User talk:Timotheus Canens/Archives/2012/2

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The Signpost: 06 February 2012

Article: Candy Young

A few years ago the article Candy Young was deleted by you based on a consensus agreement among members of the community that she did not meet notability standards. I am now interested in recreating her page with additional information - specifically, she now chairs the American Political Science Association Committee on Teaching and Learning, she coauthored the official guidebook on assessment practices used by the APSA, and she was a contributing author to a book written by the current editor-in-chief of the American Political Science Review. Does this satisfy notability such that the article can be recreated? Adamc714 (talk) 22:55, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not familiar enough with this subject to offer any opinion, but I can userfy the article for you so that you can update it with the recent changes and then seek review at WP:DRV. T. Canens (talk) 01:05, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Topic ban of Tom harrison

It actually pains me to bring this issue here since I have no beef with User:The Devils Advocate...but in light of your comment does his request for arbitration enforcement against User:Tom harrison stack up. The Devils Advocate was topic banned for 30 days until recently over the same topic...Tom harrison commented at that particular request against The Devils Advocate...The Devils Advocate has been blocked twice in 3 months over this topic...Tom harrison hasn't been blocked once in 8 years of editing.--MONGO 04:03, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

The request has merit. It is therefore by definition not sanctionable misconduct. Trying to infer "retaliation" from a comment months ago is also rather farfetched. And even if the report were somehow established to be retaliatory, that won't affect TH's topic ban but only lead to a topic ban for TDA. T. Canens (talk) 00:46, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Okay...well, none of that explains how Harrison's edits were problematic...less than perfect, perhaps, but the guy has dedicated 7 years to such difficult areas and has many thousands of edits that were perfect. The Devils Advocate immediately restarted where he had left off after his 30 day ban so it's not like he moved on to new horizons and then came to arbcom enforcement...there's plenty of talk around the wiki about how were losing good editors...much of it in regards to GA and FA level writers...while they are important of course, you also have the gatekeepers like Harrison that keep those difficult articles from turning into a mishmash of misinformation and conspiracy theories....yes, we may very well be losing valubale seasoned doubt due at least partly to the chilling effects of telling our best that if you're not perfect, then they can get lost. As a side effect of all this, I see you paid homage to Mkativerata who has handed in his admin tools over this issue under a self proclaimed "cloud"...but Tom Harrison still gets a get lost...and this arbcom enforcement action also cost the website User:A Quest For Knowledge...who has told me that the place has become intolerable...I am tending to agree. For the record, I didn't want Mkativerata to do anything other than admit that this might have been overzealous and at the least, reduce the ban to a set term, say 30 days (even though no topic ban was ever justifiable to begin guys could have simply protected the page)...but Tom Harrison doesn't even get that much.--MONGO 06:31, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Tom harrison's edits cited in the request are plainly NPOV violations. As Mkativerata explained in his comment at AE, it doesn't take a genius to recognize "the tone of non-neutral advocacy" apparent in those edits. Now perhaps there are some extenuating circumstances about those particular edits we are not aware of (were they provoked by some sort of baiting, for example?), but if there were any, none was apparent from the thread or the edits. Page protection is for legitimate content disputes. An obvious NPOV violation is by definition not a legitimate content dispute. Occasionally editors can get burned out and carried away from long-term working in a difficult area, and this might be one of such cases, and Mkativerata's ban, as he intended it, is basically saying "OK, you need to take a break from this area, and come back when you can show that you are ready to edit it again". This has been the approach taken in a number of recent AE cases, as we shift gradually from a fixed-duration model to a return-when-you-can-show-you-are-ready model of sanctions in a number of areas.

You know what really strikes me as ironic? If the goal was to reduce Tom harrison's ban, driving Mkativerata away was a really counterproductive way of doing it. By driving him away, all that's been accomplished is that no single admin can reduce the ban, and any reduction must go through a full fledged AE appeal (with a high bar requiring "a clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors") or ArbCom, so what Mkativerata intended to be an easily-lifted "indef" ban that may well just last a couple of weeks (if Tom harrison's work is as good as you say it is) has become instead a real indefinite ban that will probably take something like a week just to go through the lifting process. This is particularly ridiculous since the entirety of his so-called "involvement" consisted of two !votes in an I-P related naming RFC a few years ago, and he only declared himself "involved" out of an abundance of caution. And what did that caution lead to? Groundless accusations of COI and "bias on Jewish-Palestinian issues". Also, for that matter, the 9/11 attacks are not within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict topic area either, so the COI/INVOLVED accusations are doubly groundless. (WP:ARB911 postdates WP:ARBPIA by more than 3 months, and were the 9/11 attacks in the I-P area Arbcom would not have passed a separate discretionary sanctions for 9/11.) Terrific work indeed. T. Canens (talk) 07:51, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

@T. Canens: None of this had to happen.

