods an standards of science. Several mainstream sources have specifically described ID as pseudoscience.

In talk page discussions there has been clear consensus that ID is pseudoscience, but continuing wrangling over wording in relation to sources determining that ID is not science without specifically using the word "pseudoscience". I therefore propose the following additional group:

  • 5. Non-science claimed to be science: Arguments or beliefs presented by proponents as science, such as intelligent design, but which are specifically described by the scientific community as not being science or as pseudoscience, may properly contain that information and may be categorized as pseudoscience.

Once a topic has been categorised as pseudoscience, the article should conform to WP:PSCI policy including "The pseudoscientific view should be clearly described as such. An explanation of how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories should be prominently included." This is policy. . . . dave souza, talk 21:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

John Carter draws attention to the point that "pseud-" words are specifically included in WP:WTW which is a guideline, not policy, and as it says at the top, is "a part of the English Wikipedia's Manual of Style. Use common sense in applying it; it will have occasional exceptions." Common sense clearly indicates that pseudoscience is a well established term, one which forms part of Wikipedia policy, and is a word which may be necessary in clearly describing a topic as pseudoscience.
The boxes included in John Carter's comment appear to invite Arbcom to set specific wording for articles, determining article content in a manner going beyond the WP:ARBPS decision and beyond policy. This prescriptive proposal is wholly inappropriate, and unnecessary given the clear policy. Obviously the best way to achieve the policy is a matter for article talk page discussion to achieve consensus. . dave souza, talk 21:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@ Iantresman as of 11:31, 22 July 2014; perhaps you've not read Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience, or failed to recall the various principles listed including, for example, Appropriate sources. Obviously the various policies apply. . dave souza, talk 14:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by logos5557

I am uninvolved, practically; just came here to greet jps's (was known as scienceapologist previously) allusion to one of my comments. @QTxVi4bEMRbrNqOorWBV: I suppose you can safely refer confused ones to this. Logos5557 (talk) 12:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by jytdog

With respect to John Carter's concern about surface contradictions with the WP:LABEL section of WP:WTW, last night I proposed an amendment to deal with the term "pseudoscience" and after a series of only-approving comments, tonight I implemented it. To save clicking, here is what I added:

"With regard to the term, "pseudoscience": per the policy Neutral point of view, pseudoscientific views "should be clearly described as such." Per the content guideline, Fringe theories, the term "pseudoscience" may be used to distinguish fringe theories from mainstream science, supported by reliable sources. In addition, there is an Arbcom ruling on pseudoscience topics that explicitly authorizes use of the term "pseudoscience" in specified contexts."

There is no more surface contradiction (if that amendment sticks).Jytdog (talk) 01:22, 23 July 2014 (UTC) (struck the reference to Arbcom "authorizing" any content. Jytdog (talk) 01:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC))

With regard to the request for clarification, I support the request of jps to vacate the 4 principles. It is not clear to me on what policy or guideline each of those principles were based, and the Finding of Fact #9 that "Wikipedia contains articles on pseudoscientific ideas which, while notable, have little or no following in the scientific community, often being so little regarded that there is no serious criticism of them by scientific critics." seems to me, to be all Arbcom needed to define the field in which DS may be applied. In light of thinking through this more, I have changed the amendment above at WP:LABEL Jytdog (talk) 01:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

iantresman the amendment to the guideline, WP:WTW (which itself is a fork of the WP:MOS guideline) simply brings it in line with a) the WP:NPOV policy (specifically the WP:PSCI section) which is quoted in the amendment and specifically says that pseudoscientific views "should be clearly described as such"; and b) the guideline, WP:FRINGE, which explains WP:PSCI. Your argument is with NPOV policy and with FRINGE, not with me or this amendment clarifying the style guideline; WP:WTW was simply out of step. Thanks to John Carter for pointing it out. Jytdog (talk) 21:11, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

iantresman the statement that you now oppose from WP:FRINGE/PS, namely "Proposals which, while purporting to be scientific, are obviously bogus may be so labeled and categorized as such without more justification", is based directly on one of the four principles that are the very subject of jps's original post, seeking clarification. Jytdog (talk) 02:40, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Markbassett

