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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

Issues related to Landmark Worldwide

Initiated by • Astynax talk at 01:33, 20 September 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 Astynax

Not all articles on Wikipedia attract enough editors familiar with the material to resist intransigent PoV pushing. In this case, the problem has been festering over several years and across multiple articles.

Landmark Worldwide (including its iterations over the past 4 decades) is widely discussed in Sociology, Psychology and New Religious Movements (NRM) fields. It is considered by many, though certainly not all, scholars as a NRM. Like many NRMs, Landmark disclaims any association with religion. Regardless, it is studied and discussed as a new religious form in academic works, often cited as a paradigm of new forms of religious expression. Landmark distances itself from its controversial origins, though these are treated as part of articles on Landmark in academic and encyclopedic sources. I became aware of a PoV problem when several editors arrived at List of New Religious Movements, having no history there; insisting that Landmark, The Forum and est were non-religious and should be excluded from that list. This group pushed through a "rough consensus" that Landmark/The Forum/est did not belong on the list, despite academic references to the contrary, and it was removed. They also decided that, rather than relying on what scholars say is a NRM, editors should create a novel restrictive definition that would exclude Landmark.

I first noticed at that time an ongoing situation at Landmark Education itself. I have made few edits there, as even minor article changes to broaden coverage or reflect reliable references are torpedoed. While I accept that the editors personally have not detected any religious overtones, that should be irrelevant for purposes of an article. An outside editor recently tagged what had become a puff piece with descriptions of the seminar products and other material sourced to Landmark itself forming much of the article, and this group of editors again reactivated to defend the corporate PoV.

Behaviors have often been on the edge of policies, and have included, but have not been limited to, wholesale blanking of referenced material, misuse of tagging, forum/admin shopping, pushing OR and syntheses, selectively dismissing (or poisoning the well) regarding solid sources on trumped up grounds, limiting citations (then later removing the supported statements and remaining reference); incremental reversion of material that differs from the view that Landmark presents of itself. Details will be added to evidence.

My concern is that if a small group in a relatively underwatched article forms a "consensus" to push a particular PoV or material at odds with what the literature on a subject says, they generally get their way. Rather than summarizing all significant points of view, such articles end up pushing the PoV of fans, employees, PR consultants, volunteers, members, etc., maintaining that WP:OR group consensus trumps WP:V and excluding/minimizing reporting of RS. It is a problem that transcends this particular cases. It is extremely frustrating to those trying to summarize what reliable sources say and at odds with Wikipedia's goals and pillars.

Replies by filing party

Reply to Robert McClenon: Thank you for the warning. Yes, there is ongoing discussion, however the intransigent behavior has not changed. I raised this case because of a long history of misbehavior for which the following, non-exhaustive, set of diffs may help illustrate some of the problem:

When a group of editors in forming a peculiar consensus, insists upon and enforces barring reliably sourced material and articles, then they are violating the community-wide consensus that requires verifiable, NPoV reporting of all significant and notable aspects of subjects. Mischaracterizing what eminently reliable references say in support of the PoV is also serious misbehavior which I am prepared to show. That these editors may simply have a blind spot when it comes to particular subjects is also a possibility. Whether or not a cabal exists, and there are certainly other possible explanations, the named editors, along with a very few others who drive by to comment, appear regularly when Landmark-related issues are raised, even after long absences on Wikipedia. Advocacy is in direct conflict with Wikipedia's pillars, regardless of whether a local "consensus" promoting PoV has been formed by a majority of editors participating on any particular article's talk page. • Astynax talk 19:07, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by DaveApter

While I would welcome a decision on these issues by Arbcom, I would have thought that this request is premature, other forms of dispute resolution not having been exhausted. Regarding the list of links above:

  1. This Rfc appears unconnected with any of the editors named here (except Astynax)
  2. This Rfc was closed with a conclusion which Astynax did not like
  3. This Rfc was opened by me on 6th September; Astynax and Lithistman refused to engage with it (the latter with insulting comments). I also notified it on the NPOV noticeboard.
  4. This mediation attempt in 2007 did indeed appear inconclusive, although the line taken here by Astynax seems indistinguishable from the one taken there by several now discredited editors such as Pedant17 and Smee (aka Smeelgova, aka Cirt).

I have also attempted to discuss the matter politely with Astynax on his talk page, and with a couple of the other tendentious editors on their talk pages, without useful results.

IMHO it is Astynax who is guilty of the charges above that he levels at others. He appears to me to be genuinely convinced that his own perspective on the subject is a neutral PoV.

He also appears to me to be incapable of grasping the difference between acceptable and tendentious editing, or of understanding the policies regarding undue weight, reliable sourcing, edit warring, personal attacks, or civility.

Personally I am committed to the policies and objectives of Wikipedia, and I am always happy to discuss any of my edits on their own merits. In nine years of editing nothing I have done has resulted in my being sanctioned for policy violations.

I do not know why Astynax chose the three people named here to be included in this request, but if the case is to proceed, it should certainly also include Lithistman, AnonNep, and perhaps several other editors who have edited the article and/or its Talk page in the past month or two. DaveApter (talk) 13:24, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Responses to further remarks by Astynax and Lithistman

I would be interested to get feedback from uninvolved editors and (if they think it appropriate) from arbitrators on whether they agree with Lithistman's opinion of my RfC as "ridiculous", or his judgement that the questions are not neutrally worded. Also on whether Astynax's list of 24 diffs above do constitute "bad behaviour" or normal wikipedia discussion and advice seeking. Regarding my supposed canvassing by informing people of the RfC, I thought this was sound practice to let everyone who had recent involvement with editing or discussion or the previous RfC at the list of NRMs know about it. Since I did this for all, regardless of whether they had supported or opposed my position, I don't see how it can be described as canvassing. DaveApter (talk) 18:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment - assuming that you are referring to this RfC, I would not refer to it as "ridiculous", but it seems clear that you have an understanding of the situation that a casual observer or disinterested editor would not have an easy time comprehending or even getting the gist of it.
That said, I'll openly state that I have edited the article as well as have taken several Landmark courses. Do I believe that it is a religious organization of any type, not at all. But, do I know people who treat it as such, you bet your "no feeling left from sitting for so long by Sunday of the Forum weekend" rear that I do. There are people who regard Tony Robbins' instruction with "religious devotion", but that doesn't make him a priest either. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:47, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Nwlaw63

Statement by Tgeairn

It appears that the issue being brought here is POV editing and general editor behaviour. As the submitter of this request notes, this issue relates to a series of articles mostly within the scope of New Religious Movements and opposition to NRMs with relatively few active editors and has existed for several years. As the committee may be aware, the majority of those articles were created by a single editor who has since been topic banned and desysopped. In many cases, the disputes in this topic area extend back to the same violations of NPOV and BLP that the committee established as fact at that time (specifically that the editor placed "undue negative weight in topics on new religious movements and political BLPs" and followed poor sourcing practices). Those same views and same sources are (in many cases) what is at issue here.

The majority of recent editing and disputes have been surrounding Landmark Education and whether or not it is a religious movement. Those disputes have included a significant lack of good faith[25][26], edit warring, accusations of COI[27], disregard for RfC results[28], and repeated use of sources which had already been determined to be unreliable at RSN[29].

That some editors are simply cutting and pasting into articles without regard for discussion, policy, or content is clearly evident. For example, at Landmark Worldwide two editors repeatedly (at least eight times) inserted a large block of text that included an entirely duplicated paragraph (even after this was pointed out to them). 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. This would appear to indicate that the editors were not even reading the talk page messages pointing out the duplication, nor were they reading the material they were inserting.

With very few exceptions, I do not make mass edits (although I have reverted mass additions and removals). All edits have been accompanied by appropriate edit summaries, and I have then explained my edits and my reasoning on talk pages. Once my edits are summarily reverted[30], other editors and admins have generally then taken up re-making the same revisions (for example, see User:Rlendog’s re-revision here or User:Drmies’s edits here).

It appears that the submitter is also accusing me (and others) of canvasing. In every case where I have gone to talk pages to get wider review of an issue, I have posted the same message to a wide range of editors – usually the most recent editors to the article - and always consistent with appropriate notification. In the case of RfCs, I have posted to talk pages as described at publishing an RfC.

I request that the committee accept this case and review all of the existing evidence as needed to determine what (if any) actions are needed to break this dispute once-and-for-all and to benefit Wikipedia. Thank you, Tgeairn (talk) 05:15, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by AnonNep

This is one of the strangest articles I've encountered on WP in terms of WP:NPOV and WP:RS interpretation. I suggested an RFC on 27 Aug after the placement of an 'advert' tag caused reverts and talk page chatter, with the reasoning 'new, uninvolved editors, to look through things with fresh eyes, and give their point on view'. Some discussion does continue on the talk page, other editors have contributed, so I'm not sure if its at an Arbcom stage but the same issues seem to keep circling around, again and again. AnonNep (talk) 14:00, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Lithistman

My history at this article (and related ones) is short. The first edit I made was on 26 July, to add a "promo" tag to the article, given my concerns that it read something like a press release for the company. My second edit was one month later, to switch that tag to an NPOV, after discussion on the talkpage convinced me that it wasn't so much a promotional issue as it was an issue with a slanted POV. Since that time, I've observed well-sourced information reverted en masse out of the article, causing serious NPOV issues with the article. At some point, DaveApter started a ridiculous "RFC", that was in no way neutrally-worded, and was seemingly designed only to gin up support for his own view, and opposition to those who were trying to bring balance to the article. Things have sort of "escalated" from there, and thus we arrive here. LHMask me a question 15:15, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Previously Uninvolved User:Robert McClenon

One of the RFCs cited by the filing party as evidence of previous efforts to resolve the problem is still in progress. The filing party hasn't cited any reason why the RFC shouldn't be allowed to run its course (such as personal attacks or disruptive editing in the RFC itself). Is the filing party complaining that there is something wrong with the RFC itself, or that the RFC is some sort of misconduct?
This is a contentious article, but it doesn't seem to rise to the level of needing discretionary sanctions, which would be the most likely result of arbitration.
The filing party appears to think that a cabal of three or four editors is trying to assert ownership of the article and to impose a POV on the article. If an article has only a few active editors, three or four editors may be consensus rather than a cabal.
In the unlikely case that the ArbCom accepts this case, the filing party should look out for the incoming boomerang.

Robert McClenon (talk) 15:02, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Sitush

I edited the article recently, cleaning out a fair amount of fluff, promo and puffery. At that time I did notice that one frequent contributor regarding the subject - DaveApter - says that he has been a satisfied customer of the organisation. I'm not suggesting that DaveApter added that fluff etc but any neutral editor would have removed it pronto, not left it lying around. I don't know much at all about the subject matter but I noticed a lot of debates on the talk page over a prolonged period and they did seem often to have come down to two polarised groups, both claiming to be operating according to policy but, quite clearly given my removals, not doing so. It doesn't look like the material that I removed has been reinstated. Maybe it got drowned in the noise. - Sitush (talk) 15:16, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Zambelo

During the past week a number of articles connected to Landmark in one way or another, and more particularly to the voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous article (which was also nominated for deletion)

I raised this issue here and asked why the following articles were being nominated for deletion, or being tagged as not passing notability (I had raised this here earlier, and Tgeairn had responded)

Articles connected to Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous:


On top of these flaggings, large changes were made to several of the articles - for instance the Michael Langone article was gutted because it looked like a "resumé" even before notability could be established, or discussed.

Is there a pattern here?

Meanwhile, the editors who voted for deleting the article on the Landmark-critical documentary Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous are:

  • Nwlaw63
  • DaveApter
  • Tgeairn
  • Randykitty
  • Drmies

Zambelo; talk 15:21, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Jehochman

Let's see:

  1. An area historically associated with ideological battle.
  2. A group of editors working together to frustrate consensus.
  3. Prior history of sock puppetry in the area.
  4. Serious damage to article quality.
  5. Complex dispute requiring deep investigation; poorly suited to quick analysis by the uninvolved.

