Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard

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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, 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, however, the case filer must participate in all aspects of the dispute or the matter will be considered failed. 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; Maintain Wikipedia policy: it is usually a misuse of a talk page to continue to argue any point that has not met policy requirements. Editors must take particular care adding information about living persons to any Wikipedia page. This may also apply to some groups.

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Case Created Last volunteer edit Last modified
Title Status User Time User Time User Time
Mass killings under communist regimes In Progress Cloud200 (t) 27 days, Robert McClenon (t) 8 days, 19 hours Robert McClenon (t) 8 days, 19 hours
Swastika Closed WikiLinuz (t) 2 days, 17 hours Robert McClenon (t) 16 hours Robert McClenon (t) 16 hours
Light-on-dark color scheme Closed Rudyon (t) 1 days, 6 hours Robert McClenon (t) 23 hours Robert McClenon (t) 23 hours

If you would like a regularly-updated copy of this status box on your user page or talk page, put {{DRN case status}} on your page. Click on that link for more options.
Last updated by FireflyBot (talk) at 06:00, 1 December 2021 (UTC)


Current disputes[edit]

Mass killings under communist regimes[edit]

Pictogram voting wait blue.svg – Discussion in progress.
Filed by Cloud200 on 16:12, 4 November 2021 (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

This case has been moved to its own subpage at WP:DRNMKUCR. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:19, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

In August two editors (Davide King,Paul Siebert) started making edits in the article that completely reversed the status quo on this sensitive topic. A heated dispute over specific edits followed, which was largely led by AmateurEditor and Cloud200 on one side, and Davide King Paul Siebert on the other. Their position can be summarised as attacking practically every single aspect of the article (while declaring they don't), starting from validity of the very concepts of "mass killings", "communist regimes" and any causal connection between the two. The subject is complex and subject to interpretation, but rejecting it completely is equivalent to denialism since mass-scale extermination of people in countries declaring themselves as "communist" is a well-documented fact, and link between the ideology and these exterminations is clearly demonstrated by large body of primary and secondary sources, all linked in the article.

Both AmateurEditor and myself engaged in the discussion, honestly analysing and responding to every single argument of the opponents, however their position doesn't seem to be impacted by any number of sources or arguments. They ignore any arguments and just continue flooding the discussion with extremely lengthy and verbose comments that are loosely related to the subject and rarely directly respond to the arguments we raised. The discussion thus was unproductive and I have personally disengaged from the discussion after being treated with ad hominem arguments that implied I have no right to take part in the discussion for being from Eastern Europe.

Since September they have practically taken over the complete article rewriting it to their liking, in a manner that is best illustrated by this edit[[1]]: WP:WEASEL, unsourced and WP:POV.

How have you tried to resolve this dispute before coming here?

Massive dispute in Talk:Mass_killings_under_communist_regimes, continued to some extent in personal talk pages [[2]] and archived in Talk:Mass killings under communist regimes/Archive 50

How do you think we can help resolve the dispute?

Revert all edits done by Davide King and Paul Siebert since September. Both AmateurEditor and myself were open to discussion and changes to the article, but not a complete and subjective rewrite that turned it from head to heels.

Summary of dispute by AmateurEditor[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

Summary of dispute by Davide King[edit]

Siebert gave an accurate summary, while Cloud200's not only lacks context and assumes that their position is the right one, and we must be some Soviet/Stalin apologists, which could not be further from the truth, but is actively harmful, inaccurate, and misleading — WP:BOOMERANG. Guess what? You stopped discussing, you did not revert me (as I wrote here, everything is sourced in the body, previous lead was not sourced either, and we need not to source it if a summary and paraphrase of what the sourced body already says), and eventually my edits have been accepted (see here). The real problem is that some users have a complete lack of knowledge about the topic — see this (the new lead and Siebert's explanation for comparison with the previous lead, this is what users like Cloud2000 actually believe in, even though is OR/SYNTH). It is absurd I have to do this but ...

No one is denying that many, many people have died under Communist regimes, what we are disputing is that this is a scholarly discourse (it is at best only discussed by genocide scholars, which are a minority within a minority, and have not been published in mainstream political science journals, and even then they mostly limit themselves to Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, which are the only ones who fit the most commonly accepted definition of mass killing) or consensus, or that MKuCR is an accurate categorization; the truth is that it is OR/SYNTH the same way mass killings under capitalist, Christian, fascist, Muslim (mockup) regimes, yet we do this only for communism because, as summarized here, "victims of communism" (e.g. the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation) is more of a propaganda topic than a scholarly debate (see this, especially the notes with sources) but many users actually believe in the former and merge the two, when that is far from an accurate summary of the topic, hence the heart of the matter of that article's diatribe.

The new lead is a better and more accurate, though by no means perfect, summary and proper introduction of the topic, which should show how it is has been misunderstood, falsified, and a good source of citogenesis for years (Conservapedia and Metapedia's "Mass killings under Communist regimes" — I cannot link the latter, not Encyclopedia Britannica or any other proper encyclopedia that would establish notability as those users want the article to be structured), which is not a good thing at all. The real issue is that some users have been supporting and defending atrocious policy and guideline violations (NPOV, OR/SYNTH, and WEIGHT), not Siebert and I, who have been arguing in good faith; clearly, one of us must be wrong but I am still not convinced it is Siebert and I. You have yet to show they are wrong in their summary of the dispute and article's problems.

Davide King (talk) 03:48, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Summary of dispute by Paul Siebert[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

First, I disagree with Cloud200's description of the conflict, this describes my position in more details. Second, the overall description of the dispute is as follows:

"The article is describing numerous and poorly connected events that happened in XX century in different countries. Numerous publications exist that describe those events separately (Type 1 sources). Some publication do comparative analysis, for example, compare two or more Communist states, or compare one or several Communist states with non-Communists etc (Type 2 sources). And, there is a relatively small group of sources that discuss "Communist mass killing" as a single concept (Type 3 sources). Currently, the article relies heavily on Type 3 sources, and other sources play just a subordinated role, or are completely ignored.
The problem is that the type 3 sources sometimes directly contradict to other sources, and they may contain biased interpretations, use outdated figures and questionable facts etc. Type 3 sources are essentially ignored by country experts, so there is no open disputes between Type 1&2 and Type 3 authors. Even worse, Type 3 sources are unhomogeneous, and they frequently contradict to each other, without saying that openly.
Nevertheless, the article treats the topic as a well defined and universally recognized topic (similar to the Holocaust), which has some common terminology (it doesn't), commonly accepted statistics (in reality, the number of victims is a subject of one's political views, because there is no agreement what category of life loss can be considered victims of Communism), some common causes (which is not true, for most country experts provide different explanations for each case). And it is not a sruprise that this article directly contradicts to Wikipedia articles about almost every individual event taken separately (Cambodian genocide is one obvious exception).
In other words, this article is a single huge POV fork, and that situation should be either fixed, or the article should be deleted. I am comfortable with both outcomes, because all essential information will remain in Wikipedia, in such articles as Mass killing, Democide, Classicide, The Black Book of Communism, Red Holocaust, Great Purge, Cambodian genocide, Holodomor and many others.

--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:12, 4 November 2021 (UTC)

Keep preliminary discussion to a minimum

One side note. It seems there is some behavioural issue here. Thus, the filer provides that link as a proof of her attempts to resolve the dispute. As we can see, that post was made by me, and the filer never responded. In connection to that, I am wondering why the filer presents her own refusal to collaborate as my ostensible "ownership" of the article. Not only that is an unprovoked personal attack, it is simply not true.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:27, 4 November 2021 (UTC)

  • Siebert has replied on my personal talk page after I clearly stated I'm disengaging from the discussion on article talk page due to his ad hominem attacks which led me to a conclusion that any further debate on their terms is pointless. Cloud200 (talk) 11:42, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Mass killings under communist regimes discussion[edit]

Please keep discussion to a minimum before being opened by a volunteer. Continue on article talk page if necessary.
  • Volunteer Note - The filing editor has not notified the other editors, which is required as part of a filing at this noticeboard. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:32, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
    • Sorry, my mistake. All parties have been notified per the protocol, although I have also posted a notice in the article's talk page yesterday to which two people already responded. Cloud200 (talk) 06:40, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Volunteer Note - This case appears to involve both a content dispute that is more extensive than the usual scope of disputes that are handled at this noticeboard, and allegations of conduct violations. The statement of what is being asked appears to include rolling back one to two months of editing to an earlier version of the article. We don't act as arbitrators or as an editorial board. Also, both sides have said that there may be conduct issues by the other side. However, if all editors agree to moderated dispute resolution, I am willing to try to mediate this dispute, with the understanding that it is likely to break down either into one very large RFC or several relatively large RFCs. All editors will have to agree that they will allow me to try to mediate in order to proceed, and I will request that an administrator back up my authority as mediator. After notice is given, the next question is whether the editors want moderated dispute resolution and whether they will agree to set aside any conduct concerns. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:12, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Volunteer note: Note Cloud200 canvassing users to this discussion with non-neutral messages (and choosing those who they think would support them).--Ymblanter (talk) 07:47, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
    Example--Ymblanter (talk) 07:48, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
Keep discussion to a minimum until the moderator begins moderated discussion
  • Ymblanter, thanks for pointing this out — I thought it was just one user but it was more than that. Here, they again made false accuses against Paul Siebert and essentially bordering on personal attacks by falsely accusing Siebert of denying the Katyn massacre when, as one can see from this, it was a dispute about the fact secondary reliable sources did not include, or find it due, the wording Cloud200 preferred but that only appeared in the primary source; by the way, it ended with the previous wording but I added the quote from the primary source in a note. This is bordering on WP:SHOT. Davide King (talk) 10:55, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
Keep discussion to a minimum until the moderator begins moderated discussion
  • This is precisely what these two users have been doing since August and I was engaging in a civil, fact-based discussion for nearly a month, while all arguments simply ignored or countered with personal attacks on myself. I have collected a long list of these statements here[3] and disengaged from the discussion since, as it was waste of time. Since these two editors also started pushing edits of the same character in other articles on that subject, it's quite obvious that editors countering them there should be notified as these are parts of the same dispute, just in different articles. Cloud200 (talk)
  • I would be very happy for Robert McClenon to mediate in the article as this is precisely what we need there - an objective, experience third-party who will moderate arguments on both side.
Keep discussion to a minimum until the moderator begins moderated discussion

I would like to highlight that I'm not rejecting changes proposed by Siebert and King and I have on multiple occasions proposed a civilised way to discuss their specific edits, one by one, based on sources and include them in the article as specific views on the subject. What I am rejecting is their way of turning the discussion into a Gish gallop where any specific statement on our side is countered by a five pages of text that involves dozens of digressions interluded with ad hominem attacks, accusing us of being "Eastern European" and "a Stalinist"[4] (!) only because I do support the idea that USSR as a state was responsible for the mass atrocities it committed as a state. At the same time these editors do not seem to accept any alternative views on the subject and gradually replace them in the article, thus completely overturning its meaning.

Cloud200 (talk) 11:29, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Before I agree that Robert McClenon mediated this dispute, I would like him to answer several questions.

  • Do you know that the filer is actually a newcomer, and the conflict around this article is more than 10 years long, and almost all concerns and objections raised in the gigantic talk page archives remain unaddressed and unresolved?
  • Do you know that the number of potential participants is much bigger (I can name more than 10 other users who may be interested in participation)?
  • Are you ready to delve into all details of that conflict?
  • Do you realize that potential outcome of this dispute may range from compete restoration of the article to its full rewrite (and even deletion)?

If the answer to all those questions is "Yes", then I am ready to accept you as a mediator, but be prepared that the mediation may be very long and hard.

Keep discussion to a minimum until moderation begins
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

In addition, the filer is throwing accusations that are factually incorrect and may be interpreted as personal attacks. The filer has already been duly notified that the topic is under WP:DS, and I warned the filer that their behaviour may result in AE actions. I think it would be incorrect to conduct the mediation process in parallel with AE. Therefore, since it seems it is hardly possible to discuss content and conduct issues simultaneously, the most productive way would be as follows:

(1) The filer explicitly confirms they understood my warning, and there will be no unjustified accusation of others during that discussion and the discussions closely related to it from her side.
(2) I agree to participate in mediation, which will be devoted exclusively to the content dispute, and no behavioural questions will be raised.

--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:46, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

User:Paul Siebert - I will be posting Statement Zero by the moderator (myself) within a few hours. The participating editors will be asked to agree to it. The rules for mediation at DRN have always said that we discuss content only, and that there is to be no discussion of editor conduct. No editor except the moderator or an administrator may issue warnings to any other editors. There will be no casting of aspersions, incivility, or personal attacks. All editors will understand that ArbCom discretionary sanctions are in effect, and that there will be no reports to Arbitration Enforcement or WP:ANI. I will be posting Statement Zero within a few hours. If the editors agree, then I will post Statement One, which will start a mediation process that may last a few months (not just the usual two to three weeks). If any editor does not agree, then what I do next may depend on who the survivors are. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:09, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
I got no answer to my second question. IMO, it is important to invite the users who participated in the MKuCR talk page discussion during the period from 2015 (tentatively) till now. Many of them, such as Fifelfoo, or KIENGIR quit because they came to a conclusion that the dispute came to an impasse, but I have a feeling they may express a desire to participate in this DR. It would be incorrect to start the process until all potential participants have been duly informed. Paul Siebert (talk) 15:38, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
See below, but one of those editors has been banned. The other editor may be notified. I do not intend to have a large number of participants in mediated discussion, because that becomes chaotic. The principal means for participation by other editors will be the RFC process, but a limited number of other editors may be invited.

Robert McClenon (talk) 15:58, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Zeroth Statement by Moderator (Communist Killings)[edit]

I am ready to begin mediation about Mass killings under communism. This mediation may take a few months, not just the usual few weeks of DRN. The mediation will focus on Mass killings under communism; however, since articles must not contradict each other, it may be necessary to look at other articles, in particular on specific atrocities.

Other Editors

The participants may invite other editors who are in good standing to join in the mediation. The mediation will not be delayed while waiting for responses from other editors. Any invitation to join the proceedings must be neutrally worded. The main mechanism for involving other editors will however be the RFC process. This is because trying to conduct moderated discussion with a large number of editors becomes chaotic.

Ground Rules

The editors are asked to read the ground rules and to understand them:

  1. Be civil and concise.
    1. Civility is required everywhere in Wikipedia and is essential in dispute resolution. Uncivil statements may be collapsed.
    2. Overly long statements do not clarify issues. (They may make the author feel better, but the objective is to discuss the article constructively.) Overly long statements may be collapsed, and the party may be told to summarize them. Read Too Long, Didn't Read, and don't write anything that is too long for other editors to read. If the moderator says to write one paragraph, that means one paragraph of reasonable length.
  2. Do not report any issues about the article or the editing of the article at any other noticeboards, such as WP:ANI or Arbitration Enforcement. Reporting any issue about the article at any other location is forum shopping, which is strongly discouraged. Any old discussions at any other noticeboards must be closed or suspended. If any new conduct discussions are opened, this mediation will be failed.
  3. Comment on content, not contributors.
    1. The purpose of discussion is to improve the articles, not to complain about other editors. (There may be a combination of content issues and conduct issues, but resolving the content issue often mitigates the conduct issue or permits it to subside.) Uncivil comments or comments about other editors may be suppressed.
    2. "Comment on content, not contributors" means that if you are asked to summarize what you want changed in the article, or left the same, it is not necessary or useful to name the other editors, but it may be important to identify the paragraphs or locations in the article. It isn't necessary to identify the other editors with whom you disagree.
    3. Discuss edits, not editors. This means the same as "Comment on content, not contributors". It is repeated because it needs repeating.
  4. Do not edit the article while moderated discussion is in progress. If the article is edited except by the moderator, the mediation may be failed.
  5. It would be better not to discuss the article on the article talk page or on user talk pages while moderated discussion is in progress, because discussion elsewhere than here may be overlooked or ignored.
  6. Be specific at DRN . Do not simply say that a section should be improved, but tell what improvement should be made. Do not simply say that "All viewpoints must be discussed", but identify the missing viewpoints.
  7. Do not engage in back-and-forth discussion to statements by other editors (except as noted below); that is, do not reply to the comments of other editors. That has already been tried and has not resolved the content dispute. Address your comments to the moderator and the community. Except in a section for back-and-forth discussion, replies to other editors or back-and-forth discussion may be collapsed by the moderator and may result in a rebuke.
  8. The moderator will provide a section for back-and-forth comments. Keep your comments in that section, so that anyone else can ignore them. Comments in the back-and-forth section, like everywhere else, must be civil.
  9. Every participant is expected to check on the case at least every 72 hours and to answer questions within 72 hours, unless they have said that they will be taking a break of not more than a week.

