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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 transcludes from /Case, /Clarification and Amendment, /Motions, and /Enforcement.

Please make your request in the appropriate section:

Requests for arbitration

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: Antisemitism in Poland

Initiated by Girth Summit at 15:40, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Antisemitism in Poland arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland#Article sourcing expectations

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

Statement by Girth Summit

The background to this request is in the lengthy discussion at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#The Volunteer (book), and there is some further discussion at User talk:DGG#Request for help with a request for clarification. I am not asking for the committee to make a decision on the specific source under discussion at those locations; however, the discussions seem to have reached something of an impasse because of people's differing understandings of how we should interpret the remedy's wording. I am therefore asking the committee to consider three questions:

  1. Is it within the scope of the committee to impose restrictions on the use of certain types of sources within a particular topic area, as this remedy does? I have no view on this point, but the question has been raised in the above-mentioned discussions, so I ask that it be considered and, if it is found to be beyond the committee's scope, that the remedy be vacated.
  2. Is the remedy still needed to prevent disruption? Again, I have no view on this, but if the committee feels that the restriction is no longer required, I request that it be vacated.
  3. If the committee finds that the remedy is legitimate and that it remains necessary, I ask for some clarification of how administrators should interpret the phrase 'academically focused books'.

In the above-linked discussions, a number of different possible interpretations of that phrase have been put forward. Some have suggested that its intention is to allow the use of any book which is written about an academic subject (such as history). Others have argued that it allows the use of any book that is written using academic methodologies. I myself have interpreted it more narrowly, believing that the intention was to restrict sources to work intended for an academic audience, which would usually (but not quite always) have been written by an academic and published by an academic press. It seems unlikely to me that the committee would have intended to restrict any periodicals aside from peer-reviewed scholarly journals, but then to allow the use of popular histories and/or heroic biographies which, however well-researched, are not 'academically focused' in my understanding of the phrase.

Please note that I have intentionally not named any other editors as parties to this request, simply to avoid giving anyone any unnecessary alarm. I have no reason to believe that any of the parties to the discussions I've linked to are acting in anything but good faith, we have simply reached an impasse because of our different interpretations of this particular phrase. I will notify all users involved in the discussions about this request. GirthSummit (blether) 15:40, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

I'll respond briefly to Volunteer Marek's point about the Fairweather book: it is a mischaracterisation of the linked discussion to suggest that the book's publisher is the only (or even the main) reason why people have argued that it is not academically focused. Anyone can read through that discussion if they choose to; I suggest that we keep this clarification request focused on the wider issue of the remedy and its wording, and resist any temptation to rehash those disagreements here. GirthSummit (blether) 17:21, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by El_C

First of all, kudos to Girth Summit for the no-fault design of this ARCA (and thanks for letting me know about it). I see you! Now, I don't presume to speak for the Committee, about WP:APLRS or whatever (except when I do, often!), but questions 1 + 2 just seem like an obvious yes to me. It is question 3 that is really of interest here, I think. Elucidation from the Committee on this would serve well to better editorial practices, content-wise, and admin ones, enforcement-wise.

Finally, returning to questions 1+2: it is no secret that I strongly believe that the darkest chapter in our species' history demands WP:MEDRS-like sourcing requirements (APLRS' community-passed sourcing requirement counterpart). I think this was well within Committee discretion to mandate, and one of the best and most important Arbitration decisions bar none, in fact. Especially, considering the intensive whitewashing efforts by the Polish state, as can be seen in its Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance. El_C 16:15, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

Great post, Guy. 👍 Like. I resisted the usual WP:TLDR impulses and was rewarded with probably the best statement in this ARCA thus far (it'll be hard to top). El_C 15:38, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by François Robere

First of all thanks to GirthSummit for opening this and notifying everyone.

  1. I suggest anyone who is less familiar with the case re/acquaint themselves with the evidence regarding problematic sourcing that led to APLRS being enacted.
  2. Sourcing continues to be an issue in the TA: [1][2][3][4][5][6]. There are also ancillary discussions on contemporary Poland: [7][8].
  3. I recommend that the restriction be kept, and expanded with the following:
  1. Editors removing a source for failing to comply with this restriction must specify the reason it fails to comply. Sources thus removed may not be reinstated without prior discussion.
    • This is meant to encourage discussion and prevent edit warring, but in a way that's flexible enough to keep the process short and make "stonewalling" difficult (thanks to editors who helped hone this).
  2. Repeated removal of compliant sources under a pretense of non-compliance is equivalent to repeated insertion of non-compliant sources.
    • This will not prevent editors from removing compliant sources for legitimate reasons (OR, DUE, BLP...), only from abusing APLRS (thanks to Paul Siebert for proposing this).

François Robere (talk) 16:54, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

Added explanation. François Robere (talk) 22:30, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

  • @Barkeep49: I agree regarding representing minority viewpoints, and I don't believe we've done a disservice to such by sticking with these restriction. However, fringe positions tend to be minority positions, and those we are trying to filter out.
    Regarding Glaukopis: "only peer reviewed sources should be used" does not imply that "peers reviewed sources should be used". Glaukopis may present itself as equal to other academic publications, but there's no getting away from its inherent problems and low standing in academia, and ejecting it from this sensitive TA based on those was a clear application of APLRS: only high quality sources, only reputable institution, and not every fringe publication set up by 'renegade historians' with the express intent of promoting like views. François Robere (talk) 22:15, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • @Maxim: "Exceptional claims" are already covered by the regular guidelines, and we routinely incorporate the concept into how we read APLRS. I don't think it's a good idea to shift the emphasis from general practice to that, since the definition is ambiguous and could result in abuse, without much improvement in the overall quality of writing. What we could do is exempt non-controversial or uncontested details, but again that's something we already do, though less frequently.
    Overall APLRS is not that difficult to abide by, but it does get difficult if you've something to prove. François Robere (talk) 22:15, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by My very best wishes

On #1. I believe that any sourcing/content restrictions should be decided by community, just as WP:MEDRS was developed. The discussion would help to properly decide if such restrictions are actually needed and improve the quality of such restrictions. This sourcing restriction by Arbcom arbitrary changes Wikipedia:Verifiability, one of the "five pillars". Is not it something for community?

On #2: Subject areas are different. Yes, I can understand the rationale behind the WP:MEDRS ("Wikipedia's articles are not meant to provide medical advice. Nevertheless, they are widely used among those seeking health information. For this reason, all biomedical information must be based...".), even though I do not necessarily agree with it. Now, let's imagine not allowing journalistic sources and original peer reviewed articles (as WP:MEDRS does) in the area of history and politics. That would be a disaster. This is because many notable but less significant sub-subjects are covered only (or mostly) in such excluded sources. Sure, if there are scholarly and non-scholarly sources, then the scholarly ones are preferred, but this is already written in the policy.

On #3 (@CaptainEek) and #2. Yes, we must use the best sources. But the best sources depend on the specific narrowly defined subject or question that needs to be described. For example, the best and most detailed biography of person X can be a book written for the general public by someone without a PhD degree (just like the "Volunteer"). Moreover, a specific question or aspect can frequently be described in detail only in a few journalistic publications and mentioned in passing in several books. But with such sourcing restriction, such content simply can not be included to a page, even though it frequently should. Furthermore, it is important to use not only the best sources, but all RS on the subject (we are not talking about questionable sources here). By removing certain types of RS, we betray WP:NPOV and make our pages more biased. I agree with DGG.

  • But as a practical matter, this is just a too complex remedy to be useful on AE. All highly complex editing restrictions are ineffective. They must be very simple and understandable for users to be enforced on AE.
  • @Barkeep49. I am not sure how one can answer "yes" to #2 without clarifying question #3. For example, Beyond My Ken (see below) gives a reasonable interpretation of Arbcom wording on #3. Well, if that is what Arbcom wanted, then fine, let's follow this interpretation when someone will be reported to WP:AE for using self-published sources by academics.
  • With regard to #3, we must know what did you mean by "academically focused" (there are many alternative interpretations, including one by BMK below) and by "reputable institutions". Do such "reputable institutions" include reputable journals, like NYT? If this is not clear even to VM, then how that can be clear to other participants? They need to know exactly what they can not use in order to avoid sanctions on AE.
  • However, if you and other arbitrators find it difficult to answer question #3 and believe this should be determined by discussions in community (as you seem to imply), then it should be framed as an RfC and be supported (or not) by the community in a properly organized discussion.
  • As about diffs, I can only give these two links: [14] and [15] because they involve myself. This is the case when such editing restrictions were improperly claimed to cover another subject area that is not about Poland. The result: (a) I simply stopped editing all affected pages to avoid the trouble; (b) the affected pages were degraded by excluding well-sourced and relevant content [16], [17].
  • @Maxim. While there is a justification for making sourcing restrictions for medical claims (what if people are looking for a medical advice?), there is absolutely nothing special about subjects related to Poland, and therefore there is no justification for treating this subject any differently from other hot political topics (Armenian genocide, ARBPIA, USA politics, etc.). This is an attempt to fix behavior problems by ruling on content. Arbitrary narrowing the types of sources is ruling on content because this excludes a number of reliably sourced claims from WP pages, simply because such claims were not mentioned as less significant in academic books. For example, this edit by Bob not snob removes a lot of non-controversial and relevant information that should be included to the page. But it well may be that such info does not appear in academic books, but only in good RS denoted as "Tier 2" here. As another example, making MEDRS restrictions (instead of WP:Verifiability) for the wider area of biology would not allow covering a number of narrowly defined, but notable subjects (like many Category:Human proteins) because MEDRS disallows using original peer reviewed articles. In all such cases the restrictions on sourcing do not "protect" content. To the contrary, they degrade content. WP:Verifiability is a key policy, and it is very thoughtfully written.
@Maxim. Yes, using "high-quality sources for exceptional claims" is much better, but this is already in WP:RS. So, if you are saying "Let's enforce WP:verifiability in this subject area", then I think it would be an impeccable remedy. That is if admins on AE are ready to enforce it. But as a practical matter, I think only obvious misrepresentation of sources can be easily enforced on AE or ANI.
  • I think the discussion below clarified a couple of points:
  1. As nicely illustrated by VM (last part of his comments) and Nigel Ish, one needs all types of RS to create a good page in this subject area, just as in all other subject areas.
  2. Most part of the extremely long RSNB discussion here was not about if the book qualify as RS (yes, it certainly does), but if it satisfy your sourcing restriction (no, it probably does not). That creates a cognitive dissonance: why we can not use a source that we must use per WP:NPOV, WP:verifiability and of course WP:IAR? My very best wishes (talk) 02:29, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Replies to comments by others
I agree with Nigel Ish and FOARP that overemphasizing "academic" sources is not a good idea, and especially on history and politics. Some of them, especially in countries with suppressed media, are revisionist sources and must be avoided. And even certain popular science sources (not all of them of course) can be actually better than so called "academic sources" given that we are developing an information resource for the general public rather than for scientists.
@Beyond My Ken. This is an excellent suggestion, but yet another illustration that sourcing restrictions can not be easily formalized to be enforced on AE. Who is an expert or even an "academic"? A revisionist historian like Zhukov or Arch Getty? One can reasonably argue they are not experts. A journalist writing an opinion piece? One can reasonably argue that many journalists are experts on political subjects. And without clear answer to #3 this whole remedy does not make sense.
@Buidhe. This is good example. No one suggests giving equal weight to all sources. However, there is no reason to exclude anything referenced to New York Times. If there are common popular beliefs about something, that is worth mentioning on the page.
@JzG. If the book "Volunteer" represents "a significant viewpoint, at least in respect of Pilecki" and therefore should be included per WP:NPOV (I agree), then how is the remedy "delivers exactly that"? According to the remedy, this book should arguably be excluded.
@Levivich. I think your classification of sources is reasonable. So why we are going to disqualify good sources from your Tier 2?
@Bob not snob advocates making edits as he does. But was his edit really an improvement of WP content? This is a massive removal of mostly non-controversial and correct information, over the objections by other contributors, simply because it was sourced to a page of Institute of National Remembrance and other potentially non-compliant sources such as Der Spiegel. Bob not snob assumes that such organizations (including newspapers) do not qualify as "reputable" (articles published by reputable institutions" in Arbcom remedy). Yes, I can see that the INR was harshly criticized, but so are many other organizations, including even United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. So, this is something debatable. This is not an easily enforceable remedy, and I doubt it improves the content when implemented in such blunt manner.
@Paul Siebert. The citation index or Google hits are irrelevant for estimating the reliability or the scientific rigor of publications. Thousands of solid scientific studies, even in protein crystallography, have citation of zero (up to 25% of publications in certain fields [18]). These never cited articles are scholarly reliable RS. But Russia RT, the Bible and books with popular fairy tales were cited a lot. They are not RS. Your "algorithm" does not make much sense, sorry.

