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Conflict of interest policy[edit]

The Right Stuff: July 2018[edit]

The Right Stuff
July 2018
WikiProject Conservatism Comes Under Fire

By Lionelt

WikiProject Conservatism was a topic of discussion at the Administrators' Noticeboard/Incident (AN/I). Objective3000 started a thread where he expressed concern regarding the number of RFC notices posted on the Discussion page suggesting that such notices "could result in swaying consensus by selective notification." Several editors participated in the relatively abbreviated six hour discussion. The assertion that the project is a "club for conservatives" was countered by editors listing examples of users who "profess no political persuasion." It was also noted that notification of WikiProjects regarding ongoing discussions is explicitly permitted by the WP:Canvassing guideline.

At one point the discussion segued to feedback about The Right Stuff. Member SPECIFICO wrote: "One thing I enjoy about the Conservatism Project is the handy newsletter that members receive on our talk pages." Atsme praised the newsletter as "first-class entertainment...BIGLY...first-class...nothing even comes's amazing." Some good-natured sarcasm was offered with Objective3000 observing, "Well, they got the color right" and MrX's followup, "Wow. Yellow is the new red."

Admin Oshwah closed the thread with the result "definitely not an issue for ANI" and directing editors to the project Discussion page for any further discussion. Editor's note: originally the design and color of The Right Stuff was chosen to mimic an old, paper newspaper.

Add the Project Discussion page to your watchlist for the "latest RFCs" at WikiProject Conservatism Watch (Discuss this story)

Margaret Thatcher Makes History Again

By Lionelt

Margaret Thatcher is the first article promoted at the new WikiProject Conservatism A-Class review. Congratulations to Neveselbert. A-Class is a quality rating which is ranked higher than GA (Good article) but the criteria are not as rigorous as FA (Featued article). WikiProject Conservatism is one of only two WikiProjects offering A-Class review, the other being WikiProject Military History. Nominate your article here. (Discuss this story)
Research About AN/I

By Lionelt

Reprinted in part from the April 26, 2018 issue of The Signpost; written by Zarasophos

Out of over one hundred questioned editors, only twenty-seven (27%) are happy with the way reports of conflicts between editors are handled on the Administrators' Incident Noticeboard (AN/I), according to a recent survey . The survey also found that dissatisfaction has varied reasons including "defensive cliques" and biased administrators as well as fear of a "boomerang effect" due to a lacking rule for scope on AN/I reports. The survey also included an analysis of available quantitative data about AN/I. Some notable takeaways:

  • 53% avoided making a report due to fearing it would not be handled appropriately
  • "Otherwise 'popular' users often avoid heavy sanctions for issues that would get new editors banned."
  • "Discussions need to be clerked to keep them from raising more problems than they solve."

In the wake of Zarasophos' article editors discussed the AN/I survey at The Signpost and also at AN/I. Ironically a portion of the AN/I thread was hatted due to "off-topic sniping." To follow-up the problems identified by the research project the Wikimedia Foundation Anti-Harassment Tools team and Support and Safety team initiated a discussion. You can express your thoughts and ideas here.

(Discuss this story)

Delivered: 09:27, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Please self-revert[edit]

Dear SPECIFICO, with these edits[1][2][3][4][5] you are misrepresenting sources and edit-warring against talk page consensus. As I already twice told you on the talk page,[6][7] this attitude is disruptive. Please self-revert or get ready to defend yourself at WP:AE. — JFG talk 12:36, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Haven't seen you around in a bit[edit]

Hey how have you been? Not seen you around much lately! PackMecEng (talk) 18:34, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Hi! Traveling and out of communication through Sept, but I do check in from time to time when I'm in port. Good to hear from you. All the best. SPECIFICO talk 19:26, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Sounds lovely Face-smile.svg Have fun! PackMecEng (talk) 19:51, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Happy to see you back. — JFG talk 08:22, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Angela Cappetta, again[edit]

Same problem, rearing it's head. see this edit and prev 2 please, the insistence on using the subject's own webpage/blog as a source to include info about her work. Perhaps it's time to remove the article under WP:Notability as you previously suggested? Thanks. (talk) 21:28, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


