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

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

Please make your request in the appropriate section:

Requests for arbitration

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Genetically modified organisms

Initiated by Prokaryotes at 05:50, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Genetically modified organisms arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Topic banned
  2. Enforcement log
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Topic banned
  • Undo tb
  • Remove the entry concerning editor prokaryotes

Statement by Prokaryotes

Related to this decision. I've asked admin MastCell, here on his talk page to reconsider the topic ban, and here at AN. However, admin MastCell did not reconsider the topic ban and AN was not conclusive. Main issue with the topic ban is that after self reverting 1RR, MastCell noted no further action required, another admin suggested 2 to 7 days ban (before self revert). Additional admin MastCell did not provide difs for his enforcement, the admin explained the topic ban as follows:

QUOTE by admin MastCell:..pattern of disruptive editing on the part of Prokaryotes is clear and continuing. This pattern includes disruptive stonewalling on talkpages, misuse of sourcing guidelines, edit-warring, personal attacks, and so on

The enforcement request was initially filed by editor Tryptofish. A couple of weeks earlier, MastCell made it clear to Tryptofish that he supports him, thus he is not really neutral when getting involved with topic bans related to Tryptofish's request. I ask Arbcom to reconsider MastCell's decision, to undo my topic ban, because he failed to provide evidence for wrongdoing, because according to his own statement, no actions were required after i self reverted the reported 1RR violation, and because based on his own account, he is a supporter of Tryptofish. prokaryotes (talk) 05:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

@Rose2LP, good points, also notice Spartaz posted to my talk page, hours after he closed the AN discussion, after i posted here, ignoring my explanations at AN, and called my actions there "disgusting", then even claimed that editors participating over there are "my flashmob". Seriously, if someone is poisoning the well then it is based in such unreflected comments, totally absent from expecting good faith, ignoring input from the other sides, and continuing a pattern of baseless arguments. Hopefully we can use this request here to focus on the issue at hand.prokaryotes (talk) 08:27, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

@JzG, it is unclear why JzG brings up info about an alt account, when he was well aware of it, as well as at least some Arbcom members, and brought to at ANI by JzG, and is unrelated to the current discussion. JzG wrote below, "a currently undisclosed alternate account (actually disclosed briefly on-wiki and then removed by them a few minutes later)" - when in fact it has been discussed at Arb, ANI and elsewhere, with involvement of JzG. In response Rose has removed her previous comment, but there was no reason to do so.

Then JzG goes into great length, linking below to a page about Lunatic charlatans, then he goes on mentioning "proponents of fringe beliefs", and then he suggests that editor Jyzdog was banned unfairly, just because he promoted a wholly mainstream view.... Also here JzG explains how he frames the current GMO debate as fringe. I mention this, to make this very clear, there are no fringe views present in the entire GMO debate of the last 6 month of involved/regular editors (unless you want to count the minority editor opinion as such). In fact the meat of the debate is basically about a single word, "consensus" (in regards to food safety). A minor group of editors, like Tryptofish or Kingofaces opt against a "majority" of other editors to include the word consensus (see current discussion). JzG mainly involves himself from time to time and frames "the other side" as fringe (as he does below). These editors are unwilling to compromise, to discuss encyclopedic, neutral and in good faith, and because of this, are the main reason why this discussion drags on for so long. They are also the most frequent editors on these article talk pages, and for most of the article space. I ask JzG, and all other involved editors to stop suggesting that editors they disagree with present a fringe view, unless they cite clear evidence for such. Thank you. prokaryotes (talk) 19:37, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Oddly enough here JzG explains why he has no problem with people who support fringe views outside of Wikipedia, as long they don't at WP (removed). prokaryotes (talk) 20:04, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

@MastCell, he mentions, "appeal at WP:AN, where there was essentially unanimous support for the topic ban from uninvolved editors and admins", this is simply not true, besides me there are five or six other editors who question the topic ban, Johnuniq, Spartaz, JzG, MastCell, Tryptofish and Kingofaces supporting. I explained at AN why i opened the discussion, because Spartaz participated in the discussion, and because at least at ANI closure is done by editors/admins who did not take part (at least that is my impression). prokaryotes (talk) 19:47, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Innovative application for the template in xkcd 285 (Wikipedian Protester)
Citation missing.

@Callanecc you wrote " the exercise of administrative discretion (by MastCell) by completely reasonable", can you link to a dif which makes his action completely reasonable? At least you should ask him to provide such difs, some real evidence - then judge in your position as a clerk arbitrator. prokaryotes (talk) 01:27, 11 February 2016 (UTC) prokaryotes (talk) 01:51, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

@Arbitrator, The main issue is, that discretion has been applied, without evidence (difs), thus arbitrators should ask the enforcer to provide these difs for the claims quoted above. prokaryotes (talk) 01:58, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies, re MC's involvement, here he goes into detail about his job and how he uses GMO related stuff (notice the paper he refers to has been republished), here he chats with Tryptofish, and how he thinks GMOs are safer than conventional foods. Here MastCell endorses Tryptofish for adminship, gives his support, here he made 36 edits to a BLP article of a GMO opponent, adding critical opinion. I don't see an issue with his GMO edits, i see an issue with his close relationship with Tryptofish, who filed the AE, and he made it clear in his comments that he supports T's views. Maybe this is something for ARCA, when missing difs aren't. prokaryotes (talk) 03:17, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

  • In a nutshell: MastCell took sides in the GMO debate, (Redacted) is an outspoken proponent of GMOs, therefore he is not neutral when enforcing GMO ds. prokaryotes (talk) 03:23, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

OMG. prokaryotes (talk) 03:59, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by MastCell

