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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.

This page trancludes from /Case, /Clarification and Amendment, /Motions, and /Enforcement.

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


"WP:ARC" redirects here. For the former contest, see Wikipedia:Article rescue contest.

Requests for arbitration

Review of admin actions

Initiated by OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) at 08:32, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried
  • Link 1
  • Link 2

Statement by OccultZone

I think I have done a mistake by not addressing the problems when they started to appear. I thought of letting it go and concentrate elsewhere, but now it has become necessary to address each incident where the abuse of admin tools has been involved.

We can know the background. One minute before my first block on 23 March 2015, I had over 186,000 edits, there was no prior warning or notice for edit warring, incivility, copyvio, and other offenses since the day I had joined

  • Let us have a quick look at the major admin actions.
    • Swarm had blocked me for 72 hours, for making 1 revert in 5 days. He had blocked 3 more editors for making 1-2 reverts in last 3 days, even after accepting that everyone was reverting an obvious sock.[1] It was so quick, that he even went back to change the block settings, systematically it counts 2 blocks.[2] 3 blocks including mine were overturned.
UTP before the block.[3]
  • Bgwhite had blocked for 24 hours, for having a finally stale edit war on IP sock talk page, with 100% guarantee that no revert is going to take place.(diff) Bgwhite was WP:INVOLVED,[4][5][6] who also protected article where he was involved, not just once but twice,[7][8] after reverting to his version[9][10] and misrepresented the edits as "vandalism", though they were not.[11] All that happened in 16 hours.(discussion) Block was overturned by Diannaa.
UTP prior to the block.[12]
  • Worm That Turned had topic banned me from the subject where WP:ABAN could be only choice, however, there was not even a single disruptive edit from me. Upon numerous examinations and evaluation of every edit, T-BAN was removed. (discussion)
  • HJ Mitchell blocked me 72 hours for "not dropping stick". While WP:STICK is a different essay, WP:DR is the policy. Even that essay is failing to justify the reason since there was no trace that I was pursuing the previous matter at all. Neither anyone had reported. Block was overturned by Magog the Ogre.
UTP prior to the block.[13]
  • Nakon reinstated an overturned block without making any discussion anywhere, thus engaging in wheel warring, which is itself a serious issue. Block was made[14] for making this edit, though it was never discussed or pointed ever before, I could be blocked for such a productive edit only if it had to do anything with any prior blocks, or if I was topic banned from WP:AN.
UTP before.[15]

Clearly, all of these actions contravene the policy, they are non-policy based. Not even a single discussion was made before blocking for the given rationale, none of the block bears any resemblance to previous block per their rationale. Upon close analysis, I question if I even deserved a 'warning', blocking was just far.

After Nakon's block, Worm That Turned started to discuss his proposal, to topic ban me from all administrator boards and requesting admin actions.[16] I asked WTT to supply diffs of the behaviour that would be applicable for a topic ban, and he never provided any.[17] Furthermore WTT has told that "needful is to up your block to "indefinite" for escalating the situation again. I'm very tempted to".[18]

Not only I have remembered, but I have also found that such objectionable actions, undertaken by the named parties are not limited with what I have mentioned above. More can be found elsewhere, and they vary from wikihounding, incivility, false accusations, misrepresentation of diffs, blocks, protections, etc.

Yes I have always adhered to the WP:FIVE pillars of I can be convinced otherwise if I hadn't. Had someone asked me only once? I would do what they wanted and especially after having such a history, it was obvious that I was always capable of handling any of the matters. Question arises, why they never tried any alternative measures? Or they didn't tried because there was no justifiable reason for their admin actions at first? We will see. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 08:32, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

  • @HJ Mitchell: Nakon hadn't contacted anyone[26] before reinstating an overturned block for the reason that was not even a blockable offense. You need to show diffs if Nakon ever did. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 10:24, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • @Salvio giuliano: There are: Non-policy based blocks and 0 warning/notice or 0 reports were made in any relation to the block. Protecting the page, not just once but two times in 2 hours where the same admin was involved. Unauthorized topic bans, topic banning from any namespace without following the formal procedures, I am currently under a non-existing topic ban which includes any complaints against any editors, though it is in effect. Reinstatement of an overturned block for making this edit, which was clearly not a blockable offense, clearly wheel warring. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 10:24, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
@Thryduulf: What really allows one to block for 72 hours for making 1 revert in 5 days? Or protecting the page two times by incorrectly labeling the edits as vandalism, despite being involved? Or imposing unauthorized topic bans, "stop editor-based drama or you will be indefinitely blocked", even though there are no flaws in any reports. Such is clearly abuse of admin tools and duties. Should admins take action against those who have been reported, or block those who have reported obvious violation? And without even finding or making a single notification prior to the block. Such has been always a huge part in my case. Who gets blocked for making this edit? Furthermore there are clear evidences of incivility, wikihounding,(in its right definition) false accusations, etc. False accusations are actually serious, such as claiming that I have sent harassing emails to other admin (Swarm),[27][28] while Swarm has clearly denied it.[29] I think that there's so much, and it shouldn't be ignored. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 10:58, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
@Thryduulf: I think we can come to a conclusion, since you say that they weren't perfect and they don't rise to the level of arbitration, I would ask only one question. Do you agree that none of these block-related admin actions were warranted and my actions rise to the level where block was required? OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 11:36, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Yunshui, thanks for recognizing the ill-considerations. I can see some chances, we shall agree that these weren't blockable offenses at all, and remind the named parties about WP:ADMIN. Case might be solved. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 11:45, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Swarm

My block of OZ was in response to an ANEW report which revealed a slow moving, long term edit war at Rape in India involving multiple users and spanning several, several months, and regarding the same issue (of reporting specific incidents of rape in the article). The edit warring had somewhat escalated as of the time of the report. Obviously I'm aware that blocking a group of editors is a more severe action than page protection but I made a judgment call based on the fact that this dispute had been going on for so long and neither side was making an effort to stop it. Based on my review of the long-term dispute, OZ was the worst individual offender, so he got a longer block. If I was not clear enough in my block rationale, I substantially explained and defended the block on his talk page in regards to policy, and yet he continued to accuse me of administrative abuse, to the point where I simply had to stop playing into it as OZ was not responding to my comments rationally. Since this incident and the following ones, his behavior seems to have deteriorated to a surprising degree. I'm a pretty lenient admin when it comes to ANEW. I've seen and taken in all the feedback about the block, but this was what I felt was an appropriate action at the time, given the circumstances. Others have weighed in with varying opinions, but no one has agreed with the accusation that it was an abuse of the tools. No comment on anything else, but I continue to stand behind the block as completely in accordance with blocking policy. Swarm we ♥ our hive 18:11, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Bgwhite

I agree with Worm's observation that OccultZone is in full meltdown. Hammersoft's timeline of the beginning of the meltdown is pretty good.

The discussion where OccultZone fails to understand what he has done is wrong is not new, the lashing out behavour is. OccultZone had his AWB bit removed for a second time following a discussion at ANI. Repeated tries on his talk page to have him understand what he was doing wrong were fruitless. Among the accusations made at ANI were edits made in error and the high rate of editing (upwards of 17 edits a minutes). In removing the AWB bit, Nick stated, "My overriding feeling at the moment is that much of OccultZone's comments, above, have been made in an attempt not to lose AWB access, rather than to understand and respond appropriately to concerns and issues raised." The failure to "understand and respond appropriately to concerns" has been in full mode by OccultZone this past month.

Since the beginning of the meltdown, OccultZone has failed to understand that he has done wrong. He is unable to let go, whether in the Zhanzhao SPI case, Bargolus SPI case, AN request for Iban or ANI request to ban Kumioko. The last time OccultZone was unblocked, before Nick blocked him the last time, OccultZone said he would drop things. During the time unblocked, OccultZone filed an SPI cases against Sonic2030. This SPI case was the fourth time he accused Resaltador of being a sockpuppet that I'm aware of. (see StillStanding, Bargolus and Zhanzhao). He continued his practice of admin shopping at JamesBWatson's page and asked for talk page access revoked at Future Perfect at Sunrise's talk page. This doesn't include the action that got OccultZone reblocked.

By undoing Swarm's block, I obviously felt the block wasn't necessary. On OccultZone's talk page I said Swarm did a judgement call and shouldn't go any further. I don't see where Swarm misused their tools. The reason why I blocked OccultZone is listed on his user page. Ironically, OccultZone was edit warring over an edit war notice. When I blocked OccultZone, I am aware of him trying to have me blocked via IRC, gTalk and email (I can tell the committee those people who told me if the case is accepted.). Have mistakes been made by me and others? Yes. Are the mistakes needing an ArbCom case? No. OccultZone has repeatedly failed to understand concerns raised about his behavior and actions. Instead he has turned to anger and if people aren't with him, they must be against him. OccultZone needs to go on a vacation, voluntarily or forced. He also needs to understand that he is not blameless and some of his actions are wrong. Bgwhite (talk) 22:16, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

I just noticed that OccultZone has started a discussion on Rape in India's talk page. It is to undo the compromise reached earlier and remove the section he has wanted gone since the beginning. It is the same section that started this whole mess. Bgwhite (talk) 22:44, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Worm That Turned

OccultZone appears to be in full meltdown and has been for a month or so. I honestly believe the best thing for him would be to take a break from the encyclopedia until such time that he can return to his standard gnoming work. I've suggested a three month break from drama, but unfortunately he's chosen this path. I would recommend a declining this case.

For the record - OccultZone has spent a lot of time off-wiki adminshopping over the period - there are 18 admins/checkusers that I am aware of at the moment who have been brought in, largely contacted off-wiki. I myself was contacted by OccultZone with a request to oversight his first block.

Don't get me wrong, there have been failings - but none that rise to the level of an arbcom case. WormTT(talk) 09:01, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

On the accusations
  • It was not wheel warring. OccultZone was blocked for "not dropping the stick". He agreed to drop the stick and Magog unblocked him, telling him to stop future crusades. OccultZone made 3 further edits relating to previous "crusades". Nakon reblocked him as Magog was unresponsive. That's not wheel warring, it was restoring a previous block as the unblock conditions were not adhered to.
  • Swarm's block, whilst not the optimal solution, was not inappropriate - there was a slow motion edit war at "Rape in India", Swarm blocked all participants. I would have recommended page protection, but blocking is also an acceptable solution.
  • Bgwhite's block - Bgwhite was not "involved" at this point, he was acting a neutral admin who was trying to find a solution. Note that every participant, including OccultZone, said his solution was good. Bgwhite went on to block OccultZone for going over 7RR at an IP talk page. There is a legitimate gripe with Bgwhite's subsequent actions, which I did raise with him unsuccessfully.
  • My topic ban was within discretionary sanctions - I felt that OccultZone needed time away from that article, as he was accusing pretty much every opposing editor of being a sockpuppet.
Throughout, OccultZone has focussed on exact processes not being followed, for example "not being warned" despite him being well aware of policies. He's made false statements (primarily via email, which I will provide to the committee if a case is accepted) and has a definite case of selective hearing. WormTT(talk) 09:27, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I'll ask you directly OccultZone - How many admins have you consulted privately regarding any of the allegations above? How many have you contacted directly on Wiki? WormTT(talk) 10:05, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by HJ Mitchell

I don't use terms like "exhausting the community's patience" lightly, but that is precisely what OccultZone has done and is continuing to do. I don't think he means to waste everyone's time, and I have no doubt he genuinely feels aggrieved. My involvement in this started as an observer of an AN thread where OZ refused to accept the determination of a dozen admins (including several checkusers and SPI clerks) that another editor was not a sockpuppet. Not two days later, he butted heads with an IP address that was (unbeknownst at the time to OccultZone) being used by Kumioko. I woke up the following day to find that the IP had been exposed as Kumioko and OZ had edit-warred in multiple places to remove or strike the IP's comments (including on my talk page, against three administrators who told him to leave it alone). I strongly advised OZ to move on and focus on something more productive. He sadly chose not to, so I felt—regretfully—that a block was the only way to prevent the issue from draining any more time. I deliberately kept the duration short in the hope that OZ would regain his sense of perspective and return to more productive things. Sadly, that didn't happen and OZ has set himself a course whose only destination can be a lengthy block. It is my sincere hope that OZ changes course before it's too late—I really don't want to see him blocked—but I can't see anything requiring an arbitration case. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

@OccultZone: You misunderstand the concept of "wheel warring". Had Nakon re-blocked you simply because he disagreed with Magog's unblock or because he felt you 'deserved' a longer block, that would indeed have been wheel warring, and grounds for a stern reminder at the the very least. But the re-block was based on your actions since the unblock, and according to his log summary Nakon attempted to contact Magog (without success), so it was not wheel warring—Nakon did everything 'by the book'. Beyond that, I'm not sure what the issue is you want adjudicated. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 09:07, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Nakon

Statement by Nick

I concur entirely with Worm That Turned. There are a number of administrators who have invested a great deal of time and effort trying to help OccultZone and keep him out of trouble. His behaviour has deteriorated quite significantly over the past couple of months and is now of great concern.