Hi, Not moaning but came to say please use preview infuture especially when you're trying to ping someone, Your cock up has unfortunately led to this which I take no responsibility for, Thanks and have a nice day. –Davey2010Talk 17:29, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Oh, now, it could happen to anybody, Davey2010. Imagine that different brackets can make such a huge difference, I would not have expected it. And.. and.. (trying not to laugh), you actually did post on Winkelvi's userpage? Try to see the humour in it. Bishonen | talk 17:45, 11 August 2018 (UTC).
Or at least irony. SPECIFICO talk 17:47, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Bishonen - I clicked here and assumed the reply would go exactly there .... I never spotted in the edit preview I was on someone elses userpage .... When you're busy with other things IRL you kinda don't expect crap like this to happen, Suppose it doesn't help I've been under the weather for the past few days aswell. Ah well –Davey2010Talk 17:59, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Sure. Feel better, Davey2010. Bishonen | talk 18:30, 11 August 2018 (UTC).
Thanks Bishonen, Also SPECIFICO please ignore the grumpy note above which I apologise for - I moan at you for not using preview and the irony of it all is that I didn't either!, Meh mistakes happen :), Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 18:42, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Special discretionary sanctions[edit]

Please be aware that you are now subject to the following sanctions:

These sanctions are for the topic area of post-1932 politics for a duration of 1 year. The sanctions have been imposed based in part on behaviors like the WP:BLUDGEONing in this TP section and here (also contains examples of personal comments), and aggressively editing others' comments to remove perceived personal attacks against yourself [8] [9].

These sanctions are imposed in my capacity as an uninvolved administrator under the authority of the Arbitration Committee's decision at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American politics 2#Final decision and will be logged here. Violations of the sanctions will trigger the enforcement procedures outlined at User:Awilley/Special discretionary sanctions#Enforcement: 1-week non-escalating topic ban. Note that you are extremely unlikely to be topic banned or blocked for accidental violations of the sanctions, provided you are willing to correct your own mistakes without administrative intervention. Also note that these sanctions are intended to enforce good behavioral norms that you should probably be observing anyway.

You may appeal this sanction using the process described here, or directly to me. Please contact me with questions or if anything of the above is unclear. Lastly, I hope you don't get the impression that this has something to do with your criticism of my close the other day. This has been in the works for some time now. ~Awilley (talk) 21:27, 13 August 2018 (UTC) ~Awilley (talk) 21:27, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Willey, granted you have a fertile imagination, but you'd be well advised to put these absurdities back in the closet and reverse yourself before you get yourself nose-deep in a huge pointless mess. If you feel like tinkering, the place to do it would be at the level of page restrictions in the AP articles. @Bullrangifer: @Volunteer Marek: SPECIFICO talk 21:36, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: correct typo. SPECIFICO talk 23:12, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Specifico, I wouldn’t suggest an appeal, at least for months and then to Awilley. I value your work and think these sanctions will actually improve your value. And frankly, they’ll save you time and aggravation. Regards, O3000 (talk) 21:42, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't undertake an appeal -- I think there are larger problems with Awilley in many respects, and his page of do-it-yourself ruminations he calls special sanctions looks more like "Mad Hatter aplay on the internet" than anything Arbcom or the more thoughtful volunteers at AE would consider useful. I don't know how many editors he's doing this with or why, but in my case, the reasons he cites are downright ludicrous -- some downright invalid, some already adjudicated without any prejudice against me (the anti-Semitism nonsense) etc. It's not even worth parsing all the detail. Maybe some more seasoned and insightful Admins will see this and maybe they'll give Awilley a little friendly help in the Admin's Lounge. SPECIFICO talk 21:49, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I'll be sure to ask for some feedback at our next cabal chapter meeting. Which reminds me, I need to ask them to pick a better venue...something with some good vegetarian options. I'm getting sick of Arby's. ~Awilley (talk) 00:44, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Well ha ha ha Awilley, but you really should sleep on this. Restrictions need to be simple, intelligible, and uniform. If you have ideas for additional page restrictions, that might be well received by the community. I've already noted on several occasions you tend to act on ill-supported intuitive impressions of circumstances for which you're later unable to provide documentation or any solid rationale. I don't know exactly what you think you're accomplishing here, but for example citing me for (Personal attack removed) where a substantive discussion was turned to personal disparagement, citing me for responding to the epic WP:TE from Bus Stop, Winkelvi and others in response to their preposterous accusation of anti-Semitism, (which was adjudicated at AE, as you know) and whatever all else you think you're preventing -- I trust you'll claim you're preventing something or other with these rules -- does not show a very solid or comprehensive grasp of the facts or circumstances. And that's a shame because you're a hard worker and you are trying to contribute to WP, but folks often point out that you get into ready-fire-aim mode and it comes out bass-ackwards. You really should take these things down and sort out some simple principles that you could apply as page restrictions that would be preventive, easy-to-understand, and effective tools for Admins. You might wish to consult with some of your colleagues, such as NYBrad or Sandstein, who have some professional understanding of rule-based systems. Thanks for your visit. You and all editors are welcome to share your views here. SPECIFICO talk 00:53, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Still trying to figure out how these unprecedented bespoke sanctions fit within the process or intention of Arbcom Enforcement. Basically what you appear to have done with respect to @Volunteer Marek and BullRangifer: and me is to revisit AE threads from the past -- in my case around 2 months ago -- and taken it upon yourself to modfiy the closes adjudicated by the panel of Admins there by after-the-fact amendment and enhancement of the closes. This is entirely out of process and as I said to @Objective3000: above, is likely to be reviewed at WP:ARCA before we end up with every Admin with a dissenting view at an AE thread giving after-the-fact tweaks that don't even rise to the level of double jeopardy since they are being applied unilaterally and with specious rationales. SPECIFICO talk 01:37, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Agree. These are some particularly sloppily worded, imbecilic, unclear, lets-create-stupid-rules-just-because-we-can, we-dont-get-enough-stupid-WP:AE-reports-so-lets-give-battleground-warriors-an-excuse-to-make-up-new-ones sanctions.