Robert McClenon (talk) 15:58, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Archives and Blank Pad

The moderator has not read the lengthy archives, and may or may not read the archives. This means that the participants may be asked to restate what they have already stated. If the participants think that they are starting over, that is because we are starting over. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:58, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Zeroth Statement by Editors (Communist Killings)[edit]

  • Agreed.I neither expected nor proposed the Moderator to read talk page archives, I just said that the concerns raised in them must be addressed too. I can present summaries of archived discussions (with links)--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:26, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Agreed and thank you for participation. Cloud200 (talk) 17:19, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

First statement by moderator (Communist killings)[edit]

Here are a few more thoughts on how I plan to try to handle the mediation.

First, we will try to divide issues between those having to do with the reliability and choice of sources, those having to do with balance and due weight, and other disputes. Both academic and non-academic (popular press) sources may be used. If necessary, disputes over the reliability of sources can be referred to the reliable source noticeboard, which will put that dispute on hold here, in which case we will try to work on other issues. We will try to resolve disputes over wording, balance, and due weight by compromise, and if necessary will rely on RFC.

If reliable sources are in direct disagreement, which is likely to happen with numbers of deaths, we will list all of the differing opinions or viewpoints.

The editors are asked to reread the neutral point of view policy, which is the second pillar of Wikipedia, and to reread the verifiability policy. These policies are paramount, and no exceptions will or can be made.

I will be posting a note at the administrators' noticeboard stating that we are starting mediation. This does not mean that anyone is being reported for conduct; no one is being reported for conduct. This is only a matter of visibility. Editors should not try to discuss this case at WP:AN, and I am saying not to discuss this case at WP:AN.

Editors should be aware that Eastern Europe discretionary sanctions are in effect to deal with disruptive editing. So avoid disruptive editing.

Each editor is asked to state, in one to three paragraphs of ordinary length, what they think are the most important issues, and also to ask any questions about how we will be working. After I see the introductory statements, I will have a better idea how to prioritize the various parts of the dispute. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:16, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

First statements by editors (Communist killings)[edit]

Statement by Paul Siebert[edit]

(It may be somewhat lengthy, but this introduction is necessary. My other posts will be more brief)

Before discussing concrete sources, we need to come to an agreement on categories of sources. As I already explained (see above), all available sources can be divided on three groups. The problem is that the group 1 sources essentially ignore the group 3 sources, so there is no direct discussion between them. Let me demonstrate it using the Great Chinese famine as an example. This case is very important, because it is responsible for lion's share of deaths ascribed to Communist regimes, so if we exclude it, the "global Communist death toll figure" will become much less impressive. If I were a "naive Wikipedian" with zero preliminary knowledge of the subject, I would have typed something like this or that. However, if I believed that the Great Chinese famine was a mass killing, and wanted to find sources supporting this idea, I would have typed this. Clearly, the sources from these two lists are quite orthogonal. What is more important, if you look at the sources from the first list (for example, O'Grada's "Great leap into famine: A review essay", cited in 12 scholarly publications, or Kung&Lin's "The causes of China's great leap famine, 1959–1961" (cited 170 times), these sources use much more calm tone, are more cautious in conclusions, do not use such terms as "genocide" or "mass killings", and, importantly, never cite the authors from the last list (e.g. Rummel). The group 1 and group 3 sources exist in "parallel universes", and they tell totally different stories about the same event. Importantly, the group 1 sources are much more detailed, their analysis of facts is more careful, and their conclusions are much more balanced. However, the group 1 sources are dramatically underrepresented in the MKuCR article. Moreover, the "Debates over famine" section is quite misleading, because it creates an impression of false balance, whereas there is virtually no debates over, e.g. Great Chinese famine in majority of scholarly research papers or books, which do not consider it "genocide" or other "-cide", or a "mass killing" (for example, see O'Grada's opinion).

If you look at other topics, the situation is pretty much similar: we have a large number of good quality sources on each concrete country or each separate event, which provide a quite adequate description of each separate topic (group 1 sources). We have works authored by "genocide scholars" (group 2 sources) who, as they themselves concede, are not too accurate in some concrete facts figures or interpretations, but who are mostly focused on finding general global dependencies between the type of a society and a likelihood of onset of mass killings, a.k.a geno-politicide (group 2 sources). These sources analyze all geno/politicides (Communist and others), or do comparative analysis of some separate events (e.g. China, Cambodia, USSR, or Cambodia vs Rwanda vs Bosnia, or Cambodia vs Indonesia). And we have a bunch of sources who focus exclusively at "Communist mass killings" as some separate event. These sources (the Black Book of Communism, more concretely, its scandalous introduction, is an example), represent an overwhelming minority of view, and they have been severely criticized for pushing some specific agenda (for example, that Communism was greater evil than Nazism). However, these sources are the core of the article: they set article's structure, and until that flawed structure is changed, the article will be remaining a single huge POV-fork.

Interestingly, due to its structure, the article managed to distort even the views of Benjamin Valentino, the author, whose book gave a name to the article. The main Valentino's idea is that the regime type is not a good predictor for mass killings onset. He came to that conclusion by having analyzed similar type regimes, and he found that one of them committed mass killings, whereas another one didn't. His main conclusion is that leader's personality is the main factor responsible for mass killing, and a practical conclusion is: if we remove some concrete group from power, we may eliminate a risk of mass killings even without making serious transformation of the state's political system. It is ironical that the work of the researcher who wanted to demonstrate that some limited number of persons are real culprits became a core of the article that puts responsibility for mass killings on Communist ideology as whole.

I see two possible solutions of this problem (article's deletion would be too radical, so I do not consider it seriously).

  • First, the article is re-written based on "Group 1" sources, and its structure should be:
  • Introduction
  • Events in the USSR (including the analysis of a historical context and country specific causes)
  • Events in China (same as above)
  • Events in Cambodia (same as above)
  • Events in ...
  • Proposed general causes (in a proper context and supplemented with a due criticism)
  • Second, we can discuss only group 3 sources, which will include a brief description of the views of the authors AND their criticism. This approach is much easier to implement, because we do not need to duplicate factual information that a reader can find in other Wikipedia articles.

--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:33, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Cloud200[edit]

The title of Mass killings under communist regimes is very straightforward: it describes events when large groups of people have been killed ("mass killing") in countries that described themselves as communist ("communist regimes"). The article is not called "genocide under..." or "politicide under...". It uses the most basic and widely understood term of "mass killing", and I don't think any of the parties disputes these killings actually happening.

Siebert raises a number of issues with academic or legal definitions of the term "genocide", clearly siding with one specific side of that debate, but the article is not about "genocide" in the first place. It's about "mass killings", which is one reason why its scope is so broad to include mass executions, mass mortality due to conditions in concentration camps, deaths during mass deportations and mass mortality due to state-induced famines.

Siebert then does dispute the attribution of what he euphemistically calls "excess mortality" in China or Soviet Union on the ideology of communism. This is a complex topic and there are many popular and academic views on this subject. One of them can be seen above in Siebert's comment, but this view it's by far not the only one. To the contrary, there's massive body of evidence going from Marx and Engels, through Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders, to Stalin, that quite explicitly postulates that the communist revolution must be performed by means of mass killings. There cannot be a single universal view on these subjects, as they all look at different angles. Most notably, the perspective looking at intentions of communist leaders, and the perspective of outcomes as experienced by their citizens are dramatically different, and you simply cannot average them.

I do not have any problem with presenting all these views in the article in WP:DUE and WP:NPOV manner.
Discuss edits, not editors. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:02, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

The whole dispute originated from position of editors who pushed for removal or rewrite of large parts of the article in a way that would result in just single perspective being presented.

Cloud200 (talk) 11:56, 6 November 2021 (UTC)


Second statement by moderator (communist killings)[edit]

In this case, rather than taking no position on how the article should be developed, I will provide my own opinions based on the policy of presenting accurately what reliable sources have written, and different sources have taken different viewpoints as to how they are describing what has happened.

Paul Siebert has, in my opinion, provided a useful division of sources, except that I would characterize them not as types of sources but as types of measurements or metrics. Type 1 metrics are of casualties resulting from particular events, policy failures, atrocities, or episodes, in particular countries. Type 1 metrics are also provided in articles about the specific events or episodes, and should be consistent between articles. Type 3 metrics are estimates of the total casualties caused by communist governments.

Cloud200 refers to 'the most basic and widely understood term of "mass killing", and I don't think any of the parties disputes these killings actually happening.' No. We do not dispute that there have been mass killings by communist governments, but there is reasonable dispute over whether some particular sets of deaths should be counted as mass killing. Many of the deaths occurred in concentration camps, where there should be no disagreement that they were mass killings, even if there is disagreement as to the exact cause of death (shooting, poisoning, starvation). However, much of the controversy has to do with at least two famines, in the Soviet Union between 1931 and 1933, and in China between 1959 and 1962. Were these mass killings, or mass deaths? To what extent was the loss of life intentional, the use of starvation as a means of policy, and to what extent was it the result of policy failures (that in retrospect we can see caused starvation)? It is my understanding that nearly all reliable sources agree that Stalin used famine as a tool of policy in Ukraine, but that there is disagreement as to whether the famine elsewhere in the Soviet Union, and the famine in China, were intentional, or the result of policy failure. So there is reasonable dispute over what mass deaths were mass killings.

Paul Siebert says that we should structure the article to report either Type 1 sources (specific metrics) or Type 3 sources (aggregate metrics). I agree that we need to decide how to structure the article, and what types of metrics are to be used, but it is my opinion that we can also choose to have both, but in separate sections. My own thinking is that, because both types of metrics, which are different and inconsistent, have been widely reported, as should report both, but separately. However, that decision is up to either the editors or the community.

If an editor thinks that there is a synthesis issue, they should state if clearly. Reporting the total number of deaths by Type 3 sources who report total deaths is not synthesis.

Each editor should make a one-paragraph statement saying what their view is on which type or types of sources and metrics the article should be organized into. If there is agreement, we will then proceed to more specific issues. If there is disagreement, we will develop an RFC on the overall structure and focus of the article. Each editor may also make a one-paragraph statement identifying any other issues. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:40, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

Second statements by editors (communist killings)[edit]

2nd by Cloud200[edit]

Regarding structure and sources I'm for inclusion of as broad selection of sources as possible, so both group 1 and 3 should be represented, as well as dissenting voices. The latter primarily dispute two things: one of them is the link between the communist ideology (largely presented in Mass_killings_under_communist_regimes#Proposed_causes), thus trying to present the waves of mass-scale "revolutionary violence" as some kind of independent incidents that had no ideological underground in Marxian class war. The second disputed point is attribution of responsibility on specific events such as famines or mass-scale executions. Robert wrote that "nearly all reliable sources agree that Stalin used famine as a tool of policy in Ukraine", which does accurately represent the scientific consensus, but that's the whole point of this DR: it was specifically one editor's disagreement about this responsibility that fueled the dispute in Denial of the Holodomor (quote: "the scale of Holodomor, it significance, and even the very question if it was genocide or not is a subject of scholarly debates", and subsequent reverts[5]), lengthy dispute about USSR's responsibility of the Katyn massacre[6] (quote: "Stalinism was intrinsically non-genocidal") etc. In that dispute, for example, Russia's own Duma admission of responsibility for Katyn was rejected by another editor because "Russian government is not a reliable source" (!). So once again, I'm for inclusion of any WP:RS sources that present any relevant view on these events but we cannot remove perpetrators' admission of guilt from the article under the pretext that it's a WP:PRIMARY or that the perpetrator's admission is "not reliable". In case of this particular topic use of WP:PRIMARY falls in the policy exception 3 ("A primary source may be used on Wikipedia only to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge") and no number of WP:SECONDARY academic sources can remove the historical admission of responsibility by lawmakers (not "government") of the country that perpetrated it. Cloud200 (talk) 17:44, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

Third statement on communist killings (moderator)[edit]

There has been canvassing, which is not useful. I don't see the point to bringing additional editors into this discussion. It isn't even likely to skew the result toward a particular result. First, any decisions as to the structure and focus of the article will either be made by consensus, not by rough consensus, or by the community in an RFC. Second, if there are too many editors, I will fail the discussion, which I don't want to do, but will do if the discussion gets out of hand. In that case, it will probably end up at WP:ANI or Arbitration Enforcement, which will probably result in some editors being topic-banned, and will not resolve the content dispute anyway. So avoid canvassing and other efforts to game the system.

I have posted a notice at the administrators' noticeboard. No one editor is being put on report. This topic has already been on report as Eastern Europe discretionary sanctions.

The editors are still or again asked to provide their views on what the structure of the article should be. The editors are also asked to provide their views on any renaming of the article. Be civil and concise. Put your statements in "Third statements on communist killings (editors)". Robert McClenon (talk) 16:51, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

Statement 3.1 by moderator on communist killings

First, if the article is nominated for deletion, as has been discussed at its talk page, this discussion will be put on hold until the AFD is resolved.

Second, any statements that anyone was planning to enter in Second Statements may be entered either in Second Statements or in Third Statements. I will consider them either way. Remember, as noted above, that this proceeding may be put on hold. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:07, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

Third statements on communist killings (editors)[edit]

Fourth statement about communist killings by moderator[edit]

I am resuming moderated discussion of this dispute, with the intention that one or more Requests for Comments can be used. An editor asked, at the article talk page, that I request the editors to summarize the issues that were raised at the article talk page with regard to whether to nominate the article for deletion. So I am asking each of the editors to provide a summary of what they think were the points that were discussed at the article talk page. You may also ask any questions about how we will be going forward. Make your statements in the section for Fourth statements about communist killings by editors. (Do not make your statement in the back-and-forth discussion, because it may be ignored.) You are not limited to one paragraph, but make your statement short enough so that it can be read, not merely written. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:40, 13 November 2021 (UTC)

Fourth statements about communist killings by editors[edit]

Statement by Paul Siebert[edit]

Before we continue with the moderation process, I would like to make sure any consensus is achievable in principle. That is possible if the point of view advocated by each party is falsifiable. In the context of the current DRN it means that each participant acknowledges a possibility (at least, a theoretical possibility) to find and present some facts or evidence that directly contradict to their view point, so if such evidence has been provided, the viewpoint may be considered successfully refuted. The point of view that I am advocating is as follows: The title and the structure of "MKuCR" article reflects a minority point of view "Mass mortality events and mass killings in Communist states" (forgive me for using this umbrella term to cover the whole range of quite heterogeneous events described in the MKuCR article). The whole structure of the article, its title and its content must be massively rewritten to reflect what majority sources say."