Meh. I think the article is unretrievably biased, mitigated by it's obviously so, but for arbitration consideration I will say that the relatively recent (April) add of "pseudoscience" to Intelligent Design seems just phrasing difficulty resolvable on existing wiki principles and revisit bullets I said in Talk:

  • There seems misunderstanding or overenthusiasm of the Talk Lead and Arbitration material. At point 1 and FAQ Q2 it says avoid portraying ID as science or theory as it is not accepted by the relevant bodies as such, and to use words like concept or assertion. It does not say to add "pseudoscience".
  • WP:UNDUE Pseudoscience seems simply not the word that the academic community commonly labels ID. The most frequent and prominent scientific body positions seems simply to reject it as not science, and outside of them the label in general use seems creationism. There are relatively fewer and minor mentions of pseudoscience, so it seems undue weight to give that prominence and incorrect attribution to portray that as the wording from scientific bodies or as a definite fact in Wikipedia voice.
  • WP:OR Talk history makes it look like "pseudoscience" was just something editors pushed in from word-smithing and their desires rather than from cites or article accuracy. Logical arguments can be made that it applies (or not), but that is a generated conclusion and not a simple fact or something that would be usable for wiki article as neutral and fair reporting of common use or prominent outside source.
  • The wording pseudoscience also has two minor issues in article construction First, the article starts with labelling it 'creationism' and the body has much about that, so the phrase pseudoscience comes off as a confusing disconnected and unsupported oddity. Second, the article stripped the phrasing 'theory' out which conforms to guidelines but now the article does not portray anything that looks like attempting to be science so that core issue is not presented.

Hope this helps pull discussion back to better sources and some edits ... Markbassett (talk) 03:03, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {other user}

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • The background principles adopted in this arbitration decision (which dates from 2006) do not govern how lists in mainspace are organized in 2014. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Fascinating though this is, I'm not seeing a significant actionable issue here. The 2006 case reflected the thinking of the 2006 ArbCom in 2006 circumstances and, in any event, cases do not create precedent.  Roger Davies talk 09:49, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Ditto. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:34, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • As has already been said, principles are not remedies and are not authoritative. Those that are citing them as policy (in distinction to guidance) should stop. At the same time, the fact that they are causing problems in one discussion on one article talk page among a handful of editors does not, to my mind, justify extraordinarily vacating a third of a previous decision.

    More precisely, it does not counterbalance the significant arguments in favour of the committee keeping an intact record of its previous decisions. In fact, I imagine I would not even strike through the text of the principles, which would make it clear to readers that they are no longer in force, because that would disturb this old case and its actors. Given that the associated topic area will always be contentious, to do so is to invite trouble. Decline. AGK [•] 23:20, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Agreed. The Guide to arbitration states that "Principles highlight the key applicable provisions of policy, procedure, or community practice and, where appropriate, provide the Committee's interpretation of such provisions in the context of the dispute." They are intended to provide context for the case, not to act as remedies. I would echo AGK's point that they should not be cited as policy. GorillaWarfare (talk) 02:51, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Per my colleagues, I don't see anything we need to do here. WormTT(talk) 08:09, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Clarification request: Infoboxes

Initiated by  Sandstein  at 13:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Infoboxes arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request:

Statement by Sandstein

Per Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes#Pigsonthewing and infoboxes, "Pigsonthewing is indefinitely banned from adding, or discussing the addition or removal of, infoboxes."

At WP:AE#Pigsonthewing (permalink), administrators, including myself, disagree about whether this recent edit by Pigsonthewing violates this restriction. Pigsonthewing argues that they did not violate the restriction because they edited, rather than added, an infobox. I am not persuaded by this because the edit added an {{Infobox}} template that wasn't there before.

I ask the Committee to clarify whether or not that edit violated the previously mentioned sanction.  Sandstein  13:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Arbitrators, thanks for the clarifications. This settles the matter for me. I've communicated to Newyorkbrad that I think that the tone of his reply is not in keeping with his usual reputation for professionalism.  Sandstein  09:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Montanabw

This is really hair-splitting. Andy's first edit was here. No infobox. The article in question had a manually-created "infobox" made out of an image template that in terms of syntax, was this. Andy then took ONLY the existing parameters plus one very logical addition -and put them into a template here. In essence, he took an improperly formatted infobox and made it into a proper one. I really find it absurd that the someone wants to take this to a drama board. Criminy. Montanabw(talk) 18:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Boing!

