Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Climate change

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Main case page (Talk)Evidence (Talk)Workshop (Talk)Proposed decision (Talk) — General discussion (Talk)

Case clerks: Amorymeltzer (Talk) & Dougweller (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: Newyorkbrad (Talk) & Rlevse (Talk) & Risker (Talk)

Case Opened on 00:28, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Case Closed on 14:17, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 21:22, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 12:44, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 15:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 17:50, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 21:55, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Watchlist all case pages: 1, 2, 3, 4

Please do not edit this page directly unless you are either 1) an Arbitrator, 2) an Arbitration Clerk, or 3) adding yourself to this case. Statements on this page are original comments provided when the Committee was initially requested to Arbitrate this page (at Requests for arbitration), and serve as opening statements; as such, they should not be altered. Any evidence you wish to provide to the Arbitrators should go on the /Evidence subpage.

Arbitrators, the parties, and other editors may suggest proposed principles, findings, and remedies at /Workshop. That page may also be used for general comments on the evidence. Arbitrators will then vote on a final decision in the case at /Proposed decision.

Once the case is closed, editors may add to the #Log of blocks, bans, and restrictions as needed, but this page should not be edited otherwise. Please raise any questions at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration#Requests for clarification, and report violations of remedies at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement.


Involved editors

"Preparation of a formal list of "parties to the case" will not be required. In previous cases of this complexity, extensive discussion about who is or is not or should be or should not be a party has often become the focus of controversy, sometimes to the detriment of the parties' focusing on the merits of the case itself. As long as all editors whose conduct is being reviewed are notified of the case, and the decision makes it clear which editors are affected by any sanctions, it does not ultimately matter whether a given editor was formally named as a "party" or not."[1]

Requests for comment

Statement by Ryan Postlethwaite

There is currently a request for a case below (permalink) about the actions of Lar and Stephan Schulz‎ in the global warming field. In my opinion, the case is far too narrowly focused and based on the actions of two editors who are only relatively peripherally involved in the main area on contention on global warming articles. It is sadly my belief that due to the high levels of on going bickering and poor behaviour from all sides that the community imposed probation has failed. I am therefore bringing this request for the arbitrators to take a look at the whole topic area in a bid to determine;

  1. Whether the community probation has been a success.
  2. Whether further measures are needed (such as discretionary sanctions) that may help in the topic area.
  3. Whether the conduct of certain editors in the area is so egregious that that they require topic or even site bans.
  4. Whether any administrators have used abused their tools in the area.

To that, I think it would be good to review the conduct of all editors in the field, whether or not topic bans are needed. There has been talk of an RfC – In my honest opinion, we are far beyond the stage that an RfC could help in these circumstances and what we really need are remedies from the committee that have teeth. I'm well aware that this may seem to some to be a duplicate of the request below, but I'm of the belief that a request filed on the whole topic area is needed and will most probably have a more effective response.

Please note: If I have included you as a party to the case, it is in no way a reflection of wrong doing from my perspective. I've tried to include everyone who has been involved in the probation. If others have been left out, please pop by my talk page and I'll add them – it would be best not to add them yourself (unless you are completely uninvolved) in order to stop any potential disputes. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 13:07, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Lar

Premature at this point. Several arbs have suggested letting the RfC run a bit farther. Suggest a decline or place in abeyance for now, without prejudice to a later opening if needed. Ruling (via motion, since fairly clear statements don't seem to be yet having the desired effect) on the narrower request now would be helpful though. ++Lar: t/c 13:21, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

To NYB: Your request that statements "should focus on whether there is a reasonable probability that an arbitration case could lead to a useful outcome" requires handicapping ArbCom members as to their willingness to speak plainly to VestedContributors and to make hard and potentially divisive decisions. Because that is what will be required here, and several prized oxen will likely be gored, with the concomitant mess and fuss. So, then, aid the handicappers, would you... Are you all up for it? Risker hints that she is up for it. What about you, NYB? Are you up to it? Will we get forceful and useful findings from you? As you go, so often goes much of the rest of ArbCom, you know, and watery findings beget more watery findings. ++Lar: t/c 17:15, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
At this point I agree with JWB and JeH... it's time for a case. The CC probation RfC has gotten about as far as it can. Read what it says, take it into account and let's go. Dispose of the oldest request by issuing a motion on what involvement means. ( My RfC has gotten about as far as it can (and in fact your issuing a ruling via motion would finish things up nicely) Open the second request (this one). Dispose of the newest request by motion (and in passing point out it's not really related to this case per se) reminding admins and others to be a bit crisper when circumstances warrant it re sockpuppet allegations. That's my advice. ++Lar: t/c 16:18, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
PS: JWB, good summary of where things stand on the CC probation RfC... thanks! (I forgot to endorse some views but I don't think that would throw your summary off a lot. You are correct in characterizing my view as not in opposition to a different regime for selecting who admins the area... it's a narrowly taken view, deliberately so.) ++Lar: t/c 16:12, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Statement by BozMo

Helpful, thanks Ryan. After some early success the probation has turned into too much talk and become a scene of more unpleasantness than the articles. All is smoke with very little light. I suggest

  1. that enforced rotation of uninvolved admins would be helpful
  2. that it should be accompanied by some agreed guide for uninvolved admins coming into a complex area on what the appropriate actions are for a given level of offence
  3. that a simple target charter for dealing with requests (with time expired closures on different sections) would help move things along too
  4. a limited, much slower appeal process should be allowed just to check actions against agreed guide

--BozMo talk 13:23, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Polargeo

Premature. There is a constructive RfC running on this very issue which has been overlooked in the hurry for this case Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation/RFC Polargeo (talk) 13:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC) I do agree with some of the statements by Bozmo above but I hope these can be dealt with without an arbcom ruling. Polargeo (talk) 13:27, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Stephan Schulz

I agree that this is premature, given that there is the open and active Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation/RFC. In my opinion, the underlying cause of the problems in this area is the organized off-wiki political campaign against the scientific opinion on global warming. Wikipedia conflicts are only a symptom. Therefore, I'm doubtful if ArbCom can help resolve the problem, in particular if it sticks to its traditional role of avoiding content questions. About the only positive outcome I would hope for from an ArbCom case would be a clarification of the weight of reliable sources, with academic publications, in particular overview reports and peer-reviewed journal articles given a clear primacy over the popular press, and in particular over editorials. <removed comments on completeness of participant list>

  • @NYB:"Nor, I am sure, does the reference to "of 2010" reflect any desire for sequels." – who knows, but what it's likely to reflect is unjustified optimism. It's June already! ;-) --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:29, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Statement by LessHeard vanU

Premature, as per parties commentating. In consideration of Newyorkbrad's request, I feel that the RfC variously referred to is likely to establish a definition of the issues for a Request for Arbitration; in that most views are inclined to agree that input by the Committee is required going forward. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:44, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

While the request was premature, in my opinion, it is possible that acceptance – possibly worded so the case holds until after the RfC concludes – may not be. If events at the various pages continue as it does, then I fear this issue is going to spiral out of control; a provisional acceptance may convince a few individuals to up their game to avoid possible censure (although one or two may decide to kamikaze).

