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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


Initiated by --The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:41, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried

Statement by The Devil's Advocate

This dispute has eluded resolution through other means ranging from raising concerns at conduct noticeboards and attempts at mediation regarding content. While editors with fewer contributions, as far as I know only those who are or are seen as favorable to the GamerGate side, have been routinely sanctioned or blocked, the established editors who are unfavorable to the GamerGate side and are the source of a lot of the conflict continue unimpeded. This is at least partly due to the fact that they have a sufficient number of sympathizers to prevent any consensus from being reached regarding their conduct. Another problem in this situation is that there are admins who are either WP:INVOLVED on the subject taking action against their opponents while giving them a pass or admins whose actions are otherwise dubious. Some of these admins have a history of questionable use of their admin tools on other topics. I can elaborate further on those details, though some of it is evidenced in the discussions linked above. Even though general sanctions have been imposed in the topic area and there are BLP discretionary sanctions covering some of these details, it has done nothing to stop this behavior from continuing and escalating as it has over the past week. A thorough review of all administrative conduct on this topic area, ranging from rev-deletions and suppressions to blocks and topic-bans, is requested in addition to reviewing the general conduct of editors.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 00:41, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Note: I have trimmed my statement and removed my replies to comply with the restrictions on statements. An abbreviated version of my listing of admin concerns:

Other admins are named more due to questions of judgment regarding specific actions, especially when citing BLP. ArmyLine's topic ban is one such case, as is PhilKnight's use of oversight tools regarding a link to Medium blog post. Not every admin action is being questioned, nor is every admin who has taken action on this topic named as a party. This is about certain admins or certain admin actions.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:20, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Red Pen's claim of improvement seems to be motivated purely by the fact that the enforcement page has to this point exclusively favored his side of the debate. It is no coincidence that the people creating it, using it, and promoting it, are all of the same mind on the subject matter itself. However, one request contains a comment that illustrates perfectly why certain "uninvolved" admins should not be acting as administrators in the topic area. Dealing with all the bad behavior on this topic would require a large number of enforcement requests, each being subject to review by admins who have made questionable decisions or are far too opinionated on the issue for their actions to be trusted.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:39, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

@Gamaliel, the last sentence is of particular significance.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:55, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Eyes on this case, Arbs.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 07:11, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by NorthBySouthBaranof

I'm not quite sure what this request is asking. It presents no diffs of identifiable issues, it does not present a case that any policies have been violated, nor does it meaningfully demonstrate that the community sanctions have been unsuccessful. A quick look at WP:BLPLOG finds no blocks and only a handful of topic bans implemented under the sanctions, and absolutely none have been imposed for the last two weeks. This suggests the sanctions have had the intended effect of directing the discussions in a constructive, if sometimes combative, direction. Rather, this request appears to be a statement that TDA isn't happy with the way discussions have gone on pages related to GamerGate and wishes ArbCom to enforce his preferred POV about the movement and people who have been targeted by it. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 00:50, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I can see why you don't want to spell out your arguments re: the above discussions — it's because you don't actually have any. You're just hoping that a big pile of ANI links will create the appearance that something's wrong with my behavior. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 01:17, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

From my perspective, here is the issue. There is no way to put this delicately, so I'll just say it. Gamergate is demonstrably a fringe POV. While their supporters are very vocal on a few Internet social media forums (most of them entirely anonymous) their actual numbers are small and their claims have garnered no mainstream credibility — to the contrary, in mainstream sources their claims have either been widely refuted or widely dismissed as nothingburgers. The weight of mainstream reliable sources is simply indisputable at this point, and so many Gamergate supporters have retreated into a conspiracy-theory realm where all sources are biased against them, except for those which agree with them. (A self-fulfilling prophecy.)

I am neither a "gamer" nor a "social justice warrior" — I first took interest in this issue when the community was made aware on a noticeboard that Wikipedia pages were being used to spread unfounded claims about living people and, as became obvious, further a campaign of vile harassment against them. Rather than acknowledge the movement's foundation in specious slut-shaming trolling, Gamergate is now attempting to whitewash the past and portray itself as a noble crusade for "journalism ethics," despite the fact that reliable sources all but universally view it as a purveyor of misogynistic harassment and retrograde culture warring. It is difficult to collaborate to build an article when there is insistence on portraying a group not as the overwhelming weight of reliable sources portray it, but as it wishes to be portrayed for public relations purposes. This we simply cannot do. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:15, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Ryulong

Sanctions are working as intended. There's no new big problems here other than a third attempt at bringing this to ArbCom in what appears to be a (vain) attempt to remove editors that TDA disagrees with. And this is still a content dispute masquerading as a user behavior inquest. Several threads closed that did not result in sanctions of any type against the people TDA has brought up (and his constant attempts to use diffs he's pulled from the article as an excuse to ban me at the present ANI thread [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]) should not mean anything in the long run other than a content dispute that will not end at any point in the future due to the nature of the real world dispute it concerns.

Several editors' statements in this request are also full of problems. Loganmac's statement contains polemic statements and comparisons that have been banned from the article's talk page. Titanium Dragon, who is still technically banned from Gamergate broadly construed, continues to accuse me of using a term in a derrogatory manner despite multiple attempts at informing him that it is just the term used ([8], [9], [10], [11]). Retartist suddenly thinks that because an extremely biased journalist writes something that mentions my screenname that I now possess a conflict of interest, and David Auerbach (Auerbachkeller) appearing on Wikipedia to put me to blame for something no one else had any issue with is suddenly leading to Jimbo asking I step away. And that IP address is making up conclusions that are not based on the article and making claims that someone is protected by BLP when every statement about that person used on the article and in talk spaces are either non-existant or supported by reliable sources.

The Arbitration Committee should reject this case, again. This is forum shopping, plain and simple. There was zero chance given to the community-created general sanctions. The Devil's Advocate could have reported myself, NorthBySouthBaranof, Tarc, etc. for arbitration enforcement or whatever proper venue to report people for this but he didn't. He came to ArbCom like ArmyLine did last month and Skrelk did two weeks ago, as well as Retartist's constant attempts to go to MedCom or DRN to split the difference. This have all been acts by people who favor the Gamergate movement browbeating people who don't. I shouldn't have made that list of users on WP:AN and I took it back before it turned into constant bickering that resulted in the general sanctions page. If ArbCom does feel the need to take the case, it should still make note of all of the throwaway accounts people are using rather than the established editors they're fighting.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 22:32, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

I am now going to step away from the page as any further edits I make to the article or its talk page may be construed as a conflict of interest and I would rather that not cause problems any more.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 09:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Loganmac's accusation is ridiculous and pointed. I have opened up a crowd funding account for personal reasons and because of the current situation and as I can never tell who is and is not contributing to the fund I will not be editing the Gamergate page from this point forward. Or until some time after I've been able to get my stuff back from my friend overseas.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 20:44, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
@MarkBernstein: Two out of the three I make public already though.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 21:17, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by TheRedPenOfDoom

The previous request was dismissed as "too soon" to to see if the existing community processes could handle the situation. I am not aware that there has been any attempt to utilize the existing community processes since that time that have shown them to be ineffective. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 03:32, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I would also like to point out that many of the statement appear to have the same issues as the gamergate talk page of rambling on and on and far exceeding the "Without exception, statements (including responses to other statements) must be shorter than 500 words" limit without actually being able to articulate or identify any specific issues. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:10, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Given the recent close of the ANI [12] and the subsequent edit war over its implementation and the locking of the article [13] , there may now be evidence that "existing processes" are not working. Or they may show that existing process do work as intended. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 13:38, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
With the re-opening of the closed ANI [14], it is probably evidence of "not working" right now, or not yet working. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:37, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

@Carcharoth: In between the closing of the last case and the opening of this, I am not aware of anything different happening. Since this case was filed, there was a discussion about whether to remove the NPOV tag and a request at ANI to review and close. This led to an edit war both at the article and at closing the ANI request which resulted in the article being locked (see some diffs in my statements above). A new page was opened to focus on the general sanctions for GG, which has had 2 events discussed Wikipedia:General sanctions/Gamergate/Requests for enforcement. A working draft copy of the article was created Draft:Gamergate controversy, and there appears to be progress on at least two fronts. Talk:Gamergate_controversy#Intel_returns_to_Gamasutra.2C_now_with_a_source and Talk:Gamergate_controversy#Proposed_rewording . -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:15, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Externally, Jimbo suggested that Gamergaters create what they thought would be an appropriate article, and GGers without a real strong grasp of Arb Com launched another "operation" [15] -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:34, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Also externally, one of the big cheerleaders and figureheads Milo Yiannopoulos has come out full bore against net neutrality and the one major "success" in Intel has been reversed it seems that waiting a month or two more to see if it burns out of its own accord is a better proposition than spending a month or 6 here fanning the flames. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:40, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

I think that the recent applications of the community sanctions are now starting to have an effect and , while messy, will be far less messy and probably at least as effective as anything that will come from this case. I urge those who noted their acceptance as "grudging " at best to reconsider if this matter is actually at the state of last resort. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 05:06, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Tutelary

I acknowledge that this is somewhat premature and probably will be rejected, but I'll post my statement in any case.

One of the main examples that I think should be looked into regarding conduct with administrators is the closing of Ryulong's edit warring report (that of 15RR) as stale simply 15 hours after the fact by administrator Dreadstar. It can be seen in this report;

As evidenced by that report, it is plainly obvious that Ryulong was at 15 reverts particularly within that article, and had no qualifying 3RR exception. Within 24 hours (15 hours), it was rejected as 'stale'. I don't particularly know of Dreadstar's standard for qualifying a report as 'stale', but when I inquired to User_talk:Dreadstar/Archive_11#Closure_of_3RRN_noticeboard_report their talk page about this, they said verbatim basically '3RR or Edit Warring blocks are preventative, not punitive per Wikipedia:Blocking_policy#Purpose_and_goals. There were no reverts in over 12 hours, so it was stale. I was also assured in a discussion on the article talk page that there would be no continuation of the edit warring. If you wish to pursue the edit warring instance further, then I'd suggest and WP:RFC/U and not the AN3 noticeboard.'. This was plainly a case where Ryulong was 'backed' by administrator Dreadstar that he plainly got out of a block that probably would have indeffed another user because after 12 hours it was 'stale'. I doubt that entirely.

The next bit is the premature closing of both the sanction discussion regarding it which only achieved 23.5 hours of discussion (that which was still ongoing) before being closed and the sanctions being enacted. That's simply out of practice and needs to be looked into. Because there was definitely some opposing points which were not addressed before it was so soundly closed and enacted. 23.5 hours is NOT enough discussion which will ultimately give administrators even more power and discretion when already, there was enough since BLP discretionary sanctions applied. There was obviously something going on in the background because I have never, ever in my entire life on Wikipedia seen sanctions' discussions closed so rapidly and quickly and still be considered valid. In this discussion, Ryulong proposed that all of these 'SPAs' be topic banned, but 70% of them were not SPAs and he even implicated an admin as being one of them. There was a counterproposal to topic ban him, but it was closed by Future citing 'no possibility of consensus'--which is a !supervote, closing a discussion so no sanction or rejection of sanction will come out of it. That is unacceptable administrator conduct and I believe that a desysopping or serious sanction should occur for this happening.

This is just a glimpse of what has occurred in simply sketchy circumstances regarding administrators not fulfilling their role as an administrator, and as simply out of practice in terms of all decency of conduct or policy or guideline. Thanks. Tutelary (talk) 02:22, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Loganmac

The problems with the article is the extreme uncivility, problems with WP:OWN (25% of edits are made by the same two people). There's constant reverts of good faith edits, before these editors even read them as has happened to me. There's been witch hunts accusing people of being SPAs, this witch hunt included admins and people that have been here for years in a clear attempt to white wash the article. The article right now seems like a parody to outsiders, not supoporters of the movement, I've asked two people that said the neutrality dispute is well placed. Controversial movements should, even if they're supposed to be the most evil movement in history, supposed to be given a historical and uninvolved tone. Articles on Hitler, Scientology, ISIS, the KKK, Al Qaeda show this, and of course we shouldn't give examples to other articles, but when the article on a racist genocidal dictator has a more neutral tone than an Internet controversy you got a problem. All movements no matter how they've been criticized by media, should first state what RS consider this movement advocates for, and then give all the criticism, with due weight, and taking into account that this movement is targeting media, so it's imperative to take every source with a grein of salt. There's been ethical code changes on several sites including Kotaku, Polygon, The Escapist, etc. So it's illogical to say it's a front for harassment when these very same sites have changed their policy and have been disclosing their conflicts of interest, and retroactively correcting other articles in admissions of problems to correct. Aside from this, there's been outside wiki behaviour like people contacting me on my personal twitter and reddit accounts, this very same people show an EXTREME bias to the subject. And their edits show it. The article as well is currently filled with extensive quotes, sources from involved parties (Zoe Quinn currently has quotes on almost every section). People have been in contact with Zoe Quinn to change her picture in the article, because she was drinking and this supposedly was bad even if she's an adult, disregarding that she was at a game event, the picture is of a really high definition and showed her naturally smiling, instead was replaced by a self-taken picture of her making faces (making it hard to really identify her) is of extreme low quality (probably taken by a cellphone) and doesn't show her at a gaming event like the previous one used, the industry by which she's known for. This is just a small example of an attempt to control the narrative that's been going for months. There's been involved admins like Dreadstar who seem to be protecting editors like Ryulong for even a hint of "commenting about them", when this very same editor has been doing the same, on the sight of admins on ANI, on their personal talk pages and the article talk page, and nothing has happened.

Update Beware that, although editor Ryulong has announced quitting the article, if he (I'm pretty sure he will) comes back, he seems to be involved in paid editing now Loganmac (talk) 15:19, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Masem

(Trimmed versiom, original content here User:Masem/GGArbCom Statement 2). Per a comment I asked on the ArbCom talk page, this request might be too soon, however, I agree in principle that while there are sanctions in place, they are not able to address the fact that there is experienced editors that have, even unintentionally, working in a manner that creates ownership of the article, dismissing any SPA attempts to contribute (and in fact, claims that they have to work actively against them), and refused to participate in any attempt to reach consensus - specifically but not limited to Ryulong, NorthBySouthBaranof, TheRedPenOfDoom, and TaraInDC.

Part of this is the story - it is one that is extremely decisive, and the mainstream press has clearly picked a side, voicing an extremely strong negative opinion that the Gamergate movement is misogynistic. This is unavoidable and necessary to include per NPOV/WEIGHT. However, I believe that the above editors are editing partially blinded by strong feelings they share with the press, wanting to treat the proGG without the necessary fairness/impartial nature that NPOV also demands. Efforts to include impartialness are reverted by those in this group and then they swamp the discussion, going on clearly showing which side of the debate they want pushed hard. I also believe that the focus this group has on "SPAs are the problem" is misguided. Per edits like this and Ryulong's infamous "list of people I want banned" from ANI, the people above as well as others are trying to effectively engage in censorship of the article or more importantly in the talk page. The suggestion of outright removing SPAs from the picture - while sometimes necessary to minimize disruption - is not acceptable behavior for anyone on WP.

There is a content issue here (in how WP should cover topics that are near-universially treated with negative opinions by mainstream reliable sources), but it is tied in closely with behavior that refuse to want to work on consensus in that manner. I'll also defer to comments I left in the previous case [16]. --MASEM (t) 01:14, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

@DungeonSiegeAddict510 : Apology accepted. --MASEM (t) 05:40, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
@DD2K: Diffs please for how I "aide and abet" SPAs. --MASEM (t) 03:58, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@DD2K: I strongly contest to that claim.--MASEM (t) 19:55, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@Carcharoth: (trimming) The offsite push has been documented, but there still remains issues with ownership by a small # of editors (per above) since the last case. --MASEM (t) 16:14, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Tarc

Hmm, I'm really not seeing why this filing is being, er, filed. Discussion at Talk:Gamergate controversy is always going to be slightly sharp, as discussions tend to be in hot-button topic areas, but there has really been nothing untoward of late and the filer has provided no diffs of what he believes has changed since the last time. If one looks through the list of ANI links, one will see several WP:BOOMERANG whacks of SPAs, e.g. the one filed against yours truly that resulted in ArmyLine's removal from the topic area. Also, with WP:GS/GG is in place, admins have done a good job of late in steering editors away from commenting on each other and towards commenting on the subject matter.

I will put forth the notion that why we're really here is not that The Devil's Advocate sees an intractable dispute that must be Arbitrated, but rather that he refuses to accept that the tide is turning against him, that the "pro-Gamergate" point-of-view is slipping into a minority/fringe position akin to Obama's birth certificate birthers. Please take note of this post to admin Dreadstar's talk page, which contains the line "Clearly, you do not even understand the fucking policies you cite. You seriously need to be desysopped. Obviously, all that power has gone to your head.", along with "You probably know this on some level, but simply do not give a shit because my comments go against your own opinion on the issue of GamerGate." from here. What TDA is doing here is casting aspersions against one of the admins who has attempted to keep the peace in the GG article, but is getting increasingly shrill because action is (rightly, IMO) taken primarily against the disruptive single-purpose accounts. This reminds me of the Stevertigo 2 case, where an editor was so aggressive and so believing in his own rightness...or righteousness...that any failure to achieve consensus for his preferred edits must mean either collusion or malfeasance on the part of admins and other editors.

The edit-warring of the past month has largely subsided in the wake of reliable sources cementing the foundation of GG being primarily about the misogynist harassment of women in the gaming industry. This is like a football (real football, not that footy stuff) being tied up at halftime, but by the end of the 3rd quarter, one team has pulled far ahead due to a strong foundation. All in all, what this is is a case of TDA not accepting the way GG is trending. Tarc (talk) 01:42, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

  1. Everyone else here; STOP sniping back and forth on the article talk page. If you have a problem with someone, then go file a complaint at the above page and let others handle it. Go ahead, file something on me, or Ryulong, or Tuletary, or Masem...rather than everyone endlessly saying why they think other editors are problematic or obstructionist. This is "put up or shut up" time, because, trust me; most people that get dragged to an Arbcom case do not emerge unscathed, no matter how confident you are going in that you're in the right and the other guy's a rube. Give what we have a try before this goes to the Court of Last Resort. Tarc (talk) 00:20, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Bilby

I'm a bit confused about what has changed to warrant revisiting this issue so soon. The last ArbCom request closed less than a week ago, and all of the discussions linked to above are from September and October, before the request closed. As far as I am aware there have been no significant events on the GamerGate article - the only protection was by me to return semi after it was removed when the previous full protection expired. The talk page remains open, and there has been no revdel since the last request closed. There has been some minor edit warring and heated discussion continues unabated, but mostly we're looking at content issues. I wouldn't be surprised to see this end up here eventually, but I am surprised to see it here now. - Bilby (talk) 01:15, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Given that The Devil's Advocate has included me in the list of admins above, even if mostly in passing, I should make a statement. As The Devil's Advocate points out, I am involved in the GamerGate article, although I am aware of this and believe that I'm acting accordingly. Originally I chose to try and remain uninvolved, but during the process I realised that I would be more useful as an editor rather than as an admin. Since then I have chosen to make no input into potentially contentious admin decision, including blocks and topic bans. I have only made a very small number of admin actions, and per WP:Involved, they were extremely straightforward, or both straightforward and urgent (BLP violations). Until now, as far as I am aware the only concerns raised were about a revdel which contained libel, [17], and now the diff raised by TDA [18] which I stand by. I am not aware of any other action which has been previously raised as a concern, but then due to the decision to act as an editor I have had to leave all heavy lifting to others. - Bilby (talk) 08:40, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Cla68

I've wanted to participate with editing this article, but have mostly held back because of the vitriol and condescending attitudes presented by some of the established editors who are heavily involved in that article. There are some indications, namely when Future Perfect of Sunrise prematurely shut down that AN discussion and other examples, of improper admin conduct related to this dispute. These examples include some particularly egrious examples of WP:BITE. Judging by the discussion on the article talk page, I think we have some of the most clear examples of non-NPOV editing I've ever seen in WP. If the Committee accepts this case, I will help present evidence, because it appears to be extremely voluminous. Cla68 (talk) 01:19, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by marginally involved EvergreenFir

Just commenting to urge arbcom to take this case now. On the previous request a couple weeks ago I urged the committee to wait. And wait they did. Not much has come of the WP:GS/GG. I think it's time for arbcom to step in. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 02:05, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I'll echo a comment above:

  • Google "Ryulong" and you will see the extent of the problem here. Edit for clarity: I'm trying to point out the vast off wiki activity going on in gg groups and that users like Ryulong are being targeted. If you Google as I suggested you can quickly see the numerous posts on reddit and the off wiki orchestration occurring. It demonstrates the extent of the problem. To be clear, I am not suggesting users try to dig up info on another user. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 06:20, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by still uninvolved Hasteur

Please see User:Hasteur/GG 3 Statement since the "committee" is harassing me about being at 861 words of germane to the case request and not the wide sweeping screeds. I challenge that the committee's "rule" about 500 words (especially in light of the SPA nature of this case request) puts those editors who are trying to respond to the committee (and other statements) as something that IAR should have been applied to. Hasteur (talk) 23:45, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Gamaliel

The Devil's Advocate has a long history of bringing frivolous or outright fabricated charges to noticeboards, of fomenting drama on and off Wikipedia, and of excusing, downplaying, or ignoring noxious, disruptive, and policy-violating behavior of those he perceives to be on his side. The Committee should ban this user from all noticeboards for at least one year. In relation to GamerGate, his charges have been rejected on the noticeboards and he was so disruptive there that he was blocked. This is simply forum shopping. My comments he cites fallen under this policy: "Warnings, calm and reasonable discussion and explanation of those warnings, advice about community norms, and suggestions on possible wordings and approaches do not make an administrator 'involved'." I am stunningly indifferent to GamerGate and gaming culture, so I'm really curious what TDA thinks my stake is.