Statement by Volunteer Marek

I'm not opposed to the sourcing restriction in principle but I do have a few comments and observations:

  1. The original problem that this remedy was looking to remedy was the use of self published sources or sources from fringe outlets. Most of those are gone best I can tell (and if there are any left let me know). In fact, most of them were removed even before the remedy was passed. At this point the remedy has hit diminishing returns as sources which otherwise would not be considered in the least bit problematic (the Fairweather book being discussed at RSN is a good example) are being targeted in what look like a bit of WP:WIKILAWYERing. This is similar to the earlier issue that was raised when this remedy was proposed in its original form. Back then the problem was that institutions like Yad Vashem would be excluded by the restriction, so "or reputable publishers" was added to the wording after I raised the point. But there are also other sources out there which are very good but which aren't necessarily "academic" in a strict narrow sense (again Jack Fairweather (writer) - an award winning journalist with many years experience, who worked as bureau chief for The Telegraph and Washington Post and who wrote the book with help and research assistance from numerous scholars and academics... but alas, it wasn't published by a university press, so "non academic!!!")
  2. Most of the content problems in this topic area are now due NOT to use of shoddy sources (though I'm sure you can anecdotally find some instances) but rather straight up misrepresentations of what sources say. The main problem is that to catch this you have to actually read the sources, sometimes carefully. And while editors who are active in this topic area might be willing to do that (though even for us checking someone's work can be exhausting) I don't think most admins who "patrol" it have the time or the inclination to actually go reading through numerous books and articles to make sure that no sourcing shenanigans are afoot. And EVEN IF they do, the offending editor can plead that they misunderstood or miswrote or that it's a judgement call. Which would be fair enough, except when this "not what the source actually says" stuff becomes a pattern (this is acerbated by the fact that most "academic" sources are paywalled and even with university access since this is a somewhat esoteric sub-discipline access may not be easy to obtain)
  3. I would also like to see clarification on what "academically focused" means. Like... published by university press? What about think tanks or research institutes? What if it's an unaffiliated publisher but the work has been reviewed in academic journals? Etc.
  4. I want to state my view again that, on principle, I don't think it's ArbCom's business or within its purview to make decisions on CONTENT disputes. And this is what sourcing is about. El_C brings up MEDRS above, but wasn't that developed as a "content guideline" by the community? It seems like it would be the job of the community, not the committee, to make similar content related decisions here. Volunteer Marek 17:10, 12 March 2021 (UTC)
  5. Honestly, I'm still not clear on what this restriction really accomplishes that isn't already covered by existing WP:RS policy. All obvious examples of "really bad sourcing" I can think of consists of stuff that wouldn't be allowed under WP:RS anyway. Volunteer Marek 17:10, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

With regard to Francois Robere's proposals above - #1 is okay, conditional on the restriction remaining in place, but #2 ("Repeated removal of compliant sources under a pretense of non-compliance is equivalent to the repeated insertion of non-compliant sources.") is a VERY bad idea. There are all kinds of reasons why a text based on a source which meets sourcing requirements should still be removed - WP:UNDUE, WP:COPYVIO, cherry picking, misrepresentation, using a source as a springboard for WP:OR. We don't even have anything like that for regular RS (having a reliable source is a necessary but not sufficient reason for inclusion). This would turn it into an administrative nightmare. Volunteer Marek 21:51, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

@Barkeep49: - in terms of diffs to support my point #1 above, it's not so much diffs as examples. But let me try (this is going to be a bit of a work in progress, since I'm busy and there's a lot of examples here).

  • So first look at this proposal at RSN here. First, it's kind of nonsense because it 1) assumes all "Polish government media" is homogenous and equally "bad" (according to OP) and 2) the sources it lists as problematic... aren't even government owned!!! (Though in some cases they can be described as "pro-current government"). For our purposes here, the main point is however that these sources are not even used on Wikipedia and if they are they can be removed for straight up WP:RS reasons and don't need this extra special restriction.
    • Take a look at the use of Nasz Dziennik periodical. Now, in the past it's true that this was used on multiple articles related to Polish history. But now all that is pretty much gone. As User:Tayi Arajakate pointed out in this comment from Jan 28 [19] Nasz Dziennik (as well as other sources listed there) is hardly used on Wikipedia. As of Jan 28 2021, there were 24 articles that "used" Nasz Dziennik. That's actually an overstatement. Ignoring talk pages, ND is linked to from 20 articles [20]. All but 2 of these articles are either about ND itself or articles which mention that the subject wrote for ND at some point, per WP:ABOUTSELF. The remaining 2 instances of where this is used as a source are an article on a defunct political party (Libertas Poland) where ND is used to cite a non-controversial fact about who founded the party, and a related article ( about who the spokesperson for that party was. In both cases it's non controversial info. In both cases this could easily be removed (and I just might shortly). In both cases the articles have nothing to do with "Antisemitism and Poland" or "History of Poland". So we have a source that a lot of people are complaining about and which they are PRETENDING is polluting the topic area of Polish history... but it's not actually used anywhere!!! And IF it was, you could remove it per WP:RS, you don't need this extra special restriction! The same thing is true for other sources listed at that RSN.
This illustrates that, again, at this point the restriction is NOT being used to remove legitimately illegitimate sources like Nasz Dziennik, rather it's being used to try and remove legit reliable sources, like the Fairweather book, just because someone WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT. It's basically a form of a strawman fallacy - "oh look, there exist out there in the world (but not on Wikipedia) some unreliable sources about Poland so I get to remove SOME OTHER sources about Poland that I don't like". Volunteer Marek 15:24, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Also take a look at the discussion concerning Glaukopis journal at WP:RS. Ok, this one's kind of funny because it turns the whole WP:ALPRS restriction on its head. The thing is, Glaukopis is an academically focused journal!!! It's published by academics, it's editorial board is academics [21] [22], the authors published there are academics [23], it's peer reviewed by academics and it's read by academics. If we go by WP:APLRS restriction, then this journal should certainly be allowed since it clearly meets the requirement that it's "academically focused"!!!! But... these tend to be, or straight up are, "right wing" academics. That's the slant of the journal. And yup, some of these right wing academics apparently have made some "problematic" statements in other outlets (like their Facebook page or whatever). So the issue that some people have with the journal, is that while it's "academically focused" ... it's not the "right kind of academically focused". Politically. And honestly, I'm somewhat sympathetic (I wouldn't use it myself, though also want to note that the nature of the journal has undergone an evolution over time which is also a consideration). But clearly according to the ArbCom restriction as written it should be acceptable. But according to standard WP:RS policy it may not be (that gets into the deeper question of whether all academic publications are automatically reliable or usable, which is something that User:DGG;s statement touches upon). This again highlights the fact that this restriction is irrelevant here - if we decide not to use this journal it'll be for vanilla WP:RS reasons, not because of the restriction. Volunteer Marek 15:51, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

@Maxim: User:Levivich below asks what content is being excluded on the basis of this restriction which could otherwise be included. Well, if Levivich actually looked at the edits under dispute, the answer to their quary would be easy to find. In this edit, the account "Bob Not Snob" removed 11k+ worth of text from the Witold Pilecki article. In their edit summary they explicitly claimed they were removing this material because of the ALPRS restriction. So what kind of content was removed because, according to Bob Not Snob accout, it "violated APLRS"?

  • That Pilecki "attended a local school" <-- non-controversial
  • That "In 1916, Pilecki was sent by his mother to a school in the Russian city of Oryol, where he attended a gymnasium" <-- non-controversial
  • That "In 1918, following the outbreak of the Russian Revolution and the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, Pilecki returned to Wilno" <-- non controversial, no source actually questions this
  • That "The militia disarmed the retreating German troops and took up positions to defend the city from a looming attack by the Soviet Red Army. (...) and Pilecki and his unit resorted to partisan warfare behind Soviet lines." <-- non controversial
  • That "He and his comrades then retreated to Białystok where Pilecki enlisted as a szeregowy (private) in Poland's newly established volunteer army. He took part in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921, serving under Captain Jerzy Dąbrowski" <--- Again, I have no idea why this had to be removed as no one, no source, has ever questioned this.
  • That Pilecki "briefly served in the ongoing Polish-Lithuanian War as a member of the October 1920 Żeligowski rebellion." <--- again, no one questions this
  • That Pilecki "completed his school examinations while continuing his military service, completing courses required for a non-commissioned officer rank at the Cavalry Reserve Officers' Training School in Grudziądz" <--- very very non controversial, no one questions this
  • That Pilecki "briefly enrolled with the Faculty of Fine Arts at Stefan Batory University but was forced to abandon his studies in 1924 due to both financial issues and the declining health of his father" <--- non controversial, no source contradicts this
  • "his unit took part in heavy fighting against the advancing Germans during the invasion of Poland. The 19th Division was almost completely destroyed following a clash with the German forces on the night of September 5 to 6." <--- Not questioned by any source
  • "He and his men destroyed seven German tanks, shot down one aircraft, and destroyed two more on the ground." <--- I .... guess... this... could be maybe kind of sort of controversial... except no source disputes this.
  • That Pilecki "hid his real identity and instead used the identity documents of Tomasz Serafiński" - ok, maybe this one is controversial? But notice, that 1) the account Bob Not Snob completely changed the meaning of the sentence by making it seem like Pilecki was "accidentally" mistaken for Serafinski whereas the whole point is that he assumed that identity on purpose (!) and 2) this is based on a source which SHOULD meet APLRS. So, like I mentioned above, the problem here is willful MISREPRESENTATION of solid sources, rather than shoddy sources.