They appear to be handed out nilly willy. Like I get one for saying "talk pages of Donald Trump articles are a dysfunctional mess", another editor calls me a scumbag and nada. Lol.Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:39, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

@Awilley: -- You made a mistake, OK. I strongly suggest you reverse all these sanctions or whatever they are -- it's far from clear you're allowed to cook up custom-brew rules that nobody understands as after-the-fact custom add-ons to closed AE cases. I really think you need to respect process -- state your concerns at the AE threads. Share your views as to sanctions/remedies, and move on after the panel reaches consensus. If you see bad behavior, issue a warning. If it's egregious and damaging issue an AE sanction under your delegated authority. What do you think authorizes you to create individual behavioral sanctions for editors based on stale evidence from closed AE threads? Where did Arbcom say they intended you to apply these rules selectively to a few editors, based on whatever you happen to remember from months ago? You tried to do something helpful. You didn't think it through. You got too personally involved. I'll give you A for Effort, but it's not helpful. You should undo them all. SPECIFICO talk 01:51, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

  • SPECIFICO, this is funny, not not funny at all. I was just on another editor's talk page, someone who's probably on the other side of whatever chasm you're on, and there the same admin was making similar reasonable comments. OK, let me be formal. "What do you think authorizes...etc"? ArbCom did. Awilley is an uninvolved admin and can do what they think is appropriate within guidelines set out by ArbCom. Now, informal: accusing any admin of being all too involved is rarely justified, and I don't think that you have any cause for that claim here. I guess you're pissed, and that's fine, but cussing at the admin and making these accusations is just less than helpful, not just because they seem unwarranted to me, but also because other admins (at AE or whatever) are unlikely to buy it. So, I'm sorry, but you can either ask for redress in the appropriate forum in the appropriate words (these weren't), or you just suck it up. You know, I hope, that I will be happy to defend any editor of good faith who is a good colleague and edits with our policies and guidelines in mind, but this is not the right way to respond to a properly issued sanction by an admin who, as far as I am concerned, is impeccably impartial and collegial. Please reconsider your comments here and consider modifying or retracting, take a deep breath, take Marek to the county fair and overdo it on suikerspin, and then respond if you feel you must. Good luck, Drmies (talk) 02:00, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Seriously, please don't play the "you're incompetent, can we get a real admin here" card. Drmies (talk) 02:01, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Where did I tell him he's incompetent? And I don't think it's constructive for you to suggest -- "card" -- that I'm looking for a catchy sophism or something. Please consider what AWilley says. He cites me for WP:BLUDGEON at the anti-Semitism thread when I responded to the escalating rhetoric of 3 other editors who then repeated their accusations at an AE thread where the entire matter was litigated and there was no warning or sanction against me. So why would Awilley come here 2 months later and sanction me for that? Does that make sense to you?
And I could go into similar detail with his other examples above and in the cases of the other editors. I don't see any precedent for an Admin using DS to give after-the-fact sanctions relating to incidents that were thoroughly adjudicated. There was a time and a place for that -- beginning in the thread itself and running through the Admins' consensus close in the matter. He tells me I can't remove a personal attack? What should I have done? Gone and bothered an Admin so the Admin could have warned the editor?
Also, let's be clear, Drmies. I have not cussed Awilley. I have not disparaged him. I have discussed what he did today and several principles on which I think it fails. And I'm at a loss to understand why you say that an appeal to Awilley -- who has made a good faith mistake after spending too much time honing these special sanctions in his WP:Sandbox -- should be viewed as a misstep rather than a courtesy that is preferable to whatever formal adjudication would be the alternative. SPECIFICO talk 02:16, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
SPECIFIC--"You might wish to consult with some of your colleagues, such as NYBrad or Sandstein, who have some professional understanding of rule-based systems". Seriously. That means "incompetence". Don't gaslight me--I'm too old for that. I see now that "imbecilic" was Marek's--Marek, come on. That's ridiculous. SPECIFICO, you can protest the sanction but I strongly suggest you do so professionally, and then you can argue "thoroughly adjudicated" and all that, in the right forum. You claim Awilley made a mistake--well, the only way you're going to get redress for that is argue that point. What I've seen here is not arguing--the tone is not OK, some of the shots are below the belt, and context is missing. Mind you, I came here for two things: one, to signal that personal attacks are not OK. Two, to try and help you. I'm sure I failed on the second one, so I'll bow out and, again, wish you good luck. Drmies (talk) 02:41, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