TDA's complaint misrepresents or ignores serious wrongdoing by those he defends. He claims I was "feuding with" Tabascoman77, a serious misrepresentation. Tabascoman77, in what was my only interaction with him, posted an unsolicited attack on myself and others at ANI and threatened to write an "expose", something that could be considered blackmail. He posted serious allegations against Zoe Quinn, I warned him, he did it again, and I blocked him. Even if Tabascoman's threats made it inappropriate for me to take actions against him, WP:GRAPEVINE still applies. TDA also has no interest in BLP enforcement, complaining that it is "absurd" for me to redact the usage of a slur against Quinn and that TD's topic ban is "tyrannical behavior" despite TD's behavior outlined below. TDA's viewpoint appears to be editors should be able to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences, while administrators should be restricted from acting in almost every case, and any check on editorial behavior by administrators is a "tyrannical" abuse of power.

As for Titanium Dragon, I topic banned him after the second time he used Wikipedia to air unsubstantiated allegations of serious wrongdoing against Quinn. (The ban was overturned only because of my procedural error; efforts to overturn the ban on the merits were dismissed at ANI.) Titanium Dragon was quickly banned again by a different administrator. An ArbCom case is about conduct, policy, and procedure, but Titanium Dragon devotes the bulk of his comments (prior to condensing to 500 words) to his views of the facts of GamerGate, including his claim that Quinn's harassment was a fabrication, as well as comments that darkly hint at her involvement in something, a matter that when he explicitly leveled those charges against Quinn got him banned. Since he cannot sufficiently restrain himself after being banned twice, Titanium Dragon is unable to edit Wikipedia with the sensitivity and thoughtfulness required for dealing with BLPs. The Committee should indefinitely ban him from all BLPs.

@TDA, I have no idea how this comment of mine "illustrates perfectly" my supposed involvement, or is any indication of involvement at all.

@TDA How so? Do you think there can be a consensus to disregard WP:RS on a particular article? Gamaliel (talk) 01:56, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Titanium Dragon

I became involved in this because I was worried that the article was going to be defaced by angry gamers; instead, it was being defaced by angry culture warriors. I sought to make the article more neutral, and include sourced information. Subsequently, I was doxxed by Wikipediocracy in September, along with another user, Tutelary, in an obvious intimidation attempt. user:Tarc, a former associate of Wikipediocracy, made approving noises, while user:Gamaliel noted that he wanted to ban users such as ourselves. He subsequently did so at the request of user:NorthBySouthBaranof shortly after North found out that I was working on an ANI against him and other disruptive users, and immediately after I removed a section of material from the Zoe Quinn article he had added from Cracked magazine, a parody website. He had previously been warned by other users it was inappropriate to include in the article.

The ban was later reversed. Some time later, while I was helping a new editor properly file a 3RR dispute against user:NorthBySouthBaranof and user:Ryulong, who had been reverting his comments on the talk page (and trying to shut down discussion), user:NorthBySouthBaranof sought bans against both myself and the other user involved in the dispute, which user:Future_Perfect_at_Sunrise granted within a half hour.


Numerous claims of criminal activity have been made by both sides, and while some (Sarkeesian’s death threats, various website hacks) are well attested, others lack independent verification and appear not to have been reported to law enforcement. One individual making these claims has had reliability issues in the past about similar events, resulting in The Escapist apologizing for repeating their unverified claims, and another works for Breitbart, a right-wing publication. In the past, unverified claims of harassment have lead to harassment of others. Per WP:CRIME, claims of criminal activity need to be well-verified. I advocated for caution. North both lied about what I said (claiming I only advocated for scrutiny of the claims of one side, when I specifically noted both) and claimed that he knew what I meant.

North previously had been warned in an ANI about precisely this behavior, falsely claiming that other people have said things that they had not said and casting aspersions on others. user:Future_Perfect_at_Sunrise was uninterested in reviewing this fact.

Ryulong and North have been seeking bans on people who disagree with them and who pursue action against them. Ryulong has a history of seeking blocks against users who disagree with him, something which was noted when he was de-sysopped many years ago; his behavior does not appear to have changed.

Tarc, Ryulong, and North have falsely claimed consensus and improperly excluded material while shutting down discussion and insulting other users, referring to them as misogynists, /v/irgins, and otherwise casting aspersions reminiscent of that used in off-Wiki harassment. They have rejected and insulted mediation. GamerGate is a massive fight with both the “GamerGaters” and the so-called “SJWs” attacking each other and third parties who simply report on the events in a way they don’t like, including Wikipedia editors. Titanium Dragon (talk) 06:46, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

(Trimmed to 500 words; original statement here)

Statement by (uninvolved) Desine

Hi guys! You might want a heads-up that someone's trying to kick up a mob on 8chan to smear anyone and everyone involved in this Arbcom. They're actively trying to doxx people, so I'm not going to link it, but I'd be happy to offer links/archives to trusted parties if necessary. - Desine (talk) 04:43, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Or, you know, people could just openly link it on my talk page. - Desine (talk) 05:38, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Mr. Random

Regarding the 8chan mob: the only doxxing I see in the thread is the mentioning of one editor's name (it's unclear to me whose) in the context of evidence of an editing COI. Their primary objectives seem to be to collect evidence of editor misconduct related to the article (which quickly devolved into general smearing among some of them), and to find pro-GG sources for the article itself. Still, given the mob's instability, we should be ready for anything they might do, so to speak.

There seems to be an edit war here over whether Jimbo Wales is involved. He has commented on Twitter about this issue, but he has not directly participated (or even taken action that could be construed as such in any way), and is thus uninvolved. Please stop trying to list him as an involved party. I stand corrected.

Finally, regarding the case itself: in light of what A Quest For Knowledge just brought up (i.e., an uncalled-for and unusually well-coordinated discussion shutdown, tag removal, and page locking), I must strongly encourage ArbCom to take this case. Random the Scrambled (?) 15:38, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by DungeonSiegeAddict510

Archived statements at User:DungeonSiegeAddict510/ArbCom Temp

Clerks of the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee, I urge you to take this case and heavily review ALL logs of the pages related to Gamergate, and others, such as Adland. 5 editors, Ryulong, TheRedPenOfDoom, Tarc, TaraInDC, and NorthBySouthBaranof have WP:TAGTEAM'd the article for until it was locked, after removal of the NPOV tag by TheRedPenofDoom. It is not just these 5 editors in on this, a few notable admins have been defending these 5. Dreadstar, Future Perfect by Sunrise, and Gamaliel. First the 5, they have not only WP:TAGTEAM'd multiple times, but, also violate WP:BLP on articles and talkpages. For example, they have slandered Christina Hoff Sommers, a feminist, and a REGISTERED democrat, as a right wing antifeminist. They also labeled Milo Yiannopoulos, as a "fickle opportunist". They are clearly pushing a POV, for a topic which has very few actual sources. To further this, they've also subtly, or sometimes not (with the case of Adland) changed other articles to make their POV sound better. Many sources are subpar, and have done little to no research on the matter. Whatever sources included, had obvious bias. Gawker Media is a target, Vox Media is a target, Gamasutra is a target, etc. MANY neutral sources have been proposed, many neutral revisions proposed. But in the name of WP:RS, BLOGS AND TABLOIDS, have been given preference over publications like Forbes, or nationally syndicated shows like The David Pakman Show. WP:FRINGE violation: Vivian. Baseless claims say, Vivian's hoodie alludes to dead meme about supposed rape. Not only is the aforementioned highly illogical, and non-notable, it is barely masked POV pushing. Many times, both sides, BOTH sides, have condemmed the harassment. Yet, only the anti-gamergate side is mentioned for this in length. POV pushing is rampant in this article, and many others related to it. How have publications such as The Verge, now known for inciting harassment of a scientist, given the server space or clicks on Wikipedia? This is disgusting on many levels, and will leave a black streak on Wikipedia's reputation if this blatant POV pushing continues. I am not done yet. These 5 have successfully pushed the POV for over a few months now, hounding the article and providing for a majority of edits, yet labeling other editors as SPAs, including an admin. But I digress; these editors have been given free reign, and admin powers via proxy. The editors pushing for a neutral article are policed by Dreadstar, Future Perfect, and some others, but when NorthBySouthBarnof, for example, went over the 3RR rule by, oh, 9, it was swept under the rug by Dreadstar, who hid the diffs. Titanium Dragon, a non SPA, who has been doxxed, no less, got topic banned by Gamaliel (Who insists that it isn't them, since someone else put it back on). I should note, Ryulong has been known in the past to collude with admins off the wiki. Now, the recent discovery of an operation by GamerGate about Wikipedia I found this. [19]. In essence, it asks GamerGate supporters to find diffs and logs that seem suspicious. To make it a secret to everyone, yes, I did register an account there, but have decided to not use it. I implore the ArbCom clerks to take this case, and look through histories thoroughly. It saddens me people defend Gawker and co as RS. --DSA510 Pls No H8 01:33, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I recently have been doxxed on IRC, which is the real reason for my temporary absence. I sincerely hope I don't have to look into this further. --DSA510 Pls No H8 05:06, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

@MarkBernstein: @Hustlecat: Excuse me? I know you'll probably use the following to paint me as something I'm not (pro-gg), but WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Read the wiki link in my statement. Collecting wikidiffs. A proposal was made, to, in essence, collect wikidiffs. Now I'm sure you're all glossing over/happy that I've gotten doxxed for minimal involvement, and now have some IP trying to get me banned, but i fail to see how, COLLECTING PUBLIC WIKIDIFFS = DOXXING. I COULD POTENTIALLY DIE IF I GET SWATTED, AND YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT WIKIDIFFS? There are serious double standards here, clerks of ArbCom, and this should not be allowed to stand. --DSA510 Pls No H8 22:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

@MarkBernstein: I am expressing my increasing exasperation with how "doxxing" is being thrown around so easily. Especially since EVERYTHING I SAW ONLY CALLED FOR WIKIDIFF COLLECTION. --DSA510 Pls No H8 23:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I see people are twisting my words as usual. I did not deny off-wiki collaboration. I did not deny people on both sides have been harassed (from Zoe Quinn, to Milo Yianoupolis). I'm saying I find it hard to believe how Wikidiffs = doxxing other editors. Haven't i already proclaimed my disgust at the trolls and harassers? And furthermore, I'd like to stop being indirectly called a misogynist. I firmly believe society should be egalitarian and meritocratic, in that people are solely judged by their actions/contribution, in relation to ability. But I digress. As for the last part, I have nothing wrong with people promoting diversity, but am dubious of tokenism. --DSA510 Pls No H8 00:18, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, I'M NOT PRO-GAMERGATE. Can't one be a neutral observer these days? --DSA510 Pls No H8 00:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

They're now sending meatpuppets to forum shop me. The little kangaroo court their cronies pulled seemed to work. Butbutbut muh not involvrd!!!!111!. Well, after interfering with quite a few AN discussions and that kangaroo court, are they really not involved anymore? --DSA510 Pls No H8 21:25, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by lurker Retartist

I haven't been heavily involved in this but i have been watching all the time. I dont post much because mostly I don't have much time and i don't like to write long posts. I started the failed dispute resolution and mediation requests. I think several users have been VERY uncivil and have gotten away with it per other users comments. I think it is 100% wrong that people are labelling this movement as Factually misogynistic and that popular opinion constitutes fact. Personally i used to be 100% pro-gg but recently have become more cynical as some people in the movement have shut their minds 100% or can't decide whether to be angels or just wreck shit (hi 8 chan). I know that the page can't paint GG as saints but what the page at this time is a smear campaign that assumes the press is 100% right. Also by request Here is the 8chan thread Retartist (talk) 07:01, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm going to act as a proxy for 8chan, Here is a page where I/they will copy notable posts that summarizes their arguments: User:Retartist/8chanstuff and they want us to look at this page re: claims of doxing from them Fallacy of quoting out of context Retartist (talk) 10:16, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Blanked page and redirecting users to collect evidence off wikiRetartist (talk) 21:59, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
I want to make it clear that the actions of myself in relation to the 8chan users is purely for the purpose of collecting diffs that they have that relate to the behaviour of editors for the purpose of this arb-com case. Retartist (talk) 23:06, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

A quick question, since news sites have mentioned several wikipedians in relation to the controversy, does that make them too involved in the page and therefore have a WP:COI? Retartist (talk) 04:46, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

I must note that I have attempted in the past to start mediation and Dispute resolution. Other editors have called it forum shopping but those threads were started after each other due to editors declining to participate, i only started new ones as was recommended to me. Retartist (talk) 01:46, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Willhesucceed

This topic has entirely exhausted me. TRPoD, Ryulong, Tarc, and to a lesser extent Tara and Baranof's harassment, belligerence, and unwillingness to cooperate with others on the Gamergate topic make the possibility of a good article materialising exceedingly small. I'm not going to bother tracking down all the swearing, arbitrary shutting down of discussions, mocking, double standards with regards to sources, edit warring, and other such behaviour that's marred the editing there, because the last time I did it didn't make any difference, even after Ryulong went on a witch hunt.

When I was still new here, multiple persons engaged in an edit war with me, and nobody did anything about it. As soon as people with whom The Five (above) disagreed did it, they submitted them for admin action. There are plenty of other such incidences evident to anyone who's been following the topic. Again, I have no faith that the admins are interested in executing their duties here, so I'm not going to bother tracking it all down. If the admins are actually finally interested in performing their responsibilities, they can be the ones to waste their own time.

While The Five, or at least TRPoD, Ryulong, and Tarc are still allowed anywhere near the topic, leave me out of this. I want as little as possible to do with them or with wilfully blind and biased administrators. Wikipedia has turned into a joke. Willhesucceed (talk) 08:10, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I will add that there seems to be over-reliance on "strong" but biased/political sources over more neutral/factual but "middling" or "weak" sources, which reliance is leading to an article that is prima facie objective but that is actually inaccurate, in that information is being excluded simply because it doesn't serve The Five's agenda. Digitimes, for example, is a respectable tech news outlet in Taiwan (you know, one of the places that make products for the video games industry), and yet it's not included anywhere on the page. Why? Because people are pushing political agendas instead of working together to create a proper, factual article on the topic. Here, have a look at them: and Perfectly reasonable perspective removed from the politics of the issues (unlike NYT, etc.), and yet they're being ignored. BBC Business Matters also covered the topic more neutrally, as have a few other sources. They're not included, either. More neutral and factual articles are being passed over for human interest pieces and politics. Welcome to the New Wikipedia. Willhesucceed (talk) 12:32, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Halfhat

The problemss with this article are complex and numerous, there are NPOV issues that need worked on (particularly on the intro), however they seem to be argued over almost exclusively making up the bulk of the talk page. There is a serious lack of attention to the over major issues with the page. These include the unjustifiable volume of opinion which has left the article at around 120kB which finally seems to be going down. Part of the problems I think also come from the highly polarizing nature of the topic, just about everyone here has some strong views, though I'm sure many will deny this, however there is clearly more going on. There's a bad habit of adding from every RS and a serious unwillingness to remove. HalfHat 09:01, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Another issue is the large volume of users attacking each other, this plagues both of the "sides" that have loosely formed, they usually go along the lines of agenda pushing and seldom have anything backing them beyond having opinions, the nature of the topic is highly polarizing, and so we all have our own biases, I think we need to accept this and move on instead of being so quick to accuse. HalfHat 09:21, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

@SirFozzie What evidence do you have to back up your conspiracy theory? HalfHat 09:49, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

For the record I'm not sure what should be done, I'm just trying to share my understanding of the situation since I've been pretty involved. HalfHat 09:00, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@Fut.Perf. What are you suggesting, guilty until proven innocent for new users? Totally against assume good faith and don't bite the n00bs, which is part of one of the five pillars. Mass bans without researching goes directly against what Wikipedia stands for.

I'm still not sure what is the best idea, but I can't help find how strongly certain users are against this a bit odd. HalfHat 09:48, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

On the talk page everyone seems to be more at each other's throats than usual, I really don't know why. HalfHat 22:19, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Silver seren

In the interest of keeping the reading of this short, i'll just upfront state my opinion, since it's quite possible the rest of my comment will be long. Thus, in short, Arbcom should NOT accept this case.

This article topic is basically an issue involving a dedicated group of Fringe people (the supporters that make up the Gamergate group) pushing for an article that reflects their POV, rather than neutrality or reliable sources. Considering the ongoing harassment campaign against dozens of people by this group, it is unsurprising that they are also wishing to control the narrative of the Wikipedia article on the topic of their group. They are similar to any other fringe group, whether speaking of pseudoscience or subjects related to sects of things in religion or political ideology. Several of the individuals that have made statements above are clear and known supporters of this Gamergate subject group. As you'd expect, there are a lot of SPAs involved. And then there are several others, which I will name Masem as one, that are trying to be good Wikipedians, but are pushing the point of neutrality to a fault. In a manner like what a lot of news media does, they are assuming that since there is more than one side involved, that the sides are equal and should be given equal weight. In this vociferous attempt to be neutral, they are essentially advocating for a violation of WP:DUE WEIGHT and against the very point of FRINGE existing.

Also, a side note of what exactly Wikipedia as a whole is dealing with in regards to this group and which several others have noted above, there are a number of threads within the Gamergate areas that currently are watching this very Arbcom request and say things such as, and I quote,

"DIG UP ALL INFO POSSIBLE ON Ryulong, NorthBySouthBarnoff, TarainDC, and TheRedPenofDoom."

So, in addition to dealing with rampant meatpuppetry, there are also concerns regarding harassment and WP:GAMING. Please take all of this into account.

It is for all the above reasons that I suggest that Arbcom does not take this case. The article is already being administered properly, following the policy and guideline rules of reliable sources, neutrality, due weight, and consensus among editors. The involvement of Arbcom at this junction would only serve to make the overall situation more chaotic and would only produce heat and no light at all. Thank you for your time. SilverserenC 09:03, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by SirFozzie

Here we go again. My statement last time (that people outside Wikipedia are attempting to use the "Death by a Thousand Cuts" technique to force editors out of the area, to give their SPA/POV warriors a chance to slant the article to their preferred version... think that's pretty much came true, huh? Dunno how it's solveable, it's against "Wikipedia's code" to restrict SPA's based on what they MIGHT do, but it's just a wave upon wave of attacks, hoping to "break the dam" through erosion. SirFozzie (talk) 09:39, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

HalfHat: Would the threads on 8Chan and KiA where they discuss how to break users in this thread help? SirFozzie (talk) 10:00, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I see what got you worried. I mentioned Restricting SPA's, which would possibly affect you, correct? SirFozzie (talk) 10:02, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Cs_california

I have been on Wikipedia for a while and made one to two NPOV edits on this page. On 28 September 2014 I added a sentence with reference on one of issues regarding corruption involving EA games. On October 22, 2014 a message was sent to me about an administrator board message from User:Ryulong. I, along with some fifteen users were wrongfully accused of being "Pro-gamergate" per Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive265#Nip Gamergate in the bud and was requested to be banned from the page for POV pushing and editing pages such as " (Anita Sarkeesian, Video game journalism, Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, etc.) ", which I have never edited. I only added 2 sentences and was automatically assigned an alignment to a certain side.

After reviewing some talk pages it seems like User:Ryulong is pushing a POV agenda including:

  • Witch hunting of users per request Nip Gamergate in the bud with NO research (ie "zero edits outside of this topic area in the past 2 months")
  • Incorrectly removing POV tags Talk:Gamergate controversy/Archive 8#POV tag
  • Bullying and acting in an Uncivil manner
    • including reverting users talk pages for no reason
    • Using pejorative terms to refer to anyone presenting counter evidence
    • Incivility

Per comments about 8chan: I do not know what that website is nor do I use it. As for the dig up everything comment. If there was no proof of anything negative there would be nothing for them to find. Only administrative bureaucrats can delete personal information or items from history.