This my claim can be refuted if the evidence will be provided that the current version of the article represents a majority viewpoint. The aforementioned evidence may be:

  • A representative sample of peer-reviewed articles and/or university level books that describe such events as Great Chinese famine, Volga famine, Great Soviet famine of 1932-33, WWII famine, and post-WWII Soviet famine, as well as deportation deaths as "mass killings", "genocide", "politicide", and similar terms.
"Representative" means that the sample must be obtained via a transparent and reproducible search procedure, which rules out a possibility of cherry-picking of sources that support some particular POV. No POV-laden phrases are supposed to be used as keywords during that search. An example of a neutral keyword set may be Great Chinese Famine "Causes of". An example of a POV-laden phrase is "mass killings under communist regimes" (yields the MKuCR Wikipedia article and its mirrors). A search must be performed using some specialised search engine, such as google scholar or jstor, not just google (the latter yields too many garbage non-scholarly sources).
  • A representative sample of peer-reviewed articles and/or university level books that discuss mass killings in different Communists states more in each other's context that separately, or grouped with other events of that type.
Here, "representative" means the same as in the above example. "In each other's context" means that the sources draw substantial parallelism between those events and/or demonstrate some common causes, and/or demonstrate a substantial causal linkage between them. "Separately" means the events are described, discussed and/or explained based on each country's specific historical context and/or current socioeconomic situation. "Grouped with other events of that type" means that the events are compared/contrasted with similar events that occurred in non-Communist states (e.g. Bosnia vs Cambodia, Rwanda vs USSR).
  • A representative sample of peer-reviewed articles and/or university level books that describe a whole set of mass killings/mass mortality events in Communist states as a single phenomenon attributable to Communism. Adequate examples: Courtois, Rummel (they both discuss Communism in general, and they both discuss mass mortality as a whole. Inadequate examples: Valentino (the author selects just three cases, and he contrasted the murderous Communist regimes with non-murderous, which is an essential part of his approach).

If somebody will be able to present the aforementioned evidence, I will concede my viewpoint has been successfully refuted, and will stop any arguments about the MKuCR rewrite.

If Mediator finds these falsifiability criteria acceptable, I am waiting for a similar post from another party. --Paul Siebert (talk) 02:07, 14 November 2021 (UTC)

To avoid possible misunderstanding, it is necessary to point out that I presented the above falsifiability criteria mostly to demonstrate that my claims are falsifiable, and hence I can be a participant of a rational discussion. I cannot rule out a possibility that some weaker evidences may be presented that will force me to amend my position just partially. Paul Siebert (talk) 02:30, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
Statement by Nug[edit]

Apologies if this isn't the right place to comment, I saw the Moderator's invitation on the MKuCR talk page[7]

Rather than descend down the rabbit hole of “falsifiable POVs” to prove to Siebert’s satisfaction that consensus is achievable, let Siebert first demonstrate to our satisfaction that he can progress to a consensus on the original point of issue identified by him in his summary of dispute, being the appropriateness of source categories used in the article, three types were identified. Siebert suggested in the First Statement a possible solution of either re-writing the article based upon Type 1 sources or based upon Type 3 sources. The moderator in his second statement made some observations in that regard, before the case was suspended due to threats of AfD, I’m interested to know Siebert’s response to that. —Nug (talk) 12:08, 14 November 2021 (UTC)


Fifth statement on communist killings by moderator[edit]

No, User:Paul Siebert, not exactly. First, are you saying that you are imposing this as a condition for your continued participation in moderated discussion, or are you recommending that I, as moderator, ask this of the editors? At this point, I am moderating this discussion, and I welcome suggestions from the editors as to how to direct the moderated discussion, but I reserve the right to be the person who decides whether another editor's posts are non-falsifiable pseudo-history. Second, any particular thesis or conclusion may be non-falsifiable pseudo-history. However, I am not at this point looking for theses or conclusions. At this point, we need to decide how to structure the article. Third, we do not have to reach consensus except as to what the various viewpoints of reliable sources are, and report on what the reliable sources say. Fourth, I had asked each editor to summarize any points that were taken away from the talk page discussion. I want to hear from the other editors before we start trying to exclude them. Fifth, when we start hearing competing viewpoints, we can ask which ones should be excluded. We are not even requesting competing viewpoints at this point, at least not as I think I am conducting the discussion. We are discussing the structure of the article.

So, in the fifth statements, please either summarize any points from the talk page discussion, or discuss the structure of the article, and what sources can be used. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:57, 14 November 2021 (UTC)

Fifth statements on communist killings by editors[edit]

Statement by Cloud200[edit]

Regarding sources: any WP:RS sources should be used in the article (you can how the Siebert-proposed "neutral methodology" worked for Katyn massacre here[8]). Scholar articles on genocide are one WP:RS but are not the only WP:RS, especially as we're dealing with events that happened in non-English speaking countries and significant amount of research is published in local languages (for example, Ukraine published NKVD and KGB archives just a couple of years ago, which are barely covered in English literature). WP:PRIMARY are also WP:RS as it comes to statements like "government X admitted to doing Y" or "Lenin wrote Y". There is also significant amount of WP:RS that are not academic literature but still describe the events from third-party (Gareth Jones, Malcolm Muggeridge) or first-hand perspective (Margarete Buber-Neumann, tons of Eastern European authors).

Regarding topics:

  • Proposed causes - the link between communist ideology and mass killings is well-sourced. The only part that is missing here is what Siebert is contesting - the clear summary of dissenting voices that perceive no such link, preferably in a separate subsection.
  • Specific countries - WP:RS and WP:DUE applies. In case of Eastern Europe it's pretty clear and well-sourced. Sections aren't too long and properly link to detailed articles. What I see as a problem is the strength of the link between communism (defined as Marxism-Leninism) and particular countries - in case of USSR it's strong and clear (plenty of direct references to Marxism-Leninism), in case of North Korea not so much (Juche could be at best described as inspired by Marxism-Leninism). This issue could be mentioned in individual sections and, in general, in Proposed causes.
  • Debate over famines - should be moved to the front, possibly as part of the dissenting voices section. I personally see most of the counter-arguments in that section as misleading, for example statements that famines also happened elsewhere are nothing but tu quoque and whataboutism; others, such as Solzhenitsyn, ignore all the measures that have been applied exclusively in specific regions thus multiplying death toll in that region. But I don't mind having them as long as we apply WP:DUE.
  • Legal status and prosecutions - the section is OK as it comes to this exact topic, but is probably missing gentle introduction into the semantic complexity around academic, national legal, international legal, and popular use of the terms. This should be probably moved to the front so that the reader what minefield they're entering.
  • Double genocide theory - mentioned in lead and, rather surprisingly, in "Memorials and museums", is a WP:FRINGE that has been routinely used by several editors to frame the whole discussion of "excess mortality under communism" as a form of Holocaust denial. It has its place in the article, but WP:DUE and WP:FRINGE apply.

The statement quoted below (from lead) and other similar added since September must disappear as it's a textbox example of WP:POV written in completely unsourced WP:WEASEL, victim blaming and strawman at the same time, that has survived in the article only thanks to most editors (but not those who added it) refraining from any edits until this DRN is resolved:

The victims of communism narrative, as popularized by and named after the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, has become accepted scholarship, as part of the double genocide theory, in Eastern Europe and among anti-communists in general but is rejected by most Western European and other scholars. It is criticized by scholars as politically motivated, an oversimplification, and an example of Holocaust trivialization for equating the events with the Holocaust, positing a communist or red Holocaust.

Cloud200 (talk) 19:31, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Paul Siebert[edit]

First, as Moderator proposed, I summarize the recent discussion at the MKuCR talk page. My own opinion, and Moderator's comments are not included in that summary.

  • The article is very problematic from the point of view of NPOV and NOR, and its complete deletion (per Levivich) or split (per TFD) can be possible solutions.
  • The article meets notability criteria, because the events described there are notable. However, the article does not need to discuss the events by themselves, it probably should discuss theories that links mass killings with Communism (per North8000).
  • It is quite necessary to come to an agreement on what is the article's subject, (per North8000 and schetm ) and it seems incorrect to group mass killings by a political system: it is better to have separate articles for each of them (per North8000).
  • We need to come to an agreement on what sources should be used in the article (per Davide King)
  • "Mass killing" is a straightforward term, and the topic of the article ("mass killings under Communists) seems to be clear and non-controversial (per Cloud200)
  • The above thesis was contested by Levivich and User:North8000
  • The idea to combine all events described in that article under a category "Mass mortality (or excess deaths, or even "population losses, per Nug) that was proposed by Paul Siebert was accepted positively by North8000 and (probably ?) Nug.

These were the main points of the recent discussion as I see it. If someone believes I misienterpreted something, or ignored some important points, please, correct me.

Based on all said above, and before we started to discuss sources, it seems one important question should be answered: what type of information this article is supposed to contain that is currently absent in the Wikipedia articles that already cover each of those events taken separately, and how this information should be presented to avoid POV-forking?"

It is absolutely necessary to answer the above question, because, per our policy, this article must be either complementary to already existing articles (variant A), or it must correctly summarize them (variant B). I am neutral, I am ok with both solutions, however, currently, the article is neither A nor B: it just tells a totally different story that contradicts to what other articles say. --Paul Siebert (talk) 20:32, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

If Moderator finds it useful, I can comment on each point raised by the filer in her 5th statement, however, my responses may be long, for most statements contain factual errors, and their explanation can be done only by presenting quotes and sources.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:01, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Back-and-forth discussion (Communist killings)[edit]

Old back-and-forth. New back-and-forth goes below. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:59, 16 November 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Will other editors be welcome to contribute here? —Michael Z. 19:11, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

User:Mzajac - If you want to participate, please add your name to the list of participants at the top, and then make a First Statement in the space for First Statements. (So yes.) Robert McClenon (talk) 21:07, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
I would not commit to answering questions every 72 hours, but I feel I might be able to offer occasional comments, if warranted. —Michael Z. 22:04, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
In that case, you don't need to add your name to the list of participants, but may comment. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:25, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

I respectfully ask the filer to be polite. I am not using euphemisms, for "excess mortality" is a standard umbrella term used by most scholars who study Stalinism to describe executions, camp and deportation death, and mortality as a result of war, famine, and disease. If the filer is not familiar with their works, I can recommend an excellent article by Ellman, which is being extensively cited and contains a brilliant analysis of sources authored by various experts in the Soviet history. I suggest to pay attention at the conclusions ##6-8, and on his note that the number of victims strongly depends on who should be considered a victim. --Paul Siebert (talk) 17:17, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

To add to what Siebert wrote above, that is precisely why discussion between us did not lead us nowhere and is what I complained about here, namely the lack of understanding and knowledge of, and about, the topic. There is a clear contradiction from its main article Mass killing, whose most scholarly used database only includes the 1959 Tibetan uprising, Cambodian genocide, and Cultural Revolution, and we may likely add Stalinist repressions in the 1930s as proper mass killing events in a Communist regime pre-1955.

Collapsed
There is no regime-type categorization by scholars — a Communist death toll article may be written limiting the current article to Terminology and Estimates sections

For genocide scholars, who are a minority and is a point that is ignored from the other side, there is very little regime-type categorization, as they compare what we may call capitalist, Communist, non-Communist, and anything in between, yet we do such categorization only for Communism,1 whereas this article, despite having mass killing in the name, includes any possible death (e.g. mass murder and excess mortality) rather than mass killing proper; the most accepted designation is 50,000 killed within five years, which may fit only Stalin's, Mao's, and Pol Pot's regimes, not the Soviet Union or even China as a whole, much less the dozens of other Communist regimes, which may be a fit only if the threshold is much lowered, at which point you are no longer doing scientific research and are trying to prove a point. We may have an article about a Communist death toll, but it would only discuss the estimates and not the events, for which we already have individual articles, and it would include only the Terminology and Estimates sections.

Notes
  1. Do not get me started on the fact that the Communist grouping itself is controversial, e.g. scholarly criticism of The Black Book of Communism (Mecklenburg & Wippermann 1998, Dallin 2000, David-Fox 2004), and is misleading or a convenient label (Walker 1989, Morgan 2001).

MKuCR is SYNTH and POV fork the same way for any other regime type — if you want to list any death, it is SYNTH; if you want to include only those events which are proper mass killing events, it is fine and may not be SYNTH but will have to be limited to Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, and we already have main articles for each event and very little comparative analysis; so either we at least make an attempt to fix the article by following Siebert's proposal, or it should be deleted (with all content already covered in other articles, nothing would actually be lost), or you must prove that Siebert and I are wrong, which so far no one has been able to conclusively do. Davide King (talk) 11:16, 7 November 2021 (UTC)

Addressing this comment by Robert McClenon (SYNTH)

If it is not clear how the article is SYNTH, it is SYNTH the same way as would be any similar Mass killings under ... regimes article;1 it is not sufficient that a regime was capitalist, Christian, fascist, Muslim, or in this case Communist, and that many people have indeed died — we need a clear connection,2 and that is ignoring the fact the Communist grouping itself is disputed and controversial among scholars (see above). See also those very short, useful summaries by The Four Deuces in regards to SYNTH and connection (1, 2).

The article is already really about a Communist death toll, which usually includes all kinds of deaths—which are disputed by many scholars—and as conceded by genocide scholars, are inaccurate and reliability is not their point. It then moves into SYNTH or POV fork by presenting all those events, on which again experts and scholars disagree, as mass killings and as consensus, even though it contradicts their main articles, there is no consensus among scholars on many things, and there are disputes around the terminology3 — that is until my edits, which the filer wants to revert tout court, finally gave the lead a topic sentence and at least addressed the controversy and scholarly disputes.

Collapsed notes

1. It is not a coincidence we have it only for Communism — that Communist death toll may be a notable topic, it does not mean we must have an events-focused MKuCR article.

2. Whether Siebert's proposal is also SYNTH (AmateurEditor claimed it was and have rejected the use of country experts, while The Four Deuces said both are), if it means focusing the article on excess mortality and deaths, I cannot tell — I am just really curious about what it would look like and then analyze it. I would prefer a name change like Communism and mass killing, or more accurately Communist state and mass killing, that better reflects the cautious, controversial, and politically charged nature of the topic.

3. I understand mass killing in its academic and scholarly usage, as the main article says, not its dictionary definition. The death toll itself is controversial, especially the 100 million number, precisely because it includes many events which are not proper mass killing events, nor are they described as such by experts and scholars, and they are the lion's share of fatalities. The body-counting itself, especially those on the high-end of the estimates, amounts to score a political point rather than reflect scientific analysis.

See also this, which may be added here, for possible solutions and alternatives. Davide King (talk) 06:54, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

I just got notified of this discussion with a message on my talk page. I'm not going to take part because it feels far too much like inappropriate canvassing to me. I would agree that Davide King definitely has a history of pro-communist POV pushing. However, Cloud200 has not behaved particularly well with the notifying of random editors (even not very active ones, like me), with similar points of view to her. ThePlatypusofDoom (talk) 14:21, 8 November 2021 (UTC)
You either show examples, and they must be pretty good, or you both should be reported for making false accuses and personal attacks, not just on me but on Siebert and others as well. Levivich just made my same points at the article's talk page; are they a pro-Communist, too? Davide King (talk) 04:07, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

Robert McClenon, should the Third Moderator's statement be understood as the Second editors statement should be skipped, and we should post our third statement, or I can continue to work on my second statement?--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:14, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

Robert McClenon, sorry to ping you again but I would say that Cloud200's second statement should be collapsed, as they have violated the moderation rules, for they again focused on the edits or users, and previous disputes, rather than content and how to work together to improve the article.