Statement by ZuluPapa5

Suspend this or the RFC, both should not be on at the same time. Zulu Papa 5 * (talk) 17:12, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Hipocrite

A case is sorely needed. Adminstrators are overstepping their bounds left and right, there is no end to the sockpuppetry, and long term contributors are consistantly elevating wikipedia disputes to newspapers, while outside agitators are constantly driving their roaring masses to disrupt wikipedia. Please solve this. Hipocrite (talk) 19:15, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Collect

I do not have any appreciable connection with edits on the topic, and my comments otherwise have been on the order of following established procedure. I see no likely positive result from using this as a case for ArbCom. Collect (talk) 21:23, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by AGK

I am displeased at being listed as a party to this case. In the event that this request is accepted (a prospect I make no comment on at this point) and that the final decision involves some variation of the usual "All parties are reminded to act like reasonable adults" remedy, I would be annoyed enough to retire from editing. Doubtless many of the other administrators whose involvement in these disputes is confined to attempts to keep editor conduct in line will be similarly annoyed at having been listed as parties to this request. AGK 22:13, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by JohnWBarber

I have hardly anything to add to what I wrote just days ago on this page.[2] An ArbCom case would provide about as much bickering, but with the possibility of closure. At the RfC[3] I've proposed the same Arb-appointed regime I mentioned here. – JohnWBarber (talk) 01:57, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Roger Davies: Other than that, the Requests for enforcement board seems to be working fine Oh, fine and dandy, fine and dandy.[4] Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln ... – JohnWBarber (talk) 03:24, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
  • The Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation/RFC looks like it's gone as far as it's going to go. It's very doubtful that enough editors are going to comment in upcoming days in a way that will significantly change the results, so could ArbCom members who want to take the RfC into consideration please do so? Then we can get one or even two of the three (count 'em: three) requests off this page. Closing time, Last call for alcohol, Time, gentlemen please. So gather up your jackets, moving to the exits, [...] Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end... – JohnWBarber (talk) 18:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
  • @NewyorkBrad's 14:58, 2 June comment: The largest RfC responses, mostly from involved editors, are (edited to add: Actually the following should be taken with a few grains of salt. I didn't take into account the many caveats various editors gave when they endorsed these various statements, although I still think the comments by the participating editors as a whole support my conclusion; in describing these statements, I've tried to focus on implications about support for ArbCom involvement, although many of the statements did not focus on that):
  1. SBHBoris (16 editors [4 uninvolved]): ArbCom should decide content matters in Climate Change articles (is that a fair reading?) Edited to add: Actually, a lot of the editors who agreed with SBHBoris' statement disagreed about whether ArbCom should take this up
  2. Bozmo (14 editors [2 uninvolved]): There are various problems with various editors and admins, and some have reason to complain (this is so specific that I'm not sure how it applies to whether or not ArbCom should accept this case)
  3. Me (14 editors [5 uninvolved]): GSCC has not been working well enough. ArbCom should appoint the admins who oversee WP:GSCC
  4. Lar (13 editors [3 uninvolved]): GSCC has been partially successful, partially not. "ArbCom needs to come out and explicitly state that yes, there are groups here, and that their activities have been on balance more harmful than beneficial, and that enforcement needs to take that into account"
  5. 2over2 (12 editors [4 uninvolved]): The enforcement board part of GSCC is not working, abolish it.
  6. Mackan79 (11 editors [3 uninvolved]): Improving the editing environment needs to be admins' goal
No other statement received more than nine !votes. I think that to the extent these more popular statements reflect on the idea of whether or not ArbCom should take this up, they support your taking it up. The idea that there are significant problems with GSCC and it should be substantially changed or abolished is part of all but Bozmo's, Lar's and Mackan's statements, but those statements are not actually opposed to ArbCom taking up the case and taking control over GSCC. Note that Boris and Bozmo both endorsed my statement. I think you have enough of a mandate here to take this up and, if you think it best, to take control. While there's a lot of overlap among the supporters of these more popular statements, there is general support for you doing this and no significant opposition. – JohnWBarber (talk) 15:02, 5 June 2010 (UTC)Added some qualifications in italics to this comment. – JohnWBarber (talk) 00:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Cenarium

Premature, the community is working on the issue, and we may need some ArbCom involvement but for now not in the form of a case. And if I am listed as a party in this case I will have much less willingness to engage in probation or arbitration enforcement. Cenarium (talk) 13:48, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Mathsci

I agree that this is premature and that it's being handled reasonably by the community. I'm not a CC editor, but occasionally comment on or watch the enforcement page. I can't see that an ArbCom case on CC at the moment would serve any useful purpose, quite the contrary, The RfC on CC probation should be allowed to run its course and everything should be taken a little more calmly and less confrontationally, with lashings of tea and cup cakes. Mathsci (talk) 14:10, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Comment by TheGoodLocust

Well, I don't really have much to say, because this should be based on evidence, which space constraints inhibit to a certain extent. That being said, here are a few points of interest:

1. The admin discussion to prevent the "malicious and stupid" Lar from interacting with WMC, easily the biggest problem in the climate change articles, includes participation by Bozmo and Vsmith, both whose top edited articles are in the climate change area, and at least one of whom I know has constantly defended WMC for years.

In short, the involved admins are helping to muzzle the uninvolved admin.

2. SlimVirgin describes the tag-teaming action and policy violations that have been going on for years. I'd describe this as a introducory primer for this issue and you can see how Stephan Schulz, Kim Dabelstein Petersen, and William Connolley will tag team to keep BLP violations in articles of subjects they don't like.

Of particular note, regarding this person, WMC has posted documents revealing his address and telephone number, linked to his blog were he calls him insane (fitting since him and his friends have slandered his BLP to imply he believes in martians), and used his talk page to imply that he is committing tax fraud.

@Ncmvocalist: Where was all this so-called outrage when Connolley posted private information online about Fred Singer?

Request by NuclearWarfare

It seems that a case might end being opened after all. I have tried on and off to act as an uninvolved administrator on the probation page, and I will likely be submitting evidence around the end of the month (or the beginning of next month). However, one thing I have noticed in particular is the tendency in this are for many words and many diffs to be submitted as evidence. I would really recommend that the clerks enforce a pretty stringent set of rules on what and how much evidence will be accepted, and even consider writing summary pages of sections that go on too long. I will have no interest in participating if it looks like arbtrators will not have the time to go over the evidence in full. NW (Talk) 19:19, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Comment by The Wordsmith

Since it appears that this is going to be the Great Climate Change Case of 2010, I might as well give my summary of events. I am involved in this as a newcomer to the enforcement area. I don't edit the articles, but Lar did suggest that I should get involved in keeping the peace, and so I did. It seems that editors have divided into factions, whether intentionally or not (I think it is just because of ideology, and not anything more devious). Though, to their credit, I have been seeing more across-the-isle cooperation, so I think that's a good sign. The enforcement process seems to be workiing for the most part, though it is not perfect and could possibly do with revising. The consensus-driven approach works for the complicated nature of the cases in this area,so I would oppose bringing it under the regular AE umbrella. More participation by uninvolved admins would be beneficial. The WordsmithCommunicate 01:05, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Statement by Short Brigade Harvester Boris

If this case is accepted, as it appears it will be, the arbitrators should resist the temptation to decide it on narrow behavioral grounds and instead address the issues of content policy that lie at the heart of the dispute. Note content policy and not content as such: the dispute over content policy should not be confused with the disagreement between contrarians and those who agree with the scientific consensus, which is no more resolvable here than in the outside world. For example, one of the administrators involved in the probation has asserted that we should de-emphasize scientific aspects of global warming in favor of political and social aspects; another administrator in the probation has expressed the view that more attention be given to "blogs and 'soundbite' journalism"; a respected content contributor has opined that the popular press should be preferred to the scientific literature because reporters are best able to synthesize the contents of scientific articles. Others disagree.

