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

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

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Rich Farmbrough

Initiated by Rich Farmbrough at 12:47, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Rich Farmbrough arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Remedy 2
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Terminate the remedy

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

In a case brought against me some three and a half years ago, it was found that certain community norms had been broken by me, specifically WP:BOTPOL, WP:5P4 and WP:ARBRFUAT.

I note that in the intervening period I have complied with WP:BOTPOL, been civil and collegial with other editors, and been responsive to other editors concerns, as anyone active in the community will know.

In particular I have continued to work at WP:TEAHOUSE, welcome new users, attempted to smooth ruffled feathers at WP:GGTF, mainly by focussing discussion on substantive issues, provided assistance to other editors both on and off-wiki (a list could be made available if desired). I have continued to work on other wikis with no issues.

I also continue to perform work high community trust, on protected templates, but more importantly on edit filters where, together with others (notably Dragons flight) I have overhauled almost every filter to ensure that the whole system continues to work (it was failing) and new filters can be implemented.

Moreover not only have I been policy compliant, collegial and responsive, I have every intention of continuing indefinitely to be so.

For these reasons I request the Arbitration Committee to terminate remedy 2.


Please note that I am eligible to request termination of this sanction from 15 January 2013. The sanction, qua sanction, is continuing to impact my good name in the community, notably impeding my recent RfA, and so the time has come to remove it.

Please also note that I have suggested a more nuanced approach to complete termination in the past, which has been dismissed by various committee members, with rather unflattering characterisations.


Thryduulf@ I would certainly consider you views valuable. I have met with other members of the committee at various wiki-functions. Whether to recuse must be your decision. I would not find fault either way. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 20:28, 8 October 2015 (UTC).

Thryduulf@ "editor's future employment prospects" maybe; however they can and maybe should consider the effect on the project - especially if the reasons for maintaining the restriction aren't particularly cogent.
"All automated tasks paused or blocked until..." You may be aware that I offered this as part of a solution in the workshop. (I was under the illusion that a workshop was for co-operating to find a way forward.) And I believe that SmackBot was the only major bot that allowed anyone (including IPs) to stop it - a facility I intended to reintroduce for Helpful Pixie Bot.
Hotcat: really I would doubt that I would use it more than a few times a week at most.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:10, 12 October 2015 (UTC).
Clarification - I am not looking to any of the half-dozen tools I mention to perform masses of edits. I am probably one of the slowest Huggle users there is - because I tend to look in more depth at anything that could possibly be good-faith. It's simply that these tools are all useful, and most of them can be used by every Wikipdia editor except me. Certainly even an IP is allowed to prepare a table in Libre Office and paste the result on-wiki.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:54, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Guerillero@ You must have a reason for saying that, do you mind if I ask what it is?

Gorilla Warfare@ It's hard to be specific. Indeed I have very little time to put into large scale projects. But even simple things like:

  1. This list I created on Meta today are forbidden on en:WP.
  2. User:WereSpielChequers has a number of lists that need updating.
  3. There is a lot of work with WP:Women in Red that needs doing.
  4. User:Carrite was looking for better information on editor activity, which I have acquired the data for, but not started coding, partly because I would not be allowed to upload the results.
  5. The correction of the User:Jagged 85 issues has ground to a halt, partly because I had to load my diagnostics onto Meta
  6. It would be nice to be able to use Twinkle, Reflinks and Hotcat
  7. I might even do some anti-vandal work with Huggle or STiki

But the main point is the stigma. This affects not just my standing in the community, but my ability to volunteer for certain roles on-wiki, and even my eligibility for employment off-wiki.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 01:32, 10 October 2015 (UTC).

Seraphimblade@ What lead up to it? A lot of things, that I can address here (or elsewhere) if you wish. However what I prefer to address specifically is the negative "findings of fact" which are putatively the committee's take on "what lead up to it." For example one suggested that I was "not responsive". I do not here challenge that claim, I simply point out that since that date I have been responsive. Similarly I have not infringed on BOTPOL. And I doubt anyone could challenge that I have been collegial - indeed my main thrust on the non-content part of Wikipedia has to be to encourage people to work together - and civil. Indeed I have had two complaints about being too civil.

Moreover I can state categorically that I have every intention of continuing to be collegial, civil, responsive and policy compliant.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 15:11, 10 October 2015 (UTC).
(Currently watching WikiConference USA live.)

Corcelles@ Your response does not provide any useful feedback. I have explicitly invited feedback from Arbitrators on several occasions over the years, which has given you plenty of opportunity to discuss any issues you think remain unresolved. If, of course, you believe that I am an unredeemable case, then no feedback is to be expected, as it would be a waste of your valuable time. Otherwise a more detailed response would be useful.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 16:35, 10 October 2015 (UTC).

AGK@ I am surprised you are not recusing yourself here All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 16:05, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Native Foreigner@ I am always interested in any wisdom about my actions. I reiterate the invitation to share or discuss them, here, on my talk page, by email, by phone/Skype or in person which I made some considerable time ago.

As to looking into the case, I'm afraid it's a bit of a mammoth, but I find the weakness of the supporting evidence to the findings, and particularly the need to go back additional years quite telling. To take one example, I am under sanctions now, partly for making edits in 2010, which someone has deemed were "too fast" to comply with BOTPOL. And yet there is nothing in BOTPOL of 10 November 2010 about any limitation on assisted editing speed. (Later versions specifically exclude speed alone as being an issue.) And the speed wasn't excessive - most editors who do administrative work will have had bursts of comparable speed - for example you edited at 10 edits per minute on 17 July. According to the 2012 committee you should have submitted a BRFA authorisation for that.

Now this is just one part of one finding, and it took quite some research to check the BOTPOL pages for the appropriate dates, check the evidence, come up with a comparator. It is also a nominally objective piece of evidence and a nominally objective policy. For subjective matters like being "civil" and "responsive" the amount of work required to construct a good refutation is much higher. I therefore requested the committee allow me 14 days to put together a response to the proposed findings. This was refused and I never got to defend myself from the very surprising proposed decision, and have been working on-and-off to deal with the problems it has caused ever since.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 03:57, 13 October 2015 (UTC).

DGG@ Perhaps you would like to give an example? We have a lot of tools in our kit-bag to deal with problems, making them mostly trivial to resolve. There are no negative findings about any automated edits. Indeed finding WP:ARB RF EX EX EX states:

He has extensive experience with and expertise in the use of automation...

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 13:08, 14 October 2015 (UTC).

Salvio giuliano@ Thank you for your positive response. Face-smile.svg All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 18:21, 19 October 2015 (UTC).

Doug Weller@ Thanks for your thoughtful response. It might be of interest to know that I offered to work with a similar halting system during the workshop phase of the case. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 18:21, 19 October 2015 (UTC).

DeltaQuad@ Thanks for your response, it's good to see another positive outlook. It's not really out of the blue I have suggested such steps as most arbs now seem to endorse several times over the years. In fact I emailed this request to the Committee over two months ago, so there was plenty of advance warning!

So perhaps it's time for a motion? All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 03:21, 7 November 2015 (UTC).

Summary of Arb options for a solution to date

Pause clause = Any query, must halt until resolved, to the satisfaction of an uninvolved admin if required.

Stipulated that anything fully automated is subject to the normal WP:BOTPOL requirements, including BRFA where necessary.

Apologies in advance if I have mis-represented anyone or omitted anyone.

  • No opinion yet (Gorilla Warfare@),

  1. Do nothing AGK@, Guerillero@
  2. Manual use of HOTCAT (max 10 per hour, <=50% article edits any 24 hrs). May make and maintain lists, if asked by others, subject to WP:BOTREQ. Pause clause. (Thryduulf@)[queries 1]
  3. User space and User talk space only. (Courcelles@)
  4. User space and User talk space ... still thinking. (Amanda/Delta Quad@)
  5. User space and User talk + Jagged85 (non-mainspace), requested tasks (non-mainspace). Pause clause. (Doug Weller@)
  6. Relax, unspecified. (DGG@)
  7. Allow semi-automation. Automation only to non-mainspace, subject to normal pre-approval. (Seraphimblade@)
  8. Lift completely/Parole (Native Foreigner@, Salvio@, Euryalus@)


  1. ^ So if I do a HOTCAT and go away for the weekend I'm in breach? If the edits would not require BOTREQ for a "normal" editor, do they require one if I do it?


Let me suggest some motions - clearly some fancy wording would be needed:

  1. Remedy 2 remains unchanged.
  2. Remedy 2 is struck.
  3. Remedy 2 is struck with respect to User space and User talk space.
  4. Remedy 2 is struck with respect to non-article pages.
  5. Remedy 2 is struck with respect to automation assisted edits.
  6. Remedy 2 is struck with respect to Anti-vandal tools and built in gadgets.
  7. Remedy 2 is struck with respect to CCI tasks (excluding mainspace)

Clearly 2 is my ideal, but any combination of 3 4 and 5 would allow me to proceed with most of the day-to-day tasks I do far more effectively, and to help other Wikipedians with their projects.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 21:46, 26 November 2015 (UTC).

Statement by Carrite

I'm not sure what exactly would prevent Rich from parsing a large data set and posting his results, which he mentions above with regards to analysis of WMF data to draw inferences about the editing population. If anything stands in the way of this, it needs to be set aside, at a minimum. As for the rest, once again ArbCom is looking more than a little stubborn and vindictive here in not allowing RF some sort of path back to full functionality as an editor. Drop his restrictions and restore them by motion if he resumes negative behavior, it seems obvious. I'm very frustrated with the current committee's lack of faith or willingness to take minor risks for the greater good of the project. Carrite (talk) 14:56, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by WereSpielChequers

I can see that Arbcom might see an opportunity here merely to clarify the original excessive limitations and allow Rich to use hotcat and reflinks and to generate reports in his own userspace or ideally Wikipedia space. But really the time for such a clarification was three and a half years ago, surely by now it is time to simply lift that sanction.

As Rich mentioned he has produced some very useful lists Wikipedia:Articles with UK Geocodes but without images being my favourite example. Along with a couple of other editors I've been testing image adding as an exercise for new editors, and we reckon we are ready, we just need this sanction lifted so we can get the report regularly refreshed instead of telling newbies to remove items from the list.

With the loss of toolserver and the problems at labs we have lost many regular reports. Including three areas I've started or been involved in such as Death Anomalies - which would be the next one I'd ask Rich to consider adopting. The lack of these reports is incredibly frustrating, and seriously holds the project back. You have an opportunity to reduce that problem by lifting or at least reducing the restrictions on Rich. ϢereSpielChequers 09:23, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Fæ

It is time to move on, and let the Community of Wikipedians take over, rather than Arbcom never letting go and in the process throwing away the Committee's valuable time, which ought to be invested on real risks and divisive harmful issues within the community.

There is no risk whatsoever to Wikimedia projects if all sanctions are now lifted. This long ago became a incomprehensible and bureaucratic punishment, rather than a sanction that can be claimed to be done to "protect the community", or Rich for that matter.

If members of Arbcom wish to advise the Wikipedia community, they might validly suggest a voluntary restriction like 10 pages per minute. I have no doubt that Rich would subscribe to these suggestions and make a case with the community when he is ready to relax them further. There are plenty of highly active Wikimedians that will help Rich out with advice and reviews of his edits, should they introduce any issues with articles or templates.

Everyone writing here knows that Rich is a valuable contributor who has rare talents to offer our shared mission and he should be supported, encouraged and praised for his astonishing commitment, rare skills and patience during this years long case.