No, Drmies, you are mistaken about "colleagues". I am a social scientist. I study rule-based systems, behavioral interactions, norms, and how they are promulgated and enforced both within a community and from authority. I tried to make this clear in my comments - but obviously not clear enough - let me try again: Very customized rules or principles (one might call them "over-fitted" in the scientific realm that I believe from his profile is more Awilley's expertise) lose the important characteristics that make rule-based systems effective. So I cited two experienced Admins who I believe have legal backgrounds and are familiar with these issues in a regulatory or enforcement context. Sorry not to have misbehaved, but I plead guilty only to being too short and omitting the above explanation. SPECIFICO talk 02:49, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
OK, good luck. Drmies (talk) 03:00, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, thank you. And it is worth noting that Marek, BullRangifer, and I have been dragged to AE maybe more often than any other AP editors -- and I've never been sanctioned there, and those two have been falsely accused many more times than they've been reprimanded if I recall correctly. But it is hard to escape the conclusion that just by showing up there in a supporting role every so often one acquires a certain taint, and this is something that I have openly discussed with a few Admins and it's very unfortunate, and yes Awilley is one of the ones I've discussed it with. SPECIFICO talk 03:24, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
SPECIFICO, I want to understand what you're talking about. So overdefined rules...I can engage with you on that. (WP:CREEP comes to mind.) Are you saying that having super-specific sanctions tailored to individual editors is actually harmful overall? ~Awilley (talk) 03:07, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
That's correct, but it's not the full extent of the defect with your approach. It would be very constructive if you could take the thrust of what you were trying to accomplish and come up with improved page restrictions. They are visible to all. We check them periodically. They're broad and therefore need to be interpreted by thoughtful Admins in the context of evidence and circumstances. That's how effective rules work. Very specific rules can always be designed to tightly fit some past situation or circumstances, but this makes them much less useful or operational to cover different circumstances in the future. So for example, based on many talk page and AE discussions over the past few years, it would be of tremendous benefit if you could create a more operational "civility" sanction -- one that has some tests that editors and Admins could apply to a broad range of situations to determine whether there's a violation. On the other hand, sanctioning me for removing personal disparagement of my good faith and motives for my discussion of content -- while ignoring the poisonous remarks I redacted -- is pretty hard to put into a useful principle that would reduce hostile personalization of talk page discussions. This is a big subject, and there are others -- attorneys came to mind but not them exclusively -- who could discuss this. The more specific a rule is the less useful it is. We don't have a law against going to Walmart buying a knife sharpener breaking into a second-story window of the neighbor finding an old knife sharpening it and slashing her drapes. There are much more general laws that cover the situation. Like that. SPECIFICO talk 03:24, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)OK, so I mostly agree with you about super-specific rules like that. But I disagree with you that I should try to boil these down to a few principles and then apply them to editnotices across many AP articles. If it were up to me (it's not) I would actually remove some of the edit restrictions from the articles. I think those broadly-applied sanctions actually have the effect of discouraging good editors from even coming near AP articles, so you end up with an environment where the most motivated editors (read strongly partisan editors or those with an axe to grind) go through the effort to learn the ropes and jump through the hoops, while the more moderate consensus-building editors keep their distance. I think that everyone should operate under the same general rules (NPOV, AGF, etc.) and then more specific constraints should be placed on the editors who have problems with those. I need to head to bed now, but I want to finish this conversation. ~Awilley (talk) 03:43, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