Sandstein seems to be on his own on this one with his over-literal definition of what an infobox is - there's a clear consensus that Andy was simply fixing an existing badly-formed one. — Alan / Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I'll only add one comment in response to Neotarf's comment below, and that is that "Yet the main argument for supporting the proposed topic ban for Nikkimaria was "I like infoboxes"" grossly misrepresents the various reasons expressed for supporting a ban. There were many people there, and to dismiss everyone's opinions like that is at best disrespectful — Alan / Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:51, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Kurtis

Always remember:

If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.

Kurtis (talk) 05:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Neotarf (uninvolved)

Not so fast.

While ArbCom has fiddled with its Latin, ANI has burned, and Wikipedia has lost yet another admin, based on the comments of arbitrators that have been made here so far.

In view of the above development, if you can wait 12 hours or so, I will attempt a Cliff's Notes version. In the meantime I would have to say, much as it pains me to do so, that Sandstein is right, and that Andy did violate the letter of his ban, if not the spirit. If you want to see the difference between an image box and an info box, see the Merkel images at "Infoboxes: After the war" and the difference in treatment between the German Wikipedia and the English Wikipedia. —Neotarf (talk) 13:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

I've been trying to focus on what it is that bothers me so much about this.

Nikkimaria, who has just now resigned as an admin, has been around the infobox subject for a long time. When other users decided it was pointless to stick around and try to edit classical music/opera/composers articles because of the Infobox Wars, Nikkimaria stuck it out, and tried to resolve the issues that had driven the other editors away. My impression is that Nikkimaria has acted a bit like Fram did in the Richard Farmbrough case.

One of the recommendations that came out of the ArbCom case was that a community discussion be held. This has not been done.

Instead, it seems like the individuals who styled themselves as "pro-infobox" have decided to go after individuals they view as having opposed them in the ArbCom case. If you look at the diffs that were presented in the ANI proposal to topic-ban Nikkimaria, some of the diffs were more than a year old, predating even the ArbCom Infoboxes case. Others had nothing whatsoever to do with infoboxes, but involved some dispute about edit summaries. This whole Nikkimaria topic-ban proposal is starting to look like "He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue!"

But there really is no "pro-infobox" faction. Nobody is against infoboxes. Some have said that many current boxes are not fit for purpose because of poor design. Yet the main argument for supporting the proposed topic ban for Nikkimaria was "I like infoboxes". This conflict is starting to damage the Wikipedia again. It is time to move to the more formal community discussion recommended in the case decision, but I have no idea how to jump-start it. A lot of ideas are at the "Infoboxes: After the war". There are more rationales and background at the talk page for the case decision, if anyone cares to wade through that morass.

This particular request may be finished, but the Committee may wish to consider whether they have some further role with the Infobox topic itself.

Regards, —Neotarf (talk) 06:19, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {other user}

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • "The mountains will be in labor, and a ridiculous mouse will be brought forth." This is not worth discussing. Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Roma locuta, causa soluta. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't know Greek or Latin, so I'll just say it in English: that wasn't adding an infobox. --Floquenbeam (talk) 00:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Seems pretty clear that there was an infobox there. Just because it didn't use the infobox template doesn't mean it wasn't an infobox. WormTT(talk) 09:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree that this was not the addition of an infobox and did not breach the restriction. Still, I do see why that could at least be in question, so I don't find the request for clarification unreasonable in itself. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • This edit was not in violation of his restriction. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I also don't see this as actionable as the parties now seem to agree. This can be archived now, I think,  Roger Davies talk 09:51, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
  • As this is settled, clerks: please archive. AGK [•] 23:21, 27 July 2014 (UTC) Holding to consider further developments. AGK [•] 12:21, 28 July 2014 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement

Captain Occam


Monochrome monitor


John Carter



This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.
Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning Amoruso

