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

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration

Banning Policy

Initiated by Hell in a Bucket (talk) at 17:58, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried
  • Link 1 [[4]] (couldn't find in archives)
  • Link 2 [[5]]
  • Link 3 [[6]]

Statement by Hell in a Bucket

There is a lot of dispute if WP:EVADE is covered under talkpage posting. It's my understanding that when banned that person is persona non grata and all edits are to be reverted. If in an article and it's not vandalism another editor may take responsibility for that edit but posting on their behalf or attempting to repost their concern is not appropriate. Enter User:Tarc. Tarc has been blasting insults, incivility and outright trolling on Jimbos page. Edits such as [someone has a hissy fit again, I'll just post yoour comment as my own, with attribution. Let em stew on that.] or this edit summary [try ONE revert, and see if that's enough to get the serial harasser goes and finds another house to haunt. If not, either I or someone else can bring Smallbones to ANI again, then I'll just re-post this user's concerns to Jimbo's under my own name]. Apparently the word cunt is not ok but telling a editor [you think you have the balls to remove something I post under my own name, then come at me bro] or telling me [can go the the first part of my username] or the attitude that this is a game [challenger appears]. There are many more edits stating that Smallbones and myself are whiteknighting, overzealous and etc. Jimbo has not replied and there is an impasse as Smallbones and I are within policy to revert on sight edits on or on behalf of a banned user without regard to 3rr. Why will we ban people then let them post if it's good contributions, there are plenty other editors with lots of great contributions banned and there is no question about it. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 18:18, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

@Konveyor, if there was significant doubts you are correct but in this case all three accounts were spouting the same thing, terms of use nonsense, it was a very very clear duck case. It was clear enough theat a checkuser was done but I didn't have the correct beginning user which from the Block log the TheKohser isn't actually the master either but an older account User:MyWikiBiz, at least according to this block log. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 18:35, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Tarc that's why we are here you can't understand the difference of usage of the word as a word and an epithet. Please point out where I called someone a cunt? If you want people to be CIVIL you have to actually be civil yourself, not ask if they have the balls. I do that's why we are here, you are trolling and as User:KWW rightfully says trying to pick a fight. Arbcom has dealt with the last comment you can drop your WP:STICK now, your horse is dissecated now, now move on to your disruptive trolling, time for a new issue. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 19:11, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Smallbones Arbcom has or the community has handed down blocks, if there is to be an interpatation that allows talkpage edits and the community can not come to a consensus as this can be a sitewide issue this can be a good way to stop disruptive edit wars. I will say that even being right about removing the comments it's still disruptive for us to revert war too. If talkpage are the exception and Arbcom agrees then problem solved but maybe we can address what it means to post on behalf of banned users, when it's ok to revert and where banned users may post and under what conditions. Multiple admin disagree and obviously the community does too, Tarc is only the face of a larger issue here. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 19:21, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
On another sidenote User:Tarc, asking someone if they have the balls is pretty sexist in and of it's self [[7]]. So there again if that's why you are having a problem then this can help you understand how a simple comment can be misconstrued as sexist nonsense. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 19:33, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

User:Deltahedron, this edit summary shows the willingness to proxy [[8]] so do this one [[9]], Here Tarc is stating he doesn't care who they are [[10]] this was after checkuser said they had no sleeper socks and needed behavioral evidence so I corrected my info. The sock came back to Tarc's page and left this [[11]], now if User:Tarc was acting in good faith he would be able to see 3 editors, brand new accounts all of them going with terms of use questions. You'd have to be blind not to see the connections, that's why blocks were handed out to two of them already. If anyone has questions you can look at the SPI Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Thekohser. The bad thing is that this apparently unconnected user knows a lot about SPI's and now look surprise surprise [[12]] it's a checkuser block too. Congrats Tarc take a bow for helping them troll Jimbo. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 18:53, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

It's my intention to take a wikibreak, if my conduct needs to be reviewed please do so in spite of my absence. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 21:05, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Konveyor Belt

@Hell in a Bucket: "It's my understanding that when banned that person is persona non grata and all edits are to be reverted." This is not the central argument here. Tarc or anyone else does not deny this policy. Rather, the debate is whether uninvolved editors can revert suspected socks with no proof of socking, as this is what you and Smallbones have been doing. KonveyorBelt 18:26, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

@Kww: You are right. Admins may decide what users are and aren't socks. Herein lies the problem. Neither Smallbones nor Hell in a Bucket are admins. They cannot make this decision themselves and carry out enforcement or revert it. Until an uninvolved admin decides based on CU or quack evidence that it is indeed a sock, they cannot do anything with the edits of merely what they "suspect" to be socks. Similarily, Tarc cannot revert reversions either until an admin judges that it is not a sock. The best thing to do is leave the edits alone. Focus on the edits, not the editor. If they are truly derogatory, revert like you would anyone else. KonveyorBelt 20:35, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
  • @28bytes: It's not that he won't respond. Perhaps it's just because he doesn't care. The open door policy is his own and is laid out very clearly on his page. That should be response enough. KonveyorBelt 23:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

User:Herostratus, WP:DUCK is an essay. It has always been an admins job to confirm and/or block socks, CU or no CU. Extending this to ordinary users is unmistakable power creep. KonveyorBelt 15:42, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Kww

I think it's pretty obvious that Tarc is doing this solely to stir up a fight, a.k.a. to disrupt Wikipedia. There's no possible improvement to an encyclopedia by restoring talk page comments by a banned editor, so WP:IAR is inapplicable. As for Konveyor Belt's argument: so long as we have our restrictions on checkuser in place, an admin's best judgement is all we generally have to go on when it comes to socking and block evasion. It's apparent from the discussion that Tarc agrees that the edits are likely from a banned editor, and is "taking ownership" only as fig-leaf to preserve the comments.—Kww(talk) 18:30, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Betafive

It seems to me that if an edit from a banned user introduces content of sufficient quality that another editor in good standing sees fit to restore it after a revert, in the absence of evidence that the user in good standing is acting as a sockpuppet, the restored content should not be subject to reversion on-sight, as the alternative allows banned editors an effective heckler's veto. betafive 18:47, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Tarc

Hell in a Bucket is mounting a rather superlative misdirection campaign by highlighting my use of silly internet memes ("a challenger appears", come at me bro", etc...) in edit summaries. For someone who casually throws around misogynist c-bombs into discussions in this project, and someone who acts as deplorably as he did at User talk:Newyorkbrad#Word usage in defending the c-word, I find it to be the height of hypocrisy to call anyone out for incivility.

This whole mess is about a few different things, but one in particular; a fundamental difference in opinion regarding what it means to edit a page in this project, be it a user talk page or an article-space page. One side has a strict interpretation of "banned means banned", and that all edits by sock-puppets (whether proven or unproven) can and will be reverted on sight. This means that any possibly banned user who posts a question to Jimbo's talk page is automatically reverted, as well as a possibly banned user who adds a freely-licensed image to an article is automatically reverted. The other side wishes to evaluate the merits of the post or the article addition and believes that either should remain in place unless there is something egregiously wrong, e.g. WP:NPA or a topic ban violation. This is a collision of a draconian interpretation of the ban policy vs. how things usually flow in this project, and have flowed for years. Users have traditionally been granted a bit of latitude in allowing banned users to post to their talk pages; I do that myself with a few people on mine. Users have also been traditionally able to "take responsibility" for revert article content and have been able to re-add it as their own if deemed a "good edit". Both of these have been denied lately; here at Jimbo's page, and one here involving a suspected sock of Russavia. I asked Kww if he plans to call for a block of the user, as he threatened to do to me, who restored the image at Dassault Falcon 7X, but have yet to see a response.

The other aspect of this is the situation of editors reverting suspected socks of banned/blocked users...and no, not that they are literally flagged as a suspected sock, but that the reverter him/herself is the one with the suspicion. That is how I got embroiled into this mess initially, when Hell and Smallbones were reverting an account with no block log and no SPI. The account is now blocked, but I and others are rather uncomfortable with regular users patrolling another user's talk page and removing content based on their own guesswork alone.

If this case is accepted, I would urge the committee to not focus on the who but more of the substance of what is at stake here. "Russavia" and "Mr. 2001" (alleged to be "thekohser") are being invoked here as boogeymen, people that quite frankly no one, even myself, particularly care for. We shouldn't craft policy or make decisions with the aim in mind of punishing specific editors.

So this is where we're at... "banned means banned" vs. "if a rule prevents you from improving the encyclopedia, ignore it". Tarc (talk) 18:51, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

@Hell in a Bucket: If my at-times flippant edit summaries were misconstrued as incivility, then I apologize. After this, please stop pinging me here, as I'm really not going to engage in this now move on to your disruptive trolling rhetoric, esp on an Arbitration page. Tarc (talk) 19:24, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
For the record, the matter of whether or not the accounts actually were socks or not is largely academic. As I and others have noted, there has traditionally been a degree of latitude given to users over their own talk space; doubly so Jimbo's talk page which serves as a de facto secondary Village Pump. I believe Jimbo has also declared that bringing a matter to his talk page is not subject to WP:CANVASS'ing guidelines. At the time of the first brouhaha, the "SpottingTOU" account was neither blocked nor confirmed as a sock of anyone. The account was posting simple questions and comments within a discussion on Jimbo's page, and I found it rather offensive that the comments were being reverted on mere suspicion. The 2nd time, the user [[13]] at my talk page asking for assistance, which I granted. At first I made it abundantly clear that I was posting on the user's behalf by pretty much relaying their ToS question verbatim; this was reverted as "blatant proxying". I then rephrased the ToS question 100% in my own words, but that was reverted as "proxying" as well. I did not then and do not now see the ToS question as inherently trolling or disruptive. If Jimbo wanted to respond, he could, or other editors can (and did) too. Then the thread slips off to the archives in a few days. After I took on the question as my own, the drama should have ended then and there. Tarc (talk) 20:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
For the continued recording of the...record, I do not feel that a decision by motion is feasible at this time, as the larger issues of a) latitude a user has over his/her own talk page, b) ability of a Wikipedia editor to restore material of a banned user as his/her own, i.e. "take ownership" of the material, and c) whether a user is immune to 3RR if they revert in opposition to a and b remain outstanding, despite Smallbones' assertion that there "no real question of fact involved" when in fact there are several. I claim no immunity or right to the ~25 (!) times I reverted Smallbones (himself in the 20's) & Hell in a Bucket (~6); it was wrong for all of us to engage in that. To be fair though, Jimbo's talk page is a watchlisted by hundreds if not thousands, probably dozens of them admins; that no one actually blocked us is a testament to either a "am I really seeing what I'm seeing" incredulity or "this is a unique situation and we don't know what to do" thing. For me, it was reminiscent of being out past one's assigned curfew; if you're already two hours late getting in, may as well go whole hog and party all night. So, it's up to you, mom & dad. Tarc (talk) 01:41, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Final(?) Addendum before Acceptance: I'd like to point out that the last thing we warred over (that was eventually restored by a completely uninvolved party) spawned Paid editing and the ToS. Apart from the rehashing of the events in the middle, several editors held a discussion regarding aspects of paid editing. This is exactly what I wanted to happen; for a non-controversial, non-argumentative, non-trolling post to simply remain on Jimbo's page. This is what should be allowed to happen in the future, to let posts sink or swim on their own merits rather than ad hominem removals based on who the user is suspected at the time to be. Tarc (talk) 00:21, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Smallbones

