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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.

To request enforcement of previous Arbitration decisions or discretionary sanctions, please do not open a new Arbitration case. Instead, please submit your request to /Requests/Enforcement.

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

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration

The Rambling Man

Initiated by Banedon (talk) at 05:13, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried

Multiple ANI cases have been filed in the past, e.g. [1] [2]. More examples in statement below.

Statement by Banedon

I'm filing this case request against The Rambling Man (TRM) for long-term civility issues. TRM's abrasive and incivil editing style has antagonized countless users [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]—note how every single one of these examples involved a different editor. There's no shortage of diffs [12] [13] [14] [15].

TRM has been the subject of several ANI cases [16][17] [18] [19] going back to 2014, all of which were also filed by different editors. He has also been admonished by the Committee for incivility in January. [20]

TRM is a longtime editor with a productive track record, and he has not abused his admin tools. But he's also defied multiple good faith attempts by different editors to work with him, and—contrary to policy—has handed out no shortage of demeaning insults. His edits are of the kind where he comes as close to the line as possible without actually crossing it, while trying to goad the other side to break the rules first. It is arguable that none of his edits individually deserve a sanction, but there are a lot of them.

If the Committee has repeatedly admonished and sanctioned those who act poorly when confronted with provocation and coordinated harassment, including TRM, then it surely must respond to a pattern of the same behavior in the face of repeated attempts by numerous long-standing editors to work with him in a productive and civil manner.

Clarifying that for this case request I'm not linking the incivility directly, rather evidence that multiple different editors have expressed disapproval of TRM's editing. Hence, I'm changing the diff that Iridescent is referring to. If this case is accepted, I can provide diffs that explicitly illustrate the incivility. Banedon (talk) 11:41, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Explaining why I filed this to Arbcom instead of starting another ANI thread. There are several reasons. One, TRM suggested several times to different people to do so. [21] [22] [23]. Two, he has already been the subject of multiple ANI cases, but his behavior has not improved. I don't see why yet another ANI case will help. Finally, TRM has stated that he doesn't think highly of Arbcom [24] [25]. If this is his attitude towards the highest court in Wikipedia, then it's unlikely he thinks highly of ANI discussions, and a case there is probably futile. Banedon (talk) 11:14, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
One more thing: my understanding is that this is a case request, not (yet) an evidence page. In other words its main purpose is to answer the questions "is there a dispute?" and "is another form of dispute resolution possible?". I think the answers are fairly obviously "yes" and "no" respectively. Therefore Arbcom should accept this case. Accepting does not mean the committee must find against TRM. If, after considering all the evidence, the committee decides that TRM has done nothing wrong, that is also a result. Banedon (talk) 00:28, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by The Rambling Man

Statement by Lingzhi

I've never done the arb page thing before and don't know if this is the correct place to make a small comment, but the diff above to Ankylosing spondylitis calling it "Bechterew's disease" seems to refer to a genuine alternative (former) name. I am not sure how this shows antagonism.  Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 05:46, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by George Ho

TRM's arrogance is over the top already. Worst of all, certain people tolerate TRM's behavior and follow along and make vicious antics on me. Also, TRM is using ITN as his tool to put down on people. AHeneen, WaltCip might explain their own perspectives about him. --07:58, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

condensed further comments below; some responses to other editors eliminated. --George Ho (talk) 20:57, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

TRM threatens people, including me, if he is reported again. I was intimidated into not reporting him because... of my conflicts with others besides him, not because of him. 18:50, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Iridescent called me "problematic". Sure, I'm unpopular at ITN. However, ITN always has problematic ranting editors in the past long before my involvement on ITN. Unfortunately, ITN admins don't see the problems on so-called "minor" problems that annoy editors in the first place. Instead, two of them just see me as irrelevant and unnecessary. I'm trying my best to adjust my behavior until I realize that, until Wikipedians turn themselves around and be very warm and generous to all editors and help them, I don't need Wikipedia anymore. See my contributions? I have become less frequent than I used to be. I had enough of being put down and scolded until I decided to let others take TRM's side and then to do important stuff in real life. TRM and some gang made fun of me just because I had concerns about ITN and its editors and just because my ideas are poor quality. Also, an administrator, while not taking sides, found unpleasantness from TRM. I might provide more if any of claims are rebutted.
For those saying it's a witch hunt, can anyone rebut this evidence and that evidence and that evidence? 20:57, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Callanecc, one of arbitrators, might be involved with TRM per this discussion. Same for DGG, who voted for his bureaucratship.
Look at the FFD discussion, the ITN talk about fair use, and the Sally Brampton RD nomination. He and ITN admins could not commemorate the woman's name in the Main Page just because a non-free image is used (and considered replaceable) until weeks later the free-to-share image replaced the image. Also, he berated people for not thoroughly searching for a free image of a deceased person... or finding ways to make an image free, especially in the time of mourning of recently deceased. The case is not a farce; it highlights everything he has done to others. Maybe his participation at Wikipedia talk:In the news/2016 RD proposal counts? 21:09, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
[Comment redacted just for space]. George Ho (talk) 07:06, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Somehow, I received "thanks" from TRM for notifying two editors. Several months ago, he thanked me for requesting speedy deletion on File:Sally Brampton at Malou efter tio TV4 2009.jpg, which I fought for keeping it until TRM uploaded a free image. [Comment redacted]. 21:08, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Arbs, regarding time limit, why limiting time span? Look at TRM's dispute with those working on TV-related articles, like Friends episode list, from four years ago. I was participating in the dispute, but I was trying to calming things down back then, unaware of TRM's viciousness. 07:06, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Iridescent

I'm not getting involved in this request and urge the committee to decline it—Arbcom is a venue of last resort, not ANI 2.0, and we have well-established mechanisms for judging the merits of "someone was rude to me" cases that don't involve month-long timesinks—but just to point out that the section on my talkpage cited as "evidence" above is being taken hugely out of context. TRM's comments there were very mild comments directed towards a long-term problematic editor, and not "abrasive and incivil [sic]" by any reasonable measure. ‑ Iridescent 08:35, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Clerks, my posting a single comment here does not mean I want you either listing me as a party, or flooding my talkpage with notifications.

Note also that this has only been open a couple of hours and the canvassing has already started. ‑ Iridescent 09:18, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
George Ho, will you please put a sock in your "ITN admin" conspiracy theory, which got tiresome long ago? As I'm sure you know perfectly well (given that it's explained to you explicitly in the thread you link and acknowledged by yourself here) I have no links to ITN (every edit I have ever made to WT:ITN) and have spent many years arguing for it to be deprecated altogether. That TRM is watching my talkpage is owing to the Jesus College Boat Club (Oxford) and Norwich City F.C. articles ending up on our mutual watchlists a decade ago, not that we're involved in some kind of conspiracy to deny you your Special Snowflake status. (As a tip; if you're going to make unfounded and easily-refuted attacks, RFAR is probably not the most sensible place to be doing it.) ‑ Iridescent 09:38, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by AlexTiefling

I have a comparatively low tolerance for timewasting bullshit in WP discussions. I find myself contributing less and less as time passes. Brushes with extreme incivility in the past - including someone impersonating and someone (possibly another person) doxxing me - have left me extremely weary of interactions here. I came to terms with medeis and Baseball Bugs because while I may dislike their styles of interaction, I can't pretend that they're not putting more in than me.

Why do I say this? Because TRM is an admin. An admin is supposed to be above all this. An admin is supposed to be an exemplar of how to contribute to WP. But here [26] we see him actively advocating dumbing-down a fairly routine bit of copy because he thinks our readers are intellectually 'limited'. And the numerous examples cited above and in the many other complaints brought against TRM show that he is perpetually spoiling for a fight, and holds both readers and editors in contempt. I have largely withdrawn from RD editing because between the peanut gallery and the trolls, it's hard to find any useful content or purpose there. TRM almost single-handedly brings that same atmosphere - and its consequences - to ITN/C and other places where he engages in discussion.

I believe TRM is unfit to be an admin, and should also be topic-banned from the whole of RD and ITN; this should enable him to focus on aspects of WP that he's better at, and let the rest of us who can still stand to stay get on with salvaging the parts of the site which are currently smothered by unsupported opinions and vitriol. AlexTiefling (talk) 09:30, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Softlavender

I have no particular viewpoint here, but when the best a canvassed editor (AlexTiefling, above) can come up with is an extremely civil, extremely polite and reasonable comment (not even a !vote) in a survey [27], we are in time-wasting territory. Softlavender (talk) 09:56, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

New Comment: I've been reading through the statements here, and I found AHeneen's suggestion to be useful, since some Arbs have requested scope: "A starting point for appropriate sanctioning is probably to ban TRM from making any comments (including edit summaries!) about other editors and, to prevent circumvention of that, judgmental remarks about content added by other editors. A possible ban from ITN & DYK (other than making a nomination) should also be considered." If this case is accepted, that might be something to bear in mind. I think the last sentence would be a last resort, and hopefully only be temporary if actually resorted to. However the first sentence sounds as though it would satisfy the needs of many people who have expressed concerns and upset (both here and on various other places on the project). And I don't believe the case would need more parties -- there have been quite a number of ArbCom cases without more than one party, and if it is confined to the specific parameters of ADMINCOND and ADMINACCT that AHeneen specified, I don't think it would be a witchhunt if civility among commenters is enforced. Softlavender (talk) 06:26, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

New new comment: I have a few observations I'd like to just put out there. I don't think I'll be posting actual evidence since I haven't had all that much interaction with TRM, especially not lately, and I have no incentive or reason to dig up any. (1) I don't think TRM's mop is in danger nor should it be, as there has been no abuse of tools. (2) The main-page areas that TRM monitors are often frustrating in the amount of mistakes, ill-considered proposals, and bad writing that have to be dealt with rapidly. (3) Those main-page areas are apparently also often full of editors who just don't have enough experience, clue, or competence to deal with the level of rigor and accuracy required. They get rebuffed because the place is busy, and go off with their feelings hurt. Frankly a lot of them shouldn't be there in the first place, and therefore I can't fault TRM for those actions. (4) What I can fault TRM for is (A) endless non-substantive insult-fest exchanges like the one with Gatoclass someone has already mentioned, (B) insults and PAs directed at competent very experienced and accurate editors he merely happens to disagree with, (C) what is reported to be an ongoing anti-American bias in his main-page activities. A and B can be dealt with, after evidence is presented, by warnings or stronger sanctions, as ArbCom chooses. C should probably be dealt with via some sort of topic-ban (not from the main-page sections, but from commenting on or vetoing any American items) until the issue subsides. Softlavender (talk) 17:59, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by KevinMcE

I spend very little time here now, partly because I noticed that I could become more angry than I needed to be about stuff that really didn't matter, and partly because I grew increasingly fed up of people telling me how I should spend the voluntary effort that I contributed here. TRM seems to have been long susceptible to the former, and long guilty of the latter. When editors are thus treated by those raised to admin status, they (I at least, but I cannot imagine that my response is unusual) lose confidence in the project. TRM obviously has made very valuable contributions, but really needs to recognise when his own disposition is such that he needs to step away from the keyboard for a while, for the sake of both his own reputation and regard here and the sense of respectful co-operation that the project depends on. Kevin McE (talk) 11:01, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

I scanned the diffs provided and see some evidence (e.g. [28]) of a long-term grudge against TRM by the filing party. I defy you to find any active admin who has not been dragged to the drama boards, so the mere existence of ANI threads is not evidence of anything, and threads linked in the diffs closed with the equivalent of a mild WP:TROUT at most.

A lot of the drama seems to centre on ITN/RD, where there is a community of people who tend to feel rather proprietorial and become emotionally invested in getting certain things on the front page. Given the length of time the OP has been on TRM's case, and the underwhelming nature of the diffs provided (really? is that the best you have?), I don't see there's anything actionable here. At worst it's a job for AN. Guy (Help!) 11:08, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

NB: DYK hyas precisely the same problems as ITN/RD. In fact anywhere people start collecting badges, you get this issue. Guy (Help!) 15:52, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Andrew Davidson

I was surprised that Arbcom accepted the case against Michael Hardy but The Rambling Man (TRM) is routinely worse and, for a fresh example, see DYK where TRM has a slanging match with admin Gatoclass who opines that there's a "temperamental unfitness for the extra bit". That incident reminds me of the previous arbcom case of Kww vs TRM. If this case is accepted, I will be able to provide more evidence of numerous other incidents including violations of WP:EDITWAR, WP:HOUND, WP:INVOLVED and WP:WHEEL. Andrew D. (talk) 11:24, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Allen3

This is not a problem that is confined to ITN and RD. At DYK, The Rambling Man's antagonistic style has been called out on multiple occasions.[29][30][31][32] To date he has been either unwilling or unable to modify his approach to dealing with those with whom he disagrres. This is sad because while there is usually a core of truth in The Rambling Man's position, his inability to deal with others in a civil manner usually creates opposition to his position that would have been unlikely to exist if he could just behave appropriately. --Allen3 talk 12:30, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Sca

TRM has a rather long history of unpleasant, contentious encounters with me. Rather than attempt to cite chapter & verse, I would like to re-post (most of) a comment I made last Jan. 24 in response to another arbcom complaint against him:

Since I've had a number of less than congenial encounters with TRM over that last couple years, a few observations:
  • TRM at times seemingly couldn't resist the urge to employ vituperative, spiteful, belittling language. While such repartee may pass as humor among old friends – and some of us are tempted to indulge in it – among others it inevitably engenders resentment, personal animosity and angry responses in kind.
  • TRM sometimes has employed POV language that strikes some U.S. users as gratuitously anti-American.
On the other hand, TRM often has shown solid judgment in managing ITN matters, particularly by putting passing issues in perspective. In my view, if TRM could acquire genuine respect for the opinions of others, and eschew vitriolic language, his renewed presence could be an asset.

Those observations remain relevant. However, coincidentally or not, in the last week or so TRM has seemed surprisingly civil, even polite. On Aug. 15 he even thanked me for hiding a spiteful exchange he had with another editor at MP/E. Sca (talk) 15:33, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

PS: Upon reflection, I withdraw the bit about anti-American comments as outdated. I don't recall such in recent months.
But I do wish TRM was more receptive to suggested refinements in blurbs at MP/E. Sca (talk) 21:15, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Baseball Bugs

TRM and I were once under a mutual interaction ban, which was ended at his initiative. I am unaware of him abusing admin tools. And regarding incivility, I've seen a lot worse. I would oppose any action against TRM. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:58, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Others here have talked about ITN. I left ITN, not particularly because of TRM, nor necessarily because of the significant anti-American bias there - but rather because of the slipshod standards other editors began using to determine "Recent Deaths" inclusions. When they collectively decided that a charlatan "psychic" was worth posting, while voting down more worthy candidates, it was clear ITN had become worthless. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:44, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Hammersoft

I wish to state, for the record, I am not involved in this current dispute. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:54, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

This is a case that without scope restrictions would be a lynching. As has been repeated many times by ArbCom, and continues to this day with but one exception that I know of, ArbCom does not layout the scope of a case. The scope of this case is critically important. If the scope is not defined, then it's a free for all against TRM. The scope must be defined, if the case is accepted.