If I'm being honest, right now, it feels a bit like trying to stop your drunk mate from having a fight in a pub only for him to turn on you and punch you on the nose. OccultZone has been editing himself into a community ban and concerned administrators, of which I consider myself one, have tried our absolute damnedest to stop that from happening. When we have done that, my fellow administrators have been accused of misusing the tools.

There has been absolutely no misuse of any administrative tools through any of the process. OccultZone has been disruptive, engaged in unsuitable and inappropriate behaviour, made unsubstantiated and frankly preposterous claims alleging abuses of administrative tools and accordingly has been blocked absolutely in accordance with the rules. I'd contend he has been given very lenient blocks in relation to the behaviour shown and disruption caused. The relevant evidence can conveniently be found from [30] onwards (individual diffs would approach three figures).

I would recommend declining the case. I recommend a 12 week block of OccultZone if/when the decline of the case is formalised. Nick (talk) 11:49, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

It appears that OccultZone is under the misapprehension that I now harbour some malice towards him. Nothing could be further from the truth, I have nothing but the greatest respect for the time and dedication he continues to invest in Wikipedia, and for the record, I can confirm I do not want to see OccultZone lost from the project permanently. My sole objective in all of this is to try and prevent OccultZone from being subject to either an indefinite block or a community ban, which would be bad for the project, and it is for this reason and this reason alone, I feel an enforced break would be of great benefit to OccultZone and to the community, who are definitely tiring of his behaviour.
I consider the loss of any user who produces good content a really sad event for the project and as he mentions Kumioko/Reguyla, that should demonstrate to OccultZone the lengths I'm prepared to go to keep editors, resolve disputes and solve issues arising. I would be prepared to undertake exactly the same course of action if (and I sincerely hope this doesn't come to pass) he finds himself in the same situation.
Additionally, I consider the talk page of OccultZone as the primary source of evidence in this case, I don't know if OccultZone is disputing the fact that disruption, unfounded allegations of administrator abuse and general inappropriate behaviour can be found there, but it most definitely can. I'm unsure at this point, if OccultZone's definition of disruption, wheel warring and edit warring differs quite markedly from that used by my fellow administrators and I, if so maybe all that is needed in this case is someone from the Arbitration Committee to explain in detail what we consider disruptive, what we consider wheel warring and what we consider edit warring, ensuring that OccultZone is brought up to speed on each of those points. Nick (talk) 12:57, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Non-party: AmritasyaPutra

OZ had 180k edits with zero blocks; his statement does raise concern. It is best that they are reviewed and either concluded as bogus and the block that the other party suggest enforced. It would be bad for the community if the suggested block is made without the formal review. It is a protracted issue and if OZ is completely wrong it is all the more reason to clear the involved admins formally. It has left a bad taste for many editors and taking an action without the review would be deterrent to community spirit. I do think it escalated because of the hasty first block which hurt OZ's pride which could have been dealt with in a better manner. if Bgwhite can feel so hurt (on his talk page) and misinterpret for himself the sincere and clear comment made by WormThatTurned then how humane was it to act similarly in a much worse way to OZ? The actions were not all policy based and for some the admins do need to be cautioned in my opinion. This has reached a level that only arbcom can consider it (because of the profile of involved party; where else can admins' and bureaucrats' behavior be discussed after these lengthy fights and admins inclined to indef reporter). If it is not dealt with it will only worsen even in case of OZ being indef`ed; a lot of his friends and new editors like me will consider it an act of wasting a good editor in haste. Dealing it here can only be good for all. --AmritasyaPutraT 12:38, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved Hammersoft

There's been a great deal of actions over the last month regarding this incident. It may be revealing to look at the catalyst of the avalanche that has occurred. This appears to be the block that happened 23 March 2015. Subsequent actions and reactions are usually directly descendant of that catalyst and are dramatically influenced by it. An editor on Wikipedia who has a spotless block log has a reasonable chance of being upset when that log is besmirched, most especially when the block is unwarranted.

I note the following timeline, beginning 5 March 2015:

  1. 08:10 5 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverted addition by User:Zhanzhao of commentary sourced to a blog. Edit summary correctly said "Opinion piece". Likely appropriate per WP:ELNO, as this blog does not necessarily have editorial oversight. [31]
  2. 17:52 5 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverted addition by User:DanS76 of almost the same commentary sourced to the same blog as in 08:10. Edit summary said "You don't get to add this all until you gain consensus.", and likely correct per WP:ELNO. [32]
  3. 18:07, 5 March 2015 User:OccultZone initiates an SPI against User:Zhanzhao, naming User:DanS76 as a possible sock. See [33]. The SPI ultimately concludes they are not the same person, but meatpuppetry is possibly at play. Subsequently on 18 April 2015, per [34], User:DanS76 is blocked for abusing multiple accounts.
  4. 18:11 5 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverted additions by User:Zhanzhao, which pointed to more sources. User:OccultZone refers to the just created SPI in edit summary. [35]
  5. 00:04 14 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverted ordering changes and addition of a paragraph (beginning with "Rape cases against internationals", for reference) by User:Zhanzhao. Edit summary states "needs some consensus". [36]
  6. 01:11 14 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverted same changes by User:Zhanzhao as 00:04. Edit summary states "rv, requires some consensus" [37]
  7. 03:20 18 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverted properly sourced edit by User:Zhanzhao. User:OccultZone's edit summary was "CRYSTALBALL", referencing WP:CRYSTALBALL. This event seems to pass that standard, as a properly sourced event that would happen 2.5 weeks into the future from the date of the sourced article ([38]). [39]
  8. 08:15 21 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverted properly sourced content added by User:Malaiya [40]. Stated in edit summary "BLP crime". No persons were named in the content added by Malaiya, nor are the alleged perpetrators named in the article, nor even the victims. WP:BLP does not apply. [41]
  9. 12:47 21 March 2015: User:OccultZone reverts same content as 08:15 reversion, which this time had been added by an IP. Edit summary this time stated "Non-notable event". [42]
  10. 16:57 21 March 2015: User:OccultZone initiates a discussion on the talk page of the Rape in India article (see archived discussed) regarding perceived non-notable allegations.
  11. 22:49 22 March 2015: User:Padenton files an WP:AN/EW reported involving User:OccultZone though does not specifically list User:OccultZone, and notifies him of same.
  12. 23:38 22 March 2015: User:OccultZone deleted substantial portions of article regarding allegations, and also changed wikilink 2015 Kandhamal gang rape case to Alleged Ranaghat gang-rape, the latter of which did not and has never existed. Edit summary states "list of allegations, removed non notable view". [43]
  13. 00:29 23 March 2015 User:Swarm blocks User:OccultZone, and at 00:30 modifies the block, for "protracted and ongoing edit warring at Rape in India". This is in response to the WP:AN/EW submission two hours earlier by User:Padenton. Swarm indicates here that he has blocked for User:OccultZone "for a period of 72 hours for more severe and protracted edit warring"
  14. 01:37 23 March 2015 User:OccultZone places an unblock request stated "I had made only two reverts in 34 hours,[7], [8] because they concerned WP:BLPCRIME." [44]
  15. 06:51 23 March 2015 User:Bgwhite unblocks User:OccultZone, in responding to the unblock request. Indicated the block was not warranted. [45]

From reviewing this catalyst, I voice my opinion as follows (for what it's worth):

  • User:Swarm's block was unwarranted. While User:OccultZone's actions may have at times been tendentious and may have violated WP:OWN to some extent, they did not constitute edit warring. I have too often seen administrators fall into the trap of carpet bombing everyone involved in a WP:AN/EW report. It is possible that Swarm unwittingly fell into this trap. The claim that User:OccultZone's actions constituted "more severe and protracted edit warring" seems highly unwarranted. A more appropriate action would have been to issue a stern warning to those involved to engage in productive discussion and refrain from further edits until the discussion had concluded. A full protection would have helped that, as Worm noted above. Calming a situation down is more likely to happen with protection than with blocks all around. Regardless, Swarm's actions do not rise to the standard of "abuse" in any respect.
  • User:OccultZone's claims of WP:BLPCRIME violations in various edits and comments are baseless, as the additions made to the article and the news article cited to support it do not reference any person by name.
  • User:OccultZone should have backed away from editing the article after #3 and #10 above. While it can be irritating as hell that an article contains content one finds objectionable, continuing to edit it while reports and/or discussion are underway is usually highly problematic.User:OccultZone is the #2 editor on the Rape in India article ([46]). He is understandably close to the subject. All the more reason he needs to learn when to detach and allow other processes to move forward.

I haven't reviewed in detail any subsequent actions over the last month. I think all parties probably need to be trouted, with admonitions to not repeat such behavior. Future outbreaks can be dealt more severely. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:18, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by John Carter

I tend to agree with Worm's comments above. Having said that, distasteful as I find it, it seems that AmritasyaPutra may have a point in saying that OZ by his high edit count is someone respected in some areas. I know I have a high edit count too, and possibly for at least some of the same reasons, so I know edit count isn't everything. But there does seem to be some sort of perception of wrongdoing concerns by some editors of some admins here, and it might be in the best interests of the community as a whole to have a review of the matter one way or another. Even though I have no particular reservations about most of the admin actions documented, and those few which I do have questions about at least in my eyes are unlikely to necessarily warrant any sort of independent overview on their own. John Carter (talk) 16:44, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by involved-editor Padenton

I have no particular viewpoint on how this should be resolved. My goal in weighing in here is only to provide and reinforce background knowledge in this case, and provide an additional perspective and clarification on some of these events where I was involved.

My connection with this case is I was involved in the edit war on Rape in India. I filed the WP:3RR complaint at the EW noticeboard, (here) resulting in the blocks by Swarm for myself and OccultZone as well as other parties(TCKTKtool, (talk · contribs · WHOIS), Human3015, Vtk1987). I was unblocked by Bgwhite shortly after following OccultZone's appeal. In the following days, Bgwhite helped us reach consensus on the section we had been edit warring over. I do disagree w/ Swarm's initial block of me and OccultZone, but I felt it was objectively applied and within admin discretion per WP:3RR which does not explicitly require 3RR to be violated to be considered edit warring.  No comment regarding the extra time on OccultZone's block.