And so on. It goes on for awhile. I mean, it's a pretty thorough gutting of the article, removing 11k of text, most of it non-controversial stuff like the fact that he went to a school and what units he served in. It's hard to see this as actually constructive. Rather it seems like someone using APLRS as an excuse to make an article look like crap because they don't like the subject. Like, you can't actually write "bad stuff" about Pilecki, because the guy was in fact a hero, and the sources - even the newer "revisionist" ones like Fleming and Cuber - are pretty clear on that, so instead you gut the article by removing basic, non-controversial, biographical info and try and make it look like shit. Or maybe it's WP:BAIT so that if someone reverts these edits as "non-controversial" you can use it as an excuse to file a spurious WP:AE report (and there's been a ton of those) and try to get someone sanctioned.

So yes, this restriction is VERY MUCH being used and abused to remove non-controversial info from article. Not a hypothetical. Volunteer Marek 02:59, 25 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Buidhe

I will give an example from another area. In the Raoul Wallenberg article it was previously claimed that Wallenberg saved 100,000 Jews. This claim is made in many popular works that would ordinarily qualify as WP:RS, such as New York Times,[24][25] popular books[26][27], and a resolution that passed US Congress.[28] But peer reviewed scholarship disputes this claim, saying the actual number of people saved was <10,000. If popular sources are given equal weight as academic sources, our article will end up saying something that's factually incorrect. (I think this kind of mythification is especially common when someone is considered a "hero"). In the Hungary topic area, such a requirement isn't formally necessary because no one has been trying to override the academic sources with popular ones; however, if that started to happen I would support a sourcing restriction there as well. Because in the Poland area there are many examples of editors trying to use deficient sources to trump peer-reviewed ones, (see above) it is necessary to restrict to WP:SCHOLARSHIP only for claims about what actually happened in the past. (t · c) buidhe 19:19, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Piotrus

This entire remedy should be revoked as unnecessary. First, regarding issue #2, no, it is not necessary, nor was it ever so. WP:RSN exists, is active, and was never swamped with discussions of works related to this topic area. Nor was there any general RfC on this or such. While the ArbCom finding did say "RSN and talk page RfCs have often failed to settle these questions", unfortunately no data or justification for this conclusion were ever indicated, nor was I able to find even a single party making such a claim at the Evidence and Workshop page, where instead, several RSN/RfC discussions were linked - and described as having successfully resolved the issues raised (generally concluding that several sources were unreliable). The problem was thus solved without the need for any extra remedies. Existing policies (RS, REDFLAG, FRINGE, UNDUE, etc.) work well enough and ArbCom should have simply reminded us of them; there was no need to "reinvent the wheel".

Second, regarding issue #1, I do have serious concerns about whether it is ArbCom's (or consequently's AE's) role to judge what sources are acceptable. I am afraid that ArbCom reached too far and this is causing major problems, many more than it attempted to solve. It is in fact encouraging disruption in the topic area (instead of preventing it), empowering disruptive socks, and scaring away established content creators. Proof below.

What the remedy has caused is that sources perfectly acceptable in every other area of the project are being challenged, with editors increasingly bypassing RSN/RfC and just claiming 'they violate my view of what academically focused' means. Consider the former FA Witold Pilecki, where a new account (registered just when the last ArbCom was ending...) not previously active in this TA suddenly appeared and effectively gutted the article, removing about half of the content with the edit summary "After discussion, WP:APLRS" (and did so again here). First, the removed content was uncontroversial. Second, the removed sources included the recent, award-winning, first-ever, English-language monograph (biography) of the subject, written by a respected journalist (aided by numerous scholars), published by a HarperCollins/CustomHouse which is a "reputable publisher" (wording from APLRS itself!), a book which received many positive reviews (The Economist, WSJ, etc.), including by scholars, and which would be acceptable for any other topic area (my reading of the RSN discussion on this book is 'reliable, but may or may not meet APLRS, depending on what one understands by "academically focused"). Sigh. While this is a specific case, I use it to show that if such sources are not allowed, then we are forcing editors to either use hard to access and verify (and older) Polish-language sources or simply not to include helpful and uncontroversial information in the article (since no, there are better English-language sources). In either case, we are making it extremely difficult to write articles in Polish WWII history, simply because a few editors, most now retired or banned, have used some low-quality sources in the past (sources which are now considered unreliable, after discussions at RSN, and that nobody is restoring).

Further, while the Holocaust topic area is controversial it is no more so than many others (Isreal-Palestine, American politics, Balkans, Scientology, whatever). And most certainly, the remedy's broad scope - the entire Polish WWII area - is way too large, as it affects numerous articles on uncontroversial topics like minor battles, ships, or biographies, where next to no English sources exist, and due to poor digitalization of Polish literary and academic corpus up to date, history-focused newspaper or magazine articles are still very useful (of course, if contradicted by scholarly research, they should be discarded - but we don't need a remedy for this, RS already has this logic covered). Strictly interpreted, we should ban authors of totally uncontroversial articles like Defense of Katowice, Railway sabotage during World War II or SMS M85 and thousands of others, which heavily rely on mass-market books or educational websites or like. A lot of valuable articles about Polish military history can be sourced from books in Polish published by the Bellona Publishing House, which published numerous monographs on particular battles of the '39 invasion of Poland, and which often are the one and only monograph for said battle in existence; but Bellona's books are directed at the mass market of people interested in military history, so are they "academically focused"? A great source I've used over the past few years is Bellona's specialized encyclopedia Boje polskie 1939-1945: przewodnik encyklopedyczny, edited by historian Krzysztof Komorowski, but surely, encyclopedias are not 'academically focused'. My recent milhist A-class article, Battle of Hel, relies on this source heavily (as well as on another monograph from Bellona about the fighting on the Polish coast, Derdej's Westerplatte, Oksywie, Hel 1939) - is it ArbCom's intention to prevent such content from being written, and to punish editors like myself for writing it? Oh, and just in case someone thinks we can limit the damage by narrowing the scope to the Holocaust, you do realize we often use, among others, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum webpages, like its Holocaust Encyclopedia, as a source? For me, it is a much less "academically focused" source than the mentioned book from HarperCollins (for example, the book has endnotes, which USHMM's pages usually do not). The remedy, which was intended to discourage fringe, red-flag claims, threatens to lay waste to the entire topic area. This was already mentioned during previous requests for clarification by MILHIST editors like Nick-D here, Peacemaker67 here, Nigel_Ish here, Nug here, as well as former arbitrator DGG here, just to name a few, and what was feared a year ago is happening right now.

This is all compounded by the threat of being reported to AE for simply adding a book one did not realize came from a non-academic publisher (assuming that they are not allowed since the remedy does clearly allow "reputable publishers"). In other words, this encourages disruptive editors to create throw-away accounts which just need to meet 500/30 and then they can report established editors they have a grudge against to AE for using a source that may or may not meet the fuzzy definition of "academically focused". Doesn't work? Create a new sock, rinse and repeat. The sock wins if it manages to get a single ruling in its favor (which ruins the reputation of the established editors for years, and likely topic bans them too), or if the targeted editors give up and leave the topic arena. Win-win for disruption, lose-lose for the encyclopedia.

The current remedy creates an unfair burden on the editors in this topic area. It does so by creating a chilling effect with the threat of 'if you use a source that is accepted anywhere else you may be reported to AE and topic banned or worse". It discourages experienced editors to write about Polish-Jewish WWII relations or even Polish WWII history in general which is obviously bad for the project (see comments here) and encourages aggressive socking (creation of throw-away accounts to add possibly problematic sources or reporting established editors to AE).