Collapsed examples and notes
Siebert always backed their statements by reliable sources, especially when asked, and the filer's second statement is diverging and misleading ... again

They are writing from a Eastern European perspective (please, take a look at Double genocide theory and Holocaust trivialization to understand what I mean by "Eastern European perspective", and you will see that Siebert's edits were not only in good faith but justified), e.g. Cloud200 took the concept of Communist genocide (there are laws about it in such countries, as in Poland), as undisputed fact (ironically, MKuCR started out exactly as Communist genocide, and was created by a banned user in an attempt to troll and should have been deleted outright) when scholars actually disagree and is indeed seen as part of double genocide and Holocaust obfuscation. Again, that a genocide happened in regime A, it does not result that ideology name was necessarily the main culprit, as Communist genocide or MKuCR actually implies and has been one issue of disagreement among us; ironically, MKuCR would not be SYNTH if scholars actually agree that communism was the main culprit (that would be the common link) and wrote a literature about it (Communism as a whole, not Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot) but that is not reality. Again, Siebert has always backed their statements by not any reliable source but the best ones, i.e. academic books — as for Stalinism and genocide, see Doumanis, Nicholas, ed. (2016). The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1914–1945. pp. 377–378. — so any statement about us is to be taken with a grain of salt for their misleading, lack of context, and outright false statements.

Important note in light of false "pro-Communist" accusations, which should be reported

One final note, there have been no pro-Communist editor on that talk page, at least not one who has been taken seriously (by that I mean somebody who said Communists did nothing wrong or that said the article should not exist but did not cite any clear policy and guideline in their arguments), but there have been plenty of anti-communists (small-c for a reason),1 while Siebert, others (including some of whom we disagreed with), and I are simply the neutral ones; we are "pro-Communists" only from a New Right perspective, or you must be very right-wing to have the spectrum of the dispute so far to the Right to see us as "pro-Communists", when we are simply making sure articles respect Wikipedia's policies.

Let me remind the gentlemen that anti-fascism defeated fascism and stopped genocides,2 while anti-communism resulted in politicide in Indonesia3 and Latin America. One can be strongly critical of Communist regimes without being an anti-communist, or even without engaging in Holocaust obfuscation and trivialization by considering them equal to, or worse than, Nazism, or conflating them with the Left, which is the point of MKuCR and was even noted by The Black Book of Communism when summarizing the views of Le Monde.

Notes

1. I mean "anti-communist" in a descriptive, neutral sense, as in representing the "anti-communist", "orthodox", or "totalitarian model" historiography of Soviet and Communist studies that is more reflective of the Cold War than archival research and recent developments.

2. That those same regimes engaged in atrocities does not change this fact, which has also been a source of revisionist history of the worst kind by positing the West should not have allied itself with the Soviet Union, with fascism and Nazi Germany seen as the lesser of two evils, when not outright whitewashed, especially in regards to the Holocaust.

3. Ironically (for the MKuCR article's status as OR) but sad (for the tragic events) — "communist mass killings" et similia on Google Scholar do not redirect us at MKuCR but actually discusses the Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66. Davide King (talk) 04:07, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

Sixth statement on communist killings (moderator)[edit]

There seems to be agreement that something needs to be done to clarify the focus of this article. Deleting the article, and moving its content, has been considered, but does not have much support. So a Request for Comments is probably the best step at this point.

The request that started this discussion, and has been restated, has been to roll back changes that were made in the last few months, reverting to an older version of this article. The exact date and version should be specified. A second proposal has been to specify what type of sources should be used, which in turn controls how the deaths are reported, whether they should be Group 1 sources by country and event, reporting deaths by country and event, or whether they should be Group 3 sources reporting estimates of total mortality from communist governments. A third proposal has been to convert the article into a disambiguation article. All of these are 'large-scale' changes, so that any of them should probably be considered before any less drastic changes are considered. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:59, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

It is not necessary to respond to any factual points made by other editors. We need to decide how to restructure the article before we decide how to proofread the article,

Does any editor have any other suggestions for how to restructure this article, or for an RFC on restructuring this article?

Each editor may provide one paragraph as to what they think should be considered next, but if there is a new idea, it may be stated in two or three paragraphs. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:59, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Sixth statements on communist killings (editors)[edit]

Cloud200[edit]

If we take this debate back to Talk:Mass_killings_under_communist_regimes under WP:RFC, I'm very much concerned that we will just end up exactly where we were in September, as you can see specific editors sharpening their strawmans and ad hominems here[9]. The format of the DRN, with Robert McClenon actively moderating the discussion by collapsing digressions certainly worked and allowed us to focus on the topic and if you think such format can be achieved in WP:RFC, then let's try it. I'm ready to discuss each disputed paragraph and agree a consensus text in the talk page, assuming there will be someone ready to step in and stop evasive tirades that made any consensus impossible so far. On sources proposed, I already wrote above in 5th statement. Regarding return to a particular version, this[10] is where the wholesale disputed edits started. Cloud200 (talk) 21:21, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Paul Siebert[edit]

Rolling back is absolutely unacceptable unless serious evidences are presented that recent changes are not an improvement. Such evidences are hard to provide (if possible at all), for the "stable version" was a result of freezing the article for several years (due to incessant edit wars) and then imposing 1RR. As a result, any significant changes were not possible, and it created a situation when majority of users gave up, and gradual addition of information by few editors just led to slow article's drift into even greater POV-fork state. I can provide numerous examples of direct distortion of sources and of synthesis in the old version (which, by and large, are still present in the current version). However, it seems Moderator doesn't think it is needed at this stage. Just keep in mind that this information can be presented at any moment upon a request.

With regard to the Moderator's summary of the second and third proposal, I somewhat disagree with the former. First, it puts a cart before the horse: for making a decision about sources, we need to come to an agreement on the article's subject. One important point was raised by North8000 (and, independently, by me): the article doesn't need to tell about the events themselves, it should discuss the theories that link those events and Communism. That is the first proposal how the article can be re-written. The second proposal is to convert MKuCR into a "summary style" article for Great Purge, Great Chinese Famine, Volga Famine, Cambodian genocide and all other articles, because that is the only case when our policy allows existence of more than one article about the same subject. As I already noted, I am equally ready to support each of those scenarios. The only my objection, which is absolute, for WP:NPOV is non-negotiable, is that the article cannot combine both approaches, which currently takes place. Indeed, it pretends to be a summary style article, but it is written from the perspective of a bunch of highly ideologically loaded books, and/or it distorts the views of quite neutral scholars to support some very specific ideological doctrine.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the current participants are not main contributors to the article, so even if any agreement will be achieved, it is unlikely that it will be supported by other contributors.

In connection to that, I propose to work on an RFC in the following format:

The article is suffering from numerous NPOV, NOR and V problems, and to fix it, two options are proposed:

  • To convert the article into the story about the theories that link Communism and mass killing. To do that, the following is necessary to do (briefly describe proposed changes; we need to come to an agreement what those changes should be)
  • To make this article a full scale "summary style" article about mass mortality events under Communist rule. (Again, we should briefly explain what changes are proposed). Here, I write mass mortality events because we must use maximally uncontroversial terminology. Since an overwhelming majority of country experts do not consider the most deadly events in Communist states (e.g. famine) as "mass killing/democide", usage of the term "mass killing" is totally inappropriate for a "summary style" article, and the first step in its conversion to a "summary style" article should be its renaming into "Mass mortality (or "excess deaths") under Communist regimes".

Therefore, as a first step, I propose to come to an agreement that the article suffers from numerous NPOV, NOR and V problems. It seems majority of talk page discussion participants agree with that, but if the opposite party of this dispute disagrees, I can provide needed evidences to support this thesis.

--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:05, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Seventh statement on communist killings (moderator)[edit]

It appears that I need to clarify a few points. First, I didn't instruct the editors to read WP:Be Specific at DRN, so I will do so now. It is all right to state that an article has neutrality, verifiability, and original research problems, but that is insufficient, because what is needed is to identify where those problems are and to rectify them. I think that we can agree that there are neutrality issues and other issues about the article, and that is why we are here, and we should be focusing on where to go from here.

I agree on the need to clarify the subject of the article before deciding on Group 1 versus Group 3 sources, which is consistent with what I said on the article talk page that the sources should be consistent with what is being measured.

I was not at this point proposing that we discuss disputed paragraphs and resolve them by RFC. I had stated, both above and on the article talk page, that we should have an RFC on the structure or focus of the article, and I am restating that here.

I do not like the idea of rolling back the article to a particular date, because that may just repeat the intervening dispute. But I will not prevent an editor from submitting an RFC for that purpose, and I will assist an editor in formulating that RFC, or any RFC with which I disagree, with the understanding that other discussion will continue while the RFC is running.

I will again ask each editor to state, in one paragraph, what they want to do next. I will continue asking the editors each to provide one paragraph until the editors each provide one paragraph. I am not collapsing the overly long replies, because they are useful, but I also want concise replies. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:52, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Seventh statements on communist killings (editors)[edit]

Paul Siebert[edit]

Robert McClenon, with due respect, I AM specific. To come to an agreement about NPOV/NOR violations is by no means a sufficient condition for moving forward, but it is a necessary one. Keep in mind that the main filer's request was Revert all edits done by Davide King and Paul Siebert since September. Both AmateurEditor and myself were open to discussion and changes to the article, but not a complete and subjective rewrite that turned it from head to heels. Therefore, the main point of disagreement is that I (as well as several other users) believe the article has severe NPOV/NOR problems, and, therefore, need almost a complete rewrite, whereas another party maintains that the article needs just cosmetic changes, and it has no systemic problems. In my opinion, until we come to an agreement about that major point, we cannot move further. Thus, a decision about the article's subject (the need that you yourself acknowledge) implies its potential major revision, however, that can be possible only when all parties agree that there is some systemic problem with the current version. Taking into account that I see no signs that the filer's position has changed, I don't feel it would be productive to discuss anything else until the need of major revision of this article is acknowledged by all parties. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:51, 17 November 2021 (UTC)


Eighth statement on communist killings (moderator)[edit]

User:Paul Siebert - Okay. I will agree that you have made a specific statement about the article. Perhaps I need to clarify the wording of the essay about being specific. I am not looking for statements of what is wrong, but how to fix what is wrong. You have identified the problem, and have made a diagnosis. I was asking for proposals to change the article. That is, having made a diagnosis, what treatment do you suggest? You may propose two or three alternate approaches or treatments. In particular, if you want to propose the two approaches that you described in your sixth statement, a summary article, and alternatively an article about theories linking communism and mass killing, then that is a valid proposal for how to go forward. In that case, we will wait to see what any other editors say. Robert McClenon (talk) 05:24, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

There are two reasons that I do not want to pause and agree that there are neutrality problems. The first is simply that my style in mediating a dispute is to ask each editor what they want to change or to leave the same. You don't want to leave it the same, because you think (and I agree) that it is non-neutral in its current form. So we need to propose something or somethings. There is nothing wrong with making a statement of what is wrong with the article. It is just that I am asking how to fix what is wrong. The second is that I anticipate that an RFC will be needed, and an RFC that asks whether an article has neutrality problems is not a good RFC, and will either waste thirty days, or be shut down as a waste of bytes.

So: User:Paul Siebert - Propose something, or somethings. Other editors: Propose something (or somethings). Robert McClenon (talk) 05:24, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Eighth statements on communist killings (editors)[edit]

Paul Siebert[edit]

Well, I thought I already explained what I want to change. I want to change almost everything, but I can accept two options.

  • First, a "summary style" article, where the events will be described according to majority viewpoints, and the theories that link those events with Communism will be discussed, along with their critical analysis.
  • Second, an article about the linkage (according to some sources), the lack thereof (according to other sources), and the criticism of "generic Communism" theory (something similar to what North8000 proposed).

I am equally comfortable with both approaches, and can ready to discuss pro et contra.--Paul Siebert (talk) 07:31, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Nug[edit]

To begin with, this page ought to be reset back to this version, which is before user:Davide King started wholesale changes to the page beginning August 8th. If the participants want to make a sincere effort in resolving this dispute, they shouldn’t have a problem with this. We need a stable baseline upon which we can determine what the real problems are, and the way forward if it means a total re-write is required. The reason is that there have been some very problematic edits like inappropriate Primary Source tags and other edits that were reverted. Given the sheer volume of edits by user:Davide King in the last three months, representing 9.4% of the total edits over the page's 12 year existence, the current article no longer resembles the original article under dispute and a reset will give us clarity. —Nug (talk) 09:03, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Davide King[edit]

I disagree — per both moderator and Siebert's argument — that this page ought to be reverted back to months ago, though the moderator may find it useful to compare both versions, e.g. the previous version stated as fact (for a decade) that all events discussed in the article were mass killings and lacked a topic sentence, and it clearly failed WP:LEAD, with no mention of controversies and disagreements. We can do this (e.g. compare both versions) without having to return to one user's favourite version and start another diatribe, which would be deflecting. The statement also included yet another falsification, e.g. the primary tags have been already removed, though perhaps the moderator may help us — because most of the article is "He said, she said" but we rarely cite that to secondary or tertiary sources, which would help us avoid OR/SYNTH and determine what is DUE.[nb 1]

This is an issue also related about the topic — because those authors are secondary sources about the events but are primary sources to their own interpretations (e.g. Valentino is a primary source about his views and theories but is secondary about describing the events, e.g. uncontroversial facts), which I believe is supported by WP:PRIMARY and WP:SECONDARY — just change war for events, and experiences for theories and views, and the sense is the same. Davide King (talk) 12:13, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Crimes against humanity under communist regimes – Research review, which is a tertiary source and perhaps the only one about the topic, Courtois is described as either controversial or revisionist, and Rummel is considered to be fringe ("they are hardly an example of a serious and empirically-based writing of history"), and is only mentioned "on the basis of the interest in him in the blogosphere." Therefore, Siebert is correct ... again. This is why the article ought to be rewritten because the main sources for MKuCR are minority at best. The source does not use mass killing and is mainly limited to Stalin's, Mao's, and Pol Pot's regimes, the only events that can be categorized as MKuCR.
Proposals[edit]

Sorry if I may not have responded about what to propose, I did not read the latest moderator's comment. I would love to see Paul Siebert's sandbox for both of their proposals — we do have a sandbox, and I think it may help us moving forward if they can start working over it, which is how the article would be fixed — perhaps the reason why they have not done it yet is because they would like to gain consensus first so it will not be wasted, but perhaps it could help them to better understand us and what we propose is an improvement. As for my proposals, specially for why I prefer the theory-based topic over the summary style and their possible problems, see this. To achieve this, we need to:

  • (1) Identify possible topics and general sources
    • Events-focused (MKuCR, EMuCR)
    • Theory-based (Communism/Communist state(s) and mass killing(s), Victims of communism)
  • (2) Agree on them
  • (3) Gain consensus
    • Consensus for rewrite
    • Consensus for not rewrite
    • Alternatives or None of the above
  • (4) Respect consensus
    • No consensus (???)
      • Compromise and find solution
        • No solution found?
          • Delete article and/or restart all over
  • (5) Collaboratively work to improve the article irrespective of which side 'won'

Davide King (talk) 17:52, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Cloud200[edit]

I proposed specific changes to the article in the Fifth statement here[11]. Responding to the moderator's request, I have clarified the version to which I believe the article should be reverted (mine is later than Nug's above because I joined that dispute later and haven't seen the massive changes introduced before). I do share Nug's argument supporting the revert and unilateral change. I am at the same time ready to continue work without a revert if you think that helps consensus. Basically, anything that allows us to continue work on the article in constructive and non-disruptive way works for me. Cloud200 (talk) 12:22, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Ninth statement on communist killings (moderator)[edit]

Well, well. I will try to summarize what I think that the editors have said. We have two editors, Nug and Cloud200, who want all edits in about the past three months rolled back, so that further editing will be from a mid-2021 baseline. We also have two editors, PS and DK, who made many of the edits in the past three months, and who oppose rolling back the edits, but PS says that the article has major neutrality, original research, and verifiability problems, and also says that the article needs to be restructured in either of two ways.