Accept because sending this back with an admonishment to "use other consensus-based processes" clearly isn't going to work, but a case probably will. Having administrated in this area in the past, I can assure you that the community will have problems dealing with hard-core, agenda driven editors trying to spin a niche topic. Jehochman Talk 12:03, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Drmies

I'll be short, for now. The Landmark "stuff" is troubling. I'm not sure I'd have tagged this version as an advertisement--I think that scrapping all the "content" stuff would go a long way toward neutralization. I think in general these articles suffer from adversarialitis: those who appear to be "for" the club and those who are clearly against are too far apart. There is something of a walled garden here, and those who have read Voyage Au Pays Des Nouveaux Gourous and the AFD will realize from this edit just to which extent wikilinking was used to establish credibility/notability. The "flagged" and nominated articles linked above by Zambelo, that's a normal part of the process. I'll speak for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Christian Lujan, since I nominated that one: community consensus is clearly headed towards deletion; I've not looked at all the other ones, and until I have, I can't really judge whether ArbCom is the way to go. But if it turns out that the Voyage article is kept, which is a possibility, and if a group of editors manages to keep clearly unrelated content in that article (see this edit), where I self-reverted immediately to prevent accusations of disruption), then I think we do have a problem. I'm glad a broader audience is looking at these articles.

And for clarity's sake: this is not forum shopping, pace the filer's claim. An editor asks me for my opinion--what's the problem? If I need someone's opinion I'll go ask for it: nothing wrong with that, and there is no way that CANVASS forbids that type of message. Drmies (talk) 17:06, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

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

Issues related to Landmark Worldwide: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <0/0/0/1>

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

  • Well, there are aspects of this dispute which, at first glance, do indeed seem worrying and should be investigated; however, I'm not sure this dispute has exhausted all other venues and neither am I sure that the community are incapable of resolving it satisfactorily. In short, although judging by appearances there seems to be something of a fumus boni juris here, my feeling is that this request is still a tad premature at this juncture. Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:38, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
    • I will never again allow anyone to claim that I use the most lawspeak on this page. For those who need to look this one up, including myself: Fumus boni iuris. Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:08, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Gender Gap Task Force Issues

Initiated by Robert McClenon (talk) at 16:10, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request


Eric Corbett:

Two kinds of pork


Neotarf (Added by clerk: Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 09:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC))

Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried

Closed version of ANI thread:

Statement by Robert McClenon

Recent reports of disruption of the Gender Gap Task Force, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender gap task force, were taken to WP:ANI and were closed inconclusively. The suggestion was made that the issue of disruption of the GGTF should be addressed by the ArbCom. The founder of Wikipedia concurred:

The Arbitration Committee is asked to open a case to consider user conduct issues at the GGTF. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:20, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

The Wikiproject on countering systemic bias, and the Gender Gap Task Force, are ongoing activities for the improvement of Wikipedia. The Gender Gap Task Force (GGTF) is being disrupted by disparaging comments by two editors (EC and TKOP) who are not participants in the task force who question the need to address the gender gap, and by hostility by one participant in the task force (SPECIFICO) to another participant in the task force (CM). The ANI was closed inconclusively. A full evidentiary case is needed to identify the issues more fully. It is requested that the ArbCom consider whether topic bans for disruptive editing or interaction bans are necessary. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Update by filing party

Since the task force has not been disrupted since the ANI thread was closed inconclusively, I am willing to withdraw this filing without prejudice and refile it in the future if the disruption resumes. (I am not optimistic, but I am willing to wait and see.) Robert McClenon (talk) 23:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Additional comment by filing party

First, the climate at WP:ANI is toxic. The hostility at GGTF hasn't really cleared, only gone to WP:ANI.

Second, I will note that Sitush wrote, at WP:ANI: "We've got the wrong target here and her [Carol Moore's\ behaviour will be going to ArbCom, IBAN or no IBAN." Since Sitush doesn't control whether a case goes to ArbCom, I assume that he means that her behavior should be going to ArbCom. I would suggest that he be added to the case as a party. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:59, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

User:Sitush: I wasn't suggesting that you be added as a party because of your conduct at GGTF, but because of your blustering against Carol Moore at WP:ANI. You apparently are implying that she needs to be taken to ArbCom. If you would prefer to file a separate case against her, you can, but a case against an editor is usually (not always) preceded by a User Conduct Request for Comments. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:38, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Eric Corbett

I can only assume, given ArbCom's predisposition to blame everyone and apportion blame across the board without bothering to look at the evidence, that this is a form of seppuku on Robert's part. Eric Corbett 02:39, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Two kinds of pork

This request is premature and should be declined. There are problems, however these problems can be resolved if everyone examines their own behavior and makes some adjustments. Yes, there have been unwarranted accusations on the group talk page. Yes there is some incivility. I think all parties should bend over backwards to AGF. Don't assume someone has an agenda (other than wanting to close the GG). Don't make ad-hominem arguments. Don't try to look for a personal attack in every sentence, as it only fosters ill will. The arbitration guide says this is not to be a debate, so I won't address some points raised by some others that I naturally disagree with. I suggest an examination of the talk archives would give the arbitrators an unadulterated version on the background of this filing.

One of the problems that this project has is some of the participants seem to believe that the project should be owned by, run by, and for women only. No one believes (or should) that any project should be owned or run by one set of editors with specific traits. This project is not just supposed to benefit women, because closing the gender gap benefits everyone.

Example 1: Neotarf (talk · contribs) asked for clarification about whether a video could be used as a RS, I suggested they check RSN and the response was Why don't you present it to them yourself if you think they may be interested. I posted it here as an FYI for consideration by the women, in the context of their project. [31]

Example 2: Neotarf again makes ad-hominem attacks and continues to assert the project is owned by gender. That Cla68 is concerned about misogyny I find surprising--from the comments he has made off wiki I would have guessed the opposite. Likewise with the individuals who were previously interested in editing pornography articles and who are now engaging with the Gender Gap project--I can't seem to follow why they are unarchiving threads that were previously archived by the women as off-topic or disruptive.[32]

Could you imagine the hue raised if someone on another project made similar comments but replaced "by the women" with "by the white Protestants?" I'm willing to cut Neotarf a little slack because I recognize there is a gender gap, but the small minority that are claiming feminine ownership and making ad-hominem attacks are digging in their heels and show no signs of relenting.

Statement by SPECIFICO

I had no comment when this request was initially opened. Events since that time have made it clear that the community and nearly a dozen Admins have not been able to address things in a rational, orderly, or equitable manner. The credibility of fundamental WP processes is at stake. I now urge Arbcom to hear this case, possibly with revised or expanded definition as to its scope and involved parties. SPECIFICO talk 00:45, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Carolmooredc

  1. I think this request is premature since the three parties who have been criticized as disruptive have not even been given a chance to prove they can work collaboratively. So I believe this request should be closed by the nominator.
  2. Note that everything they've complained about has been individual opinions ignored too long on the main page, discussion points, poorly formed proposals, odd ball comments and annoyed reactions to their constant criticism and nitpicking. About the only thing accomplished since the project became more active again in early July is creation of a Draft Gender Gap Task Force Resources page, much of it from links posted at the Wikimedia Foundation-sponsored Gender Gap email list. Because of the disruption it has been impossible to discuss in a serious and collaborative fashion what we think the scope, goals and projects of the task force should be. However, one would like to think that editors would take the advice of the ANI closer.
  3. I should not be the only complainant mentioned because these individuals will single me out as the real problem as they have done in this issue and as one has in the past. A number of other individuals also have been supportive of the project and expressed some or a great deal of dismay at the process on the talk page; half of them commented at the WP:ANI. They too should be listed: User:Anne Delong, User:BoboMeowCat, User:Elaqueate, User:EvergreenFir, User:Rich Farmbrough, User:Knowledgekid87, User:Lightbreather, User:Montanabw, User:Neotarf, User:LawrencePrincipe, User:SlimVirgin, User:Thebrycepeake. Other individuals tangetially involved in the project have had useful ideas and critiques; some explicit supporters of the most critical individuals also have commented. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 21:50, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
@User:Rschen7754 and @User:The Devil's Advocate. First I believe I cannot talk about the past proceeding you mention. However, I believe I can say that as I have evidenced in the SPECIFICO section of the Disruption of a Wikiproject ANI, I have been under unrelenting Wikihounding from SPECIFICO for more than a year. See especially the April 1-September 3, 2014 Interaction Analyzers Results. Staying away from certain articles and ignoring his following me to to articles he's never edited before hasn't stopped it. Failing to respond at all often was difficult once his Wikihounding started at the Gender Gap task force. Thus I brought it up at ANI that SPECIFICO's motivation for disrupting the project seemed to be more animus of me personally (as others have noted in the ANI, on the GGTF talk page, on his talk page and even here). (Note I had intended to take other action regarding SPECIFICO on the Wikihounding issue, but this seemed the more pressing matter.) Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 19:34, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
User:Sitush wrote on User:Talk Jimbo Wales: The sooner the misconceived "Task Force" (why not "Project", instead of a military-inspired term that implies official status?) is disbanded, the sooner harmony will be restored. He still posts at the project. (Also Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias lists seven "task forces".) Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 18:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
If Admins would just page ban the people opposed to and/or disrupting the project there would be no need for arbitration- but some people want it! (1), (2) Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 14:11, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Sceptre

The community has proved itself unwilling to improve itself in how it treats women editors, and issues regarding women. Thus, it falls to the Arbitration Committee—or even more drastically, Foundation fiat—to bring the hammer down. This is something which has been obvious to women editors for a very long time. For example, see the article about the 2014 Isla Vista killings (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views), in which organised POV pushers insisted on the inclusion of category because the opposite category was included (for a multitude of good reasons), despite said inclusion being in violation of our foundational policies.

I recall an incident about five years ago in which Jimbo Wales stepped in when an admin edit warred to keep misogynist content on the front page. I honestly doubt that he would be able to do so now. The lunatics are running the asylum, and it's driving editors away by the day. I honestly feel the Wikipedia's "woman problem" is not going to get any better unless drastic action is taken. We've tried the carrot; it's now time for the stick. Sceptre (talk) 23:05, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Addendum: I think there may be parallels to be drawn with the Chelsea Manning debacle. For almost certainly the same reasons. Neutrality in an hostile environment is abetting hostility. Sceptre (talk) 23:15, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by EvergreenFir

I am somewhat involved in this, particularly in the now-closed ANI. As I expressed there, I have serious concerns about Eric Corbett's incivility, general disruption, and personal attacks against Carolmooredc and other users. Please see this section for details about my concerns and evidence supporting my claims.

I am on the fence about this ARBCOM filing. I agree with Carolmooredc's above comment that more time could/should be given to the editors in question after the close of the ANI. However, I am highly pessimistic about the ultimate outcome and feel that the ANI was not given the serious attention it deserved and that what is clearly unacceptable behavior by Eric Corbett was overlooked or ignored. As I mentioned in the ANI, threats of administrative attention/punishment has been enough to temporarily halt the offending behavior from Eric Corbett, but the behavior soon-after resumed.

Something does need to be done about the disruptive behavior on the project. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 03:35, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Ihardlythinkso

ANI was closed inconclusively?! Perhaps you simply didn't like the close and are now forum shopping. The close clearly implied that grounds for allegation of disruption were misconstrued. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 21:29, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by slightly involved AnonNep

Given that any decisions by Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender gap task force will need to be approved by the broader WP community, through relevant processes, in order to take effect, I believe ongoing comments by those questioning the very existence of the project, at the 'in project' discussion stage, are disruptive. (There will be be plenty of discussions they can argue against if any proposal reaches the WP policy stage).

I do think it is unfortunate that Carolmooredc (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)'s personal history has been brought into this but I don't think this can be completely laid against those accused of disruption. A project like this needs to represent all those effected not just a chosen figurehead. Some people bring unconnected baggage with them.