There was no need to impose an indefinite, broad-ranging topic ban for a first-time offense against an editor with 8 years of service and a clean record. There was a multitude of other options available. Did you consider any alternatives? Unfortunately, the quick rush to judgement prevented any real discussion of how to help this editor to return to productivity.

And I have to say, I'm extremely dissappointed that you would say something like "if Tom harrison's work is as good as you say it is". Are you honestly trying to tell us that you didn't bother researching this editor's history before topic banning him?

If the admins at AE can't be bothered to do some basic research, then they shouldn't be at AE. Plain and simple.

And if you lement Mkativerata's departure, then don't overlook your role in this matter. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:35, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

The record is clean, to be sure, but the offense is about the most blatant one I've seen at AE in a long time. Rarely do we get an NPOV violation as clear-cut as this. I think this is probably true of the other admins who commented in that thread as well, and pushed us toward the more severe end of the spectrum of available sanctions.

As to the breadth of the topic ban, that's a necessary consequence of the NPOV violation. If you can't, for whatever reason, adhere to NPOV on page X, then there's some pretty good reason to doubt that you can adhere to NPOV on a page Y related to X as well.

You know what? I've seen TH's work before when I was looking into previous 9/11-related AE requests, and I actually had a favorable impression of him. So I was actually quite astonished that he would make those edits and actually defend them at AE, and I had to go back and double check that this is the same TH I was thinking about. Out of necessity, however, we cannot examine all his 42000+ edits in detail before we settle on a sanction. The parenthetical is there because I try to avoid expressing my personal opinion on the quality of someone's edits at AE, as a general matter - but of course, it's now taken as evidence of laziness. So we are biased if we express an opinion, and lazy if we don't? Good to know.

As to your question on the other page, if the misconduct is directly connected to the edits at issue in the request, feel free to raise them directly, otherwise, a new thread is preferred. I don't think we've ever sanctioned someone for "retaliatory filing by proxy", and I doubt that we ever will have such a case unless there's pretty strong evidence that (1) the request is meritless and (2) the subject of the previous thread directly caused the new request to be filed. Evidence of (2) is unlikely to be ever seen by us. T. Canens (talk) 15:48, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

I have written elsewhere that indeed many of the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, espcially in the first few years after the event did have strong anti-Israel overtones...this has abated some and the conspiracy theorists learned soon that their efforts to go off on their tangent would gain little footing if it had any anti-Semitic overtones. Tom harrison's general thesis on this issue may have been somewhat off on a tangent now a decade after the event. I don't know what the usual offenses reported to AE look like since I don't generally dwelve into that realm, so I'll have to take your word on it these were the most blatant you've seen in some time (seems preposterous). As far as Mkativerata, I doubt anyone including myself and most certainly Tom Harrison wanted to see them retire, but since I think there were several different ways to go on this matter, I think the overzealousness of all the involved admins in this case indicates they all need to reconsider their adminship. I used to be an admin and I blocked plenty of trolls, plenty of troublemakers and obvious vandals...but I never once topic banned a long term almost perfect track record fellow administrator (Harrison had stepped away from editing for awhile and gave his tools back but can get them back upon asking) or editor from an area where they have been so helpful...why not a final warning, page protection (there was a minor edit war going on), or at the least, a 30 day topic ban? I guess the best way for me to have avoided a deadminning would have been what?...tell our best to screw off? Nevermind...we'll have to agree to completely disagree on this matter, so you can surely have the final word.--MONGO 16:44, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
@T. Canens: I don't know what happened. Tom is one of the most level headed editors in a very difficult topic space. Maybe there's something about anti-Semitism that pushes his buttons? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:48, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
@MONGO: The typical alleged NPOV violation we see at AE (in fact, one is at the top of that page right now) is whether an infobox should say "X Israeli settlers" or "X Israelis" when describing the population of Golan Heights. Compared to that, what TH wrote really stands out. Fortunately, Mkativerata has agreed to me taking over the topic ban so that the streamlined appeal process will remain available for TH. T. Canens (talk) 00:03, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
AQFK...that isn't it. The fact is that the earliest 9/11 conspiracy theories had strong anti-Semitic overtones...or at least anti-Israel ones. I read somewhere in an authoritative source that most publishing houses that were presented this message by various authors refused to print the material due to the problems it would the conspiracy theory propaganda profiteers that did get books printed omitted these aspects, though the underlying covert operation/Israeli involvement nonsense is still available but it's bundled in with other fanciful notions so it doesn't look like the centerpiece argument.
Tim...Harrison is not going to be asking for clemency from the acting admins on this matter...I don't think I would either. But least you've bothered to comment on this matter and though I still think that this was a horrible decision, I respect you for being frank and remaining civil.--MONGO 05:02, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
@T. Canens: So, how do you recommend we resolve this? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:07, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to take a look at TH's edits in a few weeks, and lift the ban if I think it is appropriate. That's pretty much the only thing I can promise right now. TH can of course always appeal his ban to either AE or ArbCom. T. Canens (talk) 01:13, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it's an excellent idea to review this topic ban in the near term, and to lift it, absent evidence of ongoing problems. Tom has stood out since before I started editing here as someone who takes on controversial topics effectively and appropriately. If he's made a series of bad edits in this case (I haven't reviewed them, but will accept the AE verdict on them), then that may be an indication that he needs a short break from the topic area. But in the long term I think the topic area will suffer greatly by losing Tom as an editor, so let me add my voice to those encouraging you to review and lift the ban a week or two down the line.