-Cs california (talk) 10:36, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Avono

I will be agreeing with Cla68 and Masem, imho the biggest problem with the gamergate talkpage is that is it overly hostile for uninvolved /new users to get involved in by a set of problematic users who have clearly shown that there are not impartial (Wales telling both Tarc & Ryulong to stop editing the page ([20],[21]) . At the current time it is not worth the effort to solve the article’s npov issues because of that group of people who seem to think that they “own” ("35,5 % of all edits are done by Ryulong & NorthBySouthBarnof") the article.

@Silver seren:: the exact quote is "ITS IN ARBCOM GUYS. ARB. FUCKING. COM. (or at least a request). DIG UP ALL INFO POSSIBLE ON Ryulong, NorthBySouthBarnoff, TarainDC, and TheRedPenofDoom. Wiki related, we don't need twitter/tumblr/etc shit unless its related.",so please don't take quotes out of context. Users are accountable for their own actions therefore your second last argument about possible harassment is invalid. Avono (talk) 11:31 am, Today (UTC+1)

updated at Avono (talk) 14:25, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Ramba Ral

May I state, first off, that ArbCom should absolutely take this case.

I am not an active contributor to this article for obvious reasons, but I have been involved in this article from the beginning.

This article is subject to numerous problems, many of which have already been listed in statements by previous contributors to which I will add the following:

Firstly, there are next to no reliable NPOV secondary sources with which to support this article. The article concerns corruption in the media. Anyone with a modicum of common sense or ability to think critically will come to the realisation that the media is therefore not a reliable source on its own corruption. Nevertheless the article cites blogs and websites such as Cracked, Buzzfeed and indeed, Kotaku as reliable sources. In the case of Kotaku, user Ryulong said, in this talk page that it is not a reliable source. Kotaku is listed as a source for this article at least five times. What makes Kotaku an unreliable source for a tribute game and reliable on its own corruption?

Secondly, the article has been described by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales as a 'badly written battleground'. As Loganmac mentioned more contentious topics such as Adolf Hitler have received far more neutral articles. Why should a controversy over reporting in Games' media be treated any differently? The article has a problem with neutral language and perspective. I edited the article exactly once, to make the language more neutral. My edit was immediately reverted by an editor who claimed my edit was a WP:BLP transgression. This is WP:GAME and there are many instances of this happening. The article which is mainly being edited by the same four editors, user Ryulong in particular, in what is a textbook case of WP:OWN.

This brings me to my third and final point.

I am absolutely disgusted by the behaviour of Ryulong in particular. Ryulong has often proven himself to be uncivil, uninterested in civil discussion and solely concerned with narrative pushing in violation of Wikipedia policy. Keep in mind that this editor was de-sysopped for narrative pushing, harassment and ‘doxxing’ people who disagreed with him.

Numerous evidence exists of Ryulong engaging in WP: TAGTEAM ([22]), WP:DE and violation of WP:NPOV (admitted to bias [23] and [24] as well as a violation of WP:CIVIL). In addition he tried to lead a witch-hunt against editors who do not share his views [25], some of which were prominent administrators.

This is not the first time that Ryulong has engaged in such behaviour. Nor will it be the last, unless Arbitrators do something about him. Ryulong has already been de-sysopped for similar behaviour and is frequently the target of requests for arbitration and other such requests. I believe that he represents the worst that Wikipedia has to offer, a text book case of WP:BITE amongst other things, and letting him go on unpunished would be an affront to the integrity of Wikipedia as a whole.

Thank you for reading. Ramba Ral (talk) 11:53, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by User:Thargor Orlando

Please refer to my original comment, not much has changed. I'm completely in Cla68's boat in which the behavior of what, for the purposes of this filing, would be called "anti-GG" editors have fostered a climate where editing in the area for uninvolved editors is not worth the energy or fear of being blocked.

@Hasteur:'s point about the new enforcement page (which replaces/duplicates the existing page) just further highlights the problem. We're expecting the same community and administrators that appear to be unable to take a neutral look at this situation (as demonstrated with the NPOV tag issue) to then somehow be responsible enough to handle sanctions that do not appear to have wide approval, having been instituted after less than a day of discussion and without addressing significant problems. Also, Hasteur isn't uninvolved at all, as you're the one who sought community sanctions on this issue as the one who proposed the sanctions under "Proposed Gamergate solution by Hasteur." The accusations levied on me for wanting accountability and the bad faith demonstrated by Hasteur in his response are just some of many examples of how poisonous this has become and why a neutral party needs to be involved. Thargor Orlando (talk) 00:49, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
In summary, I don't see how this can be resolved without ArbCom intervention anymore. The community trust on this issue is basically ruined on both sides, and neutral parties willing to look at all angles of this are desperately needed. Hopefully ArbCom can be that group. Thargor Orlando (talk) 22:59, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
@Carcharoth: User:Gamaliel's latest update about "forum shopping" is, ironically, what I think of when I think of what happened the last few days with the NPOV tag. Clearly anti-GG editors couldn't get consensus at the article page to remove the necessary NPOV tag, so they forum shopped it to AN/I, allegedly got consensus there and then got the tag removed. The constant steamrolling of one side of the discussion in favor of the other is the problem here. I have no dog in this fight, I don't care enough about this issue to have a side, but I do have a vested interest in an encyclopedia that isn't having articles handled the way this one is by small pools of editors with various points of views and vendettas due to understandable anger at off-wiki activities. As someone who has been attacked off-site for alleged points of view and advocacy, I can sympathize, but that's simply not an excuse and the discretionary sanctions do not appear to be able to handle those editors because of the emotions and controversy surrounding this. Please take this case, it's really the only way we can get this sorted. Thargor Orlando (talk) 16:55, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved Liz

I'm glad to see that this page is semi-protected. It's alarming to see threads like this ( and on 8chan and reddit basically trying to rally the troops to influence these proceedings and "dig up information" on some of the participants (specifically Ryulong, NorthBySouthBarnoff, TarainDC and TheRedPenofDoom) . I know off-wiki activity is generally not considered but this seems especially targeted to influence any decision-making.

I hope that ARBCOM considers the arguments of people actually involved with editing articles concerning this subject and not uninvolved editors (myself included). Liz Read! Talk! 13:12, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I just came across Operation 5 Horseman (GamerGate is fond of military language) on pastebin, [26], focused on combing through contributions of a variety of editors and admins involved in this process to dig up dirt. Regardless of the specific content disputes, I fear that the evidence phase of a proceeding of an ArbCom case will spiral out-of-control and get overly personal on the real, personal failings of all-to-human editors. Given the off-Wikipedia conversations I've read, I wouldn't be surprised to see arbitrators next being subject to this same level of scrutiny if their opinions don't please this group of readers.
I realize that the consequences of taking a case shouldn't be the primary factor in deciding to accept a case. I just can easily see this becoming a circus with an ever-expanding number of participants. I'm thinking more about the ArbCom clerks more than anyone else as they are tasked with managing cases. Liz Read! Talk! 03:19, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Akesgeroth

I have rewritten my statement to follow the 500 words rule. Anyone wishing to review the original statement when the involved parties begin pretending that I do not address some issues (or simply wishing for more information) can do so here:

The continued contributions of four Wikipedia users (Ryulong, Tarc, TheRedPenOfDoom and NorthBySouthBaranof), referred to as The Four from here on out, combined with the tacit support of certain administrators acting as proxies for them threatens Wikipedia's integrity to an unacceptable point which will not be fixed without arbitration because of the involved party's continued abusive behavior and clear lack of remorse. They are not acting in good faith and are acting with the protection of certain administrators to edit politically sensitive topics and push their own narratives, making arbitration necessary to preserve Wikipedia's image. Here is a long, yet by no means complete, list of abuses committed by The Four:

In summary, The Four have repeatedly rejected any evidence supporting the “ethics in gaming journalism” perspective, present their own evidence as neutral when it clearly isn't and hide behind the longevity of their accounts, the number (rather than the value) of their contributions to Wikipedia and flawed regulations rather than cooperate with other users in writing a neutral article. Furthermore, they viciously attack users trying to participate reasonably in the discussion, from veiled threats of administrative action on their talk page to outright editing what their opponents said.

So, considering the massive body of evidence of abuse from The Four, their obvious unwillingness to cooperate in the writing of a neutral article, their protection by users with administrative powers, the massive amount of reliable sources provided showing the misogyny perspective being denied, it is obvious that this issue will not be solved by anything short of arbitration and so strongly suggest that the request be accepted. The Gamergate controversy article needs to be either rewritten or deleted (and kept deleted) until the events are over, The Four need to be blocked from editing it or any politically charged topic in the future and administrators who acted as proxies need to be demoted. As spoken by Akesgeroth (talk) 00:31, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Cuchullain

I haven't been involved as an admin at the Gamergate article for several weeks, so it's possible I'm missing something, but I don't believe an ARBCOM case would accomplish anything new. The true problem with the article (and the other affected articles) has always been primarily from one direction: the slew of SPAs and narrow-focus accounts coming here with an agenda, and the established editors who support or enable them. The community sanctions are having a positive effect on the articles, though not as widely as they could be to crack down on pervasive disruption. This option should be explored more fully before asking ARBCOM to weigh in.--Cúchullain t/c 16:23, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Future Perfect at Sunrise makes an important point that if we regard all the admins listed as parties here to be "involved" in the future, there will be no uninvolved admins left to handle the ongoing disruption. The current admins have too much on their plate as it is. I suggest the case be declined and the filer be sanctioned for a disruptive filing.--Cúchullain t/c 21:10, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by TaraInDC

We have been far too indulgent of a squadron of obvious SPAs and POV pushers who have been filling the talk page with rambling, evidence-free arguments (very similar to the ones filling up this page) and stalling every damned discussion with unsupported claims of "bias!!!!" All we're doing is encouraging them by making them think that they might actually be able to shout down WP policy if they're tenacious enough, and the result is the off-wiki campaign we're seeing here. Dreadstar (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) was for a time acting as an uninvolved peacekeeper on the article, primarily warning editors against commenting on other contributors rather than focusing on content, but seems to have been inactive for a couple of days, and at any rate that should not be any one person's problem. We need more oversight and stricter enforcement of policy on that page. This might also alleviate the apparent perception that Dreadstar is 'biased' because the editors warned, blocked or topic banned under the page sanctions all tend to come from one 'camp;' as with the article topic itself, these editors appear to have confused parity with neutrality. I can't help but wonder if naming Dreadstar as a party here will have the effect of removing the admin most active in enforcing the page sanctions by rendering said admin 'involved.' As before, I don't know if arbcom is the correct solution to this problem, but I do hope that if something productive comes out of this it will be a concrete suggestion of how to see that the page sanctions are enforced quickly and uniformly.

The unsupported accusations against other editors on this page are completely inappropriate, and it seems that editors are using this request as a means to vent the types of personal attacks that would in theory lead to a topic ban if voiced on the article talk page. No more narrative epics, please and thanks: give us some proof that the problem is with the 'anti-GG' editors ("The Five," as the very prolific SPA Willhesucceed melodramatically names us) or stop whining already. Don't just tell us we're being naughty: show us. -- TaraInDC (talk) 17:44, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Note: I didn't mean to suggest that there are no other uninvolved admins acting to enforce page sanctions, only that Dreadstar has been particularly active in warning editors off of behavior that's likely to result in a topic ban. -- TaraInDC (talk) 18:15, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Fut.Perf.

Just a procedural note: there's the old question of whether the mere fact that an admin has been listed by some other editor as a "party" to a case request will ipso facto consitute a form of "involvement" that will bar that administrator from taking further administrative actions in the field while the case is pending. Since the filer has chosen to list pretty much every admin as a party who has ever dared to take action in the field, if we're now all suddenly "involved" because he says so, that means there'd be basically no more uninvolved admin eyes on the article, making the discretionary sanctions inoperable for days or even weeks to come.

Since this obviously can't be allowed to happen, I'll state it here outright: I personally do not consider myself a "party" in this, and therefore I will continue to be available for taking action if necessary – except and until at least one arbitrator tells me explicitly that my own previous administrative actions are a matter of concern for him/her and he/she thinks they should be scrutinized as part of a case.

@Seraphimblade: what, there are "too many people involved and too much talking past one another", and that's a reason for taking the case? Are you serious? Arbcom is the worst possible venue for situations like this. This case has all the makings for another procedural disaster like the infamous "Macedonia 2", where hordes of people motivated by external political agendas were given free rein to drown the procedure in their drivel for weeks, until clerks and arbs started randomly and erraticly hitting out with blocks against established participants who had cracked under the constant provocation and lost their temper. Arbcom is notoriously incapable of keeping situations like this under control, and I pity all the poor souls who will have to go through this. Heck, you guys are already now failing to keep order here (what with Titanium Dragon's breach of his topic ban here under your very noses, the administrative treatment of which has promptly stalled in Arbcom-procedural limbo?) – And then, what kinds of remedies would you be passing down, given the structural asymmetry of the case? There are a handful of established editors on the one side, and an army of quickly replaceable single- or narrow-purpose accounts and newbies on the other. Sure, you could sanction those on the one side if you find them at fault, and I have no doubt people will heap up massive amounts of "evidence" (valid or not) against them, but do you really expect that others should submit actionable evidence regarding each and every one of the pro-GG POV army? And even if they did and you acted upon it and banned the worst ones, what good would it do, if they are replaced with new SPAs the next day? Fut.Perf. 11:55, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Black Kite

"Another problem in this situation is that there are admins who are either WP:INVOLVED on the subject taking action against their opponents while giving them a pass or admins whose actions are otherwise dubious. Some of these admins have a history of questionable use of their admin tools on other topics." Well, I am an admin, and I am named here. So do you want to actually show diffs here, or are you simply making stuff up? Oh I forgot, there aren't any diffs are there? Meanwhile, this appears to be an attempt for ArbCom to enable an off-wiki campaign to disrupt this article through the use of SPAs and previously dormant account. Frivolous filing, and the filer should be sanctioned. Although perhaps it wouldn't be a bad thing if it was taken, because if it was, I foresee a rotating weapon often used by Aboriginal peoples coming back and hitting a number of people above. Oh, and as per FPAS above, I do not consider myself involved here, and reserve my right to take admin action on this subject (although I haven't for a long time). Black Kite (talk) 18:43, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

  • @The Devil's Advocate: so the fact I posted a note about an articles Zoe Quinn and Depression Quest (which were badly afflicted by misogynist editing at the time) to the Gender Gap page, is unusual? However, I did not mention the page involved in this ArbCom request (which, incidentally, looked like this at the time). You're struggling badly here - no, hang on, I'll rephrase it - you're making shit up. Stop it. Stretching someone's involvement to a couple of related pages when the page being discussed here wasn't even controversial is ridiculous. As I said above, feel free to remove me as a party. Black Kite (talk) 19:35, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by A Quest for Knowledge

This request never should have been filed. It's only been a week since the Committee declined a request for a GamerGate case,[27] a request in which the filer directly participated in.[28] I suggest a warning/admonishment/sanction/whatever-you-want-to-call-it against The Devil's Advocate for filing a frivolous request. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:19, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

On second thought, perhaps ArbCom should take a limited case after what just happened at AN/I. Tarc violated his topic ban by opening this thread. Despite the facts that a) numerous uninvolved editors (such as myself) said that the tag should remain until the NPOV issues are resolved and b) the article talk page is filled with ongoing discussions of the article's NPOV problems, Mdann52 closed the thread bizarrely claiming (and I quote) "No ongoing discussion, so tag removed per consensus below."[29] TheRedPenOfDoom then removes the NPOV tag[30] and 18 minutes later, instead of reverting an obvious bad close, Future Perfect locks the article.

Now, perhaps the timing is purely coincidental, but given the accusation that admins have been favoring one side, perhaps ArbCom should open a limited case to examine whether admins have been enforcing community sanctions in a fair, even-handed fashion. If the accusation that admins have indeed been biased in their application of community sanctions, then the community sanctions will clearly fail. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:39, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Jehochman

Salvio, please stay on the fence; Newyorkbrad needs somebody to keep him company.  :-D I think you could hear the case as long as you prune the list of parties to remove the neutral admins who are enforcing the community sanction. I think there should be a motion to confirm that those sanctions are in effect, and that this filing does not stop them from operating, nor does it interfere with their enforcement. To do otherwise would encourage gaming the rules. Also, if you find the accusations are baseless, you should consider sanctioning the requesting party(ies) to discourage the use of Arbitration as a form of SLAPP. Jehochman Talk 21:18, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Acroterion

As Fut.Perf. stated, listing uninvolved administrators who have acted to enforce discretionary sanctions as "involved parties" has the potential effect of neutralizing the discretionary sanctions process. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not involved until I hear otherwise from ArbCom. My initial reaction to all of this was that DS are working, more or less, that there is no indication that any POV is being suppressed on the talkpage by their application, and that the rate of BLP violations in GamerGate and related articles (my chief concern) has declined dramatically. Given that, I was inclined to recommend that ArbCom reject this request, but given the off-wiki activity campaign and the number of SPAs who keep appearing, there may be merit in accepting, particularly given the parallels with the Scientology arbitration. Acroterion (talk) 22:28, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by PhilKnight

In terms of what can be achieved by taking this case, I'd suggest the following.

  1. Topic bans as necessary for editors who are unable or unwilling to assume good faith, write with a neutral point of view, remain civil, and use reliable sources. Also topic bans for those who use the talk page to espouse their viewpoint, as opposed to discuss how to improve the article.
  2. A determination of whether the uninvolved admins (including myself) are interpreting the Biographies of Living Persons policy correctly. From the above, I gather that The Devil's Advocate and Cla68 consider that the uninvolved admins are being one sided and bitey, while as far as I'm concerned the admins are just enforcing the Biographies of Living Persons policy.
  3. Also, similar to the above, guidance as to whether the editors are interpreting the Biographies of Living Persons policy correctly. I gather that Willhesucceed considers there is an over reliance on 'strong but biased' sources, and Masem has similar concerns.

However, that said, in my humble opinion, the case as currently framed has too many parties, and is too wide in scope. I would suggest that if ArbCom is going to accept a Gamergate controversy case, then it should be more focused, otherwise the case would be unnecessarily time consuming. PhilKnight (talk) 22:58, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

In the previous Request for Arbitration concerning Gamergate controversy, I asked what the filing party and supporters were asking the ArbCom to do, and in particular why the community general sanctions would not be the appropriate remedy. Failing a statement by the filing party and supporters, I said that the ArbCom should decline to take the case. Now I strongly suggest that the ArbCom accept the case. I will explain why. The primary reason is that there are certain editors whom the community cannot deal with effectively, and they are editors who polarize the community because they have both strong supporters and strong opponents. They include habitually uncivil editors who have a reputation as “excellent content creators”. It now appears that the editors who are called The Five are another class of editors who polarize the community. I make that statement without saying that they are right or that they are wrong, only that the community cannot deal with editors who polarize the community. The ArbCom can deal with editors who polarize the community. If the ArbCom finds that the principal “anti-Gamergate” editors have been engaging in ownership and battleground editing of the Gamergate article, it can impose sanctions on them. If the ArbCom finds that the principal “anti-Gamergate” editors have not engaged in sanctionable behavior, then any persistence in that claim will become a sanctionable personal attack by the critics. Either the principal “anti-Gamergate” editors deserve to be sanctioned, or they deserve to be vindicated, rather than constantly attacked by other editors.

A secondary reason is that, due to the excessive level of threats of doxing and claims of doxing, it may be necessary to consider evidence involving actual identity information that is only permitted for highly trusted functionaries such as the arbitrators.

Because one of the limits of the community process is that the community cannot deal with editors who polarize the community, I ask that the ArbCom now accept this case.