I think it is too early for an ArbCom case. For one thing, Jimmy W. is said to be on vacation and may return and clear up the whole thing one way or another with just a few words. I've also offered a couple of compromises, including an offer of mediation, which Tarc has yet to answer. Finally, Tarc will essentially ask you to repeal WP:BANREVERT and WP:Banned Mean Banned and this doesn't seem to be the proper place to do that. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:15, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Herostratus Thank you for reminding me where I saw Jimbo's words on the matter of who is invited to edit Jimbo's talk page and how. From the 5th paragraph of User:Jimbo Wales (and it has been there forever):

"Over 3,000 Wikipedians monitor my user and user talk page via a watchlist, and I trust them to edit and remove errors or attacks. This is a wiki, so (apart from bad faith alterations and vandalism) visitors are welcome to edit."

Bad faith, i.e.duplicitous, fraudulent, or deceptive, seems to perfectly describe the banned editor in question.
In any case, all those folks who have been harassing me and others in the last 2 weeks saying "Smallbones can't delete the banned editor, unless he has explicit permission from Jimbo" now have an explicit answer straight from Jimbo. I'll also say that I have always edited within the letter and spirit of WP:BANREVERT and WP:Banned means banned, and, with one possible small exception, only reverted the one banned editor.
Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:40, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Jimbo has left a note User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 170#Away essentially saying he was on vacation and will start a discussion (AFAIK on this topic) in a few days (or more). I would guess that that discussion will take at least a few days, and then any questions at issue here will be moot. In line with that, I'll suggest that this case request be closed, and if anybody has anything leftover they want to pursue, they may open a new case request later.

I also want to remind folks that I did not propose this case. HIAB, the proposer has given himself a 2 week ban and essentially dropped out of the case. (what's that all about?) I would not have proposed the case, and I do not consider myself an ally of HIAB in any way. He did jump in and do a few things that I approved of, but he also confused the issues at times, and took the bait, at times, of folks who were clearly trying to disrupt Wikipedia. I don't think he has broken any Wikipedia rules however. I don't think he will want to reopen the case after the discussion at Jimbo's talk page, and doubt that there could be any sanctions against him if he did.

I'd also like to point out that nobody has made any credible accusation that I've broken any Wikipedia rules, so that if anybody decides to reopen this, I'll request that they specify exactly what rules they think I've broken.

Yes, there are some folks who say that I've edit warred, despite WP:NOT3RR and

Wikipedia:Edit warring#Other revert rules - "Reverting edits by banned or blocked users is not edit warring."

Some have accused me of some vague violation of our user talk guideline, despite

Wikipedia:User pages#Ownership and editing of user pages - "Other users and bots may edit pages in your user space .... Material that clearly does not somehow further the goals of the project may be removed (see below), as may edits from banned users."

Some seem to suggest that I have reverted Tarc for WP:PROXYING. Check the record - I have not.

Some have accused me of violating some special unstated rule of Jimbo's talk page, despite Jimbo clearly stating:

"Over 3,000 Wikipedians monitor my user and user talk page via a watchlist, and I trust them to edit and remove errors or attacks. " (5th paragraph of User:Jimbo Wales

And everybody should reread WP:REVERTBAN

Edits by and on behalf of banned editors

"Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a ban, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule."

So if you'd like to accuse me of anything on this page, I think you have a long row to hoe.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:39, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Request for summary motion

As I understand it the arbcom can decide a case by motion if there is no real question of fact involved. Since nobody has made any credible accusation that I've broken any rules (e.g. beyond the random accusation that I've edit warred, despite WP:Edit warring saying that reverting banned editors is not edit warring), I request that arbcom consider a summary motion to end this case, one way or another, as far as I'm involved.

There should be no question on the facts of this case, I'll provide all the diffs of my supposed "edit warring" below. If this is not what is at issue, I'd like to be informed what the issue is, so that I can properly defend myself.

I'd like the arbcom also to consider a "constitutional" issue. By its charter, arbcom is prohibited from "creating policy by fiat." The policy at issue here says: ""Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a ban, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule." (my bolding). This says that I'm not required to give a reason for reverting a banned editor, apparently even to arbcom. If there is no arbcom statement on what I am expected to answer, I'll almost certainly answer arbcom questions, but I'd really like to know what areas I'm supposed to answer on and why, so if you do give me a response on this, I'll likely limit my answers to the areas indicated.

Finally, I request that you consider what would be the proper sanctions if I were indeed found guilty of breaking some rule (you don't have to tell me ahead of time). Anything that I can think of seems self-contradictory. For example, if you were to topic-ban me from Jimbo's talk page for reverting banned editors there, would that mean that I'm still allowed to edit there (as a topic-banned editor who can't be reverted).

Banning me site-wide would seem to be equally self-contradictory. It would then appear that you can get banned for reverting banned editors, but you can't get reverted if you are banned.

Rest assured that I won't violate any sanctions arbcom might impose - but that's the point: Do you really only want bans to apply only to those editors who voluntarily submit to them?

My edits related to this case:

[14] reverted new edit by Spotting ToU Aug 5

[15] reverted edit by Spotting ToU

[16] reverted new edit by Spotting ToU where he admitted to being a banned editor (He'd admitted this previously as well)

7 reverts on August 7 of new edit by Spotting ToU, word-for-word original signed by Spotting ToU reinserted by Tarc 6 times , once by Tutalary

10 reverts on August 8 of edit by Spotting ToU, word-for-word original signed by Spotting ToU reinserted by Tarc

[17] reverted edit by Spotting ToU, word-for-word original signed by Spotting ToU reinserted by Tarc. I suggested somebody just archive the section (as was done) Aug 8

[18] reverted Rewarder, who was obviously the same editor as Spotting ToU, and was later banned for trolling on this edit

[19] reverted Rewarder

[20] reverted Rewarder 8-14

Note that I never reverted Tarc re:Rewarder's edit.

That's it. I won't appeal a summary motion, but I'd rather not get dragged through a weeks-long (month's-long?) procedure which I feel is being pushed on me as a form of harassment by some of the same editors who were clearly at fault in the incident. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:20, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Monty845

As I see it, there are three separate issues intersecting here. First is that User talk:Jimbo has historically been a kind of neutral zone where we would often over look an editors blocked status on the project when they wanted to talk to Jimbo. People from many projects come there to raise issues, and as such we should be a bit more reluctant to strictly enforce policy than on other pages. Second, this is the second major spat in a month that revolves around a WP:3RR exemption, where there is a lack of consensus on whether the reverts count. (The other hasn't made it here yet, but has a massive RFC ongoing) Some people think the exemption applies to the removals, others think it doesn't, as its now an edit war between editors otherwise in good standing. This is exacerbated by the language of WP:BANREVERT that doesn't require reversion if there isn't a problem with the edit, using a permissive may, and then allows editors in good standing to assume responsibility for the edit, but then says edits at the direction of a banned editor are prohibited, which is now being argued to apply to the talk page reverts. Editors on both sides have massively violated WP:3RR even though the restore side has no claim to an exemption. That no one was blocked speaks to just how much of a mess the conflicting policy interpretations have created, and the danger of 3rr exemptions. Monty845 19:20, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Carrite

Adding myself as a party in the event ArbCom decides to accept this case. I do not believe that this matter is ready to be heard by ArbCom at this time, since the community has not reached a stalemate. Perhaps there will be blocks and bitterness down the road which make a case necessary here. I don't think that policy on the matter at hand here is unclear — people need to simply stop selectively reading what they want it to say. A block or two might prove to be a boon to literacy... Carrite (talk) 19:28, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Judging by new posts on Jimbotalk, it now seems that the main problematic editor remains entrenched in his position and that Jimmy Wales wants an external decision on the matter, so I recommend that ArbCom take the case. Carrite (talk) 15:59, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Surprisingly, this "Greg Kohs Case" is moving forwards... Let's start with the solution and then work backwards through the discovery process. (1) Edit warring is disruptive, no matter where it is done. (2) Smallbones and Tarc and possibly others have edit warred over their interpretation of policy, which is just as disruptive as two people edit warring over their interpretation of article content. (3) Smallbones claims immunity from edit warring restrictions based upon an erroneous interpretation of policy. (4) Tarc has simply been POINTy in his edit warring, although his reading of the general policy in play is accurate. (5) There is no way to actually stop banned editors from returning if they set their minds to do so; however, even though we as individuals may think we know the origin of this specific comment or that created by a sock account, we are ultimately just guessing. (6) There is a right way to identify the masters of sock puppets — guessing is not one of them, even though we all do it from time to time. (7) There is no such thing as a 3RR exemption to edit war over a legitimate editor rephrasing a question or posting other content purportedly made by a banned editor. (8) With respect to the current affair, the solution is simple: Smallbones and Tarc are warned that further edit warring over posts possibly made by socks of banned editors anywhere on WP will result in escalating blocks. If a post is clearly trolling on Jimbotalk, it should be hatted, not removed; if a post raises a legitimate point, even in a POINTy way, it should be allowed to stand unmolested until a proper SPI can be run on the purported evading sock. Carrite (talk) 12:10, 25 August 2014 (UTC) Carrite (talk) 12:17, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Hasteur