Arbcom therefore must decide whether they still believe that serious and respected encyclopedias and reference works are generally expected to provide overviews of scientific topics that are in line with respected scientific thought or whether "serious and respected encyclopedias" should reflect the views of op-eds, blog postings and the like and (in the interest of fairness) place more emphasis on views that are held by only a small minority of the relevant academic community. If the arbitrators instead base their decision on behavioral grounds or the conduct of a few individuals then the disputes will merely rise again as new parties join on each side of the content policy dispute. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:15, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Statement by ATren

There are those who would like to turn this into "science vs fringe", but it's not about that at all. Most of the recent conflicts are on BLPs and other pages which are only tangentially related to the science. There is a group of editors who have a strong POV in this area and who generally refuse to allow changes to the status quo, even if those changes are well sourced and necessary for NPOV.

In particular, there seems to be a double standard in the BLPs in this topic area. If the LP is supportive of the mainstream view, they are treated differently than those who oppose the mainstream view. I will present extensive evidence of this double standard, but one recent example involved a case where criticism sourced to the RealClimate blog was defended in the BLP of a skeptic, while those same editors were revert-warring to remove a New York Times blog source from the BLP of person with more mainstream views. It is inconceivable how a NY Times blog could be deemed unusable in the same context where a partisan blog would be accepted, yet this was the argument presented.

The BLPs are not the only problem but they are representative of the underlying issue: a small group of editors who are resistant to any change to the status quo, and will aggressively (and collectively, whether intentional or not) confront any attempt to make such changes, even if those changes are well-sourced and consistent with our notability and weight guidelines. I will be presenting extensive evidence of this.

Note: I am mostly dispassionate on the issue of AGW, but I generally align myself with the goals of the mainstream scientists in this area. I only oppose the way the material is presented here, and then only on NPOV grounds. A more extensive statement on my views in this area can be found here. ATren (talk) 13:02, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Preliminary decisions

Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter (6/0/3/1)

  • Awaiting statements. In my view, statements should focus on whether there is a reasonable probability that an arbitration case could lead to a useful outcome (beyond what has already been attained through community processes) that in turn would result in an improved editing environment and improved articles on global-warming related topics. Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:12, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
    • This has been sitting, partly because of the long holiday weekend (in the US and UK) and partly pending developments in the RfC. Parties who have not already done so are requested to submit brief addenda to their statements addressing whether the RfC has helped or is helping resolve any issues that we would be asked to address. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Accept. It appears to me that some input from the committee would be helpful at this time. If the case is accepted, I will draft or co-draft the decision. At the outset of the case, I will have some procedural questions and suggestions for participants in the case (instructions if acceptable to the other arbitrators) that I hope will focus the case on the substantive issues in dispute as opposed to procedural bickering. Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:41, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Recuse SirFozzie (talk) 16:08, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Initial comment to agree with AGK. If accepted, the list of parties would be carefully scrutinised to avoid the situation he describes. Could I also ask those making statements here to consider adding themselves as parties to the case or stating the degree of involvement. I see some people who are not parties making statements when it is possible that Ryan missed them off the list of parties to the request. For now, I would still like to see the recently started RfC run the full 30 days to see what results from that, but agree that having the option of accepting a broad or narrow case is somewhat helpful to focus the mind of the arbitrators. Carcharoth (talk) 05:03, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I too would like to see the RFC run more of its course. Other than that, the Requests for enforcement board seems to be working fine, though the discussions could be a bit more focused. Will add more once more statements are received.  Roger Davies talk 08:36, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Accept, based on lack of headway at the RFC.  Roger Davies talk 05:31, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Decline. Let's give the RfC a chance first. Also, since an enforcement board is already in place, I'm not certain what we could do here that the community hasn't already decided to do on their own. Shell babelfish 16:12, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Accept. This doesn't seem to be making any headway towards being solved. Shell babelfish 14:19, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Recuse. Cool Hand Luke 19:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Decline; I'd rather wait for the RfC to conclude before we intervene. — Coren (talk) 01:44, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Accept; the RfC seems to be making no headway. I have no objection to Newyorkbrad handling the procedural mess. — Coren (talk) 01:29, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Accept per Newyorkbrad. I concur that some procedural issues need to be addressed before actually opening the case so that participants remain focused on substantive rather than procedural issues. (Clerks please note that there may be variations to usual processes.) Risker (talk) 17:29, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Accept noting... this will encompass all three cases currently at RFAR, ie, become "Great Climate Change Omnibus Case of 2010". RlevseTalk 22:27, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
    • It hopefully will not, however, be captioned in that fashion. Nor, I am sure, does the reference to "of 2010" reflect any desire for sequels. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:08, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I only just noticed that I hadn't yet recused on this one. Steve Smith (talk) 18:53, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Temporary injunction (none)

Final decision

All numbering based on /Proposed decision, where vote counts and comments are also available.


Purpose of Wikipedia

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia in an atmosphere of cameraderie and mutual respect among the contributors.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Role of the Arbitration Committee

2) It is not the role of the Arbitration Committee to settle good-faith content disputes among editors.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

User Conduct

3) Wikipedia's code of conduct, which outlines some of Wikipedia's expected standards of behavior and decorum, is one of the five pillars of Wikipedia that all editors are expected to follow. Even in difficult situations, Wikipedia editors are expected to adopt a constructive and collaborative outlook, behave reasonably, calmly, and courteously in their interactions with other editors, and avoid acting in a manner that brings the project into disrepute. Administrators are expected to adhere to this at a higher standard. Uncivil, unseemly, or disruptive conduct, including but not limited to lack of respect for other editors, failure to work towards consensus, offensive commentary (including rude, offensive, derogatory, and insulting terms in any language), personal attacks, unjustified failure to assume good faith, harassment, edit-warring, disruptive point-making, and gaming the system, are all unacceptable as they are inconsistent with Wikipedia's expected standards of behavior and decorum. Users should not respond to such misconduct in kind; concerns regarding the actions of other users should be brought up in the appropriate forums.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Collective behavior of blocs of editors

4) It is potentially harmful to Wikipedia when editorial debates become strongly associated with real-world polarizations and when they become dominated by groups of editors lined up along philosophical lines due to shared beliefs or personal backgrounds. This is particularly harmful when such editors act in concert to systematically advocate editorial decisions considered favorable to their shared views in a manner that contravenes the application of Wikipedia policy or obstructs consensus-building. Defending editorial positions that support philosophical preferences typical of a particular group is not ipso facto evidence of bad-faith editing. At the same time, mere strength of numbers is not sufficient to contravene Wikipedia policy, and an apparent consensus of editors is not sufficient to overrule the five pillars of Wikipedia.