At this time I will ask whether my summary is correct, and will also ask different questions of different editors, depending on what they have proposed:

  • 1. Is the above summary correct?
  • 2. If you favor rolling back the article:
    • 2a. Do you think that the earlier version of the article satisfied neutral point of view?
    • 2b. What changes do you think should be made to the article after it is rolled back?
    • 2c. What is your opinion of Paul Siebert's statement that the article should be restructured?
  • 3. If you oppose rolling back the article and favor restructuring:
    • 3a. What do you think was the benefit of the recent edits to the article?
    • 3b. What in the current article are some of the neutral point of view issues?
  • 4. There have been references to "majority views" and "dissenting views". Without addressing which set of views is the majority, if you think that there are two (or three) sets of views by scholars, what do you think that they are? Just summarize them.

That means one sentence to answer question 1, a concise answer to either 2 or 3, and a concise answer to 4. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:17, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Ninth statements on communist killings (editors)[edit]

Paul Siebert[edit]
  • 1. Robert, I think you have to adjust your statement: contrary to what you say, I made just 4-5 edits during last six months, and those edits were re-addition of POV/V/NOR templates and minor reverts. One of my edits was this. Just note, whom I reverted, and what was the edit summary. It seems you need to more critically analyze what the participants of this dispute say.
  • 2. I do not favor that, but I would like to comment on 2a.
  • 2a. I, and other users repeatedly pointed out that the old version had severe NPOV/SYNTH problems and it misinterprets many core sources. This criticism was almost completely ignored. In that situation, a request to roll back is tantamount to a request to violate our policy. That means the conflict may elevate to a conduct issue.
  • 3.
  • 3a. The recent edits were a minor improvement, because they partially resolved NPOV issues.
  • 3b. The core issue is its structure. It creates an absolutely false apparent hierarchy of facts and opinia, and present a minority view as majority (NPOV violation). Furthermore, it creates an absolutely false impression that many authors cited in that article support the general concept of the article (SYNTH problem). Importantly, if we look at country specific/event specific sources, you will see that there is absolutely no disputes about "Communist mass killings": the latter concept is just completely ignored. Therefore, to present it as a subject of controversy is tantamount to presenting the flat Earth theory as "controversial": there is no controversy about it.
  • 4. "Majority views" are the views expressed in the majority of the most cited works about each event discussed in this article. They can be easily obtained by doing a neutral search, for example, search results for the most deadly incident, Great Chinese famine. Similar search procedure for each event yields excellent sources on each concrete country/event, and they discuss them not in a context of "Communist mass killings".
Therefore, the "majority set of views" you are asking about is as follows: the experts in history of each of those events discuss each event in its own historical context, and, by and large, separately from other events. In other words, there is no mainstream views of "Communist mass killings" as a single topic. Majority of authors are disinterested in this topic, which is not a serious part of a scholarly discourse (hence the lack of wide criticism of those theories). That my claim can be easily demonstrated, but, as far as I understand, it is a little bit premature to talk about that.
In addition to the views of country-specific schools, there is a group of so called "genocide scholars", who, like Valentino, Harff, Staub, Wayman&Tago, try to find general laws that can explain onset of mass killings. They are doing global studies, and Communist states are a subset of their data sets. Most of them do not single out Communist regimes (although some of them see some specific features of mass killings in Communist states). Their findings and conclusions may be relevant to this article, because they put the topic into a broader context. However these sources can be easily misused, because by their selective usage and taking them out of context it is possible to totally distort their view and create a totally false impression that they separate "all mass mortality events under Communist regimes" into a separate category.

--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:43, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Davide King[edit]
  • 3a. For one, they were more in line with our policies (WP:LEAD), included criticism and controversy to the lead (again in full respect of WP:LEAD), and in general was an improvement from NPOV by making it clear there is, in fact, no consensus — no consensus on terminology, no consensus on estimates — and that only Stalin's, Mao's, and Pol Pot's regimes can be accurately categorized as MKuCR per Jones and Valentino, who are the core sources for MKuCR and limit themselves mainly to those regimes, not as the article currently do; it is of note that Jones actually discusses together only Stalin and Mao, while Pol Pot is separated, which just further proves Siebert's point about grouping, and how even supporting sources are misunderstood. In general, other views were added but mainly in the first two sections (plus last one) and lead, which is where I did most of my edits. Finally, each edit should be valued singularly and not reverted in toto — they would have to revert some additions I did not add that they would support.
    • 3b. The previous version treated the article as established scholarly consensus, contradicted even more Mass killing, and treated any death under any Communist regime as a mass killing, even though only events under Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot can be categorized as such.
  • 4. The majority is the views of those scholars who are dismissed as "dissenters" and all the scholars who completely ignore the topic.1 As shown by my tertiary source, which the other side has supported,2 Courtois and Rummel (the main sources) are, in fact, the minority — genocide scholars (Jones, Valentino, and others) are themselves a minority and have not achieved mainstream status. I know that Wikipedia articles are not reliable sources but sources in such articles (Genocide studies and Mass killing) certainly are and support pretty much Siebert's views, from their minority status to the complete misreading — through primary sources and not secondary and/or tertiary ones — of Valentino.

Crimes against humanity under communist regimes (CaHuCR) and Mass killings under communist regimes (MKuCR) are content POV fork and coatrack articles3 of Crimes against humanity and Mass killing, which do not discuss them in a way that warrants such separate articles and show they are, in fact, the minority — and OR/SYNTH3 because scholars do not do such categorization, which we do only for Communism — any crime against humanity and mass killing, which for the record indeed happened under Communist regimes, is a tragedy, and is precisely why I care so much about both articles to be fixed, is categorized as such, not as a CaHuCR or MKuCR. In this, I agree with North8000's comment here.

Notes

1. Not because they are fringe and/or denialists but because they, like any other majority scholarly source, do not make any such generalization or categorization, which is done only by minority sources like Courtois and Rummel, and/or genocide scholars, who are not fairly represented because they do not focus on regime types or such categorization (e.g. they discuss both Communist and non-Communist regimes together). Again, Wikipedia, Conservapedia, and Metapedia are the only ones who do this, and it should be telling.

2. I would like to note that Karlsson is a core source for both articles in question, and has been dismissed here. In addition, I only took part to discussions since 2019 and/or 2020, there were three consecutive no consensus AfDs, there has not been one since 2010, and the last one noted that there were still issues and encouraged users to discuss them — WP:CONSENSUS can and does change. As for the database, we have no problem with the global database of mass killings because that is precisely as is presented in the source, and there is no regime type categorization or MKuCR — inclusion of some events under Communist regimes does not equal MKuCR, or such a MKuCR article.

3. Here, the moderator themselves said "there is a rough consensus that this article needs something drastic done to it, but there is disagreement as to what", so there is no point acting like there are no issues and dismiss so many users and old discussions like that. Finally, there was a recent shift in the talk page in that a rough majority of involved users seemed to favour a theory-based article, while only Cloud200 and Nug remained to favour the events-focused article as it is, which could be telling.

Davide King (talk) 18:26, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Edited to add 2. and 3. Davide King (talk) 21:44, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

Cloud200[edit]
  • 1: Yes
  • 2: I do favor rollback
  • 2a: Generally yes, but I would support consensus-based work on individual parts which are poorly sourced, underrepresented or WP:POV in opinion of Siebert and King.
  • 2b: My 5th statement contained detailed list of sections in the current article with proposed changes. The changes proposed by Siebert in 6th and then 8th statement is basically to leave the Proposed causes section ("theories that link those events with Communism") and Specific countries ("events will be described according to majority viewpoints"), or just leave the Proposed causes section ("article about the linkage"). I think my proposal is largely compatible with the first option Siebert "can accept".
  • 4: There is not a single "majority" view. Views on communist killings wildly vary geographically and change over time. Countries that have been directly affected by these killings tend to have more negative views on communism in general due to widespread personal experiences of its class war policies, better access to state archives and better cultural and language understanding. Western Europe and USA, which only experienced socialist movements operating as part of their political framework tend to have more moderate views, and their experience with real-life communism was usually limited to whatever refugee reports were published in English, which then were immediately countered by Soviet propaganda (as in case of Kravchenko). As result, these "neutral" views often openly justify or empathize with the communist states based on arguments like "they didn't know", "they didn't intend to", "maybe they were provoked", "maybe they just didn't have enough space to keep these prisoners", "but Belgium in Kongo", "it was personal decision of X" (a lot of these has been seen in this[12] dispute after which I left) or simply ignoring particular events as if they didn't happen or weren't linked to official state policy that presumed physical elimination of particular class. But then, we also have temporal changes, as seen for example in Russia, which starting from ~2010 started to restore the Soviet historiography practically in verbatim, thus closing archives and often practically reverting earlier admissions made back in 90's on the wave of Glasnost. In summary, people talking about "majority" view in this field actually describe "majority view in left-wing European authors" or "majority view among US Republicans", just to demonstrate two extremes, but none of these are either majority or WP:NPOV. Cloud200 (talk) 21:08, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

A side note: I'm not engaging with any of the disputes started by King and Siebert in the comments section. I have already spent a month responding in great detail to their excuses for some of the Soviet crimes being presented as "neutral view", as can be seen here[13]. This has led us nowhere, which is the reason we are having this DRN and I'm not getting pulled again into the Gish gallop I saw there. Above, I was asked to summarize what "majority" views are, which I did. Cloud200 (talk) 10:44, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

Nug[edit]
  • 1 Yes, your summary is essentially correct, Paul only did a handful of edits, and DK doing 79.7% of all edits during that period.
  • 2a. The earlier version certainly attempted too, the current version has muddied the water. While no article is perfect and can always be improved, I just don’t buy the proposition that this article is complete POV fork, that has been disproved by previous five AfD attempts and extensive re-work over the years. This article has been subjected to the blow torch of scrutiny since its inception over 12 years ago. Paul has dominated the 52 pages talk page discussion in that 12 years, contributing to 37% of all discussion. Many of his suggestions were taken onboard, and many did not achieve the necessary consensus.
  • 2b. I think those changes outlined by Cloud200 in the fifth statement is a good starting point.
  • 2c. Paul’s statement statement that the article should be restructured is predicated on the view that the article is irretrievably broken due to NPOV issues, as exemplified by this tag [14]. On reading that edit comment I looked at Mass killing#Global database of mass killing where Barbara Harff's database is given prominence and Rummel’s is discounted as being flawed and unreliable. I looked at sources underpinning that section and noted that Tago and Wayman's paper was cited extensively, which I have a full copy of. A large portion of Tago and Wayman's paper is devoted to a comparative statistical analysis of Rummel's and Harff's databases, but this was never mentioned in the article. Tago and Wayman concluded Rummel’s larger numbers were entirely consistent with the fact that democide is a broader definition of mass killings, so it includes deaths not counted in the narrower subset of genocide and politicide, which Harff focused on.
My attempt to add an attributed summary of the paper’s findings was promptly reverted, and a talk page discussion ensued [15]. Paul disputed my reading of the Tago and Wayman paper and suggested that Karlsson's one line statement about ideologically motivated inflation of figures by Rummel in combination with Dulic's analysis of methodological flaws related to Yugoslavia (which itself proved to be flawed since Dulić only covered a portion of the time period covered by Rummel[1]) was sufficient to exclude Rummel’s dataset as some kind of outdated ideologically motivated relic.
But on the other hand it seems anything that challenges that narrative, like Tago and Wayman's paper’s core finding, is excluded. Of course Rummel isn’t some fringe source, but widely cited and used, and for example, is of sufficient quality to be used by this Oxford University affiliated genocide webpage using Rummel's numbers and definitions.
They think Mass killing#Global database of mass killing is a model of NPOV, so why wouldn’t they think MKuCR has grave POV issues. But when you dig a little bit deeper into these claims of NPOV issues that under pin their desire to restructure the article, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. That is why a wholesale restructure is fraught with issues. An incremental approach would lead to better scrutiny, and it is easier to work section by section than by a wholesale re-write.
  • 4. I think this is really a section thing because the article is in many ways already a summary style article, and probably best discussed on a section by section basis if we agree to rollback and incrementally improve the article rather than total re-write. As for the title, it was chosen as a neutral descriptive title arrived via consensus after 17 separate talk page discussions, per the article FAQ

--Nug (talk) 20:14, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

Tenth statement on MKUCR (moderator)[edit]

This is really an interim statement. I am not addressing the substantive issues until the next statement. I will respond first to User:Nug, who said that they thought that the cycle was every 48 to 72 hours, but are seeing that the exchanges are much faster. I had thought that there would be exchanges of statements every 48 to 72 hours, but some of the editors replied more frequently. It had been my thinking, and it is still my thinking, that any statements that were previously requested can be provided later, either on time anyway or late. So go ahead and answer any questions.

Perhaps I made a mistake in responding quickly to input from editors who made quick replies to my requests. I am wondering that now because some of the editors are referring back to previous unpleasant exchanges. I will remind the editors that this is a content mediation, and we are not discussing conduct, and that we are not discussing previous discussions of conduct. If any of the editors really want to discuss conduct, I am ready to put this discussion on hold while they go to WP:ANI or Arbitration Enforcement. I recommend against it. You aren't likely to "win" your content dispute by getting another editor topic-banned either for what they say in November 2021 or for what they said in September 2021.

Also, I will respond to the criticisms of sources, and demands for falsifiability, and arguments about the previous arguments. Stop making side points. I am the moderator, and that means that I will decide how the discussion proceeds. Either allow me to continue the moderation, or withdraw from the moderated discussion. If you don't want to let me decide how we make progress, I don't think that administrative intervention will make any progress either, except maybe topic-bans.

One of the reasons that I am saying to be concise is that when you post at length, some of the points are off the direction that I am trying to lead. So be concise. Longer posts do not always help.

User:Nug - Go ahead and make a statement within 36 hours or so, and you may answer any previous questions. I will work on an eleventh statement.

User:Paul Siebert, User:Davide King, User:Cloud200 - I am leading the moderated discussion. I don't want to discuss past discussions. If I seem to be ignoring a point that you have made, maybe I have a reason. I will work on an eleventh statement.