Great Gravy Marie... We're back at ArbCom to get annother swing at the "words that should not be said" debate? If ArbCom wanted to do something about this they could go with the A plague o' both your houses route and sumarily block the leading advocates on both sides to demonstrate that the time for drama farming is over and to drop the entire line of debate lest we do this again in 2 weeks. Hasteur (talk) 19:45, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Being that the entire conversation revolves around what can/cannot be posted on the BDFL talk page, perhaps the most reasonable (and potentially least disruptive to enWP) solution is to encourage Jimmy Wales to move his Circus of Open Pleas and Philosophical Introspection to another site/host so as to that the talk page goes back to it's intended purpose and not a exception to end all exceptions purpose including having to bend/break enWP rules/policies/guidelines/best practices. Hasteur (talk) 19:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Resolute

While this may not be ready for ArbCom today, the general pattern of behaviour suggests we are going to be back here in the future. The accounts that people are fighting over are, IMNSHO, ban-evading socks at worst and scrutiny-evading socks at best. Seems an odd hill for Tarc to be willing to die on, but that is his choice. Meanwhile, Smallbones and HIAB may be technically correct, but the actions of all three are really serving only to cause a great deal of distracting drama. There comes a point where the solution is more damaging than the problem. You guys are just feeding the trolls at this point. In this case, denying the throwaway accounts the attention they seek by simply ignoring them may be of greater benefit. Resolute 20:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Floquenbeam

in three easy steps:

  1. Accept case
  2. Figure out which users think this is a vital issue
  3. Siteban them

--Floquenbeam (talk) 20:13, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

What Floquenbeam says is harsh but mostly on the mark. Sometimes an issue is said not to be ready for arbitration. Sometimes an issue really isn't ready for arbitration. However, sometimes an issue becomes ready for arbitration when the filing party throws the boomerang. This is such a case. The filing party, by repeatedly deleting the comments of an editor who is accused of being a sock, but not found to be a sock, has been disruptive. It isn't as if the comments, on the founder's talk page, which is something of an anything-goes zone, were interfering with developing the encyclopedia. The real reason, as I understand it, for the rule about reversion of posts by banned users is that banned users are known to be not here to develop the encyclopedia. The development of the encylopedia isn't at stake. The disruption by the sock-reverters is at least as great as the disruption by the possible (unproved) sock. It may not have been ready for arbitration until the filing party requested arbitration.

The filing party now has requested that ArbCom accept the case. I suggest that ArbCom accept the case and file their own SPI, or conduct their own SPI (since some of the clerks are also CheckUsers). Regardless of whether the editor whose comments are being reverted is a sock of a banned user, the edit-warring over the posts has been disruptive, and I ask ArbCom to determine appropriate sanctions for the disruption. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:08, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Follow-Up Comments

At least one editor, Count Iblis, has proposed that this case be dealt with by motion. I disagree, and think that is the wrong answer. Either a full evidentiary hearing is needed to identify and sanction misconduct, or the issues do not rise to the level of requiring a full evidentiary hearing to identify and sanction misconduct. My own thought is that there has been misconduct, and that a full case is in order, but dealing with this case by motion to make rules about a special page is silly. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:26, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Some editors have pointed out, correctly, that Jimbo's talk page has long had a special status, and that Jimbo has been willing, usually but not always, to accept and comment on posts by banned users. I agree. They have thus implied that this should affect whether the ArbCom accepts this case. I mostly disagree. I ask that the ArbCom should accept this case, not because of the original matter of posting to that page by an editor who may have been a sock-puppet of a banned user, but because of apparent subsequent conduct. In particular, there appears to have been edit-warring over the removal and re-insertion of posts, and edit-warring over X (fill in the blank) is still edit-warring. Also, the removal of posts by the allegedly banned user was done without a sockpuppet investigation. The issue that can be arbitrated is not only whether the original post should have been posted, but also whether there was subsequent misconduct in its removal, and possibly in questionable accusations of sock-puppetry. The issue isn't the status of Jimbo's talk page with respect to banned users, but whether there were subsequent violations such as edit-warring. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:22, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
As noted above, I disagree with the Panda's reason why we don't need a case. A case would not be about the original posts by banned users editing logged out (ignoring rather than evading the ban). It would be about edit-warring in the repeated removal of those posts (and edit-warring over the removal of posts by banned users is still edit-warring). Also, the issue in point had to do with a registered user, who either was a sock-puppet of a banned user for deception and ban evasion, or who was not a sock-puppet. In the first case, there was conduct that Jimbo has not tolerated (he has not so much followed the policy of the community on multiple accounts as the community has followed his policy on multiple accounts). In the second case, the deletion of posts by registered users who were not known to be sock-puppets was both improper and a serious personal attack on the registered user. (There is a proper means, WP:SPI, for claims of sock-puppetry. Other means of making that claim are personal attacks.) Robert McClenon (talk) 15:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
If the conduct issues do not rise to the standing of requiring ArbCom, ArbCom can decline this case. But the special status of Jimbo's talk page only applies to the original post, not to the unsubstantiated claims of sock-puppetry or the edit-warring. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Herostratus

De facto Jimbo's talk page has kind of a special status (and so does Jimbo) and so I'd give a great deal of weight to how he thinks his own talk page should be run, and he's expressed that banned users can post there even if they can't post anywhere else, for various good reasons and within reasonable bounds (a possibly important point). And so Jimbo's talk page is not a good test for the long-running argument: "banned means banned" versus "banned has exceptions". And so I'd like to hear what Jimbo has to say and if he doesn't weigh in I'd be pretty reluctant to take the case. If it was any other page, it'd be useful to have an ArbCom decision bearing on the general question though, maybe. Herostratus (talk) 21:34, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

@Smallbones, right. Of course you were justified in reverting, or anyway arguably so, on grounds that the edit wasn't within reasonable bounds. And it wasn't, really -- in it, the person hinted very broadly that they were a banned user, described how (as a banned user using a different account) they had posted to the Reward Board and compromised it... it might be OK for a banned user to post to Jimbo's talk page within reason, such as to appeal their ban or for other reasonable purpose, but it's not OK for a banned user to post to the Reward Board especially when the effect of that post was to compromise and abuse the purpose of the Reward Board. I don't think that Jimbo opened his talk page to banned editors so that they could crow about destructive edits made elsewhere.
In addition to that, this was part of an attempt to demonstrate that commercial editors cannot be reverted provided they channel some of their earnings to the WMF -- that it would a civil tort to do so, if I'm reading "intentional interference with contractual relations"[21] correctly. Which one doesn't want throw around the term "batshit insane" lightly, but if one ever did want to use it this might be a good time. And in fact the person accused you of committing a civil tort (I think... it's hard to read since it was (figuratively) written in crayon) which is pretty inflammatory.
That being said, it's complicated, and at some point the batshit insane part was removed (but not by Tarc, at least not immediately),[22] and I myself wouldn't have advised reverting the material -- look what happened, sterile contention plus you yourself personally maybe being in trouble, which are desired outcomes for the original poster I assume -- whatever happens, he's already "won" this round and is doubtless chuckling from the sidelines. But it was reasonable to revert the material, yes. Herostratus (talk) 01:16, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
@Konveyor Belt:, what do you mean? The original poster was Mr 2001 (unless it was someone pretending to be him), and I daresay everyone else here believes this and it's not at issue; he didn't just quack but climbed up on our laps and laid an egg, what more do you want? Unless your stance is "Yes, we all know he was a banned editor, but we always need to go through the kabuki of running a CU and so forth for procedural reasons" which I suppose is defensible but awfully bureaucratic, I don't see what you're getting at. Herostratus (talk) 02:28, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, you're saying not that he wasn't pretty clearly a banned user, but rather that conferring the authority to revert banned users to editors without checkuser rights, in any circumstance, is power creep, so it's a bad thing to countenance generally. OK, reasonable, but checkusing is an art, even checkusers use behavioral clues and so forth, which normal people can also use. So for obvious cases I guess I don't agree. I don't know what the rule is or if there is one. Herostratus (talk) 17:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Herostratus

OK, Jimmy Wales responded on his talk page, a little obscurely, but he did give sharp approval ("Nail on the head")[23] to the following analysis (I added emphasis and formatting not in the original):

There is nothing helpful that Jimbo can say — this one is up to the community.
1) If Jimmy announces that the banned editor's comments can be removed, media outlets will get a space-filler to the effect that Jimmy Wales refuses to consider reasonable and good-faith comments from new users who are only trying to understand how great wrongs can be tolerated!
2) If Jimmy says he does not want it removed, the troll can post forever while expanding threads based on hot air, trying to make muck stick. No media outlet is going to take the time to understand that the comments are extremely lame, and are part of a long-term campaign to attack the no paid advocacy ("brightline") position promoted by Jimmy Wales (and to settle old scores).

You all can parse a sentence as well as I or probably better (apologies for the unnecessary bolding) so you can see what two things are being compared here, as well as imagine why Jimbo wouldn't want to spell this out himself...

So based on that, and on whether "up to the community" means ArbCom in this case (my guess is yes), and based on my conviction that Jimbo should have a good amount of say in this particular case, allow me to change my advice to: take the case, and, you know, do the obvious thing here. Herostratus (talk) 23:39, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Nick

The banning policy specifically states Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a ban, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule. This does not mean that edits must be reverted just because they were made by a banned editor (obviously helpful changes, such as fixing typos or undoing vandalism, can be allowed to stand), but the presumption in ambiguous cases should be to revert.

There is no absolute requirement anywhere to revert immediately and instantly, editors can (and do) allow edits made by blocked and banned editors to stand. That's a small window of opportunity that is clearly going to extend and expand at Jimbo's talk page, as long as comments being left by blocked or banned users aren't disruptive (using the terminology as it relates to editors otherwise in good standing). Jimbo is still an important cog in the governance of Wikipedia, although not typically exercising his powers, he does have the authority to overturn bans and blocks and allowing those people who are blocked or banned to appeal at his talk page is not a massive hardship for the project.