Passed 7 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a battleground

5) Wikipedia is not a battleground. It is not acceptable to further off-wiki disputes on this project.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Casting aspersions

6) It is unacceptable for an editor to routinely accuse others of misbehavior without reasonable cause in an attempt to besmirch their reputations. Concerns, if they cannot be resolved directly with the other users involved, should be brought up in the appropriate forums with evidence, if at all.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Neutrality and conflicts of interest

7) Wikipedia adopts a neutral point of view, and advocacy for any particular view is prohibited. In particular, Wikipedia's conflict of interest guidelines strongly discourage editors contributing "in order to promote their own interests." Neutrality is non-negotiable and requires that, whatever their personal feelings or interests, all editors must strive to ensure articles accurately reflect all significant viewpoints published by reliable sources and give prominence to such viewpoints in proportion to the weight of the source. Editors may contribute to Wikipedia only if they comply with Wikipedia's key policies.

Passed 7 to 1, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Biographies of living people

8) Biographies of living people must be written conservatively, responsibly, cautiously, and in a dispassionate and neutral tone, avoiding both understatement and overstatement. They should be written using reliable sources, avoiding self-published sources. Poorly sourced or unsourced controversial material should be removed immediately, and should not be reinserted without appropriate sourcing. Biographical articles should not be used as coatracks to describe events or circumstances in which the subject is peripherally or slightly involved, nor to give undue weight to events or circumstances to matters relevant to the subject. Failure to adhere to the policy on biographical information of living people may result in deletion of material, editing restrictions, blocks or even bans.

Passed 8 to 0 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Encyclopedic coverage of science

9) Encyclopedias are generally expected to provide overviews of scientific topics that are in line with current mainstream scientific thought, while also recognizing significant alternate viewpoints.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Undue weight

10) In describing points of view on a subject, articles should fairly represent the weight of authority for each such view, and should not accord them undue weight. Thus, views held by a relatively small proportion of commentators or scholars should not be overstated, but similarly, views held by a relatively large proportion thereof should not be understated.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


11) The verifiability policy is at the heart of one of the five pillars of Wikipedia and must be adhered to, through the use of reliable sources. Different types of sources (e.g. academic sources and news sources), as well as individual sources, need to be evaluated on their own merits. Differentiation between sources that meet the standard (e.g. different academic viewpoints, all of which are peer reviewed) is a matter for consensus among editors. When there is disagreement or uncertainty about the reliability of particular sources, editors are encouraged to use the reliable sources noticeboard to broaden the discussion.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Disruptive editing

12) Disruptive editing, which can include persistent vandalism, edit-warring, sockpuppetry, and repeated insertion of unsourced or poorly sourced controversial content, is cause for blocking an account. Repeated violations of Wikipedia behavioural and editing policies may lead to indefinite blocks which become de facto bans when no administrator will consider unblocking, particularly if the editor uses multiple accounts to behave disruptively.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Blocking and Banning

13) The purpose of blocking accounts and banning editors is to address the disruptive or otherwise inappropriate behaviour of the specific editor, not to silence a perspective. Without additional supportive evidence (such as identical wording as used by a banned editor), editors new to a topic who seek to include information proposed in the past by a now-blocked or -banned editor should be treated with good faith. An editor who brings forward the same or similar view as a blocked or banned user should not automatically be assumed to be a sockpuppet or meatpuppet in the absence of other evidence.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Administrators working in contentious areas

14.1) Administrators are trusted members of the community, are expected to follow Wikipedia policies, and are expected to pursue their duties to the best of their abilities. Occasional mistakes are entirely compatible with administrator status; administrators are not expected to be perfect. When working in stressful and contentious areas, administrators should consider periodically taking time out from the area of contention lest their own conduct inadvertently descend to the level for which they would sanction others.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Administrator involvement - general

15) The purpose of defining involvement is to eliminate as much bias as possible. Bias in a topic area can result from things like editing the topic and having strong views even without editing the topic.

Editors are expected to not act as administrators in disputes in which they are involved. See Wikipedia:Administrators#Involved admins. For example, an administrator may be deemed too "involved" to block an editor if the administrator has had significant prior disputes with that editor, whether or not directly related to the current issue, or if the issue arises from a content dispute and the administrator is active in editing the article that is the subject of the dispute.

However, the policy also notes that "one important caveat is that an administrator who has interacted with an editor or article purely in an administrative role, or whose prior involvement consists of minor or obvious edits that do not speak to bias, is not involved and is not prevented from acting on the article, editor, or dispute either in an administrative role or in an editorial role. This is because one of the roles of administrators is precisely to deal with such matters, at length if necessary." There will always be borderline cases; in general, if an administrator is not sure whether he or she would be considered "involved" or not, the better practice is to draw the situation to the attention of other administrators to resolve, such as by posting on an appropriate noticeboard.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Administrator involvement - enforcement matters

16) In the context of arbitration enforcement, which is analogous to enforcement of the community sanctions at issue in this case, the Arbitration Committee has usually defined that "for the purpose of imposing sanctions ... an administrator will be considered 'uninvolved' if he or she has not previously participated in any content disputes on articles in the area of conflict." Of course, an administrator who has had significant prior disputes with a particular editor would similarly be considered "involved" with regard to a request for sanctions involving that editor.

However, an administrator's taking enforcement action against an editor under an arbitration or community-sanctions decision is not considered to be participation in a dispute that disqualifies the administrator from addressing later misconduct by that editor. It also is unacceptable for an editor to deliberately pick a quarrel with an administrator for the purpose of provoking the administrator into saying or doing something that will make him or her "involved."

Passed 7 to 1, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Administrator participation in enforcement

17) There is a trade-off between having a relatively small group of administrators concentrate on arbitration enforcement or community sanctions enforcement versus having a larger number of administrators do so. Having a handful of administrators handle enforcement requests helps ensure that these administrators are familiar with enforcement policies and procedures and come to learn the issues associated with enforcement problems that arise in a particular case. On the other hand, as the same administrators handle multiple enforcement requests, they may increasingly be subject to accusations of "involvement" or bias and prejudgment based on their earlier actions in the same case.