  • There's a line between being accountable and being subject to vexatious litigation. In my view, we have crossed that line. The WP:AE request in question sat open for nearly two weeks without administrative input, which is a disservice to both the requester and the requestee. I closed it using my discretion to topic-ban an editor who has repeatedly failed to uphold basic behavioral expectations, in keeping with the purpose of discretionary sanctions. I explained the basis for the topic ban at the time it was placed. I further responded to Prokaryotes' request for more details on my talkpage. I further responded to Prokaryotes' appeal at WP:AN, where there was essentially unanimous support for the topic ban from uninvolved editors and admins. He then immediately came here. He's simply running through every available venue without pause or reflection. I feel I've discharged my responsibility to be accountable, and this is now simply unhealthy and vexatious litigation.
  • After an uninvolved admin closed Prokaryotes' topic-ban appeal on AN as unsuccessful ([2]), Prokaryotes himself immediately reverted the administrative closure of his appeal so that he could continue to argue it ([3]). I can't remember ever seeing that before, and it speaks to the depth of the problem here.
  • I have little to say in response to various accusations below, as they're poorly supported and consist in part of insinuations and speculation about my real-life identity, to which I decline to respond in any way. It's interesting that very few people actually defend Prokaryotes' behavior. Instead, the arguments against the topic ban are either a) "somebody else is even worse than him!" or b) "MastCell is a bad admin!".
  • I don't believe that I'm "involved", by any of the 10 or 12 varying definitions of the term promulgated by ArbCom over the years, in the GMO topic area. I'm impressed (if that's the right word) at the level of opposition research at play; it takes significant time and effort to go back over at least my last 2 or 3 years of contributions looking for something incriminating, but the results seem pretty meager (as Floquenbeam points out below). This is what any admin taking action at WP:AE can expect; we allow it to happen, and it's why requests sit open for weeks.
  • I will say only that I think my record as an editor and an admin, on health-related or -unrelated topics, speaks for itself. I also think these events underline the fact that the GMO area is replete with poor editorial behavior. Since the majority of the cleanup work has been punted to WP:AE, it would be helpful to support the increasingly tiny number of admins willing to stick out their necks. MastCell Talk 19:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by EdJohnston

Statement by David Tornheim

I disagree with Roxy the dog's assertion that the point is now moot, because the accused has voluntarily accepted a 6 month ban. It is not moot because the indefinite TB would extend, if the editor were to come back in 6 months or request reinstatement prior to that. Given that the accused voluntary acceptance of a 6 month Wikipedia ban from ALL articles, I think a just result would be that the TB run concurrently with the 6 month ban, and expire after 6 months.

It makes me sad that the accused's unjust treatment has driven him or her to "wiki-suicide". We really need to look at how badly we are treating our editors, how unpleasant it makes the editing environment to allow ad hominem attacks from some editors but not their victims [11], allowing editors to blatantly lie about content and suffer no consequences [12][13], and how such unjust treatment and double-standards are driving people away, creating biased POV content and causing us to lose readership [1] from those who recognize the bias in our articles. --David Tornheim (talk) 20:54, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ from Lila Tretikov "please have a look at the recent data and metrics [12] which illustrate the downward trajectory our movement faces with readership decline [13] (since 2013), editor decline [14]"

Statement by JzG

What's ArbCom's opinion on involvement in these processes by a currently undisclosed alternate account (actually disclosed briefly on-wiki and then removed by them a few minutes later) of an editor with outstanding sanctions and a history with one of the parties? And is this considered a valid use of an alternate account? Guy (Help!) 12:07, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

@Gamaliel:: disclosure, removal, active restriction on the main account logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary sanctions/Log § Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Acupuncture, interactions per this search, how much detail of this history do you need or is that sufficient to take a view on this particular use of an alternate account? Guy (Help!) 16:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Aside: It would not be surprising if a majority of those sanctioned in a specific area were editing against the "house POV" since they are the ones who are here on a mission. In respect of alternatives to medicine, the "house POV" amounts to the scientific consensus view as documented in reliable medical sources and other reality-based references. It's well known that fans of various fringe and quack beliefs intensely dislike Wikipedia's adherence to a strictly mainstream view and are very determined to see that changed. Jimbo's view is that our policies on this are exactly right - you may differ on that, but it is clear that it is Wikipedia's policy to follow the mainstream view.
I would not expect Wikipedia to be sanctioning as many defenders of the mainstream view as it is proponents of fringe beliefs - it would be weird if we were. However, proponents of mainstream views are sanctioned, for example Jytdog was topic banned from GMOs despite promoting a wholly mainstream POV.
  • I have no idea what Prokaryotes is on about above. I think the ban of Jytdog was entirely appropriate, and I never said otherwise - I merely noted that it is an example of a proponent of the mainstream view being sanctioned, which refutes the implication that only those opposing the mainstream are ever sanctioned. Just that, no more. Guy (Help!) 23:50, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Cla68

One of the elephants in the room here is that MastCell only gets involved in Arb Enforcement in relation to health-related science topics and, in that capacity, he only topic bans or sanctions editors who appear to be taking the side against the house POV on that particular topic. It has been alleged that, (Personal attack removed). If true, is this ok, or like Future Perfect at Sunrise and JzG, is he doing "WP's good work?" Cla68 (talk) 15:21, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

OK, but it's going to take me a day or so. Cla68 (talk) 15:36, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Floquenbeam

A few nits:

  • When Prokaryotes says "MastCell did not reconsider the topic ban", they mean "MastCell did not undo the topic ban". Maybe it's me, but Prokaryotes' wording seems to imply MastCell did not consider or reply to the request for review.
  • When Prokaryotes says "AN was not conclusive", they mean "AN discussion did not result in an overturning of the ban". There was zero or near-zero support of uninvolved editors (depending on how you describe the involvedness of one editor) to overturn the ban. WP:AC/DS says it requires "the clear and substantial consensus of uninvolved editors at AN".
  • When RoseL2P says "MastCell has been editing GMO related articles as early as 2013", they mean "The only diff someone has been able to dig up of MastCell editing a GMO-related article was 2.5 years ago".(moot point, Rose2LP removed their statement)
  • When RoseL2P says "Repeatedly closing down a fresh discussion that was not more than a week old", they mean "making a determination that there was no uninvolved support after 3-4 days, and then re-closing when Prokaryotes reopened it themselves".(moot point, Rose2LP removed their statement)

A plaintive wail:

  • If AE decisions can be appealed at AN, and then if that is unsuccessful, to ARCA, then please cut out the middleman, and only make them appealable at ARCA. Especially if it requires a "clear and substantial consensus of uninvolved editors"; you couldn't get a clear and substantial consensus of uninvolved editors that the sun rises in the east at AN. It is more difficult for involved editors to derail an ARCA request.

And (due to an edit conflict) an offended growl:

  • Cla68's "It has been alleged that" smear is unfounded, speculative, and deserving of rapid clerking and possible sanction. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:48, 10 February 2016 (UTC)(moot point, statement has been removed by a clerk)


  • Unfounded speculation and soapboxing is no more valid if done by JzG than if it is done by Cla68. The history or background of this unfounded allegation has zero to do with keeping/overturning the topic ban. AE was a circus. AN was a circus. Personally, I'd encourage @L235: and other clerks/arbs to not let this be turned into a circus, by anyone. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:32, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Tryptofish

In the GMO case, my much-reviled Workshop proposals included a recommended site ban for Prokaryotes. I wasn't wrong. ArbCom, you are now seeing the results of your failure to fix the problem the first time. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

To the Arbs who have now seen first-hand what it has felt like during this discussion here: please consider how that has felt while editing content, with the same kinds of argument style on article talk pages. You've gotten some very clear feedback from administrators who have found themselves in the middle of this, and you should keep all of that in mind if and when (really: when) GMO conduct issues come before you again. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:24, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Spartaz

I simply fail to see what the point of arbitration is when the aftermath of a case leaves an unmanagable situation for admins at AE to try to wade through.