I haven't talked in person to Rich since last year. However we have had several chats about the future of the projects, chapters and the Foundation over the years. Back in 2012 I interviewed him about his experience with Arbcom, this remains unpublished. I expected to write it up once his Arbcom sanctions ended, as I did not want an interview which examined the experience and emotional impact that long punitive cases like this have, to influence the case or later appeals. We had no idea that this would be eating up our time and stopping Rich from contributing in 2015. -- (talk) 12:55, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by IJBall

After three and a half years, it's time to just lift these sanctions. I don't think leaving them in place in any way serves the interest of the project. I doubt very much that Rich is suddenly going to go off into 'La La Land' if these restrictions are lifted. It's time to AGF here and move on. Also, it is reasonable to assume that leaving these sanctions in place will make it impossible for Rich to advance at RfA and be resysopped – thus leaving sanction in place almost seems punitive at this point. Anyway, that's my $0.02. --IJBall (contribstalk) 04:33, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Jenks24

Adding my support for the sanction to be lifted. Others have said it more eloquently above so I won't try and rehash it. Plus, if I'm honest, I'm still pretty annoyed about the original decision and I'm not sure if writing a few paragraphs criticising the committee would help Rich's case here. Suffice it to say, I think they made the wrong call then and it looks even more wrong three years down the track. Please do the right thing and extend Rich some good faith. Jenks24 (talk) 07:28, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Littleolive oil

While intuition and gut feeling about something might be legitimate on Wikipedia; in an Arbitration case and with the arbs as with the rest of the community those feelings must be supported by specific diffs of actions which clearly indicate a user cannot be trusted or has not functioned appropriately under a restriction. 31/2 years is along time, and I don't see any specific diffs from that time period pointing to poor editing behaviour or to behaviours which would indicate a restriction is necessary. Arbitrators are held to the same standards we all are and should support allegations with substantive proof for their positions. Arbitrators are not judges or juries; they are the neutral third party in disputes. Here the parties. the members of the community who have concerns and Rich have spoken so the arbs then, given the definitions of their role must indicate why this is not sufficient to undue a restrictions. In my opinion assuming a position on 3 1/2 years of editing with out anything specific or substantive to support that position is unfair and punitive neither which are appropriate.

  • Per Thryduulf:

The community is the encyclopedia. They, community and encyclopedia, as I think you are implying are not mutually exclusive except in some instances. Your comment brought up for me an conern I have when I see the statement, "this is an encyclpedia first." It is not an encyclpedia first, it is first a collaboratibe project the goal of which is to create an encyclopedia. Unless the individuals are treated fairly the communithy will eventually collapse and so of course will the encyclopedia. I have great respect for Thryduulf's consistent, deeply thoughtful comments. Thank you. :O)(Littleolive oil (talk) 15:48, 19 October 2015 (UTC)) Statement by {other-editor}

Statement by Sladen

Some of Rich statements are extremely encouraging: "one suggested that I was "not responsive". I do not here challenge that claim, I simply point out that since that date I have been responsive." and reassuring: "I am not looking to any of the half-dozen tools I mention to perform masses of edits.". These are countered by argumentation: "There are no negative findings about any automated edits."Findings of fact are hopefully neutral; and rationale that are not obviously for the benefit of the encyclopedia: "eligibility for employment off-wiki" and "notably impeding my recent RfA".

The block has had a positive effect on Rich's contributions and it is extremely pleasing that Rich has built a new niche after the boundaries were made clear—but editors have long memories of the (past) unparalleled disruption caused by self-invented-up AWB tasks, so it's unlikely to be able to find a route that's going to please everyone the first time around. We can see the clearly divided opinions, so something down the middle is probably the least unpalatable to all.

It is extremely easy to simply say "no", but perhaps Doug et al's suggestions of limited parole in own User space and performing tasks requested by others (ie. not dreamt-up) in non-article space, are a plausible solution. For the proponents this gives Rich Farmbrough a chance to prove himself, and for the doubters this can be seen as WP:ROPE. Enforcement likely needs to stay at WP:AE with incrementing draconian blocks, because this is the only remedy has worked effectively in effecting behavioural change, with everything else has resulted in endless discussion ("dramaz"). For AE to be effective any new boundaries require equally clear-cut edges so that evaluation can be quantifiable and enforcement can be emotionless—Rich should know where the edges are without the need to feel or push.

Yes, I have [past tense] been massively inconvenienced by Rich + bots for several years, half-a-decade ago. I've been watching this and I'm even willing to argue for some level of rehabilitation. Even I'm amazed by that. Support has its limits through; and I would invite Rich to make a clear statement about whether he wishes to go the bot route (here) or the admin route (RfA)—I don't think any combination of trying to do both is either tenable or feasible. Such an undertaking might well be sufficient for even the most resolute doubters to come around. —Sladen (talk) 21:58, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Wbm1058

The only lingering damage from Rich's automated editing that I'm aware of is that which is part of the history-merge backlog. It's unfortunately a catch-22 that Rich can't repair these without the admin tools. Can anyone with a long memory identify any other issues caused by Rich's automated edits which have not yet been repaired? If yes, I'd ask him to fix those first before granting this request. If no, then I agree that by now it is time to simply lift the sanction. "Probation" can simply be requiring him to promptly fix any damage he creates, and to make limited "trial runs" of any new major repetitive automated edits, then stop and wait to ensure that there is no negative reaction to it, so that if there is, the repair of such damage will not be exceedingly difficult or time-consuming. Wbm1058 (talk) 02:16, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Sigh, Fram's statement below is just devastating. I couldn't bring myself to read through to the end of their critique on your Arbcom candidate page, after I saw this. The timing of this is particularly bad, given the recent bad publicity caused by the revelation of mass-redirect creation by another editor (who named himself after a Star Trek character). Unfortunately, as you can only tag these for deletion, others will need to clean up this mess. I'm sorry, but after seeing this, I cannot support any relaxation of restrictions beyond allowing you to make automated edits in your own userspace, where others can make QA checks before moving your work to another namespace. It's sad to see such talent going to waste – User:Rich Farmbrough/Redirect tool seems very clever, with its core and inner core. I wish that talent could be channeled to more productive uses. You need to stop focusing on quantity and pay more attention to details to achieve more quality edits. I know this won't be easy for you, but please try (I perhaps have the opposite problem: in the past I've taken heat for missing project deadlines, and didn't like to consider a coding project finished until it was bug-free and perfect). Wbm1058 (talk) 13:41, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by GoodDay

It's been over 3 years now. IMHO, the restriction should be repealed & Rich given a chance to prove himself. GoodDay (talk) 02:32, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Deryck

Rich's sanctions were made 3.5 years ago. They were criticized as ill-defined back then, and 3.5 years on they are more ill-defined than they were, because Wikipedia editing tools have moved on. I would like to see the sanction lifted altogether, but I understand the "risk" that our honorable Arbitrators think they're taking on this manner. Even so, I think Remedy 2 desperately needs to be rewritten in a way that is tool-independent and objectively enforceable - "any edits that reasonably appear to be automated" has never been properly enforceable and has generated so much adverse wiki-lawyering over the years. As a compromise, I propose limiting the scope of Rich's sanctions to reader-facing namespaces only (article, template, category, portal; excluding all talk pages); and redefining the sanction in terms of edit rate, e.g. max 1 edit per minute, or 200 edits per 24 hours. Deryck C. 22:48, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MichaelMaggs

You can tell when a sanction has become punitive rather than protective in the mind of an arbitrator when the response to an amendment request is simply "no". That's it. No reasons, no discussion, apparently no consideration. This sanction should be lifted. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 01:05, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Fram

I have added a question at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2015/Candidates/Rich Farmbrough/Questions#Question from User:Fram which contains some information relevant to this amendment request, particularly the part about the User:Rich Farmbrough/Redirect tool (an automatic redirect creator made between June and August 2015) and the apparent test runs of it in the mainspace, resulting in huge numbers of often useless (newly invented) redirects. Fram (talk) 13:57, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should opine whether and how the Committee should clarify or amend the decision or provide additional information.

Rich Farmbrough: Clerk notes

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

Rich Farmbrough: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I'm considering whether to recuse on this, given extensive interaction with Rich IRL at wikimeets and the like. Rich, if you have a strong opinion either way let me know and I'll respect that. Thryduulf (talk) 14:49, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
    • I have decided I do not need to recuse here. I do not think that an editor's future employment prospects are something that we can consider (cf Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fæ#Motion Carried re images of sexuality in ancient and medieval times) as our remit is to act in the interests of the encyclopaedia and the wider project rather than the interests of individual editors (where these are mutually exclusive). In contrast perhaps to previous committees I'm tempted to allow a modification to the restriction. As an initial proposal for discussion I would suggest allowing:
      1. the manual use of WP:HOTCAT at a rate not exceeding a rate of 10 pages edited using hotcat in any 60 minute period. Your hotcat edits should not exceed 50% of your total article namespace edits in any 24 hour period.
      2. the use of automated tools to generate project-space or userspace lists and to maintain those lists if necessary, where these have been asked for by other Wikimedians and have permission granted at WP:BOTREQ.
      These would all be subject to the requirement that in the event of any complaints or queries raised about your automated edits by another editor, all automated tasks must be paused or halted at least until the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, or to the satisfaction of an uninvolved administrator if agreement cannot be reached.
    I would not, at this stage, be inclined to allow the use of any automated tools that make any edits to content namespaces (other than hotcat). I do not think that these would lead to the problems that lead to these restrictions in the first place, but would allow Rich to demonstrate he can use automation responsibly. Thryduulf (talk) 10:21, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
    @Rich Farmbrough: I intend to try and move this request forward and get an actual outcome, however the Eric Corbett, Lightbreather and Gender gap issues have rather stolen the Committee's time at present so I can't say exactly when that will be. Thryduulf (talk) 14:14, 29 October 2015 (UTC) resigning to fix the ping Thryduulf (talk) 14:15, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not inclined to remove this sanction --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 04:01, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Rich Farmbrough: What kind of bot-assisted edits would you intend to make, should this sanction be removed? GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:05, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Rich Farmbrough: What do you understand as the issues that led up to the sanction being placed, and what steps would you take to prevent similar situations from occurring again? Seraphimblade Talk to me 13:35, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
    • I think I could support a relaxation of the restriction, as I do see the point that Rich's overall style of interaction really has improved. I think I'd want to see how that works out before supporting a parole leading toward eventual lifting. I think the restrictions to non-mainspace for automated tasks are wise, at least initially, and certainly only to preapproved tasks (and any tests necessary prior to approval). For semiautomation, like Huggle and the like, I think we could allow normal use of that, provided that such tools are not used for any unsupervised, fully automated editing in mainspace and Rich is in fact pressing the button for each such edit. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:48, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I will not support removing or loosening this sanction. Courcelles (talk) 14:36, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Actually, I would support one and only one relaxation; that being to Rich's own userspace and user talk space. Courcelles (talk) 02:23, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I too would not allow this request. AGK [•] 09:16, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I have serious concerns about lifting such sanctions. That being said I do somewhat concur with the view that occasionally risks must be taken. The action which Rich took were indubitably problematic and I think to some degree he may not fully understand what was problematic about them. I feel, personally, like it may not be prudent. However, we're quite far down the line and to take a risk (or even to do something as minor as allowing bot edits in non content workspaces so long as the bot is reviewed, or perhaps implementing a somewhat more strict mentor or approval process). As my term continues I am growing less and less enthusiastic with the notion of grand packages of restrictions to allow problem editors to stay, although this is primarily within the realm of civility. Nonetheless I think this needs discussion past the point of "I have issues trusting this individual." Don't get me wrong, I have concerns about lifting the restriction myself, but it's been 3+ years and some of the originally identified poor behaviors seem to have changed for the better. The general community support for removing them also bears considering. The individual certainly seems to have more trust with the community than with the members of arbcom, and why exactly this is I am not sure, but it has convinced me I should look more into the case to see if I am missing anything from either side. NativeForeigner Talk 17:14, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd be for lifting it. There wouldn't be a lack of scrutiny to its editing. NativeForeigner Talk 10:40, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The problems that can be created by any automated editing can be so difficult to resolve, that I'm not prepared to take the risk. DGG ( talk ) 05:46, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Reconsidering, I thin a modified trial of some sort would be warranted. Doug Weller's suggestions seems one reasonable approach, and I would support it. DGG ( talk ) 09:03, 23 November 2015 (UTC)1
  • Consider other arb's comments, I think there should be some way of relaxing the restriction that would be safe enough. I would not remove it entirely. DGG ( talk ) 02:20, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
  • In this case, I support a parole; alternatively, if there is no consensus for that, I also support a relaxation of the restriction. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:57, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I support gradual relaxation, with the first stage his own userspace and talkpage, work on User:Jagged 85 if that doesn't involved directly editing articles, and specific requests from users such as User:WereSpielChequers to do non-article space work (which other editors could then move into article spaceif required). Where appropriate obviously he'd need permission granted at WP:BOTREQ. I don't see any particular risks in such a relaxation and it appears that other editors and indeed the project could benefit from it. I'd include Thryduulf's requirement that "These would all be subject to the requirement that in the event of any complaints or queries raised about your automated edits by another editor, all automated tasks must be paused or halted at least until the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, or to the satisfaction of an uninvolved administrator if agreement cannot be reached." Rich should be given a chance to show that he can use his skills responsibly. Doug Weller (talk) 15:35, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I can't see completely dropping this measure out of the blue, though I do see the community that wishes we'd move on. So that said, a gradual relaxation or something of the sort of things mentioned above is definitely in order. I would start with the userspace first and see where that goes though. I'll ponder some thoughts over the next steps. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 05:41, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support lifting the restriction entirely without prejudice to reimposing it via a successful ARCA request or similar, if problems recur. I've read through the original case and would have voted the same way as the majority In imposing the restriction in the first place. But three years later, am willing to AGF and see how it goes. For avoidance of doubt, also support any gradual lifting of the restriction as proposed above, if these seem likely to get a majority of supports here. -- Euryalus (talk) 05:32, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

Clarification request: Privatemusings

Initiated by CypherPunkyBrewster at 15:22, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

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

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

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

Statement by CypherPunkyBrewster

Note: This is a legitimate alternative account. I will be happy to reveal my main account to arbcom on request.