Robert McClenon (talk) 00:15, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

There is a thread in progress at WP:ANI in which a proposal is being made to topic-ban User:Ryulong from Gamergate controversy. Although it is clear that the thread will be closed with a consensus against, the thread illustrates my observation above that sometimes the community is polarized by particular editors, including Ryulong. Either Ryulong deserves to be sanctioned, or he deserves to be vindicated, or he deserves to be vindicated in general but with an admonition (which is what I would recommend). Only the ArbCom can sanction or vindicate Ryulong and other "anti-Gamergate" editors. Please accept the case. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:06, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Volunteer Marek

Whatever you do (pass a motion, lock it down, empower some discretionary sanctions) DON'T accept this case. That will make sure that this issue remains unresolved for at least six ten months or longer. Volunteer Marek  00:17, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Dave Dial(DD2K)

It's unbelievable to me that a few contentious editors(TDA, Tutelary, Cla68) aided by an admin(Masem) who claims to be neutral(which it is painfully obvious he is not) can cause such a shit storm. ArbCom has allowed this to go on for far too long, and if you don't have the guts to make the tough decisions, then resign. Masem, TDA and the rest have allowed articles and their Talk pages related to 'gamergate' to be disrupted by SPAs over and over and over. With the dozens of links known to the committee from outside sites driving this fiasco, what the Hell are you waiting for? Many of you seem all too eager to take the DP case below, and in fact desysop him at the drop of a hat wit no cause. Yet sit on your collective hands as this stupid shit spirals into the mess it is now. You all should be ashamed that editors at the article and their Talk pages have been bombarded by SPAs and shit stirrers, Masem aids and abets, and the cycle goes on and on, and ArbCom kicks the can down the road. Dave Dial (talk) 02:02, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@User:Masem - You can bet that links will be provided if this case is accepted. For now, all anyone has to do is look at your contributions on the article and the Talk page. And your tactics are pretty well summed up on the most recent ANI episode. You have consistently and unrelentingly made long time editors jump through hoops to keep out reliably sourced material from mainstream outlets, and have accepted and tried to insert fringe material from SPAs. Over and over and over. Your claim of neutrality is laughable. Dave Dial (talk) 19:44, 11 November 2014 (UTC) I just want to add that despite my harsh wording, I respect people who have the fortitude to serve on the committee. Saying that, I think a simple way to solve this case is to give out several topic bans of anything related to women or feminism(broadly construed) and then set the gamergate article, its Talk page, and all related pages(broadly construed) to "pending changes" protection. For 6 months. Inform the admins over at the Reviewer Rights to not give the right out to new accounts. Thanks. Dave Dial (talk) 15:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Dreadstar

I consider myself uninvolved in this matter as I have only acted in an administrative capacity on GamerGate related articles. This appears to be yet another attempt by Devil's Advocate to disenfranchise admins who remain neutral and enforce policy as well as editors who do not side with DA. DA has persistently attacked admins enforcing the GamerGate Discretionary sanctions or other policy violations on editors who seem to share DA's POV; here are but a few examples: [31], [32] [33], [34]. There are more, and if this case is accepted, I'll provide more examples. In this case, I suggest WP:BOOMERANG on the filer, DA should be indefinitely banned from GamerGate related articles. Dreadstar 16:53, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved John Carter

I suggest the case be taken as per Salvio's comments below. If this is, as he says, the third time that a request for action on this topic has been made in the past couple of weeks, there is some clear evidence that at least some individuals are trying to avoid talking to each other and instead talking to ArbCom to start a case. Collective beating on a dead horse can I suppose sometimes in itself be grounds for arbitration action, if there seems to be a rather longish line of people holding sticks waiting to relieve each other as the earlier corpse abusers get blocked, finally get some sleep, etc. John Carter (talk) 17:58, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Protonk

It seems we may accept this case. If we do, I recommend two things:

  • "Off-wiki" coordination (a bit of a misnomer here as the coordination predates and is not largely concerned with wikipedia) and message discipline are ongoing and have been since the disputes over this article arose. Both the content goal ("gamergate is a movement about ethics in journalism, harassment is limited to bad eggs whom the community has disavowed, further the actions against gaters are just as bad but are being papered over because of unfair media coverage") and the methods (high volume of complaints about bias and equal time, doxxing of involved participants, all the while stating that it would be bad to harass these enemies of truth and justice, etc.) are coordinated in various places--4chan, before a bunch of people got kicked; 8chan's /gg board; TumblrInAction and KotakuInAction as well as other IRC channels and imageboards. This is not a paranoid wikipedia's fever dream, it is something established by reliable sources for this subject specifically. This coordination doesn't indict individual editors per se, but it exists. Do not ignore it.
  • Long term editor behavior has not been optimal, but resist the urge to focus on editor behavior as this is exactly the playbook for the above coordination (and one well worn from every FRINGE dispute which makes it to ArbCom). Don't overlook wrongs, but consider the volume and relative calm of the GG talk page as a testament to the repetitive and stressful nature of the debate. This is a content outcome, but we should not carry water for a movement (where it is acting as a movement) which represents a reactionary and sexist bid to rewrite history just for the PR. The core of GG is about making everything "about ethics in games journalism" while the whole of the controversy carries on with women, critics and indie developers harassed and anti-feminist allies found on the right. It's ugly tribalism and there are a small number of editors (now targeted on 8chan) working to make sure our article doesn't present this fringe view as reality. Do not forget that.

Be prepared to deal with bullshit and don't waste your time or ours. Protonk (talk) 16:39, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Rich Farmbrough (GG)

This is always going to be a difficult area, until the text-books are written about it. The polarising nature of the debate ensures that the majority of people, which includes many of us, believe that they are NPOV on the subject, while actually taking either one side or the other. The normal recourse to RS is difficult, because one side of the dispute is (at least to some extent) the people who normally write the RS. Thus it is not surprising that there is conflict. Nonetheless there is common ground even among those most affected by the dispute, for example the guy that runs 8Chan was interviewed recently and condemned the treatment of Quinn, Quinn was also interviewed recently and said some nice things about gamers in general. While of course the trolling on both sides continues, the people who actually matter are acting like real human beings. I see great efforts being made on talk pages to reach consensus, but I also see edit warring and intransigence. It is up to the community to develop a modus vivendi to deal with these issues.

In the event that ArbCOm can be part of that solution by lowering the temperature and perhaps pace, then am Arbcom case could be a good thing. Blocking can be left I think to AN/I, if editors adopt a battleground mentality, or edit war.

Statement by Pudeo

The administrative actions of Dreadstar have been peculiar here. In particular, this this 3RR report concerning 12 reverts in 24 hours was closed as no action by Dreadstar because it was stale 15 hours later. The adminstrator in question often arrives to do clutch decisions that seem to be completely one-sided to me. Dreadstar also closed the ANI thread mentioned in TDA's statement, again of course the people who are for the "anti"-POV (Ryulong et. al.) got off the hook. The Gamergate talk page and edit notes have had horrendous language, usually from Ruylong and Tarc (scanning for the word "fuck" may give a quick idea), but they have never been admonished as even the ANI was quickly closed by Dreadstar. One view referenced in the article itself is that the Gamergate controversy is a "culture war" (feminism/anti-feminism). This in my opinion explains why "uninvolved" admins as well can have plenty of external motives to act in a partisan way. It's definitely not a good thing if such cliques form in the admin corps. --Pudeo' 01:53, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by AuerbachKeller

Ryulong made a problematic BLP edit referencing me as chronicled on the Gamergate:Talk page. When I politely requested that he not cite me in the future due to this incident, he accused me in multiple places on WP of threatening him: On my own talk page and on the Gamergate talk page He is now telling Drmies to revoke my confirmed status and to tell me to stay away from him (Ryulong). Ryulong's behavior appears to be a WP:CONDUCT violation on the grounds of civility at the very least. I hope this issue will be addressed. Auerbachkeller (talk) 19:36, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Tony Sidaway (talk · contribs)

I think this is working, and I hope more admins will get involved in enforcement. Editing on the talk page has really stabilised over the past three days and progress is being made on the draft since the main article was put under full protection. Editors with different opinions are reaching consensus on major issues of content and structure in this admittedly imperfect article.

I'm trying to direct conduct issues (some of which are admittedly severe) towards dispute resolution in user talk pages as the like, and this will work if given a chance. I'm not encountering any serious opposition. Keep this open for a few more weeks, perhaps. This topic is time sensitive, ephemeral. Consensus is coalescing as reliable sources grow in unanimity.

There may be a case for community action on some disputes, and in some cases a 2004-style summary motion may help. The admins are still timid. Perhaps a motion encouraging them to take action is in order.

Update 21:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC). I'm unhappy with the apparent existence of a rather ugly external campaign. I'm stepping away from Wikipedia for a while. I now think arbitration is inevitable though I'm uncertain what it can achieve in the circumstances. Good luck, and please make sure you lock down the arbitration mailing lists.

Statement by previously involved IP user

I am making a new statement as my first was rejected as too long.

Let me preface this by noting that I find the prejudice against so-called "SPA"s here mind-boggling. Every account is, by definition, an SPA the moment the first edit is made. It's unreasonable to expect new users to begin work on multiple articles simultaneously, and not devote special attention to any of them - especially if that user then gets dragged into WP:BRD.

But what really irritates me about the current situation is all the double standards.

Claims about "obvious SPAs and POV pushers who have been filling the talk page with rambling, evidence-free arguments... [and] unsupported claims of "bias!!!!" are made here unironically, without citing the evidence of POV-pushing, and in spite of other statements that exhaustively cite the claims of bias on the part of User:TaraInDC and others. Meanwhile, when a small team of like-minded editors are responsible for a huge percentage of the edits to both the page itself and the talk page, they seem somehow immune to accusations of WP:OWN and WP:TAGTEAM. The same editors claim a "consensus" against the WP:NPOV tag on the article, and then say "consensus is not a vote" when basically everyone else objects.

Accusing admins etc. of being SPAs and pushing for them to be banned somehow doesn't WP:BOOMERANG on some, while relatively minor issues do on others. Some accounts get sanctioned for 3RR, while others get away with 15RR. I get chastised for WP:BLP when I try to explain what Gjoni actually said on the talk page, while other editors apparently get to misrepresent the sources and make false allegations against Gjoni in the actual article content (1, 2).

I see complaints about WP:GAMING by people who are trying to figure out how to make a case that will actually stick, after all the flagrant violations that have been ignored due to what looks like blatant WP:GAMING to those individuals. They're condemned for "organizing offsite" to figure this out - even though editors are supposedly allowed to do/say what they want off of Wikipedia in general, and complain loudly when those actions are cited as evidence of bias.

(Most of the above is a synthesis of other users' statements and my observation thereof. Please let me know if you feel any additional citations are necessary.)

Per comments User:Ryulong made in previous ANI action, it seems he considers himself qualified to judge his own lack of bias. He also promised there: "I will keep away more than the 48 hours it took for me to get bored sitting in Hong Kong airport with nothing to do for 5 hours." That was on October 23, and as far as I can tell from the revision history, this did not happen. I point this out for the benefit of those who have been counselling Ryulong to calm down and step away for a bit (Robert McClenon; Jimbo Wales). (talk) 13:01, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by very marginally involved user xaosflux

I am only involved if the use of the PC2 protection level as an WP:IAR action in violation of the protection policy as an extraordinary measure is being addressed by arbcom. I participated in and endorsed Cuchullain's use of PC2 on the Zoe Quinn article as an extraordinary control. This was endorsed on WP:RFPP as well. — xaosflux Talk 03:01, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Kurtis

I urge the Arbitration Committee to accept this case. Gamergate has become a spiraling cesspool of vitriol, the likes of which I've never seen before. This isn't just a bunch of fringe theorists trying to use dispute resolution as a means of pushing an agenda; this is one of the nastiest disputes in the history of Wikipedia. The two sides have stooped to casting vile aspersions against one another, poisoning the entire atmosphere of the main article and related pages. This has spilled onto ANI, AN3, and elsewhere on an almost daily basis. At the very least, something must be done to stem the tide of aggression, because it's making collaborative editing virtually impossible. We cannot sweep this thing under the rug any longer, because it will only fester until we're looking at a mess of gargantuan proportions. Kurtis (talk) 06:27, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by previously involved Bosstopher

I'd like to reiterate the points I made here. The article is a scary place where everyone is too suspicious of each other to act collaboratively, or view any suggestions made by editors they dislike as legitimate. Everyone's convinced the other side's out to get them, and as a result of this are out to get the other side, so by the end of it regardless of initial intentions it becomes ultimately impossible to edit this article without giving into (a worryingly justified) paranoia. Over the course of this article being edited, two editors have been doxxed. The reaction to this doxxing was one of little sympathy.[35][36][37][38][39][40] Another editor of the article has had to turn his twitter to private, due to the harassment he has received for his editing. And as a lot of the other statements mention 8chan is now trying to dig up dirt on the people they dislike.

Further adding to atmosphere of suspicion are the actions of editors such as Loganmac. Loganmac has been broadcasting the conversations of the Gamergate controversy talk page through twitter and the subreddit KotakuInAction. There is of course nothing wrong with doing this alone, other editors like Tarc and TheDevilsAdvocate have also broadcasted their editing sagas and contacted those embroiled in the controversy. However in both their cases they have acted to clear up confusion regarding the article, tried to explain why it is how it is, and have apologized and clarified when they have made factual errors. Loganmac has now spread false information about other editors through KotakuinAction, at least twice now. In both cases he has refused to clarify the incorrect information he was spreading. He has also lied about these events on wiki claiming Ryulong was stalking his twitter and reddit accounts when in reality (as evident in the very diff Logan cited) I, who track both the twitter hashtag and KiA out of interest in the controversy, brought the posts to his attention. Logan has been acting to heavily inflame the situation.

As a result of events like the ones I have described above, people editing this article do not trust each other. Including this hilarious ANI, in which Ryulong accuses an admin of being an SPA that's out to get him, and accuses me of "solely [using] Wikipedia to push the "pro-Gamergate" agenda," a somewhat cynical claim given that in two of the few times we interacted in our editing, I was pushing for the inclusion of material that could be considered Anti-GG, and defending the article from a pro-GG POV pusher (dont know how to link deleted diffs, but it's from 22:51 26/09). Similarly Ryulong assumed when Willhesucceed posted an article highlighting misogyny and abuse in Gamergate, that he had done the exact opposite.

In conclusion everything is dreadful and there's probably no way to fix it. Good luck Arbcom! Also sorry for mostly focusing on you, Ryulong and Loganmac, your actions were those that remained the freshest in my mind.

Statement by Sookenon

Not much to say, except maybe to bring this to your attention.

Maybe it's just me, but I have a VEEEEEEERRRRRY good feeling that you gents on the Arbitration Committee might want to take a look at this: Sookenon (talk) 23:19, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Hustlecat

Hi all,

I have been following the constellation of editors, articles and complaints on this subject for a couple months now, while trying to keep my input minimal. I have briefly offered my opinion previously and would like to do so now.

This issue brings to mind the gender gap (particularly in tech). However, rather than being driven solely by inaction, entrenched attitudes, and the status quo, this involves overt threats and harassment of female developers, writers, and social scientists interested in video games. That is, there are people actively working against the equal treatment of women in a popular modern art form/tech product (regardless of whether they understand it that way). This is scary to those who support an end to gender discrimination.

I mentioned previously [41] that this is similar to other "culture war" issues, in that it is exploitative of false balance to tilt the discussion in the desired direction even when facts say otherwise. I think the fourth and last paragraphs of Hasteur's now-moved comments and replies shed light on how this is happening here.

I want to address the issue of the targeted editors. Many of the complaints about their behavior are bald-faced attempts to enrage from their ideological opponents. A couple complaints resulted in justified warnings. However, I consider the warned behavior to be defensible, and not surprising, as they are being hounded by both external harassment and on-wiki "sea lioning". It is a testament to their dedication to policy and accuracy that they have kept their cool to the extent that they have while under fire.

Those targeted are doing good work in the topic area; it may look like WP:TAGTEAM and WP:OWN because there are very real threats of "doxxing" and harassment for potential newcomers who effectively contribute in ways that opponents dislike. (I'll admit that that is why I haven't gotten deeply involved.) However, editors who will champion the RSes and boldly advocate for an article that represents reality (and respond to those relentlessly and baselessly attacking RSes) are necessary for a good article. I believe the targeted users' contributions should not be undervalued due to behavioral blips (I have Ryulong and Tarc in mind here, although I'm seeing others begin to lose patience and slip- exactly what their opponents want). This is not meant as an apology for bad behavior; I mean that those who have been targeted for following policy are understandably defensive. Uninvolved users seem hesitant to come to their or the article's defense due to the potential threats both on-wiki (being reported repeatedly for overblown reasons) and off (threats, harassment). I don't think the targeted editors should be penalized for momentarily digging in their heels, losing civility, or forgetting to assume good faith amidst an onslaught of comments and edits that have often been baity [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47], repetitive [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55], and hostile to RSes [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] as well as standard policy [65] [66] [67].

Thanks for reading.

--Hustlecat do it! 07:26, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Count me in with MarkB about being slightly confused about why DSA510 pinged me. If he's really trying to say that there is no external off-wiki coordination... I think enough other statements here have provided evidence to the contrary. If he's trying to say that there are threats to both sides of getting doxxed over this, that is superficially true (just as I could theoretically be doxxed if I pissed off the wrong guy over, say, the wiki article on tomatoes), but trying to take a controversy that has begun because real people have been doxxed and harassed for their beliefs that women should be treated as equals in society and claim "but wait, one angry person did something to me, therefore both sides are equal" sounds like gratuitous attention-seeking at best, and is blatantly insulting to real victims at worst. DSA510, I'm sorry you feel that way, and it's truly a shame that it has happpened to you, and I know you probably didn't mean it in the ways it came across to me, but please consider that what happened to you is what has been happening to women involved in video games all along, simply for expressing their opinions and creating games that treat women as people and try to understand where those arguing with you are coming from. Peace, Hustlecat do it! 00:01, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Resolute

Uninvolved, looking to stay that way. My comment, given the case appears to be on the verge of acceptance, is simple: This dispute is largely a battle between Neutral point of view, and Misogynistic point of view. And if there is one thing Gamergate has amply demonstrated, it is that there are a great many misogynists willing to harass and threaten all opposition into silence. So please, arbs, be careful that you don't become unwitting tools for their cause. Resolute 14:50, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by (somewhat involved) Remorseless Angel

I'm a semi-involved editor in this case, in that I've attempted to make one minor edit to the article and was turned off from any further contribution. I added myself as a party because I wanted to share with ArbCom my experiences from a mostly outside editor, though please do keep in mind that my involvement is brief and that I do not have full information on what is happening in this article.

The main issues that I see with the topic is the battleground mentality that editors on both sides seem to have devolved into. After making my edit (an nPoV issue that would have been a no-brainer on any other article), I became involved in an argument with RPoD where he - and later Ryulong - made subtle accusations against me. I didn't comment further in the discussion because it was resolved in a manner that I did not need to contest, but the general assumption of "you're either with us or against us" left a pretty nasty taste in my mouth.

I could definitely understand it from the point of the aforementioned five members. I have been on both 4chan and Reddit for long enough to know how asinine they can get when they unite for some reason, and I'm sure the article was filled with people trying to push an agenda without actual regard for neutrality. Nonetheless, this type of mentality is damaging since it quickly pushes away new editors, so ultimately the page becomes effectively owned by the same group of pro-GG and anti-GG Wikipedians with most other people watching from the sidelines, at best.

I don't really want to take sides in this issue since I disagree with both sides, but I do want to summarize a few of my own observations:

  • This issue is not just "Ryulong and co." vs "neutral Wikipedians", or "Neutrality defenders" vs "pro-GG pushers from 8chan". While there are definitely agenda pushing on both sides, there are many Wikipedians on both sides that are well-intentioned and just getting a bit too heated.
  • Many experienced wikipedians are viewing the article as a battleground, with people being categorized on the fly as "PoV-pushing anti-gg" or "pro-gg fringe-pushing misogynist" and editors judging others by a hastily-assigned label rather than on merits.
  • I can't see any benefit from blindly banning users from either side, and doing so is effectively taking sides in an issue.
  • Rather than acting on users, the best way to resolve this is to make a definitive ruling on how to handle bias on sources. This might have implications on other articles, but would eliminate a greater part of this entire debate and allow the admins to effectively act as arbitrators.

That is just my opinions as a mostly uninvolved editor. Keep in mind that my experience with the article is limited, though, so please do take what I say with a massive grain of salt. I am also more than willing to retract my statements if proven wrong.

RemorA 16:47, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by MarkBernstein

With regard to the “Update” supplied a short time ago by @Loganmac: I have read the reddit thread cited there, and see no clear support for the allegation made in that paragraph that a specific editor is engaged in paid editing. In a regular talk page discussion, I would be inclined to delete such a comment as a probable WP:BLP issue, perhaps also nodding at WP:CIVIL, WP:AGF, and WP:FORUM. Different standards apply here, of course, but do they extend this far? MarkBernstein (talk) 16:42, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Update: in light of off-wiki efforts to inquire into Ryulong’s sexuality, address, and religious affiliation -- efforts which appear to be coordinated with a campaign to convince Arbcom to accept this case -- I urge the committee to take special care before rewarding behavior that now considerably exceeds forum shopping. MarkBernstein (talk) 20:59, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

@DungeonSiegeAddict510 calls me out for some misdeed above, but I'm not sure what is objecting to. Huh? MarkBernstein (talk) 23:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {other user}

Clerk notes -Gamergate

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • I'm not a clerk and have no desire to be, but I'll borrow this area because I have no comment to make on the case request. I'm just noting that Titanium Dragon is topic-banned from the GamerGate area and a complaint was filed at AE to the effect that TD's comment here violated the topic ban. Since the alleged violation took place on a case request, I'll leave it to ArbCom or clerks to determine whether the ban was violated and whether any action is necessary. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:54, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

GamerGate: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <6/3/1/0>

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse/other)

  • Recuse. GorillaWarfare (talk) 02:19, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • First of all, a procedural request: a lot of people have already commented on this case request and even more will probably do as well; so, to avoid making this page an unreadable wall of text, I'm asking everyone to please stick to the rules and be careful not to use more than 500 words in their statements. If you have used more, please shorten your statement in a reasonable amount of time, or it will have to be removed in its entirety.