I have always felt we're too quick to cast out bad editors we no longer like, locking bolting and chaining the door behind them. We lock their talk page, disable their e-mail and generally force them to appeal to BASC or if we're especially generous, we (administrators) might organise an unblock discussion at AN/ANI. We don't actually make it technically possible for a blocked or banned editor to appeal to the other person on the project, Jimbo, who can in theory hear their appeal and reverse any sanctions against them. I think, by placing obstacles in their way, reverting them quickly, blocking their socks, and doing things like protecting Jimbo's talk page, we always look like we're trying deliberately to stop them appealing to Jimbo for some sinister reason, which for some banned users can add to their theories of administrator abuse. If we let some of those people freely and openly ask Jimbo to review their case, even though we're fairly certain of the response, it might well cut down on disruption further along the line.

The banning policy further goes on to state When reverting edits, care should be taken not to reinstate material that may be in violation of such core policies as neutrality, verifiability, and biographies of living persons. Editors who reinstate edits made by a banned editor take complete responsibility for the content... ...Wikipedians in turn are not permitted to post or edit material at the direction of a banned editor (sometimes called proxy editing or proxying) unless they are able to show that the changes are either verifiable or productive and they have independent reasons for making such edits.

I realise this is slightly towards clutching at straws, but reinstating a banned users posts on a talk page, especially that of Jimbo, may have the potential to be constructive, if they get a decision from Jimbo regarding their final appeal and can then be persuaded to stay away from the site for a period of time.

I'm going to drift from the core of the discussion here, but I think the biggest issue that has developed with the banning policy, is that it's so far out of date and there's too few viable options to assist in controlling the behaviour of undisciplined editors. We're sadly seeing editors with track records of good content being banned from the site because of editing carried out away from the article namespace, with the likes of Russavia harassing Jimbo or Kumioko persistently disrupting over RfA. If administrators had a wider range of tools available to block editors from individual pages, from pages present in one or more categories (a way to enforce topic bans, essentially) and to allow things like editing of pages within their own user space whilst blocked (but which could be revoked if abused) it may be possible to corral editors in the right direction, keeping them firmly out of areas where they may get themselves into trouble, and allowing them to focus on the areas of the project where they can continue to make a positive difference.

I have listed myself as peripherally involved as I'm the editor who restored the edit to the Dassault 7X article originally made by Russavia (I've not actually asked him for confirmation, but I agree with the assertion it's one of his edits) and I reinstated around 10 other edits made by Russavia around the same time, these were listed at an ANI thread, and after carefully examining all of the edits, I'm happy that they constituted an improvement to the project, were not disruptive and fell in line with the above mentioned sections of the Banning Policy concerning reinstatement of 'good' edits. I reason that continuing to show banned users that good edits are appreciated and bad edits are not, we at least attempt to stop them turning into vandals, damaging the project in a fit of anger or frustration at being forcibly ejected from something they enjoy and even love doing.

My feeling with editors like Russavia is that they need to be banned from sections of the site, where they cause disruption and trouble, but they need not be banned from the entire site, if better tools were available to administrators to deal with such behaviour. I don't think being able to better control editors would be a bad thing for assisting in editor retention either, giving us the ability to sanction editors in more appropriate ways, instead of having to block them, protect pages and rely on people being reported for interaction bans, we could have a suite of click and forget tools to enforce IBANs, page bans, topic bans and the like.

The current policy doesn't really appear to be doing much to help with editor retention, so hopefully the ArbCom will look at what might be done with regards to banning and the huge amount of egregious behaviour needed which so poisons the project before something snaps and the community has enough. Nick (talk) 23:50, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Deltahedron

I asked User:Tarc and User:Smallbones to stop edit warring at User talk:Jimbo Wales over edits by and on behalf of banned editors when they reached 19 reverts between them. Each of them took the view that it was the others fault. Not surprisingly the matter was referred (not by me) to WP:AN/I where I formulated a possible way forward [25]:

if Smallbones is convinced in all good faith that an edit is by a banned user, he revert it once, explain his reasoning and leave it to others to revert it again if reinstated; and that if Tarc is convinced that a valuable addition has been lost to Wikipedia by a mistaken revert, he repeat the comment in his own name, taking personal responsibility for its validity or value to the discussion, thereby protecting it from subsequent removal

The discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive850#Edit_warring_at_User_talk:Jimbo_Wales suggested that there was some support for that, if not universal consensus. It seems that Tarc has explicitly taken personal responsibility asking a question which may have been posed originally by a banned user (I cannot say whether that's correct). If so, then to claim the protection of WP:EVADE for unlimited reversion, User:Hell in a Bucket needs to establish (1) that Tarc is posting at the direction of a banned user: in other words, that the user actually is banned, and that Tarc is actively acting in bad faith by claiming to post independently but actually at the behest of another person. That's a very high bar to meet and in practice it seems insurmountable. Of ocurse, it might be that (2) the question is inherently disruptive. If so, the status of the posters, whoever they may be, is irrevelant, as is WP:EVADE: whoever posts an inherently disruptive question is behaving disruptively. Of course, establishing that a question is inherently disruptive is also a high bar to meet. I have yet to see evidence supporting either (1) or (2). However, it may help frame the discussion for participants to say whether they wish to assert propositions (1) or (2) or both. I would also suggest that the proposal I enunciated before might be the foundation of some behaviours which would allow those of us with topics to discuss with Jimbo Wales to do so in relative peace and quiet. Deltahedron (talk) 11:09, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

User:Hell in a Bucket, perhaps I was unclear about (1). I meant that an editor such as Tarc should believe in good faith that the question is worth asking whether or not it comes from a banned user, not that he must believe in good faith that the editor is not banned. Indeed, I would say that if an edit is known to come from a banned user, but another editor in good standing believes in good faith that the edit is worth making, that second editor is entitled to repeat the edit and make it their own, taking full responsibility for the consequences, and stating explicitly that this is what they are doing. Under these circumstances, EVADE would only come into play if it could be established that the second editor is consciously and deliberately acting at the behest of a banned editor and that they have not in fact exercised their independent judgement about the value of the edit, even though they claim to have done so. As I said, refuting that is a pretty high bar, and I see no evidence yet that Tarc is acting in that way (but it might be the case for all I know). I see it as quite possible that an editor in good standing can quite legitimately agree with a banned editor's opinion and choose to repeat it, again adopting it as their own. If an edit is disruptive for any reason, then a second editor, having taken full responsibility for repeating the edit, is thereby taking responsbility for acting disruptively and any sanctions that might arise. But I think I'm repeating myself here. Deltahedron (talk) 19:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I consciously headed this section as "marginally involved" because in view of the two comments of mine mentioned above I am not quite uninvolved, but on the other hand I don't see myself as being involved in any substantial sense, and certainly not in any way a principal in any case here. So I assess my involvement as "marginal", that is, precisely as standing on the margins of this case. If "marginally involved" is not a recognised category, then no doubt someone whose job it is to change these things will change it. Of course if someone disputes the accuracy of what I have said and challenges my self-description, they are free to make that case, in their own section, on the basis of evidence and reasoned argument. Otherwise I would expect other editors to respect my considered choice of words. Deltahedron (talk) 08:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Sitush

My involvement has been limited to initiating this request at ANI and whatever comments I made within it. That the situation has continued is regrettable. I have no particular interest in wikilawyering over which policy might be most applicable/which should be given more weight etc but the warring has been ridiculously disruptive and unseemly on what is allegedly a high-profile talk page. It is unfortunate that Jimbo hasn't been around to comment. That said, Jimbo can't over-ride policy himself and he is probably stuck between a rock and a hard place because of the potential PR consequences. The issue needs to be resolved one way or the other and, since some people really are taking sides and the ANI reports got nowhere, ArbCom seems to be the only realistic way to do that. - Sitush (talk) 14:07, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

@Salvio giuliano: yes, it was short blocks that I first suggested in the ANI thread linked above. It seems that no-one was willing. - Sitush (talk) 23:51, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Hullaballoo Wolfowitz

Given the disruption engendered by this situation and the similar dispute at WP:AN/I#Russavia disruption, requesting multiple article protection, it would be a good idea for the Committee to accept the case and resolve it by a motion to this general effect: When an edit by a banned or blocked user is restored by another editor in good standing, it is no longer subject to summary removal simply because it originated with a banned/blocked editor. Ordinary editing principles apply. If the restoration is challenged as falling outside the exceptions in WP:BANREVERT and WP:PROXYING, that dispute should be taken to an appropriate talk page or notice board. While the policy presumption against inclusion in most circumstances holds, sufficient discussion should occur before determining whether to remove that content again. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 18:44, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Spartaz

Sometimes a picture says 500 words thumb

AGKs comment people not here to build an encyclopaedia smacks of Jclemens' Not a Wikipedian gaff. For Shame. Spartaz Humbug! 16:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Funny how my image was only censored by the committee after I criticised AGK's language in this request. Would any clark like to confirm which committee member requested the removal of my image? I'm going offline for a couple of days but I'll check here for a reply when I get back. Spartaz Humbug! 08:26, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Jehochman

Accept case. Ban one or more editors for relentless drama mongering that disrupts people from writing articles. Jehochman Talk 21:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

If somebody thinks a banned editor needs to be reverted, they can do so. A user, such as User:Jimbo can request an open door policy, and that should be given consideration as long as the comment is not seriously disruptive. It takes clue to make that judgement. If a comment removal gets reverted by a good faith editor, do not repeat the removal. Discuss the matter rather than edit warring. Jehochman Talk 21:43, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
What Jimmy has said should be interpreted to mean, "On my talk page, please don't revert banned editors merely because they are banned. If they want to post some civil, relevant content that could help resolve a problem, let them. However, if a banned editor posts something disruptive, feel free to revert them." It would be unreasonable to treat Jimmy's page as a free fire zone where any troll can post any attack and then say, "You can't revert me!" Jehochman Talk 16:17, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Jimmy has said he's not going to comment further,[26] so please don't wait. Jehochman Talk 12:21, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Count Iblis

Pass a motion saying that Jimbo's talk page is closed until Jimbo returns from vacation. Suggest that Jimbo formally nominate one or more editors who will maintain his talk page in his absense. Also make clear that only Jimbo or editors named by Jimbo are allowed to revert edits made to his talk page. Jimbo has made it clear in the past that, in principle, banned editors can post on his talk page, so Jimbo wants editors to have immunity against editing restrictions on his talk page. E.g. a transgender editor who was under an topic ban posted about the problems on the Manning page some time ago, her posts were first removed for violating the editing restriction, but Jimbo reverted that arguing that in principle problems can be mentioned even by topic banned editors. When that editor was blocked for violating her restrictions, Jimbo objected to that. But the problems mentioned by the editor were noted by the community and it led to the Manning ArbCom case.