In the 2007 Privatemusings case, (Final decision --> Principles --> Sockpuppetry) the following language was used:

"Sockpuppet accounts are not to be used in discussions internal to the project, such as policy debates."

This is referenced by Wikipedia:Sock puppetry (Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts --> Editing project space) with the language

"Editing project space: Undisclosed alternative accounts are not to be used in discussions internal to the project."

I created this account after the gamergate arbcom case. In that case, I did not comment on that case using my main account because so many people who have expressed an opinion on gamergate have received real-world harassment off-wiki. I was hoping to use this account if that ever happened again (and, of course, only in cases where I was unambiguously uninvolved.)

Q1: In cases where I have had no prior interactions with anyone named in an arbcom case and had never edited the pages being discussed is using my alternate account to make a statement in an arbcom case a legitimate use of an alternate account?

Q2: Same question, but for ANI, RS noticeboard, NPOV noticeboard, AIAV, COI noticeboard, etc.

Q3: What, exactly, are undisclosed alternative accounts? Is this account "disclosed" by way of my disclosing that it is an alternative account, or do I have to name my main account?

Q4: What, exactly are "discussions internal to the project" and/or "edits to project space"? Are we talking about namespaces here, and if so, which ones?

Basically, I just want clear guidelines on what I can and can not do using this alternative account. I am not disputing any policies or decisions; I just want to know how to follow them.

  • To User:JzG, who wrote "CypherPunkyBrewster is an account apparently created to advance the cause of climate change denial": You are wrong, and you are failing to assume good faith. This alternate account was created in order to edit articles and participate in discussions related to those articles where there is a significant chance of being branded as pro-gamergate, anti-gamergate, global warming denialist, global warming alarmist, pinko liberal, tea-party conservative, or even swivel-eyed loon. I am well aware of the discretionary sanctions associated with American Politics and Climate Change. I do not believe that I have violated the DS using this account, and I have completely stayed away from climate change on my main account for obvious reasons. If you think that I have violated the DS, feel free to report me at AE (I have no problem with identifying my main account to arbcom and asking them to publicly confirm no global warming involvement.)
  • To User:Rich Farmbrough, who wrote "Of course that is a matter for the community, not the committee, though their comments would undoubtedly have some weight", because the 2007 Privatemusings case is cited at the sock puppetry page, I strongly suspect that any attempt to start a community discussion on this topic would quickly devolve into multiple comments telling me to go to arbcom, so I did that first. Also, depending on how one answers my questions above, I could very well be forbidden from starting a community discussion on this topic. It would be, after all, a "discussions internal to the project". CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 03:57, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
  • To User:Seraphimblade (regarding the entire comment), That makes perfect sense to me, and I will have no problem following the clarification you posted. Thanks! On reflection, I see the wisdom of using the alternate account only for article editing and dispute resolution directly related to those articles. I will stay away from discussions of project policy, requesting sanctions against other editors, or general participation in dispute resolution or audited content processes when not related to articles I am working on with my alternate account. And of course I already knew that the main and alternate account must keep strictly clear of editing in the same area, and all the other "don't do that"s listed in the sock puppetry policy. I will note that I made one edit that I now know was not allowed.[1] I apologize for that and assure you that it will not happen again. Again, thanks for the clear explanation. CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 04:17, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
  • To Salvio giuliano, If another case like gamergate ever hits arbcom, I would like to comment as an uninvolved editor (revealing my main account to arbcom so you can verify that I am not involved), but not if it means revealing my real-world identity. Some of those involved in gamergate have done some nasty real-world harassment against those who disagree with them. Let me know if you think a majority of arbcom agrees with you and I will post an RfC at the sock puppet page. I have never made a gamergate edit using either account, but assuming that I had edited gamergate using my alternate account, as I understand it it would be OK for someone to name me as being involved, followed by my revealing my main account to arbcom so you can confirm that the main account has never edited gamergate. So let's say that happens and I end up being blocked (not likely, BTW; my main account is over five years old with over 10,000 edits and no blocks or editing restrictions and I don't intent to abuse this one either). It would seem reasonable in that case to block both accounts, but how to do that without revealing my real-world identity? In my particular case I know the rules about block evasion and would cease editing using my main account until the block was lifted on my alternate account, but I doubt that this would be a good solution for the more aggressive editors who end up at arbcom. So how do we handle that situation? --CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 17:32, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • To GorillaWarfare, is it even allowed for an alternate account like mine to make a clean start while the main account stays the same? I kind of assumed that that wouldn't be allowed. Unrelated question; I do want to give people confidence that I am not violating our sock puppet rules, so if I put a notice on my user page saying that any and all checkusers can look at my account for any reason, would that override the usual checkuser restrictions? Is there any way my waiving my privacy in that way could compromise the privacy of someone else? CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 17:42, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Related question: Again just asking about what this particular arbcom decision does and does not allow, and of course assuming that the other legitimate sock puppet restrictions are obeyed, is an alternate account allowed to ask questions at the teahouse, reference desk, or help desk? I think that we have already established that this is allowed if in support of an article the alt account is working on, but how about generally? Some questions might be of a personal nature. How about answering questions posted by others? I saw a recent rrefdesk question where one of the answers mentioned that the person answering was transgender. That might not be something you want to be published on the internet about yourself. --CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 20:28, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

I urge the committee not to accept any requests from this account until there is a public declaration of the editor's primary account. BMK (talk) 20:37, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Re: Guy's comment below, I concur that CPB's edits do indeed seem to be pushing that agenda. I have asked CPB on their talk page to reveal what account they are an alternate of, but if he or she refuses or ignores the request, I strongly urge the committee not to proceed without CPB revealing to the committee what that account is, and an evaluation being made to see if any aspect of WP:SOCK is being violated. Alternate accounts may not be used to avoid scrutiny, and the climate change area is certainly one in which there has been a significant amount of sockpuppety and other disruptions. BMK (talk) 22:06, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
I have placed a Climate Change Discretionary Sanctions notice on CPB's talk page. BMK (talk) 22:09, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────So on his talk page - as well as personally attacking me and my motivations - CPB says that he wants to use this account to edit contentious subjects, such as Gamergate, Climate Change, and American Politics. But there is a standard in place for editing Gamergate - since we don't know who CPB is, how is that standard of time/edits to be applied? Certainly the CPB account wouldn't qualify.

In any case, from CPB's description on the talk page, it appears to me that what he wants is a "get out of jail free" card, where his "legitimate" alternate account can raise hell in contentious and disputatious subject areas, and his primary account can merrily edit without suffering any consequences, or scrutiny from other editors. BMK (talk) 03:12, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Since anything the Arbitrators say here is simply advisory in nature, and since CypherPunkyBrewster has outed his other identity ([2]), perhaps this ought to be closed. BMK (talk) 22:13, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
@NE Ent: Blocks are for people, not for accounts. BMK (talk) 02:27, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I note for the record that admin Swarm has rev del'd or oversighted the self-identification I referred to above, I'm not sure under what theory. BMK (talk) 05:10, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

  • I also note that the AN/I thread which Guy Macon opened about this issue has been moved by Swarm [3] to Archive 901, and then was rev del'd or oversighted from that archive by him [4]. BMK (talk) 05:24, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

@Rich Farmbrough: There is no reason to "rejoice in one's own cleverness" when the master account discloses their identity and then attempts to deny it, instead of simply standing mute. Seeing hyprocrisy such as that brings joy to nobody. BMK (talk) 16:52, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement Rich Farmbrough (CPB)

This has always seemed to me an invidious limitation of legitimate socks. If someone wants (for whatever reason) to use different accounts for different subject areas, then to suggest that those accounts be banned from "project space" discussion is not useful. Certainly crossover should be minimised. I have always imagined that this was an unintentional broadening of the proscription regarding creation of false impressions of support.

Of course that is a matter for the community, not the committee, though their comments would undoubtedly have some weight.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 21:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC).


This is a clarification request about:

  1. A previous ruling
  2. Opinion on policy

Clearly if it constituted trolling and was also deemed not useful, then the Committee would be very likely to speedy close it one way or another - and in the very unlikely event that the trolling nature was obscure, posting evidence to that effect would be legitimate.

However this seems a perfectly good faith question - and the fact that there is difference of opinion, and legitimate hemming and hawing from respected editors indicates that it is one that needs to be taken seriously.

In this context neither attempted outing nor tarring the interlocutor with the brush "climate change denialist" are necessarily useful.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 15:58, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Salvio@ - I think NE Ent is perfectly correct. Editing while blocked is of course blockable, and generally leads to block extensions. It would certainly verge on self-outing if a block of the alternate account/extension of block resulted in people putting two and two together. Of course there would still be no need for anyone to, rejoicing in their own cleverness, comment on the identity of the main account. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 16:16, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Statement by JzG

CypherPunkyBrewster (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is an account apparently created to advance the cause of climate change denial. Given the arbitration cases in that are already (both American Politics and Climate change), it would seem like a really bad idea to let this alternate account edit in project space. Guy (Help!) 21:21, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Answer from NE Ent

If one account gets blocked, the editor simply doesn't use other when the block is in place. NE Ent 19:42, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Callanecc

The way I've handled the main account blocked and alt account issue is leaving the alt account unblocked, then if it evades the block on the master's account blocking it for block evasion (without saying more) or asking another admin (a CU when it happened) to block the alt account. That way the two blocks are either separated by time, or, even better, by different blocking admins. If you wanted to block both accounts for the duration of the block the same principle applies, one admin blocks the main account and another blocks the alt account (with a different, but similar block summary). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 05:04, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by EdJohnston

The editor is asking a long string of hypothetical questions. Some of them are brainteasers and not without interest. But the editor has not identified any special hardship that causes them to need relief from the sockpuppet policy. Since there is no valid grievance here there is nothing to adjudicate. My suggestion is that Arbcom should close this request with no action. Changes in policy can be proposed elsewhere. EdJohnston (talk) 02:16, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should opine whether and how the Committee should clarify or amend the decision or provide additional information.

Privatemusings: Clerk notes

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

Privatemusings: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • As Rich Farmbrough says, this is a matter of the sockpuppetry/alternate accounts policy, but it was also brought up in the Privatemusings case. The idea behind it, I think, is quite clear. Some editors, if they, for example, edit articles on sexuality, politics, or other "hot button" areas, may not want those edits to be associated with their main account. Provided that the main and alternate account keep strictly clear of editing in the same area, and the alternate account isn't being used to behave badly or otherwise avoid scrutiny, that is permitted. But the alternate account is not to be used in areas outside of article editing. Article editing, in my view, would generally be composed of the article and article talk spaces, any dispute resolution processes directly related to those articles such as mediation if you're reasonably a party to such a process, and other areas directly related to article content editing such as featured article/good article/DYK candidacies related to articles edited by the alternate account. So at least in my view, it wouldn't be entirely bound to a given namespace. Rather, it is bound to a purpose, content editing. It would not, therefore, include discussions of project policy, requesting sanctions against other editors, or other such internal processes. Nor would it allow general participation in dispute resolution or audited content processes when not related to articles the alternate account is working on. The editor would need to pick a single primary account to use in such internal discussions, and use only that account for them. If you'd prefer that the primary account not be associated with such discussions, your option would be to avoid participating in them.