I don't want to see anyone banned, but would have preferred some form of warning at ANI, to give the project some space to develop ideas that will be then be taken to WP forums where they may well be cut down. That hasn't happened. I would at least like to see some prohibition on questioning the project's very existence before it has time to bring any proposals to the broader community for debate. AnonNep (talk)

Comment by Knowledgekid87

This is not going to be solved by shaking hands and making up, it is clear that there is editor dis-function going on with this project. Something or someone has to give in order for this to be resolved and I do not see any clear path towards this. I just undid an edit that linked Carol's alleged passive-aggressiveness to a mental disorder: [33] the attacks keep piling on, no editor or editors should have to go through this. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 03:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Rschen7754

SPECIFICO and Carolmooredc were both parties to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Austrian economics, and had topic bans passed against them. To see the same two parties here too is concerning. --Rschen7754 04:07, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment by JMP EAX

For what's worth, I'm repeating here the opinion I've already expressed [twice] on Jimbo's talk page: this is exactly the kind of case that ArbCom should take on. (The older discussion is now archived.) The ANI/community participants failed to resolved the conflict, but the [behavioral] issue(s) keep coming up. JMP EAX (talk) 12:37, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Arbcom, you were saying... [34]? It is funny how an edit war that could be easily solved with blocks became the banning case despite being featured in exactly one ANI thread, but this isn't worth your attention. JMP EAX (talk) 15:50, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
In a rare case of the community managing to not deadlock itself (on a brouhaha like this), that thread was closed with a tangible result [35]. And it was soon followed by the opening of another thread [36]. It's probably wise to wait and see how that turns out. JMP EAX (talk) 22:56, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Tarc

Only tangentially involved in this one, no worries Arbcommers! As I see this, there is a serious problem if an editor or several editors join and comment in a WikiProject to which they appear to be diametrically opposed to the very premise of said project. There's a line between healthy dissent and intentional thwarting of a project's aims, and if you accept this case, I think the evidence will show disruption, e.g. "feminist bluster" and "strident feminists running riot"

What would one do with an atheist who holds religion in utter contempt if they joined WikiProject Christianity? Or a Republican that sought to stymie efforts at WikiProject Democratic Party to bring Democratic politician pages to FA status?

Statement by Scottywong

My only involvement in this was to close the ANI thread. My opinion is that an arbcom case on this situation would be a colossal waste of time. I admit that I might be biased, however, because I believe that the majority of arbcom cases are colossal wastes of time. The primary activities that occur on Wikipedia can be lumped into 3 categories, in order of usefulness to the project:

  1. Editing articles
  2. Talking about editing articles
  3. Talking about talking about editing articles

We're currently doing #3, and this RFAR is a request to extend #3 to an extreme degree. My opinion is that we'd be better off jumping back a level to #2.

As I said in my closing statement at ANI, this is simply a case of editors (on both sides) that need to grow up and act like adults. The Wikiproject members need to realize that criticism is not always disruption, and learn how to accept criticism and use it to strengthen their ideas, rather than rejecting it and attempting to silence it by banning editors from the discussion. The editors who are accused of disruption need to realize that their criticism will be easier to swallow if it is delivered compassionately, as opposed to delivering it in a cantankerous and argumentative manner.

Now, we could either end this now and encourage the editors to work this out among themselves, or we can spend weeks generating gigabytes of discussion to come to the same conclusion, shoot out a couple of toothless admonishments, and end up at the same point. ‑Scottywong| confer _ 17:12, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Milowent

I'm uninvolved; stumbled across all this after seeing Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias/Gender_gap_task_force#Missing_articles and then creating back labor in a moment of epiphany that it was hard evidence the gender gap exists.

But taking this case would be premature, as Carolmooredc says. if the project fully supported it as now necessary, I might think differently. But once I realized Eric is the artist formerly known as Malleus, I laughed my ass off. I like the guy from afar, but he's a drama magnet who can offend whoever he has a mind to, women have no lock on that. A few cranky editors causing problems at a project is unfortunately par for the course around here (oh the abuse WP:ARS has suffered!), and while it may be more problematic due to the greater focus now rightfully being given to our norms which may deter female editing, this current dispute is not something an arbitration can solve at this point. Maybe down the road. Declining to take this spat doesn't mean Arbcom believes gender diversity (a ha another one I just created; wtf, how did it not already exist?) is not of crucial importance.--Milowenthasspoken 18:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by I JethroBT

Also not involved in this situation.

Based on the ANI close, I'm not convinced other editors or the parties involved are able to meaningfully resolve the issue. Conflicts on this particular project page may cease, but they will likely arise someplace else with some of the same players, perhaps on an article or on another project. I'd like to point to findings of fact in this case that are worth evaluating in this situation:

  • Fair criticism - Was the discourse around the merits / criticism of the project dignified and did it involve personal attacks?
  • Good faith and disruption: Was the discussion around criticisms disruptive, even if it was made in good faith?
  • Baiting: Were comments made that would understandably provoke another edtior?

Arbcom has been reluctant to rule on civility-based issues in the past, but many committee members agree that it is a significant issue. What is clear to me that when committee members say things like when there is no need to escalate with snark and rudeness, please don't escalate with snark and rudeness ([37]) that are flagrantly obvious to most of us, there are some editors who persistently do not care, and it's really not OK to believe that repeating such things, correct as they are, is going to mitigate the conflicts surrounding behavior that is inconsistent with the above principles.

Statement by The Devil's Advocate

Just gonna say that ArbCom should not accept cases on the basis of the Dear Leader giving his blessing. I get that some may be tempted to see a case because Eric's name is attached to it, but he actually seemed to be nicer than usual in this instance. The only thing I see of particular concern that might need to be addressed is the interaction between SPECIFICO and Carolmoore. Given the nature of their interactions in the Austrian economics arbitration case, there may be a need for a more general restriction, such as an interaction ban. ArbCom does not really need to take a case to do that and it doesn't even really need to go to ArbCom should that be considered necessary. Perhaps people can take it here.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 19:30, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

Newyorkbrad@ and everyone Formulating one's points in such a discussion will not always be easy; for example, how does one best discuss making Wikipedia more appealing to "female editors" without crossing the line into role-ascription or gender stereotyping?

This very issue came up Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias/Gender_gap_task_force/Archive_3#Scope. Notably the two editors SPECIFICO and TwoKindsofPork raised it. I hope I put their minds at rest.

It seems to me that the idea of closing (or narrowing) the gender gap is one that, like wikt:motherhood and apple pie2, everyone agrees to. And in a general way, of course, so they should.

However when one wants to discuss proposed actions it is important to establish the parameters, and for this we need a basis in evidence. And we need to be very careful. Example: one editor extrapolated from general Internet research "So women online place more importance than men on spending time with people congenial to them" however research on Wikipedia editing shows that women are more likely to edit contentious articles than men.

In an environment where these sorts of statements are being made ab initio they are likely to be challenged. These challenges come from a number of quarters, and while Eric's are abrupt and abrasive in what I understand is his normal manner (which does not mean they are invalid), the majority seem to be fairly phrased objections.

Given also that there seems to be an assumption that there will be a gendered divide (including I believe at least two women miscast as men, as they were seen as opposing a female editor's statements) it is not surprising that conflict flares from time to time.

I have asked (here) that: If someone is being disruptive, please follow one of the usual procedures so I suppose I must take some responsibility for the ANI and this request, but I did add a rider my preferred procedure is to ignore disruption, thus making it non-disruptive, and I believe this is by far the best way forward thought this prickly thicket.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough20:53, 9 September 2014 (UTC).

Statement by Montanabw

  • Arbs: Please vote to decline—I beg you: Gender issues on wikipedia are a legitimate concern, but this is neither the time, the place, nor the right parties. This does not excuse anyone who may have exhibited poor behavior, but such things should be handled on a case by case basis. Discussions at the GGTF page involving the named parties are mostly just (sometimes heated) banter about ideas and any action at this time is premature. Worse yet, it could create a "bad facts make bad law" scenario. Montanabw(talk) 22:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Anne Delong

  • I have been only an occasional contributor at the Gender Gap task force, but each time I have visited I have observed that whenever a new thread is started which suggests some kind of positive action or direction to be taken by the task force, the thread is almost immediately flooded with discussions and questions about more general or peripherally related topics, complaints, disparaging comments, repetition of arguments from other threads, etc., rather than constructive suggestions. While these posts are mostly couched in civil language, the result has been that in many cases the thread was derailed and no progress could be made in working toward consensus on the actual threaded topic. I have no idea what this arbitration can or should do about this, but it seems that the task force has been rendered ineffective for as long as the problem persists. —Anne Delong (talk) 01:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Neotarf

I have no idea who has added me as a party to this case or why. According to a message on my talk page, my name was added by a clerk as proxy for an anonymous arbitrator. Let me know if I need to pay attention to this discussion. —Neotarf (talk) 02:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion by Cla68

While we're here, even if this case is declined the ArbCom can do its part to help with the GenderGap project. ArbCom governs en.wp's administrator selection process, correct? I suggest that ArbCom mandate that self-identifying female RfA candidates be considered as successfully passing the RfA with a 50% approval rate as opposed to the 65% rate that is currently used. This will help gain more female administrators on the project as the RfA, the way it currently operates, is such an unfair shark tank. No, I'm not joking or trolling. Cla68 (talk) 05:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

OK, I've made a proposal here. Cla68 (talk) 06:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Carrite

There are POV warriors on both sides of this issue. If one side believes their "enemies" (and I don't use that term lightly) are going to be routed and that they themselves will escape unscathed if this issue goes through a full fact-finding process, they are sadly mistaken. I myself believe this entire "WikiProject" should probably be disbanded and moved off-wiki as inherently disruptive. Their mission is noble, their tactics and rhetoric is not. Carrite (talk) 13:41, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

@CLA. Really, really terrible idea. Carrite (talk) 13:43, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Sitush

I'd promised myself to stay out of this but the latest events have tipped me over the edge. For those arbs who expressed a willingness to be persuaded, please note this current ANI thread, which has turned into something of a Gender Gap Task Force pile-on probably because of this notification by an involved party. Please also note that the GGTF, which is swamped by Carolmooredc commentary, is censoring perfectly valid discussion, most recently by hatting and then, when challenged, rapidly archiving this thread. You'll note that my initial challenge there was polite enough; my response to Carolmooredc's mostly off-topic personalisation was, alas, not.

There is something rotten in the state of Denmark and freedom to discuss is being stifled by process. - Sitush (talk) 17:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

@Carolmooredc. You can't stop forum shopping the same comments at numerous venues, can you? It;s like the written version of verbal diarrhoea, sprayed everywhere, irritating, usually unwanted and, frankly, tedious. My views on the existence or otherwise of the GGTF are not relevant here and I won't be commenting in those terms. The problem here is behavioural. Yours, in particular because all you ever seem to do is try to use Wikipedia processes to censor other people and to rewrite your own history. You've been censured before but it seems to me that a review of the behaviour of yourself and perhaps others may be in order. - Sitush (talk) 18:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
@Carolmooredc, re: this. You've misunderstood me, again. I'm looking at filing a case about your behaviour generally (latest example here, which seems absurd to me). Nothing directly related to the GGTF, although obviously you have been active in matters relating to that of late and so your behaviour wrt that might be a part of the whole. I'm not sure whether ArbCom would prefer to roll all this up or not but my intention was a separate case, which will inevitably also put me and numerous other people under the spotlight. - Sitush (talk) 15:53, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
@@Robert McClenon, I've made the grand total of nine edits to WT:GGTF and there will be a few others knocking around elsewhere. I'm not a major player in this. Feel free to add me as a party but don't expect that I'll bother responding unless the Committee decide to roll up as per my message above. - Sitush (talk) 16:05, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by J3Mrs

Carolmooredc conflates criticism of opinions or ideas expressed on the project page with personal attacks. As such she is proving to be a net negative by commenting on everything and drowning out more reasonable and measured voices. Until she learns the difference between such criticism and what constitutes a personal attack, nothing will improve. Some editors on that page who see incivility in others do not see it in themselves generating more drama for nil improvement to the encyclopedia. Stifling dissent is not the way to go and neither is looking for anti-feminist bias in every comment or criticism. Bad ideas are just that. J3Mrs (talk) 15:42, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Mark Miller

The situation is not at all clear as to who is really in the absolute wrong. Almost every one of the directly involved parties have not acted well but the serious question this really about the Gender Gap Task Force or is this really just a personal conflict between editors? I see a lot of editors (very well meaning editors) stating that one is trying to get their opposition removed. I have not actually seen any real proof of that and in fact have seen some rather good explanations about how some are forgetting that just being brought up or being involved at ANI does not mean they started the threads or complaints to receive that criticism.