In regards to accepting the case, I would like to highlight the following, to layout a pattern of sorts, in regards to TRM:

  • Twice claimed he would try to do better [39][40]. To the latter claim, just two months later he was violating his own assertions of trying to improve and avoid noting pro-American bias [41].
  • January 2014, three way interaction ban placed between TRM, Baseball Bugs, and Medeis (AN/I thread). This was removed in July of 2015 by consensus (AN/I thread), with TRM saying "I can only offer a guarantee that from my perspective things will never get as heated or as counter-productive as they did prior to the restriction." Yet, all of the incivility diffs provided by Banedon postdate this 'guarantee'. Further, in July of 2016 TRM accuses Baseball Bugs of not understanding how Wikipedia works [42].
  • January 2016, TRM is called out by ArbCom in a motion for incivility and personal attacks [43] and warned "future similar conduct may result in sanctions". Several of the diffs provided postdate this motion. Further, we have things like
    • "have you considered being less obnoxious and time-wasting?" [44] Granted, this was done in response to someone, but WP:CIVIL doesn't have a clause that allows you to be uncivil because someone else is. In fact, it states the opposite (2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence).
    • "Stop acting like you own the place" [45], edit summary
    • "jolly old Brad acting like the schoolmaster (a position he feels determined to occupy despite having no such credentials)" [46]

There is likely more evidence, but I think these serve to highlight that while TRM is aware of his civility/NPA issues, and he claims to intend to improve, he doesn't improve. The cycle keeps repeating.

I recommend ArbCom accept this case as the various WP:AN/I threads have failed to resolve the issue, and the prior motion by ArbCom [47] regarding his behavior failed to achieve any change. However, that recommendation comes with an extremely strong warning to strictly identify the scope of this case. I would recommend limiting civility/NPA evidence to only actions taken by TRM since the motion, which would serve to show contempt for the motion/warning, supporting further sanctions. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:08, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

@George Ho: This is why limiting the scope of the case is critically important. The thread you are noting comes from 2013, a little over three years ago. It was dealt with via an interaction ban that was placed about 7 months later, and vacated a year and a half later after that. The matter there is closed. There are plenty of matters like this over the years in regards to TRM, and yes this case could easily become a witch hunt if we do not limit the scope of the case. That is why I proposed limiting the scope to actions by TRM since the January 2016 motion against his incivility and NPA violations. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:44, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

@George Ho: And again you've shown, if unintentionally, why limiting the scope of the case is critically important. You ask if I'm really uninvolved, and as basis you reference a thread from more than FOUR years ago. To my knowledge, I've not interacted with TRM in more than a year. So, yeah, I'm uninvolved with this current dispute. If we don't limit the scope to only what TRM has done since the motion, this case will be a farce. Thanks to severely broken structural issues with ArbCom and its methods, TRM will never be able to defend himself against 11 years worth of time and >150k edits investigation by the tons of people already commenting on this case. TRM is right; this is a lynch mob. I do feel ArbCom needs to take this case to resolve this long standing issue, but doing so via dragging up threads from four years ago is hardly helpful. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:51, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

@George Ho: If you want this case to proceed, I strongly suggest you take the advice offered by sitting ArbCom member Opabinia regalis here. If you want to discuss my thoughts further, you're welcome to my talk page. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:14, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by WaltCip

This is a witch hunt.--WaltCip (talk) 16:39, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay, perhaps I should follow up on my above statement to provide further explanation. In the filing of this case, the primary complainants engaged in blatant canvassing attempts to locate lists of users who have had prior negative experiences with The Rambling Man, either recently or from years past, so right off the bat, a good number of the incoming statements are thoroughly skewed. WP:ITN and WP:DYK are thankless administrative jobs, the main responsibility of which is to feature content on the main page either from timely stories or from recently created articles. Managing these aspects of the Wikipedia front page carries the burden of filtering out malformed, irrelevant, or otherwise poorly updated content. TRM has spearheaded efforts to optimize and improve ITN processes. The way he goes about it can be blunt and abrasive, but apart from that, carries a net benefit for the project.
The vast expanse of complaints are regarding his civility or his manner of communication. Civility, however sternly enforced of a policy it may be on Wikipedia, is a policy that is highly subjective and hotly contested. The de facto precedence surrounding the policy is that civility is countermanded by the weight and value of an editor's or admin's contributions. We have seen this time and time again on Wikipedia. If ArbCom is to take this case and make a ruling with regards to that, it would by extension need to exercise this same standard everywhere on Wikipedia - not just on the mainspace but also in the backchannels such as ITN, DYK, etc..
In any case, I do not feel that ArbCom should hear this case, not when other processes of mediation have yet to be fully exhausted before employing a broad, sweeping and - frankly at this time - excessive sanction.--WaltCip (talk) 13:46, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
@The ed17: - You accuse me of using the Malleus defense. Eric Corbett has gone to extraordinary lengths to boost a significant number of articles to featured and good status on Wikipedia, has created dozens of other articles of which some are also featured and/or good, and has been a highly active mainspace editor since the project's creation. And this is bad how, exactly?--WaltCip (talk) 16:26, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Winkelvi

Agree with WaltCip and Softlavender. As such, is it possible to initiate a boomerang for the filer of an inappropriate and frivolous ArbCom case? -- WV 16:58, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Purplebackpack89

There's no doubt about it; there's a problem here. There's an ANI about TRM's incivility seemingly every few weeks, and it's usually with a different editor every time. I also believe the Rambling Man has abused the power granted to him in reviewing good and featured article candidates. On GA and FA reviews, he has a habit of acting like he's the only person who knows anything or does any work. This is not only inaccurate, it's very offputting to people who have literally slaved to get articles to approach GA or FA stats. TRM makes his support for FA and GA contigent on often very pedantic points (one time he told me I should format a basketball FAC like a favorite boating FA of his; even though there were other existing basketball GAs that I had borrowed the format from). Also, there are times a GA/FA where he does very dickish things, such as demanding that GA/FA nominators make minor edits that would take him only a few seconds to do himself. GA and FA has increasingly "jump through unnecessary hoops set up by TRM"; TRM often uses his GA and FA comments to "teach lessons" and/or tailor FAs/GAs to his own personal whims rather than actually improve articles. It sounds like similar things are going on at ITN. People have tried to talk him down from his frequent incivility, his response is one or more of a) ignoring the comments (such as here and here), b) blaming the people who criticize him, and/or c) engaging in more incivility (such as here). I encourage ArbCom to investigate TRM with a scope of his interactions with other editors in the past 12-18 months, especially on User talk pages, ANI, ITN, FA and GA. I urge them to consider sanctions against this clearly disruptive editor. In general, I agree with the actions proposed by User:AlexTiefling above: removal of admin rights, and pulling him from ITN, GA and FA. pbp 17:13, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Responses to other statements
  • @331dot: One important thing to remember is that TRM has near-veto power at ITN, FA and GA, and that editors are almost forced to interact with him (like it or not) if they want to be participants in those projects. This is one thing I'd like addressed by ArbCom or somebody: how one editor can have so much sway over ITN, FA and GA, with very little checks and balances from anybody else? Also, I agree with User:Mandruss. TRM has had so many bad interactions with so many different editors that you can't pawn it off on the other editors anymore. It's clear at this point that he's a major part of the problem and should face its consequences. pbp 02:15, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  • @331dot: Am I to gather that you're OK with admins grossly violating civility or other pillars, so long as they don't misuse the tools? Because the basis I (and others here) have for removal of his admin tools is that gross incivility is conduct unbecoming an admin, even if isn't misuse of tools per se pbp 03:10, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  • @Begoon: @Floquenbeam: To say that TRM only chews out ITN/FA/GA trolls is a bit much. You also seem to suggest at least a little that TRM is entitled to use profanity and low-level personal attacks against said editors, which I think I would also dispute. pbp 20:21, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Masem

I will note that, in so far as my primarily interaction being at WP:ITN and its work pages, TRM has a "holier-than-thou" elitist attitude that is infectiously bad that others pick on (mostly in to counter TRM's behavior) and that has made it at times difficult to hold reasonable discussions but not to the point of disruption. But importantly, TRM has not shown any abuse of the admin bit or anything in terms of edit warring or the like. This is 100% an issue related to civility. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a case that ArbCom should take unless it can be shown that we've exhausted all possible attempts to help quell this attitude. Yes, TRM is frequently brought to ANI, but ANI itself is also the wrong place to address this (I lament the loss of RFC/U which would have been the best point for this type of discussion). --MASEM (t) 17:49, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Small note: though I was notified of this, I had seen this case get posted well before the notification and had planned to comment anyway. --MASEM (t) 14:36, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Davey2010

You can understand why TRM tends to be uncivil when those working at ITN/DYK etc try & push their stuff to the front page especially when it's utter crap, Admittingly I think TRM does need to tone it down a notch but other than that I don't see any problematic behaviour and as noted above this isn't ANI 2.0 - All of this could've been resolved at ANI, No admin tools have been used nor abused so this shouldn't be accepted, At most perhaps a reminder to TRM to tone it down abit. –Davey2010Talk 18:09, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Hzh

I had just one argument with TRM (that I know of), that is when he decided to deflect a discussion by turning the discussion onto me instead using something completely unrelated to the discussion. I thought it unwarranted that he should present himself as more qualified than me to edit when he is flouting the guidelines. However, it was something quickly forgotten (I had to go back and check what the argument was about), just the usual uncivil behaviour that I see quite often on WP, not serious enough to raise a stink about. But I am surprised to find out that he is an admin, and therefore should know better than to act in such a manner. Hzh (talk) 18:59, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by sunshineisles2

I've had more than a few encounters with TRM, mainly on the ITN page. Initially, I thought he was just a regular editor who tended to be more assertive than the rest. Later, upon reading more of his contributions, I discovered he was not only an admin, but regularly found it appropriate to insult and belittle users he disagreed with, often questioning their general intelligence while placing himself forward as infallible, unless proven wrong by someone he liked. Eventually, I found his comments so disheartening and unprofessional that I decided to leave ITN before ever really getting involved with any discussions. He is a prolific editor, to be sure, but he should know better. His default mindset seems to be defensiveness, which is hardly how you approach an editorial discussion. A close look at his behavior proves that he demonstrates limited respect for a cordial process, especially for someone who wields both administrative power and the responsibilities that come with it. Look at his response to this on his talk page -- he outright dismisses the case as a "lynch mob" run by "social media rejects and admin wannabes". --Sunshineisles2 (talk) 19:25, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Floquenbeam

I can't really defend TRM's übersnarkiness, and would have been tempted to take a pass on commenting on this case, except I can't help but note that editors with a reputation for rudeness/brusqueness (I can think of at least a half dozen, I'm sure you can too) sure do seem to attract more than their share of people who can't help seem to enjoy throwing small pebbles at them all the time to see if they can provoke another outburst. It's not 100% applicable, but I am reminded of User:Geogre/Comic. Not all of the people complaining above are such people - Kevin McE, in particular, always struck me as someone getting snarked at for no real reason - but several of them are. I don't think ArbCom is set up well to efficiently remove timesinks from the project - I certainly have no idea how to - but if any Arbs figure out how to do that, that would be helpful.

And geez, TRM, just learn to let shit go sometimes. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:29, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

See, here's a good example. Ed is being unethical by taking one phrase of my statement out of context. It makes me very angry. But if I were to say something rude in response, I'd be the "uncivil" one. And no one is going to tell him to stop being unethical. But people seem to think that's not the problem, the problem is being snarky. It is not against policy to be unethical, it is against policy to be rude? It is not against policy to be a gigantic timesink at ITN, but it is against policy to point it out? Weird. --Floquenbeam (talk) 03:36, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Also, is anyone going to point out the 500 word limit to George Ho? --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:07, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by AHeneen

I haven't participated in arbitration discussions before, but will give this a shot. First and foremost, Civility is one of the five pillars of Wikipedia. Administrators are not above civility policies! See WP:ADMINCOND: Administrators are expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others. Administrators are expected to follow Wikipedia policies and to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. ... [s]ustained or serious disruption of Wikipedia is incompatible with the status of administrator, and consistently or egregiously poor judgment may result in the removal of administrator status. And from the following section (WP:ADMINACCT): Administrators are expected to respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrator actions and to justify them when needed. Administrators who seriously, or repeatedly, act in a problematic manner or have lost the trust or confidence of the community may be sanctioned or have their access removed.

My experience with TRM was about 2 years ago, after which I stopped participating in ITN and haven't really interacted with TRM since. The opening statement by Banedon provides substantial evidence of TRM's continued, habitual uncivil behavior. The by others above and a quick browse through TRM's recent contributions) show that: 1) TRM's uncivil behavior is current and persistent & 2) very disruptive. Several editors support TRM for his many contributions, but that doesn't excuse persistent incivility that violates a core policy and creates a hostile editing environment! During my interaction, I noticed that TRM frequently made snarky comments (taunting/baiting fellow editors), belittled other editors, and made frequent, unreasonable use of profanity. For examples, see the post I made on TRM's talk page (second to last discussion). Compare that with the uncivil behaviors. I started a discussion at ANI (first ANI link at top of this thread), but it didn't go anywhere. Several users remarked that without abuse of admin tools, there's nothing to be done at ANI. TRM is brash, perpetually flings insults at others and then when confronted, uses belittling remarks towards the other editor(s) and refuses to let grudges go.

A starting point for appropriate sanctioning is probably to ban TRM from making any comments (including edit summaries!) about other editors and, to prevent circumvention of that, judgmental remarks about content added by other editors. [Post edit: "judgmental" would need to be defined in a way that allows discussion of content without circumventing the ban on uncivil comments towards other users.] A possible ban from ITN & DYK (other than making a nomination) should may also be considered.

Statement by Mandruss

We all lie somewhere on a spectrum of competence. It's a mathematical requirement that 1% of us are in the top 1% of competence, and they are in fact superior to 99% of the community. I submit that a very significant part of that competence is the ability to work cooperatively with other editors, this being fundamentally a collaborative project, and that that is something the community generally fails to recognize. Over all, then, TRM and some others are not nearly as high on the spectrum as they believe, nor nearly as valuable to the project as they believe.

If admins should exemplify Wikipedia principles, and I believe they should, TRM has demonstrated his lack of qualification for that role. Of course there are other admins who shouldn't be admins for the same reason, but to use that as an excuse is a recipe for failure. This has to be addressed one case at a time, and Other Stuff Exists.

This case is anything but "frivolous", and hyperbole like "witch hunt" and "lynching" is never helpful in these matters. ―Mandruss  04:33, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

331dot said: If people don't like their interactions with him, then they shouldn't interact with him. No one forces them to respond to his comments (and on some occasions that I see, people give as good as they get) - So if TRM is abusive, he can and should be ignored. If others are abusive to him, his abusive response is justified and well-deserved. The double standard could NOT be more clear, and yet it seems invisible to many. It forms the basis for much (most?) of his defense. ―Mandruss  01:02, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

331dot said: That isn't what I was suggesting at all- only that one can't fight fire with fire and then complain when they get burned. - The burned are not the only ones "complaining"" here. TRM's abuse has been directed at me only once in my memory, long ago, and it was because he didn't like my argument, not because I was remotely abusive to him. The rest of my experience in this matter consists of my observation of him directing his abuse at others who did not "deserve" it. Let's not make the serious mistake of dismissing the whole issue because some of it stems from grudges in editors who are as culpable as TRM.
Anyway, I believe that true civility means treating others with common human respect even if they don't deserve it—no, especially when they don't deserve it. Things get very tangled and confused when we tolerate and excuse "deserved" abuse, since it opens the door to abuse by anyone who feels that their opponent "deserves" it. Lo and behold, Wikipedia is very tangled and confused on the issue of civility, and ANI is a continuous stream of disputes between editors who both feel the other "deserved" their abuse. From where I sit, it's systemic insanity. ―Mandruss  01:26, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Try to imagine a mainstream (consensus) psychologist saying that the "deserved abuse" concept is in any way conducive to productive collaboration. I can't imagine that, can you? And yet, productive collaboration is what we're here for. Simple logic dictates that (1) you recognize that the "deserved abuse" approach is directly counter to Wikipedia's mission goals, and you change your position accordingly, or (2) you completely dismiss and reject mainstream psychology. Full stop. ―Mandruss  02:51, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

But let's confine this to policy for the moment. My position is fully and unambiguously supported by WP:BATTLEGROUND, part of a Wikipedia policy. What policy fully and unambiguously supports the opposing position? As a group, do we support policy here, or don't we? What is the point of policy that is routinely and systematically ignored? This is not rhetorical, it's at the crux of the matter, and I would be genuinely interested in serious and considered responses. Absence of same will be telling. ―Mandruss  00:00, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

To expand the scope of this particular case into investigations of DYK/ITN/RD, etc., is to endorse and reinforce the "deserved abuse" doctrine. I feel that it's essential to handle the issues separately, without linkage.
Fram's statement, People repeatedly bringing wrong information to the Main Page are in my view a much worse problem than the possible incivility of those dealing with it. typifies many of the statements here. It presents a false dichotomy, pretending that we must choose between civility and quality. That the best way to deal with disrupters is with a harsh verbal response, increasing in harshness until the desired result is achieved, that result being humiliation and intimidation severe enough to cause the target to back down. All for the good of Wikipedia, supposedly, but not materially different from resolving disagreements by violence. This is not what ArbCom should be supporting. ―Mandruss  21:29, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Montanabw

This is a case that ArbCom should snow decline. The reality is simple: "TRM is a longtime editor with a productive track record, and he has not abused his admin tools." Full stop. End of story. I have had nothing but positive interactions with this editor over the years, even when we have disagreed. Be civil to him and he's civil to you. Be a snotrag toward him and, well, you're on your own. Yes, TRM has been a little more snarky than usual lately, but I think that it's just a bit of wiki-burnout and it will pass (except perhaps for those who insist on lobbing pebbles).