Apparently, I am a bad person for closing a discussion and then reclosing it when a deeply involved party decided that they didn't need to accept the determination of an uninvolved admin that the consensus was to uphold their tban. Then my honesty and integrity are called into question as a simple ploy to downplay the validity of my close and the tban. I get ADMINACC. My record for the 9 years I have been an admin shows that but seriously? There has to be a limit. There has to be a point where the surfeit of pings and messages I should be expected to deal with suggest that the committee was too lenient when they closed a case.

Its no wonder that AE is functionally broken and no admin in their right mind wants to get involved. A process that waits weeks for feedback and comment is unfair on everyone and I'd like to think the committee might get that and spend some time trying to set up a system that actually works.

While you are fixing AE, can I also ask this iteration of the committee to avoid storing up future trouble by being a bit more aggressive in banning people who clearly cannot get along or who have too litigious an approach to fare well here? Can you also make sure you frame your sanctions in a way that is less ambiguous? For example, if you mean a tban say tban and not page ban. Its hard enough at AE without needing telepathy to understand what the committee intended.

Callanecc if you look at the current AE concerning SageRad, [14] he has a page ban that has already be clarified as a tban. I might easily have sanctioned him if SV hadn't stepped in. Its the same for the other bans on that case. If this isn't what the committee intended please fix it. Otherwise its a redletter for the editor and more confusing than my little brain can cope with. Spartaz Humbug! 07:43, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Roxy the dog

As the initiator of this request has now asked for, and received, a site ban (6 months) here all this is now moot, I think. -Roxy the dog™ woof 15:50, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Genetically modified organisms: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Cleaned request headers and templates slightly. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 05:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Genetically modified organisms: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • No comment on the merits yet but a note for MastCell, as this was a discretionary sanction it should have been recorded in the discretionary sanctions log (as noted in the section you recorded it in). I've moved it for you. 06:26, 10 February 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Callanecc (talkcontribs) 06:26, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
  • @JzG: @Cla68: Please provide evidence in the form of diffs supporting your statements. Gamaliel (talk) 15:33, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Recuse, as I participated in the GMO case. Opabinia regalis (talk) 19:45, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Generally, when appeals are presented to ARCA the Committee will only consider modifying the sanction when there is a breach of policy or procedure or the sanction is overly harsh. Given that the option to appeal to AE/AN has been exercised and it has been closed endorsing the topic ban, and that the exercise of administrative discretion (by MastCell) by completely reasonable I see no grounds to hear this appeal, therefore I decline. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
    • prokaryotes: I'm an arbitrator :) I made the decision based on the evidence which has been presented here. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 01:41, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
    • Re to Floq: I hope my thought process (regarding when an appeal at ARCA would be accepted) makes it a little clearer why AE/AN appeals before ARCA are allowed. I'd contend that there is a much higher bar for modifications at ARCA (breach of policy or unreasonable discretion) than AE or AN. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
    • @Spartaz: Re page and topic ban ambiguity, which are you referring to? As we can likely clarify those now. AS I said above appeals to ARCA are a final check and balance and the bar for accepting an appeal are quite high. So, especially for areas such as GMOs, I have no issue with more 'aggressive' enforcement at AE, i.e. lower bar to impose one, topic bans (and for those topic bans to be all GMO articles rather than a selection of them). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:51, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
      • Thanks for replying Spartaz, but I'm think I'm missing something as the sanction says topic ban which Guerillero quoted in the admin section. Would it help if we wikilinked the sanctions to WP:TBAN? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:24, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Decline Re-examinging the original case and the AE, the AE seems reasonable, and I see no adequate basis for an appeal. DGG ( talk ) 02:33, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Decline, for now. I echo what DGG said: the AE seems reasonable, and the messy AN discussion doesn't take away from that. Spartaz closed it with the conclusion that there was no consensus to overturn, which I think is a proper reading of the discussion, and that puts an end to it. Now, the claim was made that Mastcell was involved because of an edit or two they made at some point, and this quickly escalated into more serious accusations made here, but evidence that proves Mastcell was INVOLVED and thus, by implication, was trying to get rid of an editor with a viewpoint he didn't like, well, that's completely missing.

    MAY I ADD, he added (that's me), y'all REALLY want to be careful here lest admonishments and blocks start flying: no outing, no accusations that cannot be supported, no supporting evidence that even smells like outing. If you have something to say that should be kept private, at least for the time being, keep it private. Email a friendly admin, and/or a reasonable Arb, and let DGG have a look at it. The clerks are in an uproar, the Arbs are scurrying this way and that, and the WMF is quickly retreating into the company sauna in the Big Sur, because this can possibly get out of hand and no one wants to be around when that happens. Let it not get out of hand, please: and you know, dear reader, who I'm talking to. Drmies (talk) 03:01, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

    • Prokaryotes, I understand what you're trying to do but I'm not with you. I looked at some diffs, read some comments, followed some links, but I'm not going to comment in detail here except to say that I see no reason to disallow Mastcell in retrospect from deciding on your case. Sorry. Drmies (talk) 03:57, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Decline --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 04:20, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Decline. This seems to be moot, as prokaryotes has retired. GorillaWarfare (talk) 02:39, 14 February 2016 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Ollie231213

Procedural notes: The rules governing arbitration enforcement appeals are found here. According to the procedures, a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors" is required to overturn an arbitration enforcement action.

To help determine any such consensus, involved editors may make brief statements in separate sections but should not edit the section for discussion among uninvolved editors. Editors are normally considered involved if they are in a current dispute with the sanctioning or sanctioned editor, or have taken part in disputes (if any) related to the contested enforcement action. Administrators having taken administrative actions are not normally considered involved for this reason alone (see WP:UNINVOLVED).

Appealing user 
Ollie231213 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)Ollie231213 (talk) 23:47, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Sanction being appealed 
Topic Ban from Longevity broadly construed, imposed at

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive186#Ollie231213, logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions/Log/2015#Longevity

Administrator imposing the sanction 
Spartaz (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator 

Statement by Ollie231213

The reason that I was topic banned was because, in the admins' words, I am "clearly here to advocate for a specific position on longevity articles rather than following our long standing policies and guidelines" and that I am "consistently editing articles, and voting in AfDs, to favor the position of the Gerontology Research Group [which] is incompatible with the goals of Wikipedia."