Jimbo's talk page policy should be formalised by an ArbCom motion, it should always be the case that what happens on his talk page is being closely scrutinized by Jimbo himself or editors he trust. Simply leaving the door wide open for any banned or restricted editor to use his page as a free firing zone while anyone could intervene is a recipe to turn his talk page into the Wild West. Count Iblis (talk) 18:49, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Note also that the way Jimbo's talk page is being used makes it like any other project page, except that it doesn't have a talk page to discuss the editing of the page. Count Iblis (talk) 19:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by JMP EAX

Regarding Jehochman's statement: I doubt anyone lording over Jimbo's talk page is actually doing that as part of his/her article writing process. I surely don't. I comment there sometimes (perhaps too much recently) myself but even in this circumstance I completely missed the supposedly famous edit war. And even if I hadn't missed it, I don't see how it could have prevented me from writing any article. It seems to me this is the proverbial mountain from a molehill, as stupid as edit warring gets. I'm not sure that everything in WP:LAME needs an ArbCom case though. I see that Hell in a Bucket gave himself a two-week block. As for Count Iblis' proposal: that sounds like a lot of WP:CREEP, even assuming ArbCom has the power & stomach to tell Jimbo how to run his talk page... 00:28, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Rlendog

Smallbones correctly quotes the banning policy as "Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a ban, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule." However, WP:BANREVERT does permit editors in good standing to reinstate such edits under their own responsibility "Editors who reinstate edits made by a banned editor take complete responsibility for the content." So anyone is permitted to revert edits by the banned editor as often as necessary. But unless Tarc has been banned and I am not aware of it, his edits are not "edits made in violation of a ban" and should be subhect to to 3RR. If that is not the case, the banning policy should be restated to say that ""Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a ban, or any edits by editors in good standing restoring such material, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule." But I don't think that would be a good idea. Rlendog (talk) 18:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Alanscottwalker

If you take this case, to consider "not here to build" you should add User:The Rewarder and User:The Receiver 0814 as parties, which appear to be, at the least SPA's, engaged in breaching experiments of different types across pages, and which were the proximate edits leading to this case. (The accounts are currently both blocked [27] [28] but obviously their conduct will be part of any review, especially if a user in good standing is taking responsibility for some of it. See also, [29] and [30].) Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Robert McClennon, it does not seem so in practice, considering WP:Duck is widely invoked on the Pedia, it is a mater of behavior not person. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:09, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Musings on various comments: 1) a pointy post is disruptive, as that's the definition; 2) the idea that Jimbo's talk page should be moved to meta has merit, but whatever. 3) If it is the case that Jimbo's page is a 'special place', than take that to it's conclusion regarding reversion, let reversion continue until Jimbo steps in to that particular instance or the parties grow tired, it's not disrupting anything else, and the idea that it's always disruptive on a wiki is just a convention that can be easily ignored for that page, with special treatment of one somewhat different circumstance, if it's revertable and over-sight worthy.Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:37, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Coretheapple

I was away for a while and returned to find myself pinged four times in the identical Jimbo talk page post [31], the multipleness due to this same post being deleted and reinstated. Digging down a little, it was apparent that this is probably a particular banned user trying to make trouble and start a fight. He has succeeded. Unfortunately, a user in good faith has taken the questionable step of heightening the drama and bringing it to arbcom, all to the intense satisfaction of the same banned user. I think that this is a mistake, that this entire exercise is a waste of time, and that there should be dispute resolute first which has not been tried. I have reverted this same banned editor in the past, which I guess is why he pinged me, but haven't gone the extra mile and reverted nonbanned editors who have reinstated edits by this person. My feeling has been that it just isn't worth the trouble, and at the end of the day, who gives a f**k? Frankly I find the whole paid editing drama boring and tedious, and a Foundation problem that should not excessively trouble editors who make their living doing other things.

As to the merits, there is, as usual, conflicting policy. WP:EVADE seems to conflict with WP:BANREVERT, because the latter says "Editors who reinstate edits made by a banned editor take complete responsibility for the content." But the question is whether it means that nonbanned editors have carte blanche to revert what banned editors post, in effect negating the purpose of their bans. I don't think they should, but the solution, if anyone cares, is to clarify the conflicting policy and not to begin an enormous time-wasting drama. If arbcom takes the case, and I hope you don't, you should resolve this by closing that loophole. Coretheapple (talk) 17:26, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

What 28Bytes said, below. He's right, this is not any old venue but Jimbo's talk page. As on any user talk page, what he says, goes. Coretheapple (talk) 18:02, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

... and if he declines to take a position, then my position is that banned editors can post willy-nilly on his page, and if he doesn't like that he can personally revert them. I am not going to be more Catholic than the pontiff. Coretheapple (talk) 18:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Jimbo has made some vague statements such as this[32], indicating that he isn't taking a position in this arbitration for reasons that are either valid or copout. In light of his declining to address this issue even though it directly addresses his user space, I think that it would be best practices in the future for editors to not revert suspected banned editors on Jimbo's talk page, period. He doesn't care, so why should the rest of us? It's like the old joke "Why did it take eight Boy Scouts to help the old lady across the street? Because she didn't want to go." This old lady (pardon the metaphor) doesn't want to go. Coretheapple (talk) 16:11, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

@Jehochman re [33] Mr. Wales, while perhaps a cult figure, is not the Dalai Lama or the Mishna. He is a flesh-and-blood human being, and blessed with the gift of speech. If he wants to say something, he has the means, opportunity and motive to be understandable. If he is going to be vague, Delphic or frustratingly ambiguous, we should simply ignore what he says and go about our business, which I think in this instance is not trying to act as moderators on his talk page except for explicit vandalism. Coretheapple (talk) 17:06, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by 28bytes

Why not wait to see what Jimbo has to say before deciding whether to open the case? It's his talk page, after all. If he says he has an open door policy and that banned editors are welcome to ask him questions on his talk page, then presumably other editors will have the good sense to leave such questions alone and let Jimbo decide whether or not to answer them.

If instead he says he'd rather banned editors contact him by email (or not at all) instead of via his talk page, then presumably editors will have the good sense not to restore material that's reasonably known not to be wanted by the talk page "owner".

If editors keep edit-warring on his talk page in contravention of his wishes, then it makes sense to escalate the dispute resolution process. Until we know his explicit wishes, though, all of this is premature. We don't have to hash out a month-long War of WikiAcronyms regarding the banning policy, we just have to ask the guy whose talk page the battle is raging on how we wants his talk page to be managed (or not managed.) Let's wait for his answer. He'll tell us; he's not Godot. 28bytes (talk) 17:54, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I stand corrected. 28bytes (talk) 14:59, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by The Devil's Advocate

My involvement on this has been strictly limited to restoring the edits made by "The Receiver" after Smallbones reverted them. I would note that this conflict between attitudes regarding banned editors and support of constructive questions or edits on s matter by banned editors is a recurring source of disruption beyond just this dispute. While ArbCom cannot make policy, they can present a non-binding opinion that serves as the basis for action in a case. Establishing that the presence of banned editors in a discussion or content dispute does not take away from one's own bad behavior and acting accordingly would be a good way to mitigate such disputes. Once an established editor in good-standing restores material, reverting should be based on something other than "a banned editor did this" as otherwise it leads to disruption. That includes the non-policy WP:DENY that is often invoked despite being a mere essay.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:11, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by John Carter

There is at least one potential issue here that probably requires clarification and that is specifically related to whether Jimbo's open door policy at his user talk page given his formal position with the foundation falls within the range of pages to which policy applies and I would really think it might be best to see him make a statement on that matter before deciding here.John Carter (talk) 16:15, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Wnt

I can't believe people managed to make a "federal case" out of this. But I suppose it is useful to list out some fairly straightforward principles:

  • Any editor has the right to view contributions of a banned editor in the page history, except in extraordinary, limited circumstances where they are suppressed.
  • Any editor has the right to make a statement, under his own name and responsibility, where he links to or quotes all or part of the statements by a banned editor made on or off Wikipedia, subject to the usual policies.
  • Any editor is given by policy the right to remove contributions of a known banned editor.
  • An editor who is accused of "sockpuppetry" or other misconduct has the right to have this accusation judged one way or the other before people treat him as banned.
  • If there's truly no doubt though, e.g. because the "sock" openly admits it, we shouldn't stand on bureaucracy to knock someone for doing what policy encourages.

Bottom line: the best practice for replacing content you think is important that has been removed as banned is to cite the diff adding or removing it and quote what you think needs to be heard. The best practice for removing content by a banned editor is to file the SPA first and redact material only after it is settled (or if it is a disruption that you should remove if a different editor had posted it in which case none of this need apply). When best practices are not followed the most important thing is to figure out whether the editor is clearly banned from the already-available information (without waiting for a checkuser or other investigation) and if he isn't then you should restore the content awaiting further administrative procedure against him to be carried out. People should not expect the exclusion of individuals from an anonymous encyclopedia to be particularly effective; the most we can do is to stop them from crowing about it. Wnt (talk) 11:39, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by DangerousPanda/EatsShootsAndLeaves

I think everyone agrees that the ban policy is clear: edits by a banned user can be removed by anyone. There's one exception, and that exception has been laid out by both by words and jurisprudence: Jimbo's talkpage. He has more than once allowed many banned editors to post a question and/or have a conversation with him there - I'll use ColtonCosmic as such an example. Jimbo's talkpage is somewhat of a "court of last appeal", after all. Now, at the same time, there are 2 exceptions to this exception: 1) if Jimbo himself has said "do not return to my talkpage" (which has happened more than once) then they can be reverted on-sight, and 2) if the post is abusive. the panda ₯’ 11:54, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Let me add: I don't think a case is needed here. If the committee determines that the Founder, who seems to remain as final court of appeal, has the authority to allow ban-violators under strict conditions to post on his talkpage, the slap one person's wrist and be done with it. If the committee determines that the Founder cannot violate the conditions of a ban by allowing this, then slap the other person's wrist (and Jimbo's while you're at it). It is vital, however, to note that individual users cannot make similar rules on their own talkpages - this is solely due to Jimbo's de facto role as Supreme Commander of the Wikipedia Editor Forces (SuCWEF) the panda ₯’ 14:21, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

It is fairly trivial to see that Samllbones acted both in good faith and in the letter and spirit of policy.