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
RolandR (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 18:28, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Amoruso (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Search DS alerts: in user talk history • in system log

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 06:04, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  2. 06:05, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  3. 06:08, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  4. 06:16, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  5. 06:33, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  6. 06:34, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  7. 06:36, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  8. 06:37, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  9. 06:41, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  10. 06:43, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  11. 12:28, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
  12. 12:31, 29 July 2014 Breach of topic ban
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. 20:38, 11 April 2010 Indefinite topic ban. details
  2. 13:46, 15 April 2010 Blocked for breach of ban
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)

*Mentioned by name in the Arbitration Committee's Final Decision linked to above.

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Amoruso was indefinitely topic-banned on 11 April 2010.[22] At the time, he was warned that "Any violation of this ban, especially in order to disrupt, may result in an indefinite block."[23] On 15 April 2010, he was blocked for 24 hours for breaching this ban.[24] After the expiry of this block. he made a few edits, but appeared to have retired from editing on 17 April 2010. He returned to editing this morning, immediately making several contentious edits to an article covered by the topic ban, and claiming falsely that he was no longer topic-banned.[25]

Sandstein, of course Amoruso is mentioned by name in the final decision. He was one of the editors involved in the many disputes leading to the arbitration, he was mentioned by name in the discussions, and he was identified later as one of the first editors to receive a notification. In any case, even if I had made an error in not deleting that sentence (I did not add it, it was by default in the original template), that would not discredit the complaint nor absolve you of your responsibility to judge it on its merits. Your dismissive response demonstrates once again your pettifogging skills and your disregard for principles and essentials. I request that you recuse yourself from any further involvement in this request, which I do not believe that you are able to assess on its merits. RolandR (talk) 21:52, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Amoruso

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Amoruso

I only came to Wikipedia this time to counter user:Zero0000's defamation here, and completely baseless accusations -Personal Ruthless Attack. I couldn't be bothered with it at the time but decided to respond now. He removed WP:RS which he by his own admission in the past confirmed that it's an WP:RS. There's really no doubt that something has to be done about user:Zero0000, his personal attacks and his personal disregard of Wikipedia policies. user:RolandR himself is a very problematic user too (both users have a history of blocks). He makes several mistakes/lies in his claim. For example, I never said I was not topic banned, just that it wasn't the right topic. His request was properly denied since it's full of mistakes.

As for the topic ban of four years ago if still relevant, like was mentioned above, I did not think that this was anything to do with the Israeli - Arab conflict. It's simply an internal Jewish - German historical issue with no mention of Palestinians or Arabs at all. There was no indication in the talk page like mentioned above. If someone feels for some reason that this was a violation of some kind, I apologize. That was of course never my intention. It is not my intention to edit anymore on this or other related topics at this time anyway. Again, I apologize if I mistakenly violated the ban. Thank you. Amoruso (talk) 02:42, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

@ EdJohnston, Lord Roem: It really did not occur to me that because Lehi also deals with issues with Arabs [by the way, Lehi's raison d'etre was solely against British, and Arabs were even members of the organization] that this is under my ban. My ban was four years ago. I haven't made a single edit in violation of the ban since then. All my edits their purposes were simply to erase the damage of user:Zero0000 who erased an WP:RS, personally attacked me and called me a liar, even though he knew I was not editing Wikipedia anymore, so I restored the WP:RS and made a couple of other related edits on the way on this issue of Israel - Nazi Germany contact before there was any Israel-Palestine conflict, long before 1948 or even the Holocaust. I thought this had nothing to do with my ban. I realize this was a mistake now, but I don't see how a ban would serve any purpose. My intention is to edit on unrelated stuff and to contribute to Wikipedia in the future. I haven't edited since these edits on this sole page, nor do I intend to do any edits soon on any other subject, let alone on Israeli/Arab stuff. Just in the future I'd like to contribute to Wikipedia on totally unrelated non political issues. I haven't done anything wrong for 4 years so I ask to please disregard this and move on. I learnt this was a mistake, but it was simply a result of the WP:Personal Attack of user:zero0000 who basically baited me to come and restore my WP:RS. He should be reprimanded. And I have learnt and apologized. Thank you. Amoruso (talk) 02:01, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I really was not involved with this ARBPIA at the time and I know very little about it. Looking now at that page, it seems user:RolandR knew I wasn't involved and tried to involve me further showing that he lied that he didn't know I was not "named". 02:57, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Shrike