These are accusations which I strongly deny. The implications here are that I am not following Wikipedia policy and am affiliated with the Gerontology Research Group, both of which are false. I explained very clearly in my statement why I believed I was following Wikipedia policy, but these arguments appear to have been ignored.

Let me use an example here: we can probably all agree that an organisation like the New York Times is, generally speaking, considered a reliable source for many things on Wikipedia. However, what if we're dealing with a specialist topic area - astronomy, for example? Are you going to argue that the NYT is an equally reliable source on that topic as NASA is? What normally happens is that, for stories about astronomy, news organisations simply report what NASA has said. They don't do the research themselves. If the NYT published a story claiming that a new star had been discovered, but no authoritative bodies such as NASA had verified the claims, would we just add that to Wikipedia without even a footnote?

Well, the GRG is to gerontology what NASA is astronomy. Just look at how many times you see news organisations say "...according to the Gerontology Research Group" in stories about the world's oldest people - these are just a few: [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]. Lots of other sources clearly consider the GRG to be an authority in the topic area. All I am saying is that Wikipedia should reflect this and base its articles on longevity primarily on this source and not on other less-reliable ones.

For example: Yasutaro Koide, recognised by the GRG and Guinness World Records as the world's oldest man, died recently aged 112. However, the previous day, a man named Andrew Hatch died at the claimed age of 117, according to this source (which might generally be considered reliable). However, he was not able to prove his age so was not recognised by Guinness and the GRG. So what happens here? Do we treat both sources as equally reliable and say that both were the oldest man?!? No, Guinness and the GRG are clearly more reputable and widely-recognised as authorities in this topic area than the Contra Consta Times. I'm not saying don't include Andrew Hatch at all on Wikipedia, but include him as a "longevity claim" and not as if his age is definitely true.