    Another thing, please do not make accusations unless you can provide diffs supporting them. Accusations without evidence are disruptive and repeatedly casting aspersions on other users may lead to sanctions.

    On the merits, I haven't made up my mind yet whether to accept this case or not. I admit that I'm starting to think the circumstance we have received, in less than a month, three different case requests on the same issue, each submitted by a different person, might seem to point to the fact that the community cannot successfully deal with this dispute and that it would probably be a good idea for ArbCom to step in. At the same time, I don't want to give the impression that by failing to drop a stick, someone can force us to take a case which, technically, would not be ripe for arbitration yet. So, as I said, I'm still on the fence. Salvio Let's talk about it! 18:52, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

    • Accept. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:24, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
      • @Tarc: again I will point out that we have discretionary sanctions in place that have barely been tried, I know and that's why I was on the fence. The problem is that I see this dispute expanding and expanding and, quite frankly, it does not appear that the discretionary sanctions are helping much.

        I do encourage more admins to get involved, hoping that a case can be avoided, but as things are right now, I'm afraid our intervention seems inevitable. Also, re. your suggestion that arbs place the GamerGate noticeboard on our watchlist, personally I'd rather not do that, because then I would be prevented from hearing a hypothetical case.

        Finally, for the admins who have asked: in my opinion, if you were uninvolved before, you continue to be even though you have been added as parties to this request, which means that you can continue enforcing the community sanctions. If we accept the case, we'll probably have to prune the list of parties anyway... Salvio Let's talk about it! 13:28, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

  • I tend to agree with Salvio. At this point, though, I think there may be too many people involved and too much talking past one another for anything short of arbitration to have a good chance of resolution. I do echo Salvio's insistence that allegations of misconduct be backed with evidence in the form of diffs, or be redacted. Slinging accusations without backing them with evidence is itself a form of misconduct. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:04, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Accept, and in addition to WTT's suggestions, I would note that we will be taking a very firm hand with bickering and sniping during the case, as well as off-topic discussions. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:19, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Decline. The entire situation surrounding this article and the off-wiki controversies underlying it is certainly unhealthy, but I perceive little basis for criticizing any administrator actions relating to it, and still see no reason to believe that an arbitration case would yield more useful results than applying the existing community-originated general sanctions. I'll add that if, contrary to my vote, we were to take a case, it should be handled in a highly expedited manner to avoid its becoming a complete circus. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:11, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Grudgingly Accept. I've kept quiet on this topic and done a lot of reading. We've got so many factors at play here that I think we need a case. I'm especially concerned about the off-wiki co-ordination. I'm not sure what Arbcom can do to improve the situation, but I agree with an expedited case, and firmly holding to deadlines and word limits. WormTT(talk) 10:08, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Accept I do not like the "keep asking till you get you want" feeling I get from these repeated requests, but at the end of the day it does appear these problems are spiraling out of control. I think this may be a situation where a temporary injunction at the start of the case may be in order, and I fully agree that a firm hand and an accelerated timeline would also be helpful. Beeblebrox (talk) 05:48, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - am not decided yet and wary of accepting a case so soon after we declined the previous request to give time for community sanctions to work or not. I might have accepted if a month had gone by and the same problems were occurring, but this is too soon. I will vote whether to accept or not after the weekend. Can someone provide a brief summary of how things have gone in the 5 days or so since this new request was filed. Carcharoth (talk) 06:58, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Decline per Newyorkbrad. And advance notice that if a case is accepted, I will ask to be marked inactive on it as my remaining time on the committee is likely to be best spent on the other three cases that are currently open. Carcharoth (talk) 00:15, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
  • This dispute is clearly damaging the encyclopedia. Accept, to examine user conduct. AGK [•] 20:54, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • This seems quite inevitable, but I'm unsure what actions we can take, except for discretionary sanctions, which due to the type of issue at play may have mixed success. NativeForeigner Talk 04:57, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak (is that a thing?) decline Pretty huge case here. I'm not sure that General sanctions are adequate, but on the other hand this case as framed is huge and in my mind is liable to, at the end of the day, accomplish little directly. It looks like this will be accepted, and I'll probably try to help shape it if it does, but I'm not convinced taking it is the best course of action. NativeForeigner Talk 19:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Rich Farmbrough

Initiated by Rich Farmbrough at 02:56, 21 November 2014‎ (UTC)

Case affected 
Rich Farmbrough arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Finding 4
List of users affected by or involved in this amendment
Information about amendment request

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

Finding 4 cites "letter and spirit of bot policy" (without, of course, quoting the policy) and gives four alleged examples, apparently supported by links.

  1. running high-speed tasks without sufficient approval ([68]),
  2. running high-volume tasks without sufficient approval ([69])
  3. running bot tasks from a non-bot account ([70]),
  4. running unapproved bot tasks ([71]).

Taking these in order:

  1. There is no bot policy that says that high speed manual tasks need approval. In fact current WP:BOTPOL specifically says Note that merely editing quickly, particularly for a short time, is not by itself disruptive.
  2. There is no bot policy that says that high volume manual tasks need approval. That would be absurd. People like the late lamented User:JimCubb who did such sterling work on the WP:Listas problem, our spelling fixers, like John of Reading, our stub-sorters like PamD, these are all working within policy, as indeed was I. The diff supposedly supporting this is just the opinion of CBM.
  3. It is not the case that a task that is permitted automatically is prohibited manually. CBM has often stated that this is policy, but I have never seen this piece of folklore anywhere else than in this case and in comments by CBM.
  4. It is a generally accepted principle that bots using AWB may perform "general fixes" at the same time. These are built-in to AWB and are carefully selected by the developers to be non-controversial and robust. One admin took exception to one of these fixes against consensus, and repeatedly blocked the bot. You can even see CBM confirming that he his happy with all the "general fixes" except the WP:IDONTLIKEIT change.
One line summary

Three of the four examples are clearly within policy. The fourth is within standard usage, and even so I went to great lengths to oblige CBM.

I have attempted to keep this short, so may have omitted something you think important. Please feel free to ask any questions, and I will do my best to answer them. I am happy to answer questions of opinion or fact, or even motivation.

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).

Rich Farmbrough: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Rich, you're a good editor. You have a lot to give to the encyclopedia. However, I've spent too much time looking over this case over the past 2 years as an arbitrator. Quite simply, I agree with the outcome at the time. Roger Davies, you and I sat down and discussed the topic ban at Wikimania and it seems that nothing has changed since then. I've read over your request and don't agree that this remedy should be vacated - your automated editing was causing significant issues at the time. I'm sorry to see that you still don't accept that. Good luck with your other endeavours, Rich - I hope they serve you well. WormTT(talk) 11:57, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Amendment request: Ayn Rand, Monty Hall problem, Longevity, Cold fusion 2, Tree shaping, Gibraltar

Initiated by User:Rich Farmbrough at 19:50, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Cases affected 
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Ayn Rand: Remedy 13
  2. Monty Hall problem: Remedy 5
  3. Longevity: Remedy 1
  4. Cold fusion 2: (Remedy 10)
  5. Tree shaping: Remedy 5
  6. Gibraltar: Remedy 9

Amendment 1

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

This remedy is stale. The only actions in the 3 years are a warning for disruption in 2013 (which could have been made anyway), and, in January, a 1 month topic ban of a dynamic IP account.

Statement by TParis (Ayn Rand)

There was a severe edit war on Ayn Rand in October 2013. That's recent enough that I think this restriction is still needed as a reminder and as an enforcement tool for sysops in the area.--v/r - TP 22:56, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by other editor

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

Amendment 2

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

These stale discretionary sanctions have never been used, indeed all the time based sanctions are long expired.

Statement by Ningauble

Although this remedy has not been "used" in the limited sense that no editors have been sanctioned under its provisions (as far as I know), the log of notifications shows an instance this year where, in my opinion, the fact of the article being under this sort of probationary status has been used to good effect.

That said, apart from heading off conduct so egregious that it might be sanctionable sooner or later even without provision for special discretion, I am not sure this remedy, or anything else within the committee's remit as generally understood, can do much to improve a situation that continues to see episodes of unproductive discussion. Standards of conduct and decorum are well and good, but do not prevent dancing round and round in circles without improving this formerly featured article. ~ Ningauble (talk) 14:42, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by other editor

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

Amendment 3

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

These stale discretionary sanctions have never been used.

Statement by other editor

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

Not evident why discretionary sanctions were threatened years ago. Please strike.--Wuerzele (talk) 07:32, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Amendment 4

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

Note that this remedy was never invoked.

Statement by User:Robert McClenon

There has been continued disruptive editing, but I agree with User:Gaijin42 that this can rolled up under pseudoscience, as long as it is clear that the intent is only to roll it up, not to strike the remedy. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:50, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Gaijin42

This seems like it would be covered by the pseudoscience case. So sure, nuke this one to clean up some record keeping, but it doesn't really change the editing environment for the article/topic. Gaijin42 (talk) 20:37, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Noren

This topic area was subject to enough disruption to require a full case resulting in its own specific sanctions years after the pseudoscience ruling had been put into effect. This was partly because a number of editors were of the opinion that cold fusion does not fall within the scope of pseudoscience (and the argument on that meta-topic was interminable.) If the current, specific ruling that Cold Fusion is subject to discretionary sanctions goes away, I think that a very clear, citeable statement by Arbcom that this topic is subject to sanctions under the pseudoscience umbrella would be necessary to avoid a repeat of this history. --Noren (talk) 02:23, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Rich Farmbrough is mistaken that this remedy was never invoked, see for example [72] and [73]. It was made more difficult to find these invocations because the name of the case has been retroactively changed and the logging of enforcement has been moved to merge with the older pseudoscience case.--Noren (talk) 18:16, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by other editor

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

Amendment 5

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

Note that this remedy was never invoked apart form two warnings in 2011.

Statement by other editor

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

Amendment 6

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

This remedy is stale, no action has been taken since 2011.

Statement by Thryduulf

I issued a 0RR restriction on Operation Flavius for an editor in February this year. I did this under the WP:TROUBLES case, but I could equally have used the DS authorised for the Gibraltar topic area instead (the article is about a military action against IRA members on Gibraltar). Obviously if DS had been repealed for Gibraltar then I could still have issued this sanction under The Troubles. I don't remember at this distance whether the focus of this editor was Gibraltar or The Troubles though. Thryduulf (talk) 12:18, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by other editor

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

Further discussion

The proliferation of areas under discretionary sanctions (in addition to other forms of sanction) makes editing Wikipedia both more complex and trouble prone for all editors, but especially new editors. It makes sense to remove obsolete sanctions, and obsolete notices (indeed I removed obsolete notices from 56 of the 136 articles listed under "Community probation" only the other day).

None of these areas seem to have been significantly troubled since the case, and certainly not in a way where DS would be required to resolve them.

I would hope that none of these requested amendments would be controversial, but if one or more are I would welcome as an alternative, suspension of those sanctions for a year, with a view to striking them.

@Timotheus Canens: I certainly never implied that Pseudo-science sanction should have an exemption for cold fusion. I would be interested to know where you got such an idea. In this case we simply do not need any special note about it, its standing is simply as part of pseudo-science.

Comments by Thryduulf

I have left a message on the main article talk pages for these topic areas (Talk:Ayn Rand, Talk:Monty Hall problem, Talk:Longevity, Talk:Tree shaping and Talk:Gibraltar) advising editors there of this amendment request and asking for any comments about the proposal to be left here. I haven't left messages on any deeper pages (e.g. Talk:History of Gibraltar) as I don't know how to define the set of which pages have the DS template on that are relevant to these cases, and I'd be here all day if I tried to do that manually. Anyone else is of course free to do so.

I suggest waiting a few days to allow for any such comments before actioning (or not) these amendments. Thryduulf (talk) 12:11, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

If the cold fusion topic area is removed from the scope of the pseudoscience DS authorisation, then this should be explicitly noted at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience#Discretionary_sanctions as well as on the Cold Fusion 2 case page. I also note that the pseudoscience DS are authorised for "articles" rather than "pages", arbitrators may wish to consider amending that similarly to the motion last month.

And, off topic for this request but while I'm here, I asked for clarification of a BASC decision the other day at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Cookiecutteramaru's topic ban (where the BASC decision page told me to ask), but this appears to have slipped under the radar. Thryduulf (talk)

Statement by Carrite

This request is such a mess that I don't even know where to put my comment... This entire request should be thrown out as out of process. This combines a huge variety of unrelated cases, effectively massing a herd of buffalo, making examination of each individual specimen impractical. For example, I don't think the Gibraltar remedies should be altered or softened at all. What does that have to do with the Monty Hall case? Just toss this entire request and let the proposer start over, one at a time, if there is an actual need for such alterations (which I doubt). Carrite (talk) 15:17, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

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

Ayn Rand, Monty Hall problem, Longevity, Cold fusion 2, Tree shaping, Gibraltar: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I remember (some in more detail than others) the arbitration cases that led to discretionary sanctions being authorized in these areas. Basically, we authorize DS in a topic-area where there has been disruptive editing by several (not just one or two) editors in a topic-area, and there is a likelihood of continued disruptive editing in the future. I accept, without having checked, Rich's statement that these topic-areas have not been edited disruptively for some time. The question then is, is that likely to continue if we lift the DS. In some areas it probably is, if the specific editors who were editing problematically have moved on (and no one has replaced them in that regard), or if the real-world cause of editing disputes on an article has disappeared (although I don't think that would apply here). I would certainly be open to lifting DS on a topic-area if the active editors in the topic-area told us that they thought DS was no longer necessary and was dampening the editing environment. I'm not as sure whether we want to adopt a presumption of "if DS were authorized awhile ago and the topic is calm now, we will lift the DS based on the passage of time as a housekeeping matter." I ask my colleagues who were active in the DS review a couple of months ago if this issue was discussed then and in any event what their thoughts are. Newyorkbrad (talk) 04:18, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The relevant principle was briefly discussed here and then added to Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions#Authorisation, which now reads [w]hen it becomes apparent that discretionary sanctions are no longer necessary for a particular area of conflict, only the committee may rescind the authorisation of them, either at the request of any editor at ARCA or of its own initiative. I'd say this is the case here and would support a motion. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:59, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Generally speaking, if disruptive behavior has settled down in an area and is not likely to resume, I'm in favor of removing discretionary sanctions from them. There are some areas that will probably always remain "hot" and there's little likelihood of that happening, but in these, it looks like things have cooled off quite a lot. We could always leave open the possibility of restoring sanctions by motion if significant disruption resumes. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:45, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I also agree that it is not desirable to have sanctions in place when there have been no recent problems and would likely support motions to remove them from these areas once we have confirmed Rich's findings. (Not saying I don't believe him, it's just best practice to double-check such things). Beeblebrox (talk) 18:57, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Based on Beeblebrox's #Analysis, I would support a motion to de-authorise discretionary sanctions for these topic areas. AGK [•] 20:49, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I would also support such a motion. Thank you Beeblebrox for that analysis. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:26, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • "Pseudoscience and fringe science except cold fusion" as a discretionary sanctions area makes little sense, so I'm opposed to carving out a special exemption for CF. I'm open to a motion lifting the remainder per Beeblebrox's analysis. T. Canens (talk) 03:19, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I concur with my colleagues. Unless someone else beats to me, I'll draft a motion wrapping up he various loose ends on this tomorrow. Thanks to Rich Farmbrough for bringing this to us. And it's good to see the obsolescence provision in the new DS procedure been used properly.  Roger Davies talk 16:44, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
    • As per above, Thryduulf has posted about this request on the talkpages of the lead articles in the various topic-areas, to give the editors and admins active in the topics notice that this is being considered. (I thank him for doing so.) We might just want to wait a few more days before voting on a motion to see if we get any further input. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)


I am adding this section for point-by-point analysis of each request, this should help inform how we proceed. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:06, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Ayn Rand
Arb enforcement actions
3 users blocked in 2009, 1 in 2013, 1 January of this year
Article placed under 1RR from October 2013 to April this year
Recent article history
On the main article on Rand herself: minor editorial conflicts continue, nothing recent beyond what one would expect in an article on such a polarizing figure, nothing particularly nasty on talk page, seems fairly civil
The articles on objectivism and her novels seem fairly quiet
  • Monty Hall Problem
Arb enforcement actions
1 user blocked in 2011, 1IP used by that same user blocked in 2012
Recent article history
minor editorial disputes continue, there was a recent discussion the talk page last month that turned more personal than it should have, but the article itself is not experiencing serious disruption.
  • Longevity
Arb enforcement actions
Numerous warnings handed out right after the case closed n 2011, one user blocked for violating their topic ban, DS appears to have never been invoked
Recent article history
Main article appears free of conflict. No substantive discussion on talk page between announcement of DS in 2011 and a note directing users to this request a few days ago
Checked several related articles, some subject to simple vandalism, no serious editorial disputes
  • Cold fusion 2
Arb enforcement actions
Numerous blocks in 2011, all of the same user who was subsequently community banned that same year
Please note this sanction was already Superseded by motion, 22:35, 15 November 2012 (UTC). See Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience#Discretionary sanctions. So the discussion is not whether we should vacate the original sanction but rather whether it should be removed from the umbrella of the pseudoscience DS.
However, there do not appear to be any notes in the enforcement logs that directly relate to cold fusion.
Recent article history
Talk page is quite active (47 archives!) but discussion is mostly civil and the article itself is fairly stable and free of major editorial disputes
  • Tree shaping
Arb enforcement actions
Three warnings in 2011, no blocks or bans
Recent article history
Pleasantly surprised to see that several users subject to now-expired individual sanctions in the original case having civil, collaborative discussions on talk page, no serious disruption of article content for some time.
  • Gibraltar
Arb enforcement actions
Several warnings and individual sanctions applied in 2010-2011, all long since expired
no logged blocks or bans
Note that this is one of the decisions whose wording was modified by the committee last month, though that should not have any impact on the matter in front of us today
Recent article history
Main article and talk page appear free of prolonged, tendentious disputes, nothing beyond what one would expect for any article on a country
The entire history of an oft-disputed territory, broadly construed is an awful lot of material. Checked a sample of related pages and found no significant disruption of content.

Beeblebrox (talk) 20:43, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Clarification request: Gun control

Initiated by Gaijin42 (talk) at 17:31, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Link to relevant decision

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

Statement by Gaijin42

During the GC case I was topic banned from Gun Control. I am currently involved in editing King v. Burwell an upcoming supreme court case regarding Obamacare. One of the issues in the case is Commandeering (The limitations on the Federal government being able to force states to implement policies/laws). The Commandeering doctrine was most recently decided and expanded upon in Printz v. United States a SCOTUS gun control case dealing with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.

The Commandeering article is currently very stubby, I would like to expand it, but doing so will likely require discussing/referencing Printz. Note that the concept of commandeering itself is not related to gun control, merely the most recent major SCOTUS discussion of commandeering happened to be in a gun control case. I can avoid discussing the direct gun control issues, but this still seems on the edge of my ban.

I would like to ask for clarification on where the line of my ban is drawn, and if referencing the generic precedents set in Printz is a violation of my ban. If I were to expand the Commandeering article, would citing/quoting Printz be a violation.

Clarifying Note : Due to the appeal restrictions placed on the case, I am ONLY asking for clarification, and not asking for a modification of the ban. (because I'm still within the initial 12 month "no appeal" period, and in any case do not want to risk resetting my clock) Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun_control#Appeal_of_topic_bans

David FuchsRoger DaviesNativeForeigner I appreciate the opinions of the arbs. My (obviously self-interested) position was that it wasn't really a grey area, just a technicality, because the subject of commandeering is not really about gun control. An analogous situation would be someone who is topic banned from rape not being able to edit on the Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution or Miranda warning because Miranda_v._Arizona happened to be about a rape conviction. As to Roger's specific question, I obviously would not have a basis for accusing anyone of violating their ban, since doing so would be a violation of my own ban, but joking aside, no I don't think such an accusation would have merit, and such construction makes topic bans exceptionally broad. Especially in an area regarding law and government the interactions and tendrils between entities and events is immense. If commandeering is a grey area/violation, conceivably any interaction with any aspect of the government would be. Are the entirety of articles such as Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Diane Feinstein BLPs or the entire United States Congress and United States Constitution also off limits? They certainly fall into "the people and organizations associated with these issues" per the ban.