Lastly, re #3. If the remedy is retained, ArbCom needs to clarify what the term 'academically focused' it invented (or adopted from following its invention by a single admin) means (and good luck with that...). The recent RSN discussion has shown that many editors disagree on this, which is compounded by the fact that many participants are not academics and make claims like 'narrative style means the work cannot be academically focused' which is wrong (narrative ethnography is an academically recognized style of writing). In the end, I strongly recommend that discussion of sources should be left to RSN, not to few well-meaning admins who, while experts on Wikipedia, are not always experts on things like 'what is academic' or not. ArbCom and AE are overworked already, those venues don't need broader competencies and increasing workload that comes with them (like this very request for clarification, third in the series about that particular remedy). RSN has been and still is perfectly capable of weeding out FRINGE sources and reminding people about REDFLAG, UNDUE, and relevant policies. We don't need the threat of 'a sock will bring you to AE' hanging over people who want to use an in-depth monograph, the only one in existence for its subject, just published by a non-academic publisher, or edit an uncontroversial article about a German minelayer which sunk off the coast of Poland in '39 referencing Jane's Fighting Ships or a book by Steven Zaloga/Osprey Publishing, for pity's sake. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 03:42, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Maxim Narrowing the scope to "[requiring] high-quality sources for exceptional claims for articles related to anti-Semitism and Jewish history in Poland, specifically in relation to World War II and The Holocaust" seems like it should solve most of the issues. Although isn't it just repeating WP:REDFLAG? The only ArbCom level issue is " that is enforceable via AE". But we should make it clear that AE should only be invoked if someone is edit warring over this issue, to avoid weaponizing this remedy by socks who want to roll the admin dice over a single edit. First, a talk discussion should be started on whether a problematic source is being used for an exceptional source. IF there is consensus this is the case but someone persists on adding it back to the article, then and only then AE should be alerted. So pretty much what the remedy (if retained, because I still do not believe anyone has demonstrated, with recent diffs, the necessity of it?) should be saying is that repeated violations of REDFLAG in this topic area are subject to DS/AE/etc. Lastly, you asked for more diffs of how the current remedy is being abused. VM already provided the best example. I'll add to it:
1) the edit with summary "After discussion, WP:APLRS" In the WP article VM mentions, the original "gutting" edit by Bob removed 25k bytes - that's over 50% of the article! Removed content included parts that are (per prior clarifications) clearly outside the scope of the article (pre-war, post-war, not to mention the entire "bibliography" section). And I don't believe anyone on the talk mentioned that a single removed fact was actually controversial. Btw, AFAIK the The Volunteer (book) which caused such a big RSN thread was used only to reference... the very fact it existed, in the legacy section...
2) edit summary "not neutral, not APLRS, and factually dubious." - removal of a paragraph that deals with post war event (1960s+), so again simply outside APLRS. No talk page explanation was provided for what's not neutral or factually doubious.
3) edit summary "Update using APLRS sources" - another article gutted; removal of 14k worth of prose. The article might have had some NPOV issues, but there is no reason to remove half of the content again, almost all of it uncontroversial details such as that the subject was born in the Austrian Partition, that "He graduated from high school in Sanok" or that in September '39 the subject fought "near Łowicz with the Polish Prusy Army (Armia Prusy) under Gen. Stefan Dąb-Biernacki".
So the bottom line is that almost all content removed under APLRS is uncontroversial. The editor who removed those details (and who was not active in this topic area before February when he took to APLRS with gusto) seems to misunderstand APLRS (since it does not apply to pre-war or post-war content or sections like 'bibliography'!), and in most cases did not explain on the talk why the content was removed, or what was wrong with the references in text (some do seem low quality, but others seem reliable, at least the first glance). Sure, maybe one or two facts removed in the giant guttings of the article could be seen as such - but that was not even explained on the talk. Low-quality references for uncontroversial content can be removed while retaining the content and substituting a {{citation needed}}. I concur with VM that what is happening now, however, can give an impression of a WP:BATTLEGROUND attempt to tempt some editors into restoring content, hoping that maybe in restoring 15k-25k worth of deleted prose (almost all of it about uncontroversial details) they restore something that'll produce an AE-worth diff. The fact is that uncontroversial content was gutted and it took weeks to restore some of it (not even all of it, yet). This is both the chilling effect I noted and an example of active destruction of articles in this topic area that the current remedy is empowering. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:09, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
Levivich Re "identifying the problem on the ground". First, the diffs presented by me, VM and others showing that, for example, the remedy was used to argue that totally uncontroversial information about early life education (which school they attended) of some individuals should be removed. So here, this is what is happening on the ground right now. Second, it is not feasible to say something like "in theory, this remedy prevents the use of otherwise reliable but not highest-level sources for sourcing uncontroversial information like specs of a Polish military ship, but in practice, since nobody was reported to AE over this yet, it won't happen". This is just asking for someone's stalker or such to create a sock for such a report. And then admins at AE are saddled with what is the letter and what is the spirit of the remedy. Lastly, do tell me: what disruption has this remedy prevented? Can you, or anyone, show a single diff where REDFLAG content was warred over before the remedy was implemented, but such warring stopped afterward, with the last edit that ended the warring citing APLRS? The facts on the ground are simple: this remedy is not preventing any disruption, it is preventing (though a chilling effect) editors from adding - or restoring - uncontroversial content. Like from the Naval Institute Press. Do you want to be the editor who used this source and then is reported by a sock to see what AE admins think (and repeat this for dozens of similar-level publishers, some in foreign languages like Polish, like the Bellona Publishing House, to see which one will fail the test)? I know I don't. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:27, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
François Robere "Overall APLRS is not that difficult to abide by". Such claims would hold more weight if they came from editors who actually create content in this topic area. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 03:58, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
François Robere That's very nice. And as someone who created, roughly, about 1000x times that much content, yes, I think that the current restrictions are very difficult to abide by. On the subject of your Warsaw Ghetto Hunger Study article, I think the one and only new article you started in this TA, I remember you decided to remove some newspaper sources from the article [29] despite, in all honesty, them not being used for anything controversial and the newspaper being generally quite reputable. Pointless make-work. And that article still contains some references that may not pass ALPRS muster (a strange website; a book from 1946 not published by an 'academically focused publisher'; etc.), even though I don't believe they are used improperly; and removal of content sourced to them would not be of interest to the project and the readers. Alas, this is what the remedy may require, according to some. Bottom line is that the article you created was perfectly fine, sourcing-wise, and you should not be forced to remove the newspaper source cited there, nor be penalized for adding them there in the first place. Adding further, academic-level references is of course good, but that you felt compelled to remove a perfectly fine newspaper article, replacing it which harder to verify, offline or paywalled sources, is exactly why this remedy is bad - it creates an unnecessary burden on content creators, makes the article and its sourcing less accessible, and worse, does so under a threat of heavy-handed sanctions. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 13:00, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
François Robere I am not sure what you meant to say, but I don't get paid to "work around here", and I suggest you refactor your post for clarity, as I doubt it was your intention to suggest anyone here has a PAID COI? And I don't see any exception in ALPRS that permits the use of ABOUTSELF. If ALPRS overrides normal RS, why wouldn't it override it subclause ABOUTSELF? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 16:43, 30 March 2021 (UTC)
François Robere I would like to think you are right, but such clarifications are for ArbCom to make, which is why we are here. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:24, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Peacemaker67

Responding to Piotrus' ping. I am on the record in the original discussion (linked in Piotrus' contribution alongside my username) as opposing, as a matter of principle, the incursion of ArbCom into content issues which this remedy represents. It IS a content issue, and we have processes for dealing with them that don't involve ArbCom. The remedy should be vacated until and unless ArbCom's scope is widened to include content as well as conduct issues. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 04:38, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Paul Siebert

I think sourcing restriction is a very good idea, but this tool sometimes may be harmful. The core problem here is an indiscriminate approach. According to WP:APLRS, the whole WWII period is covered, be it a history of some small Polish town, or a technical article about Polish tanks. Is it needed? Of course, it is totally redundant. And "Polish" users quite legitimately object to that. However, there is one aspect that really requires our attention: Polish-Jewish relations during WWII. Social processes in modern Poland lead to resurrection of nationalist myths, and many Polish sources describe the WWII events at somewhat different angle that Western sources do. That is especially true for newspapers, blogs, popular web sites and other sources that are seen as marginally acceptable per our content policy. Normally, we allow that type sources, but in this situation, the abundance of that type sources and high activity of "Polish" editors (I use quotation marks, because I speak about their POV, not nationality) creates a situation when the description of Polish-Jewish relations during WWII in English Wikipedia differs considerably from what majority of scholarly sources write. During the discussion of the Antisemitism in Poland case, I made a post that drawn attention of professional US historians and journalists. They contacted me, and they expressed a concern about English Wikipedia bias. In connection to that, I think it is absolutely correct to keep the restrictions, because they deprive POV pushers of the main tool: their sources.

Moreover, I propose to think about sourcing restrictions as a universal tool for extinguishing edit wars. Usually, high quality sources use more cautious wording and factually correct statement, so if only top quality sources are used by both parties, that decrease the tension. According to my experience, the better sources some user uses, the more they are prone to arguments, and the reasier to reach a consensus.

There is one problem with this approach: these sourcing restrictions may be used for gaming the system (reporting a user who made an innocent edit using questionable source). I propose to think how to amend these restrictions to minimize a possibility of gaming. One possibility is to remove restrictions from any content that is not related to Polish-Jewish relationships.

With regard to the arguments about "content disputes", I have a question: what criteria discriminate cautious, experienced and polite POV-pusher from a user who is involved in a long but sincere content dispute? I think it is totally impossible to draw such a line without a careful analysis of arguments and sources. According to my experience, experienced POV-pushers are totally invisible for AE admins, and that fundamental reason is that AE admins have no necessary knowledge and time to carefully analyse the evidences, each or which, taken separately, look totally innocent.

With regard to User:Girth Summit's questions #1 - 3, my opinion is as follows:

1. Sourcing restrictions may be a better idea than topic bans. First, all sanctions are supposed to be more preventive than punitive, and most disruption is associated with usage of poor sources (it is hard to edit disruptively using only academically focused sources). Second, if a disruptive user has to use only good sources, that will requite more efforts to obtain them and read. In addition, it increase one's educational level, and may lead to correction of their POV. I am telling that based on my own experience.

2. The remedy may perfectly prevent disruption in many cases. And I see no harm in that remedy for high importance history topics. I would say more: I de facto am writing Wikipedia articles using only academically focused sources (exceptions are very rare), and I don't think that self-imposed restriction negatively impacts my work.

3. To answer how these rules should be applied, let me first explain how I select "academically focused sources". I use the following procedure: (i) no googling (only the sources available at google scholar, jstor and few other specialised databases are acceptable); (ii) if a book or article is more than 2-3 years old and there is no citations, it should be avoided; (iii) journal impact factor must be taken into account; (iv) for books, check reviews at jstor and gscholars: no reviews or negative reviews are an indication of possible problems. As I already wrote elsewhere, this my approach described as quite adequate by Brendan Luyt, the scholar who is studying the mechanisms of improving Wikipedia credibility. How all of that can be applied to the Polish-Jewish area? I think, if some user expresses a concern about some source that does not meet the above criteria, it is better to remove it. If another party resists to that, they are supposed to prove the criteria i-iv are met. If they failed to do that and continue using the disputed source, a topic ban must follow.

Below, there is an example of how it works.
Example 1. User:Volunteer Marek asked if the books by Jack Fairweather (writer) are considered "academically focused". A brief check demonstrates that Fairweather's "The Good War: Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan" was cited 46 times, mostly by the sources that obviously are "academically focused publications". The first source in that list available to me online uses his book as a source of information, and does not question the facts provided by Fairweather.
Conclusion: the criteria i-iv are met, and if VM is accused of usage of that book, he can always present these search results as a proof that sourcing expectations are met.
Example 2: Now let's check if The Volunteer passes the same test (Disclaimer. I was not participating in the RSN discussion, although RSN is in my watchlist. Therefore, I can be considered neutral.)
  • I don't see this book in my googlse scholar search, I only see the Portugal translation at the very end of the list. I could not find anything in Jstor either The criterion i failed.
  • Since The Volunteer is not found in gscholar and Jstor using a direct search, it automatically means there are nearly zero citations The criterion ii failed.
  • Since The Volunteer is not a journal article, the "iii" criterion is not applicable.
  • When I look for the sources about the book, I see the same sources as the one presented at RSN. The review is published in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs by Taylor & Francis, its impact factor is not impressive, but acceptable for that topic. Therefore, the review passes reliability criteria, but the review contains serious criticism of factual accuracy of The Volunteer. The criterion iv failed
Conclusion: The Volunteer does not meet the criteria, and it should not be used (at least for now, because it is a new book, and some fresh positive reviews may be published in future).
Example 3: User:CaptainEek's "Lincoln".
  • (i) Google scholar says it was cited 816 times (first and second steps are successful; the third criterion is not applicable, because it is a book);
  • (iv) There are several reviews on that book in Jstor. I looked only through the first one, (by William Hanchett, Source: The Journal of American History, Vol. 83, No. 1 (Jun., 1996), pp. 216-218). This review is mixed: the reviewer noted several weaknesses and several strengths of that book. I am not going to go into details, for the lack of unambiguous criticism is an indication that the criterion "iv" is met.
Conclusion: "Lincoln" meets the sourcing expectation criteria and can be used.
I propose everybody to try that approach using obviously good and obviously bad sources, and I am sure it will allow efficient discrimination of the former from the latter. This approach is transparent, which exclude a possibility of a bias or gaming.
Example 4: This discussion is an example of what may happen if the proposed procedure will be used. User:Piotrus pointed at some problems with interpretation of the review on The Volunteers, and that criticism may be partially justified. However, that does not change the fact that The Volunteer is not found in the google scholar search list, and is was not cited in any peer-reviewed publication. Therefore, the criteria "i & ii" are still not met, and the book is not acceptable (at least, for now; a situation may change in future if other authors will start to cite the book. That possibility cannot be ruled out).