So, just to summarise: I made it very clear in my statement in the initial request that I am following Wikipedia's policies. I just want Wikipedia's articles on longevity to based on the best sources, and don't want unverified information to be included as if it is fact. My edits in the past have been in line with WP:NPOV, WP:UNDUE, WP:FALSEBALANCE, WP:BESTSOURCES, WP:NOR, and WP:RSCONTEXT. I don't see how I can be justifiably topic-banned when I've clearly explained why I am following policy and am acting in good faith. And, should the ban be repealed, I promise to act in a more civil manner in the future. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 23:47, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment Ollie's assertion that we should "base its (Wikipedia) articles on longevity primarily on this (GRG) source and not on other less-reliable ones." goes right to the heart of why he must stay topic banned. GRG is not a super source of absolute WP:TRUTH that must be used to the general exclusion of all other RS. --> I have explained very clearly what my point of view is here and explained why it is in line with policy. I am not suggesting that other sources be excluded, just that they are not given the same weight as sources which are considered authorities on the subject according to mainstream consensus. It should be clear to anyone wishing to write good encyclopedic articles that you cannot treat all sources as if they are equally valid. Again, how on earth can I be topic banned for simply suggesting that the most reputable sources on a specialist subject should be the primary source used to write articles on Wikipedia? -- Ollie231213 (talk) 01:53, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
P.S. I don't understand how this works - how is this a "fair trial" if just some editors turn up and comment but not others? Am I allowed to request input from someone who will likely defend me? (And a number of respected users have, by the way). If not, how do we get both sides of the argument? -- Ollie231213 (talk) 01:57, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
@Spartaz If the only opinions that matter are those of the uninvolved admins, then why is anyone else even allowed to comment? I'm not going to canvass support but it seems totally unfair that there is no systematic way of dealing with appeals like this. Where's my lawyer? Other editors have expressed frustration at the behaviour of LegacyPac and others (see here). Now, can you please provide evidence that I am editing to "advocate for the GRG position"? The implication is that there is COI but I've clearly explained why that's not true. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 22:01, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
@The Blade of the Northern Lights: So yet another editor involved in the longevity WP:BATTLEGROUND, clearly biased against me, arguing in favour of a topic ban, who does NOT explain why my edits have violated policy. It's a strawman to claim that I am arguing that the GRG is the "only and only true source"; I am not. I am saying that other sources clearly recognise that the GRG is an authoritative body on the topic of the oldest people in the world and thus, Wikipedia's articles should be based primarily, but not solely, on that source. If we want to make an article of the top 100 oldest people ever, then it should be based on verified data from the most reliable source that deals with age verification, not on a mish-mash of other sources like news reports on people claiming to be 135 or whatever and then compiled in a jumbled WP:OR, WP:SYNTH mess. This really should be common sense. How can sourcing articles on a specialist subject primarily to specialist organisations, most reliable on the topic, in any way "degrade the quality of the articles"? It's madness. Are you going to topic-ban people who insist that astronomy-related articles should be based primarily on the WP:BESTSOURCES, like NASA, the ESA, etc.? I should hope not, because those editors are the ones following core policy. Now, I repeat again: how is this a fair trial? -- Ollie231213 (talk) 02:06, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
@Glrx You're quite right, I don't understand why this sanction was imposed, otherwise I wouldn't be appealing it! You also falsely represent my argument. My argument is that I was editing in line with policy. Do you contest this? If so, can you explain why? So far, no one has done so.
@Guy: "All you are doing is reinforcing the impression of an externally coordinated campaign to manipulate Wikipedia in support of an ideology." --> Oh look, YET ANOTHER user who doesn't actually respond to any of the arguments I've made, but instead just accuses me of editing with an agenda. So who is it really who is editing with an ideology? -- Ollie231213 (talk) 07:51, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • You say "However, not being on the list does not contradict a claimed age. It doesn't even show that GRG investigated a claimed age and rejected it for some reason. So GRG's list is not "the oldest living people in the world" but rather "the oldest living people that GRG found and can document" --> My suggestion for the List of the oldest living people article was to have two separate tables: one table of the oldest people verified by the GRG and another table of other claims reported on by other sources but not included on the GRG table. It's true to say that just because someone is not verified by the GRG that they are not as old as they claim, but equally, there's a chance they may not be. The simple fact is this: if you try to compile one single list of the oldest people by adding in people reported on in different sources but whose ages have NOT been verified, then you will a list containing a number of people who aren't as old as they say they are. It is surely much better to have a list of the oldest people who whose claimed age is definitely genuine than a table of those who might or not be.
  • "Now say the old lady in Pasdena dies, and the coroner issues a death certificate that says she is older than the oldest person on GRG's or anybody else's list. The Los Angeles Times then prints a story that includes the age on the death certificate. The Los Angeles Times may even claim she was the oldest known person in the world because it does not know of anyone older. What should WP do? It has some reliable sources, but apparently Ollie will take issue with the reliability of those sources." --> Well, which source is the authority when it comes to world records? Guinness World Records. And GWR work with the GRG. I think the solution is fairly clear: the titleholder as recognised by Guinness should be treated as the "official" world's oldest person, and any other claimants reported on in other sources should be treated as "claims". That's exactly why I suggested having two tables as mentioned above.
  • "The original AE found that Ollie was violating WP policy in AfDs and articles by continually taking the view that GRG should be the most reliable source. In the appeal above, Ollie makes exactly that claim. There has been no change since the ban." --> And the ban was wrong. I've made my reasoning crystal clear and explained why my actions DO NOT violate Wikipedia policy. Plenty of other users (including administrators) share my view. This is a content dispute, nothing more. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 11:51, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
@NuclearWarfare: Neither The Blade of the Northern Lights or JzG are uninvolved. And this is why I repeat my concern: plenty of other users would support me here but they are not voicing their opinion possibly because they don't even know this is happening. It doesn't seem very fair that just any old editor can turn up and give evidence because at the moment we are only getting one side of the argument. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 11:51, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
@Glrx: "You were topic banned not for your beliefs about GRG's stature as a source but rather for your disruptive behavior with other editors" --> That's clearly not the case. The two admins who voted in favour of a topic ban in the AE discussion both did so on the basis that I was here to "advocate for a certain position", nothing to do with my behaviour. In my original statement in that discussion I addressed the issues that were put forward, and apologised for uncivil behaviour. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 17:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
@Spartaz: "We have had edit wars on BLPs because pro-GRG editors refuse to accept that alternative sources meet the standard to say that a famous Chinese linguist is 110 years old" --> So because someone is famous they should be given special treatment? I'm not saying don't include him at all, but don't include him on the same list as people whose age has been verified. But again, this is a content dispute. It's not "subverting standards" to insist the same rules apply to everyone. And no, the GRG don't charge a fee for someone to be verified, if that's what you're suggesting. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 17:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
@Guy: What utter, utter bollocks. Would you care to provide some evidence to support your assertions? Consensus in outside sources is very different to yours. It's absolutely astounding that senior editors on Wikipedia - the place where many people turn first to find information - have no concept whatsoever of the idea that not all sources can be given equal weight in certain contexts. The GRG is an organisation that attempts to build a list of the oldest people in the world, and other sources (news sources, Guinness World Records, etc) turn to them when reporting on supercentenarians. Just because someone goes to their local newspaper and says "I'm 115!" doesn't prove they're 115. From WP:RS: "Reliable sources must be strong enough to support the claim. A lightweight source may sometimes be acceptable for a lightweight claim, but never for an extraordinary claim." To claim to be 115 years old is an extraordinary claim. The vast majority of such claims are actually false. What happens if a news source reports on someone who claims to have been abducted by aliens? Well, it's in a reliable source, so according to your logic we should write on Wikipedia that aliens must exist then! No reputable, scientific organisations recognise the claim as valid, but because we can't treat them as more reliable, that doesn't matter. AND BAN ANYONE WHO OBJECTS! -- Ollie231213 (talk) 16:42, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
@Glrx 1. If dozens of newspapers are reporting the Guinness World Records titleholder and a few are reporting questionable claims, then Wikipedia's due weight policy would suggest that Wikipedia should go with what the majority of sources are saying. It's a total fallacy to think that we have to treat every single bit of information in every source equally, especially when the sources contradict each other.
2. My behaviour doesn't constitute a topic ban. The incivility issue went both ways with Legacypac and I've promised not to continue to be uncivil.
3. The issue with the area of longevity is that some editors on Wikipedia have a strong dislike of the GRG and the so-called "longevity fanclub" because of past experiences with other editors. But I cannot be held responsible for the actions of others. People like Guy are coming up with all sorts of unfounded conspiracy theories that are unsourced (e.g. that the GRG are peddling pseudoscience) and claiming that I am COI-editing, but I've clearly explained why my actions are well grounded in Wikipedia policy, and that actually, it's those who think that due weight and good sources policies shouldn't apply. "I don't like it" isn't a reason to overthrow Wiki policy and rules which apply in other areas, including the three core assertions of WP:NPOV, WP:OR, and WP:RS. No one is saying that the GRG is the one and only source on supercentenarians, but what I am saying is that the larger issue is that science requires extraordinary claims to have extraordinary sources, and there is general agreement outside Wikipedia and within the scientific community that age claims to 110+ are enough to require age verification. Someone going to a newspaper and saying "I'm 115!" should be treated the same as someone who goes to a newspaper and says "I was abducted by aliens!". -- Ollie231213 (talk) 16:44, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
You can also run an IP check and see that I was not involved in the Zhou Youguang editing. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 17:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
@Blackmane Did you even bother to read my reasoning? -- Ollie231213 (talk) 00:58, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
@Blackmane: It is not up to Wikipedia to say "this source is better than these other sources so we're giving it its own list" --> It's not Wikipedia saying that, it's other sources saying that. It's Guinness World Records saying that. It's numerous media organisations saying that. What you are not appreciating is that the GRG actually attempts to 1. Verify the age of longevity claimants, and 2. Build a list of the oldest people in the world. Most other sources do not do that. Wikipedia's policies clearly state that different sources do not have to be given equal weight, and that more extraordinary claims require stronger levels of sourcing. Claiming to be 110+ is an extraordinary claim given the rarity of it, and the area of longevity is littered with fraudulent claims. As Norris McWhirter once said: "No single subject is more obscured by vanity, deceit, falsehood and deliberate fraud than the extremes of human longevity". If Wikipedia's list of oldest living people is to be of any value, emphasis must be placed on age validation. If someone is listed on the GRG website, we can be confident that their claimed age is true. On the other hand, if someone has just gone to their local newspaper and said "I'm 110", but no reasonable attempt to validate the age claim has occurred, then there are clearly some doubts as to whether the claim is true. It's believes that more than two thirds of claims to 110+ are false. All I am suggesting is that we have one list of validated claims (where we know the people are as old as claimed) and another list of unvalidated claims (where there is some doubt). But again - and this is my real point- this is just a content dispute. Whether you agree with me or not, my arguments are based on logic and on Wikipedia policy, NOT, as most people would have you believe, because I am trying to "advocate for the GRG position" in some COI situation. All I want to do is make sure that Wikipedia's coverage of the subject does not get filled with fraudulent age claims and false information, and I get topic-banned for it? It is absolutely outrageous, and the way in which these appeals are carried out - with no kind of fair judicial system - is frankly quite appalling. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 00:11, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
@Blackmane: Not going to challenge the arguement I've made then? Just like most others here haven't? -- Ollie231213 (talk) 01:42, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
@Thryduulf: Saying I'm "POV-pushing" again suggests I am acting in bad faith and/or COI editing. But I'm not. At what point does arguing a point of view "POV-pushing"? It becomes POV-pushing if you are trying to argue a point of view which is not in line with mainstream consensus, but my point of view very clearly is. Ironically, it's those trying to push the view that "longevity isn't notable" and that "age validation isn't important" who are guilty of POV-pushing because their views are not, yet they escape punishment. What an utter shambles. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 16:08, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Spartaz