In general, as more administrators participate in enforcement of a decision and develop the relevant expertise, the less necessary it will be for an administrator who might be arguably or borderline "involved" to handle an enforcement request. Conversely, it is understandable that if other qualified administrators are not available to handle the requests, then those who are willing to address them, even if borderline "involved", are more likely to continue making enforcement decisions.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Right to vanish

18.1) The "Right to Vanish" is a courtesy afforded to editors intending to withdraw permanently from editing Wikipedia. It is not intended as a temporary leave or absence, or as a method to avoid scrutiny or sanction over one's past behavior. Editors who invoke this right should expect that, should they return, their previous identity will be fully restored and any possible sanctions will be reapplied.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Detrimental editing

19) The core purpose of the Wikipedia project is to create a high-quality free encyclopedia. Contributors whose actions are detrimental to that goal may be asked to refrain from making them, even when these actions are undertaken in good faith.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Conduct on arbitration pages

20) The pages associated with arbitration cases are primarily intended to assist the Arbitration Committee in arriving at a fair, well-informed, and expeditious resolution of each case. Participation by editors who present good-faith statements, evidence, and workshop proposals is appreciated. While allowance is made for the fact that parties and other interested editors may have strong feelings about the subject-matters of their dispute, appropriate decorum should be maintained on these pages. Incivility, personal attacks, and strident rhetoric should be avoided in arbitration as in all other areas of Wikipedia.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Battlefield editing

21) Wikipedia is a reference work, not a battlefield. Each and every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Use of the site to pursue personal feuds and quarrels is extremely disruptive, flies directly in the face of our key policies and goals. and is prohibited. Editors who are unable to resolve their personal or ideological differences are expected to keep mutual contact to a minimum. If battling editors fail to disengage, they may be compelled to do so through the use of blocks and bans.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Enough is enough

22) When all reasonable attempts to control the spread of disruption arising from long-term disputes have failed, the Committee may be compelled to adopt seemingly draconian measures as a last resort for preventing further damage to the encyclopedia and to the community.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Evidence sub-pages in user space

23) Longstanding consensus at Miscellany for Deletion is that editors may work up drafts in their userspace for the sole purpose of submitting the material as evidence in arbitration cases. However, after the case closes, the sub-pages should be courtesy-blanked or deleted as they are often perceived as attack pages and serve only to memorialise and perpetuate the dispute. Evidence should properly be submitted only on arbitration pages as it is impossible to ensure that all the parties are aware of all the sub-pages that might have a bearing on them.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Findings of fact

Locus of dispute

1.1) This dispute revolves around Wikipedia's coverage of climate change. While article content on the topic has been reviewed favorably by both internal and external mechanisms, the editing environment is a contentious extension of real world disputes and has resulted in a range of intractable disputes requiring the Committee's attention. The on-wiki disputes have also become intermingled with off-wiki venues, especially blogs.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Nature and extent of dispute

2) Many disputes relating to the climate change topic area have been polarizing and embittered because of the great importance that many people, on and off Wikipedia, give to this topic area. The existence of these strongly held competing views on a matter of significant public and scientific interest does not excuse editors from complying with all of Wikipedia's governing values, policies, and norms.

Passed 7 to 1, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Climate change probation

3) Following numerous disputes regarding user conduct in the area of conflict, the community developed a series of community-based discretionary sanctions[5] that administrators were authorized to apply to editors who edited disruptively or violated user conduct policies within this topic area. A special community sanctions noticeboard was created for this purpose on 1 January 2010 and has to date addressed more than 120 reported violations of behavioral or core editing policies. This general approach to addressing conduct issues in a particular topic area has been utilized in several Arbitration Committee decisions in the past, but was an innovation here when adopted at the community level. In its months of operation, this sanctions noticeboard has successfully resolved many of the reports brought before it, but questions have been raised from time to time about procedural and other issues concerning its operation.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Disputes regarding administrator involvement

4) During operation of the Climate change sanctions noticeboards, bitter disputes have arisen concerning whether administrators Lar and Stephan Schulz are "involved" in the global warming/climate change topic area to the extent that they should not participate as administrators in ruling or commenting on sanctions requests.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Sockpuppetry in the Climate Change topic area

5) Since 2006, the articles in the Climate Change topic area have been subject to persistent, repeated insertion of contentious unsourced material as well as other comparatively non-controversial edits by a now-banned editor known as Scibaby, who has created hundreds of accounts. (Long-term abuse report) The pervasive disruption has negatively affected the editing climate within the topic area, and IP editors and those with few edits outside of the topic area are frequently challenged or reverted without comment. In several cases, non-controversial edits made within editing policies and guidelines (e.g., using more neutral language or tone) have resulted in "Scibaby" blocks because a word or phrase has been used by Scibaby in the past, and editors have been threatened with blocking for reinstating otherwise reasonable edits that have been identified as originating from a likely Scibaby sockpuppet. Efforts to reduce Scibaby's impact have had their own deleterious effects, with large IP range blocks preventing new editors from contributing to any area of the project, edit filters having a high "false positive" result, and a significant proportion of Scibaby-related blocks (including range blocks), particularly before late 2009, were subsequently determined to be excessive or incorrect. This does not negate the fact that there have been hundreds of accounts correctly identified.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Edit warring on Climate Change related articles

6.1) Reflecting the contentious and uncollaborative atmosphere surrounding Climate change related articles, the articles have been the frequent subject of edit-warring, often rising to the level that page protection has been necessary. Episodes of edit-warring requiring protection, including several parties to the case, have continued even while this arbitration case was pending.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Personalization of dispute

7) A number of editors involved in this dispute have—possibly through no fault of their own—become focal points for the debate, to the extent that their presence causes discussion to revolve around their personalities and editing histories, rather than the content actually being debated.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

William M. Connolley

William M. Connolley previously sanctioned and desysopped

8.1) In the Abd-William M. Connolley arbitration case (July–September 2009), William M. Connolley was found to have misused his admin tools while involved. As a result, he lost administrator permissions, and was admonished and prohibited from interacting with User:Abd. Prior to that, he was sanctioned in Requests for arbitration/Climate change dispute (2005, revert parole – which was later overturned by the Committee here) and Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Geogre-William M. Connolley (2008, restricted from administrative actions relating to Giano II). He was also the subject of RFC's regarding his conduct: RfC 1 (2005) and RfC 2 (2008). The 2008 RFC was closed as improperly certified.

Passed 6 to 0 with 2 abstentions, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

William M. Connolley has been uncivil and antagonistic

8.2) William M. Connolley has been uncivil and antagonistic to editors within the topic area, and toward administrators enforcing the community probation. (Selection of representative examples:[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] [17][18][19] [20] )

This uncivil and antagonistic behaviour has included refactoring of talk page comments by other users,(examples:[21][22][23] ) to the point that he was formally prohibited from doing so. In the notice advising him that a consensus of 7 administrators had prohibited his refactoring of talk page posts, he inserted commentary within the post of the administrator leaving the notice on his talk page.[24]] For this action, he was blocked for 48 hours; had the block extended to 4 days with talk page editing disabled due to continuing insertions into the posts of other users on his talk page; had his block reset to the original conditions; then was blocked indefinitely with talk page editing disabled when he again inserted comments into the posts of others on his talk page.[25] After extensive discussion at Administrator noticeboard/Incidents, the interpretation of consensus was that the Climate Change general sanctions did not extend to the actions of editors on their own talk pages, and the block was lifted.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

William M. Connolley's edits to biographies of living persons

8.5) William M. Connolley has focused a substantial portion of his editing in the Climate change topic area on biographical articles about living persons who hold views opposed to his own with respect to the reality and significance of anthropogenic global warming, in a fashion suggesting that he does not always approach such articles with an appropriately neutral and disinterested point of view.