The enforcement of these rules is straightforward. Before I describe the procedure, let me give the example when some user was accused of violating sourcing restriction in an incorrect way (and that is why the request was declined). Instead, a correct procedure should be as follows. The accusing user was supposed to:

  • Point at concrete sources that do not meet the sourcing restriction criteria.
  • Explain why they do not meet the rules (criteria "i - iv", see above).
  • Give the accused party some time to make sure these sources really fail the criteria "i - iv".
  • If the accused party rejects the arguments, or provides insufficient arguments AND continues to re-add these sources, the AE report is justified.

In my opinion, this procedure can be easily implemented, and it will not require too much work from enforcing admins.

Last, but not least. The attempts to remove the sources that clearly meet the criteria "i - iv" should be considered equally serious violation, and it may be reported at AE too.

This argument is totally frivolous, because scientific publications in protein crystallography are usually being published in journals with an average impact-factor above 3 (which statistically means each article is unlikely to be non-cited). In addition, any published X-ray structure (and even those which has not been published yet) is deposited to the Protein Data Bank, which also implies some fact checking. Anyway, this analogy is so remote that it seems like an argument for a sake of argument. I propose to ignore this argument, as well as KC argument, and focus at the main topic.
Frankly, I do not understand the point My Very Best Wishes is trying to make. Does he really think that fairy tales are used as a source in scholarly articles? With regard to the Nature article cited by him, there is a direct misinterpretation of what it says. It says:
"Web of Science records suggest that fewer than 10% of scientific articles are likely to remain uncited. But the true figure is probably even lower, because large numbers of papers that the database records as uncited have actually been cited somewhere by someone."
It also says that the number of uncited articles steadily decreases. Finally, that article was written based mostly on Web of Science data, which are focused on natural and exact sciences, and humanities and similar disciplines are poorly represented there. I think the Nature article is totally irrelevant to the current discussion.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:33, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

@Maxim:@BDD: We already have a policy saying that highly controversial topics require multiple high quality sources. If ArbCom answers "Yes" to the questions 1 and 2, that just confirms the obvious fact that the Holocaust in Poland is a highly controversial topic, and many claims about Polish-Jewish relations that challenge mainstream views (an that is exactly what happening now, when many Polish sources seem to contradict to what Western scholarly literature says) need to be supported by multiple high-quality sources. Therefore, the only value of the ArbCom's sourcing restrictions would be a clarification of criteria outlined in WP:REDFLAG. In connection to that, Maxim's explanation seems a really valuable response.

Maxim's interpretation seems very close to what I describe above, and to K.e.coffman's deinition. However, I still have some questions/comments:

  • Excludes coffee-table-style books or other books where the intended audience is the general public instead of academics I anticipate serious debates over the books that are authored by respectable journalists, because many of them, by their quality are comparable to monographs.
  • Excludes non-peer-reviewed literature See below
  • Includes peer-reviewed monographs written by an academic and published by an academic press Usually, monographs are not peer-reviewed. Instead, reviews may be published after publication of the book (but that is not necessary). Therefore, I would propose "monographs ... that have generally positive reviews".
  • Includes the type of book that has an academic as an editor and has chapters contributed by other academics, is peer-reviewed, is published by an academic press, and is generally a secondary source (review) versus something that's more of a primary research report (but consider that the primary research report might have a section with a good review and summary of the existing literature) Again, the editor usually does not peer-review the chapters authored by individual contributors, he invites the authors whom he trusts.
  • Includes academic textbooks, preferably aimed at the senior undergraduate to graduate levels, but we can live with a first-year textbook depending on what claims are being cited No comments
  • Depending on the claims, would favor most recent scholarship. The most recent scholarship may contain some controversial claims that may be challenged by peers in close future. I would say "reasonably recent scholarship that has been widely cited by other authors".

To that, I would add the following. Many journals exist that have all traits of peer-reviewed journals, but that publish the works authored by a narrow local group of authors, who perform "peer-reviewing" of each other's works. Formally, they fit a definition of "peer-reviewed publication", but they may be totally marginal. As a rule, these journals have no impact factor (of an impact factor below 1), and the articles published there are not cited by the authors who do not belong to that group. Obviously, the quality of content of those journals can be very low, significantly lower than the quality of publications in mainstream newspapers. Meanwhile, your rule allows the former and forbids the latter. In my opinion, "peer-reviewed" articles published in low level journals (the journals with low or absent impact factor) should be allowed only if they have been cited by some other scholarly publication, and that reference contained no obvious criticism. With regard to the User:Nigel Ish's argument, I think all of that can be easily resolved by specifying that the above source restrictions are applicable only to potentially controversial claims (the claims that have been challenged by at least one user, who substantiated them with appropriate sources). We all are reasonable people, and we do not expect that a user who added a marginally acceptable source telling about technical details or combat history of some Polish warship may be reported to AE. I think, a procedure of source removal should be as follows: "I (user name) find the claim supported by the source X controversial, and it contradicts to commonly accepted views expressed in mainstream scholarly literature. I am removing the source X and request other users not to restore that information unless it is supported by multiple high quality sources (as defined by WP:REDFLAG and ArbCom's decision)". Obviously, a user who is removing non-controversial or purely technical information from the articles about Poland under a pretext that the sources are marginally acceptable can be accused of gaming a system. Therefore, I find Nigel Ish's argument somewhat artificial.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:21, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

@Nigel Ish:, I understand your concern, and it seems the ideas expressed by @Maxim: in his last post can resolve the problem. I also would like to point out at the @Tataqp:'s opinion: it seems this good faith user is not fully familiar with our content policy yet, because the main idea of his post is that ArbCom's source restrictions pose a strong barrier extensive usage of "firsthand accounts, memoirs, documents, government reports or hearings" and other primary sources, usage of SPS, which, as we all know, violated our policy. That is a proof that the restrictions are a very valuable tool.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:24, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by GizzyCatBella

I am very concerned about using newspaper sources and similar for factual claims. Still, at the same time, there is nothing wrong with using them to source uncontroversial matters about events that happened after the war, correct? At Witold Pilecki's article, for example, a new editor, invoking this remedy, eliminated nearly the whole of the section about his legacy [30], which initially concerned things like monuments erected or posthumous awards received after 1989. This is just one of many examples I can think of where this remedy is being severely abused. Instead of preventing the addition of fringe theories that are generally restrained by WP:RS anyway, it is used to justify removing relevant and uncontroversial content someone doesn't like. The very existence of WP:RSN tells that many years after WP:RS was adopted, we are still debating what "reliable" is. To invent a new term, "academically focused" is an absurdity. The community has difficulty handling "reliable" without burdening it with clarifying a new notion. And such an endeavor is impossible anyway. We could just call for the use of "very reliable" or "best quality" sources - all meaningless qualifications that invite subjective opinions like "this award is good enough" - "no, it is not" or "one review in a peer-reviewed source is enough"-"no, we need seven" or "the author needs to have a Ph.D."-"no, Ph.D. is not enough". He needs a Nobel Prize". And worst, the remedy means that the question of what is reliable is no longer discussed at RSN, where at least most editors are reasonably experienced with the concept of "reliability". Now we ask administrators at AE, many of whom are not content creators, nor academics, to make such a call. At first, I assumed this remedy might help, but now I realize it was a prescription for failure. It's a typical "good intention" that, in reality, is only useful for paving the proverbial hell. We need to bite this in the back. In the end, whether the remedy is helpful or not can be judged by looking at its impact. What sources did it exclude that otherwise would be allowed? Right now, I can only think of the recent case concerning the Volunteer (book). The book has been written in consultation with many professional historians, was published by a major publishing house, gained a notable award, and got a significant and overwhelmingly positive reception. Is this indeed a source the remedy was supposed to rule out? If the answer is no, then the remedy is broken. Last thought - I am pretty unsure whether that source (Volunteer book) is allowed or not - the RSN discussion reads like no consensus, so what's the default ruling here? Use it, get reported to AE, and see how the dice roll? And since the source is used to reference content, and if removed, said content could be too, per WP:V (which clearly states "Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed"), how is this remedy, or any imaginable AE ruling based on it, not a verdict on content? - GizzyCatBella🍁 07:24, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

  • @user Bob not snob - I'm sorry that 12 minutes after registering your account on November 5th[31], you inmediatelly had to step into such a problematic area by reverting [32] Volunteer Marek. - GizzyCatBella🍁 08:56, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
  • @Paul Siebert - You write that "the [Flemming] review contains serious criticism of factual accuracy", but as Piotrus pointed out, Flemming doesn't find any "factual errors" in the book; he just criticizes the usage of the word volunteer and concludes that "Despite the problems outlined above, the book has several merits. It is written in accessible prose and includes numerous pictures and informative maps. It has many references (though some are imprecise and unclear) and provides some additional insight into courier operations and Pilecki’s peacetime life." This merely sounds like a negative review but more like a balanced one. Not that I think this is the place to address this or your (interesting) method for assessing source reliability. - GizzyCatBella🍁 07:55, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by DGG

There are two separate topics here: one is the role of arb com with respect to issues involving content. The other is how to determine what sources to use, with respect to either our general preference for academic content, or a community or other mandate to use only or preferentially academic content in a particular situation.