    For your specific hypothetical scenarios, then: In an ArbCom case, the alternate account should be used only if it is a named party. If you'd like to jump in on a case you're not a named party to, use your primary account. (If the alternate account is a named party, it would be wise to inform the Committee privately of the situation.) AN(I) and other administrative boards, generally not (though I personally wouldn't care if you reported blatant vandals to AIV with it.) Content discussion boards like RSN, NPOVN, etc., yes, so long as the discussion there is directly related to the alternate account's edits. So, discussing content yes, discussing editors no. For your third question, "disclosure" in this sense would mean publicly and clearly disclosing what primary account the alternate account is linked to (you can see my public terminal account for what that looks like), not just disclosing that it is an alternate. I think your fourth question is answered by the above. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:11, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

@Beyond My Ken: You bring up some additional good points. In the case that an alternate account is engaging in poor or sanctionable behavior, I would see it as entirely justifiable for an administrator to indef the alternate account as a "bad hand" sock. Alternate accounts are not meant to engage in poor behavior without that reflecting on the primary account, and the sockpuppetry policy already forbids that type of misuse. The conduct of the alternate account must be absolutely above reproach. So far as areas like Gamergate where editing restrictions apply, if the alternate account doesn't meet the requirements to edit there and isn't clearly and publicly linked to an account that does, well then, that account can't be used to edit there. Admins need to be able to verify that the editor is eligible to edit there; a vague handwave that "Oh, I have a different account that does meet the requirements" doesn't cut it. Nor is private disclosure and verification in that instance. Even when feasible, that would be too much of a timesink. Seraphimblade Talk to me 11:13, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • My interpretation of current policy is as follows:
    • Q1: In cases where I have had no prior interactions with anyone named in an arbcom case and had never edited the pages being discussed is using my alternate account to make a statement in an arbcom case a legitimate use of an alternate account?
      No. Participating in "discussions internal to the project" on an alternative account is explicitly prohibited by WP:SOCK, and ArbCom cases qualify.
    • Q2: Same question, but for ANI, RS noticeboard, NPOV noticeboard, AIAV, COI noticeboard, etc.
      Same as above; these are internal to the project.
    • Q3: What, exactly, are undisclosed alternative accounts? Is this account "disclosed" by way of my disclosing that it is an alternative account, or do I have to name my main account?
      No. Publicly disclosed alternative accounts are accounts that are identified by name and clearly linked to the main account. For example, if User:Foo stated clearly that they had registered the account User:Foo(public) for use on unsecured networks, it would not be a breach of policy for them to comment on internal discussions, as this account would be clearly linked to the primary account. Simply stating that an account is an alt is not sufficient. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:50, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Q4: What, exactly are "discussions internal to the project" and/or "edits to project space"? Are we talking about namespaces here, and if so, which ones?
      I'm hesitant to say concretely that alternate accounts can only edit the Main and article talk namespaces, because there are plenty of exceptions. I think Seraphimblade is correct to instead identify edits that are not directly related to improving article content as inappropriate.

I do think there is an interesting issue here, though. People who have accounts that are clearly traceable to real-world identities may not be comfortable participating in situations like the Gamergate case, where there is a real risk that people will try to retaliate. These people are effectively barred from participating in these discussions, as alternate accounts cannot be used in projectspace discussions even when used to protect privacy. The only real way for a user to get around this is a WP:Clean start, which comes with its own host of problems. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:50, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

      • Sorry if that was unclear. You would not be able to "clean start" with an alternative account—you would need to abandon the primary account in this hypothetical. GorillaWarfare (talk) 02:13, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • My thoughts on this are essentially the same as Seraphimblade's. One way to allow alternate accounts used for the purposes of protecting privacy to participate in internal discussions would be to allow disclosure to the Arbitration Committee (possibly with some safeguards to prevent abuse of this). However, this would require amending both the sockpuppetry policy and the Privatemusings case. I would be amenable to the latter, but only if there is a community consensus for the former at an RfC or equivalent. Until that happens though, alternate accounts that are not publicly disclosed may not participate in arbitration cases, etc. to which they are not a party and that are unrelated to article content they are working on. Thryduulf (talk) 09:36, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Generally speaking, I tend to agree with my colleagues, with one exception: for me, alternative accounts disclosed to ArbCom cannot be considered "undisclosed alternative accounts" for the purposes of WP:SOCK. Then again, this is only my opinion and we are being asked to clarify a policy, rather than one of our decisions, so I don't know how much weight our collective opinions carry here. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:57, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
    • If an editor has good reasons to desire to participate in an ArbCom case with an alternative account, he can try sending us an e-mail, explaining those reasons to us and if we're persuaded, we may grant an exception. That doesn't need an RfC.

      It would seem reasonable in that case to block both accounts, but how to do that without revealing my real-world identity? [...] So how do we handle that situation? I'll have to think about this a little more before I can give you an answer... Salvio Let's talk about it! 19:35, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

  • It is important to understand that principles reflect policy and generally-accepted best practices at the time they were written; principles are not in-and-of-themselves binding if community norms or policies change after the fact. It is not clear to me that any action is required on this matter. LFaraone 19:40, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Belatedly getting around to this. I agree that there's nothing here for us to do, although a change in policy might require us to look again at Privatemusings. Doug Weller (talk) 12:37, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Amendment request: Lightbreather

Initiated by Hullaballoo Wolfowitz at 15:26, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Lightbreather arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Lightbreather#Lightbreather:_Site-ban

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • That an exception be made to Lightbreather's sanctions, allowing her to respond on-wiki to on-wiki criticisms, paralleling the exception advocated for Eric Corbett, making an exception to his topic ban allowing him to respond on-wiki to off-wiki criticisms

Statement by Hullaballoo Wolfowitz

Lightbreather has been subjected to innuendo, aspersions, derogatory comments and personal attacks in connection with the discussion of the recent block and unblock of Eric Corbett. There is strong community sentiment that, despite his topic ban, Corbett should be allowed to comment on-wiki about comments and accusations made against him off-wiki. Given that no one was been sanctioned or warned for their attacks on Lightbreather, and no comments have apparently been removed or suppressed, it is only fair that she be afforded the same opportunity to respond on-wiki to on-wiki attacks and criticism, especially since much of that commentary rests on assertions made without evidence. It is anomalous that such comments may be freely made about Lightbreather while statements made about the male editor (not Corbett, to avoid any confusion) accused with evidence of sexually harassing Lightbreather on-wiki and off-wiki have regularly been expunged. Therefore, an exception should be made to Lightbreather's sanctions affording her a decent, reasonable, and adequate opportunity to respond to these sustained on-wiki comments and aspersions. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 15:26, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

@John Carter and : Are you arguing that female editor Lightbreather needs to ask for equal treatment when male editor Corbett didn't have to ask for the exception that seems to be being made, and the male on-wiki sexual harasser didn't have to ask for suppression of criticism and comments? Do some editors receive such grace as a matter of course, while others must go hat in hand to beg for fair treatment? Are some of the animals here less equal than others? The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 16:23, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

@Seraphimblade: This is not a ban appeal. This is a request for consistent treatment, which would not have been necessary if Wikipedia had been willing to afford the same rights and protections that other editors enjoy. Being site-banned does not paint a target on Lightbreather and authorize free fire with no ability to return it. The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 19:05, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

@John Carter: How can you maintain that I have introduced concepts like "male" and "female" into a matter that already involved serious sexual harassment? The Big Bad Wolfowitz (aka Hullaballoo) (talk) 19:05, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Lightbreather

Statement by John Carter

This looks very much like a bit of a nonstarter to me. Lightbreather is currently not even able to edit her user talk page. That makes it extremely difficult for any statement by her to be presented anywhere, except, perhaps, by e-mail to the committee. That being the case, it would presumably be reasonable for her to e-mail the committee to request this herself. Also, honestly, it would be useful to know whether Lightbreather had any intention of returning, which, without a visible comment from her, is at best theoretical, at least to those of us who don't see the presumptive e-mail she might send. Lastly, she was site-banned in July of this year, and as per WP:UNBAN she might not be capable of even appealing that ban until next July. All that taken into account, even given the presumption of the best of intentions by the person making the request, this very much seems to me to be something that would require input which can't be made, at least visibly, here.

Having said all that, if there is a basis for believing this individual has allegations here she wishes to address, it might, maybe, be possible for the Wikipedia:Signpost to interview her, and maybe others, regarding the current brouhaha about the Atlantic article, which I am going to presume is the proximate subject of discussion here. In fact, I even suggested such coverage myself at Jimbo's talk page recently. John Carter (talk) 15:47, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

In response to HW, I am saying nothing of the kind, I think a reading of my comment above would demonstrate that, and I rather strongly object to the presumption that I might be. And I find the introduction of "male" v. "female" arguments nothing less than appalling. Lightbreather, for better or worse, is sitebanned for a year. Eric is not. "Sitebanned" vs. "not sitebanned" is the more appropriate differentiation here. John Carter (talk) 16:26, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
In response to GoodDay below, Lightbreather had her ability to edit her own user talk page at the same time as the site ban was imposed. John Carter (talk) 16:33, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
@Hullaballoo Wolfowitz: you introduced them to this particular discussion, which honestly is about the lifting of a ban of a sitebanned editor, not about anything about men or women. And that editor was not banned because of any issues related to sexual abuse, but rather gross misconduct in the topic of gun control and still-private evidence of WP:OUTING, which is at best tangentially related to any issues of sexual abuse. By so doing, it could reasonably be seen that you are attempting to basically distract from the more central issue, about lifting a siteban implemented on the basis of gross misconduct, to a marginally related issue, that the individual involved is a woman. That woman has recently taken advantage of her ban by providing information for a rather embarrassingly bad article off-site. And you did it on the basis of that individual being subject to "innuendo, aspersions, derogatory comments and personal attacks in connection with the discussion of the recent block and unblock of Eric Corbett," seemingly ignoring that Eric Corbett has been subjected to outright lies in the same article, and her own history of OUTing others, which, honestly, are probably more important. The central issue is about the lifting of the siteban, not the gender of the person sitebanned. Having said that, I would support with some reluctance lifting the talk page ban, with perhaps the understanding that if the individual in question abuses the privilege of editing that page that doing so will almost certainly be considered a factor in any appeals to lift the broader siteban. John Carter (talk) 18:54, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Fæ

This amendment would only be relevant if Lightbreather has written to Arbcom expressing an interest in correcting the record and/or expressing a viewpoint from their experience.

Though it may be felt that Lightbreather is free to email Arbcom with any issue, at the same time is easy to understand why this would not be a realistic process to follow to have corrections or commentary posted on-wiki. Should Arbcom be minded to accept this, I recommend the parties consider taking advantage of a trusted interlocutor, perhaps an interested Arbcom member. This would reduce the chances of a "misspeaking" moment resulting in iterations of further controversy. -- (talk) 16:05, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

@HW, I have made no statement on whether there is equal treatment on our projects, in fact I would not be comfortable expressing my uncensored views in this place... My comments are limited to the request made above and are based on my experience of relying on an interlocutor when being part of an Arbcom case. -- (talk) 18:23, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
@Seraphimblade:, in the light of the information from @Elvey: below, would you revisit your opinion? To avoid confusion, it would be sensible if Arbcom publicly stated whether an email request to the committee was received from Lightbreather. Thanks -- (talk) 23:08, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by GoodDay

Having gone through a 1-year siteban, I believe (or remember) one is only allowed to post on one's own talkpage & only then, about one's siteban. AFAIK, Eric Corbett is not sitebanned & so there's a difference. GoodDay (talk) 16:29, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Response to JC, I recommend that LB's talkpage privillages be restored. Although again, as I understand it, LB would be limited there to discussing her siteban. GoodDay (talk) 16:37, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Question for HW - Are you making this request per Lightbreather's wishes & consent? GoodDay (talk) 19:09, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Recommend arbitrators reject this request. It appears the request hasn't been made via proxy & the requesting editor seems to have abandoned it. GoodDay (talk) 15:42, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

This post at Lighbreather's talkpage doesn't quite make sense to me. I can't tell if HW's is getting consent from LB to make this request or not. GoodDay (talk) 02:05, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MarkBernstein

In light of many comments that have been made on wiki in recent days, this is an obvious and necessary step; I am ashamed that I did not propose it sooner and thank the proposer for realizing its urgent necessity. Many editors assert that this right of reply is a matter of Wikipedia custom or one of human decency; until and unless ArbCom definitively refutes those contentions, this is demanded by fairness and equity. It is imperative, moreover, that this motion be granted promptly, in light of active discussion in the case request, Signpost, and elsewhere; fairness delayed in this case would indeed be fairness denied.