Passed 7 to 1, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Polargeo's battlefield conduct

9.1) Polargeo (talk · contribs) has contributed significantly towards the battleground atmosphere with combative remarks in the early stages of this case;[26][27][28][29][30][31][32] repeated personal attacks on individual editors throughout it;[33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44] and many incivil remarks during it.[45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52]

NB: This editor has retired the User:Polargeo account and is apparently editing as User:Olap the Ogre.[53]  Roger Davies talk10:55, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


Thegoodlocust long-term disruption

10.1) Thegoodlocust (talk · contribs) has engaged in long-term disruptive, tendentious, and agenda-driven editing across a range of articles. These behaviours include, but are not limited to, personal attacks (PA), use of Wikipedia as a soapbox and battleground, edit-warring, agenda-driven editing, and abuse of article talk pages and project space to propound his personal viewpoints on controversial topics. This disruptive behavior has recurred after numerous warnings and blocks, as well as a prior topic ban to Barack Obama and aGlobal Warming ban that was to end on 8 August 2010, but wasreset due to continued soapboxing and will now expire on 3 November 2010. (Selection of representative examples:[54] (admin only, BLP violation),[55] (PA, soapboxing),[56] (soapboxing),[57] (PA),[58] (PA),[59] (soapboxing),[60] PA, failure to assume good faith),[61] (PA). The next three diffs come from the current case pages and represent the use of a dispute resolution forum to forward his personal agenda; he was already topic-banned prior to the acceptance of the case:[62][63][64] (see collapse box mid-thread))

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Thegoodlocust's battlefield conduct

10.2) Thegoodlocust (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behavior, including edit warring,[65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74] and comments that were incivil or reinforced a battleground mentality.[75][76][77][78][79][80]

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Marknutley disruptive behavior

11) Marknutley (talk · contribs) has engaged in a long series of disruptive behavior, including biography of living person(BLP) violations, creation of point-of-view forks (POV forks), copyright violations, incivility, incorrect interpretation and misuse of source material including improper use of blogs and primary sources, edit-warring, personal attacks (PA), and attempts to override consensus content decisions. (Selection of representative examples:[81] (BLP),[82] (BLP, sourcing),[83] (BLP, sourcing),[84] (BLP, sourcing),[85] (POV fork),[86] (PA),[87] (PA),[88] (PA),[89] (edit against consensus, misleading edit summary),[90] (PA),[91] (assumption of bad faith),[92] (copyright violations),[93](synthesis))

Since the initiation of the Climate Change general sanctions, he has been subject to multiple sanctions related to his behaviour in this topic area:

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


RFC/U on Lar

12.2) User:Lar was the subject of an RFC on whether he is an involved admin in the Climate Change topic during April – June 2010. The debate on that issue has continued on several pages since that time.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Lar's comments, actions, and mindset

12.3) User:Lar has made inappropriate comments and actions and at times shows a battleground mentality, especially for an admin:[97][98][99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106]

Passed 7 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Administrator participation by Stephan Schulz

13.1) Stephan Schulz, an administrator, has participated significantly in editing and discussing content issues on articles relating to Climate change. He formerly also performed certain administrator actions relating to these articles, but has not done so in several months. Stephan Schulz has frequently commented on sanctions requests on the Climate change sanctions noticeboard in the section reserved for discussion by "uninvolved administrators."

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

ChrisO's battlefield conduct

14.3) ChrisO (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behaviour, including edit warring,[107][108][109][110][111] and comments that were incivil and reinforced a battleground mentality,[112][113][114][115][116]

Passed 6 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Minor4th's battlefield conduct

15) Minor4th (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behavior, including edit warring,[117][118][119][120][121][122][123][124][125][126] and comments that were incivil and reinforced a battleground mentality,[127][128][129][130]

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

ATren's battlefield conduct

16) ATren (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behavior, including comments that were not civil;[131][132][133][134][135][136] and that reinforced a battleground mentality.[137][138][139][140][141][142][143][144]

Passed 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Hipocrite's battlefield conduct

17) Hipocrite (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behavior, including edit warring,[145][146][147][148] and comments that were incivil and reinforced a battleground mentality,[149][150][151][152][153]

Passed 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Cla68's battlefield conduct

18) Cla68 (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behavior, including edit warring,[154][155][156][157][158][159][160] inappropriate use of sources,[161][162][163] and comments that were incivil and reinforced a battleground mentality,[164][165][166][167]

Passed 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


Scjessey's battlefield conduct

19) Scjessey (talk · contribs) has helped create the battleground atmosphere with a string of bellicose, polemic and uncivil comments in the run up to this case;[168][169][170][171][172][173][174][175][176][177][178][179] and a series of personal attacks during the course of it.[180][181][182][183]

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Scjessey's voluntary editing restriction

19.1) Scjessey (talk · contribs) has voluntarily withdrawn with immediate effect from the Climate Change topic on the basis specified in Remedy 16.1 of this decision.[184][185][186]

Passed 6 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

GregJackP's battlefield conduct

20) GregJackP (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behavior, including edit warring,[187][188][189][190] inappropriate use of sources,[191][192][193][194] and comments that were incivil and reinforced a battleground mentality,[195][196][197][198][199][200]

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

A Quest For Knowledge's battlefield conduct

21) A Quest For Knowledge (talk · contribs) has helped contribute to the battleground atmosphere by engaging in edit warring in the run up to the opening of this case;[201][202][203][204] making comments that were incivil or promoted a battleground mentality;[205][206][207][208][209] and by making an inappropriate remark in discussions about biographies of living people.[210]

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

KimDabelsteinPetersen's battlefield conduct

22) KimDabelsteinPetersen (talk · contribs) has engaged in battlefield conduct, edit-warring in climate-change-relatedbiographies of living people over content;[211][212][213][214][215] and sources;[216][217][218][219][220][221][222][223][224][225][226] and, more recently, has continued to interpret sourcing and BLP policy idiosyncratically.[227][228][229][230][231][232][233][234][235][236]

Passed 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Verbal's battlefield conduct

23) Verbal (talk · contribs) has contributed to the battleground atmosphere with peremptory reverts to articles to which they have not previously contributed and by sometimes failing to discuss the reverts on article talk pages.[237][238]*,[239] *,[240] *,[241]*,[242][243][244][245][246]*,[247]* This editor has also reverted to versions by an editor under a revert restriction in a manner suggestive of tag-teaming and restriction circumvention.(marked with an asterisk in the previous diffs).

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

ZuluPapa5's battlefield conduct

24) ZuluPapa5 (talk · contribs) has in the run-up to this case helped create a battlefield atmosphere by engaging in edit-warring;[248][249][250][251] by engaging in incivility and personal attacks;[252][253][254] and by seemingly wiki-lawyering and/or soapboxing.[255][256][257][258][259][260][261][262]

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

JohnWBarber's battlefield conduct

25.1) JohnWBarber (talk · contribs) has engaged in disruptive behavior, including edit warring,[263][264][265] and comments that served to inflame tensions and reinforced a battleground mentality,[266][267][268][269][270][271][272][273][274][275]

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

FellGleaming's battlefield conduct

26) FellGleaming (talk · contribs) has long engaged in battlefield conduct within the Climate change topic, first attracting separate blocks for edit-warring and personal attacks back in April 2008,[276] and has more recently been the subject of requests for enforcement.[277][278] In the past few months, this editor has engaged in edit-warring,[279][280][281] including edit-warring on articles under community probation;[282][283][284][285][286][287][288][289][290]On balance, this editor's presence within this controversial topic has been more detrimental than beneficial.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Climate change: discretionary sanctions

1.2)This remedy specifies and authorises the discretionary sanctions applicable to this case.