Content can be affected directly or indirectly, by interpreting policy in such a way that it does indirectly affect content. An example is this very case. WP policies almost always involve terms of art, words used in special ways in Wikipedia, and whose exact meaning is endlessly disputable: A particularly ambiguous phrase is Reliable Sources, and it's a particularly important phrase, because serious content arguments are usually argued in terms of which sources to use--if you can use the right sources, anything can be supported. This sort of interpretation should in theory be outside the scope of arb com, but it sometimes must be, because of the need to deal with editors who insist disruptively on using sources inappropriately--whatever we may say in theory, or write in a decision, in practice we treat editors who edit in an aggressive or repetitive manner in different ways, depending upon what we think of their arguments or their sources. Despite the wording of guidelines, there is in actuality no such thing as a reliable source, or an unreliable sources. Sources are reliable to different degrees for different purposes. In some fields academic sources of a particular type are universally regarded as preferable, as with MEDRS; in others, such as some areas of technology or business or current affairs, such sources may be very incomplete as compared with other possibilities. My career was as an academic librarian; it may not be realized by those not familiar, but the parts of the academic world dealing with the humanities and social sciences live not by consensus, but by controversy. There have been many books published on all major topics in history, and the only way to get a new book published is either to find new primary material, or to reinterpret existing ones. For a reinterpretation, or the use of new primary material, the book will be most widely reviewed, most widely read, most likely to lead to tenure, and most profitable for the publisher, the more sensational or at least controversial it is. For those topics in history which have implication to current politics , or the memory of people still living --or their descendants--reinterpretations that affect national stories are always controversial, and in these fields books by those with lesser academic qualifications can be just as influential, even to the academic world, as those by the highest level historian--some fields will even be mostly researched by those with a legend to defend or oppose.
It's obvious that the present field is like that, or we would not be here. It's clear to everyone with even remote interest that publications in this field are often affected by ideology, which can affect both academics and nonacademics. Governments or political parties have views to support, as do their constituents, and they will read whatever supports them. Accurate discussion of such issue is only possible if all sides are open to evaluation. Some of the most interesting work on controversial movements is done by their supporters, some by their equally extreme opponents. The material will be of a varying degree of sophistication, and can only be judged by informed comparison. A polemic work will use those sources which support its position. An encyclopedia cannot do that, or it is worthless. We are not of value to anyone but ourselves if we discuss only positions which most or even all of us support. Any sensibly skeptical person will realize that anyone or anything that presents only one side of the argument cannot be trusted. Regretfully, WP does not always act as if it realizes this--we are subject , as groups tend to be, towards adherence to popular orthodoxy, where some positions in various areas --not just history--arise such strong emotions that they cannot be discussed, for people will not look further at the argument because anyone presenting it will be assumed to be a supporter. To put this in the plaines words possible, I find this really stupid, because how can we defeat our enemies if we do not know what they are doing and saying?
Therefore, if we are to discuss what could be considered as Nazi remnants or past or present Nazi behavior, we must use Nazi sources as well as others. The skill of an honest historian or honest encyclopedia consists of using them in context--using them in such a way that the reader will come to their own conclusion about their nature. If we cannot trust the reader to judge fairly without our laying our hands on the balance, any outside objective viewer would conclude we are probably suppressing the truth. The Soviets, for example, opposed the tendencies of such as Trotsky, and printed long denunciations of their views, without ever letting people see what they were actually saying. The Catholic Church in past centuries had its Index, even though they must have know it suggested that the works on it might be telling the truth, and apparently argued, as did the Soviets, that the truth was too dangerous to their system.
I do not know how WP can ensure that propaganda is presented as propaganda; but the first step is surely to at least include all positions, even if we must resort to labelling them as wrong. (I don't really support this either, of course, but doing anything better might require a subtlety that our usual editors may not be capable of handling, and would actually require true experts). My colleague Piotrus is a sociologist and historian, and knows the sources much better than I, and can do more accurate evaluation of sources than I am capable of. We have different backgrounds, but the reason I can trust him is that he wants others to speak also. I see no reason to discuss the details here, because the entire principle behind the arb com remedy is in total error. DGG ( talk ) 07:50, 13 March 2021 (UTC) DGG ( talk ) 08:42, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

I consider JzG's conclusion below a misnterpretation. He says "Wikipedia is a mainstream encyclopaedia - by design, we're going to represent the mainstream scholarly consensus." This is quite different from our ideala and our written policy, though it does seem to represent some people's editing. Actually, the encyclopedia privileges the current scholarly consensus, but presents all significant viewpoints. A remedy that satisfies those who believe in the unchanging nature of what sometimes passes for temporary consensus of a vocal academic minority , is probably not a NPOV. Even arb com, in the original pseudoscience case, admitted the need to distinguish when consensus changes. And I would personally add that the attempt to find consensus among English speaking editors on the enWP is not necessarily representative of the world-wide situation on nationalist issues. DGG ( talk ) 08:11, 14 March 2021 (UTC) DGG ( talk ) 08:13, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
It was mentioned by Barkeep that I and others were being reluctant to give diffs. This is deliberate on my part for if we did, they would extend to essentially all .the diffs in the previous arb com cases mentioned. There are certainly some I would very much like tor have reopened, but this is not the place for them. If they are really wanted, they can be supplied in a collapsed section. I am particularly reluctant to do this because . besides the cases mentioned, it would also reopen American Politics, and many other recent cases. They would also include the instance where the use of DS was merely threatened, which can have as much of an effect of keeping material out of Wikipedia as actually using it.
It was similarly mentioned that I had not discussed the difference between minority, and fringe. There is no sharp difference between the two, and how one classes a viewpoint cannot be clearly defined; the practice seems to be, that if you don't want to include something, you call it fringe; if you do, you call it minority. I understand why the original arb cases made this distinction, but trying to make it generally applicable opens the possibility to do anything. In some of the AP discussions, the views supportive of the Republican Party were called fringe by some editors; at least one editor commented that the view was so far fringe that anyone supporting it was unqualified to edit WP at all. Much more fundamental, the concept we should totally exclude fringe is in my opinion also a negation of nPOV; as an encyclopedia , people should be able to find at least some information about the more absurd side of things also, and, in line with the general principles of inclusion, what does not warrant an article, may still be appropriate for at least a mention, and key references so those interested can go further.
I think it would be important to know the opinions of some other members of the committee. not just the two who have so far commented. DGG ( talk ) 18:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
Seeing the opinions, I have some doubts about the suggestion of a MEDRS -style requirement in this area. Medicine is at present an experimental science, with generally accepted rules about evidence and the relative significance of sources. How to interpret medical publications is well-established, and there is not really significant dissent. There's excellent outside evidence for the rules and expectations. History is not a science. History depends upon the evaluation and then the interpretation of source material. The are rules for determining whether a source is authentic, but there are an essentially infinite number of possible interpretations, many of which are plausible. There is inherently by the nature of the subject nothing that can resemble a controlled study. One can indeed sometimes -- but only sometimes-- prove that something factual did or did not happen, but one cannot prove what were the true motivations of the people involved, or the causes or effects of the events, or what this might ultimately mean in the context, of human affairs. One can talk about these things, and many people find such discussions fascinating, but there is no clear basis for definitively choosing between approaches. There is certainly a field, historiography, that studies the changes in interpretation as a social phenomenon, but it doesn't lead to conclusions about which views are correct--if anything, it show the impossibility of every reaching such a conclusion. One can say that today most academci favor one approach, and some another, but this is a statement about politics and intellectual fashion, not validity. DGG ( talk ) 05:05, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by nihil novi

The present situation enables disruptive or frivolous editors and sock-puppets to report established editors, thereby potentially discouraging established editors from adding otherwise valid sources that could be questioned on flimsy or bogus grounds – grounds whose inadequacy may easily escape the body being appealed to.

The remedy posits the vague criterion of an "academically-focused" source, which has been described as showing "a superior research quality in the tradition of the best academics". Who determines what is "superior", "tradition", or "best"?

There are already satisfactory long-standing mechanisms in place to guide discussions about the appropriateness of sources, without our having to employ impracticable mechanisms.

Respectfully, Nihil novi (talk) 07:59, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Bob not snob

Thank you Girth Summit of notifying me of this request that appears to be coming after Piotrus requested it.

I am mostly uninvolved in this topic, and have become involved after a few discussions at RSN on dubious sources and APLRS. From my recent experience this topic is highly toxic, unwelcoming, and full of editors who are pushing the cult of the "doomed soldiers". These "doomed soldiers" were mostly bandits, common thieves, murderers, and in some cases mass murderers of minorities. The nationalist right pushes them because they were also anti-communist.

The problem isn't limited to hate against Jewish minorities, Romuald Rajs is known as a mass murderer of Belarusian people, yet the article prior to cleanup presented a picture of him almost being innocent. I cleaned it using academic sources, yet some of this questionable content was returned afterwards. To give context to the present, Rajs is used as a symbol by haters in the east of Poland, his name is sprayed on the houses of Belarusian people living in Poland today to intimidate them.

My experience has been that subpar sourcing isn't the only problem here, the greater problem is that specific editors are willing to argue that these subpar sources are acceptable. I don't think User:Paul Siebert calling them "Polish" is correct, as it isn't Polish in my eyes to do this, and some of them are not Polish. My Very Best Wishes made this recent edit in which he restored information sourced to Publicystyka Antysocjalistycznego Mazowsza. This is an "anti-socialist" webpage or blog, that is right-wing extremist, and is not a reliable source for anything. He then posted on my talk page saying "I do not know Polish".

Pattern of problems:

  1. At AN discussion on Piotrus using an alternate account to call Polish Wikipedia ediotrs to vote on Axis powers, a specific group of editors showed up saying this was no big deal and not really wrong.
  1. At RSN discussion on Glaukopis journal, more or less the same specific group of editors showed up to argue that this is an academic journal. However this is academic in the same sense Mankind Quarterly is. It has an awful reputation, and so do the people involved with it. Dr. Wojciech Muszyński, theeditor/publisher of this magazine suggested that left-wing Polish politicians (Left Together) should be dealt with in a manner similar to the Pinochet regime with death flights [33].
  1. At RSN again the same sepcific group of editors shows up arguing that the The Volunteer (book) is reliable, and when pointed out by admins that it is not APLRS, then arguing it is academic. However the book is a mass market thriller, in no way academic. Furthermore, it can't be considered reliable at all as it is "partially fictionalized", containing entire episodes that are made up "literary fiction" (see Cyra's pretty glowing review aside from the fiction point). The sole academic review by Michael Fleming (historian) states that this book presents the myth of Pilecki (a Davy Crockett like figure) to English speakers. This isn't history, it is a narrative of an heroic myth.

This specific group of editors shows up and make facetious arguements, on the level that black is white, regarding any source they consider furthers their cause. Using heroic myths as sources for "doomed soldiers" is flat out unacceptable. Maybe the committee should authorize sanctions against this group that is making repeated false arguments?