Further ArbCom isn't, as another editor stated, ANI2. People need to focus on content, and, to be frank, listen to experienced editors. Montanabw(talk) 06:38, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Only in death

I look forward to the opening of this case so I can present evidence of continuous, lengthy ongoing errors, mistakes and other assorted misdeeds by a selection of regulars at ITN/DYK that require continuous policing by vigilant watchers like TRM. I am not sure some of the DYK people really want that however.... Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:31, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement from The ed17

Hi arbs. The statements above say all you need to know to accept the case. Even The Rambling Man's supporters admit that there is a problem, even after this very body admonished him in January of this year, just seven months ago:

  • "The way he goes about it can be blunt and abrasive, but apart from that, carries a net benefit for the project." (This is the Malleus defense. I hope the arbs will reject it.)
  • "You can understand why TRM tends to be uncivil ..." (No. There is no excuse for being uncivil to editors. We are supposed to have collegial editing environment.)
  • "Yes, TRM has been a little more snarky than usual lately ..." (Seven months after being admonished for incivility, he's "more snarky than usual.")
  • "I can't really defend TRM's übersnarkiness ..."

That said, I'll keep going.

I and many others have been at the stinging end of The Rambling Man's barbs recently, barbs that tear down the "collegial atmosphere needed to create a good encyclopedia," and I believe it's time for Arbcom to step in again and enforce its admonishment. Otherwise, what's the point of passing it? As Banedon says, "If the Committee has repeatedly admonished and sanctioned those who act poorly when confronted with provocation and coordinated harassment, including TRM, then it surely must respond to a pattern of the same behavior in the face of repeated attempts by numerous long-standing editors to work with him in a productive and civil manner." (italics mine)

You can see examples in Banedon's list of diffs. Just last month, for example, when Sca felt compelled to say "TRM, really, do you always have to get in a dig or insult every time you communicate with me? I didn't start this exchange that way – I sought to be conciliatory." Or AlexTiefling four days before, although not made in response to incivility in this case: "Have you considered being less patronising and condescending?" Or from January's arbitration case: "I speak only as someone who has suffered for years from incivility and bullying from this admin at WP:ITN." Such behavior has only continued.

Taken as a whole, there's a clear pattern of an utter disregard for WP:ADMINCOND by The Rambling Man. I implore Arbcom to take this case. No one should get a free license to be openly uncivil to other contributors, no matter what area they're working in. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:51, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

+100000 to Mandruss' statements above. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:53, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
@Arbs: the argument that TRM did not misuse his administrator tools, appearing both above and below, is a misnomer. The Rambling Man has been admonished was cited by several members of this committee in January for "incivility and using inflammatory language" and was "advised that instances of incivility or inflammatory language may result in sanctions." He has continued to use inflammatory language, and that's why we're here today. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 00:54, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Underlined text added for accuracy, see below. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:16, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
@George Ho: thank you, I've been linking to the wrong section. I suppose this comes down to how you read the "integrated" motion, which says "The Committee notes that The Rambling Man ... has used uncivil and inflammatory language and made personal attacks during the course of this dispute ([39], [40], [41]). He is advised that future similar conduct may result in sanctions. Noting that The Rambling Man has retired during the course of this request, his return to his usual productive content work would be welcomed." It doesn't specifically "admonish" him, but to me it reads very close to the intended admonishment. YMMV. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:16, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
@Floquenbeam: no ping? You've literally stated that you can't defend TRM's problematic comments, so I fail to see where I'm being unethical. In any case, taken to a logical extreme, you believe that TRM should be able to get away with any invective language as long as he can claim that he was provoked? Right. I assume that's not your intended meaning. I do wonder what happened to this Floq, who spoke out against TRM's unnecessarily inflammatory language. Nothing against you personally, Floq, but I can't disagree more with your comments here.
There's a way to say "you're a gigantic timesink," and it's not this. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:31, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by 331dot

Like others above I urge that this be declined. The bringer of this case concedes that TRM does not abuse his admin tools and is a productive contributor in general. I think that's all that matters. If people don't like their interactions with him, then they shouldn't interact with him. No one forces them to respond to his comments(and on some occasions that I see, people give as good as they get) Isn't their something better we could all be doing?

@Mandruss: That isn't what I was suggesting at all- only that one can't fight fire with fire and then complain when they get burned. There's enough bad behavior to go around and it isn't justified when it happens, but I am unconvinced that this is the forum to deal with it. 331dot (talk) 01:18, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

@Purplebackpack89: TRM does not solely control what is on ITN(I can't speak to the other projects as I don't participate there) so I find "near-veto power" to be a grave exaggeration. If you want to check or balance him, I invite you to participate in ITN. Unless you are accusing him of misusing his admin powers removing them should be a nonstarter. Even the bringer of this case does not see that as an issue. 331dot (talk) 02:23, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

@Purplebackpack89: I think there are other ways to address the issue and that we all have better things to do. 331dot (talk) 03:33, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Medeis

While I respect user Baseball Bugs benevolence above, I have to say that after thinking about this for 24 hours, I agree in full with User:AlexTiefling's recommendation. TRM should be stripped of his adminship (something he himself has "dared" the community to do in the past) and be banned from ITN and the Ref Desks for a certain period but without prejudice. In other words, after a certain period of good behavior, he should be able to re-apply as a newbie for adminship and request that the topic bans be removed.

My opinion is based on the uncontested claim that TRM is regularly and continues to be uncivil at ITN, and his anti-American bias is intolerably unbecoming of an admin, and frequently affects his actions regarding whether an issue is ready to post or worthy of posting. This has been one reason that rather than continue to improve ITN noms so that they are postworthy, I have simply stayed away, and only made minor comments.

Having had to spend much of 2014 dealing with a request that TRM be IBANned from dealing with me, I am sick of the issue. Even then the exact same attacks continued from IP addresses after the ban. At some point TRM seems to have become bored due to my lack of responses. But he simply continued the same behavior with other users. I have saved scores of edits and diffs from that period, and would be glad to retrieve them and make them available as a subpage on my userpage if this arbcom request is accepted.

μηδείς (talk) 22:49, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

[Comment removed, with permission from Medeis. Thank you. Drmies (talk) 01:31, 24 August 2016 (UTC)]

Statement by Rhoark

The only thing I'm gathering from all these statements is that a number of people are upset with this editor, but that's equally likely to be a symptom of doing something very right as it is of doing something very wrong. A few comments have indicated there's maybe a problem with respect to American politics, in which case discretionary sanctions are available. Mostly though it seems to be about feelings. Arbitration is not therapy. Rhoark (talk) 04:00, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Yellow Dingo

I urge the arbs to decline this case. Although TRM has had some civility issues in the past he has not abused the tools. I don't see what the eventual findings of this could be. He hasn't done wrong enough to be-dysopped or blocked. I'm also not seeing enough evidence that points towards a legitimate need for an arbcom case. I don't wish to be listed as a party if this case is accepted. - Yellow Dingo (talk) 05:28, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Begoon

This case should be declined. We have a complaint from a filer with an obvious grudge, who, on filing, canvassed over a dozen users they thought would support them. One of the users thus canvassed proceeded to do their own, selective canvassing, of similar magnitude. This, in itself, skews participation horribly.

To the specifics, TRM monitors items destined for the main page. The projects feeding the main page tend to have more than their fair share of participants more concerned about a shiny bauble for their user page or "points" in some "cup" or other than in the quality of main page content overall. This by no means applies to all, but it's a genuine concern. In the process of checking main page content, TRM sometimes needs to be firm about quality, and sometimes needs to point out that particular users are not exercising due care, or are becoming timesinks. I have personal experience of the latter, and it can be very hard to do that without a grumpy word or two.

I can't help but predict a veritable glut of pile-on cases like this, should "everyone with any grudge", non tool-abuse cases, canvassed willy-nilly, become the accepted norm here, and the damage to the editing atmosphere in general would be immense, in my opinion. Pitchforks already seem to be the tool of choice at ANI - I hope those above who say that this is not ANI2 are not mistaken.

Statement by Unscintillating

This diff, [48] , is consistent with the above "Statement by Banedon".  In this diff, I advise the bureaucrats that a bureaucrat (TRM) has called the discussion at an RfA talk page play and entertainment.  TRM, at 17:50 on 6 June 2013 states, "we should all pick and choose our language more clearly and unambiguously, particularly in inflammatory situations"; while in the same sentence using the word "appalling" and other charged language.  Unscintillating (talk) 15:17, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Ritchie333

To save time, I'll run the case for you all. The result is : A finger-wag and "tut tut" is issued to The Rambling Man for excessive snark when WP:ERRORS gets too big, and he is advised to chill out and do some more work on Alf Ramsey instead. That's about the extent of it - anything else is a massive time-wasting dramah fest that is best avoided. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 12:09, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Cas Liber

Accepting this case would be unfair if the committee did not in turn examine what TRM has complained about. I believe TRM could improve his interpersonal comment but his complaints generally have substance. Given the primary task is building an encyclopedia, that would mean that to do this justice, at the very least the issues that have cropped up need to be looked at. We do have processes for these and they are proceeding. Hence I think that accepting a broad case would be unnecessary doubling up and a narrow one unfair to TRM as it ignores problems elsewhere. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:22, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis: what I meant was that several times that TRM has complained about an issue with an editor or process (such as DYK or whatever), there has been some discussion at AN/I, the DYK talk page or somewhere, Initially I thought that these having been discussed that examining them would be repetitious. However, many debates that do not have a clear consensus result in a stalemate at these venues. So maybe arbcom looking at them is a good thing. From what I have seen, all incidents relate to TRM's frustration with some aspect of encyclopedia-building and related problem. All his complaints are about editing of others. These need to be examined, and it may be that sanctions are required. It is unfair to not look at these, at least the most serious of these, RexxS has it right about TRM's attitude to mainpage material and this is a view shared by others. However, some problems TRM has highlighted are worse than others and may need investigation and sanction themselves. I can only speak of my experience of DYK - I have had positive experiences with many editors there and am happy to accept some errors in food faith. However some material that TRM and Fram have highlighted has left me feeling sheepish at times and definitely uneasy. I feel very strongly on this that arbcom needs to look at the worst of these, and recommend that TRM and Fram point these out. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 11:11, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Cassianto

This case should be refused. TRM does a tough job at ITN. He is a great editor and an asset to the encyclopedia. Add that to his ability to conduct his administrative responsibilities in a fair and honest way, and we have the makings of one of the encyclopedias most valued people. His work at ITN is something to be admired; it's a tough job and it comes with its challenges. Incivility is purely subjective and is often cried out by those who dont like to be told otherwise. He is honest and frank and sometimes people don't like to hear the truth. CassiantoTalk 23:33, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Miniapolis

I wanted to stay out of this since I'm a clerk, but since George is now a listed party I have to recuse myself anyway. TRM can be brusque, but not without provocation; he's a good admin and exemplifies a net positive to the project, the key issue here. This is a witch hunt (complete with canvassing), and the committee should decline the case. Miniapolis 01:43, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Jcc

Note: I am not involved with any disputes that TRM has had, and this is merely my thoughts on whether the case should be accepted, and have not been "pinged". I think it important however, that Arbitration accepted the case against Michael Hardy, and I think it fair that if ArbCom accepted that case, then this case should also be accepted- the canvassed editors have come up with remarkably polite and civil arguments, and TRM is worse than Michael Hardy. TRM has already been admonished by ArbCom, and even as a completely uninvolved editor, from the diffs and evidence provided, and after looking through the ANI threads and his talk archives, in my opinion, his behaviour is certainly not what you would expect from an admin, as an example, this and more recently, this

Why should we go after those who significantly help the project? Simple- even if they do that, that cannot be used as a justification to allow their behaviour. I remember quite distinctly, and I'm sure you do, the case of Technical 13. He went on personal attacks, and even outed someone. But admins let him continue- why? Because he was a wikicode genius. His programming and template coding ability was amazing. Of course, he got blocked a few times. He got warned countless times. In the end, someone filed an ANI thread against him. There, everyone flocked to his defense- the "most productive and active template editor", I quote. And he got away. But this editor was persistent. In PhantomTech's own words, "though this would restrict or completely prevent any further "good work" done by Technical 13, the fact is, his poor behavior burdens the community and takes away time that others could devote to do their own "good work"." So he took it to ArbCom. And guess who got indef blocked? Technical 13. The question is here, does TRM's poor behaviour overly burden the community and has he abused the admin tools and is lack of civility considered to be worthy enough of a desysop? (and here's where the parallels with T13's story ends.) That's what will have to be proven.

Conclusion? There is a case here. jcc (tea and biscuits) 07:13, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Gerda

A case would be a waste of time. Adding more words to what Casliber and Cassianto said the same. Let's get back to quality content. Thank you, Rambling Man, for doing the tough job of quality control, even if at times it hit me (most recently Bells across the Meadows, which admittedly was not perfectly sourced), but always in civility. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:29, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Edmund Patrick

As has already been said the case should be dismissed, many reasons why IMHO but the principle is TRM sometimes makes you shake your head and say "surely there could have been a better way to say that" but continually throughout TRM's interactions in / for wikipedia she/he upholds the highest reguard for the project and its aims.Edmund Patrickconfer 08:43, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

@Μηδείς: have you edited TRM's "Thanks" on your talk page? as I cannot find the word, or sentiment, at all in his message, rather a request for you to continue research to ascertain who actually did hijack your email account. I support that request as whoever it was would not get support from me, or I believe, others.