I don't have anything to add beyond what Ed and I said in the original AE. Ollie, the only opinions that have any weight here are the uninvolved admins. Everything else is just noise. Do not canvass others to come and support you. It won't affect the outcome but would be obvious evidence that you are not editing per our accepted norms. Spartaz Humbug! 18:51, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

  • For some reason I didn't get a ping from NW below. The issue with GRG is an entrenched view by a section of editors that the GRG takes precedence over our existing sourcing standards - to the point where we have had edit wars on BLPs because pro-GRG editors refuse to accept that alternative sources meet the standard to say that a famous Chinese linguist is 110 years old. See this previous AE, this discussion of Zhou Younguang's age and this other discussion. By actively promoting a pro-GRG stance Ollie is subverting our existing standards for article inclusion. His removal from the longevity area and the impact of similar AE to reinforce the fact that pro-GRG edit warring and acceptance of wider community norms appears to be allowing a more considered approach to Longevity areas. I have no doubt that without it, we could easily have seen Zhou_Youguang have his birth date excluded because being 110 makes him a super centarian and GRG hasn't (for a fee I believe) verified his age. Spartaz Humbug! 13:14, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
    • Addendum - please see edit warring in history here of Zhou Youguang's article with a logged out editor trying to remove the date of birth to the point of protection because it is not GRG verified. Also [here] Spartaz Humbug! 13:20, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
      • Note that I don't believe Ollie has been contributing as an IP, the example provided was context of why promoting a GRG POV is harmful. Spartaz Humbug! 18:08, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Legacypac

Ollie demonstrates a lack of understanding of wikipolicy in his appeal. If, as he say,s "GRG is to gerontology what NASA is astronomy" we can safely treat GRG as just one of many RS. Our Astronomy article does not even mention NASA (that I can see) and the lead says "Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role" NASA is definitely a great authority but hardly the primary or final authority in astronomy.

If someone wants to write up Andrew Hatch (super old guy) we have good sources and would report he claimed to be 117, has lots of id that verifies that, but did not have a birth certificate because birth certificates were not issued in his region (just as the contracosta times did), they should write it. For completeness, they should also note that GRG would not validate his age. But Hatch is a total red herring as no editor has tried to include him in any table or assert he was the world's oldest man (that I'm aware of).

Ollie's assertion that we should "base its (Wikipedia) articles on longevity primarily on this (GRG) source and not on other less-reliable ones." goes right to the heart of why he must stay topic banned. GRG is not a super source of absolute WP:TRUTH that must be used to the general exclusion of all other RS. (I commented on the AE request that led to the topic ban, not sure if that makes me involved or uninvolved) Legacypac (talk) 20:56, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Statement by The Blade of the Northern Lights

It will be quite unsurprising that I see no reason to overturn the sanctions here. The amount of energy that's been expended arguing that the GRG is The One And Only True SourceTM on this subject is so enormously wasteful that allowing editors back in who want to continue that fight will only degrade the quality of the articles on human longevity. I don't see where the implementation of sanctions violated any policies, nor do I see how lifting them will be in any way helpful. Therefore, I strongly recommend this be closed with no action and a reminder that brevity is actually a virtue. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:46, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

In response, 1. Wikipedia isn't a court of law and 2. my previous points, especially that one about brevity, are reaffirmed. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:03, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Glrx has done an excellent job of summarizing the GRG; essentially it's a source which has a good deal of use in this topic, but does not have exclusive domain in the field. The fundamental problem is what I described above, that there has been a depressingly persistent campaign to elevate the GRG's importance as being above that of any other possible source material. Efforts to use the GRG research in proper context (e.g. not using absence on the list as evidence against a particular age, or that happening to be on a table does not inherently confer notability) are met with a massive amount of resistance from a horde of SPAs, and compounding their vigor is that many of these have some connection to the GRG and/or Robert Young (most of which is laid out at this AfD). The original case page lays out the gory details, and while the cast of characters is somewhat different the techniques are exactly the same. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:28, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

I would also note Mabidex's charming statement below is hardly indicative of an editor who will be useful in this topic. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:47, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

I am unsurprised that Ollie rejects the findings of independent admins reviewing his conduct - that is pretty much the definitive rationale for enacting a sanction, since people who accept independent views rarely end up here.

Ollie, find some other area to edit. Leave this topic completely, forever. All you are doing is reinforcing the impression of an externally coordinated campaign to manipulate Wikipedia in support of an ideology. We're bored with it. Guy (Help!) 14:53, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

  • @NuclearWarfare: The Gerontology Research Group functions as an off-wiki gathering place for promoters of "agecruft" - they are convinced that achieving the age of 100 makes one inherently notable, and that the GRG is the fountain source of all wisdom on matters pertaining to age. We have had years of disruption by members and supporters of this site pushing their external agenda against Wikipedia consensus. Its focus on agecruft is less of a problem than its fringe activities in "life extension" - a field littered with blatantly pseudoscientific claims, playing largely to a market of old rich people whose judgment may not be what it once was (if you are thinking that there will be quite a few actual fraudsters involved, you're almost certainly right). Ryoung122 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is a leader of this group and was banninated for repeatedly making anonymous edits evading his topic ban. So: GRG think they are the sole authority on supercentenarians, and the sole arbiters of the notability of same (in practice, they always consider them notable, because that is all they are interested in), and there are also numerous other fields where this group can be considered to be offsite co-ordinators of POV-pushing. Guy (Help!) 00:23, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Ricky81682