However, in the interest of staying in good graces (or at least not getting in worse graces) I will probably avoid as advised, but would appreciate a further answer/comment as to the broadness of bans in general per my question just above. Gaijin42 (talk) 17:23, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by AndyTheGrump

I should probably make it clear that I was heavily involved in the ArbCom case that led to Gaijin42's topic ban, and my comments should perhaps be seen in that light, but I have to suggest that Gaijin42 has answered his own question - Printz v. United States clearly and unambiguously involves gun control issues, and if expansion of the Commandeering article requires citing Printz v. United States, I cannot see how he could make such a citation without violating the ban. One does not (or should not) merely cite things in articles, one cites them for a reason, and I cannot see how Printz v. United States could appropriately be cited without at least informing the readers what the case was about - the constitutionality or otherwise of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:55, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {other user}

Clerk notes

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

Gun control: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I'd steer clear, if only to make sure no issues arise. It may be possible to edit it whilst staying clear, but I do not advise trying it. NativeForeigner Talk 05:02, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest steering clear too. A reasonable test for you is asking whether, if a topic-banned opponent in the gun control area, were to edit the same article you are thinking of editing, would you feel like you'd have a solid basis for accusing them of violating the topic ban? If so, avoid making the edit. (With grateful thanks to Alanyst for articulating so clearly the advice on which my comment here is based.)  Roger Davies talk 16:55, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree with my colleagues above. We generally craft remedies broadly to avoid these sorts of grey areas where it can be argued bias is still possible; Roger's flipping exercise is the standard I usually hold as well. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 16:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Amendment request: Discretionary sanctions

Initiated by Fut.Perf. at 17:25, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. WP:AC/DS#Continuity

Statement by Fut.Perf.

Just noticed this trivial clerical oversight in the wording of the current DS rules. In the "WP:AC/DS#Continuity" section, there is the the rule that old warnings are grandfathered in until "twelve months from the date of the passing of the motion authorising this procedure" – but nowhere on the page does it say when that date actually was (3 May 2014, apparently), nor is there an actual link to the decision anywhere, and it took me ages just now to dig that bloody link out [74]. Just add a reference to that date there, and a link to decision in the refs section at the bottom, because it will remain important for admins in figuring out the "alert" status of editors for the next half year to come.

Of course, if Arbcom pages weren't such a ridiculous jungle of bureaucracy, I could just go ahead and make this simple, uncontroversial clerical correction myself (heck, per IAR, I guess I'll just do it anyway [75]), but since on prior attempts arbitrators have ever so gracefully insisted on the untouchableness of their little home-made bureaucratic fiefdom [76], you asked for ridiculous procedure for procedure's sake, you get ridiculous procedure for procedure's sake. Have fun voting on this. Fut.Perf. 17:25, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by DHeyward

  • Bravo. Brevity. Soul. Wit. --DHeyward (talk) 19:10, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Pine

Objection: Worm That Turned is violating the MoS with his support statement, and Seraphimblade's citation should be more precise. (In all seriousness, good catch.) --Pine 08:59, 16 November 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).

Discretionary sanctions: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • If this really were a ridiculous jungle of bureaucracy and an untouchable little home-made bureaucratic fiefdom, I would vote to deny this request on the ground that it has been improperly posted at the bottom rather than the top of the clarifications-and-amendments section. (Everyone knows that new requests go at the top rather than the bottom of the section, right?) But since the arbitration pages in reality are and always have been governed by the spirit of collaboration, good judgment, and above all common sense and proportionality in all things, I will instead say that I have no problem with this suggestion. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:03, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Wot NYB sed. WormTT(talk) 08:02, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I move that we initiate proceedings under Rule 34.1, subpart J-5, in order to convene a subcommittee to schedule an impact analysis for the proposed modification. (In all seriousness, though, good catch and thanks for fixing it.) Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:00, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Per Seraphimblade. GorillaWarfare (talk) 03:25, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Per Seraphimblade. AGK [•] 20:49, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Make it so. NativeForeigner Talk 05:03, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Good catch,  Roger Davies talk 16:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Amendment request: Tea Party movement

Initiated by Xenophrenic (talk) at 20:34, 10 November 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 7.1 (topic-banned from all pages relating to the Tea Party movement, broadly construed)
  2. Remedy 7.2 (prohibited from interacting with, or commenting on, Collect anywhere on Wikipedia)
List of users affected by or involved in this amendment
Confirmation that the above users are aware of this request
  • Collect (diff of notification of this thread on Collect's talk page)
Information about amendment request

Statement by Xenophrenic

The Arbitration Committee imposed upon me a topic ban and a one-way interaction ban on 5 September 2013, with instructions that I may appeal to ArbCom after 6 months. Now that 14 months have passed, I am requesting that the bans be lifted as no longer necessary, and an undue burden. The "Finding of Fact" about me indicates the Arbs perceived some problems with my Talk page interaction with other Wikipedia editors. I "personalized" the discussions by stubbornly demanding that editors substantiate certain negative personal comments about me, even to the point of "edit warring over comments that negatively portray" me, and "thereby further increasing tension" as I repeatedly deleted those comments and replaced them with {{rpa}} templates. I agree that my conduct was substandard. I have since grown thicker skin and changed the way I respond to those situations -- with the best response often being for me to just ignore it and get back to collaborative editing. I apologize to the Arbs, the clerks and the community for their wasted time and energy due to my part in this matter, and extend my assurance that I won't repeat that conduct. With regard to User:Collect, I "engaged in unnecessary mockery" of his use of Cheers by responding with Where everybody knows your name. I've ceased that response as well, but more to the larger point, I have and will continue to refrain from unnecessary mockery of editors. And Collect: Please accept my apology.

In addition to being no longer necessary, these two remedies are becoming increasingly burdensome. I frequently find myself having to play Six Broadly Construed Degrees of Separation whenever I see the words 'Tea' and 'Party' somewhere in an article I wish to edit or discuss. (Example: while typing a question to Newyorkbrad in response to his comment, I discovered he was talking about a lawsuit drafted by a Tea Party activist, so I had to hold my tongue, lest someone twist that into a topic ban violation.) See this discussion for an example of how reasonable people can completely disagree on what is "related to" the Tea Party; there are 1000s of articles linked to Tea Party. It is cumbersome to "not interact with" an editor after they revert your edits and open a Request for Comment(RfC) on those very edits, while still trying to communicate on the Talk page. More examples upon request.

I'm up against the word-limit now, but if there are any reservations about lifting the sanctions, I can strengthen my request by providing details on:

  • (Good behavior) -how every editor sanctioned in this ArbCom case 14 months ago, except me (and Snowded), has since received additional Blocks, Bans, ArbCom sanctions, or violated existing sanctions
  • (Topic relevance) -how the FoF evidence for me described an editor-interaction problem not specifically related to the TPm "topic" or subject matter, unlike many of the other FoFs describing problems related to topic content, sources and POV

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I'll leave you with these wise words on I-BANs, with which I happen to agree. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 20:34, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

First - this is a draconian solution for what appears to be a common problem. Thus it won't work. Second, the idea of a "1 way ban" has been shown to basically never work in practice, and such Ibans made generally end up being 2 way. Third, I suggest that all such Ibans in future be limited in duration, as a preventative sanction only, else they too often become games to people opposing one editor or the other.
  • Response to Collect: Either I was unclear, or you have misunderstood. I make no complaint against you here; I have no issue with you here. To the contrary, for more than 14 months there has been only productive discourse whenever you and I have crossed paths at noticeboards and Talk pages. I only provided diffs to the Infobox RfC example above to illustrate the contortions I must go through in order to respond to your direct interaction with me while "not interacting with you". It would be so much easier to just converse normally with you, rather than talk past you while pretending you aren't part of the discussion, as I try to convey my thoughts to you within the constraints of a one-way I-Ban. Given that I am already constrained by Wikipedia's policies on civility and collaboration, and you now have my assurance I won't transgress again, and you can rest assured that repeated transgression will likely result in doubly swift and harsh penalties, what utility do you see in maintaining the I-Ban?
  • Response to Thargor Orlando: Thank you, um... I think? I agree with you on your two points: my edits weren't "problematic the way other editors' edits were", and you'll find no evidence that I've "continued that behavior". I agree, and that is why I am now asking to have the sanctions lifted. I must strongly disagree, however, with your assertion that I have not kept away from Tea Party-related articles. Looking at the 5 diffs you provided, the first three articles have no mention of the Tea Party at all. The remaining two articles do briefly mention the Tea Party in sections near the end of the articles, unbeknownst to me, but the subjects of those articles are the farthest thing from "related to" the Tea Party. And there was no obvious indication that I should search for TP references buried in those two biographies while I was rapidly making minor tweaks to infobox templates in a batch of biographies. Had I known that the words "Tea Party" existed in those two articles, I most certainly would have requested clarification here, as I have in the past. Your examples perfectly highlight my point that reasonable people can disagree on what is "related to" Tea Party articles, and the burden such a topic ban imposes.
  • Thargor Orlando, why must it be either/or? I believe ArbCom wanted both (to keep me away from Tea Party content and that I demonstrate non-disruptive interaction), and I have conducted myself accordingly. I still frequent contentious subject matter involving politics, religion, war, conspiracy — all the hot spots — but without incident over 14 months. I also feel I have exercised an abundance of caution in avoiding TPm-related content. I can't count how many articles and discussions I've avoided because of the topic ban, and I've even refrained from pestering the Committee with what could have been almost daily clarification requests, opting instead simply to edit elsewhere. Even in this specific case, where the Arbiter who authored the topic ban (who better knows its intent?) gave me the green light to continue editing an article containing "Tea Party" text, I opted to take onboard the advice of others and ceased editing that article. I believe I've taken proper care in complying with the intent and spirit of the topic ban, your two examples containing Tea Party text notwithstanding.
  • @Seraphimblade: If it will grease the wheels in this process, and satisfy Collect, I can return here in 49 days and resubmit my request to have the I-Ban lifted. I admit I still do not understand the reasoning behind the requested delay, but at this point ... whatever works to bring closure to the matter.

Statement by Collect

I would be fully unaffected by this amendment, as I have no sanctions extant under the Tea Party Movement case. My appeal to Jimbo has met with absolutely no response, but we are well past the six month mark making this amendment request totally moot. The one way interaction ban should be carefully weighed - I have not interacted with Xenophrenic at any point, and would just as soon have him continued to be constrained. Collect (talk) 11:59, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

I am, moreover, aghast that the common use in infoboxes to include degrees received is what his major complaint appears to be. There was, in fact, a discussion on the template page, as I trust he is aware, and he appeared to be in full accord with the solution, so I do not know what his issue with me is here. Collect (talk) 12:07, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Note to people who note my belief that 1 way bans should be of specified duration - I still hold that view. I do not understand why my position here that the single 1 way ban should not be abrogated at this point is of any dispute, though I would think that making it for a specified period as MastCell notes would not be amiss. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:30, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@Xenophrenic I would suggest that a "date certain" to end the iban is in accord with my consistent positions on such bans, and think perhaps setting it at 1 January 2015 would not be unduly burdensome. I further note that I have never had any "enemies list" to stalk or make derogatory comments about on Wikipedia, though I will grant some of your older posts did vex me a tad. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:07, 11 November 2014 (UTC) {Other editors are free to comment on this amendment as necessary. Comments here should be directed only at the above proposed amendment.}

My position has always been that 1 way Ibans should have a defined term, at least to the best of my recollection, and the charge of "hypocrisy" is painful. The case presented, however, seeks two distinct and basically unrelated changes to the ArbCom sanctions, thus separating the two seemed to me to be rational. Setting a time certain is rational, but tying it to this request is quite imperfect. One should note that I have, as far as I can tell, been civil to Xenophrenic, and have not made any edits with any intent other than benefitting the project. This would leave the sole issue the actual TPm topic ban, for which I proffer no opinion. Nor did I proffer evidence against any editor in the TPm case, and the "findings" against me were drafted by an Arbitrator using diffs not presented by anyone other than the single arbitrator. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:28, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Thargor Orlando

I brought up the initial clarification before, so I'm commenting to note that, while I haven't had any further encounters with Xenophrenic since then, others certainly have and probably didn't notice that he was under sanction, given that even in the last few months he has edits to sanction-related articles like Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now [77], Efforts to impeach Barack Obama [78], United States House of Representatives v. Obama [79], Van Jones [80], and Alan Grayson [81] (and this is using a fairly narrow standard of "broadly construed." If the topic ban is about keeping him from engaging in incivility on these pages, I'm unaware of any evidence that he's continued that behavior. If the topic ban, however, was to keep him away from Tea Party-related articles, he has very clearly not done so. I have no interest in stalking his edits to keep him in line, but the result of this appeal should really be about the intent of the topic ban, especially as his edits, at first glance, do not appear to be problematic the way other editors' edits were. Thargor Orlando (talk) 13:32, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@Xenophrenic:, and that's all my point is: if the idea is to keep you away from Tea Party-related articles, and you're not taking the proper care in making sure you're doing so, then this amendment should be denied. If the point was to demonstrate that you can actually be civil and not disruptive with those you disagree with on contentious articles, then I agree with you. It's all about what ArbCom was trying to accomplish. Thargor Orlando (talk) 11:55, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by MastCell

Collect has previously been very vocal and consistent in his belief that one-way interaction bans are unfair and useless:

In light of Collect's vehement opposition to one-way interaction bans, I find his support for continuing such a ban here puzzling. I'm not sure it has any bearing on whether Xenophrenic's interaction ban should be lifted (it probably should, on a trial basis and on the basis of good behavior, particularly as the 1-way ban allows Collect to revert him with impunity). It's more that, having now spent more than 8 years on Wikipedia, my patience with hypocrisy is pretty much depleted and I find it difficult to ignore. MastCell Talk 19:05, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {yet another user}

Clerk notes

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

Tea Party movement: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • @Collect: if I'm understanding you correctly, you would object to the IBAN being lifted at this time, but would not object to ending it as of 1 January? I'm not clear on what difference having it run for an extra month and a half would make? Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:17, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I would grant this petition. AGK [•] 20:51, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm okay with both the t-ban and the i-ban going. Perhaps the way forward is that both are suspended immediately and if there are no problem with either by the end of the year, they both expire on 31st December. If there's enthusaism for this, I'll propose a suitably convoluted motion,  Roger Davies talk 17:06, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Clarification request: Banning Policy

Initiated by KonveyorBelt at 19:29, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Link to relevant decision


1) For actions discussed within this case, as well as past history of disruption for which he has been sanctioned,[40][41] Tarc is subject to an indefinite editing restriction. Tarc may not edit any administrative noticeboards, nor User talk:Jimbo Wales, aside from the normal exceptions.

Passed 6 to 2, with 1 abstention at 10:27 am, 12 October 2014, Sunday (29 days ago) (UTC−7)

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

Statement by Konveyor Belt

Tarc created a thread about Gamergate here: [83]. Immediately others called for him to be blocked, based on the ruling above. So the request is thus: Does the "normal exceptions" in the remedy above include commenting and posting on subjects that Tarc is directly involved in? KonveyorBelt 19:29, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Note User:TParis has taken it upon himself to state Tarc will not edit admin noticeboards hereafter: [84]. KonveyorBelt 19:33, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

@Seraphimblade: If Tarc asks the guy to open an ANI or he tells him what to put, is that a PROXYING violation? KonveyorBelt 17:21, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Tarc

I was under the impression that "normal exceptions" covered situations such as being invoked by another party ANI, or if I was in need of admin assistance for a situation in which I was already involved. An example of the former would be this filing by a Gamergate SPA, in which I was obliged to defend myself. The latter is a case involving Gamergate controversy; I have been involved there for months, and we have an intractable situation where editors are blatantly abusing Template:POV, and we as regular editors cannot solve it by edit-warring, and discussion has gone on for over a month.

I'd find it hard to imaging that y'all sought to prohibit me from seeking redress for situations where I am extensively understanding was that you wanted me out of admin board-related discussions in which I had no prior hand in to avoid animosity and entanglement and such. Pursuant to that, I declined an invitation (User talk:Tarc#Notice) to participate in a Gamergate AN thread...even though I'm involved in the topic in general, that particular tangent did not involve me. I also decided to stay away from the Gender gap case, even though I had some early involvement in that. Hell, ANI is off the watchlist entirely.

If y'all want to prohibit even the filing of ANI reports when assistance is necessary, then that's your call I guess, but like I said, I honestly did not see that interpretation of the finding at the time. As far as the current ANI goes, obviously I disagree with TParis' restrictive interpretation of the Arbcom finding, but I will refrain from posting further there while this is being discussed here. The important thing is that the subject matter of the filing itself was allowed to continue. Tarc (talk) 19:47, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

@TParis:, it's a fine line, here; I don't agree with the finding that my initiating an ANI discussion violates the Arbcom ruling, but at the same time I do not fault you for hatting the Tutleary-fueled hysterics in the middle and allowing the topic itself to continue.

I do need a clarification here though, as it seems obvious that there are differing interpretations as to what Arbcom said. Tarc (talk) 22:30, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

No, despite that Arbcom talk page thread that meandered nowhere, you never actually clarified anything...until now, apparently. Remember what we're talking about here; a ban from something that had NOTHING TO DO with the actual Arbcom case, so it kinda follows that when something follows from nothing, there will be a distinct lack of clarity on the parameters. If this is what you wish to declare going forward, whatever, but to suggest that your intent was clear beforehand is divorced from reality. Tarc (talk) 13:04, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Hayward, I hatted it because the suggestions of a GG topic ban by you and Tuletary are so far out of left-field as to be farcical and has nothing to do with what we're talking about here; it isn't even on the table. Arbcom wrote a very muddled ban from "admin noticeboards" except for "normal exceptions"; I sincerely felt that asking for help in a topic I was directly involved in was an exception. If it isn't, fine, we'll all know now going forward. But as evidenced from the ANI thread in question, there is quite a bit of agreement with my point-of-view; several editors wholly unconnected to Gamergate have tried to remove the abused POV tag and ran into the same edit-warring roadblock that I did. My participation in Gamergate has not been disruptive, and you have provided no proof to the contrary. But again, we're not even here to discuss GG itself. This is an absurd distraction, initiated by you. I have nothing else to say on this, if an Arb has a specific question for me, I ask to be pinged; otherwise, this is off my watchlist. Tarc (talk) 00:35, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Well, I guess I have to retract that "no more to say" line; it seems that overnight I was vindicated, as far as the specific Gamergate matter goes, Not there was much merit to begin with, but Hayward & Tuletary's catcalls for a GG topic ban have now been rendered moot (this moot not that moot), as the matter I brought to ANI was seen as a problem to remedy and not something that "just creates drama", to quote DH.