Statement by Fyunck

Goodness these things get messy. Can TRM be brusk, surely so, but he has not abused administrator tools. I have found through the years that civility is given back by TRM as compared to what is thrown at him. He's scolded me and worked well with me on several occasions, and I can say he's fair but firm. That's all you can ask at wikipedia where tempers can fly off at a moments notice. We don't hear the inflection in our typing. Handling the stink TRM does on daily basis is bound to to ruffle feathers, so let's dump this misplaced complaint and get back to things that matter. Fyunck(click) (talk) 23:24, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Stephen

The Rambling Man is a prolific producer of quality, referenced content (a complete history of the Boat Race, for example). He is also a firm believer that any content featured on the encyclopedia's Main Page is of similar quality, is fact checked and is impeccably referenced. Unfortunately this means that all those who have tried to promote sub-standard content have been refused, and have been brought to task by him. And as well as the poor content promoters there are those who continually try to push their own parochial agendas, or those who are here to continually make "jokes", or those who wish to promote popularity and page views over newsworthiness and quality, and those who propose repeatedly rejected "improvements". Over the years that amounts to a lot of people. And those people have all come up against The Rambling Man's calling them out. He's sometimes terse and abrasive, but honestly, when you've had to make the same argument to the same person a dozen times in a row, bluntness is sometimes the only way to get the point across. Please dismiss this case. Stephen 23:43, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Count Iblis

This case is superficially similar to the Michael Hardy case. In both cases, there was no abuse of Admin tools, we're dealing with less than ideal behavior. In case of Michael Hardy, the problem was a single incident that escalated at AN/I in this case there is a longer term issue with the way the editor communicates when reviewing entries for the main page and the ITN section. What ArbCom could do is to accept the case but then also take a serious look at the way the venues for discussion like AN/I, ITN/C etc. function in practice. The cause of a problem doesn't necessarily have to originate from a person, it can also be that the way discussions are structured will tend to provoke tensions between editors whenever an editor would attempt to uphold high standards. The higher your standard is for an article to be mentioned in ITN, the higher your standard for good behavior is at AN/I, the more toes you will step on, you're bound to provoke negative responses. After a while you're bound to get into personal disputes. While ArbCom cannot impose such a system, ArbCom should be able to fault an existing system. While you could say that other editors do not show the same behavior like TRM, one should also consider if the nicer editors tend to refrain from criticism and if standards would slip if it were left to them. If so then there is a generic problem that could e.g. be dealt with via an anonymous review system (e.g. people can comment indirectly via email to a clerk, the clerk posts the message anatomizing the names of the commentators). Count Iblis (talk) 00:46, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by RexxS

Just to put some balance back.

I'm realistic enough to know that I'm not the easiest person to get on with, but I'd have to say that TRM is someone I've never had a problem with. That's not to say we've not worked together. I first encountered TRM back when I was working to try to improve the accessibility of lists for screen readers and TRM was the FL director. He listened patiently to many technical arguments I made and, having accepted them, he worked assiduously to ensure that Featured Lists are among the most accessible articles on Wikipedia. We worked together on designing a system for processing Featured Lists to take on a regular spot on the Main Page, and I never knew him to be anything but a pleasure to work with. TRM put his mark on the FL process and left it in a vastly better state than when he took on the job. (If anybody really wants diffs of all this, well, I can find them if you insist, but I don't think I'm making claims that are not already common knowledge).

I can see that not everybody shares my opinion of TRM, but I remember what it was like when I was the father of a very young kid, sleepless nights, friction at work getting me down, and so on.

Anyway, I'll make an offer to solve the above issues brought to ArbCom. If TRM wants to, he can email me or call me before he succumbs to the temptation to write something snarky and I'll try to talk him out of it each time. How does that sound? --RexxS (talk) 01:01, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

I have not been active at In the News or Did You Know. I have been active at the Reference Desks. The Reference Desks are a mess. As noted by previous editors, the Reference Desks have a history of unpleasant interactions, which have in the past resulted in interaction bans. The Rambling Man has contributed to the climate of unpleasantness, including by pushing conspiracy theories involving other administrators and the ArbCom. I ask the ArbCom to accept a broad case that includes interactions between registered editors at the Reference Desks. (The Reference Desks also have a problem with trolling, which provokes hostile interactions between registered editors.) I would suggest that the ArbCom consider imposing Discretionary Sanctions on the Reference Desks, because a few regular editors there engage in problematic behavior. I am not familiar with the environment at ITN or DYK, but the ArbCom might also consider imposing Discretionary Sanctions on ITN and DYK if it is as hostile as some of the parties have implied.

I will stress that I am not asking the ArbCom to desysop The Rambling Man, but that I am asking the ArbCom to examine the conduct of The Rambling Man and other editors at the Reference Desks. (I didn’t ask the ArbCom to desysop Michael Hardy either, only to examine his conduct.) I am asking the ArbCom to accept a broad case involving interactions at ITN, DYK, and RD, including but not limited to The Rambling Man. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:30, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Reference Desk Comments

One of the arbitrators asks what the problems are at the Reference Desks. There are several problems at the Reference Desks. One of them is trolling. There are a few known trolls, in particular an anti-Jewish troll. Because of questions by trolls, it is often necessary to semi-protect the desks. A few regular editors strongly object to all semi-protection, thinking that the Reference Desks have a special mission to unregistered editors. There are also improper questions, such as requests for medical advice, and arguments, mostly at the Reference Desk talk page, about whether to decline those questions, delete them, or hat them, and what to do with inappropriate answers. The Rambling Man has aggravated these problems with snarky and hostile comments about other administrators and about the ArbCom that come close to being conspiracy theories. Some regular editors have also contributed to these problems on the Reference Desk talk page by inappropriate criticism of other editors. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:42, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by EdChem

This is the sort of case request I had in mind when I commented at the Michael Hardy request about setting a precedent. TRM is even one of the admins I was thinking of, because his behaviour at DYK is problematic and at times objectionable. Like Fram, TRM is actively involved in monitoring the DYK section of the main page. Both have found plenty of errors which should not have made it through reviewing, and I agree with Casliber that some of what they have found is truly embarrassing. Unfortunately, both also take an approach at WT:DYK which is aggressive and (in my view) counter-productive. Their posts often provoke a predictable hostile reaction and their agenda to improve quality (which is laudable) is being actively inhibited by their approach. I have tried to point this out and also that pulling hooks for trivial and easily correctable errors is unhelpful (in fact, it could be argued to be tool misuse as the main page is protected). TRM has declaration that DYK needs to get used to trivial errors resulting in hooks being pulled; Fram has stated that DYK rules do not apply to admins and he refuses to return pulled hooks after correction. I repeat that higher quality reviewing is definitely needed and they both have pointed out significant errors, so I support their goals – but their methods are problematic, uncivil, and (worst of all) ineffective.

I am conflicted on this case request, however. DYK certainly has problems which need to be addressed, but I don't know if ArbCom can help. Classifying TRM and Fram as INVOLVED as far as DYK goes, and thus only able to fix errors which are so unambiguous that any admin would do the same, would stop the POINTy pulls but also make the correct and necessary pulls more difficult. ArbCom could ban some of the DYK contributors who make mistakes in reviewing and editing most often – I am sure a list could be generated easily enough – but that would mean identifying those editors as parties early on as ArbCom refuses to sanction non-parties. Whilst both of these editors are blunt and direct (which is fine) and unpleasant at times (which is not fine), I don't see how desysopping is justified based on the DYK situation. ArbCom may decide to sanction TRM based on actions spread across multiple areas of the encyclopaedia, though he reminds me a little of other editors who contribute a lot of content (and in TRM's case, also in project space) but struggle with civility.

FYI, DYK areas which need to be addressed (but not sure ArbCom can help) include:

  • Handling poor-quality reviews - remove QPQ credits, require additional checks, bans, etc
  • Handling editors who generate flawed articles
  • Ensuring the prep and queue areas are populated long enough for extra checks to take place
  • Streamlining rules
  • LavaBaron was placed under restrictions from AN recently, some of these might be modified into a suitable standard model for future problematic editors. (LavaBaron, I'm sorry but it was inevitable your case would become a test for a more generally used tool.)
  • Hooks that are boring
  • Limitations on the "quirky" hooks

Statement by SchroCat

Another one calling for a decline here (I'm sure we've probably gone way past the 'snow close' mark by now). Yes, TRM can come across to some editors as a little brusque, but some of the main page issues to attract a range of problems from numerous editors and not enough heavy-admin support to do the work he does. While TRM may step on some toes from time to time, there are some who take umbrage at a blunt, but not impolite response to something that would have pressed a button on all but the canonised. – SchroCat (talk) 15:05, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Kurtis

Being a sporadic regular at ITN for at least five years now and a long-term editor before that, I do have some degree of familiarity with The Rambling Man despite my limited interactions with him. I don't think anyone would deny that he has a short fuse, and he's not known to "suffer fools gladly", so to speak. ITN would be affected if he were no longer able to serve as an administrator. Would that be for the best? I'm not sure, and it boils down to differing perspectives. For those who've been at the receiving end of his frustration, he probably doesn't seem like somebody who has the temperament for adminship in the first place, no matter how good his contributions have been. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that he has ever abused or even misused his privileges, and the maintenance of ITN would take a hit if he wound up desysopped.

I think the Arbitration Committee should accept this case and expand its scope to include ITN as a whole. Rejecting it will only kick the can further down the road. A full case will probably help the situation improve. Kurtis (talk) 19:29, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Guy Macon

This is in response to arbitrator GorillaWarfare's request:

"To those of you suggesting the case scope be broadened to include entire areas such as ITN/RD/DYK, can you elaborate briefly on some of the broader problems you've been seeing there that you feel the Arbitration Committee can address (and that can't be addressed in other venues), if you haven't already? I have submitted a few DYKs (though none terribly recently), but am unfamiliar with RD and ITN, and their associated problems. --GorillaWarfare 01:49, 25 August 2016 (UTC)"

Please do not close this page without giving us a day or two to compose a proper response or suggesting another page (evidence? workshop?) where a discussion about whether the case scope should be broadened would be welcome. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:44, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Fram

I haven't been active at ITN a lot, so can't really comment about it, although in general I have the impression that TRM tries to maintain some content standards there, which is a good thing, and in general does a lot of work there.

As for DYK: TRM, Gatoclass and I are the three main people trying to keep errors which slipped through the standard review process from appearing on the Main Page (or remaining there for too long). This is necessary far too often, and nothing that has been attempted seems to improve this. Removing those editors from DYK who lack the necessary skills or patience to thoroughly check the one line that will appear on the main page is almost impossible (I tried it in the past with LauraHale andd recently with LavaBaron, and should try it with Cwmhiraeth in all fairness), although some have voluntarily left DYK for the laughing stock that GA is at the moment (Nvchar is a typical example).

Dealing with errors on DYK almost invariably results in complaints, no matter how you handle it. People tend to defend their work against all evidence and insist that it would have been better to let the incorrect hook linger on the main page while a discussion was held about it, as if DYK exposure on the main page isn't one of the most time critical elements we have.

When the same people over and over again, or people who really should know better, try to disrupt the process and make it clear that having a hook on the Main Page is more important than having a correct hook and a decent article, then it becomes hard to remain civil and patient at all times. Some people (a type of editor which seems to congregate around DYK) see it as their playground, a place to collect icons to put on their user page and points for Wikicups.

And then we have editors like admin User:Ritchie333, who reinserts his own incorrect hook directly into the Main Page (through full protection) after the error in it has been spotted by Gatoclass, and when questioned ignores the WP:INVOLVED breach completely and dismisses the error in his hook as an "opinion", even though everyone else (even people who at first mistakenly approved the hook) now agree that it was incorrect.

The problem at DYK is not someone like TRM (who is sorely needed there), but people like Ritchie333, User:Cwmhiraeth, and a handful of others. Perhaps not something that ArbCom can tackle (apart from the infractions by Ritchie333), but surely something to take into account if this case gets accepted. People repeatedly bringing wrong information to the Main Page are in my view a much worse problem than the possible incivility of those dealing with it. Fram (talk) 12:26, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

@Cwmhiraeth: you're confusing cause and effect. The DYK project is in crisis because the often humiliating errors from nominators and reviewers get found and reverted. When I pull hooks from prep, queue or main page I normally only indicate the error and the source I used. Only when editors (like you) refuse to accept or are unable to understand that they are wrong (e.g. in your case when you used some OR to write your hook) may things get humiliating for them. "Some of the problems Fram reports are genuine": that is "some" as in "99%"? Feel free to list some of the hooks I pulled from prep, queue or main page where the problems were not genuine. Or retract your claim of course. " I often feel constrained to build sets myself because nobody else has been doing so." Please don't feel so constrained, no one will blame you for not building prep sets. As for hooks you nominated, may I remind you of the very recent Template:Did you know nominations/Notiomys, where I tried a gentle approach without pulling it from prep, only to have it appear unmodified (and wrong) on the main page because you were unable to understand the problems with it. That wasn't the first one you nominated which I had to pull for OR reasons. That you also often are incorrect in hooks you review is simply an additional problem. Fram (talk) 13:43, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Cwmhiraeth

This case should be refused. TRM has been uncivil to me at times at DYK but not beyond the bounds of acceptability, and I have worked with him in other areas without problem. I would not have known about this arbitration request or been interested in making a statement here had it not been for the mention of my name by Fram in the statement immediately before this.

The DYK project is undergoing a bit of a crisis, largely because of attacks by Fram, pulling hooks, naming and shaming editors, and generally trying to humiliate other editors that make mistakes, ably supported by TRM. Some of the problems Fram reports are genuine, other are trivial and nitpicky. As a result, the number of editors prepared to build prep sets ready for display on the main page has dwindled to a point where I often feel constrained to build sets myself because nobody else has been doing so. The articles I nominate are not generally the ones that get pulled by Fram, however I get criticised for promoting hooks that are problematic rather than anything else. Since recently I have been promoting perhaps 70% of the hooks, it is not surprising that my name has been associated with some problem ones. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:11, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

@Fram: Not so [49]. Nobody backed up your point of view which you expressed incoherently. I did not agree with you and nobody backed up my point of view either. This is not an appropriate venue to discuss the issue. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 17:24, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by {Non-party}

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

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Notified TRM. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 05:58, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Multiple unrequired notifications removed and please would everyone remember no canvassing. Amortias (T)(C) 19:22, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Statement names formatted to the agreed useage - if you wish to state your non-involvement please do so in the body of your statement. Amortias (T)(C) 21:54, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
  • @Hammersoft: Thanks for voicing your concerns. Please see Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Clerks/Procedures#Statement_and_evidence_management; Amortias's action was completely correct under procedure. To clarify, the "Statement by {Non-party}" could be clarified to be "Statement by {Username}"; I suspect the original authors of the template knew parties' statements would be listed above everyone else's. That being said, sometimes enforcement of procedure isn't the best thing to do, such as when it causes more drama than it's worth. That was what happened the last four requests, as you pointed out. Thanks, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 01:39, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
    • @Hammersoft: No. Editors have bickered over it in the past, and to quote an arb via email, it can get out of hand when it becomes "Statement by kind of uninvolved except the one time last year...". Absolute waste of time for something that can be clarified with two words in a statement, "I'm uninvolved". It has always been procedure, if not codified, that clerks may standardize the headers; that procedural subsection doesn't mandate us to standardize, it only describes our discretion to and outlines guidelines we may consider ("when the deviation is disruptive, disputed, egregious, or break links"). Not only am I personally not inclined to change it back, I couldn't if I wanted to. That was not a unilateral policy change, it was debated on clerks-l with arbs in favor. If you have further remarks on this, they should not be submitted in this case request. WT:AC/C would be a more permissible venue. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 03:01, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • George Ho has been added as a party by direction of a member of the Committee. I have also standardized statement headers. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:48, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Since George Ho is now a listed party and we've had a recent dispute (see link in my statement above), I must recuse myself. Miniapolis 01:46, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Notified users of overlength statements. Amortias (T)(C) 12:27, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Heads up everyone – we have been directed to open the case at 00:00, 28 August 2016. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 00:56, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

