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Welcome to the dispute resolution noticeboard (DRN)

This is an informal place to resolve small content disputes as part of dispute resolution. It may also be used as a tool to direct certain discussions to more appropriate forums, such as requests for comment, mediation, or other noticeboards. You can ask a question on the talk page. This is an early stop for most disputes on Wikipedia. You are not required to participate. Any editor may volunteer! Click this button Button rediriger.png to add your name! You don't need to volunteer to help. Please feel free to comment below on any case. Be civil and remember guidelines and policy when discussing issues. Noticeboards should not be a substitute for talk pages. Editors are expected to have had extensive discussion on a talk page (not just through edit summaries) to work out the issues before coming to DRN.

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Case Created Last volunteer edit Last modified
Title Status User Time User Time User Time
Talk:Earth system_science 2In Progress Terradactyl (t) 5 days, 13 hours Drcrazy102 (t) 10 hours Isambard Kingdom (t) 1 hours
Programmatic media 2 7Closed Jugdev (t) 2 days, 2 hours TransporterMan (t) 1 days, 22 hours TransporterMan (t) 1 days, 22 hours
Face lift dentistry 7Closed Indepentten (t) 1 days, TransporterMan (t) 23 hours TransporterMan (t) 23 hours
Gun politics_in_Ireland 7Closed (t) 11 hours TransporterMan (t) 31 minutes TransporterMan (t) 31 minutes
Talk:Gun politics in Ireland 7Closed (t) 11 hours None n/a JAaron95 (t) 1 hours
Last updated by DRN clerk bot (talk) at 15:30, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Current disputes[edit]

Talk:Earth system_science[edit]

Pictogram voting wait blue.svg – Discussion in progress.
Filed by Terradactyl on 01:52, 3 October 2015 (UTC).

Have you discussed this on a talk page?

Yes, I have discussed this issue on a talk page already.

Location of dispute

Users involved

Dispute overview

Last November, longstanding material in the entry on Earth system science dealing with Gaia theory - first added not long after the article was initiated in 2011 - was removed by author Toby Tyrrell, perhaps the most prominent critic of Gaia theory at this time. I started a lengthy conversation at the Talk Page complaining about this, saying that the relationship of Earth system science to Gaia theory should in fact be clarified in the article, giving the full range of views, not expunged and hidden. As I mentioned there, famous commentators have equated the two and consider them synonymous, and even academic textbooks on Earth system science used in university curricula treat them as being fundamentally related or nearly identical. I reworked the material that had been removed, adding well-sourced and high-quality citations substantiating all of this, and yet it has been continuously reverted by a few aggressive editors.

Most important is the fact that there is little logical argument for the removal. Even Tyrrell, who first removed the material, noted: "If Gaia is accepted as being right (which it isn't) then of course it would be fundamentally important for ESS and should be featured strongly here." This reveals a lack of neutrality, furthered by the other editors re-removing the material in my newer versions, but far more importantly, as noted at the Talk page, since such major commentators - I have quotes from some of the world's leading climatologists, Nobel laureates, the head of NASA's Planetary Sciences Division, etc. - have already seen the two as identical, clearly they must be, by definition, equally "right" and "wrong" for all those, and, since they are so prominent, this meets Tyrrell's criteria for inclusion, regardless of his personal research. Further, I have not been asking for a lengthy Gaia section, just something with the full range of viewpoints on the relationship of Earth system science to Gaia theory, given such widely held opinions.

Have you tried to resolve this previously?

I have frequently asked the editors who found the article to be made "imbalanced" because of my edits to ADD material expressing any other viewpoints they could cite appropriately, rather than removing my edits.

Eventually, I asked for the article to be protected. It was for a few days. I just tried posting yet another new version of the same material - it was removed in about 10 minutes by Isambard Kingdom. 

How do you think we can help?

If they'll agree to having a Relationship to Gaia theory section, then the content can perhaps be negotiated: after all, I almost never remove other editors' work. I quoted the below at the Talk page. Can you verify this is correct?

"It is inappropriate to remove blocks of well-referenced information which is germane to the subject from articles on the grounds that the information advances a point of view. Wikipedia's NPOV policy contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view."