During this discussion, specific editors (GizzyCatBella, Piotrus), make false claims on what Fleming wrote (source), saying Fleming "just criticizes the usage of the word volunteer". This is more saying that black is white, see actual quotes from review:
  1. Beginning: "In The Volunteer, journalist Jack Fairweather presents some, but not all, of the features of the Pilecki myth to English-speaking readers."
  2. "Fairweather’s problematic title signals the main weakness of the book, as does its first sentence, which endorses the dominant narrative of the Pilecki myth: “Witold Pilecki volunteered to be imprisoned in Auschwitz.” This assertion cannot be sustained."
  3. "The second feature of the Pilecki myth that drives Fairweather’s narrative is that Pilecki was especially preoccupied with reporting on the fate of Jews in Auschwitz. In reality, Pilecki’s “mission” in the camp was to sustain morale, provide extra food and clothing to members of his organization, prepare to take over the camp... These activities were collective ... Gathering information about what was happening to Jews at the camp was part of his general intelligence work."
  4. "The third feature of the myth relating to Pilecki—that his story was exclusively suppressed by the Communist authorities—is placed under some pressure in Fairweather’s account..."
  5. "There is no doubt that Pilecki was courageous and patriotic, but by obfuscating the structures of the Underground State of which Pilecki was a part, and by failing to adequately explain the responsibilities and division of labor between its military and civilian wings, the author excludes much relevant material. Fairweather reduces the “cast of characters,” oversimplifying in order to advance the narrative in a manner sufficiently compelling for a mass-market book"
  6. Conclusion (after praising "accessible prose and includes numerous pictures and informative maps"): "It is unfortunate that in addition to having an inaccurate, sensationalist title, the book is framed as a “new chapter in the history of the mass murder of the Jews and an account of why someone might risk everything to help his fellow man.” This has resulted in a hagiographic narrative in an Anglo–American idiom."

Astounding, these new accounts self-identifying as non-academic publishers on Poland in WWII show up (Tataqp AK_at_Aquila_Polonica_Publishing) here to promote the use of these vanity presses to counteract the "devastating long-term impact of postwar communist disinformation warfare". How did they show up here? These kind of publishers are precisely the problem with non-academic sources in this topic, academic sources differ from heroic fairytales.--Bob not snob (talk) 12:20, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
(Personal attack removed). As for the substance of his claims, the article Romuald Rajs before cleanup was "astonishingly whitewashed" according to User:Buidhe on talk, and I would say even worse, it cast into doubt that this figure of hate was a mass murderer. Reliable academic sources (not Aquila Polonica Publishing) are unanimous in describing Rajs as a murderer. After cleanup it was made neutral, and there was a discussion at Talk:Romuald Rajs, where I am still waiting for an answer for the removal of Kozik in Journal of the Belarusian State University as a not good enough source.--Bob not snob (talk) 12:20, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
@Dreamy Jazz:, can you look at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/AK at Aquila Polonica Publishing and their posts here? The two publisher accounts posting here have been  Confirmed to be the same. Both posted here in short succession (AK at Aquila Polonica Publishing, Tataqp) as supposedly different people in different sections. This a person with a conflict of interest, associated with a tiny publisher named after the Polish Eagle (a national Polish symbol, often sported like this) using domain as their home. There are posting here saying they should be used as a source because of " devastating long-term impact of postwar communist disinformation", which they say is present "on this topic on Wikipedia" too. They also think their work is valuable because "academia has become more of a closed system tolerant of only certain viewpoints". Could you also look into how these very inactive accounts (12 and 2 edits total, a large portion of these conflict-of-interest edits) were informed of this discussion and were motivated to post here multiple times with these different, but  Confirmed, accounts?--Bob not snob (talk) 05:44, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by JBchrch

I am somewhat inexperienced in these matters, so I will remain in my place and keep it short. I think that the WP:RSN discussion shows that the language of the WP:APLRS rule is not detailled enough for a meaningful consensus to emerge. This is not surprising: people can’t even agree on the meaning of basic words,[1] let alone unusual terminology like this one, let alone when tensions run high. So I support Girth Summit’s 3rd proposition.--JBchrch (talk) 11:36, 13 March 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Tobia, Kevin P. (2020). "Testing Ordinary Meaning" (PDF). Harvard Law Review. 134: 726. Retrieved 12 March 2021.

Statement by JzG

Questions 1 and 2 seem like an obvious "yes". There is no sense in which the vexed issue of antisemitism in Poland is anywhere near calmed down yet. The remedy's sourcing requirement has materially improved the quality of these articles, but not the inflammatory nature of the constant disputes between the warring parties. Let's remember to separate the two. The continuing battle between the two factions does not mean that the remedies are unnecessary or ineffective.

Question 3 comes down to a subject-specific interpretation of WP:RS, and can normally be resolved by looking at the remedy in its entirety: Only high quality sources may be used, specifically peer-reviewed scholarly journals, academically focused books by reputable publishers, and/or articles published by reputable institutions. That normally includes any legitimate mainstream scholarship, and will exclude the kinds of books published by imprints owned by the author or some group of axe-grinders. In the case of the specific book at issue, it doesn't meet those criteria. Arguing about the interpretation of individual subclauses in isolation is akin to the Supreme Court's Solomonic opinions on the significance of the Oxford comma. That's not how Wikipedia works. Importantly, this should be the standard for any section of the encyclopaedia that aspires to be a record of fact. Articles on wrestling are a dead loss and RS long since left the building there, but this is an area where we can and should aspire to academic levels of rigour, and all this remedy does is codify what that means: a good Wikipedian would interpret RS as mandating exactly this level of sourcing in this area, and the remedy's principal effect is to rapidly close down pointless argument on marginal sources.

This is a common problem at WP:RSN. "Is X reliable" usually makes sense only in the context of "reliable for what?". The source under discussion does not to meet the remedy's requirement for statement as fact, but that does not prejudge whether it can be discussed as a significant opinion. You may view it as an edge case, but, from the article on the book, Cyra argues that the book "should be considered as non-fiction literature"; that it is "only partly fictionalized", and Michael Fleming [...] writes that the book is a hagiographic narrative that reinforces the myth about Pilecki volunteering to be imprisoned in Auschwitz, whereas he posits the more correct and neutral description of what happened was that "Pilecki was pressured to allow himself to be arrested in the hope of being sent to a camp". That's a textbook WP:UNDUE/WP:ATT question, even without the specific remedy at issue. The book's thesis should clearly not be taken as fact in Wikipedia's voice per the remedy, but the remedy and normal Wikipedia practice do not preclude inclusion as a significant opinion or debate, subject to consensus on framing. Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources. This seems like a significant viewpoint, at least in respect of Pilecki.

The best solution in my view would be a standard Wikipedia fudge: a paragraph wordsmithed collaboratively between the various editors which references the book and its status as a popular history with some acceptance and some dissent, with an RfC to determine any disputed wording. In the alternative, we should apply the rule of sticks, if necessary using narrowly targeted remedies such as page bans or reply limits to help people towards a more thoughtful and measured form of engagement, rather than the characteristic rapid-fire and rapidly-escalating rhetoric that is all too common in this area.

Wikipedia is a mainstream encyclopaedia - by design, we're going to represent the mainstream scholarly consensus. The sourcing expectation remedy delivers exactly that. Some editors don't like it, but that is very much the point: a remedy that everyone loves, is probably not a necessary remedy. Guy (help! - typo?) 11:49, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by FOARP

I have not been involved in the present discussion, but in recent months I have observed RFCs over whether or not Poland should be listed as one of the Axis powers, whether or not Poland should be listed as a successor state of Nazi Germany, and a number of other such discussions. It is clear from the direction of these discussions that, on English Wiki, at present, Poland's role in WW2 is the subject of dispute typically involving people expressing views typical of those expressed in a range of different Central/Eastern European countries, and not Poland alone. Polish nationalism is not the only nationalism that needs to be guarded against here.

Academics are not the only people concerned here, either, nor should their interests be artificially elevated over those of others beyond what their expertise and institution requires. They may be experts (or in many cases may not actually be experts on this specific topic per se) but they are not the only experts, and the assumption that they are automatically free of biases or more reliable than non-academic sources is not one that historically has always proved true. Academia includes many institutions that are highly susceptible to the influence of various governments, not least because they are often government-funded and depend on goodwill with governments for access. Any one following Chinese issues in recent years will be familiar with the growing problem of self-censorship in return for access amongst academics. Academics are also human beings and given to the same rivalries and conflicts that ordinary people are (to take one example from this particular space, it is apparent from a reading of their negative reviews of each other's work that Anita Prazmowska and Anna Cienciala had a rivalry of sorts).

It would be highly anomalous that in this particular area of discussion, in respect of one particular Eastern European country, sources that we would typically consider reliable sources on the subject (e.g., newspaper articles written by non-academic experts in reliable outlets, books written by reputable non-academic journalists/historians and published by reputable publishing houses) should be artificially subordinated to academic ones (which may not be from particularly reputable institutions). This remedy, if it is interpreted as requiring this, was clearly excessive, disproportionate, and wrong even on its own merits, and should be set aside. However, I don't believe it requires this. Either the decision should be rescinded or it should be amended to clarify that sources with an academic nexus are not automatically more reliable than independent non-academic sources, that editors still need to exercise judgement.

1. Yes.
2. I could go either way, but this has not prevented disruption nor calmed things down really, as a simple review of the above shows.
3. "Academically focused" need to be clarified to specify that this is not simply elevating ANY academic source (however dubious/informal) over ANY non-academic source (however reliable). Really what we are talking about here is blogs and the like, which are anyway dealt with by WP:RS. FOARP (talk) 12:15, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Coretheapple

I don't edit very much in this topic area, but was pleased to read that there was a well-drafted Arbcom decision pertaining to sourcing on the subject. It is a good decision, it still is amply warranted, and was written with great specificity so that it does not mandate further clarification. Arbcom is not required to interpret clearly worded decisions for editors who don't like their wording. This discussion was warranted by use of the book The Volunteer, which is a readable journalistic account that does not in any way, shape or form meet the criteria you set. Your decision is not broke and there is nothing to fix.Coretheapple (talk) 15:29, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

  • I agree with Beyond My Ken that expertise of the author of any text is paramount. I would suggest, based upon my limited experience in this area, that when problems arise in this subject area it seems to be a result of editor behavior issues, POV pushing in particular, and not lack of clarity of arbitration decisions. The arbcom criteria at issue here are fine. Can they be wikilawyered? Sure. So can anything. That is the fault of the wikilawyers, no one else. Coretheapple (talk) 16:11, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • This is by way of confessing that until it was mentioned by User:SlimVirgin below I had not read User:El_C's comment, in which I heartily concur. This was indeed "one of the best and most important Arbitration decisions bar none." In my defense, I point to the tl;dr blocks of text and repetitious arguments above dulling my senses. Coretheapple (talk) 22:11, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree with Levivich in his supplementary comment below. He's adding to it, so I hope I don't edit-conflict with his very good thoughts on the subject. Let's focus on what has actually happened, please, not on what could happen as a result of this dastardly decision, which seems to be the primary focus of the tl;dr walls of text on this subject. What horrors have been perpetrated by this arbcom decision? The only takeaway from all the impassioned, very very lengthy comments here is that people are passionate on the subject. Which to my mind is a good reason to keep these strictures in place.Coretheapple (talk) 19:07, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Levivich

I agree the answers to 1 and 2 are yes for the reasons others explained above. As for #3, the most important part of the source expectation is, per WP:SCHOLARSHIP, separating out academic from non-academic (e.g. mainstream books and popular press). I've been working on User:Levivich/Tiers of reliability, ranking different classes of sources, which might be the start of an essay or info page that editors can refer to when discussing levels of reliability among different types of sources. If anyone is interested in expanding it or otherwise working on it, they're most welcome to edit the page. Levivich harass/hound 17:35, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

@Barkeep49: I think arbcom should, and perhaps must, answer #3 by clarifying what is meant by "academically focused". To the extent admins are having trouble enforcing an arbcom restriction because they think the words used in the restriction are vague, only arbcom can help with that by clarifying the language used in its own restriction.
"Academically focused" might mean: (a) authored by academics, (b) published by academics, (c) academics are the intended audience, (d) some combination of a, b, and c, (e) "academically focused according to criteria to be determined by the community" is one possible way to go, or (f) something else altogether. I think, reading your comments, you mean (e), which I think would be a clarification and thus an answer to Q3. Levivich harass/hound 18:07, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

Before we consider loosening this source expectation, we should answer two questions:

  1. What sources do editors want to use that they cannot use because of this source expectation?
  2. What article content should be included but cannot be sourced to an academic source?