Following the unblock, I didn't closely follow the discussion facilitated by Bgwhite, but his changes to the section satisfied my initial concerns on the section leading to the edit war, and from what I saw he was doing an excellent job mediating the discussion between all parties. He was professional and objective during this phase. (not intended as an implied characterization of his behavior in the rest of this incident) I am aware that Bgwhite later recused himself from the Rape in India discussion, asking Worm That Turned to take over, but little more than that.

I later found out that OccultZone filed an SPI involving some of the other editors involved in the dispute, and I weighed into it when it became heated, hoping I might be able to help calm things down. (here) It was not without merit, though I felt that there was not enough evidence to suggest the involvement of Zhanzhao. An IP in the SPI complaint was almost certainly one of the user accounts (he/she created the account during the edit war), he/she was warned not to use the IP and their account in future disputes (the IPs connection to a particular account was not confirmed by the checkuser per SPI policy), and both TCKTKtool and Resaltador were both later blocked for being confirmed sockpuppets of Sonic2030 here: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Sonic2030. Only Zhanzhao is not confirmed as a sockpuppet.

Disclaimer: I have not paid attention to these events since my comment in the SPI, and therefore have no statement on Worm That Turned, HJ Mitchell, or Nakon. The end of my statement above regarding the aftermath of the SPI is stuff I learned today while preparing this statement, and included only because it confirms some of OccultZone's suspicions in that SPI, which I had commented on. I have not followed closely the events on OccultZone's talk page and so I don't feel comfortable commenting on that.

Disclaimer 2: I am a relatively new editor. My account age is 3 years, but almost all of my edits began towards the end of February 2015, and I was still fairly new to editing when my involvement in these incidents occurred. ― Padenton|   18:33, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

  • @Hammersoft: I did not include OccultZone in my WP:EWN report because he was uninvolved in that edit war at the time. I later notified him. His last edit to the page was 9 hours before any of the edit warring I noticed began. The user I reported had also edit warred with him and myself throughout the previous week. Regarding OccultZone's attention to Rape in India, none of his edits that I saw appeared to be outside of policy. Some talk comments may have been, but I think we all got heated at a few points in the talk page. ― Padenton|   19:21, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oh, I forgot, one last bit I was involved in. There was another edit war on the talk page of (talk · contribs · WHOIS). The IP was removing a warning and later a current block from his/her talk page, allowed by WP:BLANKING. When I linked OccultZone to WP:BLANKING it ended and he apologized. I considered this an easy mistake to make, even from an experienced editor, and done in good faith. This incident was nonetheless the cause for the block here User_talk:OccultZone#March_2015_2 by Bgwhite. It was an edit war of 7 reverts in less than 2 hours however, so whether it was appropriate or not, I leave to others to decide. ― Padenton|   19:21, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Human3015

I was also involved party, its very sad to know that this matter is not closed yet, to be sincere with myself, all this was started because of me, I was the first to remove some things from Rape in India. In initial stage I removed entire section of "Rape on Foreigners" just because I felt that it was misleading section. Actually I should have discussed it on talk first, but I'm saying truth, that time I was very new to Wikipedia, I didn't knew How to talk on "talk page", if you see initial discussions about that issue, even after mentioning my name i did not took part in discussion because was not knowing how to reply. And I got blocked by Swarm without taking part in discussion later Bgwhite unblocked me.
Again to the first point, I was the first to remove that "foreigner's" section, which was reverted by "Borgulus"(I don't remember his exact name now, he has changed many names and IPs), and I think again I reverted it. Then many people got involved in it like Padenton and OcuultZone. Later Admin Bgwhite involved in it. Other users were Zhazhoo, TCK etc. It was long discussion, but I have to confess that this is all started because of me. Thats what I wanted to say. --Human3015 18:54, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {Non-party}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should address why or why not the Committee should accept the case request or provide additional information.

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Recuse as I consider myself somewhat a friend of OccultZone. --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 12:10, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Review of admin actions: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <0/5/0/1>

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

  • I'm going to await the statements of the other involved parties before passing judgement on this, but I'm not presently leaning towards acceptance. Thryduulf (talk) 09:51, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Decline. Like Salvio I'm not any misuse of admin tools that reaches anywhere near the level required for arbitration, and I'm not seeing any abuse at all. OccultZone needs to take onboard the advice given here (and elsewhere) by multiple people to let it go. A voluntary break from Wikipedia, and especially the rape in India article/topic, will do you significant good in the long run and will almost certainly avoid an involuntary separation. Thryduulf (talk) 10:35, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
    @OccultZone: I'm not saying everybody's actions were perfect. I'm saying that there were no admin actions that were deliberately abusive and no mistakes were made with admin tools that were so egregiously bad that they rise to the level of arbitration action being required. Read what other people have written on this page about what they did and why, and then take the time to understand them - do not dismiss them just because you disagree. Thryduulf (talk) 11:17, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
    @OccultZone: No, the first block was probably not the best course of action but it was not unwarranted and your behaviour has at times in this saga descended to the level of blockworthiness. Thryduulf (talk) 11:46, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • @OccultZone: for clarification is the case request seeking a decision that Swarm and Bgwhite have misused admin tools? -- Euryalus (talk) 10:47, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't see anything here rising to the level of misuse or abuse of tools. Decline. Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:57, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline per Thryduulf and Salvio; there has been no evidence presented of actual tool misuse, merely some blocks which may perhaps have been ill-considered. Caveat: I am one of the administrators whom OccultZone contacted off-wiki, although our discussion was not of a nature that would prejudice my decision on this case. Yunshui  11:26, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline per SG and Thryduulf. AGK [•] 21:37, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline. Although I see how some of the blocks may have been poorly considered, they were legitimate judgment calls, not abusive. There seem to be no serious instances of administrator abuse here, nor any longterm patterns of poor judgment. As with Yunshui, OccultZone contacted me off-wiki, but our conversations easily fall under "previous routine editor, administrator or arbitrator interactions." GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:15, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: American politics

Initiated by Casprings at 11:34, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
American politics 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:

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

Statement by Casprings

I am asking for clarification on what related to the politics of the United States, broadly construed, across all namespaces means. Mainly, do these edits [48] [49] [50] [51][52][53][54] violate the topic ban. This is the subject of a current discussion at Clarification will enable the resolution of the discussion. Thank you.

Statement by Arzel

Anthony Watts is not a politician and I have made no political arguments. My approach to the American Politics TBAN is to avoid any articles which are under those categories. There are a ton of articles in those categories, so it is pretty broad. It is a reasonable approach, which reasonable people would assume makes sense. Additionally, American Politics affects pretty much every aspect of your life through regulations, specific legislation, political talking points. It is almost impossible to find something which someone somewhere would not be able to find some tangential connection. I was TBAN'd partially for supposedly not assuming good faith, I do find it ironic that no good faith has been afforded me by JPS, CaSprings, and others.

JPS, Do you know that I was TBAN'd by editors like Casprings for supposed incivility and battleground behavior? Your actions hear are far worse than anything I have done in the past. Where is your civility or assumption of good faith, the pile of unfounded attacks against me are growing quite fast. Same goes for you Casprings. Your claim to want to work collaboratively in the future has now rang false twice. You were not involved in this issue yet you apparently found time to come attacking me personally. Arzel (talk) 14:23, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

@Seraphimblade:, @Dougweller:, @Salvio giuliano:, Regarding "Hand's up, don't shoot". As I stated in the AE, I don't see it as American Politics. The saying started as a result of the shooting of Michael Brown, and I felt then and feel now that it is a police/race relations issue. That some politicians later co-opted it does not seem relevant. It wasn't tagged as an American Politics article (my main metric). However, that said, if you want to consider it American Politics, fine. I don't care. I made one edit a month ago, completely unrelated to anything political, noting that editors were failing to discuss and edit war over a known fact with RS. I haven't edited it since, and hadn't planned on editing it again. If you all feel it is clearly related to American Politics, then go add an American Politics category to the article, simple, no harm done. Arzel (talk) 00:43, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

@Seraphimblade: here is the thing about HUDS. I had no belief that it was related. I have asked a few times what exactly makes some people think that it clearly is, but have yet to receive a response as to what they think makes this the case. And if it clearly is (in their minds) then it clearly should have this as a category. I don't think it is a unreasonable expectation. If you are going to TBAN someone from something, then they have to be able to know what is included in that group. Since I honestly did not think it was related, I had no reason to even ask. Now this is largely academic since I have not commented on it since and have had no intention to comment further. Arzel (talk) 00:40, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

@Cardamon: I suggest you take a look at the American Politics categories. There is a lot contained within those pages. The whole point of categories are to group like things together. I find it highly interesting that now people are saying that they really don't include things which are related. Seriously, why even have them? Arzel (talk) 14:24, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

@Thryduulf: Where did I "deny" Watts article as being scientific? The groups Political and Scientific together do not equal everything, so it is possible to be neither. I would ask that you kindly retract that statement. I find it interesting that you use the word "deny" which means to not believe a known truth. The assumption is that you are saying that the article is both political and scientific as a matter of fact. How about you provide some evidence that it is a political article. Arzel (talk) 14:32, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

  • General notes: Please stop calling me a climate change denier. I find it highly insulting and damaging to the scientific process. Arzel (talk) 14:35, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

@Zad68: I am confused by what you think was problematic about the Judith Curry article link. I was linking to an article showing problems with the AR3 predictions as related to global warming. I said that JPS wouldn't like it because he already had a predisposition regarding Curry. Furthermore, if that is "problematic" given my history, what about the history of JPS? I feel like you are holding me to a much higher bar there. Not to mention that I was called an idiot by Guy. I have remained civil throughout this process and have not been treated in kind and yet my behavior is problematic? Arzel (talk) 00:52, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by jps

I never understood how topic bans were supposed to work and here is an excellent example of the problem. Arzel is taking a political stand on a biographical article that is basically arguing that global warming denial is 1) a misnomer and 2) not political. You all found fit to ban him from political articles, so now we in the WP:FRINGE-editing community get to deal with his advocacy on articles related to global warming as he and apparently a good number of good faith admins see fit to say that this is not within the remit of his topic ban because there aren't any specific edits about American politicians, for example. Is such an outcome really the intention of the committee when they enact this kind of topic ban?

I think it's fairly obvious that Arzel is here to support an agenda that is related, broadly, to an American conservative political stance. There's nothing at all wrong with that except that the committee had deemed it fit to sanction him at least in part with a topic ban from American politics. It's clear to me that he will continue to support this particular agenda in any way he sees that he can, even if that means skirting the edges of this ban as long as the community allows him. Why ban in the first place if this is so unenforceable?

My opinion? Just lift the ban.

jps (talk) 13:53, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

I have to plead astonishment that the committee would enact a topic ban "broadly construed" and then turn around and say that when someone makes edits in a "gray area" the topic ban doesn't apply. Like it or not, it is only the scientific consensus on global warming that is apolitical. Opposition to that consensus is necessarily political. Arzel's WP:FRINGE opinion that the science is not "settled" with regards to the fact that carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere due to human action is not the main cause of the warming trend seen today is a political not a scientific stance. It's much the same way as if he had gone into some page and declared that tobacco doesn't cause lung cancer or DDT didn't decimate bird populations or any of a number of other political opinions that masquerade as scientific claims. jps (talk) 18:57, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Fut.Perf.

@AGK: Uhm, it is at AE, that's why it's here now. What exactly do you mean? Fut.Perf. 15:41, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Stephan Schulz

I have not followed the US politics ArbCom cases, but I have to agree with jps above that climate change denial is indeed very much a political and nearly exclusively a US political topic. While science is a process, and while climate change is a complex topic, the basics of anthropogenic global warming are well understood and there is a strong scientific consensus. Three recent independent studies with different methodologies have all found agreement to the basic science to be around 97-98% of qualified scientists. In most of the world, this is accepted by parties throughout the political spectrum, with very few exceptions, most of them very much on the political fringe. The dissent is nearly exclusively driven by conservative "think tanks", which have managed to make this into a divisive political issue in the US. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:17, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Two Kinds of Pork

Climate change denial is a world-wide phenomenon. In context of the edits made to the BLP, one would have to construe very broadly indeed to make that about US politics. Like bent over backwards broadly. As to "Hands up", when the Justice Department get's involved in a controversial subject, it's always political. Even though he shouldn't have made it, Arzel's claim of canvassing has merit, however seeking scalps is unseemly.