─────────────────────────So here's my suggestion. I don't see anything in your Special Sanctions here that would be prevented any more by them than by your exercise of discretion under DS as they stand. I suggest you remove the Special Sanctions and just know that you've expressed your concern and that you have notified me that you intend to actively enforce them. As you know I have repeatedly called for Admins to take such a stance and I would be pleased to see you among what I hope would be many Admins to assume such a role. SPECIFICO talk 03:31, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

I don't see anything in your Special Sanctions here that would be prevented any more by them than by your exercise of discretion under DS as they stand. You might take a closer look. Taking just the first part of the first Special Sanction, I think "you may not make personal comments accusing editors or groups of editors of doing things like assuming bad faith, making personal attacks, casting aspersions, being biased, being uncivil, being disruptive, and so forth" is a bit more restrictive than "normal". And I'm pretty sure you'd make a fuss if any admin issued a DS against you for that absent the Special. I would too. ―Mandruss  03:42, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
And what does that stuff have to do with me more than every editor? Sounds like a good revised civility page-restriction maybe? SPECIFICO talk 03:49, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Well maybe I misunderstood your comment. If you're just asking Awilley to remove the SS and suggesting he just shoot on sight when he sees something he deems, say, to fall under WP:DE, that's a different matter. I doubt you'll be happier if that happens, however. ―Mandruss  03:57, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
SPECIFICO, let's see if we can't find a point of common ground here. The Thicker Skin/Civility sanction seems to be bugging you the most so let's start with that. Do you believe that aggressively applying the {{rpa}} template to comments that were not meant as personal attacks is helpful for the smooth running of the project? Yes or no? Here's an example to give you some perspective of what it's like to be on the receiving end. [10] ~Awilley (talk) 12:45, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Awilley, you are drawing a false equivalence. In your sanction, the two rpa's you cited to support your claims against me were my removal of article talk page comments about contributor not content. The first one I redacted was another editor falsely attributing an anti-Semitic statement to me, when in fact -- and this was extensively discussed and affirmed at the subsequent AE thread -- I cited this stereotype to rebut an assertion about a politician. So yes, Winkelvi's misrepresenting my words was a personal attack of the sort that can be redacted. That particular attack -- that I was making anti-Semitic statements -- was repeated by various editors several times afterward. So you are mistaken. The second one, "sorry the close isn't what you wanted" is a (snide) assertion that I was went to your talk page objecting to your close of an RfC -- for my stated reasons based in procedure and had nothing to do with the content dispute -- falsely raising procedural issues when in fact I was motivated by some alleged POV about the conclusion itself. Again this is on an article talk page. On the scale of personal attacks, this doesn't rise to the level of the first one but Mandruss has a history of disparaging me in this way, despite my having asked his to stop it, and that was my quick reaction. His comment was clearly uncivil and I see no harm in redacting it, even if some might say it didn't rise to "personal attack." The only point of Mandruss' text was to silence me and to deflect from the issues I'd raised. Not good stuff. Why don't we start there and you can tell me if you disagree with anything I've just said, and then we can move on to my critical comments about your actions on this user talk page that you cite in your new rpa'd examples above. SPECIFICO talk 13:18, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't disagree that the above is what you honestly believe about Mandrus's and Winkelvi's motivations and intent. But I think it makes the most sense to first agree on a general principle before discussing whether specific edits violated that principle. If we don't agree on the basic rule we'll just be talking past each other. So let me ask again: do you believe that aggressively applying the {{rpa}} template to comments that were not meant as personal attacks is helpful for the smooth running of the project? ~Awilley (talk) 14:44, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