Note that policy says edits by banned users may be reverted, and I suspect that had a non-trolling and useful post been made, it would have been allowed to sit there unmolested, as has indeed happened many times in the past.

While there is latitude for other editors to then replace the deleted material, if they believe it is for the good of the Encyclopaedia, there is no doubt that in this case it was another of a long series of trolling postings.

Moreover Tarc is reasonably intimately involved with the presumed troll, and is well aware of their habits and proclivities.

Given this it would have made sense to disengage, but if he could not do this, at least to AGF that Smallbones had removed for cause, and discuss the matter before reinstating the trolling material under his own name.

To reinstate the material with the edit summaries that have been cited above is a clear indication of battle-ground mentality, and not at all helpful.

Having said that, this does not really rise to the level of an Arbcom case. There is no reason that the dispute cannot be settled by one of the other lesser mechanisms.

The questions of policy that has been mooted are easy to answer by reference to the existing policy.

The request for Arbcom to write special policy for Jimbo's talk page, of course, must be refused.

There is little here for Arbcom.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough02:16, 25 August 2014 (UTC).

I believe I commented elsewhere about Arbitrators assuming the result of the case before it has even started. The sentence reviewing the behaviour of people not here to build an encyclopedia. Several names here qualify would seem to match that description. All the best: Rich Farmbrough02:20, 25 August 2014 (UTC).

Statement by TParis

This is simple

  1. Banned editors may post on Jimbo's talk page under Jimbo's grace and only until they exhaust it - it is one of the only venues for banned editors to seek appeal
  2. Any editor may revert a banned editor's comments anywhere on Wikipedia including Jimbo's talk page but care should be taken on Jimbo's talk page. Edits which seem to be framed as trying in good faith to resolve a dispute should be given space for Jimbo's viewing pleasure. Trolling should be reverted on sight.
  3. Any other editor, in good faith, may restore any comment and take responsibility for it. This is not a loop hole.
  4. Any editors persistently reverting editors under #3 are no longer 'reverting a banned editor' but are reverting editors in good standing and are susceptible to the edit warring policy.

Hell in Bucket should not have removed Tarc's edits - clear as day.--v/r - TP 17:12, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Figureofnine

Editors should not be policing another editor's talk page except as specifically authorized or permitted by that editor. I agree that once an editor in good standing has republished a banned editor's comments and taken responsibility for them, the comments should be left alone. But I agree with Salvio that this case is a massive overreaction and can be dealt with through other processes. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 17:21, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Jimbo Wales

My apologies for taking so long to respond to this. I've been away and somehow until I got an email today I had overlooked entirely that there was a potential for an ArbCom case. I would suggest here that all the editors who have been fighting about this please give each other a virtual hug and remember that we are all here to build an encyclopedia while the banned users who post to my talk page generally are not. There is fairly universal agreement and understanding that there is an important reason why my talk page has to be handled somewhat differently from others as a traditional space to have philosophical debates about the principles of the project, and for editors with grievances to have a chance to be heard. That openness to criticism and debate is part of what has made Wikipedia successful. At the same time, ending useless conversations with people who have no interest in actually fixing anything is also part of what has made Wikipedia successful. The difference between the two will always be difficult to draw.

What I would suggest is that the ArbCom, if the case is accepted at this time (I'm a bit late to request that it not be) quickly move to simply suspend it for a cooling off period. I don't think the issue is unresolvable.

Separately if ArbCom thinks my policy of excessive openness and toleration of our banned users is unwise and should be changed, then a private word with me will suffice - there's no need for a formal case.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:58, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by NE Ent

I have not commented as I don't think this is a vital issue (per Flo) -- I generally don't have the Founder's talk page watchlisted because the shenanigans there make ANI look mature.And I am certainly not a stickler for bureaucracy for bureaucracy's sake, but I think principle's are important, especially the transparency of arbcom proceedings.

As noted by The Signpost

ensuring participation and transparency is crucial for maintaining the stability of self-governing communities.
— Schroeder, Wagner, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology[1]

Accordingly, I encourage the committee to follow its policy rather than engaging in opaque "private word" proceedings. NE Ent 00:31, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Schroeder, A., Wagner, C. (2012). Governance of open content creation: A conceptualization and analysis of control and guiding mechanisms in the open content domain. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 63(10):1947–59 DOI Closed access

Clerk notes

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

Banning Policy: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <7/1/0/3>

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

  • I'll allow some additional time for statements, but I'm leaning toward acceptance. I think there are several people here whose behavior is due (or well overdue) for a review, and I don't think that is going to happen any other way at this point. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:17, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
    • This is not going away and is the exact type of situation it's our responsibility to handle. Accept. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:12, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm more than happy to take a case reviewing the behaviour of people not here to build an encyclopedia. Several names here qualify. Accept. AGK [•] 07:04, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • It looks like Jimmy's open door policy specifically and the idea of an open wiki generally are rubbing up against the "banned means banned" ideal that some people want to subscribe to. That's always likely to happen and finding the balance is difficult. What's more important is that it's the same old names appearing again and again. I'd be willing to accept a case with the strict scope of looking at the behaviour of a small number of people. WormTT(talk) 10:05, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Not decided yet on whether a case is needed. It would help to hear from Jimmy on this. He has contributed recently, so if he is back and able to comment, a statement from him above would help. (Hopefully the ping will work!) Carcharoth (talk) 23:26, 22 August 2014 (UTC) Actually, from a memory of seeing a screenshot of his talk page at Wikimania, with 58 pings for him to check, I suspect a talk page note may work better. Carcharoth (talk) 23:28, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Accept, though with some reservations. Carcharoth (talk) 01:07, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I think it's time to review the actions of some of the people named here. Accept. GorillaWarfare (talk) 19:15, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Accept. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 20:50, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'll wait for Jimbo until midway through next week, no need to rush into this. Still, leaning towards accepting. NativeForeigner Talk 22:35, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Accept,  Roger Davies talk 07:24, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Pondering furiously; neutral for now. I realize this is useless as input, which is what happens after six and one-half years on the Committee. I'll vote tomorrow if the case hasn't already been opened by then. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:09, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
    • I feel a long essay coming on, but I'm not sure how many people would feel like reading it.... Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:10, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Not that it makes any change, but I think that this case is a massive overreaction to a problem that could have been solved by issuing a couple of 31h blocks. Decline. Salvio Let's talk about it! 19:47, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I am inactive on new business and will not be available at all during most of September so I won't be casting a vote here, but since it seems clear the case has been accepted I would just like to mention that whether or not anyone, up to and including Jimbo, has the authority to exempt their personal talk page from site policies is a question that should probably be addressed. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:32, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Accept. LFaraone 06:10, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: Rich Farmbrough

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

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

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

Statement by Fram

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

One of the causes of these restrictions was the mass creation of script-generated biographies taken from the Dictionary of National Biography on Wikisource (see [[35]], which was also at the start of my evidence on the RF arbcom case).

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

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

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

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

  • s:Category:DNB drafts states since its creation on 16 August 2014: "These pages are drafts ready to be copied into Wikipedia at your peril."
  • His first statement on this[36], at the DNB project page, stated in part: "I will be creating draft article in my userspace on Wikisource. Anyone can feel free to let me know of issues, or to import the articles to Wikipedia, as they are of course, copyright free and attributed. If you have the rights you might consider an export-import solution." (bolding mine)
  • Correcting his drafts on Wikisource is no use[37]
  • Need more articles? You'll get them fast![38]
  • Many are done (no indication which ones):[39]
  • At another project, he is more cautious, but still advocating the "quick win" of importing his articles[40] (when, as seen above, it would be more useful to simply import the original wikisource page, if people want a page that needs a lot of work still).

I had put a note on the project talk page to raise my concerns[41]. The response[42] speaks volumes.

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

  • Addendum: as an indication of the scale of the errors in his drafts: I noted above an article where he had changed Frisingen to FrisinGenesis. This was apparently a remnant of a completely unrelated task, where he auto-expanded some abbreviations to the full Bible Book name. He has now corrected these in his DNB drafts (which is good in itself), which gives an idea of the number of errors (and the fact that my list above was just the tip of the iceberg):
  • Expanding "gen" to "Genesis": [43][44][45][46][47]
  • Expanding "ez" to "Ezekiel": [48][49][50][51]
  • Changing "john" to "John": [52]
  • Expanding "dan" to "Daniel": [53][54][55]

After this was done, he did another run on the articles, changing "thither" to "there". Seven articles were changed, one incorrectly though, as "thither" was part of a title in that one, so the change made the article less correct[56], and would be hard to detect afterwards. Fram (talk) 18:08, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