Statement by Short Brigade Harvester Boris

It would avoid a lot of confusion and frustration if the committee simply struck the "broadly construed" qualifier. Some of the admins at AE are (in good faith) expressing the view that only "edits to add or remove mention of US politics" or "workings of US governments and interactions with those governments" fall under the ban. It would be hard to imagine more narrowly construed interpretations. Others (including myself) take the "broadly construed" qualifier more, well, "broadly." When language causes so much confusion amongst well-meaning people it's best simply to strike it. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:31, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Ubikwit

Agree with the point made by SBHS above.
While CC may not be inherently political, the attempt to dismiss a peer-reviewed book published by an academic press and authored by a renowned scientist because the statements he makes in the book have political implications that the Wikipedia editor doesn't like would seem to breach the "broadly construed" qualifier.
The discussion and material at issue do not directly relate to science, but to FRINGE positions and analysis presented by a blog that is documented as being funded by petro-chemical, etc., CO2-generating industries that are intent on discrediting the science supporting the scientific consensus and preempting government efforts to regulate the offending industries. The fact that there are obvious political issues implicated in the edits related to attempts to dismiss the Mann book and the characterization of "denialist", etc. with respect to the WUWT blog seems to call for attention if not considered to fall under "broadly construed".

Statement by DHeyward

The primary statement by skeptics is that the science is wrong or lacking. The fact that their disagreement interferes with another persons political objective is secondary. Watts doesn't make a political argument. Rather he states that the science others are basing their politics on is faulty. There is no evidence that he holds a political opinion as he makes personal choices that would make him a green party member (i.e. his home is solar powered). The people that most vociferously oppose Watts' blog have political positions that he jeopardizes but scientists without stated political objectives are not particularly critical. ---DHeyward (talk) 06:54, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

Anthony Watts is an American political figure. While climate change may be a global issue, climate change denial is unquestionably an issue of American politics, much more so than any other country, and the fact that Watts has received funding for his blog from the Heartland Institute, an American political think-tank, clearly establishes that the blog and its author are American political figures.

It is the funding from and links with the Heartland Institute, more than anyhting else, that places this within the realm of US politics.

This edit removes a significant chunk of relevant text that establishes the political context of Watts' blog. Again, the attempt to portray climate denial as a legitimate scientific debate is at the heart of the American-dominated, politically-motivated climate denial culture.

Making contentious edits to a biography of an American climate denialist funded by an American political lobby group associated with climate denial, and whose work is cited by American climate denialist politicians, puts this into the realm of editing in the area of American politics, IMO.

The comment by jps above nails it. If Arzel is banned form American politics broadly construed, then he is banned from making these edits to this article. If the Committee thinks he should be allowed to make these edits to this article then they need to vacate the ban. Guy (Help!) 07:02, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cardamon

@Arzel: Saying that a page is not related to American politics unless it is in the category “American politics” seems to be construing your topic ban narrowly, rather than broadly. Cardamon (talk) 09:05, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by NewsAndEventsGuy

Some parts of Anthony Watts (blogger) are obviously political as diff 4 in the opening post easily demonstrates. That edit

  • removed the RS "'Climategate': paradoxical metaphors and political paralysis" (source Environmental Values journal
  • inserted the RS "Image Politics of Climate Change: Visualizations, Imaginations, Documentations"

This edit touches on politics, broadly defined (duh). In my view its so blatant I'm not going to bother arguing the same point on the basis of the article text that was changed.

That said, even though I disagree with Arzel's opinion on the underlying matter I think the AE complaint against him is a fine example of a misguided "gotcha" complaint. The goal of sanctions should be prevention, for the sake of better articles. "Gotcha" complaints are really truly disruptive, and this is that kind. Many editors at the underlying battlefield are displaying problem behaviors, but I don't think Arzel is one of them.

In sum

  1. Yes, its politcal
  2. No, Arzel's edits at Anthony Watts (blogger) do not require further sanctions
  3. Yes-OMG-Yes, other editors at that article are edit warring with opinions and VAGUEWAVEs and disruption but little evidence of seeking meaningful compromise

NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:26, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Zad68

I'm an uninvolved administrator commenting here because I had seen the request at AE, reviewed the discussion, dug into the several pages of ArbCom history, and was looking to close. The clarification of the scope of this topic ban from (as stated) "the politics of the United States, broadly construed" must be made in the context of why the topic ban was applied to the individual editor Arzel in the first place. In short the topic ban was placed because Arzel has had a long history of treating Wikipedia as a political ideological battleground and personalizing content disputes. Previous sanctions that tried to get Arzel away from that behavior hadn't worked, and ArbCom determined that Arzel was essentially incapable of avoiding that behavior when it came to American political topics--that was the reason for the topic ban.

So, evaluating this request at AE, I'm not working so hard trying to determine where a hard edge of "politics of the United States, broadly construed" might be drawn (as if that were possible), but rather I am looking to see whether Arzel's history of politicizing and personalizing content disputes is cropping up here.

Based on this, Arzel's edit I am most concerned about isn't any of the above, it's actually this one, where Arzel links to the blog site of Judith Curry, which describes itself as for "discussion on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface," and Curry is active in American politics related to climate change. In this edit, I see Arzel personalizing the content dispute by titling the link "Something you won't like," and referring to Arzel's own expertise (unprovable on Wikipedia of course). This edit takes place inside a long article Talk page discussion here, where Arzel repeatedly knocks the conversation off-track from identifying the best-quality reliable sources and representing them accurately (the job Wikipedia editors are supposed to be doing), as others in the thread were trying to focus on.

I'd like to emphasize that many of Arzel's other comments on the Talk page are fine, grounded in WP:PAG and avoid bad behavior. Even considering the above, Arzel's behavior at the Talk page isn't all that, and it's the kind of stuff that goes on every day on Talk pages of many contentious topics and usually isn't a problem worth a sanction. But the history of this particular editor makes it problematic and needing some kind of action.

So my view is that Yes Arzel's involvement at this article Talk page should be viewed as in the area of the topic ban, and if ArbCom agrees I'll probably go back to AE and close the request with a short block. Zad68 14:12, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Adding: I looked at the "Hands up" edit, I don't understand either the original Talk page comment from the IP that Arzel is responding to, or Arzel's response, and so it isn't a factor either way here. Zad68 14:22, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should address why or why not the Committee should accept the case request or provide additional information.

American politics: Clerk notes

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

American politics: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • This should probably go to AE. AGK [•] 14:59, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Apologies, I missed the link at the bottom of your statement. My colleagues appear to have since covered the relevant points here, so I have no further comment to make. AGK [•] 21:34, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Having looked through the edits in question, I don't see the climate change edits to touch on its intersection with politics. Climate change intersects with politics, but it is not inherently political. Arzel would, of course, be topic banned from editing in relation to the interaction between climate change and American politics. Also, the area of climate change is itself covered by discretionary sanctions, so if Arzel's participation in that area outside its political aspects are disruptive, Arzel could be restricted under the ARBCC DS just like anyone else. The "Hands up, don't shoot" article is a different story. That is a slogan used by American citizens to protest the actions of American public officials. It is therefore unquestionably related to American politics, and that edit clearly violated the topic ban. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:30, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
    • In reply to a couple of comments. To Arzel, as several people have noted here, the line between climate change and the politics surrounding it is often blurry and would be easy for you to step over. If you continue editing in this area, I advise you do so very carefully indeed, and stay away from anything that could be construed as touching on the political aspects of climate change. Tiptoeing around the edge of a topic ban inevitably leads to stepping over that line at some point; the idea is to stay well clear. Also, you are topic banned from any edits having to do with American politics anywhere at all, and there is no requirement for any category to be present for that to apply. If you're unsure whether something would relate to that, you're certainly welcome to ask for clarification here, but please do so before you start editing it. To Zad68, the final outcome would indeed be up to the admins at AE. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:27, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Basically agree with Seraphimblade. If Arzel starts discussing American politics in relationship to CC, that would be a breach. And the "Hands up" edit violated the tb. Dougweller (talk) 17:48, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with SB and DW. Salvio Let's talk about it! 19:06, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • While there are non-political aspects of climate change denial, in the US they are massively overwhelmed by the parts that are political - JzG and Ubiwikt explain this well above. I also see that Arzel is denying that the Watts article is a scientific article, and denying that it is a political article, which seems to be trying to have it both ways to suit the point de jour - a blogger, paid by a political think tank, blogging about the science of climate change is both scientific and political. In short I do see the climate change edits as violating the topic ban. Thryduulf (talk) 08:04, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Agreed that the edit to Talk:Hands up, don't shoot violates the topic ban. The edits to the Watts article fall more in a grey area, but I'm not inclined to say they fall under the scope of the topic ban, even broadly construed. GorillaWarfare (talk) 18:04, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I hate coming late to these things and having to just say, "per so-and-so", but: per Seraphimblade and AGK. The Hands Up, Don't Shoot edit would appear to be a topic ban violation and should go to AE, the Watts edits, not so much. Watts is undeniably figure of political influence, but Arzel's edits did not address his politics nor the impact of his work on politics; I wouldn't regard them as a TBAN violation. Yunshui  21:17, 22 April 2015 (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 Ohconfucius

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
TheSoundAndTheFury (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 20:20, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Ohconfucius (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

User:Ohconfucius was previously indefinitely topic banned from Falun Gong-related page by Arbcom. The topic ban was provisionally suspended for a one-year trial period per this motion. I think a review of his conduct is in order before the probationary period expires.

During Ohconfucius’ one-year reprieve, he has continued a pattern of POV editing, edit warring, and commenting inappropriately on other users. Most worrying, he restored a polemical anti-Falun Gong essay in userspace after being told by arbitrators to permanently delete it.

Background (see also WP:GAME)

In July 2012, Arbcom voted to indefinitely ban Ohconfucius from Falun Gong-related topics due to edit warring, incivility, and violations of WP:NPOV.

In April 2014, Ohconfucius appealed to lift the topic ban, and assured arbitration committee that he would not return to editing Falun Gong.

Arbcom’s response to this request was tepid, but seven arbs ultimately agreed to provisionally suspend the ban with a probationary period of one year. One arbitrator said his agreement was conditional and asked Ohconfucius to "steer well clear of matters of controversy" related to Falun Gong.

Ohconfucius reneged on his promises and quickly resumed making controversial edits to Falun Gong articles. It seems to me that he had gamed the system, and not for the last time.

He was brought back to Arbcom. The arbitrators again urged caution; one arb said to "move on" from editing Falun Gong, and another told him that he must permanently delete all of the anti-Falun Gong essays that he kept in his userspace and refrain from commenting on other editors or else he (the arbitrator) would request reinstatement of the ban. [55]

Ohconfucius deleted the offending essays in his userspace. After the ArbCom case was closed, however, he simply reposted a permalinked version on his user page.[56] This week he restored the page entirely.[57]


[58] – Ohconfucius’ polemical essay on Falun Gong contains attacks against named individuals, groups, and several Wikipedia editors (myself included), violating WP:NPA, WP:ATTACK, WP:HARASS, and WP:POLEMIC. Note that Ohconfucius has been told on two occasions, by two members of Arbcom, that this essay is inappropriate. User:Seraphimblade told him to permanently delete it or else face reimposition of the topic ban.[59]

Violations of WP:NPOV

Ohconfucius has continued previous patterns of POV editing. Most edits involve deleting/whitewashing reliably sourced information on the Chinese government’s human rights practices or claiming material is not supported by sources when it actually is.