First, I believe you are Assuming the conclusion by characterizing redaction of a personal attack as "aggressive". Second, this site does not, could not, and should not function on the basis of editors' assuming, inferring, or assigning motives of other editors. The reason the WP functions on the whole very well is that we have robust policies and guidelines that consistently avoid and err on the side of rejecting any assignment of motives to other editors. So whether words on an article talk page are about "contribuor not content" and whether they are a personal attack, falsely disparage or misrepresent another editor's statements, etc. does not require any such inference. So I reject both your premise -- the false assumption that I have or had any view as to those two editors' intents -- and your "basic rule" that (if I understand you correctly) my redaction entailed any conclusion or allegation as to their motivations and intents. Does that fully address your questions or is there further explanation or response you require? SPECIFICO talk 15:28, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I can't tell if the above is a "yes" or a "no" answer to my relatively simple question. Let me ask it again without the "aggressive" you object to. Do you believe that applying the {{rpa}} template to comments that were not meant as personal attacks is helpful for the smooth running of the project? ~Awilley (talk) 15:35, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I tried to point out why I don't believe your question, which I believe insinuated several questionable assumptions, was simple. In your repetition above you've removed "aggressive" but you still are basing your question on (or claiming to know in these instances) the motivations of the editors who published the attacks. So thanks for removing aggressive, but before I reply I would need to see the mention of editors motivations removed -- for the reasons I tried to explain above. Thanks. SPECIFICO talk 15:45, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
OK, let's use a specific example where we do know the editor's motivation. Was this edit meant to be a personal attack? ~Awilley (talk) 15:48, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
"There you go again", Awilley. "We" do not know my motivation. And if think that you know my motivation or think that a candid statement of opinion on my talk page is a personal attack on you, why not just state your opinion and directly support it. And this is another case in which my motivation is irrelevant as to whether this opinion is a WP:PA or whether this statement on its face violates our civility policy. I think it would be more productive to finish honing down your original question, where we're down to a single clarification or refocus that will get us to a simple form of your initial question that I can answer, per your request, with a yes or no. Anyway FWIF, it looks to me as if you misunderstand my motivation, AKA the point about your Special Sanctions I was making to O3000. SPECIFICO talk 16:01, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
You obviously know if it was meant to be a personal attack. Was it? (I'll take your word for it, promise.) ~Awilley (talk) 16:05, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Well it's not a personal attack and it was not intended to be a personal attack. I won't repeat the other factors that differentiate that post from the personal attacks So now I suggest, could we get back to the question before you added this one? Because we were on the brink of focusing your q+a in a way that will get us to wherever you were planning to take that conversation and make some progress as you initially intended. SPECIFICO talk 16:54, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
OK, let's back up a half step. You made a comment that you didn't intend to be a personal attack. When I first read that comment last night I thought it was a personal attack. It sounded to me like you were actually calling me a "Mad Hatter aplay on the internet" with serious "problems". (I also figured you were aggravated and needed to blow off some steam so I ignored it.) This is an example of the type of situation I'm referring to with the general question above. You made an edgy comment that you didn't intend to be a personal attack. I interpreted it as a personal attack. In this situation, would it have been helpful for me to replace your comment with the {{rpa}} template? ~Awilley (talk) 17:09, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I've already told you it's not a matter of interpretation, and I've tried my best to explain what I see as the difference between words that are an attack -- falsely claiming on an article talk page that SPECIFICO made anti-Semitic remarks, etc. -- and your feeling that my opinion about your behavior on my talk page was "edgy". One is a personal attack -- not, as you state, a "perceived" personal attack --while the other is not. Let's get back to the core here, which is the basis you provided for your sanction, and then we can work on subsequent detail. Is that OK? Of course it would not have been helpful for you to use that template to redact something that was not a personal attack. SPECIFICO talk 17:24, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
OK, so thus far our common ground is that it is not helpful to replace comments with {{rpa}} that are not personal attacks. That leaves open a lot of questions about whether intent matters, whether perception matters, and importantly, who gets to judge whether a comment is a personal attack or not. Would you like to add your views on any of those questions, or do you prefer to move ahead to try and confront specific examples using only the current common ground? ~Awilley (talk) 17:44, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I tried to make clear that I believe WP policy is very clear that your "open questions" are not questions at all and have nothing to do with the matter and are not how WP defines Personal Attack. What is your objective here with the questions about matters beyond the policy framework? I've already commented on why policy relies on observable actions rather than imputed motivations. Do you think that the redacted remarks 2 editors made about me on the article talk pages were not personal attacks? If so, policy does not support you. As I understand it you have dropped the "aggressive" charge against me, so what would then justify your Special Sanction? Two editors make personal accusations -- of anti-Semitism and of bad-faith rationalization of POV editing and your conclusion is that the target (SPEICIFCO) needs a Special Sanction? Is that where we stand? And if you read that article's talk page over the past 2-3 moths, you'll find many many inappropriate personal remarks and much personal disparagement, and very little if any from me. SPECIFICO talk 23:07, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