Newyorkbrad is correct that being able to discuss the gender issue and "why women are drastically underrepresented among our editors, and what can or should be done about it" is important, that what Arbcom is for? More important to me is that the projects be allowed to have these discussions without outside intervention to disrupt that discussion on purpose and that is what I believe is happening and...generally by the same editors over and over. If the request is taken...that is what I think is a major issue. Are these projects being purposely derailed by their critics? I think it is cool to criticize...but actively undermining the projects on their talk pages just because your don't like the entire idea or find is useless is very disturbing.--Mark Miller (talk) 02:23, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

David Fuchs, thanks for your time and opinion but you may be incorrect about this being "one AN/I". At minimum we could be looking at about three ANI requests.
This one is the latest: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Interaction ban between Carolmooredc and Sitush proposed This thread has 7 sections. 3 have been closed and 4 remain open. This is the case that the OP felt should include user Sitush. The common theme appears to Eric Corbet in a lot of this, as well as Carol.
Another relevant thread is Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Requesting uninvolved admin as it involves Eric again disrupting a discussion about civility on Dennis Brown's talk page. This was closed as "NOTHING USEFUL IS TO COME OF THIS" and I do believe this is directly related to the same case not just because it involves the usual suspects but is again the editor purposely disrupting and undermining the discussion.
Of course the main thread of this complaint is: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Disruption of Wikiproject which was closed and archived and located here (If the direct link does not work).
I cannot tell you what to think or that you must agree with my assessment here but I do ask that you take a closer look and see if any of the above has merit for further attention. Thanks!--Mark Miller (talk) 04:03, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Noting that there are 12 active arbitrators for the purposes of this request (Beeblebrox is inactive), so 7 is a majority. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 03:45, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Gender Gap Task Force Issues: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <3/5/0/1>

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

  • It is essential that the Wikipedia community be able to discuss why women are drastically underrepresented among our editors, and what can or should be done about it, in a mature and sensible way. Formulating one's points in such a discussion will not always be easy; for example, how does one best discuss making Wikipedia more appealing to "female editors" without crossing the line into role-ascription or gender stereotyping? (This is not a concern unique to Wikipedia; it comes up time and again as all parts of society move toward true gender equality.) An interesting philosophical question (again with precedents extending well beyond Wikipedia) is whether a task force devoted to assessing how to solve a problem may properly move forward from the starting point that some form of problem exists, or put differently, whether questioning the existence or the nature of the problem represents participation in the task force's work or a derogation of it. And for us arbitrators, the main question presented by the request for arbitration is whether the petty bickering and feuding on the taskforce's talk page will stop soon without our involvement. I hope so. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:52, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Accept. Noxious behavior on the wikiproject talkpage is continuing. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:49, 16 September 2014 (UTC) And it has spread to other venues, and some of the user conduct is unacceptable. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:00, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The Gender Gap Task Force is, in my opinion, somewhat different from the other WikiProjects, in that, to some extent, it is political in nature (and I'm using the term "political" latu sensu): I mean, the members of the Task Force are considering changes aimed at increasing the number of women editing Wikipedia and, assuming they are successful in proposing feasible innovations, these will have an impact over Wikipedia in its entirety. Case in point, the proposal to make edits made by women harder to revert. For that reason, I can see how having someone criticising proposals and possibly presenting alternatives can be useful for the project and can also prevent the Task Force from becoming an echo chamber. Of course, there is a difference between criticism and disruption: if, after review, it turns out that a person's actions are disrupting the Task Force, then that person should be asked to leave – and, failing that, be topic banned from participating further. On the other hand, the other members of the Task Force should be open to criticism, when made in good faith, without confusing criticism with disruption and calling for sanctions merely because someone disagrees with them – and also, though this is just my unsolicited opinion, in general all participants should try to avoid letting their voice drown all the others, regardless of how strongly they feel about the issue at hand.

    In this case, in my opinion, both sides have conducted themselves in a way that bears review, so I vote to accept the case. Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

  • There's certainly problems with the Gender Gap on Wikipedia, one that was a key focus for the Foundation last year (or was it the year before?) As it's such a "big" issue, tying outside problems like societal bias and technical issues with behaviour on Wikipedia, I'm not sure it can ever be solved. However, the Gender Gap Task Force is there to try and good on them for doing so.

    I've seen some "blue-sky thinking" on that task force, with "un-wiki" ideas such as requiring consensus of 2 editors to revert a female editor. "Blue-sky thinking" is all well and good, but many people don't understand that it's the first step in a process. After the ideas are created, however "out-there" they may be, they need to be criticised - it needs to be discussed what is wrong with these ideas. If there was nothing wrong with them, they would be happening or very easy to implement. From there, a pragmatic view should be taken on what realistic improvement can be made. Without these following steps, "blue-sky thinking" can actually be harmful - insulting those who are working hard on a project and demoralising those who cannot see these ideas come to fruition.

    Whilst I'm very happy that the Gender Gap Task Force is trying to increase the number of women on Wikipedia, I'm not happy with the fact that a subset of that task force is complaining about the criticism that they are receiving. Similarly, I believe the level of criticism could be improved, actually explaining where the issues are are rather than stating that they won't work.

    Overall, I don't believe this issues is ripe for arbitration, but I do think it's getting close. I'm leaning decline, but am willing to be persuaded otherwise. WormTT(talk) 10:49, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

  • I'm voting to decline at this point. I completely understand why this is such a fractious issue and where good faith on both sides isn't enough to bridge a fundamental divide between what the wider wiki community views as its goals and what the GGTF views as its goals. But one AN/I doesn't make this case within our remit as of yet. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 13:17, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Like WTT, I'm leaning decline, but could be convinced otherwise. There's certainly a reason we say "ANI is not dispute resolution". That's not in any way intended as an endorsement of the conduct I see taking place here, and we may need to handle the issue via arbitration at some point if things continue down that road. I'm just not convinced the issue has reached the point of intractable and hopeless for community resolution at this time. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who thinks it is already at that point, and why. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:21, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Accept, this shows all signs of becoming a very toxic situation, and developing events have convinced me they're not going to get any better at this point. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:40, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Decline per David Fuchs. Carcharoth (talk) 20:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • It's a decline from me too, per David,  Roger Davies talk 23:11, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Hi Cla68. Interesting idea but, no, ArbCom has nothing to do with RFA; it's an entirely community process.  Roger Davies talk 05:54, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Decline per Fuchs, and also broadly per the line of reasoning presented by TDA above. NativeForeigner Talk 01:39, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Decline per David Fuchs. GorillaWarfare (talk) 19:02, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: Sexology (TParis)

Initiated by v/r - TP at 19:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

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

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

Statement by TParis

  • I would like to know if Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archive264#Request_warning_to_be_expunged is a broad enough consensus to meet the threshold listed at Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions#Appeals_and_modifications #2 requiring a consensus at the administrator's noticeboard ("AN") to have the decision by Sandstein to list me as sanctioned with a warning under this case overturned.--v/r - TP 19:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
    • @Sandstein: Righteo - I didn't feel comfortable calling a consensus of four editors a consensus that could uncontroversially overrule an Arbcom sanction/warning, even as an enforcement action and not as part of a case, and I wasn't prepared to argue that such a precedent should be set either way.--v/r - TP 20:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
    • @Arbcom: Regarding Sandstein's question of where to log violations of WP:AC/DS#Decorum, I am not at all opposed to being listed in a log if one were to be created for it specifically. I only oppose where it is logged currently.--v/r - TP 04:21, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Sandstein

The four editors who commented in that section supported TParis's appeal, which in most Wikipedia discussions would constitute a consensus in favor of their position. But I don't really have any basis on which to form an opinion one way or the other about whether they were uninvolved editors (for whichever meaning of "uninvolved" the Committee may have intended), or whether this relatively limited degree of participation constitutes the "clear and substantial consensus" of uninvolved participants required to sustain an appeal.

On the merits, despite the disagreement of these other editors, I remain of the view that an editor who misbehaves in an AE discussion concerning a topic covered by discretionary sanctions is, themselves, subject to the discretionary sanctions authorized for that topic area, and that the warning at issue (meant as the mildest possible sanction, and not to be confused with a no-longer-loggable alert) was therefore correctly logged.

Moreover, to the extent that the sanction was also in application of WP:AC/DS#Decorum, this case raises the question of whether and where sanctions authorized by that provision should be logged.

While I don't have strong feelings about any of these questions, some clarification with respect to any of them might be helpful for future cases.  Sandstein  19:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Salvio giuliano: I appreciate the feedback. In this case, though, I consider that my action was appropriate to the misconduct at issue. Indeed, a brief block might have been preferable, also in view of the fact that TParis is an administrator, about the conduct of which the community tends to have higher, not lower, expectations. Of course, such appreciations are a question of individual judgment and temperament, and it is therefore to be expected that different people will come to different conclusions. But the mere fact that my appreciation of the situation doesn't match yours doesn't mean that I didn't exercise my best judgment and common sense. If the ArbCom delegates discretionary sanctions authority to individual administrators, it must accept that they will come to conclusions that may differ from those of individual arbitrators in any given case. Otherwise you'd be better off doing the job yourselves.  Sandstein  15:00, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Newyorkbrad: If the Arbitration Committee concludes that TParis's appeal to AN was successful, or if the Committee itself undoes the warning on appeal, then I certainly accept that. But as I have said, I am of the view that the warning was appropriate. Therefore I don't quite understand what it is that you would like me to do.  Sandstein  13:24, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by EdJohnston

Arbcom, please don't create any new procedures or any new logs for decorum warnings. The existing ones are working. TParis has argued that the warning to him was logged in the wrong place, but I disagree. If there was to be a warning at all under WP:AC/DS#Decorum, surely it should be added to the log of whatever Arbcom case the complaint was brought under. In my opinion Arbcom should treat this request from TParis as though it was an arbitration enforcement appeal. On that basis, Arbcom has jurisdiction to grant the request if it wants to (without being worried that it is interfering with the closure of the AN thread he filed). Another way to handle this would have been for TParis to file an arbitration enforcement appeal at WP:AE. If that had been done, I'd probably vote to grant the appeal and remove the logged warning. EdJohnston (talk) 15:50, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

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

Sexology (TParis): Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I have reviewed the discussion on the noticeboard, including Sandstein's detailed comments there. On the substance of the request, while I understand Sandstein's technical points, on balance I fully agree with TParis that it is unreasonable and misleading for him to be listed as a DS-warned party under either the Manning decision and/or the Sexology decision. (This obviously doesn't mean I condone calling editors "morons," and I'm glad TParis understands that the term was inappropriate.) I also agree with TParis that the discussion on AN has reached a consensus in his favor on this issue. ¶ As a matter of DS procedure, the appeal-to-AN alternative would ordinarily call for assessment of consensus on the noticeboard itself by an uninvolved administrator, rather than by the Committee. However, due to a lull in the AN discussion it aged off the active AN board and into the archive, and I think it would be excessively wikibureaucratic to insist that the thread be pulled from the archive back onto AN so that an administrator can close it with the obvious result. ¶ With respect to Sandstein's inquiry concerning whether 4 editors is sufficient for consensus, I would say it depends on what is being discussed. If the subject of the discussion were a site-ban, participation by 4 editors would be woefully insufficient. In this instance, though, given the limited nature of the sanction and the fact that everyone who wanted to discuss it had an opportunity to do so, I believe there is sufficient basis for an outcome—particularly when the alternative would not be to declare the appeal unsuccessful, but to reopen the discussion in either the same or a different venue. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree that we don't need to create a new logging location; we should just drop the warning that was given, as being unnecessary. I would appreciate if Sandstein would just accept this outcome so we can close this request out, as otherwise, unnecessary additional time will be spent on what everyone seems to agree is a very minor matter. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:32, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  • In general, I agree with Sandstein that edits to an AE thread are covered by the underlying discretionary sanctions. However, and I find myself repeating this, the administrators manning the AE noticeboard need to use their best judgment and common sense when determing what the most appropriate course of action is in any given case. Here, TParis' use of the word "morons" was inappropriate; redacting the insult was a good idea as was leaving a note on his talk page, urging him to be more civil. What was an overreaction was making it a big deal, by logging the warning on the relevant case page like a discretionary sanction. After all, this was an isolated case of incivility and was not part of a pattern – at least, from my experience. Those who commented during the AN discussion reached the correct conclusion, in my opinion; and, while 4 people is a bit on the low side for these things, I agree with Brad that for the purpose of determining the number of people required to overturn a sanction, its severity should be taken into account (also, those commenting were, if I'm not mistaken, entirely uninvolved, which partly makes up for their small number). So, for all these reasons, I think the warning should be removed from the log. Also, in my personal capacity, I'd like renew my request to Sandstein to please be less heavy-handed in future and to first consider talking to the other editor as a person, instead of reaching immediately for his DS quiver. Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • While I also don't endorse the "morons" comment, I agree with Salvio and Newyorkbrad. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:12, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Amendment request: Waldorf education