[60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67]

Violation of WP:WAR

Ohconfucius made multiple reverts on September 9 on a Falun Gong-related article, ignoring talk page discussions. (Note: I initially thought these were a 3RR violation, but because some were performed in succession, it’s actually more like 3 reverts).

[68] – misstates facts about the history of the 610 Office

[69] – reverts (apparently convinced that he's right, while he's not)

[70] – deletes information because it was unsourced (see bottom of diff)

[71] – after a source was added, deletes it again

[72] – deletes information from lede

[73] – deletes again

[74] – adds quote from Chinese government source and omits Ownby's views

[75] – same edit again

[76] – deletes information about man in Chengde

[77] – deletes again (he's right about this one, but a revert nonetheless)

Violations of WP:CIVIL

[78] – This talk page discussion is representative of an inability to assume good faith and a reflexive tendency to personalize discussions – something he’s been warned about repeatedly.

If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Mentioned by name in the Arbitration Committee's Final Decision linked to above: yes
  • Previously blocked as a discretionary sanction for conduct in the area of conflict, see the block log linked to above: yes
  • Participated in an arbitration request or enforcement procedure about the area of conflict in the last twelve months (see the background section): yes
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Just a quick comment. I believe Ohconfucius' reply elucidates the problem. Instead of addressing his apparent breaches of policy and ArbCom rulings, such as direct personal attacks and using Wikipedia as a platform for ax-grinding and polemics, we get more name-calling from a seemingly unblockable ivory tower and "no further comments." I am not a Falun Gong activist or a so-called Falun Gongster and fundamentally do not see this as a content dispute. Neither have I said that Ohconfucius is "pro-regime." I stated that the direction of his edits on this topic generally serve to improve the image of the Chinese government. Note that he admits to editing from an "anti-Falun Gong" viewpoint instead of NPOV and seems to perceive the Falun Gong namespace as a zero-sum game. There were valid reasons for his indefinite topic ban in the first place; later he was put on probation, and I simply believe the situation should be assessed once again. Best regards. TheSoundAndTheFury (talk) 14:46, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Ohconfucius

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 Ohconfucius

I have said time and again that I try hard to leave my personal opinions outside of the mainspace articles. Nowadays, I only make a very small number of edits on Falun Gong topics, yet I still get continually attacked by Falun Gong activists, so I'm not going to dwell on the issue before us. Falun Gong are known for their tenacity and relentlessness, wearing their critics down. The attacks were stressful for me in the past. I just find their attacks on me tiring. Tiring that the Falun Gong activists manifest the very intolerance of criticism of their movement that the Regime does with people who criticise their rule. I have repeatedly asserted that the Falun Gong and the Regime are heavily shaped by the Cultural Revolution, and are thus the antitheses of each other, and this observation/position appears to rile Falun Gong activists.

This request is yet another content dispute with the filer of the request and User:TheBlueCanoe, both of whom have a history of editing Falun Gong articles from what I believe is a highly partisan and advocate's viewpoint and with whom I have had running content disputes over the years. A new and inexperienced Falun Gong editor, who for the moment shall remain nameless, has joined their ranks recently, and may have contributed with text copied verbatim from elsewhere. I would merely say that I find copyright violations equally objectionable as the propaganda of the Falun Dafa and of the Regime, and part of that editing work is to remove copyvios or otherwise make clear that these are positions and not fact. All my edits have, I believe, adequate edit summaries explaining my rationale. Whilst the complainant has only found examples he objects to showing my bias, he failed to give me any credit for this comment (for example), which certainly shows that I am editing objectively and in good faith.

The Regime almost insists upon the "L'état, c'est moi" conflation between the party and the state in the same way as Falun Gongsters insist on labelling all people who do not support their movement as supporters of the Regime. IIndeed, I restored the essay within my own userspace after learning about the former's complaint to EdJohnson, in which he repeated his previous provocative smear that I was somehow "pro-Regime". It made me suspect whether he understood that anti-Regime people can also be anti-Falun Gong. If the distinction between the two is not clear in his own head, one must question whether he ought to be editing such polemic topics on Wikiepdia.

In view of the foregoing, I would state that the assembled should not be too surprised if there were no further comments from me on this case. -- Ohc ¡digame! 05:02, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Please do not be misled into confusing my fatigue of Falun Gong shenanigans with arrogance. I certainly do not feel I am unblockable, though my two principal accusers seem to share the belief that I think I'm immune to sanction. I am but an ordinary editor who does not want any further personal emotional reaction (i.e. stress) to this topic, and certainly no further drama. The editing issues being complained of here are content disputes – exactly the same as the last time – despite the attempt to position them otherwise. As I already stated above, I reinstated my essay because there seems to be some fundamental questions as to my allegiances and stance. Even after its reinstatement, it appears that there continues to be miscomprehension and even misrepresentation of my personal position and editing stance. Notwithstanding, to save myself reinventing the wheel at every juncture, I feel that the content of my essay is of value. Writing essays is a valid expression of one's personal sentiments, and serves to document emotional and editing issues faced every day on Wikipedia, so I would oppose its outright deletion of my effort because editing of Falun Gong articles is a rather unique experience. However, as it appears that there may be some sensitivity to the naming of names therein, I will make suitable redaction. I hope that will be satisfactory. -- Ohc ¡digame! 03:25, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by John Carter

It is worth noting that this subject has already been discussed with Ed Johnston at User talk:EdJohnston#Request for reinstating indefinite topic ban on User:Ohconfucius and the comments Ed made in response.

I also think it worth noting that the previous arbitrations have made it rather obvious that this is a vital article to the Falun Gong movement, which is remarkably active in the West, and that editors associated with the movement have been much more "sanctioned" historically than others. As for the claims that Ohconfucius' edits are ideologically-driven, I would be interested in knowing what "ideology" is allegedly driving him, because that has not so far as I have seen been indicated, and he has in the past reacted very strongly and negatively to allegations of being on the side of the PRC, understandably, I think. I also note as per his history that he has edited other, related articles in the broad qigong field, and that it is primarily on the basis of his work that the only FG FA out there exists. None of that is indicative of any sort of ideological involvement to my eyes, let alone being driven by ideology. John Carter (talk) 20:31, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Awaiting closing, and basically supporting the idea that at most Ohconfucius be given a warning. AGF unfortunately really doesn't apply when the evidence of the history and nature of the self-declared (and otherwise) biases of a number of editors involved with the topic is so clearly visible as it is in this case. And, again, we should also note that it is, apparently, the opinion of one of the larger "advocacy" groups dealing with China in the Western world, from which we draw most of our editors, and that on that basis is likely to still be subject to POV pushing from that side. Kww has said in an active request for arbitration that there were basically two reasons to impose discretionary sanctions, one to prevent incivility, and the second to keep the content up to the standards of policies and guidelines. The second is, probably, more important than the first in general, and I have reason to believe, knowingly or unknowingly, Ohconfucius is probably acting in accord with that principle, even if he might be, perhaps, outnumbered in doing so. It might make more sense to place the related content on indefinite full coverage, so that edits can only be made by an uninvolved admin after consensus for such changes on the article talk page, and it is a kind of narrow topic, at least in terms of directly related articles, so it might be workable here, but I don't know whether it is permissible by the existing rulings. If it isn't, maybe we should seek an ARCA for such. John Carter (talk) 14:22, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG: I'm not so sure that "righting great wrongs" is the best way to describe Ohconfucius's approach here. Falun Gong is, unfortunately, a political hotbed issue, particularly regarding China and Chinese expats. And it is one of, maybe the, leading critic of the PRC regime in the Western world. A lot of people including editors are both sympathetic to their efforts (including me, and I think Ohconfucius himself) while at the same time acknowledging that the efforts of their "political machine" crosses the line about as often as the partisan political machines of the various political parties in the West do. Some might say that the political machines fairly consistently stay on the wrong side of the line, actually. No one, including either him or me, really in any way agree with the PRC, but at the same time we have to acknowledge that given the dearth of information we have on internal matters we are more or less obliged to give its press releases due WEIGHT, because we don't have any real evidence to the contrary. I remember in Ownby's book, for instance, where he basically gave the press statement about a Western spy being involved in the formation of Falun Gong about the same amount of space as the total length of the one and only statement from the PRC to date about it. He can't give more, because the statement is more or less a stand alone, but he did, basically, almost repeat it. The almost knee-jerk Western dismissal of PRC statements is one of the issues which it is hardest for most people to overcome, and I think in that regard he might be one of the few who really is working to keep the content in line with the policies as they can best be applied in this definitely sub-optimal situation of a lot of partisan sources on one side and damn few partisan sources on the other, but those partisan sources being between them pretty much all that is available. John Carter (talk) 19:26, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by coldacid (uninvolved)

Despite the conversation on EdJohnston's talk, this essay is certainly questionable, and considering Seraphimblade's comment in the June 2014 amendment request, it seems that Ohconfucius is definitely tempting fate. Whether this is the editor taking the WP:ROPE they were given and hanging themself with it, or not, I can't say. For sure, though, we should hear from Seraphimblade on this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by coldacid (talkcontribs) 02:30, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

I have to agree with TheSoundAndTheFury's "quick comment". Regardless of the content dispute, Ohconfucius' attitude even here on this AE request demonstrates that the editor should be strongly encouraged to edit other topics. At the very least, they should be topic-banned from anything relating to Falun Gong, and their attack essay deleted and salted. Ohconfucius has been given enough rope. @Seraphimblade: Would still like to hear from you on this. // coldacid (talk|contrib) 15:45, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Comment by My very best wishes

This edit by Ohconfucius strikes me as very recent and highly problematic (I know how important this article is to Falun Gong propagandists, but you should accept it as an unfortunate consequence of one of your fellow FLG editors choosing to plagiarise an entire chunk of it). Otherwise, I am not sure this AE request would be reasonable, given that most other diffs/edits by Ohconfucius were rather old (although also problematic), and Arbcom did not ask for reviewing this matter after a year, judging from their motion. My very best wishes (talk) 18:26, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

I do not think that editors in this area should be cursed and treated as "Falun Gongsters" (per Ohconfucious). During FG-2 case I talked with some of them, and they looked as good-faith and highly educated contributors, and in particular, User:Homunculus, very different from crude political SPA I have met in other subject areas. Unfortunately, she is no longer active in the project, just as many others, possibly due to the disputes and sanctions...
I think it would be fine for Ohconfucius to express his opinion about editing FG in his essay. However, he targeted several specific contributors: "more sophisticated undeclared/clandestine FLG advocates who are well versed in Wikipedia's policies appeared. Homunculus and TheSoundAndTheFury ..." and links them to WP:COI (in the end of the paragraph). I do not really know: perhaps there is an evidence of their WP:COI? If so, Ohconfucius must provide his evidence here, and these contributors should be sanctioned? But I did not see anything about their WP:COI during FG-2 case... My very best wishes (talk) 22:47, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Re to comment by Ohconfucius on my talk page [80]. Yes, Ohconfucius removed these passages from his essay dated April 2 2015. Yes, that would be fine and sufficient, but he continue blaming others as "Gongsters" and "Falun Gong advocates" on this very page (see his statement above) and even on my talk page. No, this is not a fair assessment of these people, given their contributions to the project [81]. My very best wishes (talk) 15:41, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
  • In summary, I think this is hardly a reasonable AE request based on the most recent diffs (and it could be left without action), however given the suspended topic ban, a review of editing by Ohconfucious during the entire year and based on all provided diffs would still be reasonable. My very best wishes (talk) 01:27, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by TheBlueCanoe

Here’s what Seraphimblade said at arbitration:

“If Ohconfucius' pattern of commenting on editors rather than edits continues or speculating on their motives, I'll be in favor of reinstating the topic ban. In that vein, Ohconfucius:, I will be requesting reinstatement of the topic ban if you do not get rid of all of your userspace material on Falun Gong and leave it gone.”[82]

Reposting an archived version of the userspace essay less than a month later was clearly defying the spirit, if not the letter, of the request[83]. More interesting is that Ohconfucius completely restored the essay last week, after a complaint about it was filed on EdJohnston’s talk page.[84] I have no idea how to account for this--tempting fate, or maybe Ohconfucius thinks he's unblockable.