Advice for editors

Any editor wishing to edit within the Climate change topic, broadly construed, is advised to edit cautiously, to adopt Wikipedia’s communal approaches (including appropriate conduct, dispute resolution, neutral point of view, no original research and verifiability) in their editing, and to amend behaviours that are deemed to be of concern by uninvolved administrators. Editors are also urged to read and follow the principles applicable to this case. Any editor unable or unwilling to follow this advice should restrict their editing to other topics, to avoid sanctions.


Any administrator who is not involved or who is not mentioned by name in the decision in this case may, at his or her own discretion, impose sanctions on any editor working on any article within the area of conflict. Any repeated or serious misbehaviour which fails to conform to the purpose of Wikipedia, to community and editorial norms, is grounds for discretionary sanctions. Additionally, and specific to this case, administrators are asked to focus on editors engaging in battlefield conduct (including edit- and revert-warring in all forms, making personal attacks; casting aspersions, POV-pushing, and misusing sources) and Climate change-related biographies of living people, which have coatrack problems.

Range of sanctions

The sanctions imposed may include: blocks of up to one year in length; topic-bans applicable to any page or set of pages and their talk pages within the area of conflict; strict revert restrictions for edit-warring; interaction bans for feuding, baiting, and incivility; or any other measures which the imposing administrator believes are reasonably necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the project.

Before imposing discretionary sanctions

Administrators should use their judgment to balance (i) the need to assume good faith, to avoid biting genuinely inexperienced editors, and to allow responsible contributors freedom to edit, with (ii) the need to reduce edit-warring and misuse of Wikipedia as a battleground.

Warning of intended sanctions

Prior to any sanctions being imposed, the editor in question shall be given a warning by an uninvolved administrator with a link to the decision authorising sanctions; and, where appropriate, should be counselled on specific steps to take to bring his or her editing into line with the relevant policies and guidelines.

Appeals by sanctioned editors

The sanctioned editor may appeal any sanction imposed under these provisions to the imposing administrator, the appropriate noticeboard (currently Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement), or the Committee.

Reversals by administrators

Administrators disagreeing with a discretionary sanction are cautioned not to reverse it without first familiarising themselves with the full facts and then engaging in extensive discussion and consensus-building at one of the administrators’ noticeboards or other suitable on-wiki venue. The Committee will consider appropriate remedies including suspension or revocation of adminship in the event of violations. Administrators who consistently make questionable enforcement administrative actions, or whose actions are consistently overturned by community or Arbitration Committee discussions may be asked to cease performing such activities or be formally restricted from taking such activities.


All sanctions are to be logged in the appropriate section of the case page.

Passed 6 to 1, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Superseded by an alternate sanction passed 14 to 0, 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Climate change sanctions noticeboard superseded

2) Effective when this case closes, the community sanctions noticeboard for global warming issues should no longer be used for future sanctions discussions. Any future sanctions requests should be based on the discretionary sanctions imposed above and the other remedies in this decision, and discussed in the standard location, Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement (AE). However, any discussions already pending on the existing noticeboard when this case closes should continue to a result, and need not be re-started or moved to AE.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Climate Change topic bans

Scope of topic bans

3.1) Editors topic-banned by the Committee under this remedy are prohibited (1) from editing articles about Climate Change broadly construed and their talk pages; (2) from editing biographies of living people associated with Climate Change broadly construed and their talk pages; and (3) from participating in any Wikipedia process relating to those articles.

3.1) Editors topic-banned by the Committee under this remedy are prohibited from (i) editing articles about Climate Change broadly construed and their talk pages; (ii) editing biographies of living people associated with Climate Change broadly construed and their talk pages; (iii) participating in any process broadly construed on Wikipedia particularly affecting these articles; and (iv) initiating or participating in any discussion substantially relating to these articles anywhere on Wikipedia, even if the discussion also involves another issue or issues.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Amended 9 to 0, 21:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Appeal of topic bans

3.2.1) Editors topic banned under this decision may apply to have the topic ban lifted or modified after demonstrating their commitment to the goals of Wikipedia and their ability to work constructively with other editors. The Committee will consider each request individually, but will look favorably on participation in the featured content process, including both production of any type of featured content, as well as constructive participation in featured content candidacies and reviews. Applications will be considered no earlier than six months after the close of this case, and additional reviews will be done, unless the Committee directs otherwise in individual instances, no more frequently than every three months thereafter.

3.2.1) Editors topic banned under this decision may apply to the Committee to have the topic ban lifted or modified after demonstrating their commitment to the goals of Wikipedia and their ability to work constructively with other editors. Applications will be considered no earlier than six months after the close of this case, and additional reviews will be done, unless the Committee directs otherwise in individual instances, no more frequently than every three months thereafter.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Amended 8 to 0 with one abstention, 21:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

General remedies

Administrators who participate in Arbitration and Community Sanction enforcement

4.1) The Arbitration Committee thanks administrators who have assisted with enforcement of its decisions as well as community-sanctions decisions, and encourages other experienced administrators to share in this work, provided they understand that this can be among the more challenging and stressful administrator tasks on the project.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Use of blogs and self-published sources

4.2.1) All users are reminded that as stated in the verifiability policy and reliable source guideline, blogs and self-published sources in any media may be used as references only in very limited circumstances, typically articles about the blog or source itself. Neither blogs nor self-published sources may be used as sources of material about living people unless the material has been published by the article's subject (in which case special rules apply).

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Project-wide policies remain in effect

4.3) Editors and administrators are reminded that discretionary sanctions are intended to supplement, not supersede, existing project-wide editorial and behavioural policies. In circumstances where community or administrator intervention would be appropriate, such intervention remains appropriate whether or not it would also fall under the purview of the discretionary sanctions.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Biographies of Living Persons

4.4) Editors and administrators are reminded of the stringent requirements of the biography of living persons policy, particularly the importance of proper sourcing, disinterested and neutral tone, and ensuring that information added is specific to the subject of the article and given the correct weighting within the article. Edit-warring, poor-quality sourcing, unsourced negative or controversial information, inclusion within the article of material more appropriate for a different article, and unbalanced coverage within the article, are unacceptable. Similarly, material about living people placed into other articles should be held to the same high standards of sourcing, tone, relevance and balance.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Administrators, Checkusers, and the Climate change topic area

4.5) Experienced administrators and particularly holders of the Checkuser permission are requested to closely monitor new accounts that edit inappropriately in the Climate change topic area, to ensure that accounts that are sockpuppets of a particular chronically disruptive banned user are prevented from editing, while keeping to the lowest possible level instances in which innocent new editors are incorrectly blocked or would-be editors are caught in rangeblocks. Discussion of methods of identifying sockpuppet edits in this area should generally be conducted off-wiki. We note that there may be legitimate instances of disagreement and difficult judgment calls to be made in addressing these issues. However, administrators are cautioned that, without more evidence, merely expressing a particular opinion or emphasizing particular facts in the area of Climate change, does not constitute sufficient evidence that an editor is a sockpuppet of the banned user in question.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Deletion of evidence sub-pages

4.6) Within seven days of this remedy passing, all parties must either delete evidence sub-pages or request deletion of them using the {{db-author}} or {{db-self}} templates. Nothing in this remedy prevents at any time any other editor from requesting deletion of the subpages via the Miscellany for deletion process nor any uninvolved adminstrator from deleting them under the applicable Criteria for speedy deletion.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Specific remedies