Robert McClenon (talk) 16:38, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

Tenth statements on MKUCR (editors)[edit]

Paul Siebert[edit]

(An interim statement). I am acknowledging a full authority of Moderator during that dispute, with one exception: When a violation of our content policy has been identified by some participant or Moderator, it should be discussed first, for our content policy is non-negotiable. Thus, we cannot discuss pro et contra of the rollback: I clearly explained that the rollback will restore severe policy violations (which have been partially fixed in the new version). Therefore, unless another party demonstrates that I was wrong, and we achieved consensus about that, any serious discussion of the rollback is just a waste of our time (and a violation of our policy). Remember, if we are seriously discussing a possibility to restore NPOV/NOR violations, we are knowingly violate the policy in the area covered by DS. Therefore, whereas I fully agree that Moderator may have serious reasons to ignore any comment/statement, I cannot imagine any serious reason for discussing an implementation of a proposal that violates our policy. --Paul Siebert (talk) 19:31, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

(I'll make my full statement after Nug posts his statement and Moderator commented on it).--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:31, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

Cloud200[edit]

I was going to ask everyone to slow down at one point as I missed like two exchanges, but nothing has been lost and as of now I see everyone being pretty much on the same page. I will be off the grid this weekend, but can catch up easily if we keep the 72 hours schedule. Cloud200 (talk) 20:19, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

Nug[edit]

Thanks, I've added my statement to the ninth section now. --Nug (talk) 21:22, 18 November 2021 (UTC)


Eleventh statement on MKUCR (moderator)[edit]

There seems to be what I will call a negative consensus, that the current state of the article is not satisfactory. I think that the editors agree that it has neutrality problems, although they disagree on the nature of the non-neutrality. Some editors have identified other, possibly associated problems, such as verifiability issues. We will address how to deal with those issues in another round of statements. In the meantime, I will respond to at least one statement by an editor. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:25, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

User:Paul Siebert wishes to impose, or to have me impose, or to agree to, a condition as to what will be discussed in this moderated discussion. He writes:

When a violation of our content policy has been identified by some participant or Moderator, it should be discussed first, for our content policy is non-negotiable. Thus, we cannot discuss pro et contra of the rollback: I clearly explained that the rollback will restore severe policy violations (which have been partially fixed in the new version).

I agree that the content policies of Wikipedia, including neutral point of view and verifiability, are non-negotiable. The second sentence appears to involve a contradiction. Paul Siebert and Davide King state that the edits between September 2021 and November 2021 were needed to reduce the non-neutrality. User:Cloud200 has said that those edits should be rolled back in order to reduce non-neutrality. Since Paul Siebert and Cloud200 are in direct disagreement as to the effect of the edits on neutrality, a discussion of neutrality and of neutrality violations seems inseparable from a discussion of the merits of rolling back the edits. I understand that User:Paul Siebert thinks that rolling back the edits would introduce violations of neutral point of view. But I don't understand an argument that we cannot even discuss something if different editors disagree.

I have another comment and maybe a question for Paul Siebert. He cautions against knowingly violating neutral point of view in an area covered by discretionary sanctions. I don't think that anyone is proposing to knowingly violate NPOV. However, we have good-faith disagreements on what neutral point of view is. I don't understand why he is referring to discretionary sanctions. We already know that the subject matter is covered by Eastern Europe discretionary sanctions, but why is that relevant? Discretionary sanctions authorize expedited action against editors who edit disruptively in areas subject to discretionary sanctions. Disruptive editing is a conduct issue, and this is a content discussion. I have said at the start of this proceeding that we will not discuss conduct, and that our objectives including discussing content without discussing conduct.

I asked what were meant by the majority view and the minority or dissenting view, and the answers were not clear and concise. I will not ask for clarification, but it is my opinion as moderator that all references to a majority view or a minority view are ambiguous and should be avoided or removed.

I have one interim question also for all editors. Please identify any inconsistencies that you are aware of between this article and any other articles. Any inconsistency is of course a WP:FORK, either a content fork or a POV fork, and should be resolved either here or in the other article. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:25, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

Eleventh statements on MKUCR (editors)[edit]

Davide King[edit]

Have the moderator taken a look at Crimes against humanity and Mass killing? Do they treat Communism as a separate category? No, hence why the articles are POV content forks. Again, have the moderator did some research as suggested by Siebert? You will see sources (majority) do not describe most events as mass killings, or MKuCR; Jones 2011 (a core source) separates Stalin and Mao from Pol Pot, yet we treat them as if they are connected. Can you now see the inconsistencies? When even sources that are supposed to be core sources are so misunderstood, when even core sources like Jones and Valentino (minority) disagree with each other, what more Siebert and I need to do to prove this point?

Just because some events under Communism were indeed crimes against humanity and/or mass killings, it does not mean we must have separate articles, especially when they fail NPOV, OR/SYNTH, and their own core sources — we need sources that do it for us, and they do not make such categorization (e.g. the global database of mass killings makes no separation between Asian, capitalist, Communist, fascist, Muslim ... regimes). It has to be understood that if such categorization is fine for Communism, all such similar articles (e.g. capitalist, Muslim, etc.) can no longer be dismissed or deleted as OR/SYNTH (which I agree they also are). We must be consistent and apply our policies and guidelines equally.

I think that if we truly want to move forward, we need to identify the main topic of this article. If we cannot agree on what the main topic is, and is to be structured, we should have both AfD and RfC — because it is not sufficient that AfD results in Keep or No consensus, if we, in fact, do not agree on what the main topic is, hence a RfC will be necessary.

I have identified some main topics and possible solutions here.

This is relevant because it may be a reason why we do not move forward (e.g. the politicization of the topic in Eastern Europe)

I will let Siebert better explain and clarify this but there may be a conduct issue — Cloud200 wish to impose a Central and Eastern European-centric POV, while Siebert and I support a broad Western mainstream view, which is dismissed as Communist apology, so I suppose they think there may be a conduct issue with us too, but any rational and neutral person would come to realize that Siebert and I are no Communist apologists. Again, if the moderator is not aware of it, there is a serious politicization problem (Subotić 2020) in which Communism and Nazism are seen as absolutely equal, where anyone who disagree with this extreme and controversial view (Karlsson 2008, p. 54) is seen as a Communist apologist (Liedy & Ruble 2011), when Siebert and I can perfectly agree with Dovid Katz's recommendation that "states in the region honor the victims of Communism and expose the evils of Communism as unique issues, 'without the equals-sign.'" (Liedy & Ruble 2011) In addition, Nug has cited WND Books, which as I showed here is a far-right publisher.

The issue is not that Siebert and I are too left-wing (we are relying on mainstream sources), the issue may be the other users are too far to the right where Communist and Nazism not being absolutely equal, a mainstream Western position, is somehow seen as Communist apologia, where the mainstream scholars I have cited here are dismissed as fringe, so I do not know whether this is a conduct issue or a mere lack of competence but it clearly does not help us. Davide King (talk) 13:01, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

Edited to add

In light of Siebert's comment here and since other users have not yet commented, I have to agree and ask that either the other users address in their section our arguments and sources (e.g. main topic, contradiction between articles, Courtois and Rummel, why we categorize by political system only for Communism, etc.), rather than just saying the article is fine (e.g. there is no need to rewrite it because you say so) without rebuking our points, providing no source, or move the goalpost (e.g. false accusses) — or I do not see how we can have a productive discussion. I believe that Siebert and I have done enough to meet our burden of proof, it is your turn now. Davide King (talk) 22:16, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

Questions for next round

In regards to statements by Nug, I thank them for trying to address our points, though I am obviously not satisfied by their answer, and I have a few questions that I have they can address in the next rounds. For readability purpose, you can see them here.

The moderator themselves recognized that mass killing is not as straightforward as Cloud200 made it out to be, and the previous version is not only a NPOV problem but a basic verification problem, which is probably even worse. I ask the moderator to compare the two leads (current versionprevious version). The previous one fails basic verification because it states as facts all those events were mass killings (Jones and Valentino say only Stalin's, Mao's, and Pol Pot's were), therefore I ask that we move on from this, for (1) the new lead has been stable (they were free to revert us and discuss on the talk page, there is no number of edits Siebert and I can or cannot make), and (2) it is up to them to gain consensus for revert it in toto, as an arbitrary such revert would be ... well, arbitrary and uncalled for in light of NPOV and VERIFY violations, which the moderator is free to check.

Davide King (talk) 16:40, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

Paul Siebert[edit]

In response to Moderator's "But I don't understand an argument that we cannot even discuss something if different editors disagree", it seems some clarification is needed. When I say "The article contain some fundamental NPOV violations, which consists in X,Y, and Z", and another user refuses to address my arguments and speaks about other (more minor) issues, that means they accept a possibility that of NThe disagreement between me and Cloud200 has different levels. The first level is that I demonstrated (with facts, sources ad arguments) that the old version was a blatant violation of NPOV/NOR/V, whereas Cloud 200 seems to disagree. Other levels of disagreement include the question about sources, about the article's scope etc. All of that can and should be discussed, provided, but only provided that the first level disagreement is resolved, because it is the most fundamental one. To demonstrate this my thought, let me give an example (it is completely artificial, to make my point more clear). Imagine we have a disagreement about usage of some image: we are arguing whether it should be used in some article at all, whether it should be put into an infobox or into the article's body, what caption should be added etc. However, if one user claims that the image should be removed because its usage violates WP:NFCC, and provides some arguments, those arguments must be discussed first, and anybody who refuses to address those arguments and insists on inclusion of that image is de facto proposing to violate our policy. I believe, I was able to explain my point. Contrary to the Moderator's interpretation, I implied that we can and should discuss our disagreement with Cloud200, however, this discussion should initially focus on real (as I claim, with facts, sources and arguments) or perceived (as Cloud200 claims, without providing any argument) violation of NPOV/NOR/V.

In response to Moderator's "I don't think that anyone is proposing to knowingly violate NPOV." Going back to the above example, if I claim that some image cannot be used in some article, because its usage violates WP:NFCC's #1 (a free equivalent is available) and #3 (minimal usage criteria are not met), and another user, without addressing my arguments maintain the image can be used, that user is proposing to knowingly violate our policy. However, if that user explicitly address my arguments and demonstrates (with facts and arguments) that the minimal usage criteria are met, and there is no free equivalent, there is no violation of policy in that. We may continue to disagree about NFCC's ##1,3, but, as soon as we continue to discuss it, there is no policy violation in that.

In response to Moderator's " my opinion as moderator that all references to a majority view or a minority view are ambiguous and should be avoided or removed", let me point out that our policy says Neutrality assigns weight to viewpoints in proportion to their prominence. "Prominence" implies some views are more prominent than others, i.e., some of them represent majority, and some of them are minority views. In connection to that, how can we discuss neutrality issues if we are not allowed to use the words "majority" and "minority", which are the core terms WP:NPOV is built upon? The policy says Indicate the relative prominence of opposing views. How can we achieve that if we are not allowed to discuss the relative weight of each point of view?

In response to the last Moderator's question ("Please identify any inconsistencies that you are aware of between this article and any other articles"), let me provide just one example. This example is important, because it is the Great Chinese Famine, the most deadly incident, the incident that makes "global Communist death toll" so impressive. Let's compare what MKuCR and GCF articles say:

  • MKuCR says the famine was a Communist mass killing, or democide, or politicide, or classicide, or Red Holocaust; GCF says it was a man-famine that happened in China (the words "mass killing/-cides/Holocaust" are not used in that article at all)
  • MKuCR says that Communist ideology, Communist political system and Communist leadership were the common causes for all mass killings in Communist states, and it implies the same is true for Great Chinese Famine; GCF provides a long list of causes, starting from Great Leap Forward economic policy, to extermination of some birds. "Ideology" is not discussed at all. The word "Communist" is used almost exclusively just as a qualifier (i.e. "Communist authorities" used as a synonym for "the authorities of PRC").
  • MKuCR says that the question if famine death should be considered as mass killing/-cides is a subject of debates. GCF article contains no mention of such debates.

Space limitations do not allow me to continue, but I can prepare more detailed analysis of MKuCR vs other articles if Moderator decided that that should be done.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:51, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

With regard to Moderator's "I asked what were meant by the majority view and the minority or dissenting view, and the answers were not clear and concise," in my answer, I was trying to be not clear or concise, but as neutral as possible. I provided an algorithm for finding sources, and the advantage of that algorithm is that its result are independent of one's POV. I can provide a more clear answer, but it may look less unbiased. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:47, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

Nug[edit]

I agree that WP:NPOV policy is non-negotiable and we should not knowingly violate that policy. Upholding NPOV is a matter of consensus. As the Moderator pointed out, there is a negative consensus that aspects of the current version of the article violates that policy. However it should be noted that half the participants here agree that the previous version generally conforms to a neutral point of view. So it follows that reverting the article back from the current version where all four agree has NPOV issues to a previous version were there is no consensus that a NPOV issue exists is the rational approach. Thus in not agreeing to a revert, as Paul says in his own words, “knowingly violate the policy in the area covered by DS”.

One article, that I have recently reviewed, certainly has a different POV to MKuCR, which DK asks the rhetorical question “Do they treat Communism as a separate category?”. That article is Mass killings, where DK and Paul account for 73% and 16.8% of the total authorship respectively of that article. The only reason that Mass killings doesn’t align with MKuCR is that Mass killings is egregiously POV. It is POV because it does not include Rummel’s database, giving preference to Harff’s database. Harff’s database only includes genocide and politicide which is a subset of democide. Rummel’s database includes additional mass killings that are not defined as genocide or politicide, and includes regime classifications such as authoritarian (i.e. right wing) and communist regimes. But no where in that article is Rummel directly cited, even though he is still the most prominent and widely cited (his book Death by Government is cited 1572 times) scholars in the field. The only mention of Rummel is through the criticisms of him by a handful of obscure authors, and when attempts are made to insert a material from more prominent scholars to balance that view, it is promptly removed.

I called out the issue on the Mass Killing article talk page, given that Paul has full access to Wayman and Tago’s paper and that he has long lectured us on the importance of adhering to WP:NPOV, I don’t understand why he hasn’t rectified the clear POV breach in that article, preferring a one sentence criticism by Karlsson, over a ten page comparative analysis that defends the reliability of Rummel’s dataset and use of regime type. Wayman and Tago’s paper is cited five times in that article authored mostly by DK and Paul, but the core finding about the reliability of Rummel’s dataset is entirely ignored. DK and Paul makes no mention of that finding of reliability of Rummel’s dataset at the time of the two RSN discussions [16], [17] either. It is one thing not to be aware of a source, or not to have full access to a source due to a paywall. But to cite a source that you have full access to five times in an article, but omit the central finding, how can that be justified? Paul and DK say there are grave POV issues the the previous version of MKuCR, but how can they be trusted in light of this not to be omitting core information from other sources, as has been demonstrated in Mass killings.

--Nug (talk) 06:14, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

Cloud200[edit]

In my opinion the article is not inconsistent with any other articles, and I have explained above why I don't think we're dealing with a POV fork in this case - various political systems killed people for very different reasons, and communism had one such reason, which is described with examples in this article. The argument that King and Siebert in their personal article and other such listings do not make any distinction between the presence of the mass killings and the ideology, and thus this article should disappear, is simply non sequitur.

I would also like to point out that verification of the sources referenced by Siebert and King, such as this one[18], doesn't really inspire trust in their impartial reading of these sources. King summarizes the source's position on Rummel as "considered to be fringe", while the article really gives two examples of extreme views: "While Jerry Hough suggested Stalin’s terror claimed tens of thousands of victims, R.J. Rummel puts the death toll of Soviet communist terror between 1917 and 1987 at 61,911,000. In both cases, these figures are based on an ideological preunderstanding and speculative and sweeping calculations." On the very next page however the authors discuss "considerably lower figures ... that have been widely accepted", which range from 10 do 25 million (adding that these do not include another 10 million of victims of famine and civil war). We should however note that while Rummel's allegedly "fringe" figure is 2.5x higher that this "widely accepted" estimate, the other extreme, the one by Hough that seems to be more empathic towards Soviet system, is off by 1000x from the same "widely accepted" estimate.