On the NPOV issue, some of these diffs bear examining more closely:

  • [85] Deletes information claiming it’s not in the source, but it was.
  • [86] Deletes information about torture, saying he wasn’t clear on the source, but the source was clearly cited.
  • [87] - Adds a notability tag to the article, saying all mentions of the subject are trivial. The subject was the central focus of articles by several major news organizations--something no impartial editor would call trivial coverage.
  • [88] Says reports of torture is merely a Falun Gong allegation, which it’s not.

I’ve tried to give the benefit of the doubt that these were all honest mistakes, and maybe they are. But looking more closely at the history I’m not so sure, and it does seem that the user is ideologically driven. Certainly some of the reasons he’s given for deleting cited information on these pages are pretty flimsy (e.g. [89][90] )

It also goes without saying that I don’t appreciate the insinuations that I’m a sock, a “meatpuppet” or a “Falun Gong propagandists” for trying to address and correct the issues I see on these pages.TheBlueCanoe 16:34, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

@User:EdJohnston, Ohconfucius has blanked his userspace page at your request, but he still links to an archived version of it from his main user page. And given his record of reneging of promises made during arbitration proceeding, there is no guarantee that he will not simply restore it again in a couple weeks or otherwise continue to speculate inappropriately on other editors' motives. Secondly, it may be true that Ohconfucius sees himself as "manning the barricades against a tide of Falun Gong editors," and that this is what's behind his incivility and breakdown in good faith, but this doesn't accurately describe the reality on these pages, and hasn't for several years. I've edited Falun Gong articles for a couple years now, and have seen no such tide of Falun Gong editors (one editor, who emerged in the last couple months, does not a tide make). Instead, three of the main articles on Falun Gong have been promoted to Good Article status on the basis of solid editing by the very people whom Ohconfucius likes to accuse and disparage. Meanwhile, I have not seen Ohconfucius make any real or meaningful contributions to Falun Gong pages. Aside from minor formatting changes, a major thrust of his edits is to either sanitize information on human rights abuses by the Chinese government or to advance Chinese government narratives against Falun Gong, often in a way that is inaccurate and requires correction. He is certainly not the one who is defending pages against activist editors on either side.
Finally, it seems that he has been warned already on several occasions. After being banned indefinitely, he's been given several more lengths of rope, each time accompanied by a reminder from the arbitration committee to exercise better judgement, to stop commenting on other editors, to steer clear of controversy, to move on, etc. But since he himself has never issued any kind of mea culpa, it's not surprising that his conduct doesn't change. TheBlueCanoe 12:12, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Result concerning Ohconfucius

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • As a purely procedural note, the view I expressed regarding Ohconfucius' userspace material was an opinion of mine, and was not part of the formal terms of the restriction being suspended. That does not, of course, mean that I'm particularly thrilled to see they were restored, but that is not in itself grounds to revoke the suspension. There may exist other grounds to do so, if so, I'm sure the admins here will make that call. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:46, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Restored this complaint from archive 15 April. EdJohnston (talk) 14:48, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Before filing here, User:TheSoundAndTheFury posted a request at my talk page (permalink) asking for an indefinite topic ban on Ohconfucius. The same talk thread includes some responses by me. Ohconfucius sometimes leaves intemperate edit summaries and sometimes accuses people (such as BlueCanoe) of being 'FLG editors' without enough reason. For a while he was declining to blank or delete a page about Falun Gong conduct matters at User:Ohconfucius/essay/Editing Falun Gong articles on Wikipedia, but he has now done so. Ohconfucius also edits on topics that are not controversial and is credited with 22 Good Articles. Ohconfucius sees himself as manning the barricades against a tide of FLG editors and this affects the tone of his edit summaries. He should realize that that the problem has now been drawn to his attention, and continued activism may bring new complaints. I don't see him as a defender of the Chinese government. The imminent expiry of the suspended sanction isn't urgent because the FLG discretionary sanctions allow a new topic ban to be imposed at any time. I recommend this be closed with no action against Ohconfucius. EdJohnston (talk) 15:12, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I accept that Ohconfucious tries really hard to keep his personal bias in check when editing in this area. I accept that he fails often enough to be a problem. The deep-rooted problem of Righting Great Wrongs seems to me not to be going away over time, and I think the restriction should be reimposed, because otherwise I foresee escalating drama and potentially the loss of someone who is, in every other area, nice to have around. Guy (Help!) 16:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)


Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Parishan

Procedural notes: The rules governing arbitration enforcement appeals are found here. According to the procedures, a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors" is required to overturn an arbitration enforcement action.

To help determine any such consensus, involved editors may make brief statements in separate sections but should not edit the section for discussion among uninvolved editors. Editors are normally considered involved if they are in a current dispute with the sanctioning or sanctioned editor, or have taken part in disputes (if any) related to the contested enforcement action. Administrators having taken administrative actions are not normally considered involved for this reason alone (see WP:UNINVOLVED).

Appealing user 
Parishan (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)Parishan (talk) 17:26, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Sanction being appealed 
Ban from the article Caucasian Albania and its Talk page for one week, imposed at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Ninetoyadome
Administrator imposing the sanction 
Zad68 (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator 

Statement by Parishan

The sanction was applied for "(1) edit warring, (2) baiting, and (3) failing to cite reliable sources".

  1. I do not believe that three reverts in a three-week period really qualify as "edit-warring".
  2. I had made a sincere effort to warn the other user (Ninetoyadome) to make better use of talkpages on Armenia-Azerbaijan-related articles instead of reverting them blindly. I certainly did not wait around for the 1RR restriction (in place for the article Caucasian Albania for all users) period to expire to make that edit; if one looks in my history, that was my first edit on that day (not counting a small edit I made just a minute prior). If I had had an interest in baiting Ninetoyadome, there were multiple opportunities for that weeks earlier because he had reverted that article more than once (and not only that one, cf. his block for a month for edit-warring and violating his 1RR restriction on many AA2 articles) and had been ignoring the discussion page for two weeks, leaving questions addressed to him with regard to his recent addition to the article unanswered. I referred the user to the talkpage one last time in my edit made to remove the controversial addition (it also seemed the only way to direct his attention to the article in question). He chose to revert me, again without replying. Logically it does not make much sense for someone who is out to bait a user to give so much chance to the 'baited' user to redeem themselves, therefore I question the accuracy of this observation by Zad68.
  3. I do not see how I was expected to focus more on reliable sourcing than I had already done. I was one of the few users who actually did refer to reliable sources and suggest that others had not done so. It was not me who added new information to the article, to begin with. Hence it was not up to me to provide sources to substantiate it. I do not believe "failing to provide sources" is accurate criticism in my case.
User:EdJohnston, I think the admins are getting the wrong idea, because none of those who has responded addressed the particular issues I raised in the questions above. I am not necessarily arguing the suitability of the sanction. I am questioning the applicability of the terms "baiting" (of which there is absolutely no evidence) and "failing to cite reliable sources" (for which the ball was not in my court) when imposing the sanction. One can imagine a reliable source that supports the pertinence of a template. But how in the world can one imagine a reliable source that argues against the inclusion of a template? With regard to leaving comments in the month of April, whom would I have left them to, if there had been no response to my March comments? Parishan (talk) 16:29, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
User:EdJohnston, as I said, I am not looking to persuade anyone to lift this sanction. I just need clarification of its wording, which would give me a better idea of how to act and how not to act in similar situations in the future. I am only looking to get answers to three questions: (1) Are three reverts in a three-week period considered edit-warring? (2) How does the term "baiting" apply in relation to a user who has been caught edit warring so many times (and which no one was accused of baiting him into) that it earned him an indefinite 1RR restriction over a year ago? Does it look like this kind of user needs to be "baited" into reverting a page? (3) If a user does not add any content into an article, is it still up to them to "provide reliable sources"? I would really appreciate it if any one of the admins could shed some light on this issue before closing this section. Thank you. Parishan (talk) 05:46, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Zad68

I have already given my reasons for the (very mild) sanction I applied, both here and at my User Talk. I don't really have anything to add, but would be happy to answer any (new) questions. I would genuinely welcome input from other uninvolved admins about whether my actions were appropriate and furthering the goal of reducing disruptive editing in this contentious topic area. Zad68 00:24, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by (Cale Davinci)

My comment does not concern the merits of the sanction, but my frustration in regards to the editing of the article Caucasian Albania mentioned here (which caused the said sanction). My position is made clear in the talk page. I offered an alternative that neither of the two editors involved here replied to. I don't know if Parishan even agree with that alternative. The only reply I received which directly had anything to do with my proposition was from Hayordi, who mainly made clear that he was absolutely not open for any sort of concession. Personally, I believe that the box removed by Parishan had little place there, and I am completely neutral when I write that. On the other hand, it is hard to not add anything as alternative, given that the only material scholars have of that country from that country was written in Armenian (from what one can gather from some basic search in the relevant databases without using any filters). What I proposed was to drop Armenia and replace it with a more appropriate box (I have given two alternatives).

The problem is that editors are free to edit, but everyone has his own standards which is dependant to their inherent à priori biases. If I ask Parishan what standards he uses to include and exclude material, those standards will be different than his opponents. So what I basically proposed was a standardized structure everyone could agree with and how to achieve that. But after much writings and being unheard, I decided it was better for me to just quit before I regret having been here. Yahya Talatin (talk) 19:11, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

If there are no more admin comments I would decline this appeal. I didn't know that Wikipedia had a cast system, but would not surprise me a bit. Yahya Talatin (talk) 23:59, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by (involved editor 2)

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by Parishan

Result of the appeal by Parishan

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • A one-week topic ban from Caucasian Albania is a very mild sanction. Parishan did not make any posts at all at Talk:Caucasian Albania during April, even though that is the period he was making these reverts. Yet he was claiming the absence of any posts by the other guy on the same page justified his reverts. I see both sides making unconvincing arguments for the inclusion of their respective history templates. Caucasian Albania is an unusual case. The land it occupied is part of the current territory of Azerbaijan. But in historic terms it is not really part of Armenia nor of Azerbaijan. The most practical solution may be to omit both the {{History of Armenia}} and {{History of Azerbaijan}} templates. This is up to the consensus of editors. But if User:Ninetoyadome and User:Parishan plan to continue editing Caucasian Albania I hope their talk page contributions will show good understanding of the material in the references and will reassure us of their intention to edit neutrally. I would decline this appeal. EdJohnston (talk) 03:32, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't find Parishan's arguments persuasive. In any case, it is now April 20 and in less than 24 hours his sanction will have expired. At that time he can go back to normal editing at Caucasian Albania. If there are no more admin comments I would decline this appeal. EdJohnston (talk) 03:29, 20 April 2015 (UTC)


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 Arzel

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 19:39, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Arzel (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
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American_politics#Motion:_Arzel_topic_banned_.28February_2015.29 :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 18 April 2015 Refuses to acknowledge the connection of climate change denial to American politics.
  2. 18 April 2015 Ongoing argumentativeness in climate change politics.
  3. 7 April 2015 Clearly edit-warring in an area that is related to US politics (broadly construed).
  4. 22 March 2015 Clear involvement with US politics
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. 18 February 2015 Clearly made aware of his topic ban.
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Mentioned by name in the Arbitration Committee's Final Decision linked to above.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

It's pretty clear this user has no intention of complying with his topic ban. jps (talk) 19:39, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

@Zero0000: Arzel's topic ban extends "across all namespaces". That is normally interpreted to include talkpages. jps (talk) 10:58, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

@EdJohnston: Clearly global warming is an American political issue. So can you provide an example of a kind of edit on global warming which would cross the boundary of a topic ban on American politics broadly construed? Are these three edits provided by Ubikwit below more illustrative perhaps? [96][97][98] jps (talk) 02:15, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Arzel

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 Arzel

It is this kind of crap that makes people stop editing on WP.