Arbs, I apologize for the ANI filing misstep, as I thought that was permissible. I still think it SHOULD be permissible, but that's your call. Tarc (talk) 13:36, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by TParis

@Tarc: I consider it to be a reasonable compromise. You avoid a block and your thread gets discussed. Works in your favor.--v/r - TP 21:17, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Carrite

It strikes me as ridiculous that starting a dramatic new thread at AN/I and then commenting on it is a "normal exception" to a topic ban from posting to AN/I. A "normal exception" would be, logically, one having the ability to respond to a thread started about the topic-banned individual at the prohibited page. It is no surprise that the limits of ArbCom's lamentably fuzzy language are being probed after less than a month. Carrite (talk) 21:48, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {Hell in a Bucket}

Unless an admin thinks Tarc was pushing or testing his ban's limits not in good faith I suggest no action. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 13:20, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by DHeyward

It's obvious Tarc sought to amp up the drama on a topic that already has plenty of drama. Any other editor could have raised this at ANI. This was not a productive or time-sensitive report. Indeed, if he had brought it to Jimbo's talk page, the block would have been immediate because it's clear there is no legitimate reason for Tarc to bring drama where drama is not necessary. The appropriate response is a topic ban for Tarc on Gamergate and related articles so that it is very clear he has no business bringing these content issues to a high level of drama. Gamergate is under general sanctions and violating ArbCom sanctions should meet the discretionary sanction threshold. A topic ban also frees up Tarc to continue with more productive areas outside the drama boards and avoids the stigma of punishment blocks. In short, a topic ban solves all the problems related to this. --DHeyward (talk) 18:43, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@Tarc - I am not from a "pro-GamerGate mindset" or whatever that means. Misogyny and Social Justice are terms coined from the various viewpoints related to GamerGate. I advocated a neutral presentation of both as that is the reality. There is no doubt that threats against women in gaming have occurred. There is also doubt that the presentation of women in games has been challenged. Neither viewpoint should be excluded. Your attempts to present one side, and then use ANI to promote a one sided view in violation of your noticeboard ban and the discretionary sanctions for the article should lead to a topic ban. It appears that this topic brings out behavior from you that is unacceptable and the fairest punishment is a topic ban as opposed to a site ban or timed block. Topic ban Tarc and this problem with this editor goes away. --DHeyward (talk) 20:00, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Tarc must have hatted after his comment about piling on. Note that I've never called for his banning and didn't participate in the arbcom request. I am not calling for a ban here. I don't believe I've edited the gamergate article but have sparingly commented on the talk page. Tarc is a disruptive force on that article and a simple topic ban (not a site ban or full arbcom case) will remove his disruptive influence. This isn't the first time Tarc has been disruptive in controversial areas and the expedient resolution is removing him from the discussion. --DHeyward (talk) 00:14, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

@Tarc, to quote NYB in many discussions prior to this, "this is at least the third time now that your approach has been to visit the site of a fire in progress and throw gasoline on it."[85] I can't think of a better description of bring the NPOV tag to ANI. It just creates drama. A topic ban for every topic where you do this should be automatic. That's a lot more tolerant than a site ban. I'm sorry you have history that makes your actions appear farcical and baiting but it also makes these remedies appropriate. --DHeyward (talk) 02:02, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

@Resolute @Gamaliel- I could be mistaken but ANI is not listed in the dispute resolution process. WP:DR lists the dispute resolution noticeboards and I'll quote section 4 "The administrators' noticeboards (e.g. AN and ANI) are not the place to raise disputes over content or conduct. Reports that do not belong at these noticeboards will be closed, and discussions will need to be re-posted by you at an appropriate forum – such as the dispute resolution noticeboard (DRN).". The "Are you in the right place?" at ANI also provides other places. ANI is a high stakes/high drama arena needing immediate admin intervention and is often where WP:BOOMERANG is liberally applied to editors that have a history of using it inappropriately. Tarc brought a running 3 month dispute to ANI without any specific incident in direct conflict with his ArbCom sanction not to do that very same thing. The result was exactly what NYB was concerned about: he took the gamergate fire and threw ANI gasoline drama on it. The result of testing that boundary should be the minimum needed to stop it which is a topic ban as the article is under general sanctions as well as his particular arbcom sanction. He is not helping to resolve the dispute. --DHeyward (talk) 02:26, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

@NorthBySouthBaranof, I assure you I have received no email nor do I read 8chan nor am I a gamer or anything else. Retract your false allegation uttered by a troll on a troll site. Otherwise, STFU with your personal attacks. I don't even edit the gamergate article. One chance to strike your lie. You're being trolled and you are reacting to it. --DHeyward (talk) 07:08, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

@NorthBySouthBaranof, reposting is a BLP violation. The irony is that the source you use to falsely accuse me would not be acceptable for you in an article. It's defamatory and your continued flagrant disregard for BLP standards which includes editors is pathetic and transparent. You are the one who reads 8chan and apparently their newsletter. I do not. It's defamatory to attack me personally based one a troll post from a 3rd party site that I am completely unaware of. My name is what I protect and will do so from trolls and their proxies. I did not bring off-site campaigns here. I did not bring Tarc to ArbCom. His history speaks for itself. Your accusations, though are baseless and without merit and a gross BLP violation. Please stop. --DHeyward (talk) 09:00, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

@NorthBySouthBaranof: I am not alone in my thinking nor is unsubstantiated or baseless. [86] Jimbo called for a Tarc topic ban if he can't stay away. That's the remedy I proposed. You can remove your accusation at any time. --DHeyward (talk) 22:31, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Tutelary

It's pretty unambiguous. "Tarc is not allowed to edit administrator noticeboards." How he tried to get away with that explicit wording of ArbCom's restriction and I'll never know, but it's pretty obvious that he violated it--trying to get ArbCom to grant an exception for anything besides relating to the restriction itself is quite obvious of his conduct in the matter. His telling off of DHeyward is also pretty telling, labeling him as a 'Pro GG' and that his opinion should be 'ignored' when he's just another editor like any other. I suspect that even after I make this comment I'll be slurred as 'Pro GG' or some other term he's come up with. If this is how he acts with this topic, then yes, I do believe a topic ban would be necessary. But for the original complaint, it's obvious that he violated it willingly and fragrantly. Tutelary (talk) 21:03, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

@Resolute:, read the next part of the line. You and Tarc deliberately took that line out of its context trying to construe it to mean something it doesn't. Engaging in legitimate and necessary dispute resolution, that is, addressing a legitimate concern about the ban itself in an appropriate forum. It's not an exception to that criteria. Tutelary (talk) 02:05, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Resolute

WP:BANEX notes the following as a "normal exception" to a ban such as that which Tarc is involved: "Engaging in legitimate and necessary dispute resolution". There is a legitimate dispute that Tarc is legitimately hoping to solve. Based on this, I would consider Tarc's invocation of normal exceptions to start that ANI thread to be good faith, and largely valid. As such, he should not be blocked, but if this is not what Arbcom had in mind when handing down the restriction, now would be the time to clarify it. Resolute 00:43, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Actually, Tutelary, I inadvertently missed the next line, but it is interesting to know that you believe you have telepathic skills that allows you to know what others are thinking. That being said, I do believe that if Tarc has the ability to respond to an AN/ANI about him/an issue he is deeply involved with, he should be able to start an AN/ANI for same. Mostly, he needs to stay off Jimbo's talk page and stay out of ANIs that don't really involve him. Resolute 17:11, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Gamaliel

I'm not familiar enough with Tarc's restrictions to comment on whether or not he violated them in this case. But I think it is inappropriate for involved editors to attempt to use those restrictions to eliminate an editor they perceive as an adversary from an article unrelated to those restrictions. If Tarc's behavior on that article is problematic (and I believe that some of it may be problematic, just as I believe there may be problematic behavior there from the other editors), then the other editors should seek redress through the regular channels of ANI, RFC, etc. and not through an unrelated ArbCom sanction. Gamaliel (talk) 02:23, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment by A Quest for Knowledge

This is a very clear and obvious violation. Tarc is not allowed to edit any administrative noticeboards aside from the normal exceptions. A normal exception would be if they were appealing the sanction or if someone else filed a complaint against Tarc. But this neither an appeal nor a response to a complaint against Tarc. In fact, Tarc initiated a complaint, something that they are not allowed to do. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:16, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment by NorthBySouthBaranof

It appears to me that DHeyward doth protest too much. He is correct that the source wouldn't be acceptable in an article, but this isn't an article. The board is demonstrably organizing off-wiki campaigns to attack editors who disagree with their POV. DHeyward's POV on this issue is readily apparent, and there is, at the very least, the untoward appearance that by demanding Tarc be topic-banned, he is obliging a trolling campaign's efforts to silence their opponents. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 09:04, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

DHeyward, I will redact my statements after you redact your wholly-unsupported and baseless statement that Tarc is a "disruptive force on the [Gamergate] article." The only thing Tarc has disrupted on that page is a concerted and months-long effort by fringe POV-pushers to insert BLP-violating false accusations and insinuations about a number of women in the video games industry, to downplay the clear consensus view of their movement as an anonymous band of misogynistic and nihilistic trolls, and to wrap themselves in a shield of disingenuous and nonsensical "but ethics" claims. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 09:30, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

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

Banning Policy: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • This was discussed during the case. The point of the remedy is to remove Tarc from areas where he is not a positive influence. The normal exceptions apply to the topic ban, i.e. appealing or clarifying the topic ban. Other usage of administrative noticeboards is not currently available to Tarc. WormTT(talk) 08:30, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Worm; this was a rather clear-cut violation of the restriction. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:12, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Incidentally, for the love of everything that's good and holy, everyone *please* stop sniping at each other. It's most definitely not helping. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:21, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with the above. If Tarc is the subject of an already-started thread or facing sanctions in one, he may defend himself, but opening a thread on an admin noticeboard is off limits. If it really is a serious incident, someone else will bring it up at one of the administrative noticeboards. Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:08, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree that opening a new ANI discussion is not within the scope of the exceptions. GorillaWarfare (talk) 03:34, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • This is not in doubt: the normal exceptions do not provide an excuse here, so the remedy was breached. AGK [•] 20:52, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Clarification request and appeal: Discretionary sanctions alerts

Initiated by  Sandstein  at 16:21, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Case or decision affected

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

Statement by Sandstein

Today, John Vandenberg, an administrator, alerted me about the discretionary sanctions applying to the Eastern Europe topic area, and logged this as a "notification" on the case page, which he later changed to a "warning". Judging by an earlier comment, he did so to register his disapproval of my speedy deletion of an article created by a sock of a banned user. After I removed the alert after having read it, it was immediately reinstated by an anonymous user,

Per WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts the purpose of such alerts is to advise an editor that discretionary sanctions are in force for an area of conflict. I am and have been active as an administrator by issuing discretionary sanctions in this topic area, and am therefore perfectly aware of the existence of these sanctions, as John Vandenberg confirmed he knew. The alert therefore served no procedure-based purpose. This also applies to the unneeded logging on the case page: Unlike earlier notifications, alerts are not logged on a case page because they can be searched for with an edit filter. John Vandenberg knew this because he used the correct alert template as provided for in WP:AC/DS.

It therefore appears that John Vandenberg used the alert procedure and the log entry not to actually inform me about discretionary sanctions, but that he misused the alerts procedure to mark his disapproval of a deletion I made and to deter me from making further admin actions in this area with which he disagrees. That is disruptive because this is not the purpose of alerts, and it is not how admins are expected to communicate with each other about disagreements concerning each other's actions. It is also disruptive because it has had the effect, whether intended or not, to create the incorrect impression in another administrator that I am disqualified from acting as an admin in this topic area because I received this alert.

To the extent the now-"warning" is meant as a sanction in and of itself, it is meritless and disruptive: The speedy deletion I made was compliant with WP:CSD#G5, and does not conflict with the prior AfD because the ban evasion issue was not considered there. Any concerns about this deletion should have been discussed at deletion review.

Per WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts, "any editor who issues alerts disruptively may be sanctioned". Nobody other than the Arbitration Committee is authorized to issue such sanctions. I therefore ask the Committee to clarify that alerts should not be used for any other than their intended purpose, and to take such actions (e.g., issuing a warning) as it deems appropriate to ensure that John Vandenberg will not continue to issue alerts disruptively. By way of appeal of discretionary sanctions, I also ask the Committee to remove the "warning" from the log as being without merit.

Prior to making this request, I discussed the issue with John Vandenberg, but we failed to reach an understanding, and he invited me to submit this matter to this forum for review.  Sandstein  16:21, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

I cannot understand John Vandenberg's contention that I used admin tools while involved. I have never interacted with "Polandball" or related pages or users editorially, but only in an administrative capacity. Per WP:INVOLVED, such continued administrative activity does not speak to bias (even if others may not agree with the admin actions), but is instead merely part of an admin's job. John Vandenberg's casting of unfounded aspersions of misusing admin tools and of "battleground mentality" is also disruptive. As I said elsewhere, I did fail to take into consideration that my alerting the user who filed a DRV request concerning an AfD I closed might be perceived as an improperly adversarial action, even though an alert is not supposed to be one and I didn't oppose the restoration of the article proposed at DRV. I'll keep this in mind in a similar future situation. Nonetheless, because alerts may be issued by anyone, including involved users, the alert raises no question of involvement.

As concerns the "warning", either it is meant as a discretionary sanction for misconduct (as the warning by me he cites was) and in this case is appealed here as meritless and disruptive, or it is not and has therefore no place in a log under the new procedures.  Sandstein  18:30, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

John Vandenberg: Alerts are not admin actions because they neither require advanced permissions nor are they restricted to administrators. But neither are they editorial actions that speak to bias and would disqualify an admin that issues them, because they are intended to be neutral and informative in nature. Are you seriously contending that merely issuing an alert makes me involved and unable to act as an administrator, and on that basis you alerted and warned me? It should be obvious that this can't be the case, if only because by that logic your own warning would be inadmissible because it was preceded by your alert which would have disqualified you from acting further.

This episode indicates, to me, that this whole alerts system is unworkably cludgy and may need to be scrapped if even former arbitrators can't understand it, and that perhaps general clarification is needed that discretionary sanctions and alerts are, shall we we say, not the ideal way to respond to concerns about admin actions - such concerns are normally a matter for the Committee alone.  Sandstein  21:51, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by John Vandenberg

To my mind, Sandstein is obviously 'WP:INVOLVED' in the current DRV about Polandball, however not surprisingly he claims to be uninvolved. To quickly recap, he is the admin who deleted the article at DRV; when notified of the DRV, he decided to issue a DS alert to the person who initiated the DRV, and speedy delete another related article which had survived an AFD and was mentioned on the current DRV. When User:Nick undid the speedy deletion, Sandstein also demanded that Nick redelete it. IMO, this is fairly clear battleground mentality, only including the use of admin buttons for good measure. All quite unnecessary, as a sizable chunk of the community would participate in the DRV, so his voice there would be heard. It is very strange logic that Sandstein felt he had to alert user:Josve05a about discretionary sanctions, but objects to me feeling the same way about his own editing/admining in this topical area. He claims his alert to user:Josve05a was not an admin action (otherwise he would surely run afoul of 'WP:INVOLVED'), but then cant see he is participating as a normal contributor. Maybe he considers a DS alert to be a friendly chat, when he gives one to someone else ...

Anyway, the nature of this clarification is the use of alerts and the logging of them on case pages. Obviously some serious saber rattling would have quickly occurred had I sanctioned Sandstein, so I went with an alert only with a stern message with the hope he could see how others were viewing it. He didnt; he continued to post aggressively. When I found the right DS alert template and posted it, the edit filter notice reminded me to check if he had been notified any time in the last 12 months, and press Save again if I was sure it had not occurred. As I didnt find any prior notices (in edit filter log or on talk page archives), I proceeded to save the alert. I then went to the relevant arbcase to log it as is the usual procedure. I knew DS had been standardised earlier this year, and was pleasantly surprised by the edit filter logging, but it didnt occur to me that alerts would not be logged. The arbcase log for the EE case had all the signs of logging being part of the standard procedure.

Since Sandstein objected to the logging, I went and had a look at other cases and found quite a few examples of the log including notifications and warnings; I did offer to give Sandstein examples of such notices and warnings, but we are here now. Here are the ones that I've quickly found in arbcom case logs since April 2014.

If it is no longer appropriate to log alerts/notices/warnings on the arbcom case, an edit filter should be added to ensure admins are aware of this change. John Vandenberg (chat) 17:50, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

@Sandstein, when you put a notice on user talk:Josve05a, were you doing that as an admin or as a normal user? If it was the "editor Sandstein" who popped that friendly note on user talk:Josve05a, and not the "admin Sandstein", can't you see that you've become INVOLVED? John Vandenberg (chat) 18:41, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
@Sandstein, so you issued a DS alert to user talk:Josve05a with your "editor Sandstein" hat on, and you want admins to be exempt from discretionary sanctions? Thanks. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:17, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Nick

I've nothing to add to the clarification and amendment section, but I will state, as I have repeatedly said, I'm really getting fed up watching good content be deleted and destroyed as a result of battleground mentality. It genuinely makes me sad watching material that people have put their heart and soul into, being deleted because it was written by this week's bogeyman. Nick (talk) 17:57, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

@Future Perfect at Sunrise. The CSD-G5 criteria cannot be used on any page that has survived a deletion discussion (AfD). The CSD-G5 deletion by Sandstein was out of process. Please refer to Wikipedia:Criteria_for_speedy_deletion#Pages_that_have_survived_deletion_discussions for further information. Regards, Nick (talk) 12:16, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Olive

If the DS alert is going to be used without a sting it has to be used for everyone all the time. Its common for editors to know an article is under DS, but this isn't something one can assume. Of course, the use of the alert can been abused and can be seen as threatening. Use that is universal will over time render the warning as commonplace and standard, will de sting. Whether it was used in this instance as an implied threat, I don't know or care. Behind many of the actions I've seen against editors over the years are threats, some so complex as to be almost invisible. I know how that feels, so am not condoning anything that threatens but unless we deal with the surface level of an action and ignore assumption we will never get to supportive editing situations.(Littleolive oil (talk) 19:04, 1 November 2014 (UTC))

Comment by A Quest for Knowledge

One of the goals of the recent reforms which turned "warnings" to "alerts" was to remove the stigma of the warning/alert. Apparently, that stigma is alive and well. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:57, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Alanscottwalker

Giving a "warning" is an administrative function. Its only purpose is administration of the website. No, a User does not have to have privileges to do much of administration on Wikipedia. The idea is anathema to the community, which expects good users to administer, even to requiring such at RfAdmin, moreover, the website would not function, if users did not step up. So no, giving a warning does not mean one is INVOLVED. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:40, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Fut.Perf.

John Vandenberg's actions in this case are wrong on so many levels at once it's hard to know where to start. About his technical misunderstanding of the nature of alerts and the non-logging of "warnings", I think all has been said. More importantly, his warning was wrong on its merits. As for the speedying of Why didn't you invest in Eastern Poland? (the only issue he actually mentioned in the warning), Sandstein was processing a valid G5 speedy; the fact that there had been an earlier "keep" AfD is obviously irrelevant as long as the facts justifying the speedy weren't known and discussed during the AfD. As for Sandstein's actions in the Polandball issue, which seems to be what John Vandenberg is really more concerned about, the claim that he was showing an inadmissable battleground attitude is utter nonsense when you look at his actual, very measured and balanced, comments in that DRV. Finally, the "warning", whether logged or not, was also out of process. A "warning" under DS means that I, an administrator, will hand out a block or topic ban to you, the person I am warning, if you repeat the behaviour I am warning you over. Does John Vandenberg seriously believe he would be entitled to block Sandstein if he did a G5 speedy like this again in the future? That beggars belief. Even if John Vandenberg had legitimate reasons to be concerned over Sandstein's actions, then his recourse would be not to impose "sanctions" on him, but to ask Arbcom to review Sandstein's actions; that, however, is not in any way inside the scope of what the DS are about, and therefore also doesn't belong in the DS logs. Fut.Perf. 09:14, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Neotarf

This request is eerily similar to this one made some time ago, where four editors were given "civility warnings" by Sandstein, apparently at random. The result of the clarification request was a delinking of the four names in the ARBATC case page. If any action other than delinking is recommended for the current situation, it would only be reasonable to revisit the other situation as well. —Neotarf (talk) 02:53, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

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

Discretionary sanctions alerts: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • When I get back from a trip on Monday, I will wade into the technicalities here. For now, I will simply note that Russavia is surely laughing his ass off at the drama he is causing here without even trying. Let's all try not to give him more reason to do so. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:03, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I spent the past half hour or so reading over the back-story to this request, and perhaps I am in the advanced stages of serving out my last term as an arbitrator, but I really wish I hadn't. Let's back up a step. "The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality encyclopedia, in an environment of collaboration and community among the contributors." The entire administrative apparatus, including "discretionary sanctions" and the arbitration process and the other WP: pages where some of us spend too much of our wikitime, is ancillary to the objectives of Wikipedia that brought us all here. Debating the rules of these administrative processes should not become, in intent or in effect, an end in itself. Put differently, if the bickering about the rule-sets governing administrative processes on Wikipedia has become more complicated than some of the real-world rule-sets that I interpret every day as a litigation attorney, something is wrong. The dispute, or set of disputes, crystalized in this request is so many levels removed from the purpose and objectives of Wikipedia that it is sad. Beyond that, I will leave sorting out the fine points here to my colleagues who were more active in the DS recodification project. Newyorkbrad (talk) 03:47, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
      • What? I do not think it fair to say that anyone in this request is requesting clarification with non-constructive motives. These editors have a legitimate need of a ruling here, and you cannot legitimately refuse to be understanding of that and still expect the project's administrators to do their job. AGK [•] 23:15, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • There is an alarming failure here to grasp the distinction between the two relevant procedural entities. Cautions or warnings are sanctions and need logged; alerts (previously known as notices) are not sanctions and carry no implicit accusation of guilt. These two used to be more or less the same thing. In the recent update of procedures, they were split off and it is wrong to interchange them. John Vandenberg needs to decide whether he wanted to caution and sanction Sandstein (it appears he did) or alert him. If it is the former, he should issue Sandstein with a hand-written caution (and delete the alert template, which he may not use for that purpose). If it is the latter, Sandstein is already aware per point II of the relevant procedure and he must not attempt to 're-alert' him. I accept JV's claim that he was not aware of the changes in procedure, but I would remind him and all administrators generally that, before engaging in this process, you must take five minutes to update yourself on these changes. If you do not, you can be sanctioned by the committee, and given that this process is hardly in its infancy you are likely to find the committee exercises this right.