Furthermore, the emotional argument that "Siebert and I are no Communist apologists" is easily disproved by numerous examples of rather openly POV statements like "Stalinism was intrinsically non-genocidal" and many others[19], which were raised while framing others as believers of a fringe "double genocide" theory (with Siebert and King being the only who mention it obsessively) and continuously patronizing them, while refusing to accept any arguments, however well sourced. Cloud200 (talk) 22:32, 21 November 2021 (UTC)


Twelfth statement on MKUCR (moderator)[edit]

This post is long. Please take your time to read it and consider it before replying to it. If you have any questions, please take your time in composing your questions about it. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:31, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Conciseness

Just because this post is long does not mean that your replies should be long. They should not.

Some of the statements have been very long. I am not sure who they are replying to: me, the other editors, the community? I am a moderator and not a judge, so I do not need to be persuaded by long posts with a lot of evidence. The other editors probably either agree with you or disagree with you. The community is more likely to be persuaded by concise statements than by lengthy statements.

Negative Consensus

As I previously noted, there seems to be what I will call a negative consensus, that the current state of the article is not satisfactory. I think that the editors agree that it has neutrality problems, although they disagree on the nature of the non-neutrality. Some editors have identified other, possibly associated problems, such as verifiability issues. So the question is where to go from here. I think that a Request for Comments is in order. What we will do now is to identify the alternate ways forward, and to put together the RFC to choose between them.

AFD ?

I will address at least one comment by an editor. User:Davide King writes:

I think that if we truly want to move forward, we need to identify the main topic of this article. If we cannot agree on what the main topic is, and is to be structured, we should have both AfD and RfC — because it is not sufficient that AfD results in Keep or No consensus, if we, in fact, do not agree on what the main topic is, hence a RfC will be necessary.

Does that mean that User:Davide King thinks that an AFD is in order? On the one hand, if they think that an AFC is in order at this time, they might as well initiate it now, and I will put this DRN on hold again. On the other hand, I think that an AFD at this point is premature, and an AFD is only necessary if the RFCs result in No Consensus or are otherwise inconclusive. But if there is to be an AFD first, rather than RFCs first, let us have it now.

Inconsistencies

I don't need any more evidence that there is a serious POV fork problem. The inconsistencies are one of the issues that must be resolved. Either this article should be reorganized and made consistent with the other articles, or the inconsistencies should be resolved in this article in some other way, or the other articles should be revised. However, I don't think that revising the other articles is feasible. Changes, probably to this article, are needed to resolve the inconsistencies.

Conduct Allegations

I don't understand what any editor expects to gain by raising conduct issues. We are aware that there is strong disagreement as to how to achieve a neutral point of view, and on other content issues. I have no reason to believe that any editor is consciously trying to impose a non-neutral point of view. If any editor really wants to report a conduct violation, they may report a conduct violation. I may then fail this mediation, or I may put it on hold. If an editor wants to complain about conduct issues in order to gain an advantage in discussion, that is not useful and will not work. Remember to assume good faith, and avoid wasting time with unnecessary comments about conduct. I may collapse any further comments about conduct issues, unless they are substantial.

The Immorality of Communism

I think that we all agree that atrocities have been committed in the name of Marxism-Leninism, also known as communism. We do not need to argue about whether there is or is not a moral equivalence between Stalinism and Nazism, or between any form of dictatorship and any other form of dictatorship. We will not discuss whether anyone is a "Communist apologist". Whether anyone was "soft on communism" was a distraction in American politics in the 1970s, and it is still a distraction. I may collapse any comments about moral equivalence, which is irrelevant, or apologies for communism, or any similar distractions.

The Name of This Article

The title of this article raises at least two questions. First, we have already discussed that it is not always clear what was a mass killing, and we should continue to be aware of this. In particular, there are questions among scholars over the extent to which at least two famines, the Soviet famine of 1932-1933 and the Great Chinese famine of 1959-1961 were human-caused.

Second, this article is about Mass killings under communist regimes, but that really means mass killings under self-identified communist regimes, governments that had a stated ideology of Marxism-Leninism. Not all governments that described their economic and political policies as Leninist have been the same, and no government that described itself as Leninist has followed the same policies over a period of more than five decades. This means that any decision to lump together atrocities under different governments may be controversial. This does not mean that it should not be done, only that it must be recognized to be combining atrocities based on an identified ideology rather than specific actual policies.

The point is that parsing the meaning of the title of this article should illustrate that the topic is not straightforward, and requires resolution.

RFCs

There seems to be agreement that this article has major issues that need to be resolved. The next step is to identify one or more RFCs concerning how to fix this article. If there are two or three competing ideas, they can be proposed as alternatives. User:Paul Siebert has said that this article should be reorganized in either of two ways. Those can be options on an RFC. Robert McClenon (talk) 04:31, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Twelfth statements on MKUCR (editors)[edit]

Davide King[edit]

I thank the moderator for their response and apologize for the length of the posts; I agree in trying to better summarize and avoid conduct allegations, Communism and Nazism comparisons, etc. I think their response was satisfying and helpful, especially in regards to the recognition of inconsistencies but also the Name of the Article question.

"Not all governments that described their economic and political policies as Leninist have been the same, and no government that described itself as Leninist has followed the same policies over a period of more than five decades." This is indeed correct and the lumping was, in fact, something I personally lamented. I also accept that it "does not mean that it should not be done [and subsequent caveat]." It can be done through Siebert's proposal of either this topic (theory-based only, with relevant events linked when mentioned or See also — does the moderator think the linked topic is a notable one and could be a solution?) or one similar that also discusses events but without contradictions and related issues.

If the moderator accept those as two possible solutions, do the other two users accept them? If they do not, while the moderator does, how can we resolve this, and what would be the next move? As for my quoted comment, I would not want to put this in hold now — I was more thinking of AfD and RfC as a future possibility when this discussion is actually closed by the moderator with hopefully a clear result either way, and I agree that the RfC should be held first in such a case. Davide King (talk) 05:34, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Edited to add (I pledge to not comment further until moderator's response in next round)

As in my edit summary, I am not going to respond further in light of moderator's comments above but I am going to say this — while MKuCR has now finally proved issues, which I believe the next step should be how to fix them (I proposed two possible solutions, the latter of which may be a compromise, though I think the first one is the best in accord with our policies), all other articles' remain unproven and unwarranted allegations; if it was true, rest assured there would have been plenty of discussions about it if scholarly sources were ignored — in fact, I repeatedly asked Nug to participate to the discussion and prove those issues, e.g. at Mass killing (I am still waiting).

I believe both users violated moderator's comments:

  1. Overtly long comments
  2. Refusal to acknowledge proven issues at MKuCR and of any proposed solution
  3. Make unproven allegations in regards to other articles, which are not even controversial to make it to the talk page discussions by most users
  4. Make conduct allegations and references to Communism and Nazism, which I stopped to make in full respect with the moderator's latest comments

What to do when users refuse to accept the moderator's summary and fail to adhere by their requests? Davide King (talk) 13:56, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Link to my response to Cloud200 in regards to double genocide theory (the moderator is free to ignore it, I am only giving the link if anyone is curious)

Here. Davide King (talk) 16:02, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

If Nug refuse to engage with us at Mass killing and do not gain consensus, they must concede that their allegations are wrong, and stop using this as an argument

Here. Davide King (talk) 16:12, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Cloud200[edit]

Communist states (and parties, movements, websites etc) are by widely accepted definition specifically those that self-declared allegiance with Marxism-Leninism as any other criterion leads to No true Scotsman fallacy, because most (all?) of these countries directly refer to communism in their foundational documents and names of their ruling parties (Communist Party of the Soviet Union , Communist Party of China). If we're going to have an RFC on this, then it would largely undermine the whole Communist state article. Also the fact that "there are questions" does not cancel vast amount of evidence that does support the notion that both famines were fueled by state policies such as Law of Spikelets, Propiska in the Soviet Union, production quotas, requisition (!) quotas for NKVD and others documented in Causes of the Holodomor, which is the reason these "questions" have no other modus operandi than ignoring or justifying these well-documented facts. And finally, no "questions" about link of mortality in famines to state policies also cancels the mass-scale explicit executions that form the majority of the Mass killings in Communist countries article. Cloud200 (talk) 11:57, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Nug[edit]

Inconsistencies

Actually, the Moderator could be onto something. Revising some of the sub articles is a valid approach and certainly is feasible. It is clear that some of these sub-articles like Mass killings are poorly written and exclude valid scholarship based literally upon a single sentence in the paper by Karlsson while ignoring a ten page paper showing that same scholarship to be reliable. It seems apparent this may also be an issue for the Great Chinese Famine article too. According to Paul’s points:

MKuCR says the famine was a Communist mass killing, or democide, or politicide, or classicide, or Red Holocaust; GCF says it was a man-famine that happened in China (the words "mass killing/-cides/Holocaust" are not used in that article at all)
No, MKuCR says the famine was a mass killing under a Communist regime, where “Communist” is a qualifier of the regime type. The reason GCF doesn’t use the words “mass killing” or any of the -cides is that it doesn’t cite any RS on mass killings. Much in the same way that the article Mass killings does not mention the communist regime classification because it also excludes any mention of that in RS cited in the article.
MKuCR says that Communist ideology, Communist political system and Communist leadership were the common causes for all mass killings in Communist states, and it implies the same is true for Great Chinese Famine; GCF provides a long list of causes, starting from Great Leap Forward economic policy, to extermination of some birds. "Ideology" is not discussed at all. The word "Communist" is used almost exclusively just as a qualifier (i.e. "Communist authorities" used as a synonym for "the authorities of PRC”).
I don’t see the contradiction here, the Great Leap Forward economic policy (which GCF article states is a reason) arose from a combination of Communist ideology, political system and leadership. And the “Communist” in the title of MKuCR is also used as a qualifier of the regime type.
MKuCR says that the question if famine death should be considered as mass killing/-cides is a subject of debates. GCF article contains no mention of such debates.
Again, that’s because no reference is made to RS that discuss such debates

Conduct allegations/The Immorality of Communism

The moderator is right to call this out, after all, the role of a moderator is to moderate, and I thank him for that.

Name of the article

I already pointed to the article FAQ on why the article is named as it is (the fact that a FAQ exists indicates some kind of consensus was achieved in that regard, no?). Should I summarise the 17 page talk discussions on the subject here?

RFCs

Seems to me that if we go down the RFC route then one question I would like answered concerns the article Mass killings: Should we now include Rummel’s scholarship in light of Wayman and Tago’s comprehensive analysis and finding on the reliability of Rummel’s database? --Nug (talk) 12:15, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Paul Siebert[edit]
  • Conciseness. Agreed. Will do my best.
  • Negative Consensus Yes.
  • AFD Yes, that is a last option. We must do our best to avoid it, which, imo, is quite possible.
  • Inconsistencies. Great. I am open to a discussion of possible ways of their fixing.
  • Conduct Allegations. I am trying to ignore any comments on user's behaviour (or intents), unless they contain some factual inaccuracies. I am trying to correct just wrong facts when that seems relevant.
  • The Immorality of Communism. Disagree. There is nothing immoral in the idea to built a society on scientific principles and eliminate social injustice. This idea is a direct development of ideas of Enlightenment. However, that does not change the fact that most leaders of Communist regimes were deeply immoral.
Marxism-Leninism and Communism are not synonyms, the former is an odd pseudo-theory created by Stalin, and it has little in common with Marx or Lenin's ideas. It solidified into some concept after most brilliant Communist thinkers were either physically eliminated or suppressed, and it is not a surprise that that concept is confusing and fragmentary.
With regard to apologies, Communism does not need any apologies (for the reason described above), and the leaders who committed numerous crimes in the name of Communism deserve no apology. They deserve a neutral and accurate description of all their deeds. In connection to that, both understated (e.g. "Communists killed just few tens of thousands") and exaggerated ("Communists killed hundred million") claims equally undermine a credibility of the story of real crimes of some Communist leaders.
  • The name of the article. This article was heavily based on a "Final solutions" book by Valentino. One chapter of the book has a title "Communist mass killings", and it describes mass killings (this Valentino's category includes famine deaths) under three regimes: Stalin's, Pol Pot's, and Mao's. This article was a justification of existence of the topic, hence the name. Ironically, the core Valentino's idea is that regime's type is not a reliable predictor of mass killings onset, and leader's personality is more important factor. Valentino demonstrated that by the fact that many (majority) of Communist regimes had not been engaged in mass killings (his own words), and the core of his methodology was a comparison of similar regimes, one of which committed mass killings, whereas another didn't. That means the article twisted the idea of the main source it is based upon. A title that correctly transmits Valentino's views would be "Mass killings under some Communist regimes", but I am not proposing it, for that would be non-encyclopaedic, and because the views of genocide scholars are not fully in agreement with views of historians.
  • RFC. Yes. In connection to that, let me point out the following. I looked through 12th statements of other users, and I find that the discussion has a worrying tendency to split onto many minor topics. In connection to that, instead of finding various points of disagreement, it would be better to start with the points of agreement. I propose to start with the question: what events are universally seen as Communist mass killings by all sources? Please, feel free to add items to this list:
  • Cambodian genocide
  • Great Purge
  • Cultural Revolution
  • Red Terror
(feel free to add non-contraversial items here, or to strike through the items that seem controversial)

--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:38, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Update. I've just noticed that the article was nominated for deletion. I think this DR a good place for development of our joint position about that. This DR discussion involves proponents of two opposite views, and we already came to a consensus that the article has severe problems. That is a strong argument in support of article's deletion. If we demonstrate that we a capable of finding some common solution, that will be an argument to keep the article. Otherwise, it may happen the article will be deleted.--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:13, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Thirteenth statement on MKUCR (moderator)[edit]

This is a procedural statement only. This discussion has become longer than the rest of the discussions, and is interfering with them. So I am creating a subpage for this case. This subpage is at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard/Mass killings under communist regimes, and its shortcut is WP:DNRMKUCR. I am copying all of the discussion to the subpage, and am collapsing it in the main DNR project page. Your twelfth statements will be copied. If you have not yet made a twelfth statement, you may make it either as a twelfth statement or as a thirteenth statement. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Back-and-forth discussion on communist killings[edit]

I find the latest DK's comments especially important, for Karlsson's "Crimes against humanity ..." (the source he cites) is one of the core sources for the Crimes against humanity under Communist regimes article. This article exists mainly due to this source, and it is being used in the MKuCR article too. It seems the opposite party sees no problem with that source, and does not consider it biased or minority. And this source says the two other sources, Rummel and Courtois, which were presented in the old version of the article (and are still partially presented in the current version) as pretty non-controversial, are controversial in reality. These two sources are core sources for MKuCR, and the fact that they are described as controversial by another author is an additional strong argument in support for article's rewrite.--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:32, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

With regards to the filer's proposal to improve the article, it directly contradicts to our policy, which says that segregation of text or other content into different regions or subsections, based solely on the apparent POV of the content itself, may result in an unencyclopedic structure, such as a back-and-forth dialogue between proponents and opponents. It may also create an apparent hierarchy of fact where details in the main passage appear "true" and "undisputed", whereas other, segregated material is deemed "controversial", and therefore more likely to be false. Try to achieve a more neutral text by folding debates into the narrative, rather than isolating them into sections that ignore or fight against each other.. In addition, the apparent hierarchy is opposite to what we have in reality: what she calls "dissenting views" is actually majority views.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:58, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Cloud200's 9th statement is an emotional appeal rather than a rational one — no sources have been provided to support such claims (I have cited one, which was supported by both of them, to show Courtois and Rummel are minority — but just look at all sources at Genocide studies and Mass killing). It is apparent that for them any source that does not support equivalency between Communism and Nazism, and thus may say things that they may consider as too positive for Communism, is somehow pro-Communist or left-wing! Are Michael Ellman, Sheila Fitzpatrick, J. Arch Getty, Ian Kershaw, Moshe Lewin, Stephen G. Wheatcroft, and many other well-respected scholars in the field pro-Communists? It also completely ignores how the double genocide theory and Holocaust trivialization and obfuscation have been used as state policy in Eastern Europe, which has grown increasingly illiberal, and unlike their claims about "left-wing European authors" we have sources for this (again, I ask the moderator, just look at the relevant articles and their academic sources).