The motion should not merely permit LightBreather to participate but should actively invite her participation and offer the committee's assistance, as needed, to facilitate this. MarkBernstein (talk) 16:42, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Some commenters here and in the Case Requests page have denounced Lightbreather and @GorillaWarfare: for granting an interview to The Atlantic, claiming that Wikipedians should not give interviews about Wikipedia. Before sanctioning Lightbreather for doing this, ArbCom would have to sanction itself, since it not only granted an interview but actually distributed a press announcement during the Gamergate case. Wikipedia is not Fight Club: the first rule of Wikipedia is not that editors may not talk about Wikipedia. MarkBernstein (talk) 19:03, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

In light of repeated calls to censure Lightbreather for granting an interview to The Atlantic, which constitute a large portion of the so-called evidence in this motion -- I believe we require an affirmative ruling from ArbCom indicating whether or not Wikipedians may be punished for discussing Wikipedia in books, newspapers, or journals. Otherwise, Wikipedians (and outside observers) reading the evidence will conclude that commenting on Wikipedia to the press will be punished by its arbitration committee, especially if the committee or foundation dislikes the way those comments are used. MarkBernstein (talk) 14:42, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

@Thryduulf: @Euryalus: With regard to "why anyone thinks [it] is a possibility" that someone would be censured for granting an interview, see "evidence" sections above by Rich Farmbrough and Mangoe, and statements in what we're now calling Arbitration Enforcement 2 [6] Case Request phase by Black Kite and many others. Clearing this up unambiguously is clearly desirable, lest the many calls to censure LB and GorillaWarfare in this matter be taken by the general public to reflect the community’s position or Arbcom’s acquiescence. MarkBernstein (talk) 16:06, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Carrite

It would be simply unkind to refuse Lightbreather the courtesy of being able to gravedance on-wiki at the time of her figurative execution of her arch-nemesis. Anything that can be done to liven the festivities by rolling back editing restrictions upon her or any other banned editors should be done most expeditiously. This is a fantastic idea and hopefully a lasting precedent for future ArbCom circuses... Carrite (talk) 00:04, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Mangoe

Lightbreather has been plenty free with responses in the comments on the Atlantic article, so I don't see why we have to reopen a venue just for that. And as far as I can see (not wanting to read everything from the old case) this is pretty much an invitation to bring the dramafest from Disqus over to here. We are here to write a reference work, not to provide a forum for these discussions. Mangoe (talk) 13:48, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Rich Farmbrough (LB)

While I would welcome Lightbreather back to editing, I have concerns that they have been unable to drop the stick.

Lightbreather is solely their Wikipedia identity and they have left the project several times (as well as - and before - being banned) claiming to be here only for the sake of the the ArbCom case.

However they have continued the dispute off-wiki through a dedicated website and Twitter account. Enablers on-wiki have assisted promulgation of inaccurate narrative, in support of doubtless worthy goals.

This is not, historically, a new tactic - however it is one that is abhorrent to most encyclopaedists. Truth may be the first casualty in war, but if it is a casualty in building this encyclopaedia, we loose all credibility and may as well put fire sale signs on the servers.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 14:26, 30 October 2015 (UTC).

Statement by Elvey

But User:Fæ, User:Seraphimblade, User:Thryduulf: Erm... Lightbreather DID email arbcom on Oct 27.--Elvey(tc) 23:01, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

User:Fæ, thanks for pinging. User:Seraphimblade, User:Thryduulf: can you please provide, in the interests of transparency, a reason for your votes that don't rely on apparently false information? Seraphimblade, you wrote, This has not, in any way to my knowledge, been requested by Lightbreather. It would seem appropriate to check your inbox(es) and strike that claim unless you have reason to believe Lightbreather did not send what she said she sent. Retracting your claim does not require disclosing the content private email. FYI I don't have a dog in this fight, I just find this behavior odd and needing light. Addendum: It sounds like "site ban may be appealed no less than one year after it was placed" would be a valid reason - well, unless that was applicable but ignored in the case of Eric Corbett; I haven't looked. Anyone? --Elvey(tc) 20:18, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply User:Thryduulf. I feel I understand where you and arbcom were coming from now; the decision y'all made makes sense now. Confidence gained; concerns addressed. Seems safe to assume Seraphimblade's statement merely quickly became out of date and remained so, but was correct when made.--Elvey(tc) 22:20, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Lightbreather: Clerk notes

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

Lightbreather: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Decline. This has not, in any way to my knowledge, been requested by Lightbreather, and we don't consider third-party ban appeals. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:41, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
    • For reference, while I will not disclose the contents of any private email, the site ban stated that it may be appealed no less than one year after it was placed, which would be 17 July 2016. At that time, and not before, an appeal could be considered if it were made by Lightbreather. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:08, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Recuse, as this is directly related to the Eric Corbett discussions from which I am also recusing. GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:27, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline per Seraphimblade. Also, GoodDay is correct when he says that the only reason a blocked or banned editor may edit their talk page is to seek clarification of or appeal their block/ban. Thryduulf (talk) 21:38, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
    @MarkBernstein:. Arbcom has not, and is not proposing to, sanction Lightbreather for giving an interview. Thryduulf (talk) 21:41, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
    @MarkBernstein: It's no different to a self-published source - if they out or harass another Wikipedia editor then obviously sanctions, up to and including a ban, will be considered. If they merely express an opinion, however controversial or unpopular, then there will not be a reason to consider sanctions. In all cases though the full circumstances will be considered, and nobody is going to get sanctioned because someone else misquoted them for example (although if the misquoting is deliberately intended to harass, the person doing the misquoting may themselves face sanction). To be explicit about the case in hand: Nobody will be sanctioned for what they said in this piece in The Atlantic. Thryduulf (talk) 15:39, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
    Tangentially related but worth saying here in case it comes up, a Wikipedia editor should not quote themselves in a content namespace (no matter their expertise or the reliability of the source) without discussing it first on the talk page (or centralised discussion space if appropriate). Thryduulf (talk) 15:39, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
    @Elvey: Lightbreather's email post-dates the opening of this amendment request and is explicitly in reaction to it. She did not ask for anything as extensive as Hullaboo did, and the implication is she hadn't planned on asking until she saw this request. The difference between this and the Eric Corbett case is that (a) this is a third party appeal; (b) Lightbreather is site banned, Eric was only topic banned; (c) Eric was not given a minimum time before he could appeal his topic ban (as I recall, I haven't double checked), Lightbreather was. (PS: your first ping did not work for me, I don't know why). Thryduulf (talk) 21:22, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline - talkpage access is only restored under certain circumstances, and offering evidence in case pages related to other editors is not one of them. If anyone (including banned editors) want to send evidence to the committee via email on any current case relevant to them, they can do so. Separately, anyone who uses case pages to engage in personal abuse of other editors is likely to be sanctioned for it. And +1 to Thryduulf's second comment above - to the extent that this was a genuine query, there is not the faintest prospect of an arbcom sanction for anyone who offered their opinions in the Atlantic article. I really struggle to see why anyone thinks this is a possibility. -- Euryalus (talk) 15:10, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
@MarkBernstein: Hopefully the responses in this section help address the concern. -- Euryalus (talk) 19:08, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I would be prepared to reopen the question of modifying their sanction. Asa reminder, the vote for banning her was 8-4, not 12-0 or 13-0 as for most other votes in that case. I was in the majority, but due to more recent private information to the committee, I'd now support modification or even withdrawal of the site ban. DGG ( talk ) 00:36, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline. Euryalus puts it well. Doug Weller (talk) 12:40, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 00:04, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Amendment request: Palestine-Israel articles

Initiated by Jeppiz at 19:01, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Palestine-Israel_articles arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Palestine-Israel_articles#Area_of_conflict
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request

Statement by Jeppiz

I believe neither Jews nor Palestinians to be covered by WP:ARBPIA, and I'd suggest that amending this situation may benefit the project and discourage much edit warring. Having watched both articles for a long time, I notice that Jews (and to some extent Palestinians) see quite intense disputes. As the edit history of Jews show, there have already been over 20 reverts in November alone. Below user:Debresser asks for examples, so a short non-exhaustive list from the last days [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12]. These disputes are never about Jewish culture in 17th century Poland or Palestinian culture in 17th century Palestine, but very often about the origins of both peoples, along the lines of "who was there first", "do modern Jews descent from ancient Jews", "are modern Palestinians the descendants of ancient Jews" etc. These questions are directly linked to the Israel-Palestine conflict, as both sides try to up their own claim to the land by invoking history. Furthermore, the most active editors engaged in these disputes are almost always the same few editors engaged in other ARBPIA-covered articles about the conflict. As the disputes at Jews and Palestinians are directly linked to the area covered by WP:ARBPIA, and see much more conflict than many articles currently covered, I suggest ARBPIA be extended to these two articles. It would benefit everybody involved, except a handful of people who frequently revert, and would benefit the whole project.
No individual user is concerned, so I have not named anyone, but I will post a short information notice at the talk pages of both Jews and Palestinians.

Statement by Debresser

The nominator of this amendment first proposed this at Jews, claiming that discussions about the origins of Jews should be subject to the 1RR rule, because often the issue is raised in connection with the IP-conflict. I will comment only on the merits, or more precisely the lack thereof, of this proposal in regard to the Jews article.I have no clear opinion regarding the Palestinians article, although I think that the issue is much stronger on that article than it is on the Jews article.

I think the claim of the nominator, which is not backed up by any links to discussions either on Wikipedia or outside of it, is incorrect. In addition, I think that the proposed measure is not proportionate, even if the claim were correct. Ergo I feel strongly that the proposed 1RR restriction should not be considered. My arguments are as follows.

  1. I have not often seen discussions about the origins of the Jewish people in connection with the IP-conflict, neither on Wikipedia nor in the real world. I am not saying it never happens, but not as often as the nominator makes it seem (without giving even one example).
  2. The cases in which the origins of the Jews are discussed without connection to the IP-conflict are many times more numerous than the cases in which such discussion is related to the IP-conflict. It would therefore not be fair to put all discussions regarding the origins of the Jews under a restriction that applies only to a minority of the cases.
  3. The article Jews is so much more than just the question of the origins of the Jews, that it would be completely disproportionate the put the whole article under a 1RR restriction because of that.

Statement by Musashiaharon

I agree with Debresser that putting Jews under 1RR is disproportionate.

In addition to Debresser's points, I'd like to add that overall the discussion seems pretty civil to me, and I see no reason to stop WP:AGF, certainly not to the point of imposing 1RR. I don't think the intensity and nature of the discussion merits it. Jeppiz himself links to my only counter-revert, where I specifically note that the discussion had a three-day gap of silence in it after I requested an explanation of a previous revert. My request was answered soon afterwards. 1RR is unnecessary.

Statement by Nishidani

I don't think the article Jews should be placed under ARBPIA IR restrictions, while I think this should apply to Palestinians. I gave my reasons here. That said, Jeppiz does have a serious point however. It is absolutely impossible to discuss Jewish origins on Wikipedia in a rational, rigorously high RS source based manner. One is just over-ruled, as are the relevant sources and the reason is that the definition is perceived by a majority of editors as one which must contain a political statement about Israel and the Law of Return, meaning that whatever sources say to the contrary, the definition of a Jew must state that (s)he comes from ancestors who lived in Palestine, which is total nonsense.. But this, which relates to one or two sentences in the lead, should not translate into making the whole article, which has nothing to do with the I/P conflict, lie under an ARBPIA sanction. Nishidani (talk) 21:54, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Yossiea

I think the question ultimately on the table is whether or not any article with the word Jew, Israel, Palestine, etc. is subject to arbitration. I think it's a far stretch to include Jew within the scope of ARBPIA. I haven't seen any solid evidence of major edit warring or even minor edit warring to warrant inclusion. It should be a last resort to include articles within a sanctionable area, and we should be working to remove articles, not add them.