Summary of dispute by Isambard Kingdom[edit]

ESS is not Gaia. ESS considers the many systems of the Earth (in the broadest sense of the word "Earth"), incorporating ideas that are central to dynamical systems. Many of the ideas of ESS have origin in what we also call geography and ecology. This is clear from the several authoritative books cited in the lead, some of which do mention Gaia, but others of which don't. Gaia is an interesting (but specific) hypothesis about life and its development in the setting of the Earth system. In this sense, Gaia is a small subset of ESS, and, as such, it should be mentioned and briefly discussed in the ESS article. But the lengthy material that Terradactyl wants to be included does not result in a balanced article (it results in one that is biased towards Gaia). And some of the material that Terradactyl wants to be included is, by his/her own admission, motivated by a history of pervious edits by Toby Tyrrell, example: [1], and I would assert that that history is not relevant to the article we need to have now. Terradactyl's writing style is verbose, his/her entries on the talk page are verbose, and he/she often uses unhelpful accusing language, such as saying that other editors are "vandalizing" the article, example: [2]. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 14:02, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Summary of dispute by prokaryotes[edit]

The involved editors really tried hard to explain to OP why repeated efforts to keep certain versions in the article are not gonna happen. The dispute is currently evolving around this content addition. What OP fails to understand is that the article ESS is not the place to discuss the history of the relationship of ESS and GT(Gaia theory). All editors agree that there is a connection, and therefore GT has a place at the ESS article. However not with the weight and specific detail on just the relationship and certain opinions. OP also often adds his own unneeded synopsis, i.e. The Amsterdam Declaration on Global Change (2001), signed by more than 1,000 scientists under the aegis of the United Nations and thus representing the highest level of scientific consensus, is a significant document for Earth system science, as well as Gaia theory. OP should provide reworked article changes on the article talk page, instead of pushing disputed content.prokaryotes (talk) 07:05, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Summary of dispute by Plumbago[edit]

In summary, the dispute is between Terradactyl and everyone else. Terradactyl is insistent in casting the subject of the article as synonymous with the Gaia hypothesis, which greatly oversimplifies reality. Terradactyl, to be fair, finds sources for this, but is cherry-picking the literature and favouring certain authorities rather than considering the full range of the subject (e.g. what scientists are publishing papers on). All of this has been explained many times to Terradactyl on the talk page, but the advice is consistently ignored. The only sign that Terradactyl is acknowledging any other opinions is that they have reined in their wilder accusations of ignorance / bad faith / COI from the talk page ... and from the article page. This is all unfortunate because Terradactyl is an enthusiastic and prolific (at least on the talk page) editor. However, I fear that this is a topic close to their heart, and they do not appear willing to concede any ground on it. For full disclosure, I am a (clearly biased) Earth system scientist (marine biogeochemistry), someone who retains a suspicion that there may be something in this Gaia-thing, and a colleague of Toby Tyrrell (who Terradactyl seems to think knows nothing about Gaia despite convincing a major scientific publisher to publish a book on the subject). --PLUMBAGO 06:48, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Summary of dispute by Arthur Rubin[edit]

I don't have much to add to Plumbago's comment, except to note that the (approximately 7500 characters) addition of the Gaia material was not significantly different in the multiple versions, and the changes did not reflect apparent consensus in the discussion. Perhaps a volunteer's recognition of consensus could be helpful. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:12, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Talk:Earth system_science discussion[edit]

Please keep discussion to a minimum before being opened by a volunteer. Continue on article talk page if necessary.
  •  Volunteer note: There appears to have been extensive discussion on the talk page of the article and I think this dispute is ready for DRN. I'm neither accepting or declining this case at this time, but just mentioning that it is the duty of the filer to notify all the involved parties about this DRN case. You may use {{subst:drn-notice}} for this purpose. And it appears that PLUMBAGO is a non-existing username. Please correct the name. Regards—JAaron95 Talk 04:05, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Thank you - I have now notified the editors at their talk pages. The URL for Plumbago's talk page is this:

The capitalization I used, if that made any difference, was taken from his signing of his comments at the Earth system science talk page Terradactyl (talk) 04:53, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

First statement by volunteer moderator[edit]

I am a volunteer editor at this noticeboard and am opening this dispute for moderated discussion. The issue appears to be whether to add a long section on the Gaia hypothesis that views the Earth as a superorganism. It appears that one editor wants to add this section and that other editors disagree. A compromise might be to add a shorter section. However, if there are other issues, the editors can identify them. I would like each editor to provide a short statement of the issues, not more than two paragraphs; if you have already stated your case above on this page, you may just say that. Please comment on content, not on contributors. I intend to check the status of this thread at least every 24 hours. I expect every participant to check this thread at least every 48 hours. Please address your comments below to me (the moderator), not to each other. Please be civil and concise. (So far, the discussion on the talk page and on this page has been civil.) Robert McClenon (talk) 16:48, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

First statements by editors[edit]