Initiated by - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps at 04:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Case affected 
Waldorf education arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t) (specifically its review, Waldorf education/Review arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t))
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Remedy 1 and 1.1 of the Review, Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Waldorf_education#Pete_K_banned and Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Waldorf_education#Pete_K_ban_clarified
List of users affected by or involved in this amendment
Confirmation that the above users are aware of this request
  • As the Pete K has not edited using his account since 2007, there is no good way to log it. I will instead post the link to this in a section in which Pete K has started on my talk page.
  • A13ean notified
  • Hgilbert notified
Information about amendment request
  • Link to principle, finding of fact, or remedy to which this amendment is requested:
  • Details of desired modification
  • Update them to standard topic-bans (so it can be more easily logged under editing restrictions, which will satisfy Pete K's request to remove template messages on article talk pages that states that he is prohibited from editing said articles)

Statement by Penwhale

Back in March 2007, I placed a template on Talk:Waldorf education as part of the requirement when an editor was banned from contributing on articles. The wording at the time allowed Pete K to contribute to the talk page, until a later motion (Remedy 1.1) also limited Pete K's ability to edit the talk page.

Nonetheless, it is unfortunately clear that Pete K may have missed the additional restriction, and recently has taken to both Talk:Waldorf education as well as my talk page to rant about both his inability to edit the talk page as well as the template message on top of the Waldorf education talk page. I believe the best solution would be to modify Remedy 1 and 1.1 of the Review to use the current TBAN wording; this way, the templates could in theory be removed since there will be a centralized place to log the edit restrictions.

As a side note, back in 2012 A13ean (talk · contribs) asked me whether the templates could be removed; I agreed that it could be commented out; however, it was restored before the end of the year by Hgilbert (talk · contribs). - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 04:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by a13ean

Sounds fine to me. I asked if the template could be removed because at the time Pete K had not edited for several years, although he resumed editing shortly thereafter using an IP. a13ean (talk) 17:03, 12 September 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).

Waldorf education: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • If standardizing the sanctions to the modern topic ban practices will minimize disruption, I see no reason not to. I'll get a motion together to do that. Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Seraphimblade. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Same here. Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:26, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Motion: Pete K restrictions changed to standard topic ban

For this motion there are 11 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive, so 6 support or oppose votes are a majority.


Remedies 1 and 1.1 in the Waldorf education case (Pete K banned/Pete K ban clarified) are stricken. In lieu of these remedies, the following restriction is enacted: Pete K is topic banned indefinitely from the subject of Waldorf education, broadly construed. Enforcement of this provision shall be per the enforcement provisions in the Waldorf education case and shall be logged at the same case page. This restriction may be appealed to the Committee no less than one year from the date it is enacted, and if such appeal is unsuccessful no less than one year after the decline of the most recent failed appeal.

  1. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:21, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  2. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:26, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
  3. Salvio Let's talk about it! 00:15, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  4. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:50, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  5. GorillaWarfare (talk) 19:58, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Comments by arbitrators

Clarification request: Sexology

Initiated by EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} at 20:37, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

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

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

Statement by EvergreenFir

There have been on-and-off discussions on Talk:Radical feminism since April 2014 regarding the acronym "TERF" (which stands for "trans-exclusionary radical feminists"). Specifically there is disagreement whether or not the term should be considered a slur and thus not used on talk pages in any other context other than the acronym itself or its use by others vis-a-vis the content of the article. Carolmooredc first posted about it on the RadFem article and on WP:XX in April of this year asking users not to use it. Since then there have been various conversations about it here, here, and here. Most recent discussion (seen in the last two links in the previous sentence) has been around asking the ARBCOM to clarify if this acronym constitutes a slur and would thus be under the purview of the Sexology decision regarding transgender issues.

For clarity, it is my personal view that the acronym does not constitute a slur as it is only viewed as such by those it refers to. It is not the same as other widely recognized slurs such as this and this. I have described my views more clearly in the linked talk page discussions above.

This is my first time at ARBCOM so I apologize if any of this is improperly formatted or otherwise incorrect.

Statement by Tutelary

Hello. This is also my first arbitration case request so please bare with me if I am not keen on all of the formatting and the rules. But, in my view, this dispute is stemming from the fact that one or two editors feel the need to attribute TERF as a slur. I do not share this view, because it's the exact opposite of a slur. It's an acronym describing a subset of Radical feminism that do not accept trans* folk at all. The reasoning on how this is a slur also baffles me. The fact that some people use it in threatening emails? Well, if we attribute that to being a slur, then we'd also open our doors to everything be a slur, because threatening emails will be threatening regardless of the terminology used. We also don't generally involve ourselves into off wiki disputes. It is of point that it is a useful term to describe the group of radical feminists who don't support trans people. That's all it's being used for on the talk, and that's all it will ever be used for it. It falls incredibly short of being a slur anyways, like Evergreen pointed out the two examples; 'nigger' and 'tranny'. Those terms are made to inflame and insult, this one is made to describe a group and their general POV; like Pro-Choice and Pro-Life. I feel that Arbitration clarification request is the acceptable method for clarification because otherwise it's just 'X says its a slur' and 'Y says that it isn't' and generally gets all muddy and filthy. A clarification would be greatly appreciated. Tutelary (talk) 21:03, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by olive

This is a behaviour issue but solutions may be dependent on whether the acronym is a slur. Both can be decided by the community in general. If something makes another editor feel uncomfortable then I do wish that we drop it, a very easy way to avoid hurt and contention. Doing so seems to be the deeper sense of what civility is. Not an arbcom issue.(Littleolive oil (talk) 21:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC))

Statement by TParis

As I said in the Manning naming dispute Arbcom case, whether something is a slur or not depends on the CONTEXT it is used in - and I'm not sure I can emphasize that enough. We need to quit acting like children on here with no concept of dimension and a two sided construct of language. A word cannot be offensive or nonoffensive. How the word is used can be. That's what matters. Each case must be evaluated on it's individual merits. If someone says "From the TERF perspective, blah blah blah etc etc etc" then that would not be an offensive word. If someone said "The fuck do we care what you think, TERF?" That's offensive. It's simple. CONTEXT!--v/r - TP 22:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Arbcom case not needed - only clue and maturity are required here.

Statement by SPECIFICO

The word refers to a well defined, real-world phenomenon, and it is appropriately-sourced. The talk page controversy arose when one editor vowed to go immediately to Arbcom. This seemed to imply a threat of sanctions against editors who did not accede to her insistence that the word was used as a slur and her demand that it be removed from the article. SPECIFICO talk 23:12, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I have not seen any editor use the word to describe or address another editor on WP. We're discussing article content only. Any reference to personal attacks should be supported by a link, otherwise let's not confuse things with red herrings and straw women arguments. SPECIFICO talk 01:04, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Carolmooredc

Given the Sexology and Bradley Manning arbitrations, I was seeking clarification on what to do about this issue at Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests#Not_sure_if_clarification_or_enforcement_issue. (Note: Issue being loose use of it on the web page to refer to specific individuals or groups of radical feminists in an obviously negative fashion, or any potential use against other editors; removing properly sourced information on the term has not been an issue.) Advice there to bring it to ANI seems sensible. I think an intelligent discussion of the WP:RS calling it a slur and a dozen or so examples of how the term is used to insult and threaten women, if shared at WP:ANI, would clarify the issue for the community. However, if it does seem that this issue belongs here, that information can be shared here. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 00:07, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I was wondering what is happening with this clarification. I just saw this revert with the edit summary "Hungerford is a prominent radfem and terf)" and the relevant sentence was "The term is considered a slur by those at whom it is directed, such as Elizabeth Hungerford." Because some arbitrators here seemed to think it only should not be used against editors, perhaps the editor here thought it was OK to use against living persons, including those who have received threats which often use that term. FYI, Hungerford writes about being "gender critical."[48][49] So some real clarification here needed. Thanks. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 19:16, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
For the record, here are other refs calling TERF a slur or an insult (some mention the "gender critical" alternative description):
  • New Yorker “those at whom it is directed consider it a slur.” (This article and term mentioned at the
  • Village Voice “a label the feminists consider a slur .”
  • American Conservative titles article: "Radical Feminism & The TERF War"
  • National Journal mentions that the female congressional staffer who recently vandalized Wikipedia's Laverne Cox article discussed her dislike of the TERF accusation.
  • Counterpunch: “Make no mistake, this is a slur. TERF is not meant to be explanatory, but insulting.”(2013)[50] and later described it as one of several “epithets”(2014)[51].
  • Bitch magazine describes a feminist who “considers a slur” the term TERF.
  • A few of the many personal sites where women discuss the term as being a slur and insult against feminists and women who don't support every jot and tittle of the transgender ideology: [52], [53], [54], [55].
If I see what I think are abuses of WP:BLP, even if no editors are abused, I can bring the issue to the appropriate forum. It's always an educational discussion. Thanks. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 02:00, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Cla68

According to this article in the Huffington Post, TERF refers to feminists who are transphobic or otherwise discriminate against trans-gender people. Thus, TERFs could arguably meet the definition of a hate group. So, the use of this term to refer to Wikipedia editors could very-well violate WP:NPA and it could violate WP:BLP to refer to a living person unless very robustly sourced. However, it does appear to be the term used in general for anti-trans feminists and thus can be used in that context in the applicable articles. Cla68 (talk) 00:30, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Neotarf

After pursuing the meaning of this through the internet for better than an hour, I have come up with this explanation. Some individuals, who Arnold Schwarzenegger might term as "lady-boys", and who have male chromosomes and male genitals, want to use female toilets. Also women's sleeping areas and women's prisons. The reason for this is that they believe gender is social. They say anyone who does not agree with them is trying to deprive them of their rights, and is filled with "hate and exclusion". They loathe women almost as much as they loathe their own bodies, and as a result of believing they have become women, they spend a lot of time on "men's rights" forums trying to enforce strict gender roles and telling women how to act as women. I'm sure I have missed some nuance of this, and that someone will come by and set me straight on some of the detail, but this is definitely a thing. Anyone who resists strict gender roles is deemed a "terf", as in "kill terfs", which according to this New Yorker article, has become a common internet threat.

The two terms mentioned by the OP as being "widely recognized slurs" are no such thing [56][57], but we can certainly add all of these terms to those that do not belong on the talk pages of Wikipedia. That this term was used by an IP, and not a signed-in user, kind of speaks for itself.

@TParis: If someone says "From the TERF perspective, blah blah blah etc etc etc" then that would not be an offensive word. I'm just not buying it that (in a similar construction) it's okay to say "From the faggot perspective..." or "From the slut perspective..." as long as you don't say "Die, faggot" or "Die, slut". I'm just not buying it; this is offensive. At the very least, this is a gross misrepresentation of someone's views.
@Cla68: the Huffington piece cited is not a neutral "article" but a blog opinion piece by Kelsie Brynn Jones, a LGBT activist and movie producer.