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

@AGK: I don't really understand your statement about an "alleged import"; I have provided multiple piecees of evidence that Rich wants people to import these to Wikipedia: the category at Wikisource claims that they are ready to be copied into Wikipedia, this link is a section he started, called importing articles, where he specifically states "If you have the rights you might consider an export-import solution.", and elsewhere he also promotes bringing his drafts to Wikipedia as a "quick win"[57]. So it is obvious that he has already tried to "crowdsource" his automation, as you put it, and that he wants (or certainly wanted) these to be imported swiftly and preferably en masse. That no one so far has acted upon this (as far as I know) doesn't mean that he hasn't tried to breach the sanctions in this way, only that he was unsuccessful. The "proxying", brought up by others, is a red herring in that regard, as I am not seeking any sanctions against other editors, even if someone would have imported one of these. This request is only about the behaviour of Rich Farmbrough. He now claims that "I have never suggested using a bot or script to import the items, and indeed I would strongly disagree with doing that en masse, as it would break the proposed workflow."; I wonder how he reconciles this with his preferred "export-import solution" for someone with "the rights". I hope that, contrary to earlier ArbCom proceedings, he will actually explain what he intended, and not simply dismiss evidence without any justification for it. Note also this[58]: "As to importing, of course they would not be bulk imported to article space, but to my user namespace by default, or the project namespace by choice, which would create no issues for anyone, except to make mass updating difficult." This not only contradicts his advice to the gender project, but also would still violate his restrictions on mass creating articles, which clearly states that he is "indefinitely prohibited from mass creating pages in any namespace". Fram (talk) 06:58, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

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

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

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

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preliminary statement

1. Scope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Warnings given

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Response to Fram's third set of comments

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

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

@Robert McClenon

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

Statement by Wbm1058

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

Statement by User:Kim Bruning

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

  1. "Wikipedians in turn are not permitted to post or edit material at the direction of a banned editor" . Rich is currently not banned. [59] (block expired in march AFAICT)
  2. "unless they are able to show that the changes are either verifiable or productive and they have independent reasons for making such edits.". Which passes if an editor checks before submission to en.wp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions and Comments by Robert McClenon

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

Comment from NE Ent

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

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

If the committee is going to establish a vicarious liability policy in that an editor who encourages another editor to do something is as responsible for the one who does it … please desysop Fram for encouraging [60] the behavior of Kafziel Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Kafziel whom ya'll desysoped. No, that's not a serious request, it's a Reductio ad absurdum argument for the principle editors are only responsible for their own behavior, not what others do. NE Ent 10:41, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Fæ

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

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

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

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

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

Clerk notes

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

Arbitrator views and discussion

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

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

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

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


Confirmation that the above users are aware of this request

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

Information about amendment request

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

Statement by your Casprings

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

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

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

1.[61],[62], [63], [64], [65]

2. [66],[67],[68],[69],[70]

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

3. [71], [72],[73],[74], [75]


Editors Seeing the page as a WP:Battle

1. [76]


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

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

Statement by VictorD7

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

statement by uninvolved Collect

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

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

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

Statement by DangerousPanda

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

Comment by A Quest for Knowledge

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

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

Statement by Gaijin42

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

Statement by Robert McClenon

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

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

Statement by {yet another user}

Clerk notes

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

Arbitrator views and discussion

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

Amendment request: American politics (Kentucky Senate election)

Initiated by Robert McClenon (talk) at 02:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Case affected 
American politics arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested # Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American politics#Discretionary sanctions (general directive)
List of users affected by or involved in this amendment
Confirmation that the above users are aware of this request





Champaign Supernova

Information about amendment request

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American politics#Discretionary sanctions (general directive)

Statement by User:Robert McClenon

Edit-warring has been happening at Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes. (They are the incumbent, seeking re-election, and the opponent in the upcoming election for United States Senate from Kentucky.) The article for Grimes has been placed under full protection.

User:Champaign Supernova has had discretionary sanctions explained on his or her talk page, and that I notified all of the recent editors. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:14, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I partly disagree with User:Collect that there is nothing unusual on the Mitch McConnell page. Earlier this month, there was, in addition to an insertion not only of a mention of a particular fund-raiser, an insertion of a wildly speculative theory about the reason for the fund-raiser, that involved gross BLP attacks on the industrialist who was supporting McConnell. While this sort of dirty political attack may not be "unusual", it was very inappropriate in Wikipedia. It wasn't just a BLP attack on McConnell, but also on the businessman who was supporting him. It was in my opinion the sort of case where the existing right-left polarization in American politics is likely to affect Wikipedia that the ArbCom had in mind with the general directive. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
As to "slippery slope" questions, the ArbCom does not have a crystal ball, but this seems to be precisely the sort of dispute area to which the general directive was oriented. I would hope that the imposition of discretionary sanctions in this case would send a signal to edit warriors in other sub-areas of American politics that they should edit in accordance with the usual rules, both before November 2014 and after November 2014. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
First, I do not see the need to impose DS on thousands of articles covering hundreds or thousands of elections that will be held on 4 November 2014. Second, any RFC concerning DS would not be closed until early October 2014 anyway, and would provide too narrow a window. Why not only impose discretionary sanctions on articles about politicians and elections in which there is edit-warring or other disruptive editing (such as the Kentucky Senate race)? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:35, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Roger Davies says, with regard to this motion and another, that he is not keen on a "piecemeal" approach to discretionary sanctions on American politics. A piecemeal approach is exactly what was stated in WP:ARBAP. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:07, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
"In addition to any sanctions stemming directly from this decision, any new areas of conflict which involve contemporary American political and social issues may be placed under standard discretionary sanctions by the Committee without the need for a full case. Requests for new sanctions may be made at WP:ARCA. In evaluating such a request, the Committee will consider factors such as the length and severity of editor-behavior issues in the topic area, whether other remedies have proved inadequate to address the issues, and relevant community input."
First, the ArbCom can reverse Remedy 1, which was specifically crafted because cases involving American politics (with its ugly right-left polarization at the present time) kept requiring arbitration. Maybe, now that the ArbCom sees how it works, it was an honorable experiment that is a failure. Second, the ArbCom can expand Remedy 1 by extending DS to all of American politics. I would urge that the ArbCom not take that step, which would overburden arbitration enforcement, whose resources are needed in areas such as WP:ARBIP. Third, the ArbCom can use Remedy 1, knowing that Roger Davies can take the honorable role of a dissenting judge in voting against "piecemeal" application of discretionary sanctions to subareas of American politics. Fourth, the ArbCom can accept additional subareas of American politics for full evidentiary hearings, but that is what Remedy 1 was intended to obviate. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:24, 25 August 2014 (UTC)


History for Alison Lundergan Grimes

History for Mitch McConnell

Reverting a fund-raiser

Add endorsement

Remove endorsement

Add information

Remove information

Talk:Alison Lundergan Grimes#Censored content – See repeated claims of censorship, a common indication that POV-pushers object to removal of undue POV

Statement by uninvolved Collect

The McConnell BLP shows no unusual activity for a political BLP, and certainly the editing there does not reach the definition of "edit war." The Grimes BLP has more problems, primarily due to one editor using it to simply add "campaign fluff" (that is, positive statements about a candidate's positions while removing negative opinions sourced as opinions.) That, again, is typical "silly season" editing behaviour which does not reach ArbCom enforcement levels, even though it is to be deprecated. No sign that this is an apt case for "clarification and amendment" at this point at all. If these articles are added, there is literally no end to the number potentially added, and I suggest the ArbCom draw a line here that the matter is insufficient at this point. Collect (talk) 11:23, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Number of articles: A bit over seven hundred candidates for House of Representatives (some races have three candidates with articles), about seventy or eighty for Senate, and about twelve thousand state legislature candidates[77]. If we add notable local elections, add another thousand or so. Add about 250 "major issue articles" and we reach a rough estimate of perhaps fourteen thousand articles to be placed under this category. Not even counting articles about foundations, families, PACs etc. Collect (talk) 14:47, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

@NYB - I perennially suggest such general restrictions on BLPs of political figures internationally for the respective "silly seasons" in various places -- not just the US. Canada, UK, NZ, Australia and other English-speaking areas are the primary focus of politically-motivated editors during political campaigns. And I agree this would be a community decision. Collect (talk) 14:55, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by {other user}

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

I'm not familiar with what a discretionary sanction is, and I don't understand what this proposal means or how it would affect me. I'm confused by my involvement here because none of the diffs listed above were edits made by me, or reverts of my edits. Is there anything I need to do right now? Champaign Supernova (talk) 03:02, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by User:CFredkin

It seems inappropriate for User: Champaign Supernova to be included in the sanctions, if he/she hasn't been accused of objectionable behavior. Or would the sanctions apply to all future editors of the articles mentioned for the time period specified?CFredkin (talk) 23:40, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by User:Stevietheman

Despite the apparent declaration, I have not been involved in any edit warring. I protested this declaration here, which strangely came in the form of a welcome message for a 10-year wiki-veteran (me). I don't do edit wars and haven't been blocked for WP:3RR since 2005, and it was just one time. While there has been actual edit warring on the affected pages, there has also been what I think are seemingly biased accusations of "slow-motion edit warring" and "disruptive editing" which I have found to be overzealous. Here's the gist of the problem: People from both political camps are using these articles for electioneering purposes. That's bad, that's un-wiki. But I'd rather see admins use the regular tools at their disposal to settle things down, and especially deal with individuals causing the biggest problems. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:07, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Further, the "Reverting a fund-raiser" item above was me going through the appropriate move of closing an RfC a week after asking if there were any objections to doing so, and removing content agreed to be removed by consensus (4 out of 4) on the talk page. It's pretty outrageous that doing something agreed to by consensus would be included here. I thought these requests were for dealing with egregious behavior. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:38, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Thryduulf

Regarding DS more generally, I think it would be better to allow for DS to be placed on articles about specific political candidates in the n months before an election via a lightweight procedure (say 2 or 3 uninvolved admins at AN or ANI agreeing they would be beneficial) rather than automatically enable them for all political candidates. I do agree though this should be discussed at an RfC. Thryduulf (talk) 16:55, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Clerk notes