NuclearWarfare I'm an involved admin on this matter. To give you a perspective on this discussion about the Gerontology Research Group, see this lengthy RFC. The claim was made by Ollie and others that the GRG needs to be identified and separately marked as a different level of reliable source (along with other sources which by random "luck" are never actually used anywhere). This is was but one of many examples of lengthy and disruptive arguing (including an RFC Ollie proposed to ban all newspapers are unreliable sources but only for reporting the ages of very old people). That is why the "GRG is the equivalent of NASA" is frustrating nonsense. The extent and months and months of arguing and arguing on this topic were enough and we are all better off if we don't have to repeat the same arguments with people who clearly only view the GRG as accurate on these very minor factual points. See Talk:List_of_oldest_living_people where even today yet again there is another lengthy round of arguing by people who simply repeat the idiotic mantra that "all newspapers are unreliable for old people's birth dates" by bringing up complete garbage nonsense and to use the GRG again (the language in flavor now is "international bodies that specialize in longevity research" so there are other sources when pushed about it so they aren't just saying the GRG but everything else then gets deleted so it's really just the GRG yet again). Review the old ARBCOM case and you'll see that it's been a decade of problems like this: the only resolution came when ARE started topic banning the people who simply refused to accept the idea of other sources on the topic being considered reliable on a general level (not that the tables aren't just repeating the GRG anyways). -- Ricky81682 (talk) 23:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Strike that. I don't need to reiterate the actual discussion. I'm involved here, I'm not going to deny that. The main issue is that it is one of many sources. Note that during this lengthy RFC, Ollie argued for a number of sources but when push came to shove, it is only the GRG that actually matters. Today, we have another, similar argument about the lede sentence at Talk:List_of_oldest_living_people where the term is now "international bodies that specialize in longevity research" and again citing numerous organizations which again will ultimately be the GRG. Even if the GRG were the equivalent of NASA, we wouldn't then say that anything the Cosmonauts did should be ignored, we'd treat them as equally reliable sources and lengthy and lengthy discussions to fight that issue again and again are not productive. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 00:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by (involved editor 3)

  • Not sure whether this is the place to put this, but I wanted to react to Spartaz's statement that "promoting a GRG POV is harmful" regarding the Zhou Youguang case: I have searched the GRG website, but have found no comment or statement regarding Mr. Youguang on there. Therefore, I assume that the GRG has no point of view about the man, so I am not sure how anyone can claim that IPs are 'promoting a GRG POV' there; instead, I would rather argue that there are fancrufters who are now being confused with the GRG (or possibly used as its scapegoat). As a result, (by both sides) the GRG is once again dragged into a discussion which should, at its core, be about "validation" versus "reliable source". Fiskje88 (talk) 21:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by Ollie231213

Statement by Glrx

Ollie231213's appeal does not show an understanding of why sanctions were imposed. Instead the argument is that GRG should be as respected as NASA and therefore implies the sanctions were improper. The ban should stay. Glrx (talk) 05:43, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

@NuclearWarfare:. I have not been following longevity topics, but here's my take.

Ollie represents that Gerontology Research Group should be the respected authority on the age of very old people. It and the Guiness Book of Records should be given more weight on the topic than other reliable sources.

Ollie apparently founds that belief in GRG's strict requirements for documenting age. This Smithsonian article describes GRG and its procedures. The article describes GRG's requirements for 2 to 3 pieces of documentation. The article also points out that people often make false claims about age, and GRG's documentation requirements often uncover or prevent such frauds. Unfortunately, the documentation requirements also exclude many potentially bona fide old people. For example, there are good records in Japan, but almost no records in Africa. Even in countries with good documentation, some people are not on the list because they want their privacy. If nobody tells GRG that a very old lady is living in Pasadena, then that lady won't be on the list. Or maybe the little old lady has a birth certificate but she doesn't have her marriage certificate, so GRG won't put her on the list.

Consequently, if someone is on the list, then there are presumably reasonable supporting documents for the individual's age. Volunteers, not professionals, validate these age claims. Wikipedia apparently accepts GRG's Table E as a reliable indication of an individual's age.[23] However, not being on the list does not contradict a claimed age. It doesn't even show that GRG investigated a claimed age and rejected it for some reason. So GRG's list is not "the oldest living people in the world" but rather "the oldest living people that GRG found and can document"; GRG calls the table "Validated Living Supercentenarians".

Now say the old lady in Pasdena dies, and the coroner issues a death certificate that says she is older than the oldest person on GRG's or anybody else's list. The Los Angeles Times then prints a story that includes the age on the death certificate. The Los Angeles Times may even claim she was the oldest known person in the world because it does not know of anyone older. What should WP do? It has some reliable sources, but apparently Ollie will take issue with the reliability of those sources.

The original AE found that Ollie was violating WP policy in AfDs and articles by continually taking the view that GRG should be the most reliable source. In the appeal above, Ollie makes exactly that claim. There has been no change since the ban. Glrx (talk) 03:31, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

@Ollie231213: Editors don't get topic bans for their beliefs; they get topic bans for their behavior. Your behavioral issue was not following WP policies. You open with the claim that you were following WP policies, but the body of your appeal does not address WP behavior policies at all. You close with "I made it very clear in my statement in the initial request that I am following Wikipedia's policies." That is not the case either. The charge in the original AE was "Ollie231213's conduct at various AFD discussions is bordering into uncivil territory with numerous personal attacks." There were four diffs. Your response was not about the uncivil diffs, the original research issue, or your continued engagement at the RFC ("Apologies if I sounded patronising or disrespectful but part of the reason why I'm sounding repetitive is because I keep getting faced with straw man arguments, and I want to make sure we understand where we are both coming from here. -- Ollie231213 (talk) 23:25, 31 August 2015 (UTC)"). You were not on topic for the AE. You did mention some WP policy, but they were not policies about behavior but rather sources. You believe GRG is the superior source. That's fine. Editors may believe what they want. Editors usually have a right to discuss their beliefs and persuade others to their position, but there are limits because other editors have rights, too. WP does not tolerate edit wars where one group keeps putting its version in an article and another group keeps replacing it with something else. Neither does WP want disruption on its talk pages. When there's disagreement, WP policy wants the groups to discuss the issues reasonably and adopt a consensus view even if that view is wrong. Maybe there is compromise; maybe one side prevails for now. The consensus view today is that GRG is a reliable source for some information but it is not the superior source that you want it to be. You were topic banned not for your beliefs about GRG's stature as a source but rather for your disruptive behavior with other editors. The issue at this board is not whether your viewpoint about weighing longevity sources is right or wrong but whether continued disruptive behavior is likely. You have not addressed your behavior at all. Instead, you continue to argue that GRG is the best source even though this is not the forum for a content argument. The implication is that you want this board to admit the original topic ban was wrong, approve of GRG as a great source (something that it cannot do), and give you license to edit war or demean editors who disagree with you. That's not what is done here.