    On the complaint of JV about Sandstein, my position is that it cannot be heard in this venue. With the procedural confusion clarified (not that there should have been any in the first place), I suggest JV take this complaint up, perhaps with a handful of other administrators, directly with Sandstein. Neither party appears to have made an adequate effort to resolve this together, despite, as administrators, being obliged to do so. Should those attempts prove futile, a proper case request should then be filed. AGK [•] 12:31, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

  • I essentially agree with AGK. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:26, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I also agree with AGK. T. Canens (talk) 20:00, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • As do I. WormTT(talk) 08:33, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • And I. GorillaWarfare (talk) 03:32, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I do as well but it's frustrating the amount of time I had to spend, back several months ago, to get a solid grasp of how this system works. Brad makes a point: the system is quite complicated, and has become a bit of a self-contained beast. While I was able to pick it up, I'm afraid it woudl simply be incredibly dauntingr for any new user to navigate. NativeForeigner Talk 05:04, 17 November 2014 (UTC)


Motion for a standing procedure on arbitrator requests for self-assignment of CheckUser or Oversight permissions

Any current member in good standing[a] of the English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee may at any time receive access to the CheckUser and Oversight tools after making a request on the appropriate page, even if the member had not held one or both permissions previously. Such a request is to be considered authorised by the Arbitration Committee, within the scope of AP §1.1(5).

  1. ^ "good standing" is here defined as not suspended and not the subject of a current vote for suspension or removal from the Arbitration Committee, as discussed in AP §1.3.
For this motion there are 13 active arbitrators, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.
  1. As proposer. LFaraone 11:17, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  2. Personally, I'd add, just to be on the safe side, "after making a request on the appropriate page" and without the need for any further formalities, but yes, this is a sound idea. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    I assume the Stewards would interpret "[…]request is […] authorized by the Arbitration Committee[…]" as "no additional questions or formalities are required. But if there's a way to refactor this to make it more clear, I'm all ears. LFaraone 14:48, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  3. Yes, fine. (With a minor tweak from "policy" to "procedure" in the title),  Roger Davies talk 11:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    Well, technically we can modify our "internal rules and procedures" (elsewhere called "processes") by motion, but casting this as "policy" speaks to me as something that would require modification to the Arbitration Policy, which is a very different process. LFaraone 14:48, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  4. This has the potential to blow up in spectacular fashion in ways we have not tried to foresee, but I still cannot bring myself to vote against something that will dispense with more of the higher permissions bureaucracy that has creeped in during recent years. AGK [•] 13:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
# Beeblebrox (talk) 04:52, 21 November 2014 (UTC) switching to oppose, see below
  1. Not sure about this. There are technical reasons why non-administrators cannot access the oversight tool, and I'm similarly not sure about non-administrators on the checkuser tool. That said, if a non-administrator has passed community muster to be elected to arbcom, they should be allowed the administrator flag for the duration of the time on the committee. As such, I cannot support as written - I would support the same with administrator flag (though I don't know how the community would feel about that), but otherwise it's not too onerous to work on a case by case basis. WormTT(talk) 14:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    If there are technical restrictions to the utility of these tools to non-administrator arbitrators, I believe they can be worked around through requesting changes to the rights given by a group to include the minimum rights needed to use the tool. Specifically:
    • Oversight: Grant the delete, deletedhistory, deletedtext, deletelogentryt, undelete, suppressrevision, and viewsuppressed permissions to the Oversight group or create a new group for it.
    • Checkuser: Apart from not being able to block, I'm not convinced a change here would win anything.
    That said, there is a real justification for considering adminship proper for the duration of a non-Administrator, perhaps with AUSC-esque limits that they are discouraged from taking actions unrelated to functionary or committee work. LFaraone 14:48, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    Definitely not keen on changing Oversight just for this hypothetical (for the time being) usercase. But thanks for the reply, I'll think on the matter. WormTT(talk) 15:04, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  2. I understand why this is proposed and will not be upset if it passes. Routine motions and "paperwork" to approve routine things are annoying, as we were reminded this week. Moreover, if at any time the Arbitration Committee had reservations about one of its members' having the checkuser and/or oversight rights, that would be a bad situation because it would imply reservations about that member's having access to all the other non-public information that the arbitrators are privy to as well. Thus, in voting on candidates, the community should operate on the assumption that the elected arbitrators will receive these permissions on request, and that most of the arbitrators will request them. Nonetheless, although it's a close call, I'm opposing this blanket grant for three reasons. First, it is at least theoretically possible that a future Committee might not want to confer the permissions on each and every arbitrator. Second, we have the uncertainty about whether non-administrator arbitrators could be granted oversight as a technical matter without also being granted adminship (which they should be, but that's beyond the scope of this discussion). And third, it's not 100% clear to me that the stewards would click the button in (say) 2015 to grant CU and OS to a group of newly elected arbitrators whose identity was not yet known to the Committee that passed this motion in 2014. If they require additional confirmations at that time, the result would be greater bureaucracy rather than less. Thus, while I'm open to persuasion, my instinct is to leave things the way they are now. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:41, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  3. Am opposing this as unnecessary, and also per the concerns raised by Risker, NYB, and others. For both my terms on the Arbitration Committee I took up the CU and OS tools at the start of my terms and handed (will hand) them back at the end of the terms. I didn't use them to take logged actions, but they were there to be used if needed (for checking evidence submissions and to verify logs mainly, but potentially to help with emergency uses and backlogs). Handling things this way is better than the less efficient and more time-wasting method of handing them out to some arbs and not others and then having multiple motions over the following year to approve the grants of the tools to those that didn't take them up at the time. Carcharoth (talk) 16:17, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  4. I support the spirit of this motion, which was simply intended to eliminate needless process. However, this is a situation that is probably going to be pretty rare (although an arb who is currently in the middle of being suspended suddenly asking for these tools seems like a way, way more rare scenario) and the benefit frankly is not worth the hassle. Thanks for trying, Lafarone. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:50, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Discussion by arbitrators

Community comments

  • A few thoughts: I'm not sure that a steward who is unfamilar with enwiki politics wants to figure out whether an ArbCom member is in "good standing" or not. It's probably best to just explicitly say "X is granted CU/OS" each year like has been done in the past. Also, this would mean that CU/OS could not be handed out until January 1, which would be a problem if you were planning on handing it out soon after the elections like last year. (Yes, I know I'm being annoying, but stewards have to be careful on enwiki, or they risk being yelled at for their mistake by Wikimedia's largest wiki). --Rschen7754 03:17, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
    • (For clarity, I don't act on enwiki rights requests, as enwiki is a home wiki per the m:Stewards policy). --Rschen7754 06:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
      • I think the definition in point (a) is unambiguous and easy enough to determine that this won't be a big problem. I am sure that any arb who gets themselves into enough trouble to no longer be "in good standing" will be being watched, closely, by a crowd of people, who will be only too happy to explain the situation to any steward. Lankiveil (speak to me) 11:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC).
        • I was under the impression that all Arbcom members, both current and former, had both permissions automatically? And I don't mean "unquestioningly granted upon request"; I thought that both permissions were given to you as soon as you joined the committee. Nyttend (talk) 12:09, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
          • No, the permissions are granted upon request. Although most arbitrators do choose to ask for the tools and it is routine for ArbCom to make a cumulative request to the stewards at the beginning of each term, some other arbs, for whatever reason, choose not to ask. After all, they are not strictly necessary, especially when an editor does not have any previous experience with it. Take CU, for instance, an arbitrator who has never used the tool may rely on his more experienced colleagues (which is something we generally do anyway; we don't run 15 independent checks, when someone appeals) and, so, consider access to the tool superfluous. Salvio Let's talk about it! 12:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
            • Thanks for the clarification. I, for one, wouldn't mind if we had some way of granting "the administrator flag for the duration of the time on the committee"; being elected to Arbcom is vastly more of a responsibility than ordinary adminship, so in my mind, it would be thoroughly unhelpful if we required a non-admin arbitrator to stay that way, or if we required an arbitrator to go through RFA just so that said arbitrator could function normally. Since former arbitrators get to keep their CU/O rights, I wouldn't mind if the admin flag were retained after said arbitrator left the committee. Nyttend (talk) 12:53, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
              • I entirely agree. The scrutiny an arbcom candidate is subjected to far exceed that of an admin candidate, in my opinion. But I don't think ArbCom can do that because it would require a policy change, which is outside our province... Salvio Let's talk about it! 13:05, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
There are a number of issues here:
  1. Is this a policy change? The Committee is charged with the responsibility to approve and remove access to (i) CheckUser and Oversight tools, a blanket approval does not, in my view, fit with this.
  2. Consider, for example, we currently have a Wikipediocracy member standing. Even if he gets in there may be considerable concerns with him having CheckUser and/or Oversight. Remember the poll is predicated on existing policy.
  3. There is value in having to say to the committee "I want these bits". Arbitrators may in general prefer not to have them, but if it is automatically granted on request to 'Crats, tend to get them enabled for a particular problem, and keep them through inertia.
  4. Note also that if there is a committee process there is scope for community objection.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough00:54, 21 November 2014 (UTC).
There's no policy against a Wikipedia member using any other web forum, including Wikipediocracy. Lacking specific evidence of off-wiki conduct by an specific individual, such guilt-by-innuendo statements are not appropriate here. NE Ent 01:15, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Support per nom. NE Ent 01:15, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Aggre with that, and I would add that there is already community scrutiny and input in the form of the arbcom elections. The community has therefore already said that any sitting arb is entitled to these tools. The committee should not even be considering overiding the election results, so even though we are technically the gatekeepers of CU/OS any arb asking for it has to be granted itm making the whole motion we just did a pointless rubber stamp. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
The community has said no such thing, the way forward here is to change the policy after the current election. Not to mess with Arbcom procedure to pervert the policy. The power would not be vested in the committee if it was intended to be a rubber stamp. All the best: Rich Farmbrough20:25, 23 November 2014 (UTC).
  • Question: Are the CU/OS rights granted under this motion permanent, for a fixed duration, or valid only while the person serves on the ArbCom? Abecedare (talk) 05:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Under the present system, the CU/OS rights are granted permanently (subject to any activity rules, misconduct, etc). Thryduulf (talk) 09:00, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Concern: Needs a mandatory waiting period before approval, to avoid you guys on your secret mailing list having a discussion about booting one of your members for, say, leaking the mailing list, and then them going and requesting CU to release CU information on people they don't like. Hipocrite (talk) 14:10, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • How would a steward verify whether a vote for suspension is currently taking place or whether the member is already suspended? Snowolf How can I help? 21:13, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
If the arb was already suspended there would certainly be an announcement on the noticeboard, and they would be removed from the list of committee members on the main arbcom page. Otherwise I should think a simple ping to our mailing list pointiong out the request would be more than enough. Frankly an arb being suspended is a vanishingly rare event and probably not worth much worry. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
If stewards are supposed to privately contact the Arbitration Committee to verify that a member is not undergoing suspension proceedings, then we should stick to the current system where the Arbitration Committee sorts these things about before the stewards being poked. Otherwise, you should make a public announcement somewhere when proceeding starts. Snowolf How can I help? 01:18, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
@Newyorkbrad: In response to your third concern, I think the only way to know would be asking at m:SN, for the opinion of some non-enwiki stewards. I certainly have an opinion on the matter, but then I am also certainly not neutral in the matter. --Rschen7754 02:20, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Given that there have been votes to suspend Arbcom members, but not all of them have been public, how would stewards know that there was not a private suspension vote occurring? From my experience of stewards, I think they will be expecting confirmation from Arbcom that the user meets the requirements to be of good standing. Also, as NYB points out, a future Arbitration Committee (or even the community, as is contemplated by the Checkuser and Oversight global policies) may decide to move to a different method of determining who should have access to these tools. Arbcom might also want to consider, historically, the problems associated with people coming and going with advanced permissions, and even more seriously might want to consider how many cases they have worked on in the past year that genuinely required the use of checkuser or oversight tools. Risker (talk) 01:36, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
    • If the problem is that you want to prevent an arb whose suspension is being discussed from getting access to the tools, then the quickest solution would be for a steward to just send an e-mail to the list prior to actioning the request. Right now, a motion is required, which, in turn, requires a majority of non-recused arbs to support it and, quite frankly, is a waste of time. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:24, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
      • Making someone else confirm the intentions of the Arbitration Committee is absurd and inconsiderate of the value of the time of other volunteers in the movement. Stewards have better and more useful things to do than email Arbcom; if Arbcom can't get its act together sufficiently to manage advanced permissions for its members in a quick and efficient way, that's Arbcom's problem, not the problem of the stewards. It's not about a quick solution, it's about not dumping your responsibilities on someone else. Risker (talk) 15:46, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
        • What if the reply from Arbcom comes from the user that requested his permission? What if, as it happens, the Arbitration Committee takes a long time to reply, or even forgets to reply to such an email? In essence, the arbitration committee members who are voting in favour of this motion are requiring that somebody other than the requesting user validate the request. Why can't it be the case that an arbitrator different from the requesting one has to file the request on Meta or, as it is now, that an arbitrator speaking on behalf of the committee files the request? This motion's only effect would be a slight time-saving for the Arbitrators at the expense of unclarity and extra work on Meta... Snowolf How can I help? 17:03, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
          • Yes, this basically dumps extra work from the arbitrators to the stewards, at the expense of transparency. This is a bad idea. --Rschen7754 17:42, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
            • In addition to this, in the future it's probably best to encourage all arbitrators to accept CU/OS in the beginning, as it's when they accept it later when the extra work occurs (for both arbs and stewards). When we grant CU, we have to get their email address (and verify it), and add them to checkuser-l and the CU wiki and IRC channel, and when we grant OS, we have to make sure they are added to the OTRS queue (which arbitrators have frequently forgotten to request). It's easier to do it all at once, especially now that Risker (who serves as a CUwiki crat/mailing list admin) is no longer on the committee. (Removing permissions isn't as bad, they just get blocked on the CUwiki and dropped from the list). --Rschen7754 20:01, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I think this is getting blown all out of proportion. This was simply intended to eliminate a seemingly needless layer of process, whereby someone who was already entitled to CU/OS by dint of having been elected by the community still had to be subject to a confirmation vote before the stewards would flip the switch. All this worry about suspension proceedings is much ado about nothing in my opinion. There is no provision here requiring the stewards to double check because it doesn't seem necessary. Someone asked how they would know, so I gave an answer, but the motion as worded does not require it at all. Stewards can just go ahead and do it, secure in the knowledge that it is arbcom's responsibility to inform them if they should not. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:26, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Nothing requires the stewards to double-check anything that they do. It's only that they are the ones on the hook if it turns out that they screwed up, and they could be voted out in the next elections. --Rschen7754 19:30, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
    • The crux here is the words seemingly needless. All the best: Rich Farmbrough20:30, 23 November 2014 (UTC).
  • Actually, on reviewing the global checkuser policy and global oversight policy, it appears that Arbcom does not have the authority to grant unrestricted access to CU/OS to any group of editors (including members of its own committee) in a prospective way. Both policies state, with identical wording: "On wikis with an arbitration committee elected with 25–30 editors' approval, users may also be appointed by the arbitration committee (unless the local community prefers independent elections). After agreement, a member of the arbitration committee should place a request on Steward requests/Permissions." There is no provision for access other than by direct Arbcom appointment. I suggest the motion be withdrawn. Risker (talk) 21:07, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Requests for enforcement


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 Oncenawhile

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Greyshark09 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 23:14, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Oncenawhile (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. 21:00, 19 November 2014 A clear violation of 1RR
  2. 05:19, 19 November 2014 2nd revert, nearly breaching 1RR (25h08m after previous revert)
  3. 04:11, 18 November 2014 First obvious revert
  4. 06:13, 17 November 2014 First edit in the sequence
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  1. 15:26, 14 July 2014 Warned by user:EdJohnston "Further unilateral reverts may lead to a topic ban from ARBPIA." per AE
  2. 12:18, 28 January 2014 Warned of ARBPIA sanctions by user:Callanecc
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Oncenawhile is an experienced editor on wikipedia, whom i have encountered a number of times in the past on various topics, most notably Mandatory Palestine and Kingdom of Iraq - in one case we even had a positive collaboration despite initial disputes. In the past year, however, Oncenawhile has initiated a wide-scale editing campaign of several pages, associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, driving a very specific agenda, which may well be interpreted as POV. Following an incident on the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries in January 2014, Oncenawhile was warned of ARBPIA (as well as myself) due to slow-rate edit-warring. At that point i proposed him to retire from that article in line with myself; however he continued to aggressively edit Jewish exodus and several related articles, getting a much more serious warning in July 2014, after edit-warring user:Plot Spoiler over 1950–1951 Baghdad bombings. It seems that Oncenawhile has edit-warred since with several more users including user:Ykantor and user:Wlglunight93 on Jewish exodus through September (6 reverts) and later October (3 reverts in October [87],[88],[89], the second of which is not far from breaching 1RR). Considering the currently reported edit-warring on Jewish refugees, i herewith raise the concern that Oncenawhile may lack the ability to properly advocate his position, and despite previous warnings shows an aggressive behaviour, most of which is merely destructive in terms of content and community collaboration for the highly disputed topic of ARBPIA and more specifically Jewish exodus and Jewish refugees.GreyShark (dibra) 23:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested - notified

Discussion concerning Oncenawhile

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 Oncenawhile

I'll respond to Greyshark's accusations as I am hoping to clear the air with him. While I prepare that, could someone kindly point me to where the rules for these AE or edit-warring discussions are written? I feel quite poorly treated, having been summarily blocked within just over an hour of Greyshark's submission without an opportunity to provide any context or other input. So I would like to try to build consensus in the rules on this to ensure no other experienced editors are treated like this in future. Oncenawhile (talk) 16:02, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

EdJohnston, please could we keep this open until I have had a chance to have my position heard? The two warnings both relate to complaints opened by me against the same editor (Plot Spoiler) and were given without fault being assigned. Oncenawhile (talk) 11:17, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Huldra

It is noted that Onceinawhile edit-warred with User:Wlglunight93. Note that Wlglunight93 was a serial sock-pupeteer, now blocked. The two last reports here were about this very disruptive sock. I don´t know about the rest of Onceinawhile´s behaviour, but edit-warring with Wlglunight93 should surely not count in his dis-favour. Huldra (talk) 23:33, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by ZScarpia

In the content dispute between Oncenawhile and Galassi, the statement that Oncenawhile was seeking to remove, and Galassi to re-insert, was not cited to any source. It really shouldn't have been re-inserted without giving a citation.     ←   ZScarpia   18:15, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Greyshark09 (editor filing complaint)

It is my duty to clarify that the issue here is a complaint on alleged systematic violation of ARBPIA by Oncenawhile, which is justified by recent edit-warring with Galassi. The reason i complained on Oncenawhile alone and not on Galassi is because of the 2 recent ARBPIA warnings issued for Oncenawhile (Galassi has not received any warnings on ARBPIA so far, so he should first be notified). Since the administrators consider it rather a simple case of edit-warring and not a systematic abuse of a topic by Oncenawhile, i support the actions and request the users involved to refrain from edit-warring. On my behalf i'm not participating in editing ARBPIA related pages intensively, but i do watch certain pages and topics and will continue doing so for the better of the community. Regards and wishing positive editing experiences for everyone.GreyShark (dibra) 16:14, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Oncenawhile

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

This appears to me to be a content dispute between Oncenawhile and Galassi, who have been going back and forth for a few days. As such, I've locked both for 48 hours for edit-warring (as an ordinary admin action, as Galassi had not, until now, had a formal notification of the discretionary sanctions and the article and its talk page did not contain the relevant notices). I'm a little concerned that the filer would report one part to an edit war in an attempt to have them sanctioned under arbitration remedies, while informing the other party in a way that (to me) smacks of canvassing and certainly taking sides, if not outright tag-teaming. I'm open to persuasion that there are wider issues with Oncenawhile's editing in the topic area, but I'not convinced by the evidence that's been presented thus far. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 00:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I think that's the best approach for now. I've had a quick look through Oncenawhile's recent contribs and I can't see anything which would obviously warrant further sanctions. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
User:HJ Mitchell's 48 hour blocks of the warring parties seem to be enough to deal with this complaint, so I suggest that it be closed now without further action. Both editors are now on notice of the discretionary sanctions. User:Oncenawhile is a bit too warlike in these encounters though it is the second time I perceive him treating the sources more carefully than the other party. For instance, trying to get the definition of a refugee correct. (Last time was July when he was warned about the 1950–51 Baghdad bombings). Nonetheless if we see Oncenawhile at this board again for the same kind of thing a topic ban should be considered. EdJohnston (talk) 06:51, 23 November 2014 (UTC)