William M. Connolley topic-banned

5.6) William M. Connolley is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

5.6) William M. Connolley is permitted to edit within the topic area of Climate change, but is prohibited from editing relating to any living person associated with this topic, interpreted broadly but reasonably. William M. Connolley is reminded to abide by all applicable Wikipedia policies in editing on this topic and that he remains subject either to further action by this Committee or (like all editors in this topic-area) to discretionary sanctions should he fail to do so.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Amended by motion, 8 to 2, 21:20, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Polargeo topic-banned

6.3) Polargeo is topic-banned from Climate Change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Thegoodlocust topic-banned

7.3) Thegoodlocust is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Marknutley topic-banned

8.6) Marknutley is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Stephan Schulz administrator participation

10.1) Stephan Schulz is advised not to comment on sanctions enforcement requests relating to climate change in the discussion section reserved for comments by uninvolved administrators. He may comment appropriately on such requests elsewhere, on the same terms as any other editor.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

ChrisO (remedies)

ChrisO instructed

11.4) Because ChrisO retired from the project and exercised his right to vanish while sanctions were being actively considered against him in this arbitration case, should he wish to resume editing under any account name at a future date, he is instructed to contact this Committee before doing so.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
ChrisO topic-banned

11.6) ChrisO is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

The restriction imposed on Prioryman (talk · contribs) by Remedy 11.6 of the Climate change case ("ChrisO topic-banned") is hereby lifted.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Vacated by motion 8 to 1, 17:50, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Minor4th topic-banned

12) Minor4th is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

ATren topic-banned

13) ATren is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 6 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Hipocrite topic-banned

14) Hipocrite is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Cla68 topic-banned

15) Cla68 is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 4 to 0 with 2 abstentions, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Scjessey's voluntary editing restriction

16.1) Scjessey has proposed a permanent binding voluntary restriction that he makes no edits within the scope of the topic ban, with the exception, as part of Recent Changes patrolling, of making routine cleanup-style edits and reverting cases of obvious vandalism. Scjessey is instructed to abide by these restrictions.

16.1) The editing restriction described in remedy 16.1 ("Scjessey's voluntary editing restriction") of the Climate change decision is terminated, effective on the passage of this motion.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Amended by motion 9 to 0, 12:41, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

GregJackP topic-banned

17) GregJackP is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.
The restriction imposed on GregJackP (talk · contribs) in the Climate change case and the supplementary restriction relating to New Religious movements imposed by the Ban Appeals Subcommittee on 17 March 2012 as a condition of unblocking are hereby lifted.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Vacated by motion 9 to 0, 21:55, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

A Quest For Knowledge topic-banned

18) A Quest For Knowledge is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

The restriction imposed on A Quest For Knowledge (talk · contribs) by Remedy 18 of the Climate change case ("A Quest For Knowledge topic-banned") is hereby lifted.

Passed 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Vacated by motion 8 to 2, 15:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

KimDabelsteinPetersen's voluntary editing restriction

19.1) KimDabelsteinPetersen has proposed a binding voluntary restriction that he makes: (i) no edits of whatever nature to Climate change articles, their talk pages and associated Wikipedia process pages, broadly construed, for a period of six months and on expiry of the six-month period is limited to one revert within the topic, reverts of blatant vandalism excluded; and (ii) no edits of whatever kind to biographies of living people, broadly construed. This editor is instructed to abide by these restrictions.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Verbal topic-banned

20) Verbal is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

ZuluPapa5 topic-banned

21) ZuluPapa5 is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 7 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

JohnWBarber topic-banned

22) JohnWBarber is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 5 to 0 with 1 abstention, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

FellGleaming topic-banned

23) FellGleaming is topic-banned from Climate change, per Remedy 3.

Passed 6 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


Enforcement of restrictions

0) Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked, initially for up to one month, and then with blocks increasing in duration to a maximum of one year.

Per the procedure for the standard enforcement provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications
Appeals by sanctioned editors

Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. Requests for modification of page restrictions may be made by any editor. The process has three possible stages (see "Important notes" below). The editor may:

  1. ask the enforcing administrator to reconsider their original decision;
  2. request review at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard ("AE") or at the administrators’ noticeboard ("AN"); and
  3. submit a request for amendment at "ARCA". If the editor is blocked, the appeal may be made by email through Special:EmailUser/Arbitration Committee (or, if email access is revoked, to
Modifications by administrators

No administrator may modify or remove a sanction placed by another administrator without:

  1. the explicit prior affirmative consent of the enforcing administrator; or
  2. prior affirmative agreement for the modification at (a) AE or (b) AN or (c) ARCA (see "Important notes" below).

Administrators modifying sanctions out of process may at the discretion of the committee be desysopped.

Nothing in this section prevents an administrator from replacing an existing sanction issued by another administrator with a new sanction if fresh misconduct has taken place after the existing sanction was applied.

Administrators are free to modify sanctions placed by former administrators – that is, editors who do not have the administrator permission enabled (due to a temporary or permanent relinquishment or desysop) – without regard to the requirements of this section. If an administrator modifies a sanction placed by a former administrator, the administrator who made the modification becomes the "enforcing administrator". If a former administrator regains the tools, the provisions of this section again apply to their unmodified enforcement actions.

Important notes:

  1. For a request to succeed, either
(i) the clear and substantial consensus of (a) uninvolved administrators at AE or (b) uninvolved editors at AN or
(ii) a passing motion of arbitrators at ARCA
is required. If consensus at AE or AN is unclear, the status quo prevails.
  1. While asking the enforcing administrator and seeking reviews at AN or AE are not mandatory prior to seeking a decision from the committee, once the committee has reviewed a request, further substantive review at any forum is barred. The sole exception is editors under an active sanction who may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed, but such requests may only be made once every six months, or whatever longer period the committee may specify.
  2. These provisions apply only to discretionary sanctions placed by administrators and to blocks placed by administrators to enforce arbitration case decisions. They do not apply to sanctions directly authorised by the committee, and enacted either by arbitrators or by arbitration clerks, or to special functionary blocks of whatever nature.
  3. All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.
Per the procedure for the standard appeals and modifications provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Involved administrators

2.1) For the purpose of imposing sanctions under the provisions of this case, an administrator will be considered involved if: (i) they have participated in an editorial dispute with the editor or (ii) have had significant personal interaction with the editor or with other editors with whom that editor is in dispute, (iii) in an editorial capacity, they have participated in a content dispute affecting the article or related articles within the broader topic, or (iv) they are identified by name within the decision of the case. Previous interaction in a purely administrative capacity does not constitute administrator involvement.

Passed 6 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


3) All sanctions imposed under the provisions of this case are to be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Climate change#Log of blocks, bans, and sanctions.

Passed 8 to 0, 14:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


Standard discretionary sanctions

24) The climate change topic, broadly interpreted, is placed under discretionary sanctions. Any uninvolved administrator may levy restrictions as an arbitration enforcement action on users editing in this topic area, after an initial warning.

Passed 14 to 0 by motion, 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Log of blocks, bans, and sanctions

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log, not here.