1. Anthony Watts is in the categories (1958 births, American television meteorologists, Climate change skeptics, Environmental bloggers, Heartland Institute, Living people, People from Chico California). I view it as a BLP issue. I don't see American Politics in that list, I don't see politics in general in that list. He is not a politician and this issue has not been about politics.

2. JPS Canvasses to try and get some same thinking people to edit on his behalf and he calls my noting of it "Ongoing argumentativeness? He should be getting at minimum a warning for that kind of behavior.

3. I made one revert to the Anthony Watts article. Under no circumstance can that be called edit warring. JPS has made 12345678910 edits, if my one edit "Clearly edit-warring" then his definitely edit warring.

4. Hands up, don't shoot has as its categories (2014 introductions, Gestures, Phrases, Race and crime in the United States). @Future Perfect at Sunrise: how in the world is that clearly an American Politics article? I made one talk page edit almost one month ago on that article (March 22). Since I made that one edit, not a single editor has made a single remark about it being American Politics until now. And that is only because JPS is really struggling to find something to pin against me.

I have been very careful to stay away from any article in the American Politics categories. If you are going to topic ban someone from a topic then it needs to be clear how to determine what is included in that topic. If you think an article is related to American Politics then that category should be added to the article.

I won't repeat everything that AQFK or Peter have stated about JPS as it was stated quite well by them. But I will say that JPS's resorts to WP:HARASSMENT to try and force those that disagree with him off those articles by intimidation and a clear WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior. His attempt to change the MOS so that WP:LABEL would not apply to his attempt to call Watt's a "Denier" really takes the cake though, or maybe his edit warring over it is even worse. Arzel (talk) 03:37, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Regarding "Hands Up, Don't Shoot". I still don't see the connection to American Politics. The saying didn't originate as a political saying, it is a race/police issue outside of politics. That some people tried to use it for some political gain is not relevant. Politicians co-opt stuff ALL THE TIME. By this logic there is nothing that is not related to politics in some way. Additionally, if it was so clear than why is that not a category for American Politics? Please state why it is clearly American Politics. Personally I don't care about that article, I was simply making a note that there was no discussion regarding a known fact which was being edit warred. I made one edit and haven't edited it since and reiterate that if it was a big deal why didn't Mr. X report me those many weeks ago? He got me American Politics TBAN'ed in the first place and I made my comment ON THE SAME DAY.
  • Regarding Watts. Please state the Clear American Politics angle on that article. There is no mention of politics that I have seen, he is not a politician and Climate Change is a scientific and global issue. By the logic stated there is nothing that does not have some abstract political angle. Jobs, Healthcare, Farming, Manufacturing, Small Businesses, Churches, Sports, Military, Economics, Astronomy, Space Exploration, Hospitals, Whales, Entertainment, etc. All of these article have some connection to American Politics in some abstract way either through specific legislation or lobbying or regulation or political talking points. One has to ask if the goal is to uphold a TBAN or silence someone. Arzel (talk) 21:42, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Could I please have all the editors calling me a climate change denier to stop. I find it continually insulting. I am an Operations Researcher specializing in Optimization, Simulation and Predictive Analysis with a strong background in Statistics. I am skeptical of the models of the AR3 which predict future warming and find it insulting from a scientific point of view that so many claim that it is settled. The models have to this point been unable to accurately predict temperatures within the margin of error which means possibly a couple of things. Either CO2 has a lower effect than predicted and/or there are some other factors which are mitigating the effect of CO2. Arzel (talk) 05:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by A Quest for Knowledge

Unless I missed something (which is entirely possible), none of the diffs presented show Arzel discussing anything political, American or otherwise. This seems like a frivolous request.

However, this brings into question the filer's own conduct. Let me plainly state that the filer has been banned and sanctioned more times that I can possibly count for their repeated disruptive and battleground mentality. (I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc has used numerous account names, including ScienceApologist, Joshua P. Schroder and Vanished User 314159. Look up their record.)

Their pattern of battleground conduct goes back years and has not ceased. I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc has shown repeated and recent misconduct including threats, harassment, BLP violations and other battleground conduct:

  • "I am happy to take you down." - Threatening me on my talk page.
  • [99] Unsourced WP:BLP violation which I correctly removed.
  • Bizarrely, rather than apologizing for inserting unsourced negative content about a living person, or seeking clarification on my talk page if they honestly didn't understand that unsourced contentious content about living persons is a BLP violation, I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc immediately launched into battleground mode by filing this AN/I report[100] which was so ridiculous, it went nowhere without me even responding.
  • "asshole move" Self-evident.

How many second, third, forth, fifth, sixth, etc. chances do we give this same problematic editor? They are clearly not Wikipedia:Here to build an encyclopedia. Enough is enough. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:42, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

I stand corrected regarding the fourth diff, which appears to be a clear a violation of Arzel's topic ban. Sorry, I missed that reading thru the OP's post. But given that was two months ago, I would think that violation is now stale. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:49, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I hate to be the voice of reason but:
a) Guy has expressed a strong opinion on the subject during the course of this AE request at another venue, "It is very obviously a climate change denial blog. Only an idiot would state otherwise"[101]
b) Guy has done so in a very uncivil matter, resorting to an ad hominem attack, "Only an idiot would state otherwise".[102]
It's difficult to tell whether Guy's accusation of being an "idiot" applies to reliable sources or their fellow editors. But either way, calling other people "idiots" is conduct unbecoming of an administrator. Have the standards of conduct at Wikipedia devolved so badly that it's now acceptable to resort to ad hominem attacks? Guy clearly has a strong opinion on the matter and by expressing their opinion on the content dispute, they should no longer to be considered WP:UNINVOLVED.
A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:33, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
It gets even worse. Guy is now editing the very article that they're supposed to be uninvolved with.[103][104][105][106] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 10:27, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Peter Gulutzan

The filer also threatened me about WP:AE (here and here), and I agree that it is the filer, not Arzel, whose conduct deserves attention. Recall that I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc (aka jps ScienceApologist etc.) filed this after Arzel understandably questioned whether jps was canvassing (here), and that jps's conduct after Arzel mentioned WP:LABEL on an earlier occasion was questioned by a MoS-talk-page editor. I'd also plead that the Anthony Watts (blogger) article mentions no politician or party or election issue outside Chico California -- it's a BLP of Anthony Watts (blogger), and Arzel seemed to me to be sticking to points about that, with respect to guidelines. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 22:34, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cardamon

Climate change, and acceptance or denial of it is definitely an issue in US politics. Since many administrators are not from North America, I will provide a couple of external links to illustrate this. Here, Paul Waldman in the Washington Post discussed the fact that most of the likely republican candidates for president in 2016 deny that man-made global warming is happening. Here, in the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik discusses how journalists should treat politicians who deny climate change, and mentions the difference between the two main American parties on this subject.

Since climate change is currently an issue in American politics, and since Arzel has been editing the climate change articles, Arzel has definitely been violating the remedy that says he may not make edits related to American politics, broadly construed. Cardamon (talk) 02:15, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by DHeyward

This particular article is a BLP who is not political and whose politics are unknown. He disagrees with the scientific conclusions regarding climate change. This puts him at odds with a number of people including politicians. But unless we are willing to say everyone that opines about climate science is political, this claim is without merit. We don't know the political leanings of Watts. His personal choices of solar power and other indicators would make him a green party candidate. Does the same apply to Lindzen and Curry and Mann and Hansen? They all have views. Participating in a democratic society doesn't define a person as political. Nor is a stance regarding science a political one. Anti-vaxers are numerous and cover a broad spectrum of politics but it would be incorrect to imply that every bio of an anti-vaxer is political just because it's also a political issue. --DHeyward (talk) 07:51, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by jps

Arzel makes a good point that topic bans are difficult to understand here on Wikipedia. Many mistakenly believe that topic bans are only subject to narrow designations, and some even wrongly believe that we have implemented software controls that would enable a topic ban. As I understand it, "broadly construed" is intentionally wide-ranging and is used to prevent gaming of the system. I am keenly aware that it is precedent that it is not simply articles that are in a particular category which determine the topic. WP:TBAN tries to explain this, but using a single example "weather" which doesn't really give a hard-and-fast rule that is easy to follow is perhaps not ideal. DHeyward's example of anti-vaxxers shows how confused people get. "Broadly construed" is a heavy burden and, indeed, I think that someone who jumped from a topic ban on American politics immediately into editing a page on anti-vaccination movement or someone who advocated for such would be treading in the subject of American politics, broadly construed.

I think it's not hard to determine that basically every instance of article or talkpage involvement that Arzel has had since his topic ban has been related to American politics.

That said, I do not even think the protestations of Arzel and his supporters are particularly honest in their claimed disbelief that American politics is related to article about a prominent person in the broader popular-level discussions over climate change. Instead, I see wagon-circling on the part of climate change denial supporters and their allies. This is part of the ongoing climate change issues we have at Wikipedia, and it is a shame that these ideologically driven editors which seem determined to slant Wikipedia into claiming that there is some sort of controversy over reality of human-caused climate change. The hope for AQFK, Peter Gulutzman, DHeyward, and Arzel is that we adopt the talking points of the climate change denialists. E.g. they hope to refer to them as "skeptics" in spite of many sources which show that this is an inexact and inappropriate euphemism for denial. They don't want sources that are written by accomplished climate scientists used in the article. They insist that the claimed "controversy" over human-caused global warming be highlighted as a battle between equals rather than a political battle between a vast consensus of scientists and a devoted group of activists who are convinced that they can muddy the waters enough to provoke doubt in the settled science of human-caused global warming.