Robert, in response to your request for additional input and your suggestion that a compromise might be to add a shorter section, by which I suppose you mean a condensation of the Gaia theory material that Terradactyl has been offering, let me emphasize that the ESS article already has a certain amount of Gaia content in it. Three (3) paragraphs on Gaia are in the "origins" section of the ESS article. In that respect, generous accommodation for Gaia theory has already been made, especially given that Gaia is just a part of what ESS is. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 19:26, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Response to statements: One thing consistently being mischaracterized thus far: I did not "add" the disputed content. I restored and updated it. For most of the life of this entry - from early 2011 until late 2014 - it had a section, ~754 words in length (varying slightly by word count now and then), titled "Inspiration in the Gaia theory" (here is a link to the very first appearance of it [3]).

Its remaining in the article for so long - an extended period during which many more editors worked on the article than are involved in the current dispute - suggests general approval of those many editors that the material was indeed appropriate and germane to the article, and that its length was not out of proportion with its significance. Indeed, it is ironic that one of the editors [redacted] involved in this dispute even edited the article at least 10 times during the period that this material was in the article, without suggesting removal. The section consisted primarily of two things: 1. discussion of some aspects of the relationship between Gaia theory and ESS, and 2. some discussion of the Amsterdam Declaration.

I simply restored this same material in a version that I feel is an improvement over the original one: it is now 758 words, just 4 words longer than the very first version in 2011; it is, I believe, far more probing into a wide range of views as to the relationship between them; includes many more highly authoritative citations; and does not simply quote the Amsterdam Declaration at length, but now provides a synopsis of its central points, as per Wiki practice. The Amsterdam Declaration, btw, never even mentions Gaia or Gaia theory, so please note that none of these editors has even tried yet to provide any justification at all for the removal of that material. Given that it was signed by more than 1,000 scientists, is an expression of broad scientific consensus, and is of clear historic importance to the subject, this part of the removal seems downright bizarre.

Lastly, please note that only one of these editors [redacted] is attempting to argue the science itself, and his position seems to be based on entirely original research: he writes, "Gaia is an interesting (but specific) hypothesis about life and its development in the setting of the Earth system. In this sense, Gaia is a small subset of ESS." He has not yet substantiated his notion of viewing Gaia as a "subset of ESS" with any references, but, if he does have appropriate references, my request has simply been that he include this highly interesting and germane position within the article. Terradactyl (talk) 22:20, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Comment on content, not contributors. Names have been removed. Continue the discussion, but no naming of names. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:34, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Very sorry, since there was no negative connotation intended in what I just wrote, I thought that wasn't a problem. I had misunderstood this, and won't name anyone specifically at all again! Terradactyl (talk) 01:01, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Different moderators have different styles, and part of my style is that I am strict about comments on contributors. Okay. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:10, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the science of Gaia, it seems significant that the IPCC Assessment Report 5, surely a key source of information about Earth science, contains only 7 mentions of Gaia - none of which are direct references to the Gaia hypothesis (most are actually references to GAIA, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives). No-one here has questioned whether or not there is support for the Gaia hypothesis out there, what we have a problem with is the balance of the text that has been added. This has been glaringly counter to the scientific literature. --PLUMBAGO 16:02, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Second statement by moderator[edit]

I will try to recapitulate. It appears that one editor wants to add a lengthy section concerning the Gaia hypothesis. The other four editors disagree, thinking that section either provides undue weight or is original research. (Two of the editors stated that in the discussion, and all four in their opening statements.) I proposed a compromise of a shorter section, and it has been pointed out that the Gaia hypothesis is already mentioned. This appears to be a rough local consensus against the additions. I see four theoretical ways forward. The first is for the other editors to accept the additions. That is theoretical, and I will not ask them whether they have changed their minds. The second is for the filing party to agree that consensus is against the addition, and to accept the consensus. I will ask the filing party whether they are willing to accept the local consensus. The third is for the editors to agree to a Request for Comments, to obtain a larger consensus on whether to add the language. I will ask the editors whether they will go with an RFC. If the filing party and at least two of the other editors agree to an RFC, I will ask the filing party to prepare draft language for the proposed addition, and will prepare a neutrally worded RFC, with agreement that the result of the RFC is binding (as RFCs are). The fourth is to fail the discussion; I don't want to do that, because I would prefer either the second approach (filing party withdraw addition) or the third approach (RFC). If there is a fifth proposed way forward, will one of the editors please explain it? Otherwise, will the editors please state whether they will participate in an RFC? Robert McClenon (talk) 15:15, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Second set of statements by editors[edit]