Comment by Sceptre

This is an issue way out of any remit of the community or ArbCom, because it's off-wiki drama spilling in, basically, so we can't really make a decision that doesn't affect how we talk about content. That said, from a personal perspective, I tend to view with suspicion anyone who says the phrase "TERF is a slur", because the people who say that tend to have a demonstrable history of transphobia. For example, one of the people cited in the article, Elizabeth Hungerford, wrote a letter to the UN two years ago stating that legislative protections for trans people are "a violation of the human rights of women. What I've noticed, off-wiki, is that people who say the term is a slur never actually say why it's a slur. The term is more comparable to "Tory" or "liberal" than "nigger" or "tranny". On the question of content: transphobic radical feminism is a fringe view even of radical feminism, and anti-transgender perspectives should be given according weight. Sceptre (talk) 14:04, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {other user}

Clerk notes

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

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I'll repeat what I wrote on the talk page. This isn't something ArbCom needs to deal with, in my opinion. If the term TERF is being used as a personal attack, then the person using it in that fashion may, depending on the circumstances, be sanctioned, but I have seen nothing proving that the community is not capable of dealing with this issue. Also, as far as I know, that the expression is a slur is not the current consensus. Dave Giuliano Let's talk about it! 20:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This really isn't an ArbCom decision, as it's too close to the "content". The community has the ability to make a decision on whether the term is a slur - and I believe TParis has rather got the point, context is key. If the intent is to use it as a slur, then the user should face consequences. If not and offence is being caused, at most a quiet word might be helpful. If the quiet word doesn't help, grit your teeth and move on, remember offence can only be taken, not given. WormTT(talk) 09:19, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
  • In my view, the crux of the problem is not the fact that an acronym is being used, but the use of characterizations such as "trans-exclusionary" and "radical," which may be problematic individually and doubly so in combination. Is there a way of saying what one wants to say without turning up the heat in this manner? I agree this is not an ArbCom matter in and of itself, but I must say that some of the user conduct that underlay the original Sexology case was among the worst I've seen in my 8 years on Wikipedia, and the whole subject goes to the heart of how many people perceive themselves and their identities—so I'd urge editors in this area to be especially sensitive to one another's feelings and perceptions, especially when this can be done without compromising straightforward communications. Newyorkbrad (talk) 07:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think ArbCom can say "this term is offensive or a personal attack", because what constitutes a PA or incivility is as always a community norm ; my gut feeling is that if the term is contentious, it really shouldn't be used outside of where it is justified (i.e., in the encyclopedic coverage of what sources say on the main page, and in discussion of that content, not contributors, on talk pages.) I think that with the encyclopedia's general guidance on avoiding personal attacks and fostering a collaborative atmosphere using labels is not going to help our aims. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 12:55, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
  • It is not up to the Arbitration Committee to determine whether a specific term is offensive or not (thankfully—that would make for quite a case...) I agree with David that the best approach would be to avoid using contentious terms to refer to other editors, and editors should be cautious when using them in an encyclopedic context. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:39, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Broadly agreed with GorillaWarfare. It might be necessary to use terms that would normally be offensive when discussing encyclopedic content, but needlessly inflammatory language should be avoided when referring to other editors. Regardless, we can't make a list of words that it would always or never be appropriate to use; context always matters. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:06, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Clarification request: Rich Farmbrough

Initiated by Fram (talk) at 08:56, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Rich Farmbrough arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Link to relevant decision: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Rich Farmbrough#Clarifications by motion

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

Statement by Fram

Rich Farmbrough has editing restrictions, one stating that he is "indefinitely prohibited from using any automation whatsoever on Wikipedia. For the purposes of this remedy, any edits that reasonably appear to be automated shall be assumed to be so." and another that "Regardless of the editing method (i.e. manual, semi-automatic, or automatic; from any account), Rich Farmbrough is indefinitely prohibited from mass creating pages in any namespace, unless prior community approval for the specific mass creation task is documented."

One of the causes of these restrictions was the mass creation of script-generated biographies taken from the Dictionary of National Biography on Wikisource (see [[59]], which was also at the start of my evidence on the RF arbcom case).

Now, RF has created many more similar pages (same method, same problems) at Wikisource, and is actively looking for people to import these to Wikipedia, if possible by bot or script. His script adds very little of value to the existing Wikisource pages: an extremely rudimentary infobox, bolding of the page title, some seemingly random wikilinks (sometimes none at all), birth and death year cats, and (the only thing of potential value IMO) the references used by the DNB article presented in a Wikipedia-style at the end of the article. The pages he creates are taken from all kinds of Wikisource transcriptions, not all verified for correctness (of transcription, this is not about factual correctness).

Evidence of same kind of problems (examples, not exhaustive at all):

Note also that every page starts with {{subst:Quick infobox|..., but there is no Template:Quick infobox.

As for evidence that he believes these pages are ready to be imported, that he is actively recruiting people to serve as proxies to circumvent his restrictions, and that speed is the defining characteristic for his creations and the manner he uses:

  • s:Category:DNB drafts states since its creation on 16 August 2014: "These pages are drafts ready to be copied into Wikipedia at your peril."
  • His first statement on this[60], at the DNB project page, stated in part: "I will be creating draft article in my userspace on Wikisource. Anyone can feel free to let me know of issues, or to import the articles to Wikipedia, as they are of course, copyright free and attributed. If you have the rights you might consider an export-import solution." (bolding mine)
  • Correcting his drafts on Wikisource is no use[61]
  • Need more articles? You'll get them fast![62]
  • Many are done (no indication which ones):[63]
  • At another project, he is more cautious, but still advocating the "quick win" of importing his articles[64] (when, as seen above, it would be more useful to simply import the original wikisource page, if people want a page that needs a lot of work still).

I had put a note on the project talk page to raise my concerns[65]. The response[66] speaks volumes.

Considering the April 2014 clarification issued by the Committee that "Accordingly, Rich Farmbrough is warned that the committee is likely to take a severe view of further violations, and may consider replacing his automation restriction with a site ban.", I would suggest that enough is enough, and simply siteban him for continuously trying to circumvent or violate his restrictions, and for basically not learning anything from his previous mistakes and the discussions and blocks surrounding them. Nothing less, including his last one-year block, seems to make any difference. A siteban won't stop him working on Wikisource, but it will at least stop the active recruitment on Wikipedia of editors to proxy for him. Fram (talk) 08:56, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Addendum: as an indication of the scale of the errors in his drafts: I noted above an article where he had changed Frisingen to FrisinGenesis. This was apparently a remnant of a completely unrelated task, where he auto-expanded some abbreviations to the full Bible Book name. He has now corrected these in his DNB drafts (which is good in itself), which gives an idea of the number of errors (and the fact that my list above was just the tip of the iceberg):
  • Expanding "gen" to "Genesis": [67][68][69][70][71]
  • Expanding "ez" to "Ezekiel": [72][73][74][75]
  • Changing "john" to "John": [76]
  • Expanding "dan" to "Daniel": [77][78][79]

After this was done, he did another run on the articles, changing "thither" to "there". Seven articles were changed, one incorrectly though, as "thither" was part of a title in that one, so the change made the article less correct[80], and would be hard to detect afterwards. Fram (talk) 18:08, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

@Wbm1058: I don't care what he does on Wikisource, as long as he doesn't try to find people to import these pages here as a way to circumvent his restrictions here. My links to Wikisource are only used to show that the pages are problematic. My request here is about his actions here. Fram (talk) 19:36, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

@AGK: I don't really understand your statement about an "alleged import"; I have provided multiple piecees of evidence that Rich wants people to import these to Wikipedia: the category at Wikisource claims that they are ready to be copied into Wikipedia, this link is a section he started, called importing articles, where he specifically states "If you have the rights you might consider an export-import solution.", and elsewhere he also promotes bringing his drafts to Wikipedia as a "quick win"[81]. So it is obvious that he has already tried to "crowdsource" his automation, as you put it, and that he wants (or certainly wanted) these to be imported swiftly and preferably en masse. That no one so far has acted upon this (as far as I know) doesn't mean that he hasn't tried to breach the sanctions in this way, only that he was unsuccessful. The "proxying", brought up by others, is a red herring in that regard, as I am not seeking any sanctions against other editors, even if someone would have imported one of these. This request is only about the behaviour of Rich Farmbrough. He now claims that "I have never suggested using a bot or script to import the items, and indeed I would strongly disagree with doing that en masse, as it would break the proposed workflow."; I wonder how he reconciles this with his preferred "export-import solution" for someone with "the rights". I hope that, contrary to earlier ArbCom proceedings, he will actually explain what he intended, and not simply dismiss evidence without any justification for it. Note also this[82]: "As to importing, of course they would not be bulk imported to article space, but to my user namespace by default, or the project namespace by choice, which would create no issues for anyone, except to make mass updating difficult." This not only contradicts his advice to the gender project, but also would still violate his restrictions on mass creating articles, which clearly states that he is "indefinitely prohibited from mass creating pages in any namespace". Fram (talk) 06:58, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

About Rich Farmbroughs comment (or "preliminary statement"). Most seems rather irrelevant, I'll stick to a few points.

  • "one's off-site edits microscopically examined for typographical inaccuracies," is the usual ignoration of his own errors, which are much more fundamental than "typographical inaccuracies", as evidenced above. This blindness to the problems with his scripts and its results, and the lack of control of the results of his script runs, are the root cause of the problems and restrictions. Furthermore, these are "off-site edits" made with the explicit goal to get them on-site, not something that would remain off-site.
  • "The advantage of using the import function, as I understand it, is that it allows attribution to be maintained, and a consistent edit summary of the import itself is used." The import function is not even available to copy pages from Wikisource, see e.g. Wikipedia:Requests for page importation.
  • "No proxy editing is taking place here, and none has been proposed." But it clearly has been asked. No one has taken up the proxying, but that is not under discussion here. The problem is that you were looking for proxy editors to get your deficient script-created pages on Wikipedia, since you are restricted from doing so yourself. You have not explained how this is not an attemmpt to get around your restriction by recruiting others.
  • "To keep these projects in the dark about a possible resource would be unkind, unproductive and unwiki." No, to present your already banned script-created contributions to these projects as if they are positive, welcome contributions is unkind and unproductive. You could have just pointed e.g. the gender group to Wikisource, and indicated that there are a lot of DNB entries there that have been proofread, which can be copied over and turned into articles with some work. You could have provided them with a list on Wikisource of such pages, I wouldn't care and it would in no way violate your retrictions if you had done that. But you just had to use your already condemned scripts there and invite people to use your versions (no matter if they started from proofread pages or not, no matter if they introduced errors not in the original Wikisource page or not). And that is the problem and the reason I filed this. Fram (talk) 06:46, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

@Seraphimblade. I don't really get this, you seem to be basically syaing that if someone has restrictions here, they are free to try to circumvent them and find other editors to help them continue their problematic editing? Doesn't that make the restrictions rather toothless? Fram (talk) 07:09, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

@PBS: Both. Restrictions are not "don't do this unless your edits are good", they are "don't do this"; but in this case, as I presented in my opening statement, the edits still present the same or very similar problems as the earlier ones had, so I don't believe using them would be a net benefit either (I don't think using the RF versions will make it any faster to present decent articles compared to starting from the standard Wikisource pages, and the chances are considerable that they will introduce additional errors not present in those Wikisource pages, like in some of the examples above). Fram (talk) 16:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

In the interests of collegial working, and to save everyone's time, I would appreciate guidance form the Committee, as to whether they would like a point-by-point commentary on the above, a general statement, or, indeed, whether it is not worth responding to. All the best: Rich Farmbrough13:03, 25 August 2014 (UTC).

I have drafted a statement which I will post later tonight or tomorrow, once I have removed or reduced those points that Kim has already made more ably than I.

I will just point out, for the record this absurd statement of Fram's, which I had missed amongst the cruft (I may later incorporate it into my general statement:

is actively looking for people to import these to Wikipedia, if possible by bot or script.

This is quite simply a chimera. I have never suggested using a bot or script to import the items, and indeed I would strongly disagree with doing that en masse, as it would break the proposed workflow.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough22:01, 26 August 2014 (UTC).

Preliminary statement

1. Scope

I address only the substantive point made relating to English Wikipedia. While it is doubtless flattering to have one's off-site edits microscopically examined for typographical inaccuracies, it is not something I will address here, except to point out that I had explicitly invited Fram to report and discuss them, if he should desire, as indicated at WP:DNB.