The Rambling Man: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <8/0/1>

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

  • I should probably recuse on this. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:30, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment no opinion on the substance as yet, but Banedon, your second diff after "antagonized countless users" appears to be the wrong link, or you've cut off the oldid - it currently links to a 2006 IP edit to ankylosing spondylitis (which is indeed a pain in the neck, but nothing like arbitration... ;) Opabinia regalis (talk) 05:49, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Few comments:
      • To echo Amortias' post above, please let's stop with the user talk notifications, everyone. Canvassing has a different dynamic here, where the final decision is made by a predetermined, fixed group, but we still need to hear from a balanced cross-section of the community.
      • Please leave the clerking - adding links, formatting, etc. - to the clerks. That's why they get paid the big bucks ;)
      • Don't take this as a statement of scope for a case should one be accepted - we haven't discussed it - but it would be helpful to decide whether a case is needed if those commenting would highlight recent matters, especially those that arose after the January 2016 declined case request involving TRM. Opabinia regalis (talk) 20:57, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Still considering - The Rambling Man, I know you said elsewhere that you don't plan to comment, but it would be useful if you did. I'm not convinced we need a "TRM" case, but I could certainly be convinced we need an "Interactions at DYK and ITN" case. Opabinia regalis (talk) 17:16, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
    • I am leaning toward accepting a broad case, but first, Casliber, what do you mean by "doubling up"? Opabinia regalis (talk) 04:40, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
  • OK, accept for a broad case about interactions at ITN and DYK, not a narrow one focused on TRM alone. Agree with those who recommended that scope related to TRM and "incivility" should be matters after the January 2016 motion. Opabinia regalis (talk) 06:23, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment waiting for statements, but any acceptance comes with the caveat of expanding the number of parties beyond TRM. --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 19:49, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Traditionally, before voting whether to accept a case, I like to wait for all involved parties to make a statement; The Rambling Man, however, has said he plans to ignore this case, for the moment being. So, we may as well vote and my vote is in favour of accepting this case request. Salvio Let's talk about it! 22:21, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Accept there seem to be unresolved problems. DGG ( talk ) 03:16, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Accept. I also agree with Opabinia regalis that we need to consider the case scope, both in terms of whose conduct we examine, and whether we should limit the time range. Conduct in more distant history is of course helpful in terms of background knowledge, but I don't want anyone doing double jeopardy for incidents they've already been taken to task over. This might be complicated if we are considering the conduct of multiple people, or conduct at an entire venue, but we can put some thought into the best solution. GorillaWarfare (talk) 05:37, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
    To those of you suggesting the case scope be broadened to include entire areas such as ITN/RD/DYK, can you elaborate briefly on some of the broader problems you've been seeing there that you feel the Arbitration Committee can address (and that can't be addressed in other venues), if you haven't already? I have submitted a few DYKs (though none terribly recently), but am unfamiliar with RD and ITN, and their associated problems. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:49, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
    @Guy Macon: Agreed. It doesn't make sense to open the case without defining the scope, so I've asked the clerks to hold off on closing this page for another two days. GorillaWarfare (talk) 23:59, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Accept with the understanding that the case will not be limited to TRM and George Ho. Doug Weller talk 11:22, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Accept, I suppose--we're dealing with Michael Hardy, we should deal with this. Let me note though that this case may include interactions at DYK and ITN, but this should not be about DYK and ITN. Generating a list of poor writers/reviewers, for instance, is a great idea, but don't bring that list to us: bring it to the DYK talk page or to AN. (I've spent enough time at DYK to know that quality control is difficult.) Drmies (talk) 03:24, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Accept with the caveat that any scope related to TRM should be after January 2016. Per the ever-so-wise Hammersoft, it was stated by the committee that "future similar conduct [incivility] may result in sanctions". This is enough evidence that there has been a problem in the past, we do not need to dig through 10+ years and 150,000 edits to prove this. --kelapstick(bainuu) 03:35, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Debresser

Initiated by Debresser at 13:01, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. User_talk:Debresser#Notice_that_you_are_now_subject_to_an_arbitration_enforcement_sanction
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
  • I request the sanction against me be revoked and the other two parties strongly warned against trying to game the system to push their POV

Statement by Debresser

Two editors with a strong POV in the Israeli-Palestine-conflict area have removed information they consider to reflect negatively on Mahmoud Abbas, and have made other edits to that article, in disregard of serious objections by me as well as uninvolved editors, refusing to participate in discussions, using ever alternating baseless arguments in an attempt to push their POV, filing a baseless 1RR report against me at WP:AE in an attempt to use that forum to remove my resistance to their edits, and making personal attacks or belittling me and other dissident opinions. The report was made after I had made a second revert after 26 hours,[50][51] [52]. The sanction of a three month topic ban was imposed by Lord Roem[53] in disregard of several editors supporting my point of view and joining my request for WP:BOOMERANG sanctions against Nableezy (and now Nishidani), and of the fact that only one other admin had expressed an opinion and was clearly against any sanctions, so the sanction is not even supported by a majority of admins. Likewise I fail to understand why Nableezy and Nishidani have not been sanctioned, even though their behavior was clearly POV-inspired, attempting to game the system, stonewalling on talkpage and independent forums, and included repeated reverts as well. I think the sanction is imposed without there being a problem in my editing, without a consensus among admins that there should be a sanction, in disregard of procedure, and in disregard of the obvious attempt to use WP:AE to remove resistance and push a POV, as well as the behavioral problems of the reporting editor himself, Nableezy, and his most staunch supporter, Nishidani, with whom he edits in concert. The coming with unclean hands and the sanction being applied not evenhandedly, are reasons to revoke the sanction. I think that a revert, well after the 24 hours of 1RR was the only way to force Nableezy and Nishidani to break the stonewalling of Nableezy and Nishidani and their refusal to reply to legitimate concerns. Their previous and consequent edits and behavior support that conclusion. I would like to stress that I am an 8 year editor with over 90,000 edits, active in many areas over this project, see User:Debresser/My work on Wikipedia, and I always try to edit neutrally and keep in mind the good of this wonderful project that is Wikipedia, see User:Debresser/My rewards.

Editors supporting me at WP:AE: Drsmoo, Sir Joseph, Only in death

Second admin against sanctions: no evidence of violation, cmt.

Using ever changing arguments to push POV: First Sepsis II (who was recently permanently topic banned at WP:AE) used the WP:ARBPIA3#500/30 argument against other editors. They when I made the same edit, with improvements, Nableezy tries to say sources are not reliable, which they are, or when good sources are readily available, see Talk:Mahmoud_Abbas#Unreliable_sources. They he tries to say it is recentism[54], and see Talk:Mahmoud_Abbas#WP:RECENTISM). Then he sees an outside opinion that it is undue,[55] so he plays that card too.[56] If he thinks it is undue, he could have rewritten it in shorter form, but all he has done is remove the paragraph altogether. See also further, that suggestions for a shorter version have been made, but still he reverted. This clearly shows that Nableezy considers all means legitimate, only to remove this information.

Refusing to participate in discussion or rendering discussion ineffective: When uninvolved editor TransporterMan proposed a compromise on the talkpage,[57] I agreed,[58] but Nableezy rejected the compromise based on his personal vendetta against me.[59] I took this to the Dispute resolution noticeboard, and Nableezy sabotaged that discussion.[60] Nableezy completely ignored the discussion at the Biographies of living persons noticeboard,[61], even though I posted it on the talkpage.[62] Recently Nishidani added a new paragraph,[63] and my objections on the talkpage in Talk:Mahmoud_Abbas#Gilbert_Achcar have been completely stonewalled by Nableezy and Nishidani,(1) without any content or policy based reply to my objections based on lack of relevance and reliable sources, and in blatant disregard and falsification of the results of the discussion at the Reliable sources noticeboard, which Nableezy opened, and where both independent editors who responded, agree with me that the source is not good for its purpose,[64][65] while Nableezy and Nishidani post long replies to smother all resistance.

(1) Especially telling of bad faith and gaming the system was the call by Nableezy to Nishidani to revert me after less than 4 hours of discussion and no outside opinions at a time he himself couldn't revert because of a previous revert.[66]

Proof Nableezy and Nishidani edit in concert: 1. [67] by Nishidani, which he then self-reverted to avoid a violation, followed by [68] by Nableezy. 2. Nishidani acted upon Nableezy's bad faith advice.[69] 3. The many talkpage discussions where I have seen them both and invariably support each other. Debresser (talk) 14:19, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Examples of repeated reverts: Nableezy after 1 day and 16 hours[70][71], Nableezy after 1 day and 15 hours[72][73]

Procedurally request ignored: I asked that Nishidani trim his post of 737 words in order that I could reply to it effectively.[74] That request was ignored, so an essential procedure has been violated and the resulting sanction should be void.

Example of insult and belittling comments by Nableezy: "Wtf are you babbling about?"

Example of insult and belittling comments by Nishidani: [75], [76], "That looks like a partisan rabbinical dismissal of Samaritan Israelitic origins, Dovid", What you or I think is irrelevant", "why in the fuck didn't you figure out the obvious in the first fucking place days ago? Messahge." ("Messahge" is "idiot" in Yiddish) Struck after Nishidani explained this was a typo and at most a Freudian slip.[77]

I thank Lord Roem for his patience on my request to reconsider sanction, and his willingness there to reconsider it after a month[78] or even to mitigate the sanction to a 0RR sanction.[79] I think there is no basis in the evidence presented at WP:AE to justify a sanction against me, and/or to not justify a sanction against Nableezy and/or Nishidani. In addition I attest to my good faith, and see no evidence of bad faith from my side at WP:AE. A sanction at WP:AE is a bad precedent, as recent comments have shown,[80][81] and I willingly take my changes here, as I did before at WP:AE when I (!) undid the withdraw by Nableezy, see the witdraw[82] and my undo.[83] At the same time, I hope that even if editors here will disagree with me, they will be willing to consider mitigating the sanction along the lines suggested by Lord Roem.

@EdJohnston You suggest I should have posted at WP:AE first. I looked at the ways to appeal at Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions#Appeals_and_modifications, where it says "The process has three possible stages". I exercised the first, writing Lord Roem on his talkpage, and when we reached an impasse there, I followed the third, posting here. Nowhere does it say that I have to use the second option of posting at WP:AE/WP:AN. The reason I didn't use it is because the sanction was made on WP:AE, and appeals are not usually made to the same place. I am perfectly willing to post at WP:AE again or at WP:ANI, just wanted to assure you that I followed the instructions in good faith. Debresser (talk) 14:07, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

@Lord Roem Both Nableezy and Nishidani are respectable editors, and with both of them I have in the past reached worthy compromises on contested issues in the IP-conflict area. I am, frankly, at a loss to understand why they don't behave in the same respectable way on Mahmoud Abbas. Perhaps because the subject at hand is too close to them. I am sure we will return to working together amiably in the future. However, how we can establish a "pattern of collaborative editing" in order to reconsider the sanction after a month during the time I am topic banned, is something that is not completely clear to me. Debresser (talk) 13:56, 31 July 2016 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis Confirmed. The main reason I decided not to post again at WP:AE is that at WP:AE only two admins reviewed the case. As a result, in spite of the fact that there was only one admin who thinks I should be temporarily topic banned, that was the decision reached at WP:AE. In addition, my request to admonish the filing editor for what I consider to be his problematic behavior wasn't reviewed at all. I hope that a larger group of admins from ArbCom reviewing this case will either reach another opinion and decision, or at least I will know that a serious consensus exists that I am on the wrong track. In addition I hope that they will take the time to review the behavior of the filing editor as well, per my request and per WP:BOOMERANG. Debresser (talk) 18:50, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

@Amanda There was no escalation. Debresser (talk) 17:20, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

@Amanda After reading the proposed explanation by Nishidani, I'd like to add that the edit he posted contains the following sentence: "I'm guessing that Debresser simply doesn't like this since it contradicts a rabbinical tradition". Apart from rejecting this type of accusation as coming close to religious persecution on Wikipedia, I can state as a fact that I am not aware of claimed rabbinic tradition, by which I want to make the point that this was a bad faith accusation. I'd like to request ArbCom to make a clear statement to the fact that editors on Wikipedia should not make assumptions based on professed religious adherence of editors. In addition, if this statement in any way affected LordRoem's opinion, I'd ask immediate annulment of the sanction on that basis alone. Debresser (talk) 22:58, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

@GorillaWarfare & @Opabinia regalis I see that both of you find I was incorrect in insisting on adding a less than reliable source. Regarding this issue I have a few things to say: 1. The quality of the sources was a question that was under discussion.[84][85] Another editor agrees with me that the source is fine,[86], especially since the same statement was since sourced to additional sources of high repute,[87] but nevertheless Nableezy and Nishidani insist that their point of view is the only correct one. That brings WP:TE to mind. 2. I provided better sources in the process.[88] 3. If the problem is my addition of a less than ideal source, then a warning to review WP:RS would be in order, not a topic ban. 4. Nableezy and Nishidani also edit warred to add a bad sources, which is still in the article, despite the opposition from two independent editors at the relevant noticeboard discussion. Why were my complaints about this ignored? Why aren't those editors topic banned as well? No society or community can apply rules other than evenhandedly. 5. I have shown a pattern of POV pushing and gaming the system by Nableezy and Nishidani. My actions should be seen on that background. As a result, I ask for leniency if I unintentionally wasn't careful enough regarding the reliability of a source. At the same time I repeat my request to address the problematic editing of those two editors. Debresser (talk) 13:44, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis 1. I asked for sanctions against those other editors in the original WP:AE post. That request was ignored. If WP:ARCA is the place to appeal WP:AE decisions, then this is also the place to ask that my request that was previously ignored, now be considered. If that is not so, please let me know asap, because I would probably not have posted here otherwise. Now, that was only #4 of my 5-point reaction. Why then did you say my whole 5-point reply gets into WP:NOTTHEM territory? Why did you ignore all the other facts and arguments? 2. Why do you want me to roll over and play dead? I am not here to acknowledge that I was wrong. I am here precisely because I think I was not wrong, and I want you to review my case. At the same time I am aware that maybe I was wrong. If that will be the conclusion here, then at that moment I will gracefully accept that fact. At this moment, I am trying to argue that I was right. Your comment suggests an a priori assumption of guilt, while the presumption of innocence applies to appeals as well. Please note that I am not saying that I made optimal choices regarding each and every detail, but I do think that my general editing pattern was legitimate, and did not warrant or justify a sanction. 3. By the way, I am making edits in other fields at the moment, as I always have. Debresser (talk) 22:18, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies See above: "I asked for sanctions against those other editors in the original WP:AE post. That request was ignored. If WP:ARCA is the place to appeal WP:AE decisions, then this is also the place to ask that my request that was previously ignored, now be considered." Why wouldn't this be the right venue for sanctions against other editors? And what is the right venue, under the circumstances? Debresser (talk) 17:59, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

@Kingsindian I am not asking for sympathy. I am asking for justice. It seems, however, that this forum is not interested in justice. In this regard I disagree with Opabinia regalis that my call for justice was "declined by implication". I am rather of the opinion that it was ignored. Several ArbCom members have said explicitly, that they are not willing to review the actions of Nableezy and Nishidani. The logic behind that decision they have refused to explain, and I claim that that decision is incorrect and an injustice.

@SMcCandlish I agree with you that 3 months is a lot more than the usual sanctions at WP:ANI. That is precisely what I meant when I said to LordRoem that this is not a short sanction at all.