Statement by Serialjoepsycho

I'm not really seeing any common sense reason, or for that matter any other reason to do this other than as an attempt to chill speech. Ending major disruption is generally the only reason to even consider it. The diffs provided, I'm not sure if they even show minor disruption. -Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 01:42, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph

I just wanted to add an additional comment, especially regarding my below request. If this is a request to have Jew be placed under sanctions, then how did any article get placed under sanctions? The template should make mention of a discussion where it was voted on. It is quite possible that somebody just decided that sanctions apply to my article below, or to some other article Jew included and just puts in the sanction template and then that article is now under sanctions. There ought to be a safeguard in place to prevent that. Sir Joseph (talk) 04:55, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Palestine-Israel_articles: Clerk notes

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

Palestine-Israel_articles: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Decline Excessive--and inadequate to deal with the key stated problem on the origin of Jews, which could be fought equally well on other pages. DGG ( talk ) 00:21, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline. There are two separate topics here, "origin of Jews" and "origin of Palestinians", neither of which are not part of the Arab-Israel dispute, and which form only small parts of the noted articles so extending the existing discretionary sanctions in this manner is a poor fit. With no evidence that prior dispute resolution has been sought, let alone tried and failed, I don't see this as something that Arbcom should be involved with at this stage. Thryduulf (talk) 17:02, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline - too soon to consider. Doug Weller (talk) 12:41, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline. -- Euryalus (talk) 09:11, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Clarification request: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )

Initiated by Callanecc at 06:34, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

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

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

  • [diff of notification Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )]
  • [diff of notification Beyond My Ken]

Statement by Callanecc

I am filing this request here as an uninvolved administrator in response this AE request. Sorry for another job for you all to do (hopefully this can be resolved one way or the other without a motion) but there does seem to be some uncertainty regarding whether this edit (for clarity, this was the series of edits made by RAN, before the first edit by someone else) breaches RAN's prohibition on creating articles.

So the question is does turning a redirect into an article count as "Creating any articles or draft articles in any namespace" (from the restriction as modified last month)?

Whether or not the Committee considers this possible violation worthy of sanctions or not I believe it's worth clarifying that point for everyone's benefit. Thanks, Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 06:34, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )

Statement by Beyond My Ken

I don't have anything much to add to what I'd already posted on the AE Request. As Callanec says, I contend that although they are both pages, a redirect is not an article – see How to edit a redirect or convert it into an article on WP:Redirects, where the word "convert" is a clear indication that a redirect is not an article, but must be changed in some fundamental way in order to become one; see also Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion, in which there are different rules for the deletion of articles and for the deletion of redirects; and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion vs. Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion. By converting a redirect to an article, RAN created the article, violating his ban. Another editor has proposed that the redirect was an article from the time it was created (by me). I reject this contention, but if it is true, then RAN has violated his ban by creating numerous redirects, as can be seen here. BMK (talk) 07:43, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Since 8 Arbs have confirmed that converting a redirect to an article is the creation of an article, and therefore a violation of RAN's topic ban, would it be possible to formally close this Request for Clarification and either alter the topic ban per Thryduuf's suggestion or, at the very least, give RAN a formal notification of the findings of the Committee? BMK (talk) 00:24, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Andreas Philopater

I'm not sure how appropriate it is that I speak up (I have nothing to do with this), but this is a case where I think "no harm, no foul" can safely be applied, as long as there is clarity moving forward as to an edit of this type (article creation vs page creation) being subject to the ban or not.--Andreas Philopater (talk) 09:44, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Bencherlite

FWIW, the act of turning a redirect into an article was regarded by Arbs in October 2013 as the creation of an article for infobox restriction purposes at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes#Arbitrator views and discussion (there may be a better link to be found to more a pertinent discussion than that). In other words, if X is restricted from adding infoboxes to articles save for those articles that X has created, X can turn a redirect into an article and add an infobox without breaching the restriction. If Y is restricted from creating an article, then it would seem to follow that Y is not allowed to turn a redirect into an article. BencherliteTalk 15:11, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Rich Farmbrough (RAN)

Committee should clarify that this will be considered a violation in the future. Then take time for a motion to remove the restriction completely. There is no benefit to it. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 20:15, 9 November 2015 (UTC).

Thryduulf@ What purpose? All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:53, 9 November 2015 (UTC).

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should opine whether and how the Committee should clarify or amend the decision or provide additional information.

Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Clerk notes

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

Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Arbitrator views and discussion

  • For the purposes of RAN's restrictions, changing a redirect to an article is the same as creating an article from scratch meaning this was a violation. As there are almost no occasions on en.wp where this is not regarded as creating an article, I am more inclined to see this as an intentional gaming of the restriction than I am to see this as a genuine misunderstanding - however I invite RAN to convince me otherwise if he wishes. Thryduulf (talk) 17:25, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
    To hopefully prevent a future requests for clarification:
    • If a page was previously an article (written by someone other than RAN) but was redirected without consensus, RAN may revert that redirection, but he may not completely rewrite the article (i.e. it must remain based on a revision prior to redirection).
    • Completely rewriting a page such that almost no previous material remains and/or the topic is changed does count as a violation. Thryduulf (talk) 17:25, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
    • @Rich Farmbrough: We will not be amending or removing this restriction without an appeal by RAN. The purpose of the restriction was explained and discussed when it was enacted, and again when it was recently amended - that you disagree with the committee about whether it will achieve it's purpose does not change this. Thryduulf (talk) 22:42, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes it is. --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 20:20, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
  • With respect to what counts as starting an article, I agree totally with Thryduulf ;
With regard to asking us to modify our decisions. I think anyone can ask. We may make mistakes, what we say may become superseded by events, there may be factors we had not taken into consideration, or we may simply be well advised to reconsider. The idea that we might do something wrong and not want to fix it because the wrong person asks us is totally alien to my sense of justice, but it is unfortunately true that most of the current committee seems to feel otherwise. DGG ( talk ) 05:42, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Changing a redirect into an article is creating an article, unless RAN is as one scenario above suggests simply undoing a redirect made to an article without consensus. Doug Weller (talk) 12:46, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • A redirect is not an article, it is a navigational aid with no content. Changing it into an article is, therefore, creating an article. Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:17, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Per bencherlite. That being said no harm no foul here. NativeForeigner Talk 10:44, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Turning a redirect into an article is a violation of the restriction. Please take this to heart in the future. Courcelles (talk) 21:01, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree with Courcelles and various others. Turning a redirect into an article is creating that article, unless it is simply a reversion (or any similar trivial use-case). -- Euryalus (talk) 09:14, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Amendment request: Editor conduct in e-cigs articles

Initiated by AlbinoFerret at 23:55, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Editor conduct in e-cigs articles arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. [[13]]
  2. [[14]]
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Provide evidence so Quackguru is topic banned or blocked.
  • Include Cloudjpk and allow arbs to block for tag teaming/meatpuppetry.

Statement by AlbinoFerret

I would like to provide evidence that was impossible for me to provide during the Editor conduct in e-cigs articles case. I was on a 6 month self ban from E-cigarette related topics during the start of the case. That ended on September 16th, the case was still open and I asked to provide evidence.[20] The evidence I would like to provide is about two editors, Cloudjpk and QuackGuru.

The complete evidence I would like to present totals a little under 6000 words and 228 diffs/links. It averages about 27 words per diff. The complete evidence is copy/paste ready. I request more words and diffs to add more here. Examples are below.



  • 12/24/2014 The McKee source was clearly marked on the source as an editorial.[21] Per WP:MEDRS it was not usable for medical claims. This also NPOV problem, improper source used for negative claims. QG added it here.[22] Talk page on it.[23] Argues Its a review.[24][25] Says its MEDRS compliant.[26] Starts a new topic on the same article with deceptive heading arguing again that it should be included.[27] Inserted the editorial into the main article below line 158.[28]
  • Mixes first and second hand aerosol claims.[29]
  • QG cant understand there are different size particles.[30]
  • Endless round in circles, 11 Year old girls.[31][32]
  • Does not comprehend that while something may be possible, it isnt always the case. [33] SPACKlick points out that the sources do not list Propylene Oxide as a component of the vapor.[34] QG, unable to tell the difference between "can or could" and "is" defends that the source says it is a component of the vapor.[35] GuackGuru says he is basing the claim on future sources.[36]
Misuse of OR
  • Fixed OR and POV problem by adding POV to recreate the problem. [37] Reintroduced edit below line 23 [38]
  • Youth changed from young people. [39] The talk page section. [40] saying not Verifiable. Websters dictionary suggests they are the same.[41] as does Youth.
  • QG argues over the word "some", even when he admits the source says that the chemicals are not found all over. [42]
  • "There is no serious dispute". This is not just misrepresenting, but is a serious competency issue with ongoing issues. [43][44][45] [46] [47][48]
  • Misrepresents consensus [49] when its the opposite [50].

NPOV/Negative advocacy

  • 12/25/2014 Removed cited claim that none of the components environmental impact has been done.[51]
  • 4/26/2015 Toddlers motivated to ingest, using non MEDRS source.[52]
  • On August 16, 2015 QG inserted a claim,[53] but left out the rest of the information that says " nicotine outside tobacco has not been shown to be associated with cancer in the real world" that was added later by Johnbod on the 20th.[54]
  • 3/10/2015 Nicotine is "lethal" poison (source says harmful).[55]link to the discussion. Tweaked it a bit.[56] Sees talk page and changes to "toxic".[57]
  • 3/21/2015 From the source "Based on 76 studies, ECs cannot be regarded as safe, even though they probably are less harmful than CCs." QG added to the article, leaving out probably less harmful [58]
  • 3/24/2015 Exposure to children, added claims about the dangers. [59] But did not add that this had not been studied yet. From the source, "Nicotine levels in infants and children exposed to electronic cigarette aerosol and surface deposits have not yet been studied and the health effects of nicotine in this age group are uncertain." England, Lucinda J "Nicotine and the Developing Human"
  • On 6/10/2015 Quack removed a part of a positive referenced claim that he completely removed later[60]
  • Moved negative claim in front of a positive one. [61]
  • On 6/10/15 QG removed a positive, referenced claim. [62] citing "Dated and repetitive" in comments. The source is from 2011, within 5 years WP:MEDDATE.
  • Blatant twisting of a source to a negative claim. The PHE source.[63] On pages 76-77 discusses the failed methodology of studies that found formaldehyde. What QG added, near the bottom of the edit. [64]


Out of the blue

Cloudjpk appears out of the blue whenever QuackGuru needs support, then disappears off WP. As of 11/16/2015 he has 579 total edits and 379 to E-cig articles 65%.[65]

  • I went to RSN about a source and made a post to the talk page.[66] QG starts to replace the questionable source.[67][68] Cludjpk hows up and WP:RSN having not edited for 4 days.[69] QG undoes one of his replacements.[70] Cloudjpk doesnt make another post for 18 hours.
  • 9/14/2015 QG added 70% information in WP's voice.[71] but did not include where the information comes from. The source states " now 70 percent of American smokers who are looking to quit are turning to e-cigs, according to statistics compiled by Ecigsopedia." TracyMcClark added a FV tag because QG left off the source.[72] Cloudjpk showed up out of the blue to remove the FV tag.[73] He had not made an edit since 9/9/2015, did not comment in the talk page section on this. He did not make another edit until 18 hours later at 00:35 16/9/2015 September. The purpose of this edit [74] was to argue against a temporary injunction because of QG's activities.[75]
  • 11/10/2015 QuackGuru doesnt want a image added to the page.[76] Out of the blue Cloudjpk comments against it having made one other edit 18 hours earlier to another page.[77] then doesn't make another WP edit until 11/16/2015.


I would like to point out to QG that this is to amend the case, as such the time frame should be prior to the case closing, not after. AlbinoFerret 21:13, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by QuackGuru

I acknowledge there is a request for clarification. If this request is accepted or admins have any questions let me know. QuackGuru (talk) 21:01, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

There was evidence of disruption by the e-cig promoters, but there was no specific remedies to dealing with any specific editor.

Based on this comment I moved my request to WP:AE. QuackGuru (talk) 21:51, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cloudjpk

If this case for clarification is approved I am happy to discuss this matter. Cloudjpk (talk) 23:52, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by S Marshall

Apparently the fun never stops.