Finally, with respect to the attempted WP:BOOMERANG by AQFK, I do acknowledge that I find his (perhaps sometimes only tacit) support of climate change denial to be difficult with which to deal and I do think it may eventually lead to a reinstatement of his topic ban on climate change. Together with Peter Gulutzan and DHeyward, there are many issues with article ownership and BLP zealotry that will likely require further dispute resolution (not to mention a lot of instances of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT). If administrators want a more thorough account of this dispute, I'm happy to provide it. But things are certainly not being helped by a topic-banned editor engaging in the tag team. I'm trying to work out these issues one at a time, and this seems to me to be the most unambiguous problem.

jps (talk) 12:20, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by TheBlueCanoe (uninvolved)

It seems plausible that Arzel was not deliberately breaching the topic ban, at least with respect to the climate change article. After all, very few contemporary social, political, environmental, or security issues are completely unrelated to American politics. I wonder if the administrators in this case would be willing to clarify the parameters of the topic ban, or offer some additional criteria for determining whether the editor is running afoul of his sanctions. TheBlueCanoe 15:13, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Comment by MONGO

Some like to over use the terms denialist, denier, etc. all too often in BLPs. It equates to Holocaust Denial and is oftentimes used in a partisan fashion when many of those subjects have never said anything other than they are skeptical...while others are.merely opposed to alarmist responses to climate change mitigation and merely want a cautious measured response. With that said, an edit dated two.months hence is past sell by date and me thinks this is best left as a caution for Arzel to tread lightly in such issues so he doesn't upset the snake oil salesmen.--MONGO 20:18, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Short Brigade Harvester Boris

The "climate change" edits were not concerned with the 3.3 micron infrared absorption band of methane, or whether changes to heavy precipitation follow Clausius-Clapeyron scaling, or anything else of a scientific nature. The edits instead were within the context of the U.S. political debate over the issue. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Addendum: The argument here seems to be that U.S. politics edits are acceptable as long as they also are relevant to some other topic. A request for clarification to the arbitrators would be helpful. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 14:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Tony Sidaway

Irrespective of any involvement by parties, it's kinda weird to see how ruthlessly all significant information has been removed from the article. We are severely harming Wikipedia when we permit this kind of deletion to prevail. --TS 00:30, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Ubikwit

Per Cardamon and others, the material is related to American politics, with the attempt to dismiss the peer-reviewed academic-press book by Mann regarding his statements on the Watts and his "Watts up with that" blog being an illustrative example.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 03:46, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

@Zero0000: These edits are not about science[107][108][109]
--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 14:39, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Casprings

@Zero0000: I find it interesting the swift juctice the process seems to at least want to give out to some, while the amazing amount of evidence needed to get any sanctions on an editor that has been pushing a conservative POV for years. I know this may sound crazy. But it almost seems that Wikipedia not only has systematic bias, but also favors a certain POV in its punishments. I mean, its not like wikipedia has a disproportionate number of white males from the US who tend to hold a conservative POV... or anything....Casprings (talk) 11:56, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

@Zero0000: To ignore his opinion is to ignore the context for the case. With the context, it is clear that he is editing with American Politics in mind. Climate change denial is an important WP:Fringe of the American right and very connected to American politics. He has a long history of editing with a conservative POV (see last post). So with that context, how is it not a reasonable conclusion that his edits are within the scope of American Politics, "broadly construed"? Yes, if you ignore all the context one could make the argument that it is not connected to American Politics. However, you are ignoring the history and the context.Casprings (talk) 12:28, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

@Zero0000 and EdJohnston: I find your logic difficult to accept as the original rational of the Arbitration committee. I must agree with Mastcast. I would also note, many of the differences in the original finding of fact do not meet this very tight connection to American Politics. I plan on asking the committee for clarification.Casprings (talk) 11:16, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

The request for clarification can be found here. Casprings (talk) 11:39, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

I believe this. [110] . I really don't think he thought those edits were a violation. Whatever the clarification, I think he should not be sanctioned . One has to assume good faith given that this is an issue that needs clarification with others too. I still think the punishment system is biased against certain POVs. Casprings (talk) 01:30, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved Kingsindian

I agree with Zero0000 here. These edits are about a climate change denier/skeptic, not US politics. The guy is not really a climate scientist, and of course politics has to do a fair bit with his popularity, but that does not automatically make edits to his page related to US politics. I also see no evidence of edit-warring. Kingsindian  15:25, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MastCell

Commenting as an editor, not as an admin. This is obviously a topic ban violation. Watts is heavily involved in the political dispute in the U.S. about the reality of climate change. His work is financially supported by the Heartland Institute ([111]), a partisan conservative think tank which lobbies politically against climate-change legislation. Likewise, the edit to hands up, don't shoot is a topic-ban violation, as the shooting of unarmed African-American men by the police has, for whatever reason, become a deeply partisan issue in the US.

In fact, every article or talk-page edit that Arzel has made since his topic ban deals directly with American politics, and thus violates his topic ban. I'll go a bit further: virtually every edit that Arzel has ever made on Wikipedia is closely linked to partisan political talking points. This is the sum total of his editing, both before and after his topic ban. Find me some non-trivial edits by Arzel that aren't directly derived from hot-button issues in U.S. partisan politics (race relations, climate change, environmental legislation, various right-wing media personalities, etc). He doesn't edit anything else besides American politics. So either the topic ban should be applied here, or we should just pretend it doesn't exist. MastCell Talk 18:26, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Comment by about whether Anthony Watts is a politician

As a point of information about Anthony Watts being or not being a politician, Watts's Wikipedia biography mentions that he held elective office (Chico, California school board) a couple times, and he was briefly a candidate for the Butte County Board of Supervisors (Butte County is where Chico is). The cited news article[112] doesn't list a party affiliation, but it describes him as a "conservative candidate" and says he recruited another conservative candidate when he withdrew from the race. School board might not be "political" but Board of Supervisors probably is (its members draw salaries[113] for doing what I'd say is politics, so I'd call them politicians). On the other hand, Watts didn't actually serve as a Supervisor.

A web search also finds a (rather biased against Watts) page mentioning that Watts for a while ran the web site for the Butte County Republicans([114] entry of Sept 27, 2008; Wayback link since the sourcewatch link is dead), and the "Welcome" post (Sept 25, 2008, same url) on that site, saying "We need to get Republicans elected to office... We elect Republicans by turning out voters on November 4th." were posted by "Wattsupwiththat" which was presumably Anthony Watts, who made other posts from to that site as well. Plus he supplied a webcast to the site (Oct 6 entry). So while calling Watts an actual politician is at most borderline, he was clearly a Republican party activist and briefly a conservative-labelled candidate for elected political office. Plus there are the political overtones of the climate change thing. I'm not going to yell about AE sanctions for the past edits but in the context of the TBAN, I think it would be better if Arzel avoided the Watts article going forward.

Anyway, DHeyward's take[115] that Watts' politics look aligned with the Green Party might have been a nice guess but it doesn't hold up to a little research. My main issue with Arzel's (or anyone else's) editing is not about the narrow question of whether the article subject is a politician, but about whether the editor is contributing using a neutral point of view or a biased one. We all have our biases but I think we should recognize them and adjust for them in our editing, so that we always make an effort to edit neutrally, following the overall spectrum of existing published sources rather than emphasizing just the ones we agree with. I hope Arzel (and everyone!) can make good effort to edit in that spirit regardless of the specific articles being edited. (talk) 21:47, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Result concerning Arzel

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I see merit in this request. The argument raised by AQFK, that the climate change topic is a scientific and not a specifically American political topic, appears specious to me: the debate between "climate change proponents" and "climate change deniers/skeptics" is clearly a central issue of American political life, and an article about an American blogger who focusses on this debate seems to me to be well inside the bounds of "American politics, broadly construed". With the fourth link, regarding the "Hands Up" article, there can be no doubt at all that it is within the area of the topic ban. On both counts, a sanction will be in order. I haven't looked yet at the allegations made against the filing party. Fut.Perf. 22:10, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Climate change is clearly part of American politics. So is the "Hands Up" article. This is a good moment for Arzel to reconsider his position and withdraw from such disputes. If he won't do so a block appears necessary. EdJohnston (talk) 03:49, 19 April 2015 (UTC) Changed my mind, see below. EdJohnston (talk) 19:22, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Arzel is also commenting on Talk:Anthony Watts (blogger) (Watts is a prominent climate change denier). I would say that Arzel is pushing the boundaries and needs a firm reminder to step back. Guy (Help!) 17:31, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
@Zero0000 It is hard to think of a topic more closely identified with American politics, than climate change. The "debate", such as it is, exists solely because of political activism from the right in US politics. America is pretty much the only country where the fact of climate change is controversial, everywhere else the debate is what to do about it, not whether it exists, because the fact that ti exists has been established beyond reasonable doubt, as our articles show. Arzel is active on the article on Anthony Watts, the claim that he is not a political figure evaporates under any kind of scrutiny: he operates a climate denial blog funded in part by the Heartland Institute and has been used as a source of climate denial materials by climate deniers in the US political arena. That article is a US political article. Guy (Help!) 12:46, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Zero0000 I get your point, but climate change is politics and Watts is American, and the Heartland Institute is an American political body and Watts is cited by Republican climate deniers. It's political, and it's American, and it's notable only because of American politics. I'm not arguing for a sanction, but I am saying this is a case for Arzel backing off because it's virtually impossible to decouple that article form American politics, especially right now as the climate deniers are rallying for one last hurrah (while, no doubt, buying hilltop property as a hedge). Guy (Help!) 21:42, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I ask my fellow admins to note that Arzel's topic ban does not ban him from articles related to US politics, but rather from making edits related to US politics. I think the "hands up" edit fails this test (though I don't understand it), but I'm not convinced that the climate change edits do. As someone noted above, just about every issue of public debate is somehow related to US politics. That doesn't make every such issue included in the topic ban; more relevantly it does not make every edit related to climate change automatically related to US politics. I also note that the list of examples given by arbcom are almost all much more clearly of a US-political nature. At the very least, Arzel's argument that the edits were not US-politics related is plausible and does not prove bad faith. If we want to include climate change in the topic ban (for what reason?) we can do so, but I don't think Arzel should be sanctioned now for a judgement that many reasonable people could make. Zerotalk 10:11, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
To I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc: the topic ban certain does apply to talk pages, and I didn't say otherwise. To Casprings: I deliberately did not attempt to figure out Arzel's position on climate change; it is irrelevant to the current process. Zerotalk 12:07, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG Climate change denial is a very serious problem in my own country, which is not the USA, and I know of other non-US countries where that is true too. So I believe your statement to be factually incorrect. Also, I'll repeat that it is not relevant if the article is related to US politics, but only whether the edits Arzel made were related to US politics. That's what the topic ban says. The argument that they were about the climate change "debate" and therefore about US politics is not a valid argument, imho. As for "active on the article on Anthony Watts", he/she only ever made one edit to article space, definitely not the usual m.o. for an activist, and his/her edits on the talk page specifically focus on the science and not the politics. I disagree with practically every word he/she wrote there, but I don't see a topic ban violation. Zerotalk 13:38, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG, you say "climate change is politics" and of course there is a sense in which you are right. But the same can be said of almost every issue which is the subject of public debate. Debate about health care, mining, public transport, drug trafficking, education, sexual discrimination, etc, is also "politics" in the same way. What I question is whether arbcom intended the topic ban as widely as that, rather than more tightly. My interpretation is that "US politics" refers to workings of US governments and interactions with those governments. One option we have is to ask arbcom for a clarification. Zerotalk 07:12, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I now agree with User:Zero0000's position on this. The entire article on Anthony Watts (blogger) doesn't fall under a US politics ban, but any edits to add or remove mention of US politics would be covered. So I don't see the diffs submitted above by jps to show any ban violation. If you think that User:Arzel's editing on climate change generally is inappropriate, you could ask for a separate topic ban under WP:ARBCC. But I'm not aware of evidence for such a ban. It would be unusual to define a ban on US politics so widely that anything which a politician could potentially have an opinion on would be covered. EdJohnston (talk) 19:22, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@jps: Looking at the diffs submitted in this report, #3 comes the closest, but I don't see any actual mention of politics there. It looks like yet another round of the denialism vs skepticism debate, which is a familiar dispute within our global warming articles. No Republican politicians are mentioned in that revert. To the extent that Arzel is not paying attention to the edges of his US politics ban he may unexpectedly cross the line and then a sanction will indeed be appropriate. #3 is a large change to the article and I doubt he is watching the issue carefully enough. We hope he is aware now. EdJohnston (talk) 03:24, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

NOTE to uninvolved administrators (and others), there is an active clarification request relevant to this AE request:

ArbCom clerk note: This request is the subject of a current ArbCom clarification request. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 11:46, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

(I had read through this discussion looking to close it and was working through the question "Are the edits in the area of the topic ban?" before noticing this small note. So, I removed the small tags.) Zad68 17:34, 22 April 2015 (UTC)


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