When an otherwise constructive editor makes an error, then we should certainly point it out and address it, but in doing so we should be sure to leave a clear path back so we can retain that editor. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but editors like Tom are not an infinitely renewable resource. That's not to say we shouldn't call him out if he's made a bad edit, but we should do it in a way that leaves the door open for him to come back in the near term. MastCell Talk 23:32, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Tom Harrison Lobbying

It seems we've both been getting lobbied pretty hard about this case (see my talk). I should have looked over here sooner so I could get a better handle of what's going on. I'm glad you got ownership of this close passed on to you. I support your plan as you've outlined above and am trying to end the discussion at my page. If you want my input on any eventual appeal let me know. --WGFinley (talk) 23:24, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

The Signpost: 13 February 2012

MSU Interview

Dear Timotheus Canens,

My name is Jonathan Obar user:Jaobar, I'm a professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and a Teaching Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation's Education Program. This semester I've been running a little experiment at MSU, a class where we teach students about becoming Wikipedia administrators. Not a lot is known about your community, and our students (who are fascinated by wiki-culture by the way!) want to learn how you do what you do, and why you do it. A while back I proposed this idea (the class) to the community HERE, where it was met mainly with positive feedback. Anyhow, I'd like my students to speak with a few administrators to get a sense of admin experiences, training, motivations, likes, dislikes, etc. We were wondering if you'd be interested in speaking with one of our students.

So a few things about the interviews:

  • Interviews will last between 15 and 30 minutes.
  • Interviews can be conducted over skype (preferred), IRC or email. (You choose the form of communication based upon your comfort level, time, etc.)
  • All interviews will be completely anonymous, meaning that you (real name and/or pseudonym) will never be identified in any of our materials, unless you give the interviewer permission to do so.
  • All interviews will be completely voluntary. You are under no obligation to say yes to an interview, and can say no and stop or leave the interview at any time.
  • The entire interview process is being overseen by MSU's institutional review board (ethics review). This means that all questions have been approved by the university and all students have been trained how to conduct interviews ethically and properly.

Bottom line is that we really need your help, and would really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. If interested, please send me an email at (to maintain anonymity) and I will add your name to my offline contact list. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can post your name HERE instead.

If you have questions or concerns at any time, feel free to email me at I will be more than happy to speak with you.

Thanks in advance for your help. We have a lot to learn from you.


Jonathan Obar --Jaobar (talk) 07:26, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Young June Sah --Yjune.sah (talk) 21:49, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Last comment, hopefully

Hopefully, this is the last comment I waste my time on in the AE forum over the recent case.[1]
-- JaakobouChalk Talk 11:37, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

I have responded to Jaakobou's latest edit, here. Gatoclass (talk) 13:12, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Please see the following diffs:
Warm regards, JaakobouChalk Talk 08:13, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I've done some digging and found the source for my personal confusion regarding the seeming merits of the case -- here.
With respect, JaakobouChalk Talk 13:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


Sorry about that. I will try not let it happen again. (talk) 08:18, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I was curious, reading my reply, did you instantly see it was a response to the previous version of the report? Or was it the blanking you deemed inappropriate?

I think it isn't good to move comments under a dramatically different report. Looking at the page we have no reason to think any of the users who posted a comment on the report visited the huge amount of divs later added to it.

Initially the report had only 1 div that applied to POVbrigand and there was nothing wrong with his comment. I couldn't make more of the page than a pure attack page? How else look at it? No evidence, other users cheering the non evidence? WTF?

I described the situation the way I thought was fit. And only then the evidence was added.

The comments do not even apply to the evidence provided but that is not what the page looks like at the moment.

There is a reply on the page with my name under it and I haven't even looked at the topic, I haven't seen one dif. But there is it my comment, a pile of nonsense. I would totally ban a user who writes such nonsense.