I don't see any need for me to present any evidence here. I see from QuackGuru's evidence that one of the edits I made today does vaguely resemble one I made in March. I offer no defence, and I'm content for Arbcom to deal with this complaint in whatever way it sees fit. It is definitely true that I waited for the Arbcom case to be over before making any changes to the page; in fact I said at the time that this is what I was doing. I'm amused to note that QuackGuru lumps me in with his group of "e-cig promoters" and I'm content for Arbcom to judge the truth of this for themselves based on the diffs he provides without further input from me.—S Marshall T/C 23:55, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Editor conduct in e-cigs articles: Clerk notes

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

Editor conduct in e-cigs articles: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Having been inactive on this case, and hence unfamiliar with the material considered, I'll formally abstain from anything regarding this ARCA. Courcelles (talk) 20:59, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting info.svg Note: I'm currently hearing a request on my talkpage of a evidence limit extension, and I'd ask Arbitrators to hold off for the moment on making any comments till that is resolved. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 12:03, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Amendment request: Palestine-Israel articles (2)

Initiated by Sir Joseph at 19:57, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Palestine-Israel articles arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Articles part of the ARBPIA arena

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

Information about amendment request
  • Articles part of the ARBPIA arena

Statement by Sir Joseph

The article Haredim and Zionism has nothing to do with the ARBPIA arena, or if it does 5%, and it should be removed to clean up those areas under ARBPIA sanctionable spaces. This article used to be edited heavily back in the early 2000's and had some disputes involving some sockpuppets but the article and disputes if any in general do not involve Israel-Palestine and just involve intra-Jewish halacha response to Israel as a Jewish State.

Statement by Serialjoepsycho 2

This article seems fairly stable. It doesn't seem to be much of a focus of the Israel and Palestine partisan divide that causes so much disruption on Wikipedia. Removing the cumbersome discretionary sanctions such as 1RR doesn't seem to be an unreasonable request. If an issue later arises it can always be put back under these sanctions. You can leave it to administrator discretion.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 04:35, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Palestine-Israel_articles: Clerk notes

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

Palestine-Israel_articles: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Looking t the article, I don't see how editing it would affect the actual problem area. DGG ( talk ) 20:19, 26 November 2015 (UTC) .

Amendment request: Topic ban appeal

Initiated by Nadirali at 03:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Nadirali unblocked
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Nadirali is indefinitely topic-banned from articles related to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan broadly construed. […]
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
Topic ban appeal
  • Link to the principle, finding, remedy, section, etc for which you are requesting amendment

Statement by Nadirali

As expressed in the title, I am finally here to appeal my topic ban but also with a new proposal. As it is, it's been about a year and a half since I re-joined Wikipedia. Worm That Turned told me to show the arbcom that I can be a productive user in one of my first conversations with him (probably part of gaining the arbcom's trust). In the year and a half since I returned, I have created almost thirty pages (most of which I can guarantee would not exist today had I not returned to create them) with the intention of creating more and made hundreds of edits on various topics. I think it should be more than sufficient enough to earn the trust of the committee. There are a number of articles on Pakistan that need updating and others that need creation and I'm just the man to do it.

I still intend to create and work on articles not related to Pakistan topics, but would like to work on those side by side as well. But if the arbcom is still worried about my edits on these topics I come with the proposal of a restriction of one revert per week on any topics on or related to Pakistan as well as India and Afghanistan (excluding vandalism) for that matter so I can continue creating and working on some of my desired topics without worrying the arbcom. If I can continue for at least a month with this one-revert-per-week restriction without worrying the committee, then the topic ban should be lifted all together. I also offer to stay away from articles sanctioned by the committee, but I'll let the arbcom decide on that.

However, if the committee continues to enforce a complete ban, all I can term it as obstructing a user from contributing in his best ability and therefor obstructing the development of Wikipedia all together. I think this topic ban is ridiculous when going back to it's roots, but I'd rather not get into what happened several years ago. I am here to express that I kept my end of the deal and wish for the committee to give something back, specifically trust, in return.

Looking forward to your responses.--Nadirali نادرالی (talk) 03:34, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Topic ban appeal: Clerk notes

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

Topic ban appeal: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Having reviewed your recent contributions, I think a relaxation or removal of these restrictions could be acceptable. LFaraone 21:43, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm fine with removing them. Doug Weller (talk) 17:22, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Clarification request: Abortion

Initiated by RGloucester at 16:59, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

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

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

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

Statement by RGloucester

I'm here to request clarification on a technical matter related to sanctions enforcement for this arbitration case.

According to remedy 4.1, the previous community discretionary sanctions for abortion-related pages were superseded by ArbCom standard discretionary sanctions. All existing sanctions issued under the community regime (1RR and otherwise) were then added to the new log for the ArbCom regime, and labelled "inherited". Despite this, administrators have continued to log 1RR violations at the old community sanctions log, and not at the log created by ArbCom. In January of this year, I was confused by this situation. A discussion between administrators and myself led to no firm answer, but I had no time to pursue the matter. Therefore, I have filed this request.

My two questions are as follows:

  1. Should 1RR-related sanctions issued after the abortion case was closed be transferred to the AC log, in the manner that those issued before the case were?
  2. Should the community log be marked historical?

I am much obliged for you assistance in this clarification. RGloucester 16:59, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by EdJohnston

Statement by Bbb23

My gosh, RGloucester, you have a long memory. I'm impressed. I don't have much to add to what was said on EdJohnston's Talk page back in January. From my comments there, it's obviously not clear (to me). Apparently, it wasn't clear to Ed, either, who is more involved in AE than I. Although not a big deal in terms of enforcing the Arbcom decision, this seems like an ideal request for clarification.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:34, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should opine whether and how the Committee should clarify or amend the decision or provide additional information.

Abortion: Clerk notes

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

Abortion: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • There should be only one log being used, and IMO, it should be the central DS log created earlier this year. Courcelles (talk) 01:08, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Agreed. DGG ( talk ) 07:53, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Of course - and mark the community log historical. Doug Weller (talk) 19:22, 26 November 2015 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement



S Marshall

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 S Marshall

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
QuackGuru (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 02:30, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
S Marshall (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
Discretionary Sanctions are explicitly extended for the Electronic Cigarettes topic area. Specifically, single purpose accounts may be topic banned or blocked (indefinite or otherwise), if in the view of an uninvolved administrator, they are being disruptive in the topic area.Uninvolved administrators are encouraged to monitor the articles covered by discretionary sanctions in this case to ensure compliance. To assist in this, administrators are reminded that accounts with a clear shared agenda may be blocked if they violate the sockpuppetry policy or other applicable policy; accounts whose primary purpose is disruption or making personal attacks may be blocked indefinitely; discretionary sanctions permit full and semi-page protections, including use of pending changes where warranted, and – once an editor has become aware of sanctions for the topic – any other appropriate remedy may be issued without further warning. The Arbitration Committee thanks those administrators who have been helping to enforce the community general sanctions, and thanks, once again, in advance those who help enforce the remedies adopted in this case. See Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Noticeboard#E-cigs_case_closed

See Talk:Electronic cigarette/Archive 23#Removal. On 31 March 2015 SM deleted info on tobacco harm reduction is unclear.[215] On 20 April 2015 SM deleted info on tobacco harm reduction is unclear.[216] On 19 November 2015 SM deleted info on tobacco harm reduction is unclear.[217] The text about tobacco harm reduction was restored.

See Talk:Electronic_cigarette/Archive_25#New_Images. See Talk:Electronic_cigarette#New_.22full_range.22_image_uploaded. SM deleted two images and replaced it with one image. The discussion was still ongoing.[218] SM also deleted another image, but another editor disagreed.

See Talk:Electronic_cigarette#Safety_claim_in_Harm_reduction.. I did state it would be better to shorten the text. There was a discussion to relocate the text.[219] The text was misplaced and it was eventually removed from the harm reduction section. I added some information to the safety section. SM stated my edit to the safety section was a "Rv pre-emptive Quackeditry".

SM stated in the recent AFD that "it was used as a holder for all the semi-relevant junk that disruptive people kept adding to Electronic cigarette to make it conform to their notion of "balance".". SM was making assertions about me without supporting evidence. QuackGuru (talk) 02:32, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

I cut and pasted the wrong remedy. I had a concern with the text about tobacco harm reduction was deleted three times.[220][221][222] I could ask an uninvolved admin to review such complaints before I post them at a noticeboard such as this which would restrict myself from making complaints. In the future when someone makes an edit summary such as "Rv pre-emptive Quackeditry" or "No you don't, sunshine" or other such comments directed at me I should stop taking it too personally. QuackGuru (talk) 18:05, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

SM is making comments about my current editing without specific diffs. SM previously made comments about me without diffs. I will not know what is your current concern without the specifics. If I disagree with a change on the talk page that does not mean I am being problematic. I am going to start a RfC to try an resolve this dispute. QuackGuru (talk) 21:09, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

This comment did not state the text about the different volts was previously in the lede. Before I started a RfC the information about different volts was in the lede of the safety page. I explained on the talk page the lede did not mention dry puffing. I clarified the wording in the lede. The RfC on the e-cig talk page is about summarising text in the e-cig. QuackGuru (talk) 02:19, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

There are two separate pages. AlbinoFerret is not explaining the text was in the lede of the Safety page before there was a RfC and is not giving me credit that I clarified the wording in the lede.[223] No editor at the Safety of electronic cigarettes page stated it should be removed from the page or the lede. In fact, AlbinoFerret has recently added a lot of content about the different volts to Safety of electronic cigarettes page. QuackGuru (talk) 03:35, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

User:Spartaz, The RfC has been productive. Things are moving faster than I expected. There are different proposals and suggestions on the talk page. I supported the 3rd and 4th proposal. See Talk:Electronic_cigarette#RfC:_reduced_volts_and_aldehydes. This is a very controversial topic and sources often disagree. The disagreement among sources is often the cause of the disputes in this topic area. I am not a former smoker or e-cig user. But I did add most of the new material to the e-cig page this year. Until the known unknowns are knowns there will remain a dispute among sources. QuackGuru (talk) 20:45, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

Diff of the notification.

Discussion concerning S Marshall

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 S Marshall

  • Hi, Arbitration Enforcement admins! Please investigate QuackGuru's complaints in full and give him latitude to raise new ones against me. I am completely out of patience with this user's ridiculous behaviour since the Arbcom case closed, so it's entirely possible that I've been rude to him.—S Marshall T/C 12:28, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
  • If close this, it'll be back. QG's behaviour hasn't changed at all since the Arbcom case. In that case, a whole spectrum of problem behaviours came out: controlling; manipulative; editing the article and talk page with insane frequency; refusing change wherever possible; where a consensus is emerging that he doesn't like, making pre-emptive changes that partially implement what other editors are saying but without affecting text he's written; reverting subtly, in nickel-and-dime changes that end up restoring his preferred text over time; issuing spurious warnings to other editors; mischaracterising or misrepresenting others' edits; I could go on and on. QG has never admitted fault, has never acknowledged that there was anything wrong with his behaviour, and has never promised to change. And he hasn't changed one bit.

    I'm fairly bitter and disappointed that after a four-month Arbcom case, QG's still pulling these stunts exactly as if nothing had happened. It's this feeling which is making me snarky.

    I'd suggest that the resolution is this:- (1) QG admits -- actually articulates -- that his controlling behaviour in this topic area is problematic; (2) He promises to desist; (3) He agrees not to make pre-emptive edits, but to allow consensus to build on the talk page, and to allow the consensus text to go into the article without trying to undermine it later; and then (4) I promise to drop it and desist from the snark.—S Marshall T/C 20:54, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

  • No, QuackGuru. Do not forum-shop by starting an RFC. You've tried to resolve this here, now finish resolving it here. If he starts an RfC then please would an AE enforcement admin close it.

    QG, you're asking me for diffs. Before I produce them, please confirm that you have read what Arbcom said to you with the appropriate care and attention but you still need me to produce diffs to show you specifically how and why your behaviour is problematic.—S Marshall T/C 21:20, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Well, this is completely out of order. So far, QG has started five discussions about this revert: 1 (my talk page); 2 (unilaterally adding me to AlbinoFerret's clarification and amendment page); 3 (starting e-cigs 2 in front of Arbcom); 4 (finally starting discussion in the right place, which is here) and now 5 (RfC when this discussion didn't go his way). On past form I predict that he will become unresponsive in this venue.

    I need an AE sysop please to close the forum-shopping RFC and bring QuackGuru back here to answer what I'm saying.—S Marshall T/C 11:40, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

  • @Gamaliel: Whether they're the same disruptive behaviours is worth discussing. Arbcom specified five particular disruptive behaviours in remedy #3 which I'll paraphrase:- (1) Exhibiting a double-standard for sources; (2) and (3) are about gaming full-protection; (4) Edit warring; and (5) Opposing edits which he then makes. There were many other disruptive behaviours discussed while the case was ongoing. I do fully realise you can't treat every complaint editors have about QuackGuru as an arbitration enforcement issue, but I think that in context, Arbcom's list of problem behaviours should be understood as representative, not exhaustive.