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

Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I certainly see the potential for problems to worsen here. I'm minded to grant this request. @Champaign Supernova: You can find the full details on what discretionary sanctions are here. In short, they're a way we can allow administrators to quickly address problems in areas where they're very likely to occur, and establish restrictions or remove editors from that topic area if the need arises. Establishing discretionary sanctions over the articles wouldn't change a thing for any editor who isn't engaged in misconduct, and can in any case only apply to misconduct that happens after the sanctions are imposed. It's not an action against any individual, and your inclusion on the request doesn't mean you're accused of any misconduct. The only reason you were probably included is because you edit in the area, so you should have the opportunity to comment on the proposal if you wish to, or (as you did) ask us any questions you might have. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:04, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Like Seraphimblade, I am open in principle to agreeing to this, but is there a potential for a slippery slope here? How many other articles may also need to be placed under such discretionary sanctions if people point to this decision as a precedent? Carcharoth (talk) 23:18, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I broadly agree with Seraphimblade. T. Canens (talk) 04:17, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we could consider DS on articles relating to active candidates for office, in the X months leading up to the election. But I'd want to see this taken to an RfC for community input before taking it any further. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:49, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I hold similar concerns to Carcharoth. Although there does seem to be an issue here, I'm a little concerned that an amendment request will be necessary every time problems crop up in this area. Perhaps it would be wiser to broaden the scope of the sanctions than open the case to amendment requests that may well come back again and again. GorillaWarfare (talk) 19:21, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not really keen on a piecemeal approach. I'd support something along the lines Brad has suggested, or even support authorising DS for the American Politics topic as a whole.  Roger Davies talk 07:20, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Given that this is the second time in quick succession that the American Politics topic area has come before us, I wonder if we should not explore some sort of other way to deal with controversy in this topic area (short of the wholesale application of DS to the entire topic, which I would oppose). I have no bright ideas at the moment but a separate, focussed consultation with the community may resolve this perennial question – better than a series of disparate filings would, at least. AGK [•] 21:32, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • We didn't impose discretionary on American Politics because it was too broad and nothing's changed there. We did invite these piecemeal options in the way we closed the case - I was hoping for something wider than specific articles though. I do like NYB's suggestion, I'd support something like that. If anyone else has any bright ideas on how to deal with the area, I'd be willing to listen. WormTT(talk) 09:40, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • The request is moot, considering the two articles are already subject to DS per WP:NEWBLPBAN. Salvio Let's talk about it! 00:30, 28 August 2014 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement


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

Request concerning Ignocrates

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
John Carter (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 15:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Ignocrates (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/Ebionites 3#Ignocrates-John Carter interaction ban :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 18 June 2014 Interaction with an individual who was at the time being considered for site ban with whom Ignocrates had had no contact at all after I had been commenting on that page. A review of the preceding content of the page will reveal that I had been involved in the discussion of sanctions against Neuraxis and that Ignocrates came in after the fact to advise of his pet essay POV railroad.
  2. 18 June 2014 further input with that individual
  3. 29 July 2014 obvious really pointless derogation taking place after I had unfortunately reacted to his rather pompously self-righteous overreaction to reasonable criticism which led to the two week block to one of the few editors whom has recently shown any sympathy for Ignocrates
  4. 19 August 2014 stalking at ANI in his first edit after two weeks of inactivity in a thread I had started about perhaps topic banning another editor in which he advises that other editor to take it to ArbCom specifically implicitly me to ArbCom. It is also worth noting that he as he said in the discussion with Neuraxis rarely if ever comments on the noticeboards or his edit history in general shows no particular interest in them except when evidently I have been involved in those discussions which I believe could reasonably be described as stalking. John Carter (talk) 18:56, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  5. 19 August 2014 continuation of stalking above
  6. 19 August 2014 further violation specifically written after his stalking above was questioned at ANI on the user page of the editor against whom complaints were made once again "Just in case" Ignocrates were to be sanctioned to take it to ArbCom.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

I have been tolerant in the past of Ignocrates' attempts to cast himself in a dubiously defensible light. At this point I believe it more reasonable to adopt a strictly zero tolerance attitude toward further such contact from him.John Carter (talk) 15:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

I do not see direct evidence to support the claims of the respondent regarding what others think and find it strange that anyone would submit their interpretations of the comments of others as evidence. I believe a review of the SPA question asked in the arbitration is relevant in helping assess how closely individual opinions relate to the opinions of the broader community. And the diff linked to below was discussed at Worm's talk page in the same short section with the response of "reasonable" from Worm. Reading that full thread and noting the use of names might be useful as well. John Carter (talk) 17:47, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

@Sandstein: I have expanded the descriptions in the hope that the context clarifies the nature of the problematic behavior. Ignocrates has been rather careful to avoid naming me in particular in his edits but I believe the edits taken in context and with a review of the broader history of his own edits would clearly demonstrate that the only way he could have come to those discussions would be if as Worm had implied on his talk page or if he had actively been reviewing my edits for some reason. I regret to say that having had no prior experience trying to raise such cases and the roundabout nature of Ignocrates' use of language it can be less than apparent. @EdJohnston: and @Worm That Turned: may be able to provide some better indication as to how they came to their conclusions that the behavior of Ignocrates did constitute an interaction ban better than me given their greater degree of familiarity with them and I am pinging them for their input. John Carter (talk) 18:51, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Ignocrates

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 Ignocrates

The following additional links are relevant: User talk:Worm That Turned#Gentle reminder?, User talk:EdJohnston#Please advise. Most of the rest of this complaint is nonsense; or trolling. The issue comes down to deciding when it is ok or not ok to post at ANI. Dave raised the one legitimate issue (imo): Is it ok to post at ANI when John Carter is the subject of the ANI? Dave thinks it isn't; I think it's a judgement call, and I explained my reasoning on his talk page. And lest we forget, John Carter has a diff of his own to explain. It's curious that he failed to mention it. I believe a WP:Boomerang is in order, and should at least be considered. That's it. I'll respond to specific questions from AE. Ignocrates (talk) 17:40, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

This recently deleted comment at ANI is also relevant: diff (referring back to diff). That's not good practice on a noticeboard; it should have been lined out. Ignocrates (talk) 18:20, 25 August 2014 (UTC) It might also be helpful to re-emphasize the importance of decorum during this review process. Ignocrates (talk) 19:25, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
This block is obviously relevant. Again, curious that it wasn't included. Ignocrates (talk) 17:46, 25 August 2014 (UTC) Moved here by Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:23, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

I suppose as long as we are here anyway, we might as well discuss John Carter's violation of his T-ban from the same arbitration case. Ignocrates (talk) 18:07, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

@EdJohnston, I already explained the reason for the first diff. I returned to editing and decided to check ANI for the hell of it. This case was at the top so I read it. Unfortunately, the editor missed my point completely: don't feed the beast at ANI. Frankly, I felt a measure of pity for the guy; it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. How this has anything to do with John Carter is beyond me. JC wanted him sanctioned, and I agreed diff; a sanction was necessary to stay consistent with the precedent established by ArbCom. It's true that I don't edit in this topic area; so what. Comments from uninvolved editors should receive more weight than those who are invested in the outcome. Ignocrates (talk) 02:21, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Hullaballoo Wolfowitz

Under WP:IBAN, "editors are generally allowed to edit the same pages or discussions as long as they avoid each other". John Carter has not provided any evidence clearly indicating that Ignocrates has breached this limit. When two editors are under a mutual interaction ban, the first to comment on a particular issue cannot preclude the second from commenting on the same issue, especially regarding a general subject where both have actively edited. More needs to be shown than simply labeling an edit "stalking". The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 18:31, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by OccultZone

It is easy to establish that some of these threads are relevant. I would start with the link to ANI thread, it depicts Ignocrates following John Carter's edits. It is also obvious that he was pointing to his feud with John Carter. Per IBAN he was not allowed to refer to John Carter. Fearofreprisal has been a member for over 6 years and Ignocrates never posted on his talk page, he posted only when he got to know that this person has issues with John Carter. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 03:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Ignocrates

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

It is not clear from the request, and I can't readily imagine, how exactly these edits by Ignocrates are supposed to constitute an interaction with John Carter, who is not named in any of these edits. I would take no action except a warning to John Carter not to make any more meritless interaction ban complaints, because such complaints are contrary to the purpose of an interaction ban of separating the parties from each other.  Sandstein  18:06, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

  • I agree with the analysis by User:Worm That Turned at User talk:Worm That Turned#Gentle reminder? I also find Carter's diffs (above) 1-6 persuasive, except for #3 (a note left for Smeat75 whose significance I don't understand). On this basis I'd favor a one-week block of User:Ignocrates for violating the interaction ban. I'd also warn John Carter that he is trying to avoid Ignocrates the questions he asked at ANI are not a good way of doing it. When Ignocrates shows up on User talk:Neuraxis to recommend one of his essays after complaints about Neuraxis's conduct were made by John Carter, and when the subject matter (chiropractic) has nothing to do with early Christianity (the area of common interest between Carter and Ignocrates that led to the past disputes) it's hard to explain unless Ignocrates was following the edits of John Carter. If you've been instructed to avoid somebody you should not be following their edits. EdJohnston (talk) 02:00, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
  • To prevent this from going nowhere, if EdJohnston is convinced based on his analysis of the edits at issue that a banned interaction has taken place, then I do not oppose the proposed sanction.  Sandstein  06:12, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Supreme Deliciousness

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Darkness Shines

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 
Darkness Shines (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) – ~~~~
Sanction being appealed 
Topic ban from all pages related to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, broadly construed.
Administrator imposing the sanction 
Callanecc‎ (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator 

Statement by Darkness Shines

Since the TBAN was imposed I have brought Rape during the Rwandan Genocide to GA status, and the Rape during the Bosnian War article is now a GA candidate, I have expanded and replaced most of the references on the article, removing primary sources as well as newspaper references and replacing them with academic sources. This is a controversial article and I have managed all that work without losing my temper at anyone. I should like the chance to do the same thing with some articles dealing with human rights abuses in the region covering the TBAN. I have also created a few stubs and another article which appeared at DYK, Rape during the Sierra Leone Civil War. I believe the TBAN has now become punitive and not preventative, as I have had but one drunken outburst since it was imposed. The following users requested I let them know when I file an appeal, so am pinging them. @RegentsPark: @Drmies: @Bbb23: @Vanamonde93: Darkness Shines (talk) 15:18, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Callanecc‎

Statement by (involved editor 1)

Statement by (involved editor 2)

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by Darkness Shines

Statement by Shrike

I think DS did a good work on those articles. So he should be given a second chance.--Shrike (talk) 20:14, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Statement by Collect

For what damage DS may have caused, the penalty may not quite fit the crime at this point. One voice for "second chance" on this. Collect (talk) 23:11, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Result of the appeal by Darkness Shines

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