I find it interesting to see that most uninvolved non-admins who posted here and at the original WP:AE seem to be of the opinion that I should not be topic banned, and agree with my point of view that there are serious problems with the editing of Nableezy and Nishidani. Sir Joseph and AnotherNewAccount point to some real problems. Debresser (talk) 14:51, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Nableezy

Umm, despite Debresser's efforts to paint me as somebody who is a "POV editor" with ever changing arguments to keep negative material about people I dont even particularly like (Abbas), the two sections that he is using to attempt to claim my arguments morph are Talk:Mahmoud_Abbas#WP:RECENTISM and Talk:Mahmoud_Abbas#Unreliable_sources are about two entirely different sections in the article and completely unrelated material. And one follows the other, but not in the order that he writes above. Yes, I had two different problems about two different edits that Debresser made, edits that Debresser edit-warred to restore in a BLP despite good faith BLP objections, despite specific policy requirements on restoring such material, requirements that Debresser has repeatedly ignored. Ill respond to the rest of that baseless screed if an arbitrator would like me to, but that is a decent example of the type of careless and occasionally reckless editing that Debresser has been engaging in. nableezy - 17:52, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Nishidani

It took me 2 days and several hours of time extracting from Debresser, regarding just one edit proposal, based on a high RS source written by the foremost Samaritan authority on Samaritan history, an admission his 3 reverts of that source from the lead were wrong. By simple arithmetic, were I to take the same trouble to parse, analyse through the edit history record, what Debresser wildly claims above, we'd be here till kingdom come. He's a productive editor, with 90,000 contributions, double my own piddling 48,000. Like all of us, he has defects: his is to revert repeatedly on WP:IDONTLIKEIT grounds material closely sourced from books which, on every occasion, leap the WP:RS high bar, being written by authorities in their respective fields, and published under academic imprint. We have the respective talk pages of Mahmoud Abbas (here), and now Israelites (see here and here )to examine the difference in approach. If any close reader can find in Debresser's responses to numerous queries palmary instances of close reading, intimacy with the niceties of wiki policy, wide familiarity with sources and a lucid grasp of the academic pedigrees of authors, their standing in their fields, and endorses his apparent belief that the Bible is a more accurate source for ancient history than scholarship, then by all means, they should call me to order, and ask me to explain myself. I won't defend myself against Debresser's tirade, for obvious reasons. I have no belief he even reads my responses.Nishidani (talk) 16:06, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Just for the record Dovid, when you cite my edit summary above looks like a partisan rabbinical dismissal of Samaritan Israelitic origins, as an ’example of insult and belittling comments’ by myself, you missed the fact that I was alluding to a commonplace in the scholarly literature on Israelites and Samaritans., e.g. here p.176, here p.524; here pp.56-7; here p.420, to cite just 4 of a dozen examples. Our conflicts are of this type. I keep citing the scholarly literature, and you keep reacting to the personal implications you read into my edits, rather than to the academic hinterland whose dragoman I try to be. Operatively, it's not me you keep reverting over numerous pages, but the relevant scholarship. Nishidani (talk) 20:26, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Just a note on Amanda's request to Lord Roem. I cannot presume to know the latter's mind (I struggle to know my own, or what remains of it, more times than not). I would only add that the complaint was originally on Debresser's behavior at Mahmoud Abbas. The merits of this complaint that D removed high quality RS at sight, without any visible policy grounds, and couldn't produce them at the talk page, were being evaluated without any clear consensus. Out of the blue, on another page, Debresser suddenly repeated that pattern complained of at another article,Israelites. I.e. while the pattern asserted to exist in his editing Mahmoud Abbas was being analysed, he appeared to confirm it existed by repeating it on another page. I drew admins' attention to this new fact (new evidence supporting the complaint) here. Several hours later, Lord Roem closed the issue with his sanction. My presumption is that the second piece of evidence was read as confirming what, until that point, had only been a hypothesis of uncertain merits: a single-issue complaint became multiple.Nishidani (talk) 10:13, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

I believe that Debresser is right in claiming that Nableezy and Nishidani frequently edit in concert, with Nishidani providing the "brains" and Nableezy the "brawn" in bludgeoning their POV into articles.

That's quite offensive, not because it is utterly false but because I reckon I could whup Nableezy in a fight, but he'd run rings around me on a huge range of complex technical subjects. The gang of four you indicate are still here because they are rule-abiding, and accept fairly strict standards for encyclopedic composition, as do the several 'pro-Israel' stalwarts one could also name. There are over a dozen such editors from both sides who regularly edit the same pages, respect each other because the rules are respected, disagree often, talk policy, ask for evidence, marshall sources, analyse their merits and achieve rational outcomes. The people who end up here do so because they come with one topic in their sights, understanding one POV exclusively, use poor sources, don't discuss or do so erratically, and as often as not ignore the constraints we all accept. The people who get into trouble on A/1 or AE for I/P issues have one characteristic. They are unwilling to do the kind of unsexy intensive legwork, time-consuming research, on which solid article construction is based. They have nothing but a focus on those elements of a long article which can be spun to political advantage.Nishidani (talk) 19:57, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Sir Joe. Again, the same (it's repeated in every thread) insinuation:

this area is "off limits" either due to the headache or bias

The area is not difficult to edit if you are rule compliant, have a genuine interest in history, feel uncomfortable with broadbrush simplistic generalizations, and are willing to work hard. Most editors who stay on do not find it a headache. It demands a lot of work, that's all. The only headache is the historically attested fact that the I/P area tends to attract numerous meatpuppets, sockpuppets, posters who make death threats,anonymous blankers and reverters, ranters flooding one's email with vicious slurs, and gamers. They have no bias of course, though they account for 90% of the AE, A/I complaints. They are certainly not 'pro-Palestinian', a silly designation which is used as if it meant 'anti Israeli'. That you do not find in articles here what you find in partisan tabloids is not necessarily a token of bias. The same rude impression will arise if you read any good academic source or encyclopedia. It might just mean that editors who make contributions that stick, because the RS quality is high, work harder than the meme-replicators out there in examining all the available documentation, and writing it up per WP:Due and WP:NPOV. That said, I have no objection if this suspicion is thought serious enough to warrant a close examination of the editing history and contributions of all to see if they are contributing content or just here to play politics. Nishidani (talk) 21:18, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by OID

Just to comment that my above support linked to by Debresser should only be taken regarding the underlying content issue - I have no comment on the subsequent alleged behavioural issues (which I assume is what led to the sanction) although personally I think the area is ripe for a full case given the amount of POV-laden editing and BLP violations from multiple editors. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:42, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Statement by EdJohnston

Nothing prevents the Committee from taking this if they want to. But in fact, User:Debresser has short-circuited the usual appeal route which is laid out at WP:AC/DS#Appeals and modifications. He had the option of appealing at WP:AE or WP:AN but has not done so. I'm unclear why the appeal is here. In the absence of any special reason being given, I suggest the Committee decline this request and ask him to use AE or AN for the next step. EdJohnston (talk) 14:01, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Lord Roem

I don't have much to add that isn't already linked. If anyone has a specific question for me, please ping me. As the sanctioning admin I do think my short sanction on Debresser is appropriately proportionate. However, I don't see Debresser as helplessly disruptive and will happily lift the topic ban in a month or so if a good pattern of collaborative editing is established. Lord Roem ~ (talk) 17:31, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Sure thing. I was initially only concerned that Debresser appeared to be gaming the 1RR restriction on the page (21:14 13 July and 23:05 14 July). At that point, I thought a warning to be careful about 1RR would be the only thing required. What changed my mind were diffs like this (see edit summary) and the conversation here (where my initial perception was Debresser was stonewalling). This isn't one of the cases where there's something egregious; this is why I suggested during a convo on my talk page to change the sanction to a 0RR restriction instead of a full topic-ban. Debresser expressing willingness to undergo that, but didn't appear to recognize that his approach, thus far, was only disrupting the page.
If arbs think something different is appropriate, I'm not stuck to my position. There's other history in the AE request that gives more context to the situation that I recommend committee members go over. Lord Roem ~ (talk) 02:59, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by AnotherNewAccount

I've been away for a few days, and have only just realized that Debresser had ended up topic banned. I have much to say, but I'll be as brief as I possibly can. I won't comment on the quality of the talk page discussion, which was awful - and it wasn't all Debresser's fault. The dispute is a microcosm of the problems in the topic area:

  • Factionalism amongst the editors, and a continued personal animosity between Nableezy and Debresser. They have rather rancorous disputes rather too frequently. It's obvious that Nableezy in particular holds Debresser in utter contempt, judging by how I've seen him belittle Debresser in so many disputes. Every single complaint against Debresser at AE was filed by Nableezy when a content dispute didn't go his way quickly enough.
  • Persistent "numbers" issue. Pro-Palestinian editors are not just in the majority, but are also far more active and persistent, which has inevitably affected the content. In the initial content dispute, the breakdown of editors was broadly as follows:
  • Nableezy - pro-Palestinian editor
  • Zero00000 - pro-Palestinian editor
  • Sepsis II - pro-Palestinian editor, just been topic-banned
  • Nishidani - pro-Palestinian editor
  • Debresser - pro-Israel editor
  • Epson Salts - pro-Israel editor
4-to-2 is a fairly typical ratio of editors for this topic area. Indeed, Nableezy's arguments often resort to "appeals to numbers", particularly when he's belittling Debresser.
  • Continued "tag team" editing. And not just in edit wars. I believe that Debresser is right in claiming that Nableezy and Nishidani frequently edit in concert, with Nishidani providing the "brains" and Nableezy the "brawn" in bludgeoning their POV into articles.
  • Complete lack of neutral editors, those that do attempt to edit or mediate in disputes are typically crushed or worn out by the incessant continued bickering between the two sides.
  • Extreme difficulty in deciding which material is important and relevant to an article, exacerbated by the POVs of the existing editors and the complete lack of neutral editors.
  • Extreme difficulty in identifying and agreeing on reliable sources, exacerbated by the POVs of the existing editors and the complete lack of neutral editors.
  • Related to this is the ability of certain editors to utilize apparently decent sources to present a less-than-neutral view of the topic, either through selective choice of sources, or cherrypicking only favourable material within a source, or most commonly by simply choosing an academic/expert/journalist that has expressed the desired opinion. Both sides have done this to an extent.
  • The general failure of the various noticeboards and the wider community to be of much help. The topic is a bargepole issue, and I suspect the resident noticeboard-dwellers are scared of the topic and want nothing to do with it. (I see Debresser issued a message on the BLP noticeboard which was ignored.)
  • Problems related to the 500/30 sanction. The inital disputed material was added, in good faith, by an IP who was clearly unaware of the sanction. I think this remedy has caused as many problems as it has solved, with several decent new or casual editors having their work reverted, having their heads bitten off, and in a few of cases ending up blocked, whenever they make the mistake of editing an article that hasn't been Extended confirmed yet.

I think there is a good case for the Arbitration Committee to examine the continued warring, content issues and chronic NPOV problems in another case, with the particular aim of increasing the influence of neutral editors. Either that or starting a frank community-wide discussion of the problems on the appropriate community discussion forum. The editing dynamics remain unconducive to neutral and collegial editing, and I think individual editor POVs, factionalism, and groupthink amongst the current editors is to blame. AnotherNewAccount (talk) 19:15, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph

I will be the first to agree that Debresser can sometimes be strong in his opinions but you also need to admit that for a pro-Israel editor, the "game" already starts off with the other side having a major handicap. Any issue that falls under 1RR or any RFC usually ends up being a numbers game, whether intentional or not. I think the best thing would be to shorten the TBAN and issue a strong warning. We really don't need to lose a usually good editor who can edit neutrally. I have seen Debresser editing with a pro-PA (in a way fixing the article but not touching content, etc.) and I have had my run ins with him as well but on the whole the IP area would be worse off without him.

I will just agree with ANA's point about the area not being one that neutral editors want to touch. During my time at AE I've also been told via email that this area is "off limits" either due to the headache or bias. That is indeed something that should be looked into, independent of this action. Sir Joseph (talk) 20:07, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Serialjoepsycho

I notice looking at the ARE in question Nableezy had withdrawn the motion [89]. Debresser reversed this withdrawl. Essentially shooting his own self in the foot. I'm seeing a fiery battle when I look at the talkpage which would seem to me to be banworthy. [90] For example "Don't be stupid". I could pull out other examples but my point is this all is a FIGHT. There was need for admin intervention. Perhaps there might be a question if Nableezy should also be topic banned but I see no reason why this ban should be questioned. It seems that Lord Roem was trying to take the least severe action reasonable. An indefinite topic ban, and correct me if I am wrong, would require a 6 month waiting period after any failed appeal. Lord Roem, and don't let me put words in your mouth, seems to have concluded that Debresser would possibly amend their behavior. Judging from Lord Roem comments they are willing to review the situation as early as 1 month if Debresser shows improvement. Debresser this seems like a much needed cooling off period.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 10:53, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish

Three months is not a "short sanction". It is shorter than the one year authorized by WP:AC/DS, but it's long by WP:ANI standards. DS is an unusual remedy for in extremis cases in controversial parts of the project, and usually applied to recalcitrant/intransigent disruptive editors about whom we all have WP:NOTHERE or WP:COMPETENCE concerns, not usually long-term productive editors. I would think that a one-day block, or a one-week Tban would have been sufficient. The problem with three-month Tbans is that, because they are based on perceived behavior/attitude not on content and sourcing, they often have the effect of "handing the keys to the kingdom" to the opposition without regard to what the fallout will be on the content. This is eminently gameable. All it takes is for a PoV pusher or tagteam thereof to play a long game, patiently goading a very well-meaning but less patient editor into being just frustrated and intemperate enough to attract attention from an admin who sees DS as the right tool. I don't imply anything about anyone in particular in this exact case (I have not examined the rationales of the opposing parties in any detail, nor do I detect an "I have a hammer, an every problem is a nail" attitude on the part of the admin in question).

I'm just speaking from years of observational, and occasionally direct, experience. Three-month restrictions have a strong tendency to act as a de facto green light to the other side of a content dispute to WP:WIN (and such DS tend to be engineered to serve this purpose), an administrative ruling leveraged sometimes for years after the fact as a weapon/threat to let a faction have their way or else, to the detriment of the content and our readers. The content disputes in this particular case can surely be ironed out with some RfCs. I'm skeptical that continuing the restrictions against Debresser will serve any preventative purpose, only a punitive one. The main rationale that I see here, the "well, Debresser knew those sources were weak but used them anyway" excuse, speaks directly to this being a punishment for an error, not an ongoing necessity to prevent firmly predictable continued disruption; there's no evidence I can see that Debresser would resume right where he left off.