Robert, the disputed material does not belong in the ESS article. I do not support an RFC. Thank you, Isambard Kingdom (talk) 03:56, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

I consider an RfC unnecessary, but would support it if the filing party agrees. It would put an end to this discussion, which (I believe) should have ended long ago. It might be helpful if Robert (the DRN moderator? I'm on my phone, and can't copy readily) would take charge of advertising the RfC. I recall a recent RfC which was "damaged" because of disputes as to improper canvassing. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:39, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Robert - Thanks. In terms of the RFC question, I guess that is something like a trial by jury: it depends who is on the jury, and what evidence they will be shown. Will they be allowed to know, for example, that a similar section of the same length was already in the article for years? To me it would be vital to know that before deciding how to proceed. Also, how do you choose from whom to request comments? Also, what exactly does 'binding' mean, with ever-morphing articles like at Wiki? If that meant that the decision of the current 'jury' would dictate anything about the permanent future content of the article, of course I would not allow it.

Further, I'm sorry, I simply cannot accept this "local consensus." You say that there are four 'theoretical' ways forward, but that the first one, being 'theoretical', you will not ask of the other editors, which I am not sure that I understand. Also, in your recapitulation, you say that there is a charge of OR: if so, that should be regarded as frivolous, given the citations for everything in the section. Nor do I even see that charge as being more than tangentially implied here. What I see is, primarily, a charge of undue weight and that it is against consensus. Of course, it seems "against consensus" because these editors are against it! In your recapitulation you repeat that I have added a lengthy section, but, let me repeat, it is simply reinstating removed material in a new version, of exactly the same length as before, which had persisted in the article for much of its life, so demonstrating broad consensus about weight, appropriateness, etc. Further, one of these editors has just created a section "relationship to Gaia theory" at the article, which is a good thing - and, bizarrely, pasted in a sentence that has nothing to do with Gaia theory, and which makes no sense in its current context (I wrote the sentence). Further, I have observed at length some of the current editors at the Gaia theory article's Talk page, where I have noted that at least two of them seem to lack a strong grasp of the material. There are also logical inconsistencies throughout these objections. One of them writes now: "What OP fails to understand is that the article ESS is not the place to discuss the history of the relationship of ESS and GT(Gaia theory). All editors agree that there is a connection, and therefore GT has a place at the ESS article." Funnily, at the talk page two of these editors emphasized the very opposite: that the historical relationship of Gaia and ESS was acceptable, but not the current connections, etc. Terradactyl (talk) 05:16, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Arthur Rubin that an RfC is unnecessary. I would, however, disagree that is a productive way forwards here. As the comment immediately above illustrates, I don't believe that the filing party would abide by it if it reported a view counter to their own. They are right, the rest of us are dead wrong. Where that leaves us, however, I am unsure. --PLUMBAGO 07:02, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Third statement by moderator[edit]

First, as to the addition being "against consensus", the fact that four editors are against it is exactly what a local consensus is. Second, as to how a Request for Comments works, I suggest that the editors reread the RFC policy, but a summary is that the jury consists of all of the editors who participate in the RFC, and the RFC will be publicized to the appropriate WikiProjects, and also publicized by a bot that polls editors randomly. Unfortunately, at this point I don't seem to have the necessary support to go forward with the RFC, because one of the answers to the RFC is no, and some of the other answers are not clear and concise. Please either respond yes or no to whether we use an RFC. The alternative to an RFC is that I can fail the discussion, in which case the editors can go back to edit-warring. If edit-warring resumes, one or both of two things will happen. One or more of the edit-warriors may be blocked temporarily. The article may be page-protected (locked). So I will restate that it is in the interests of the editors and Wikipedia to have an RFC. Are the editors willing to support an RFC, or do I have to fail the discussion, which will result in edit-warring and admin intervention? Robert McClenon (talk) 17:21, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

To answer User:Arthur Rubin, yes, this is mediation. As the mediation policy states, most but not all discussions at this noticeboard take the form of mediation. In particular, when I take a dispute as 'volunteer moderator', I am acting as a mediator. I don't have the proven experience in mediation that the mediators at formal mediation do, but I am trying to follow the mediation policy. This means that I will not make a decision based on local consensus, but I do expect the editors to let me try to facilitate resolving the dispute. Once again: I identified four ways forward. Two of them, the opposing editors agreeing with the filing editor, and the filing editor agreeing, don't seem to be about to happen. If anyone wants me to resolve this dispute myself, I will point out that I am a mediator, not a judge. Will the editors agree to an RFC, or should I fail the thread? If I fail the thread, the editors will probably go back to edit-warring, and administrative action will have to be taken. It is in the interests of editors who wish to improve the article, rather than imposing a point of view on the article, to agree to an RFC, but I cannot force the RFC through without agreement. If anyone wishes to object to my moderation/mediation, they may go to the talk page for this noticeboard. Otherwise, I am the mediator and moderator until the case is resolved or I throw it away. Please try to help me resolve this dispute without it going to WP:ANI or anywhere else. Thank you. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:55, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Again: Please. Is everyone willing to have a Request for Comments, or do we have to have administrative action, which no one should want? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:55, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Third statements by editors[edit]