My objective with the questions about personal attacks was to both help me understand your perspective and to help you see things from the perspective of the people whose comments you're labeling as personal attacks. Unfortunately the Socratic method doesn't work very well when people aren't wiling to answer questions. I think I'll bow out here. ~Awilley (talk) 02:17, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Awilley - I replied in great detail and with copious explanation to each of your posts. Your "Socratic method" worked very well indeed, just not in the way you may have anticipated. By engaging in this dialogue you demonstrated that you were not able to offer any justification for your condemnation of my having templated these two personal attacks, and you conceded that my having done so was not "aggressive". If you feel I am drawing an unwarranted conclusion -- that by withdrawing now, you are demonstrating that you have no convincing rationale for sanctioning me for removing these false and defamatory personal attacks -- then please accept my apology and state your rationale. I thought we were narrowing the whole thing down, and I went along with your "Socratic method", but I'm quite disappointed to see you disengage with some sort of blame cast my way "...aren't willing to answer questions" after I spent quite a bit of time and effort respectfully responding to your questioning. I thought I made it quite clear that the WP policy is wisely crafted to rely little on all the subjective factors you raise. In fact I explained this repeatedly. And if you were preparing to demonstrate that the personal attacks I redacted -- like that I'm an anti-Semite -- weren't really attacks because the attacker had some "other perspective" when they attacked me, I think it would just be helpful to say what you think instead of Q+A that you'd hoped might end up with me adopting and articulating your (incorrect and unsupportable) view. SPECIFICO talk 03:13, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  • SPECIFICO, Awilley is exercising what you refer to 'discretion under DS as they stand'. Admins have wide latitude in imposing discretionary sanctions at their discretion — that's where the terminology comes from. You will find a description here: "Any uninvolved administrator is authorised to place: revert and move restrictions, interaction bans, topic bans, and blocks of up to one year in duration, or other reasonable measures that the enforcing administrator believes are necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project." My bolding. I don't think anybody will disagree that the project isn't running very smoothly on Am Pol pages, and Awilley is trying to improve the climate there. For you to try to trash Awilley's admin competence probably isn't your best argument. And I'm surprised to see you suggest on Winkelvi's page that he's inexperienced: "He is not a very experienced editor and he is not a very experienced Admin". Really? He's been editing actively since 2011 and became an admin in 2013. You yourself have been here since 2012. Do you think of yourself as inexperienced? Bishonen | talk 07:40, 14 August 2018 (UTC).
  • Hello, Bishonen. I've already addressed the "trash Awilley's Admin competence" question in my replies above. I didn't make a personal statement trashing Awilley. I criticized his application of sanctions. He and I have known one another for several years, and we are frank with one another and exchange emails from time to time as well. Responding as to "experienced" -- no I do not believe he is highly experienced relative to editors and Admins at many of the articles I edit. See his stats here [11] and I tried to articulate the problems I see in his Special Sanctions. Please consider -- if they were routine application of DS, why are they "Special"? Am I "experienced"? I'm around median relative to the American Politics editors -- nowhere near as experienced or long on WP as many others there.
  • Bishonen, you quote the relevant Arbcom authority. In terms of that italicized text, I don't believe Awilley's Special Sanctions are "reasonable" and I don't see any evidence that they're "necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project." The long list of Special Sanction civility-related behaviors that Mandruss quotes above is already covered by WP:CIVILITY, which represents the community's best view of the matter after long and thoughtful participation by hundreds of editors. Awilley is silent as to why he's applied these sanctions to these editors. I think it's a basic principle of everything from jurisprudence to dog-training that remedies only work when they are clearly associated with specific transgressions. That's the "necessary and proportionate" part. And as I've already stated, Awilley has not cited the evidence he feels triggers this authority.