I think there was some misunderstanding as talk page of the article didn't contain template that it covered by DS. I have added a relevant template [26]--Shrike (talk)/WP:RX 19:16, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by ZScarpia

Sandstein wrote: 'The request incorrectly asserts that Amoruso is "mentioned by name in the Arbitration Committee's Final Decision linked to above".' The Final Decision section of the ARBPIA request for arbitration consists of the whole of section 4, in which Amoruso is mentioned in subsections 4.6 and 4.7.3. Therefore Sandstein's assertion about the assertion made in the request is actually the one which is in error.     ←   ZScarpia   21:21, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Penwhale: "In theory, the Final Decision does not encompass the Logs (of notification and sanctions)." Maybe, but in practice (according to the section structure) it does.     ←   ZScarpia   23:49, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

@EdJohnston, it should be obvious to anyone familiar with the particular topic concerned and the ARBPIA area in general that the article is part of the latter. Anyone not familiar with the topic but familiar with the ARBPIA area would just have to look at the list of contributors to the article and its talkpage to know that it was.     ←   ZScarpia   20:21, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Zero0000

Amoruso is one of the most disastrous editors I have met in my 11 years in Wikipedia. I could easy list half a dozen offences worse than the offences he was topic-banned for.

But it isn't necessary. It doesn't matter if he was mentioned on any particular page either. Enforce the ban already.

@EdJohnston : You ask whether Amoruso was aware that the article was covered by his topic-ban. To help you decide, I'll mention:
(1) One of Amoruso's violations refers to "establishment of a Jewish state".
(2) The event that Amoruso calls "an internal Jewish - German historical issue" was an offer by this Zionist splinter group to fight on the Nazi side in return for German help to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Amoruso wrote a lot of that section: [27]
(3) Amoruso has edited this article more than 200 times so the fact that it is an article explicitly about the Arab-Israeli conflict may have come to his attention. Zerotalk 06:06, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Gaijin42

I am fairly new to the ARBPIA area, and have not interacted with Amoruso in any capacity, nor was I even aware of the Lehi article (or indeed real-world entity) prior to this report. I find it very difficult to believe that anyone would not think the article is within the scope of ARBPIA. The article repeatedly refers to the founding of Israel, The British Mandate, and directly (and directly contrary to Amaruso's statement) to conflicts between Palastenian Arabs and the group Lehi_(group)#Deir_Yassin_massacre. Even a cursory reading of the article would lead to the conclusion that this is solidly and clearly in the israeli-palestinian topic area. Gaijin42 (talk) 14:37, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Amoruso

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.

  • The request incorrectly asserts that Amoruso is "mentioned by name in the Arbitration Committee's Final Decision linked to above". I stopped reading the request at that point. Why should I take the time to assess the request when the requester doesn't bother to compose it with reasonable care?  Sandstein  20:46, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • ... In theory, the Final Decision does not encompass the Logs (of notification and sanctions)... - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 22:18, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't know why a (not necessarily) formalistic error in the filing is a reason to discard the request. There was an indefinite topic ban which the editor proceeded to violate several times in a row. The article in question is about a "militant Zionist group" that existed around World War II up through 1948; there's no question it's covered by the terms of the TBAN. We need to give TBANS a liberal reading to avoid attempts to circumvent them and cause disruption. I recommend a block. Lord Roem ~ (talk) 00:46, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Certainly this is against Amoruso's validly-issued topic ban, but I wonder if it was obvious to him that Lehi (group) was under WP:ARBPIA. Amoruso was not mentioned by name in the ARBPIA decision, but that could be fixed by the submitter of this report by striking out the errors. EdJohnston (talk) 02:14, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • It's hard to imagine anyone not knowing that Lehi (group) falls under ARBPIA. I recommend going ahead with a block. EdJohnston (talk) 21:42, 30 July 2014 (UTC)