I do not see an effective appeal here. The appeal should have addressed behavioral issues raised in the orignal AE. Looking at the original AE proceeding, I could conclude that the allegations were weak. I expect Legacypac has thick skin and some one-off ad hominem arguments can be forgiven. Extended and repetive engagement at any discussion is not desired, but it happens. Furthermore, it takes two (or more) to tango. I suspect NuclearWarfare's has that concern. The question is whether the behavior is typical. Furthermore, longevity has been found to be a contentious area, and discretionary sanctions are authorized. In the original AE, you claim, "I'm not on a pro-GRG campaign, on I'm an anti-anti-GRG campaign, which is not the same thing." For the purposes here, the double-negative distinction makes little difference because WP does not want campaigners. I haven't chased the sub-sub-discussion at RSN, but my guess is it is similar to the RfC. Consequently, I expect there is a long history of edit warring and disruptive engagement on many longevity articles. Spartaz has added colorable post-ban sock allegations. Glrx (talk) 17:07, 6 February 2016 (UTC) Striking text; I misread Spartaz's implication. Glrx (talk) 23:10, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Blackmane

I am somewhat peripherally involved as I've voted on a number of the AFD's that were raised largely by Ricky81682 among others. I think a simple statement would suffice here. Ollie2312 was topic banned because of his advocacy for GRG. Naturally, he refutes the accusation of advocacy but is, in his words, on an "anti anti GRG campaign". However, from his statement above: My suggestion for the List of the oldest living people article was to have two separate tables: one table of the oldest people verified by the GRG and another table of other claims reported on by other sources but not included on the GRG table is precisely advocacy that legitimises his current topic ban. One list that uses other sources and one list that solely uses GRG? This idea is basically asking WP to enshrine GRG. This one statement by Ollie2312 is, in my mind, the iceberg that sinks his appeal. Blackmane (talk) 01:50, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

@Ollie231213: I read, re-read and re-read again your reasoning. My view does not change. I would not have written what I did if I hadn't read it. Again, having one list that is only for GRG as a source while another list has all other sources pushes forward the POV that GRG is singularly better or special compared to any other source. It is not up to Wikipedia to say "this source is better than these other sources so we're giving it its own list". What any list should say is "here is the claim, here is the source" no more, no less. If the claim is later discredited then the entry is removed. If a claim is weak or variable because sources disagree, then the entry should be adjusted based on a discussion. Blackmane (talk) 01:28, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

@Ollie231213: WP has never made any pretenses at having a judicial system. It's a privately owned website and as far as has been discussed this is most obviously not just a content dispute. At this point, I will leave this as my last comment as further discussion will derail this appeal. Blackmane (talk) 01:27, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Mabidex

@Ollie231213: I read your reasoning. I do believe that anyone achieving the age of 100 is very notable, as it remains rare. Which brings me to it's exceptional nature: What is more rare to humans who read Wikipedia than another of our own human species living longer than most others on this earth? According to the US Census, only 0.02% or 55,000 people in the US in all of the time between 2007 through 2011[1]. To reiterate, being a Super Centenarian is an extraordinary claim, and it surely requires extraordinary proof.

While the GRG is not the only source that verifies Super Centenarians it is one of the more prominent non-profit ones. I don't disagree that verification should be done, but commercial interests should be known for those on the lists that use the story to sell more newspapers (for example) and benefit the commercial interests because of it. Yes I agree that It is not up to Wikipedia to say "this source is better than these other sources so we're giving it its own list" but a verified claim of age should be supported of non-commercial claims over those of a commercial nature. What any list should say is "here is the claim, here is the (Commercial/Non-Commercial) source" no more, no less. I agree, If the claim is later discredited then the entry is removed. If a claim is weak or variable because sources disagree, then the entry should be adjusted. As for the topic ban, it should simply be lifted. I see no reason to continue it as this person should be allowed to make disagreements about weak sources.

@NuclearWarfare: I also see no reason to consider JzG's words here as an involved admin, as they are clearly of a libel nature and out of line as appeals to spite and ridicule to win over the Admins consideration. Mabidex (talk) 02:28, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Result of the appeal by Ollie231213

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • @Spartaz, The Blade of the Northern Lights, JzG, and EdJohnston: I know little about this topic area but I respect you all a great detail as uninvolved(?) administrators so that's what I'm directing my initial question to you. I've read Ollie's statement and the original AE request. I take it you all would disagree with his description of this "Gerontology Research Group". Could you please either describe a little more as to why or point me to past discussions? Thanks, NW (Talk) 23:04, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks all for replying. I did some reading this morning (apparently, I was the case clerk for the Longevity case way back when; who knew). The given rationale for the topic ban was primarily POV pushing with a dash of incivility and tendentious editing. I haven't read anything that would make me disagree with that analysis. As per policy, a clear and active consensus is required to overturn a discretionary sanction. I would view that as functionally being impossible if one other uninvolved administrator agrees with me and would suggest that the appeal can be closed if that situation occurs. NW (Talk) 18:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
  • The topic ban was applied for pushing a POV (that the GRG is the most reliable source) and tendentious editing to support that POV, along with some incivility. The appeal does not address these issues but continues to advocate for why you (Ollie231213) are right and why you should be allowed to continue pushing your POV. AE cannot determine whether the GRG is or is not a reliable source and if so whether it is more or less reliable than any other source and so I make no judgement about that nor about the comments here addressing this issue. Taking into account the comments that do address the relevant issue, and my own reading of the original discussion I have to agree with NW that the topic ban was correctly imposed. Unless there is any disagreement from an uninvolved administrator I will close this appeal as unsuccessful late Sunday/early Monday (UTC) unless someone else does so before me. Thryduulf (talk) 14:28, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
    • @Ollie231213: "POV pushing" implies nothing about what POV is being pushed, it could be the mainstream or it could be on the fringe of the fringe. It just means you behaviour regarding your POV is interfering with the improvement of the encyclopaedia, which includes disrupting discussions about consensus and refusing to accept when consensus is against you. Once again though, this is only about your behaviour not about the notability or otherwise of the topic (or specific articles), or the reliability of one or more source. The behaviour of other people is entirely irrelevant here (see WP:WAX) as this appeal is solely to judge whether you were right to be topic banned. If other people have been behaving badly then their behaviour should be brought to a noticeboard (by someone who is not topic banned) so that their actions can be examined. Thryduulf (talk) 17:50, 13 February 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ The Centenarian Population: 2007–2011, from US Dept Of Commerce. US Census Bereau. Brian Kincel, April 2014, pages 1-7 ([1])