So, I call WP:TIGER shenanigans on this three-monther.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:33, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Kingsindian

I'll only deal with the AE request here:

  • The dispute started as a content dispute where Debresser was accused of violating consensus. In the middle, Nablezzy withdrew the request since the underlying dispute was kind of solved, but Debresser reopened it, asking for a WP:BOOMERANG. But they "lost". It's hard for me to feel sympathy here.
  • Lord Roem basically implemented the sanction by themselves, which is fine (sanctions at WP:AE do not need consensus). It is generally good practice to allow others to others to weigh in, but the WP:AE request had been open a fortnight, with only one other admin commenting, briefly. It's no secret that nobody wants to touch this area with a ten-foot pole.
  • It is generally the thinking at at WP:AE that very short topic bans aren't effective. Anything less than one month is useless, three months is common as well. Kingsindian   04:53, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Debresser: Clerk notes

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

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Debresser: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I haven't had time to read this, but on the procedural question EdJohnston raised: I see no reason Debresser can't choose to skip the other venues and come straight to ARCA provided he understands that a result here is a final decision, i.e. you can't come to ARCA and then go back to AE about the same thing. I'm afraid that bouncing stuff to AE on a technicality would result in it coming back here again later. Opabinia regalis (talk) 22:24, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
  • This is going to take a while for me to parse through. I admit at this point I haven't read the full ARCA nor the full AE request, but I'd like to start with some preliminary questions. These are purely informational questions not to assign blame or guilt or make any judgement.
  • @Lord Roem: By looking at the result section of the AE request, I see that your view seems to have progressively changed from no sanction to sanction over time. Could you briefly outline your thoughts/reasoning on the escalation over time to where the behavior became disruptive enough for further sanction? I'm not looking for anything detailed, just some diffs or sections that show things were continuing to escalate requiring enforcement.
  • @The Wordsmith: Your last comment on this Enforcement was 5 days before it's closure. Could I request your two cents on the new information and result?
-- Amanda (aka DQ) 08:37, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I echo Opabinia's point above, that Debresser is welcome to come to ARCA without first going to WP:AE or WP:AN. I am not convinced that the ~25 hour gap between edits was an attempt to game 1RR. However, the sanction placed under the discretionary sanctions procedure seems appropriate due to the re-adding of poor-quality sources (even after Debresser admitted they were of poor quality), as well as attempts to control the content of the article based on claims that his own edits reflected consensus despite lack of discussion. I think Lord Roem was right to place a fairly short sanction (three months, when DS authorizes indefinite topic bans of up to one year) given that these are not the most egregious violations we've seen, but I do think the short sanction is warranted. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:57, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
  • @GorillaWarfare: To clarify one thing, DS allows indefinite topic/interaction/page/etc bans and other restrictions. The only thing which is limited to one year are blocks (and site bans aren't permitted). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 05:50, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I've gotten behind on my ARCA reading, but I've caught up with this one now and I agree with GW. There was certainly edit-warring, even if not "gaming", and it was poorly sourced material in a contentious BLP. This is a pretty short sanction, and Lord Roem even mentioned willingness to lift it early if warranted, and IMO this is well within the norms of admin discretion in DS. Use the time to relax with some quieter articles. Opabinia regalis (talk) 08:32, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Debresser, I read your recent addendum, and I fear we're getting into WP:NOTTHEM territory. This also isn't the right venue to ask for new sanctions against other editors under DS. People who gracefully acknowledge they may have been wrong and invest some time in other things are more likely to get their sanctions lifted early, or to cause hesitation to impose new sanctions later. Opabinia regalis (talk) 20:38, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
      • Two points: 1) As far as I can see, your request to have others sanctioned wasn't so much "ignored" as "declined by implication". 2) As for my advice, well, I've read this request, and the AE request, and the talk page threads, and I think you were sufficiently in the wrong that a sanction was justifiable. It seems that quite a few experienced admins and arbs are coming to that conclusion, which is useful feedback. But if you prefer, read it as pragmatism. Opabinia regalis (talk) 05:29, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Like my colleague above I see a lot of NOTTHEMing here. What I don't see is an egregious administrative failure or an excessively harsh topic ban. Quite the opposite: Lord Roem seems to lenient and willing to reconsider. Nor is this the place to ask for other editors to be punished or warned. Drmies (talk) 03:25, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Upon review, I find Lord Roem's actions reasonable; so, appeal declined. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:01, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
  • When deciding on appeals of discretionary sanctions, I look at whether the enforcing admin's actions are a reasonable exercise of administrative discretion and DS procedure. In this case DS procedure was followed so there are no issues there. Lord Roem seems to have been very reasonable (3 months is a short topic ban by AE standards) and is willing to discuss options to move forward. For those reasons I decline the appeal. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 05:50, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Decline --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 13:58, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Amendment request: Race and intelligence

Initiated by Ferahgo the Assassin at 19:39, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Race and intelligence arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Terms under which my ban was suspended
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • I request that point #2 (the "editing restriction") be lifted.

Statement by Ferahgo the Assassin

I’d like to request an amendment to #2 of my set of restrictions laid out by the Arbitration Committee in March of 2014. [91] These terms were deemed necessary in order to lift my site ban, which was enacted in May 2012. I agreed to these terms and my site ban was lifted around 2.5 years ago.

Point 2 in this set of restrictions prohibits me from editing outside the narrow range of topics defined as being “about the palaeontology of birds and dinosaurs and editing any talk or process pages reasonably and directly associated with improving the quality of those articles.” I request that this prohibition be lifted and allow me to return editing a normal range of Wikipedia articles. Note that I am not asking to have any of my other restrictions lifted at this time, neither the others included in the appeal restrictions nor my 2010 topic ban.

During the time since my appeal, I have made numerous contributions to paleontology articles and have not been involved in any disputes or conflicts. Just recently I finished the Specimens of Archaeopteryx article, and hope to bring it up to GA status in due time. I’ve added numerous artworks and photographs to Commons. [92] However, my range of interests and abilities far exceeds paleontology and has expanded especially since my site ban over 4 years ago. I am now entering a PhD program in psychology this fall, I have started doing professional bird photography, and have published numerous writings on things like genetics, radiometric dating, and religion. My current restrictions prevent me from editing in any of these areas, even from adding my bird photographs to articles on modern birds. Further into the future I hope to finish the Mental chronometry article, which has remained half-finished since I was working on it six years ago (and is a topic I have now done actual research in).

I can say with confidence that allowing me to make content edits to Wikipedia writ large will not lead to any misbehavior and will only benefit the topics I know best. Note that my original site ban was enacted over WP:SHARE, but I have not shared an IP address with another editor since well before my ban was lifted.

Lastly, I request that user:Doug_Weller recuse from matters relating to the race and intelligence arbitration case, because of his involvement in disputes covered by that case before he became an arbitrator. Here are some examples of him participating in content disputes on the Race and intelligence article: [93] [94] [95] [96] I can provide more examples upon request.

Re: @Doug Weller: & @Drmies: My site ban was an amendment to the R&I arbitration case, and I understand the suspension of the ban (and accompanying restrictions) to be amendments to the same case. So I was under the impression that what I’m asking Arbcom to modify is an aspect of the R&I case, even though it doesn't relate to the topic area itself. Regarding the recusal question, there is a more significant example I haven't mentioned here because it's best to not discuss it in public. May I raise the additional example on the Arbcom mailing list? Please bear in mind that I'm about to move, so I may not be able to contact the list for another few days. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 21:28, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by The Wordsmith

I haven't seen any issues regarding this editor, and from the brief check I gave they seem to be abiding by the restriction and editing in accordance with policies and guidelines. There is also the fact that this area is under Discretionary Sanctions, so loosening the ban is fairly low risk. In fact, it might even be a rare example of an Arbcom-banned editor returning to good standing (which we presumably want to happen more often). Given all of this, I see no reason to decline the amendment request. The WordsmithTalk to me 18:12, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by EdJohnston (re Ferahgo)

This request is asking for Ferahgo's narrow topic restriction (to paleontology) be lifted but is not asking that her ban from race and intelligence be modified. The R&I ban seems to have been imposed under discretionary sanctions by User:NuclearWarfare in 2010. The committee's 2014 set of restrictions also wanted Ferahgo to refrain from initiating dispute resolution unless the committee's permission was obtained first. That provision must still be in effect. I recommend that a clerk review all the restrictions at the bottom of WP:ARBR&I and be sure that any obsolete provisions are struck out (regardless of what happens in the current request). For example, at the bottom of the case page, Ferahgo's site ban is still shown as being in effect. Whoever fixes the case page might also update Ferahgo's entry in WP:EDR as required. At this time I would not advise lifting Ferahgo's topic ban from race and intelligence. EdJohnston (talk) 18:38, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by NuclearWarfare

I agree with EdJohnston in thinking that there is no reason to lift the Race and Intelligence topic ban. WP:SHARE was the listed justification for the topic ban, but there were certainly other problems with her editing at the time. As to whether the editing restriction should be removed, I would say go for it. NW (Talk) 18:59, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish

A topical restriction to one particular topic, rather than from one is rather aberrant and seems detrimental and poorly conceived. It may well be that an editor does not do well in a particular area and should be fenced off from it and anything related to it, but the fact that an editor does particularly well in one area does not logically mean they can only do well in that area, when there are literally millions of topics available to work on, and the editor's only been a problem (quite a long time ago) in one of them that has little intersection with many of them. I agree with EdJohnston's more detailed notes.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:54, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Race and intelligence: Clerk notes

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

Race and intelligence: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Assuming Ferahgo has abided by their restrictions and not caused additional disruption since the ban was lifted, I'm inclined to grant this. I'll wait a bit to allow the opportunity for other editors to comment before solidifying that vote. GorillaWarfare (talk) 04:21, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
    @Ferahgo the Assassin: I certainly don't see any reason why we can't wait a few days to hear from you, especially given that you are the one affected by and appealing the unban conditions. Best of luck with your move! GorillaWarfare (talk) 06:33, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree with GW, and want to see other editors' input. I also want to note that I see no reason for Doug Weller to recuse themselves based on those diffs. Participating in content discussion (two or three years ago) doesn't automatically make one involved, but it's up to Doug. Drmies (talk) 17:33, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm waiting for more comments. I'm not recusing and I don't understand why it's even been mentioned by someone who isn't asking for anything related to R&I to be changed. Doug Weller talk 18:51, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I have no strong opinions on this matter --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:12, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree that those old diffs don't rise to the level of recusal IMO, but if you believe you have relevant private evidence, Ferahgo the Assassin, yes, please send it to or use Special:Emailuser/Arbitration Committee. Opabinia regalis (talk) 23:46, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I am inclined to grant the request (i.e. broaden the allowed topics to everything but R&I rather than paleontology only) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:10, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Motion: Ferahgo the Assassin editing restrictions modified

Ferahgo the Assassin (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) was topic-banned from the race and intelligence topic area in October 2010, site-banned in May 2012, and unbanned with editing restrictions in March 2014.
  • The March 2014 requirement that Ferahgo is restricted to "editing articles about the palaeontology of birds and dinosaurs and editing any talk or process pages reasonably and directly associated with improving the quality of those articles" is rescinded. The other restrictions that accompanied the unban remain in force.
  • The 2010 topic ban from the race and intelligence topic, originally issued under discretionary sanctions, remains in force and is adopted by the arbitration committee. This topic ban may be appealed via WP:ARCA.
  • The two-way interaction ban between Ferahgo and Mathsci (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) remains in force.
For this motion there are 13 active arbitrators, not counting 1 who is inactive, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.
  1. Opabinia regalis (talk) 05:36, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  2. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:59, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  3. Salvio Let's talk about it! 08:56, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  4. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:44, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
  5. worth a try --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 13:57, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
  6. kelapstick(bainuu) 20:48, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Note that the committee received by email a request that Doug Weller recuse from this matter. By unopposed majority vote, this request is declined. Opabinia regalis (talk) 05:36, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Amendment request: Falun Gong.

Initiated by PCPP at 05:34, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration_ Committee/Discretionary_ sanctions/Log/2011#Falun_Gong
  2. Link to the principle, finding, remedy, section, etc for which you are requesting amendment
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request

Information about amendment request
  • I request the sanction be lifted
  • Link to the principle, finding, remedy, section, etc for which you are requesting amendment
  • State the desired modification

Statement by PCPP

I was previously topic banned in 2011 from editing the Falun Gong articles wiki/Wikipedia:Arbitration_ Committee/Discretionary_ sanctions/Log/2011#Falun_Gong for at least one year, after which I could appeal. Currently I have no further desire to edit the FLG articles, however, since it is mentioned in many of the China related articles, I wish to have the freedom to edit the articles without triggering a violation.

Furthermore, I would have to have the rights to file cases against users who I find might violate the FLG arbitration case. Last month, I filed a case incorrectly without appealing my own topic ban [97] , which resulted in a temporary block.

Statement by Hijiri88

I find it suspicious that PCPP has two TBAN-violation blocks in his log but has only made only 246 mainspace edits since the ban was imposed. Additionally, it would seem that a number of edits that went unnoticed (did not result in blocks) were also violations, as they edited articles with "Falun Gong" in the titles 20 times between February 2011 and October 2011 but were not blocked until January. There was apparently a hubbub following these violations that resulted in several other editors being TBANned, but I have not figured out how PCPP avoided getting blocked.

Typically, the way one goes about appealing a TBAN is to demonstrate one is capable of working on building an encyclopedia in a constructive manner without violating the ban, but in this case it appears PCPP continued editing as though nothing had happened, then once they were finally blocked continued making piecemeal edits for a couple of months before essentially dropping out of the project for four years and coming back to get blocked for violating the TBAN and immediately appealing it.

@PCPP: Can you explain why you think your TBAN was put in place in the first place and why you have barely edited Wikipedia since your TBAN was enforced?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 14:45, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Additionally (although this has nothing to do with the present appeal) could someone explain why none of these bans are logged in WP:FLG-A#Log of blocks and bans? The only two that are logged on WP:RESTRICT are Samuel Luo and Tomananda, both of which were also part of the initial ArbCom decision -- is there even any way of knowing who is subject to these TBANs at this point beyond searching the archive? Hijiri 88 (やや) 14:55, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Falun Gong.: Clerk notes

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

Falun Gong.: Arbitrator views and discussion


Requests for enforcement


This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.
Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning JGabbard

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Geogene (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 21:35, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
JGabbard (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Search DS alerts: in user talk history • in system log

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American_politics_2#Discretionary_sanctions_.281932_cutoff.29 :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 23 August 2016 Aspersions
  2. 23 August 2016 Aspersions
  3. 23 August 2016 Aspersions, accusations of being a shill, personal attacks.
  4. 17 August 2016 Aspersions, accusations of being a shill.
  5. 17 August 2016 Aspersions, "this talk page is full of shills". These comments were later redacted by the user after they were pressured on their Talk page. However, they show that this has been an ongoing issue that the DRN (itself cited above as an example of aspersions) is unlikely to solve.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. Date Explanation
  2. Date Explanation
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Gave an alert about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on 18 August 2016
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

One more recent diff to show aspersions, conspiracy theories about other editors, unwillingness to collaborate [98]. 23 August 2016.

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

Diff of notification [99]

Discussion concerning JGabbard

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by JGabbard

I am not a politically-oriented person, as my editing history will attest [100]. It is rare for me to take interest in editing any articles on politics or current events, and when I do I seek to remain on the periphery of the fray when such exists. Consequently, I do my work quietly and seldom collaborate with other editors. That being said, is it not odd that such intense scrutiny and meticulous negative attention would be shown by a group of editors to an article which they allege to be "non-notable" and even wish to have deleted? What might one infer from the systematic deletion of so many well-referenced facts (as documented here [101])? I feel that my at times cheeky response to such bizarre editing activity is not beyond the pale, nor difficult to understand. I have no personal vendetta against any individual editor at all, only seek to criticize their argumentative modus operandi as a group. My fellow editors (the majority) are likewise perplexed by the brick wall they have collectively erected. We feel that this article should be allowed to be develop naturally, without interference from those who wish for it to disappear, either in part or entirely. A somewhat objectionable comment to one such user who accosted me on my talk page has been redacted, with apologies. - JGabbard (talk) 23:34, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by D.Creish

Inappropriate behavior at the article and talk page led the editor to behave inappropriately.

I'd encourage admins to review the DRN request (particularly the comments from others) which give a largely accurate picture of the issue. Whether it's best to address the fundamental issue which resulted in poor behavior, the poor behavior, or both, I can't say.

I will say JGabbard seems to be passionate about this issue as do several other participants in the dispute but given the limited scope and the minimal likelihood of further developments, resolving the current DRN request will most likely end disruption. D.Creish (talk) 21:56, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

@TransporterMan: That appeared to be the most likely venue for lasting resolution. Even if JGabbard never edits the article again, the issues raised in the request persist and will likely result in further disciplinary requests. D.Creish (talk) 01:54, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by The Four Deuces

There has been a lot of controversy over the Murder of Seth Rich article, and is the only article where JGabbard's comments are cited in this complaint. It was unsuccessfully nominated for deletion, large amounts of sourced material have been removed, JGabbard has begun a discussion at DRN and the article is locked from editing. I believe that we should see if the current process in content dispute resolution works before issuing sanctions. TFD (talk) 00:34, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by (SPECIFICO)

JGabbard launched the DRN content discussion thread with an unusually harsh, scattershot, and demonstrably false stream of misrepresentations and personal attacks. If any of it had been true, the proper venue would have been ANI or AE. This suggests, in addition to disruptive editing, that JGabbard is not competent to understand basic WP policy and conflict resolution. JGabbard should be banned from BLPs and American Politics. It's that bad, and it's clear that there's little hope this behavior will change. The diffs already cited are sufficient, but if Admins here want more, there are many more, and perhaps some editors are willing to supply them upon request. SPECIFICO talk 01:45, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

See also [102]. A long block is warranted. SPECIFICO talk 03:31, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Mr Ernie

The DS notice posted to JGabbards talk page was for American Politics but what user:Mastcell posted on the article talk page was for BLP. Which DS applies to this case? Both sides in this dispute are passionate and emotional, but I believe the good faith collaborative approach can work here and we can close this with a warning. Mr Ernie (talk) 03:31, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Steve Quinn

A. I think this diff has already been supplied [103] - here JGabbard attributes nefarious motives to other editors in his comment. But also notice removal of a newly opened section in the talk page and edit history comments as well [104].