This was why I reverted it. He can fill a new report, put his evidence at the end, even just mentioning that he completely changed everything would be fine. Misrepresenting me is not OK.

The meaning of all comments on that page was completely changed by some one other than their author. To make things worse he was even unaware of this.

Telling me I can just update my comment is an unreasonable demand, other users should not be changing my comments. I'm not obligated to keep looking at my own comments. Kind of funny how it doesn't seem to apply if I'm already blocked for disruption the way I was? After I am blocked other users should still not be changing the things I wrote.

I even started a topic about it before you blocked me.[2] Perhaps you didn't think I could be reasonable, it doesn't really matter that you did. I am curious however if you attributed my comment to the evidence posted after that? Or could you see how it applied? I wouldn't know how to do that.

If you did misinterpret it it would completely demonstrate what I was so worried about.

I suppose it is also helpful if you tell me which edits you looked at so that I can better moderate myself.

If you have the time that is, I'm not in a hurry or anything. (talk) 16:24, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Under no circumstances is it permissible for you to remove content in another editor's section in an AE request. Period. T. Canens (talk) 05:59, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Jaakobou case

Hi Tim, I have responded to your last comment here. Regards, Gatoclass (talk) 07:31, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


Got some hits recently - can you provide any color in the filter notes section of what its trying to catch (or why it's an issue). Thanks.  7  05:02, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

That was designed for User:Crazy1980, back when he was a bit more predictable in the links, but doesn't seem to be useful now. T. Canens (talk) 05:04, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks.  7  05:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I think Special:Contributions/ is another NoCal100 sock. See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/NoCal100/Archive. NoCal100's MO usually involves targeting editors at admin boards and especially following and targeting Tiamut. You have blocked them in the past which probably explains the hostile comments directed at you in various AE reports. I expect confirmation via technical evidence to fail and I'm not sure there is sufficient behavioral evidence for an SPI. What do you recommend in a situation like this ? Sean.hoyland - talk 18:47, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

The Signpost: 20 February 2012

Gilabrands disruption

Hello, at the Geography of Israel article, there is a dispute about the neutrality of the article, user brecrewer removed the npov tag from the article without explanation, then after, User Gilabrand removed it again, she also did not explain her edit, and the npov dispute is not resolved.

This is very disruptive behavior from Gilabrand, also considering her history, , im not sure exactly what to do about this now, and advise? --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 05:02, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't know about Gilabrand but I see that you editwared with three different users about this article.Also you personal attack [3]too doesn't add anything to the discussion comment on edits not on users.--Shrike (talk) 09:05, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Campaign for "santorum" neologism RFC close request

Hi Timotheus Canens. You volunteered to close Talk:Campaign for "santorum" neologism#RfC - Should be hyperlinked within the article body and/or "External Links"? at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Campaign for "santorum" neologism RFC close request. I have started a new subsection at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Triumvirate for the closing admins to discuss the close. Thank you for volunteering for this difficult task. I wish you the best of luck. Cunard (talk) 02:43, 24 February 2012 (UTC)


I'm terribly slapdash sometimes. Thanks for the clean up,  Roger Davies talk 19:10, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

offer to close

Hi - as per your offer to close the santorum RFC - could you link me to some complicated policy closures that you have closed, or diffs that assert you have community support that you are a respected interpreter of policy, thanks - Youreallycan 00:33, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I object to your fully protecting the Talk:Campaign_for_"santorum"_neologism/Triumvirate with a reason of WP:CRATCHAT - It suggests there at cratchat that a talkpage should be created - As discussion is curtailed through your full protection please create a discussion page - Youreallycan 01:16, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Also - please answer my first question here in regards to your historic closures of complicated RFC discussions - Youreallycan 01:18, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I've closed my fair share of complicated AFDs and DRVs. If you want to go digging, by all means, but I'm not required to justify my "qualifications" to you.

Feel free to start a discussion page somewhere. T. Canens (talk) 02:50, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

You have not linked to any at all - your close of this discussion is a head count - You have no qualifications. Youreallycan 02:54, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
If you have a concern about Timotheus Canens qualifications, you should probably do your own research and present the argument to WP:ANI or WP:RFC/U. Starting an argument here just isn't going to be constructive.--v/r - TP 02:58, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

1RR rules and IP edits

See this comment where I noticed you as the first person to suggest the particular 1RR rule used in the ARBPIA template, the one which does not count reverts of IP edit against the total. Actually, TROUBLES may have used the IP-exempting rule earlier but I think it's in ARBPIA due to your suggestion. Luckily the Committee are not talking about changing it, just trying to make the wording clear. EdJohnston (talk) 17:23, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

The Signpost: 27 February 2012