    Awilley is the administrator who enforced AE restrictions against QuackGuru in connection with acupuncture, and he made a useful edit on the proposed decision talk page here. Awilley mentions inappropriate notifications as one of QG's problem behaviours ("For instance, the list of notifications at Wikipedia:General_sanctions/Electronic_cigarettes seems inappropriate to me. In my mind it should be uninvolved administrators handing out the template notifications to involved problematic users, not involved users handing out the notifications to everyone who has ever made an edit to an e-cig related topic...") and within a scant few hours of the case closing, QuackGuru placed an inappropriate notification on my talk page.

    I have previously expressed a reluctance to come up with a laundry list of QuackGuru's problem behaviours and try to get him to stop them all, not least because (as Awilley notes), QG demonstrated in the Acupuncture topic area an ability comply with the exact letter of the restrictions he was placed under, without the disruption ever abating in any way.

    This is one of the reasons why I reacted as I did to QuackGuru's challenge to supply diffs. Foreseeably, I will come up with diffs of problematic behaviour and then QG will say "But Arbcom didn't say anything about that!", so I've reacted by asking QG to confirm his understanding of the case (a challenge which he has yet to address).—S Marshall T/C 10:51, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by AlbinoFerret

QG is misapplying the findings of the arbcom case. S Marshall is as far from an SPA per his edit history.[224] Even if we were to double the 446 edits he has made in the area of all e-cig pages and the arbocom case, his total edits of 21,071 make the SPA possibilities a rather bad joke. Of note though is this finding from the case. "QuackGuru (talk · contribs) is warned that continuing to engage in a pattern of disruption to Wikipedia will result in further sanctions." One of the issues from the case is forcing his desired outcome on the page, and making edits to pre-empt changes while discussion is ongoing. AlbinoFerret 12:57, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

As a NAC with over 200 closes, I can honestly say the RFC QG started [225] is malformed. It consists of his preferred version with no questions. AlbinoFerret 08:56, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

After now changing the RFC for I think the 4th time QG has a non neutral RFC question/statement that predisposes his preferred version in the header. This is the kind of behaviour that got him the arbcom warning and should be addressed here. AlbinoFerret 20:11, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

@Rhoark, I dont think S Marsall suggested collecting diff's, I think he was referring to the massive amount of diff's I had already collected for ARCA. Most of which pre-date the Arbocom case closing so I dont believe can be used for AE.[226] Due to the constant disruption QG causes, I wonder how many chances this editor will get. He has been banned numerous times [227] and warned by arbcom. The comments of the arbs in this section are worth reading QuackGuru Warned. AlbinoFerret 22:02, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

QG started an RFC for the summery of Safety of Electronic cigarettes in the main article, and it appears that consensus is against him at this point. But he has already started to edit the changes to his preferred version on the Safety page.[228] The Summery on the main article and the lede Safety page should be in sync as all other daughter pages. Editing the text now while the RFC is ongoing is pre empting the RFC. These are the type of problematic edits that arbcom has warned QG about. AlbinoFerret 03:23, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Here is some evidence of QG's editing from during the arbcom case, but after evidence closed, it should be applicable here.


The first one is damning, it shows that QG has known for months that the claim he is pushing to have in the current RFC is the product of failed methodology. He is also pushing in the current RFC to keep out wording that shows it is the product of failed methodology. This is a NPOV problem that points to negative slant advocacy which most of the other diffs continue to prove. It also shows another problem, re-arguing things over and over till you get the results you want.

  • On August 21, 2015 Johnbod started a section [229] about the new review from Puublic health England [230] showing that the review found "A high level of formaldehyde was found when e-liquid was over-heated to levels unpalatable to EC users". QG then defended his addition of the formaldehyde findings, sourced to the NEJM that the Public Health England on page 77 showing the failed methodology that the NEJM study used. His response was that he had changed it to balance it [231] but the resulting edit "While high voltage (5.0 V) e-cigarettes may generate formaldehyde agents at a greater level than smoking, reduced voltage e-cigarettes generate negligible levels of formaldehyde" makes it sound like this is normal and the harm is the ecig, not the product of failed methodology. In fact QG was warned that the source was based on flawed methodology months before [232], with a link to a website of a known expert who had authored reviews used in the article, but it only made QG look for it all the more and do searches for it.
    • This talk page section on the topic is a perfect example of QG arguing in circles and not really discussing the problem.[233]
    • Even after the problems with the NEJM article on formaldehyde have been pointed out and QG placed the material in a position of prominence at the start of a paragraph in the lede.[234] then added it to the Safety article [235].
  • 9/14/2015 Talk page section on new sources, Johnbod points out that QG does not list positive ones.[236]
  • 9/18/2015 I changed a claim to reflect what the source actually said[237] as discussed in this section[238]. QG flagged it as a MERDS violation[239] but QG was the person to add the claim originally.[240] A talk page discussion was opened Talk:Electronic_cigarette#MEDRS_violation where it was pointed out that the edit by QG was OR trying to insert that it was either smokers looking for "alternatives" or of smokers as a whole.
  • 10/11/2015 QG Replaces positive claim that e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic substances that tobacco cigarettes with one that says they contain lower levels of toxic substances.[241]
  • 10/14/2015 QG replaced formaldehyde with carcinogens.[242]
  • 10/28/2015 QG is against adding the NHS website[243] when he has added other government websites. Moves the claim out of Harm reduction to bury it in the Position statements.[244] this is also a possible competency issue. Cloudjpk shows up out of the blue and reverts what QG wants gone.[245] then QG does a ref maintenance afterwards to stop easy undo.[246]
  • 9/21/2015 There was a discussion on creating a Regulation page with consensus to wait for the regulation from the FDA to be released. [247] 9/23/2015 QG starts another discussion about breaking out Regulation from the Legal status page.[248] Other editors suggest someone else, johnbod, write the article and that QG collect the sources. QG says he didnt have time to gather sources. [249] Then QG without any other discussion or warning creates the page. [250]
      • Afterwards QG had the page speedy deleted rather than allowing other editors to fix the page.
        • (Deletion log); 01:03 . . RHaworth (talk | contribs) deleted page Talk:Regulations of electronic cigarettes ‎(G8: Talk page of a deleted page)
        • (Deletion log); 01:03 . . RHaworth (talk | contribs) deleted page Regulations of electronic cigarettes ‎(G7: One author who has requested deletion or blanked the page)
  • 9/25/2015 The lede of the Construction of electronic cigarettes page was 4 paragraphs long. QG originally wrote the lede.[251] I started a talk page section pn the articles talk page.[252] QG argued against WP:LEADLENGTH and misrepresented the guideline and the articles size.[253] calling it "well written". The lede at the time was a collection of claims jumbled together and did not read well.[254]
  • 11/3/2015 I brought a new source to the talk page to be discussed and figure out what can be added.[255] QG prempted the discussion by editing it in.[256]
  • 9/14/2015 QG wants to use a blog as a source. [257]
  • 9/14/2015 E-cigarettes are a battery and an atomizer [258] anyone who has been involved for a day in the topic should know this does not need a reference.
  • 9/21/2015 Requires a citation that an electronic device has a switch to activate it.[259]
  • 10/10/2015 Shows misunderstanding of WP:VER in that QG believes it says everything "must" be sourced. [260]
  • 11/2/2015 QG replaces 2015 review with a 2014 book to get the claim he wants.[261] There is a mistake in the date, but this issue shows its a 2014 source.[262]
  • 11/10/2015 QG places a FV tag.[263] then two minutes later removes the claim and substitutes source.[264] There was no discussion, or description of what was wrong with the summery.

The 10/28/2015 NPOV instance eerily mimics the events that led QG to be topic banned from Acupuncture. AlbinoFerret 21:04, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Rhoark

  1. S Marshall recommended to AlbinoFerret[265] that the latter collect diffs of evidence that QuackGuru tends to take pre-emptive action against proposals under discussion.
  2. QuackGuru takes pre-emptive action against this suggestion by filing a complaint against S Marshall for not having gathered the evidence himself.

Admins should have zero patience for such antics. QuackGuru's block log suggests they will continue to be incorrigible. A one year topic ban would be a restrained response. Rhoark (talk) 21:39, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

@AlbinoFerret: SM seemed to be specifically addressing incidents after the e-cig case closed, so I assume he meant something other than the diffs already collected. Not a key point.

@Cla68: I have no involvement in this beyond the present filing.

I'm not seeing prima facie disruption in the positions QuackGuru is taking on content issues, nor do I see it as a problem that QG started the RfC in parallel with this AE filing. The RfC is about content, while this should be about behavior. This filing itself, along with QC's block history is all I need to see to recognize disruption, but in any further evidence what would be important is patterns of disregarding or pre-empting consensus more than the fact they said this or that about e-cigs. Rhoark (talk) 22:40, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cla68

I respectfully suggest to S Marshall, AlbinoFerret, and Rhoark that you take the topic in question off your watchlists and let QuackGuru have it to himself. Putting up with the nonsense that you're having to put up with is not worth the time it drains from your lives that you could be doing more fruitful and productive work elsewhere. Notice that the admins responding below aren't going to do anything to try to rein-in QuackGuru's behavior. So, just let him have the article(s). Just pop in to the article talk page and leave a comment or try to improve the text every few days or so and then don't pay attention to the inevitable revert or snarky response that immediately follows. This will have the effect of chaining QuackGuru to the article as he checks his watchlist every few minutes or so to make sure the article stays the way he wants it while the rest of you get on with your lives. Cla68 (talk) 05:45, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning S Marshall

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • QuackGuru if you are going to relitigate the arb case again then I will simply close this as no action. Please remove all the historical stuff (the case closing is a bright line that deals with previous events entirely) . Also take out all the assertion and reformat this with exactly what the restriction is, why it was broken and diffs to both. You shouldn't need more than 3-4 lines max and that means that you don't need to rehash all your bad blood and history with this user, which is not only wearisome to read but suggests you are still carrying a grudge. Thanks. Spartaz Humbug! 07:29, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
    • It seems a bit pot and kettle for you to accuse SM of casting aspersions when you have been chasing a single edit of his while relitigating the case around AlbinoFerret's ARCA request, your own withdrawn RFAR and now AE - all the while the article talk page seems to be hosting an notably constructive discussion of the change that SM wants. As far as I can see, while the article is subject to discretionary sanctions, no restrictions have yet been made to normal editing (i. WP:BRD has not been disallowed on the article. Further, SM is not an SPA, nor was he made the subject of any personal sanctions nor was his conduct admonished by the committee. The same decision, however, admonished you for behaving disruptively and warned you that continuing this pattern could lead to further sanctions. Despite that, as soon as the case is over, you seem to be right back to the same disruptive behaviour. This seems very problematic to me. I do not think that we can possibly consider imposing any form of sanction for an editor who makes single edits and then proceeds to engage in civil and productive discussion on the article talk page to help establish a consensus on what the outcome should be. In fact, this kind of behaviour in a contested area is something that should be applauded. Indeed, it is your disruptive behaviour that is obstructing useful discussion. So let me be very clear QuackGuru, I am seriously considering whether you should be topic banned or forbidden from raising spurious noticeboard complaints in order to allow the other editors in this area to continue working towards a consensus on this article. Alternatively, you might wish to reconsider whether it might be more productive for you to stop personalising disputes with other editors and restrict yourself to discussing edits and content rather than pursuing the editors making the comments. I'd be very interested in any comments or thoughts you might have on this and, of course, those of other uninvolved admins. Spartaz Humbug! 14:12, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
      • QuackGuru That sounds like amn eminently sensible solution to me. S Marshall Cann you cut out the snarky edit summaries please? Waiting for further input before closing. Spartaz Humbug! 19:53, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
        • It would be good for another admin to pitch in.... Spartaz Humbug! 21:13, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
          • Tumbleweed.... I'll delay closing this until I have time to review the issues raised following my exchange with QuackGuru. Spartaz Humbug! 14:12, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
      • If Quackguru is engaging in the same disruptive behavior less than a week after the closure of an ArbCom case where this behavior was noted in the findings, then a topic ban is the appropriate remedy. Gamaliel (talk) 06:43, 26 November 2015 (UTC)