The reason why English sources are preferred is because of WP:RSUE and WP:VERIFY, and because so-called "left-wing European authors" (mainstream scholars in the field) do not engage in Holocaust trivialization, or write historiography through the double-genocide lens, which is fringe in mainstream Western academia (it may be mainstream in some Eastern European countries but we should not give them undue weight, especially when they have been extensively criticized because of it — it is also the same reason why we do not actually use Russian sources, for mainstream Russian scholars work with mainstream Western ones, hence no double standard; the ones you should be referring to, those who are truly pro-Communism, are considered fringe, though their rejection of equivalency between Communism and Nazism is not fringe or pro-Communism), and that Communism was equal to Nazism remains a controversial and revisionist view across the Western world (The Black Book of Communism was controversial mainly because of this and its intro, which was not subjected to peer-review). Again, actually cite such sources, they may be used (but keep in mind WP:ARCHIVES) — what are your core sources for the article?

P.S. In that same discussion they have linked, I have literally said:

Quote

Seriously, read WP:PRIMARY; even if you are right, and I actually agree on you on this (of course, it was not just Stalin, it was the state too), I put my personal views aside in favour of respecting our policies and guidelines. You need to show that Siebert's search was wrong and that the scholarly consensus and reliable sources support your favourite wording, which by the way is also grammatically incorrect, but you will not be able to do that, because scholarly and reliable sources mainly highlight the fact that the Duma recognized the massacre as Stalin's personal responsibility [not that totalitarian wording in the primary source]. Can you at least understand this and realize that I am not some Soviet agent provocateur? I personally agree with you, but our policies support the previous wording, and I firmly believe they should be respected and followed.

Of course, they did not say I made this edit, which includes what they wanted to add. I am such a hardliner (sarcasm). Davide King (talk) 22:05, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Cloud200's statement #9 clearly says that our policy, which says that academic peer-reviewed publications are the best sources, is not working for this topic. Athough, according to her, that relates only to those authors who never lived under Communists, however, imposing this artificial condition excludes (or undermines credibility of) a wide range of the best quality sources. Interestingly, since her rationale is non-falsifiable, it is really unbeatable, for her says that the sources that "have more moderate views" (her own words) are less trustworthy, because the authors do not have access to full information. And, accordingly, the authors who have less moderate views are more trustworthy, because (these are my speculations) the authors are more informed about a true picture. This is a non-falsifiable circular argumentation ("I am right because good sources support my views, and those sources are good because they paint a correct picture, i.e. the picture that I am advocating"). Robert, frankly speaking, I anticipated that type arguments, and that is why I insisted that every statement of each participant must be falsifiable. The topic that we are discussing can be non-falsifiable, however, our own position during that dispute must be falsifiable, otherwise the whole dispute is senseless.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:57, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Although I am becoming more and more skeptical about a possibility of a rational discussion, I am still curious how can Cloud800 answer the following question:
You say that Western scholars, due to insufficient information about real-life Communism have more moderate views on Communism. How can you explain the fact that "archival revolution" of 1990 and intensification of East-West contacts led to a more nuanced and moderate depiction of Communism as compared to the Cold war era views?"--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:13, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

If they cannot answer the points Siebert and I raised, what is the point of this discussion? It should be based on rationality and verification through sources (again, not a single source has been provided by them), not emotional appeals and personal attacks — Siebert and I did not deny anything! (If they think all those respected scholars I cited are 'denialists', I do not know what to tell them, other than questioning their competence and being here to right great wrongs) In fact, that whole dispute was about our policies and guidelines in regards to WP:PRIMARY. Siebert and I wanted to respect our policies, which say independent, secondary sources are to be used, so they were advocating that we violate our policies to put their POV, and they also wanted us to violate WP:WEIGHT because they wanted to give more WEIGHT to PRIMARY over SECONDARY (The New York Times) and other scholarly sources found by Siebert that supported the previous wording, which has been long-standing until they changed it for no good reason. This is a conduct issue, a serious one, and those are personal attacks, misleading summaries of disputes, and defamation to both Siebert and I, which I am tired of. Davide King (talk) 11:37, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

Sources, facts, comments (Paul Siebert)[edit]

(To make a discussion more organized, I propose to collect all my factual comments in one place. That may help Moderator to understand some arguments better.

In response to Nug's eleventh statement (06:14, 21 November 2021 (UTC))

  • Rummel was a subject of at least two recent RSN discussions [20], [21], where a consensus was achieved about his unreliability for figures.
  • Rummel's major achievements are application of Factor analysis to social sciences and Democratic peace theory, hence the large number of citations.
  • Rummel's figures are considered outdated and ideologically inflated by Karlsson, the author who is extensively cited in the MKuCR article (and is not recognized as "obscure" in that context). Criticism of Rummel's methodology by Dulic was recognized by his colleagues in a separate volume devoted to him.
  • The Mass killing article is devoted to the "mass killing" concept, which is different from Rummel's Democide, which already has his own article. To claim that former is POV just because it does not describe the concept that has its own article is ridiculous.
  • Finally, the reasons for removal of the text were explained on the talk page. Since Nug never responded, I concluded he was satisfied by that explanation. Paul Siebert (talk) 07:01, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

In response to Cloud200's elevenths statement (22:32, 21 November 2021 (UTC)):

  • "Stalinism was intrinsically non-genocidal" one of the authors who claims that is W.D. Rubinstein, Professor of Modern History at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He says unlike Hitler, Stalin was not genocidal. The same was said by Zuroff. I can find other sources on that, which explain how Marxist ideology acted as a limiting factor preventing Stalin from unleashing a full scale genocide, but I need some time for that. Rosefielde (in his "Red Holocaust" also claimed that Communist regimes were "genocidal in lesser extent" than Nazi). I also recommend Cloud200 to read the article by Margolin (I believe she knows that name).
  • I never said Rummel is fringe, and it seems Cloud200 should familiarise herself with two RSN discussions on that account (the links are provided) before throwing such accusations.
  • As I already explained, the question is not only the figures themselves, but in their interpretation. As Rosefielde pointed out (Premature Deaths: Russia's Radical Economic Transition in Soviet Perspective Author(s): Steven Rosefielde Source: Europe-Asia Studies , Dec., 2001, Vol. 53, No. 8 (Dec., 2001), pp. 1159-1176) 3.4 million of Russians died prematurely in 1990s, after fall of Communism. If we consider all "premature deaths" as mass killings, should we speak about "democratic mass killings" in that case? It seems Rosefielde does not consider premature deaths in neither post-Communist Russia not in Communist USSR as "mass killings". The problem is not only in Rummel's figures, but in his interpretation of those figures.
  • With regard to " while the article really gives two examples of extreme views", that is quite correct. The claim that Stalinist terror lead to just tens of thousands of victims is absolutely ridiculous, for a consensus figure for Great Purge victims alone is 1.2 million. If Karlsson draws parallelism between Hough's absolutely ridiculous claim and Rummel, it is logical to conclude that the latter is equally ridiculous. Meanwhile, I don't remember if anybody here tried to seriously discuss Hough's claims. In connection to that, I am wondering what is a reason to discus another, equally ridiculous claim?--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:36, 21 November 2021 (UTC)
False accuses and deflecting (Davide King)[edit]

I thank Siebert for their effort but I am honestly tired of Cloud200 deflecting by making false accuses again here, especially in light of Siebert's sources, which is exactly to what we were referring to when we made such comments, which Cloud200 obviously does not understand and take out of context — those are all respected, mainstream scholars who are by no means pro-Communist (those who are, they are fringe, which is why Siebert and I never cited them in the first place). The problem is that they put their personal views first and then look for sources that confirm those views, while Siebert and I are simply commenting not our personal views but what cited mainstream scholars say, which contradicts MKuDR as a whole. Double genocide theory is indeed fringe but is, in fact, mainstream in much of Eastern Europe, which may explain Cloud200's emotional appeals in their false accuses.

At least Nug attempted to address our concerns and questions, and I look forward to their response to my next round's questions, but Cloud200 continue to link to our past comments without context; for all they know, Siebert and I may well think Stalinism is genocidal, we were simply providing mainstream sources that said otherwise,1 since MKuCR blames communism in toto, while individual articles (e.g. Siebert's example about the great famine in China) and majority sources tell a much different and more nuanced story — hence the complete lack of context of their 'proofs.' As for Rummel,2 he is mainstream for his democratic peace theory but a minority or controversial when it comes to Communism and estimates, which are fringe (not necessarily him, though certainly he does not represent a majority source) not in a negative way but in a descriptive way in being rejected by the mainstream scholars, although they may be relied on by some popular press authors on the Right. I ask the moderator to either intervene or that they stop making such claims.

Cloud200 believe that anyone who does not think Communism and Nazism were absolutely equal and the same is a Communist apologist. Many mainstream scholars are Communist apologists according to their absurd view. Britain and the United States are Communist apologists because they sided with the Soviets rather than Nazi–fascism in the 1930s and 1940s, even though the Soviets indeed did awful stuff during that same period.3 In fact, this is the view of the nationalist Right in post-Communism — Soviets were not equal to but worse than the German Nazis. "As it seems to reduce the responsibility of the Nazis and their collaborators, supporters and claqueurs, it is welcomed in rightist circles of various types: German conservatives in the 1980s, who wanted to 'normalise' the German past, and East European and ultranationalists today, who downplay Nazi crimes and up-play Communist crimes in order to promote a common European memory that merges Nazism and Stalinism into a 'double-genocide' theory that prioritises East European suffering over Jewish suffering, obfuscates the distinction between perpetrators and victims, and provides relief from the bitter legacy of East Europeans' collaboration in the Nazi genocide."Thomas Kühne

Notes

1. I do not know about you, but this4 does not sound at all like apologetics.

2. What they failed to realize is that we are not relying on Hough, and they completely ignored the fact scholars use so many different definitions, so that much-lower estimates are because they may consider only direct deaths (e.g. Hough referred only to two years in the 1930s, while Rummel to almost the whole Soviet period), while the higher-estimates may include people who were not even born due to demographic catastrophes, therefore their argument makes no sense. They may have had a point if Hough was in the article or if we were specifically pushing for him as a mainstream source on estimates but we are not, and it does not rebuke Rummel as a minority and unreliable for estimates.

3. They indeed did, this is a fact. That does not mean Communism was worse than Nazism, or that Britain and the United States should have allied with Nazi Germany.

4. I do not know whether Genocide: A History is the work Siebert referenced to, since I could not get access to their link, but there is no way one can dismiss Rubinstein as either Communist or apologist. Davide King (talk) 02:09, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Edited to add

Davide King (talk) 02:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

— (Fifelfoo)[edit]

This topic is shamefully in violation of coat, wp:histrs (essay IIRC), and standards of discourse. None of the synthetic claims by academics that persons kill people due to reasons have any traction in the literature. This has been twenty years of coat push by people who don't wish to advance individual articles on scholarship on the awful fucking shit done in the Soviet Union or People's Republic of China but, rather, to engage in politics that the rest of the scholarly world is utterly disinterested in. Everyone has a real interest in how the 2nd five year plan resulted in outputs ("failed" is a generally summary category)). Just because something is god damn horrific and violates your personal views doesn't meant that a few classicists publishing their hot takes constitutes a scholarly opinion. And this is the sufficient category: do the majority of histories of the 1927-1943 crisis in soviet society privilege the racial categories so common here: no, no they don't. Andrle. Fitzpatrick. Even our chaps employed by the British state don't concieve it so. Nor should we: This crap has gone on too long: an article about a folk myth deserves good article status. An article about class warfare in the soviet union deserves to have a lot of detritus removed from it. Fifelfoo (talk) 08:15, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Double genocide theory (Cloud200)[edit]
  • I'm just going to reiterate a simple fact that I have repeatedly invoked before, and which can be easily verified by any of the participants here but has been so far ignored: you keep stating that "double genocide theory is mainstream in much of Eastern Europe", yet you have failed to provide any source to support this far-fetching statement either here, or in the lead of Mass killings under communist regimes, where this shameful WP:WEASEL and WP:POV has been on display for over a month, and which I would kindly ask @Robert McClenon: to consider as my complaint on your conduct. Cloud200 (talk) 12:39, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
  • And no, "double genocide theory" is not mainstream anywhere in the Eastern Europe and whenever such claims are being raised usually by right-wing politicians they are promptly and correctly dismissed as Holocaust denialism and whataboutism. Also no, nobody in mainstream of Eastern Europe is "downplaying Nazi crimes to up-play Communist crimes". In reality, any Eastern European capital today has museums which are dedicated to both Nazi occupation (such as Auschwitz concentration camp museum in Poland) and communist occupation (such as Museum of Soviet Occupation, Kyiv or Museum of Communism, Czech Republic). I find it entirely possible that you were not aware that Holocaust alone took life of 6 million Jews, many of which were also citizens of specific countries (Ukraine, Poland etc) and are equally commemorated by Jewish and these specific communities, but at the same time also 2 million Polish citizens who were not Jews, 5 million Soviet prisoners of war of various ethnicities, over 200 thousands Roma people and dozens of other ethnicities. Here comes Siebert and King to mansplain to everyone that remembrance of the victims of all these totalitarian regimes that have rolled over Eastern Europe are "rightist circles" only because one ignorant scholar believes so. So one more time: you are the only people who in the whole Mass killings under communist regimes debate are in any way comparing these killings to Nazi Holocaust, which I find not only ahistorical but also deeply offensive and nonconstructive. Cloud200 (talk) 12:39, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Swastika[edit]

Symbol comment vote.svg – General close. See comments for reasoning.
Filed by WikiLinuz on 22:37, 28 November 2021 (UTC).
Closed discussion

Light-on-dark color scheme[edit]

Symbol comment vote.svg – General close. See comments for reasoning.
Filed by Rudyon on 09:59, 30 November 2021 (UTC).
Closed discussion

Saint Peter[edit]

Symbol wait old.png – New discussion.
Filed by Fureto on 16:04, 1 December 2021 (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

The top of the Infobox describes Peter as Pope, Saint, Bishop of Rome and Patriarch of Antioch without qualifying them appropriately as "according to Roman Catholicism/Church tradition", etc. I removed them, as they are described with appropriate context elsewhere in the article. Rafaelosornio reverted the change without explanation. I began a Talk section about the change and attempted to resolve by consensus, but Rafaelosornio has reverted again without further updating the Talk section, and it doesn't appear to me that further unsupervised discussion will be productive. The history of this edit now feels very close to an edit war.

How have you tried to resolve this dispute before coming here?

Talk:Saint_Peter#Edit_and_reversion_in_Infobox

How do you think we can help resolve the dispute?

I believe a third perspective will help advance the discussion towards agreement.

Summary of dispute by Rafaelosornio[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

Saint Peter discussion[edit]

Please keep discussion to a minimum before being opened by a volunteer. Continue on article talk page if necessary.
  1. ^ Rummel, RJ (2004a) One-thirteenth of a data point does not a generalization make: A Response to Dulić. Journal of Peace Research 41(1): 103–104.