:You are still welcome to proof-read or validate any of the pages in DNB, and if you let me know I will re-create their drafts, where appropriate. And you can add here any issues you discover which appear to be new.[1]

2. History
2. a) "The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history"[2] and "many of the longer entries are still highly regarded"[2], it covers tens of thousands of people from legendary figures from the mists of time, up to the the early years of the twentieth century, when the supplementary volumes are taken into account. Due to the publication dates the text is in the public domain.[3] These texts, therefore, form a good potential starting point for Wikipedia articles. Over the last decade a small group of dedicated volunteers, lead by the redoubtable Charles Matthews have been working on creating a proofread version of the DNB on Wikisource with the express aim (although not the sole aim) of having the material available for Wikipedia. In parallel a very great number of Wikipedia articles have been created for the same subjects, sometimes based upon the DNB material, sometimes partially so, and sometimes from completely different sources (although these are often derived in whole or part from DNB).[4]

A WikiProject DNB was set up on the 10th of September 2010, I joined on the 14th.[5] The DNB project exists solely to bring information, sometimes in the form of new articles, from the DNB into WP. It is a child project of Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles[5] WikiProject DNB was broadly supportive of the previous automated creation of drafts on WP.

[While the best drafts may form tolerable articles, considerable manual work is required to most of them, and not just on the article. The links to regiments or battles, for example, may require ancillary articles to be created, or at the very least redirects or disambiguation pages. The draft merely removes tedious and repetitive workload.]

2. b) The "Gender Gap Taskforce" is a taskforce of the Sytemic Bias WikiProject, set up on the 13th of May 2013. It is active on other aspects of systemic gender bias than the Gender Gap, despite its name, for example Afd, categories and missing articles. I have been active there since the 4th of August, shortly after the taskforce saw a resurgence in activity, and had commented elsewhere on the subject of main discussion of 2013, category "ghettoization". I have previously produced lists of missing articles (and provided other, mainly technical, assistance) the Women's History project. I have also made a list of 187 women environmentalists (that I cannot share with fellow Wikipedians, except by providing a link to the off-wiki list), and have slowly been creating articles on notable women leaders form Wesleyan movements.

3. Proposed use
There was never any suggestion of automated import of these drafts as I have outlined above. You can clearly see that a 'manual process is suggested at the Gender Gap Taskforce, that implies individual articles need to be created and worked upon.[6]

The advantage of using the import function, as I understand it, is that it allows attribution to be maintained, and a consistent edit summary of the import itself is used. I made it clear, when Fram raised the issue of import that bulk importing would "make mass updating difficult."[1] Had Fram the slightest concept of how the process of continual improvement works, he would have realised that bulk import by any means is anathema to my goals, at least while I am unable to work effectively upon the English Wikipedia.

Moreover it is clear that the drafts are not ready for article space as noticed to the DNB project, so any bulk import there would be a bad idea.[7]

4. Warnings given

4. a. Caveat: ... You remain responsible for your own edits. Face-smile.svg [6]

4. b. These pages are drafts ready to be copied into Wikipedia at your peril.[8]

Note that the WikiProject DNB members tend to be experienced editors who know that they are responsible for their own edits.

Members of both projects clearly have their own reason to create these articles. (See, Bruning, Kim: 2014)

5. Conclusions
No proxy editing is taking place here, and none has been proposed. Assistance is being offered to two projects I am already involved with, and which have aims in line with my own: to wit, creating missing articles on notable women, adding missing articles on notable Britons. To keep these projects in the dark about a possible resource would be unkind, unproductive and unwiki.

No proxy automation is taking place either, this is a trivial lemma.

6. Quotations It is, though, instructive to note the previous comments of a couple of current arbitrators:

  • "[N]othing prevents other botops from taking over Rich's bots, provided that they comply with all relevant policies and guidelines," T. Canens
  • "You'll also be delighted to hear that the proposed remedies enable him to give you exactly the help you seek by way of planning the logisitics [sic], working up the code, liaising with bot owners and so on." Roger Davies
  • "Hasteur is a big boy, if he wants to code a bot to Rich's specifications - it's his responsibility..." Worm That Turned

7. Colophon It has been expressed to me by an Arbitrator that, despite the findings not saying anything about it, the root issue was the speed of editing.[notes 1] It is already perverse, then, that I was blocked for a year for mistyping a single character manually. It would be even odder if any sanction were considered for precisely zero edits

On this note if any Arbitrator knows of any other hidden reasons for sanctions, I would be most grateful to be appraised of them.



  1. ^ We could potentially have a productive discussion on this basis, if that is the view of the Committee as a whole.

Response to Fram's third set of comments

I wonder how he reconciles this with his preferred "export-import solution" for someone with "the rights".

Where does he get preferred from? Just makes it up as he goes along I suppose.

@Robert McClenon

I provided the Gender Gap Taskforce with two links, one to a list of red-linked articles and their corresponding DNB pages on wikisource, and one (IIRC) to a category of drafts.

Anyone who wishes may take the text of the Wikisource article, or of a draft, or they may retype the text from the image of the DNB page, or they may re-write it in their own words.

If they use the draft (which is in my userspace) they will, in general, have less work to do than if they if the Wikisource page. I will be happy whichever they use.

As to the particulars, the intention is to improve the conversion process continually, this is known as kaizen. If an improvement to the process is made it will be shared by all new and existing drafts. Moreover source changes will also be reflected to existing drafts.

If they try to polish a draft in my userspace in Wikisource, and it were to be overwritten, their changes would not be lost, but would be available in history. Nonetheless this is probably a bad idea. It would be better to polish it on Wikipedia. They can do this, for example, in their own userspace, in Draft space or at AFC. They could also do it under the WP:DNB project space, or indeed in article space, provided they are not going to abandon a particularly problematic draft. Clearly they would do this if they worked from the Wikisource article or the images.

So I don't think I am placing any large manual burden on anyone, rather removing a manual burden.


Anyone who wants to automatically import these drafts will need to propose a BRFA, which includes showing community consensus, per WP:BOTPOL. If the community consensus is to bulk import the pages, then I would not wish to stand against it, even though I don't think it is currently appropriate. The committee may have a different view of community consensus, of course.


I had not realised these fine distinctions were that important. However the prohibition on automation is recorded, as far as I know, as an "Editing restriction" and does not ascend to the lofty height of a "Topic ban".

Statement by Wbm1058

No jurisdiction. Per Wikipedia:Arbitration, This Arbitration Committee's jurisdiction extends only to the English Wikipedia. See m:Arbitration Committee for other committees. Apparently Wikinews has a committee, but Wikisource does not. If you don't like what Rich is doing there, or in his own user space (which I'd assume was intended for debugging), then go to the Foundation and ask for an Office Action. – Wbm1058 (talk) 19:12, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by User:Kim Bruning

Quick point of policy: Just pointing out that WP:PROXYING fails on both forks:

  1. "Wikipedians in turn are not permitted to post or edit material at the direction of a banned editor" . Rich is currently not banned. [83] (block expired in march AFAICT)
  2. "unless they are able to show that the changes are either verifiable or productive and they have independent reasons for making such edits.". Which passes if an editor checks before submission to en.wp.

Even if we bend #1 to also apply to editing restrictions, #2 still applies full force.

Further, I guess Fram reads "are ready to be imported at your peril" opposite from me. (I read it as "Don't do it that way. (yet)").

Together with the fact that this is on ws instead of wp I'm not sure there's a case here for arbcom per-se. (Though Fram's frustration is quite understandable here.)

I know the tendency these days is to delete rather than improve, and ABF over AGF, but this is still wikipedia. :-)

You know, Rich can Code, and Fran knows their quality control. Could we establish procedures where Fram can cooperate with Rich to generate something that both would agree was useful? The large benefit to wikipedia if these folks could work together is obvious, imao. ;-)

--Kim Bruning (talk) 13:02, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

User:Worm That Turned, Sure! Hence, anticipating that line of argument: "Even if we bend #1 to also apply to editing restrictions, #2 still applies full force.".
--Kim Bruning (talk) 14:04, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Worm That Turned <3 :-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 14:56, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Questions and Comments by Robert McClenon

Fram has stated that many of the articles are "broken". I have not read the articles in detail, but would like to ask whether Fram's comments, such as that abbreviations for books of the Bible have been replaced with the names of the books, are valid. Is that criticism correct? If the criticism is correct, are the articles in Wikisource really ready to be pulled into Wikipedia, or will it be necessary for those copying the articles to make non-trivial edits? If, in your opinion, the articles are ready for Wikipedia, how is Fram mistaken? Why have you cautioned not to edit the articles in Wikisource? Am I correct in assuming that you are using a script in Wikisource? In that case, by overwriting and "rebreaking" any broken features in the script, it appears that you are proposing to place a large manual burden on Wikipedia editors. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:18, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Comment from NE Ent

If RF does something, and Fram doesn't obsess over it, is it really disruptive? This we have jurisdiction over anything in the universe that might affect Wikipedia slope ya'll seem to be on recently should stop, because it diminishes the credibility of the commitee (i.e. good luck banning Erik Möller).

RF was banned from automation because he demonstrated a lack of judgement in using automation to affect articles. If he automates off-en-wp, there is no violation. If the introduction of the work product of those automations by another editor diminishes the encyclopedia, the responsibility lies on the editor who did the edit, not RF.

If the committee is going to establish a vicarious liability policy in that an editor who encourages another editor to do something is as responsible for the one who does it … please desysop Fram for encouraging [84] the behavior of Kafziel Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Kafziel whom ya'll desysoped. No, that's not a serious request, it's a Reductio ad absurdum argument for the principle editors are only responsible for their own behavior, not what others do. NE Ent 10:41, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Fæ

I have met Rich in real life many times, we have had great chats, as you might guess this includes our different experiences with Arbcom, and he is a fellow supporter of Wikimedia LGBT+. I expect the outcome here to be "I don't see anything that the committee should do", as others have highlighted. If Rich wants to play around with Wikipedia content away from Wikipedia, meh, this is something that is actually a good thing as if others are going to reuse his work to improve Wikipedia contents that's their editorial judgement, not Rich's.

The Wikipedia community has seen 2 years of Rich being publicly pilloried for his use of automation, or more accurately, even the appearance of automation such as simple cut & paste editing, has become a reason for eye-watering year long blocks. This has become a death of a thousand cuts, how about putting aside the punishment hat and instead talk realistic solutions that give Rich a way to regain his good standing as a Wikipedia editor, and we can all benefit from his significant talents and interest in writing better tools for our editors?

Those members of Arbcom who have not had a chance to meet Rich and discuss his passion for the English Wikipedia, I strongly encourage to take up the offer of a Skype call. Nobody can possibly doubt his good intentions, his enthusiasm for open knowledge and his great potential for helping to deliver on our shared mission. He is exactly the sort of long term Wikipedian you want to encourage.

Let's move on please. -- (talk) 12:41, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

P.S. I note that Fram's statement is currently 1,395 words long and may well be added to. I have only briefly skimmed the text as a result.

Statement by PBS

As one of two editors who did most of the systematic clean-up of Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Dictionary of National Biography/Archive 2#List in October–December 2011, I do not share all of Fram's concerns. At the time I was of the opinion that it was better to modify the text and fix the attribution than it was to delete the articles. I was disappointed at the number of editors who participated in the clean up, and because the pages had been published I felt a responsibility to clean them up (even thought I wanted to be editing other pages), and so resented RF for placing that extra burden on the DNB project.

If articles are manually ported by editors from wherever RF has placed them, those editors have three choices:

  • to use the original DNB source,
  • to use RF's modifications
  • or not to do it at all.

The decision and the responsibility for making sure that the text meets Wikipedia content policies guidelines must rest on the editor who chooses to import the text. One editor building on the efforts of another is the Wikipedia way. I suspect, given the lack of participation if fixing the problems in the 100+ pages in 2011 when RF generated similar content, that the speed at which the articles he creates are copied across to Wikipedia will occur far more slowly than RF hopes it will happen.

To facilitate monitoring the ports I would suggest that an audit page is kept consisting of:

  • Date start, Date end, porting editor, Wikipedia page(s) affected, notes on the port

I think Fram needs to question whether Fram is opposing this initiative by RF, because Fram believes that RF is gaming the system and should not be allowed to do so (whether or not the outcome of RF's initiative will be a net benefit to the Wikipedia project); or whether Fram's motives are because Fram believes that this initiative will inevitably harm the project and so should be strangled at birth.