B. User SPECIFICO was never engaged in any kind of edit warring, as was either implied or stated.

C. JGabbard's descriptions of the editing taking place, including talk page editing, appear to be inaccurate.

D. I cannot fathom why JGabbard unilaterally went to DRN, as the talk page discussion was unfolding as talk page discussions normally do. Nobody has been casting aspersions at one another (except for JGabbard I suppose). For my part, I ignored this person because his comments did not make sense and they were few. One comment sounded like a call for editors to band together and protest [105] - but we are all on a talk page and we wouldn't be able to see each other carrying signs and banners, nor is there a street where we can congregate.

But seriously, in retrospect, I have to say that all the talk page editors involved have been very respectful of one another while focusing on disagreements pertaining to content. Please, don't mind me saying so, but this is surprising, because I have been involved in and witnessed other heated discussions where casting aspersions did happen and always seem likely to happen in heated discussions - and this is a political page. So, hopefully the good luck continues for all of us. So, again there was no need to unilaterally rush over to DRN - everything is going well. A bunch of us happen to disagree is all - and there is nothing wrong with that. So, of course I disagree with the statement that there has been inappropriate behavior during talk page discussions. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 03:44, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by PinkAmpersand

I was the editor who gave the DS alert on the 18th. I did that after observing JGabbard's conduct in the Seth Rich AFD. Other editors have already covered the NPA portion of all this, but I'd like to draw the admins' attention to the substantial BLP issues with some of JGabbard's comments there. Wikipedia has no (explicit) rule against idly conspiracy-theorizing, but it is an entirely different matter if aspersions are being cast against living people. I refer the admins' attention to JGabbard's initial !vote at the AFD, in which he accuses two living public figures of conspiracy to commit murder. (See also subsequent tweak After being notified that his comments were in violation of BLP, JGabbard made a number of changes to his comments, but still kept the accusations in his comment, removing the subjects' names but still explicitly identifying them. He acknowledged that this was a conscious decision. I subsequently struck the accusations and left a note explaining my rationale and encouraging JGabbard to change course. This one incident alone may not be sanctionable, but it remains quite concerning. And regardless of any sanctions, I would encourage the adminstrators to delete all of the revisions in which the accusations appeared. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 03:11, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

The WP:DRN request was closed because DRN does not accept a case that is also pending in another forum, namely this forum. If the conduct dispute is resolved or closed, moderated content dispute resolution can be requested again. Robert McClenon (talk) 01:31, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning JGabbard

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I would advise JGabbard to comment here as soon as possible. The diffs presented certainly do seem to show an unacceptable pattern of attacks on other editors rather than discussion regarding article content. From what I see here, I would support a six-month topic ban from the area, by which time the political season will hopefully have cooled off. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:04, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Agree with User:Seraphimblade that the attacks on other editors are unacceptable and that a ban is justified. EdJohnston (talk) 03:46, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I very much agree with @Seraphimblade and EdJohnston:'s assessment, and JGabbard's statement here does nothing to dissuade me. I would recommend that the ban be issued; if one of the two of you could do the paperwork, I would much appreciate it. NW (Talk) 23:59, 25 August 2016 (UTC)


This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.
Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning D.Creish

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
EvergreenFir (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 06:06, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
D.Creish (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Search DS alerts: in user talk history • in system log

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American_politics_2#Discretionary_sanctions_.281932_cutoff.29 :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 

Edit warring and "crying BLP" on Jared Taylor. Repeated removing sourced material that has been present and relatively unaltered for over one year (compare diff from 15 July 2015 until 24 August 2016 regarding material in second paragraph of lead [106]). Repeated claims of BLP violation where none exist and insistence on gaining consensus, despite clearly editing against long-standing consensus (WP:STATUSQUO). User has reverted edits by Volunteer Marek and myself. All diff below related to this:

  1. 03:32, 26 August 2016‎ edit summary: rm BLP vio; NY Times was the only good secondary source and it doesn't support the txt. Do not restore w/o consensus
  2. 04:33, 26 August 2016 edit summary: Sources included do not describe Taylor as supporting racist ideologies. Removed on good-faith BLP grounds. This article is subject to discretionary sanctions. You must not restore without consensus
  3. 04:40 26 August 2016 edit summary: Undid revision 736242559 by Volunteer Marek (talk) There can be no consensus to violate BLP; do not restore
  4. 05:32, 26 August 2016‎ edit summary: removed BLP violations; do not restore without talk page consensus
  5. 05:43, 26 August 2016‎ edit summary: editor restoring BLP violations without consensus; reverting
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 


If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Alerted about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, see the system log linked to above.
  • Participated in an arbitration request or enforcement procedure about the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on 06:22, 9 August 2016.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Should mention I chose to come here instead of AN3 because of (1) the political nature of the article and its contents, (2) extended discussion of DS on the user's talk page earlier today related to another matter (User_talk:D.Creish#Note_on_DS), (3) participation in past AE filings related to the ARBAPDS, and (4) threats by user to file AE against Volunteer Marek ([107]). BLP DS also apply here, but APDS seem more directly related. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:10, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

User also promised to continue removing the content: [108]. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:13, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

@Rhoark: The issues is the user was gaming by claiming BLP. The wordpress source needed to go (and did). The NYTimes piece didn't support it well, so it was replaced. The other sources supported the statement well though, so there was no reason to remove the entire thing. Moreover, the user kept removing content despite replacing lower quality sources with better ones. They wanted the statement gone, not to improve it so they claimed BLP and edit warred over it. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:49, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 
  1. 06:06 26 August 2016

Discussion concerning D.Creish

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by D.Creish

This is the text I removed inititally and in subsequent reversions:

Taylor, and many of the organizations he is associated with, are often described as promoting racist ideologies by, among others, civil rights groups, news media and academics studying racism in the US.

The sources cited were (3) as follows:

  1. An unusable weblog:
  2. A NY Times article, which by the filer's own admission does not support the claim:
  3. An SPLC listing (primary source):

When the filer refers to content that was "relatively unaltered for over one year" and WP:STATUSQUO these are the sources it was based upon, which I find (as I assume most will) insufficient.

To keep this short: my intent was to remove the content until suitable sourcing could be found. To that end I began a dialogue on the talk page:

Rather than participating in that dialogue both editors reverted my removal, at times providing additional sources - none of which I've examined so far support the initial text.

I was under the impression that to claim someone "promotes racist ideologies" required strong sourcing and that, if it was not present, additional sourcing and dialogue must precede restoration. If that is not the case, I apologize unequivocally; if it is, I'm owed an apology but I'll settle for a critical discussion of sources and claims on the article's talk page. D.Creish (talk) 06:35, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Two minor clarifications::

  • The "extended discussion of DS" EverygreenFir refers to concerned a procedural question I had for Jytdog about who may place "DS" notices on article talk pages and under what circumstances.
  • To be accurate: I threatened to pursue sanctions against Volunteer Marek, not "to file AE against" him. Part of the reason I did not was because (a) I wasn't sure which venue was appropriate, (b) the filing processes appears overwhelming to a first-time filer and (c) I hoped the possibility of sanction would force him into discussion on the talk page. D.Creish (talk) 07:04, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Update: I have no idea why editors with whom I've never interacted are suddenly behaving so rudely towards me. Nomoskedasticity complains I left a discretionary sanctions alert on his talk page. What preceded that alert were two comments he left on the article talk page:

  1. [1] The first source (Pittsburg Post Gazette) is not a dead link. Perhaps it's time for you to take a break? Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:38, 26 August 2016 (UTC) - was incorrect. The link only worked because I later found the article reprinted elsewhere and corrected it.
  2. [2] I see you're taking a more constructive approach now, finding sources yourself instead of blanking material. Congratulations! Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:42, 26 August 2016 (UTC) - was needlessly condescending and inflammatory.

I feel like I've stirred a hornets' nest. I expected editors to observe a higher degree of civility in articles under Discretionary Sanctions but I'm finding just the opposite. D.Creish (talk) 08:07, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Final Comment

I'm not going to clutter this section with a tit-for-tat - I want to make position clear and then I likely won't respond except to address direct questions:

It is not that I believe Taylor is not a racist or does not (in my personal view) promote racist ideologies. But review the sources here, especially the high-quality ones - they all use precise language to describe his views. I want our article, especially the lede, to mirror that precise language. The existing sources did not support the reverted phrasing; despite this, several editors insisted on restoring the phrasing and sourcing when even a cursory examination would have shown one of the sources was a non-existent page and another didn't directly address the claim. Rather than participate in a search for improved sources, tangential sources were added scattershot and in questioning their relevance I was met with reversions rather than discussion. That's a violation of the process and intent of the BLP policy as I understand it. D.Creish (talk) 18:46, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Question from Nomoskedasticity

Is this sort of thing intended under the DS system? It looks an awful lot like silly games to me, given the context of the report under discussion here. (Just to be clear: What I'm asking about is the fact that D.Creish placed a DS notice on my talk-page, even though I've never done a single edit to the article in question here.) Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:56, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Volunteer Marek

D.Creish has made six (!) reverts in less than 24 hrs. So there's that. There's no BLP grounds for edit warring here either, as others have pointed out simply because this is actually what the subject is known for. It's sort of like trying to remove the fact that David Duke is a former KKK Grand Wizard from that article on BLP grounds. Which is also why the info is actually well sourced. Now, I can see objecting to the mediamouse source, but there were two other, reliable sources (NY Times and SPLC, which is NOT "primary") there. And indeed, I removed the mediamouse source myself [109] and added additional reliable sources [110] [111]. That didn't stop D.Creish who continued to edit war, reverting other editors another four times. And yes, this content has been in the article a long time, it's been discussed on the talk page (though D.Creish did not bother participating in any of the discussions), etc. etc. As Evergreen and others point out, in addition to WP:TENDENTIOUS edit warring, this also appears to be a bad-faithed attempt to WP:GAME both the BLP policy and discretionary sanctions.Volunteer Marek (talk) 13:23, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

For reference, Jared Taylor is associated with or in charge of the New Century Foundation, a white supremacist group, National Policy Institute a "white nationalist" (whatever that is) "think tank", the The Occidental Quarterly a "a far-right racially obsessed US Magazine", and American Renaissance (magazine) a a white supremacist publication. So yeah, saying that some sources have said that this guy is associated with racist organizations and publications is NOT a BLP violation by any stretch. Again, it's pretty much THE reason he is notable enough to have a Wikipedia article.Volunteer Marek (talk) 13:23, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Btw, this has been a recurring problem, mostly from anonymous IPs and drive by editors, for many years now.Volunteer Marek (talk) 13:23, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by MrX

Reverts like this one with an edit summary "Sources included do not describe Taylor as supporting racist ideologies. Removed on good-faith BLP ground." are indeed WP:CRYBLP and WP:GAMING. Sources, including the SPLC, plainly verify the disputed sentence "Taylor, and many of the organizations he is associated with, are often described as promoting racist ideologies by, among others, civil rights groups, news media and academics studying racism in the US."

The New York Times says "Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, based in Louisville, who argues that blacks and other minorities are, because of genetics, less intelligent than whites and that non-whites are bent on destroying America culturally and politically.". The SPLC elaborates, for example saying "Founded by Jared Taylor in 1990, the New Century Foundation is a self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites.". Salon (a weaker source) just says "Taylor has ties to a variety of domestic and international racists and extremists."

Three experienced editors support the content in question. D.Creish edit warred claiming WP:3RRBLP, which does not apply. I have no idea if this is a pattern of behavior from D.Creish, but in this case, it seems to be a sanctionable offense.- MrX 14:00, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Rhoark

This filing is bad and everyone should feel bad. If a claim about a living person fails WP:V it's a BLP violation. One source was unreliable, NYTimes did not support the claim, and site-wide consensus about SPLC has not been reached. It should be no problem to say SPLC says this and that about him, but if there's a reasonable doubt its reliable for summarizing what third parties think about Taylor, people should try to establish that consensus rather than edit warring. On the technicalities, D.Criesh is entirely justified in reverting an unlimited number of times. On the content, though - what the fuck? In the New York Times it says he argues that blacks and other minorities are, because of genetics, less intelligent than whites and that non-whites are bent on destroying America culturally and politically. Could everyone not just WP:STICKTOSOURCE and be happy? Put that gem in there and Wikipedia:Let the reader decide. Who cares what SPLC says somebody's third cousin thinks. Trouts all around. Rhoark (talk) 23:38, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning D.Creish

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.

This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.
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Request concerning

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
NorthBySouthBaranof (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 15:40, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Search DS alerts: in user talk history • in system log

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Editing_of_Biographies_of_Living_Persons#May_2014 :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 

The anonymous editor in question is using the talk page of the biography of Shaun King to repeat entirely-unsupported and virulently racist claims about the article subject - that he is lying about their racial heritage because they claim the subject is "phenotypically Caucasoid" (whatever that is supposed to mean.)

  1. 24 August 2016 Claiming that the article subject "is phenotypically Caucasoid" and that we should thus remove the article subject's stated race/ethnicity which is supported by reliable sources.
  2. 25 August 2016 Again claiming that the article subject "is phenotypically Caucasoid and exhibits no traits whatsoever of an African American" and that we should thus remove the article subject's stated race/ethnicity which is supported by reliable sources.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Notified of sanctions here.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

This editor is, quite simply, a racist conspiracy theorist, and should not be permitted to edit this person's biography. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 15:40, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

The user's own statements are self-evidently reason to bar them from this article - they have demanded that reliably-sourced information about the biographical subject be removed based upon nothing more than their personal opinion that he "does not look like an African-American." We write biographies based upon sources, not upon stereotypes, personal prejudices and beliefs. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:04, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

Discussion concerning

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by

  • The complainant is accusing me of racism. I have never once made any claims that any race is superior to any other by any means at all. Nor do I hold such views. This accusation is unfounded.
  • The complainant is accusing me of being a conspiracy theorist. I have never once insinuated that any conspiracy has been going on. The complainant is the only one involved who has used the word "conspiracy". I have only suggested that a simple collection of errors has occurred. The accusation is unfounded.
  • The complainant has tried to close discussion before any discussion could take place. The complainant has invested much time editing this article, violating the invested-party clause of discussion closure procedure. The complainant has attempted to enact an early closure of discussion (prior to the minimum 7 days) without claiming WP:SNOWBALL, and on a discussion for a proposed change that does indeed have a snowball's chance in hell.

I have never once insinuated that Shaun King has willfully misrepresented his own racial identity. It is clear that his own very tangled family history is very confusing (as Shaun King has proclaimed in interviews), and his mother told him that his current father is not his real biological father. King has never met or even seen his father (as admitted in interviews). King, based on his own admission, cannot be sure of anything about his father without a paternity test. King cannot be certain about his heritage or racial identity, black or white, or even asian.

King exhibits no physical traits typical of an African American male. King exhibits physical traits solely that of a Caucasian male. The claim is that King is an African American male, despite his outward appearance. This is an extraordinary claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The "reliable sources" are lifestyle and fashion magazines that cite mere hearsay. This does not satisfy the need for extraordinary evidence.

Comparable case: Elizabeth_Warren, who has consistently claimed to be Native American. Her case for claiming her heritage was that she and her maternal lineage have "high cheekbones...just like the Indians do". [112] [113] Like King's case, it is a murky claim not based on any genetic or genealogical investigation. Yet unlike King, her racial identity is not listed as fact on her article. I am interested in accuracy. I believe that it is better to lack a potentially true statement than to include a possibly untrue statement. Removing an extraordinary claim until better evidence surfaces is not an unreasonable request. (talk) 17:40, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.