  • My behavior was reviewed at an AE complaint in May [12]. I acknowledged that I had sometimes been curt, elliptical, or sarcastic in my comments and pledged to moderate my tone in that regard. I have done that. I think the Special Sanction with the list of civility-related infractions fails the "necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project" authority you cite. In my "civility AE" @Awilley: wrote " As for the current set of diffs, I have reviewed all of them and found most of them to be pretty innocuous. I appreciate a little humor. I think the ones that bugged me most were the "soapboxing" about Trump being Kim's puppet, which I realize was just joking around, but was also uncomfortably close to running afoul of BLP. SPECIFICO's acknowledgement of the problem above has me half satisfied, and if they were to make a specific commitment to moderate their approach I would take that at face value and be comfortable with a "no action" close here." The AE was closed with a reminder about Behavioral standards Awilley followed up with me on my talk page and in some emails to me. So, Bishonen, does it make sense to you that 3 months later, this long list of prohibitions is placed on me? Me of all people! 😢 Is this the magic bullet that would have improved the American Politics articles, if only this restriction had been placed last May? Looking at my conduct since that AE and one or two other specious AE complaints against me afterward, I don't see that this Special Sanctions fit the necessary and proportionate test. Proportionate to what? Are the 4 editors Awilley selected for Special Sanctions the root of "the problem" at Amercian Politics? Certainly the few diffs Awilley showed above on my page don't support his judgment that these were necessary. Maybe you hadn't previously considered some of what I've just said, or maybe you knew it all along and just disagree with me. Thanks for your visit. SPECIFICO talk 12:06, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Thanks for taking the time to answer in detail, SPECIFICO. I feel, though, that these matters have been a bit obsoleted by the interesting discussion between you and Awilley above. As for whether the four editors Awilley selected for Special Sanctions are the root of "the problem" at American Politics, no, I don't think they are the root. I'm not assuming Awilley is done. It may well be appropriate to apply these kinds of sactions to further editors, maybe later when their effect has been observed. I don't think it's Awilley's intention to hobble the four of you and leave all the others carrying on as usual — I'm sure he'll be watching Am Pol, as indeed will other admins who also have discretionary sanctions in their toolset. (Probably not me, though. Man, I'm tired of American politics.) Bishonen | talk 17:28, 14 August 2018 (UTC).
  • Awilley, as I've said, was acting in good faith but without thinking through the consequences of his action. I have no problem saying that the 4 editors Awilley selected are far from the "root of the problem", and that as I said recently in another context it's important for Admins to exercise leadership by focusing on the most significant issues and direct their remedies where they will fulfill Arbcom's stated purpose as you and I discussed above. At the risk of repetition, he chose 3 of us who are have experienced unrelenting disparagment or attacks on these articles and who have, on the whole, taken it pretty much OK. The idea of Awilley telling us to get a "thicker skin" is really kind of surprising. I had a string of about 6 failed AE requests and one vacuous Sockpuppet Investigation filed against me last spring. But the real problem with Awilley's approach is at a higher level. What if a couple dozen Admins each crafted their own Special Sanctions and then applied them to whatever group of editors they select? Now we have several hundred instances of editors who look and feel like everyone else, except that they have Special Sanctions that their colleagues would only discover by poring through their talk pages or the AE logs and then reading the Admins' explanations of each of their Specials. This was the initial point I made. That would not be a workable, rule-based work environment. And imagine how many erroneous complaints there would be by the hundreds of editors who thought they'd correctly researched the Specials that applied to some editor but got it a bit wrong. This is why rule-based systems must be build on simple easily understood and widely known principles. That's why I'm still hopeful that Awilley will see his error and vacate all these Specials. If he has specific behavioral facts that he feels warrant a sanction on any of us, he can issue them with the time-honored level of specificity, explanation, and evidence. From my conversation with him above it's not obvious to me that his understanding of "personal attack" comports with that WP policy. And the long broad litany of potential bad behaviors he recites is a shotgun approach in a matter where specificity and clarity are the strongest tools at any Admin's approach. SPECIFICO talk 17:47, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

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It's been far to long since I have seen you around. What is up with that? PackMecEng (talk) 01:23, 20 November 2018 (UTC)