I think on balance it should be a benefit to the project, but it largely depends on the the editing care of any editors who decide to import the text and their taking responsibility for doing so. Therefore I would suggest that the project is allowed to go ahead with the understanding that it can be reviewed at any time.

-- PBS (talk) 16:06, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved Hammersoft

It would be helpful if the committee could help clarify at what point Fram's reporting of Rich becomes abusive and/or excessive. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Statement by bystander Mangoe

If Rich were to persuade someone to import en masse the material he has generated off-site, there would be something to deal with. As it is, one-by-one article creations don't represent the same sort of problem. Mangoe (talk) 19:47, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

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

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I reject the point that this is out of jurisdiction, because the purpose of the pages in question appears to be an import into Wikipedia. If this is not the case, urgent clarification is requested. Otherwise, I would welcome a statement from Rich Farmbrough; in answer to his question, detail is welcome and, I think, important. If there is no meaningful defence against the allegation that Rich intends to introduce a large number of automatically-processed stubs, statements should focus with some urgency on how this is not – as it would then appear to be – another violation of the automation prohibition that was issued on a "last chance" basis. AGK [•] 21:26, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • If Rich assures us that the alleged import in question will not take place, I do not see much else for us to do. I would advise him not to attempt to "crowdsource" his automation, which would be a violation in spirit of his restriction, but until the committee receives evidence that such a thing is taking place, I do not see that we have anything to consider in this complaint. Perhaps Fram can correct me before I finalise my opinion on this request? AGK [•] 22:49, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • In response to Rich Farmbrough's question, I do believe a statement from him is needed. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:52, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • We do not have jurisdiction over Wikisource or any other project but the English Wikipedia, but it has long since been established that we have jurisdiction over off-wiki conduct when it is undertaken with the purpose or outcome of affecting the English Wikipedia. A banned editor lobbying for others to circumvent the ban would fall squarely within that, so Rich, yes, a statement addressing that accusation is much needed from you. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:56, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Agreed with AGK, with the further clarifications here, I don't see that any action is required. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:48, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Ah, proxying. Our policies on the matter are quite clear and I'm sure no one ever questions them. In any case - if Rich is "making a resource available for people" and the people are willing to take responsibility for the edits - I don't see anything that the committee should do here, we have no powers that would change the matter. I would certainly take into account that Rich has circumvented his topic ban through using another project should he ever request his topic ban be removed. WormTT(talk) 10:05, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
    User:Kim Bruning - Rich is banned, not site banned, but topic banned - where the topic is a meta topic of "automated editing" and is covered by the WP:Banning policy. WormTT(talk) 13:17, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
    User:Kim Bruning, indeed - hence my previous comment "I don't see anything that the committee should do here" WormTT(talk) 14:32, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
    @Rich, I stand corrected. WormTT(talk) 09:20, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree that there's not much for us to do here. What he may or may not do at Wikisource is up to the Wikisource community to decide, and I don't think his discussion of importing the text to Wikipedia is something we should act upon. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:08, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Amendment request: American Politics (Dinesh D'Souza films)

Initiated by Casprings (talk) at 13:19, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Case affected 
American politics arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
  1. Remedy 1
List of users affected by or involved in this amendment
  • None are directly affected


Confirmation that the above users are aware of this request

No users directly affected. Will leave a notice on the talk page of America: Imagine the World Without Her

Information about amendment request

I request that all Dinesh D'Souza political documentaries come under Discretionary sanctions, as an amendment to the American Politics case. The article and talk page of America: Imagine the World Without Her WP:Battleground behavior and a similar dynamic to other cases that deal with American politics.

Statement by your Casprings

I think this is the type of situration the decision was designed to deal with. I would also note that similar battleground behavior has been seen in noticeboards, such as this:

@Collect: The request only asks for films from one director and one type (political documentary). That isn't particularly expansive.Casprings (talk) 22:39, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
@Collect: While you may disagree with the original decision, the logic was clearly to be flexible and quickly handle areas under American Politics quickly. I think that this request is in line with that. However, if the question is about the original decision, that is another issue.Casprings (talk) 22:50, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Evidence (Might take a little while, as I am busy with work right now. However...) Edit Wars over content

1.[85],[86], [87], [88], [89]

2. [90],[91],[92],[93],[94]

I would note that 2. happened in the context of several heated exchanges on several different forms: For example, and

3. [95], [96],[97],[98], [99]


Editors Seeing the page as a WP:Battle

1. [100]


@Seraphimblade: I can and will add more. However, before I do, I wanted to ask: 1. Is this what you are looking for? 2. How much more do you want? Casprings (talk) 00:37, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

@Roger Davies: First, life was busy this week so I had little time to add more evidence. Second, if your concern is doing this piecemeal, why not make it political documentaries in federal election years (00,02,04, etc). I have no evidence to back that up currently, but I would be willing to place good money that if you look at those articles you would find significant edit warring.Casprings (talk) 00:23, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by VictorD7

Frivolous since activity on the article has been winding down anyway, in accordance with a movie's normal box office cycle. I'm also not sure what the basis for expanding DS to all D'Souza films would be. Seems arbitrarily broad. VictorD7 (talk) 17:31, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

statement by uninvolved Collect

OK -- if we add all films, books, people, events, magazine articles etc. which are remotely connected to "American Politics broadly construed" we likely would have over twenty thousand articles on the list in a flash. Possibly a lot more than that. Draw the line quickly lest this get really out of hand. Collect (talk) 22:24, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

@Casprings: Note the other request on this same page at this point wherein some estimate was implicitly asked for. "Broadly construed" is, in my opinion, intrinsically ill-advised as any sort of standard, and this request is sufficiently afield from the original ArbCom evidence and findings as to illustrate that problem. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:44, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

@Casprings: I demur. Collect (talk) 23:41, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by DangerousPanda

Wholly unnecessary bureaucratic filing. The original decision was clear and flexible. If these specific items need to be subjected to the original case, it can happen without such a request for amendment - otherwise, you're going to create bad jurisprudence that requires everything to be vetted in triplicate before it can be subject to sanctions. Bad and poorly-thought-out idea all around. the panda ₯’ 15:17, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Comment by A Quest for Knowledge

I'm confused. How can we possibly place the entire topic space of American politics under discretionary sanctions?? This is way too broad and overreaching. And what's the point of the discretionary sanctions broadly construed if editors have to ask for an amendment to include an article as part of the the sanctions? Are these discretionary sanctions different from all the other ones? What am I missing here? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:14, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

@Gaijin42: Thank you for the clarification. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:05, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Gaijin42

A_Quest_For_Knowledge The entirety of AP is not under DS. Merely there is a policy that DS may be applied to any AP article, without a full case being required to do so. Individual articles or topics still need to be explicitly placed under DS, its just that taht can be now done at WP:ARCA for things under the umbrella of AP. Gaijin42 (talk) 01:25, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

I think that the Panda and A Quest for Knowledge are mistaken, and Gaijin42 is correct. American politics is not under discretionary sanctions as such. The ArbCom provided an optional procedure for any subarea within American politics to be put under discretionary sanctions if necessary so as to avoid the need for full cases. This request by Casprings is correctly filed. However, he has not established (in my opinion) the need in this specific subarea. Has there been edit-warring or other disruptive editing? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:27, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

In the absence of further evidence from User:Casprings of disruptive editing, I would be inclined to recommend that the ArbCom decline this request, but would ask Casprings to submit diffs. I have tried to address the comments of User:Roger Davies above, but will restate that Remedy 1 was meant to avoid either the need to overburden Arbitration Enforcement with issues arising from disruptive editing of tens of thousands of articles in the area of American politics (which would result from a blanket imposition of DS) or the need for full arbitration cases in order to impose discretionary sanctions on topic areas. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:33, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
The statement by User:Roger Davies appears to propose to be a change to Remedy 1 to replace it with discretionary sanctions for all of American politics. Since Remedy 1 was reviewed by the community with an opportunity for comment before it went into effect, would the large expansion of discretionary sanctions also be reviewed in a somewhat more public place than this board? What is the thinking of the other arbitrators, who either voted for Remedy 1 or did not vote? Robert McClenon (talk) 15:23, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {yet another user}

Clerk notes

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

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Casprings, could you please add more details (specific diffs would be most helpful) as to why you believe these restrictions are needed? Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:50, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd be much more inclined to authorise DS generally, rather than do so piecemeal.  Roger Davies talk 07:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Robert McClenon My thinking here is that authorising DS for a couple of articles at a time is not very good use of either the community's or committee's time. Authorising for the entire sprawling topic will - initially at least - likely place burdens on WP:AE but it should be possible to identify groups of articles within the topic which are troublesome and authorise DS for the sub-sets.  Roger Davies talk 08:14, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Robert McClenon If there's compelling evidence of widespread disruption right across the topic, I'm not averse to authorising DS for all of it. However, identifying sub-sets and authorising just for those might well do the trick. What we probably need to avoid is strings of requests for DS, one or two articles at a time.  Roger Davies talk 01:12, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Casprings Thanks for the additional comments. Having looked again at the diffs, it does not seem that DS are necessary as actionable misconduct on this kind of scale (if there is any) can easily be dealt with by normal community processes (ie routine admin intervention).  Roger Davies talk 03:48, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Decline at this time as hopefully the edit-warring has passed, and in any event can probably be addressed by ordinary means. If problems persist then if necessary the request can be renewed, with supporting evidence of need. Newyorkbrad (talk) 04:35, 28 August 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 Ithinkicahn

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
EtienneDolet (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 03:05, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Ithinkicahn (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 
  • The user engages in a relentless effort to remove any mention of the Armenian Genocide in Wikipedia. It's a classic case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. The user's edit-summaries are almost always misleading. They're often entirely irrelevant to what the user's edit actually entails (i.e. 14 August , March 12, and 31 July edits). It's impossible to detect when and where the user has deleted references of the Armenian Genocide. Therefore, all edits must be examined. These are the only ones I happened to come across:
  1. 15 September
  2. 26 August
  3. 20 August
  4. 18 August
  5. 16 August
  6. 15 August
  7. 14 August
  8. 31 July
  9. 29 July
  10. 15 July
  11. 24 May
  12. 21 May
  13. 12 March
  14. 2 March
  15. 2 March
  16. 22 February
  • The user also assumes an overt WP:BADFAITH towards his "opponents". He has openly exclaimed, even after I told him to stop with the badfaith assumptions, that "I have reason to assume bad faith on your part because of my experience with you in the past" (29 July). In an article where I have made only six constructive and harmless edits ([124][125][126][127][128][129]), the user kept hurling accusations at me by calling me a POV pusher and accused me of historical revisionism (here and here). The user continued doing this even after I kindly told him to stop. Apparently, he was not interested in adhering to basic Wikipedia policy either ([130]). Even with third-party users stating that the article was NPOV and reliably sourced ([131][132][133]), Ithinkicahn continued unilaterally placing the POV tag and had edit-warred to get his way ([134][135]).
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Gave an alert about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on 23 February 2014
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

I've tried to work with the user on countless occasions. In the past, I've granted him a barnstar and was always supportive of his edits in Turkey related articles. However, once the user started editing in Armenian related topics, it turned into an entirely different story. His deletion of massive amounts of information (often times sourced) concerning the Armenian Genocide is highly problematic. Most of his edits regarding the Armenian Genocide are driven by his own personal opinions and fall contrary to the general consensus Wikipedia has instilled regarding the subject. Consequently, the deceptive edit-summaries make it necessary to tend and examine each edit. Furthermore, an uncompromising attitude towards those that don't fall into the user's POV makes it almost impossible to work with him. Hence, for the reasons I have mentioned, I suggest that the user be banned from all topics related to Armenia and Turkey.

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Ithinkicahn

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 Ithinkicahn

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Ithinkicahn

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

  • Editor hasn't edited since September 16, according to contribution. Wouldn't say stale, but revisiting this when editor returns may be the way to go. - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 05:57, 23 September 2014 (UTC)