Robert, can't a simple decision be made on the basis of existing local consensus? Isambard Kingdom (talk) 19:09, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

  •  Volunteer note: - Isambard Kingdom, you are confusing mediation with a ruling. Mediation is about reaching an agreement OR a compromise NOT to make a ruling such as what AN/I and ArbCom are allowed to make. This is mainly because any editor can volunteer here but only Admins can settle AN/I and ArbCom disputes. So think of DR/N as an "out of court" agreement, where it is not binding but will have a negative impact if disregarded on any follow-up "binding" case at either AN/I or ArbCom. Hope this clarifies, Drcrazy102 (talk) 05:15, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Drcrazy102, thank you for explaining this to me, and I apologize if I've been negligent in reading up on Wiki procedure. Honestly, this whole subject has become tiresome, and I suspect than an RfC involves a certain level of effort that is disproportionate for the subject at hand. While I am quite busy (with my real life) over the next couple of weeks, I would participate in an RfC. I will not, however, lead the effort to draw up pro-con type statements, and initiate the process etc. Generally speaking, I've tried to concentrate my involvement in Wiki on editing articles. I don't like to get bogged down in other things. The preferred solution, in my opinion, is for consensus to be accepted. Many editors work on more than one article, and many editors work on articles with different themes. So there can be an understanding that if one doesn't get one's own way with one article, one can still work on other articles. But, again, yes, I would participate in the RfC. I also support an RfC over letting the whole mediation effort fail simply because consensus has not been accepted. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 13:46, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't think I was unclear. I consider an RfC unnecessary, as there is a clear local consensus with only one objector, but, if that objector would agree to abide by the results of that RfC, I see little harm in it.
I don't think this is WP:MEDIATION, though. The moderator may make a decision without getting unanimous agreement....or am I wrong? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:36, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

  •  Volunteer note: - Arthur Rubin, Robert is asking for a "yes/no" response now instead of a "maybe/if this" response, so it is less "you being unclear" and more "you're not answering the question properly" (small but important distinction) and so I would ask that you please clarify to a "yes/no/agree/disagree" response please. Also, as I've just said above to IK, mediators cannot make rulings as we are volunteers not Admins. Mediators can however attempt to resolve disputes through compromise and consensus, which can involve all editors walking away a bit disgruntled about the result but ultimately in a better position to continue editing. Hope this clarifies, Drcrazy102 (talk) 05:15, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Robert, how would an RFC be any different than the protracted discussion we've already had here and at the talk page of ESS? Isambard Kingdom (talk) 03:06, 8 October 2015 (UTC); moved per section headings, Drcrazy102 (talk) 05:29, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

  •  Volunteer note: - RFC is able to issue a 'binding' consensus as it uses interested and involved editors to show their points of contention and arguments, while being 'voted' on by uninvolved (*typically) bot-summoned editors as to which arguments have more merit, as well as often offering their own points of argument as well. When the Rfc is considered to have reached a "majority consensus" (per WP:SNOWBALL), or to have run its course of interested commentators, then the RfC is considered closed and 'binding' (not permanent, but binding the actions henceforth from the closure). Please not that I am paraphrasing and using some 'loose meanings' of words, but the general idea is present, mainly because I am currently editing from my phone or I'd be quoting whole passages from the relevant policies and guidelines. Hope this helps, Drcrazy102 (talk) 05:29, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Programmatic media 2[edit]

Symbol comment vote.svg – General close. See comments for reasoning.
Filed by Jugdev on 13:41, 6 October 2015 (UTC).

Face lift dentistry[edit]

Symbol comment vote.svg – General close. See comments for reasoning.
Filed by Indepentten on 15:29, 7 October 2015 (UTC).

Gun politics_in_Ireland[edit]

Symbol comment vote.svg – General close. See comments for reasoning.
Filed by on 04:02, 8 October 2015 (UTC).

Talk:Gun politics in Ireland[edit]

Symbol comment vote.svg – General close. See comments for reasoning.
Filed by on 04:36, 8 October 2015 (UTC).