And I don't mean hypothetically, I mean in reality, in past experience. There's a lot of people talking hypotheticals, but I see no actual examples of, for example, a source that was removed from an article under this source expectation that should not have been removed. Even in the case of The Volunteer, I ask, what facts do we need to source from that book, that we cannot source from other, academic books? (Ships, for example, have nothing to do with it. AFAIK, no one has ever used this source expectation to argue that we can't use something like Naval Institute Press to source an article about a ship.)

I believe that once we identify the "facts outside academic sources", that is, facts that cannot be sourced to academic sources and can only be sourced to non-academic sources, it'll become apparent that these non-academic sources are totally unnecessary, if not counterproductive ... or they're so minor/uncontroversial (like ship specs) that no one is using this source expectation to argue against them anyway.

I believe in this topic area, the only time people go to non-academic sources is when those sources conflict with academic sources, and they want to use the non-academic sources to make the conflict seem like there is no academic consensus, when in fact there is academic consensus, it's just that some non-academic sources don't agree with that consensus. In those cases, we should be presenting only the academic consensus; significant minority views are only significant if they're significant in academia. We all know that academic publications will identify both mainstream and significant minority views explicitly. To say, "Ah! But there's a book that says something different! It's a significant minority view!" is to mislead our readers, IMO. It's a type of OR, IMO.

The reason this expectation was put in place in the first place is because people were using non-academic sources to argue against academic sources, and to make academic consensus appear to be just one of a number of competing viewpoints. This is misleading to our readers. This rather widespread practice had to be proven at the arbcom case before this expectation was put in place. Please, let's not undo that based on editor's hypotheticals and speculation, let's look at how this has been used, on the ground, in practice, before we decide whether it needs to be changed.

Whenever people say, "well, sometimes you need to include a fact but it's not in the sources," I think to myself, "so how do you know we need to include the fact, if it's not in the sources?" It seems like that's "backwards editing": first figure out what you want to say, then find sources to back it up. We should be doing the opposite: first find the sources, then summarize them. If a fact is not in the sources, it shouldn't be in our article, either. And while there are always exceptions for minor details here and there, I don't believe this source expectation has ever been used to exclude minor or uncontroversial factual details. There's a big difference between using a non-academic source to fill in some minor gap, and using it to argue against academic sources.

For example, the question "was 'the volunteer' really a volunteer or was he assigned?" is not a minor uncontroversial detail; we should only be writing what academic sources say on that point; we shouldn't use non-academic sources, such as the book, The Volunteer.

If the problem on the ground is limited to the use of non-academic sources for non-controversial details (I do not believe this is actually what the problem on the ground is), then it might make sense to clarify the expectation to say that it's OK to use high-quality but not-strictly-academic sources (like Naval Institute Press) for non-controversial details (like the technical specs of a battleship). But before we change anything, please identify the problem on the ground, in practice; don't change this based on hypotheticals.

And before anyone says anything, yeah, I know arbcom can't decide content disputes. But it can decide if any content disputes have arisen (is the current source expectation actually getting in the way of anything?), and what they were about (mainstream v. significant minority viewpoints, or minor/uncontroversial details like ship specs?). Levivich harass/hound 18:59, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Atsme

I align with the views expressed by DGG. But I will add Houston, we have a problem, and it is threatening NPOV. I totally agree that we must use high quality sources, and scholarly sources are unambiguously high on the list. But we must not forget that there are scholarly sources and books that reflect opposing views; therefore, we must exercise caution about eliminating other significant views that may not align with the most prevalent. Throughout history, scholarly views have been rejected because of strongly held views by some of our prominent leaders in science and medicine. See Bohr–Einstein debates. Keep in mind that our job is to provide all significant views, and allow our readers to explore the possibilities, conduct their own research, and form their own conclusions based on the material we've added per NPOV, and the cited sources we've provided. We should not limit them to a single POV if other views are also significant, regardless of our own personal opinions. Atsme 💬 📧 13:24, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

Far too many words already, so I'll be brief: 1.Yes, 2.Yes, 3.Anything written on the subject by academic or other subject experts, in whatever format (academic book, popular book, journal article, magazine article, newspaper op-ed, interview, tweet, verified Facebook comment, etc.) should be considered to be an "academically-focused source". It's the expertise behind the words that's important, not the format in which the words appear. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:30, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Nosebagbear

I can't say as to whether a restriction in this vein should continue, but I do concur that it is not within ARBCOM's remit to be deciding such - they are making content decisions, just by the back door. Should they think the sanction should continue, then they should request the Community endorse it, in lieu of a formal rule change. Nuances within that, and expansion on clarification are well covered by the others, so I won't duplicate words Nosebagbear (talk) 20:30, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

@CaptainEek: - this may be a bit of an ideological dispute that I suspect was argued all the way when BLP DS was made, but our disputes are either conduct or content oriented. Conduct goes to the conduct route, content the content route. I struggle to see how a change to required sourcing level is a conduct issue, so it must be a content route, and therefore outside ARBCOM's remit. At best, ARBCOM could authorise sanctions that would enforce a higher sourcing requirement but that the actual sourcing level would have to be determined by the Community. Play around with the sourcing levels and you could (if you wrote long-enough/tailored enough rules) functionally control content while still claiming it was under ARBCOM's remit - that isn't what's happening here, but it does to me seem to be in the same bucket. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:07, 30 March 2021 (UTC)

[I realised I made a partially duplicative, though thankfully not contradictory, statement. I have merged the two] Nosebagbear (talk)

Statement by SarahSV

I agree with El C that this was "one of the best and most important Arbitration decisions bar none"; with JzG that "this is an area where we can and should aspire to academic levels of rigour, and all this remedy does is codify what that means: a good Wikipedian would interpret RS as mandating exactly this level of sourcing in this area"; and with Coretheapple that the decision is "not broke and there is nothing to fix". SarahSV (talk) 20:47, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Biruitorul

I object to the remedy because it’s a clear example of the creeping bureaucratization that we should be avoiding. While we all recognize the sensitivity of the topic area, the fact remains that there are already policies in place regarding sources, venues for discussing the reliability of sources, sanctions for deliberate misrepresentation of sources, etc. Moreover, the proposal gives bad-faith editors an additional tool with which to threaten their productive counterparts. ArbCom has generally stayed aloof from content disputes and should, in my view, continue to do so. — Biruitorul Talk 07:12, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Nigel Ish

I've said this before, but the problem is that the committee is trying to solve behaviour problems with a sourcing requirement, and a very vague one at that - we wouldn't be having this discussion if everyone was clear what "academically focused books" actually meant as can be seen by the discussion at RS/N that provoked this. While it is appropriate to expect high quality sources to be used for the nexus of the problem (i.e. the Holocaust in Poland, anti-Semitism in Poland and collaboration with the Germans), it is equally important (and perhaps even more so) that sources are used appropriately (i.e. is the best source for the fact being cited being used and has the source been used appropriately. It is also important to note that even peer-reviewed articles and other academically focussed works will have biases, or have been written to argue a point and even the best sources can make mistakes.Nigel Ish (talk) 22:41, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

:@Maxim: - The strengthening of sourcing restrictions which you are demanding along with the colossal scope of the restriction "all articles on the topic of Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland" will effectively mean that if this is actually enforced then we will not have any articles covering large parts of the Second World War - for example strict enforcement on ORP Piorun (G65) a warship operated by the Polish Navy operated during the Second World War - means that all sources must be removed - they are of the highest quality but not "academic" "peer reviewed" sources that are solely aimed at academia - they are written by experts in the field and published by reputable specialist publishers - but it appears that that doesn't count - therefore by your reasoning the article must be deleted. How does that improve the encyclopedia? We should be using the best sources, not just the ones that happen to be "academic".Nigel Ish (talk) 15:26, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
@Paul Siebert: - The problem is that is not what the requirement actually says. It doesn't say it only applies to controversial points, it says that it applies to all articles on the topic. Editors can only assume that it will be applied as written - otherwise the requirement is meaningless and should be removed as such. It is also noted that any change may be controversial to someone - when the community as a whole is quite happy to allow editors to wikilawyer and game to drive others away and promote their viewpoint, then editors have to assume that requirements like this will be used against them. (And the fact is that the community HAS failed to stop the disruptive behaviour, which is why the buck has been passed to ARBCOM_The changes will also drive the editors to use poorer sources - the assumption that only purely academic sources are of any use and other sources - no matter what world class expert has produced them are somehow suspect is wrong and damaging to the encyclopedia. It should also be noted that this restriction as written would prevent any article affected from being considered for any sort of GA or FA as it prohibits the use of the vast proportion of high quality reliable sources.Nigel Ish (talk) 17:30, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Pundit

I entirely understand the sentiment and the need for protecting our content by focusing on academic sources. However, my concern is that specifically in Poland there are very few purely academically-focused presses. Some of those which, in theory, should be a paragon of scholarly effort, may be biased. Some others, even though they are commercial publishers, stay up to high scholarly standards. Books are tricky, but I'd say that books published by renown academics and peer-reviewed should be generally acceptable, irrespective of the publisher. We wouldn't want to exclude "The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest" by Yochai Benkler just because it was published by Penguin, right? Pundit|utter 08:55, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Tataqp

I hope you will bear with me as I have never commented on Wikipedia before. But the question before the arbitrators of what sources should be admissible, which has only recently come to my attention, is a very important one on which I would like to provide my thoughts-—which perhaps come from a perspective different than that of some of the other commentators.

The genius of Wikipedia comes from recognizing that crowd-sourcing is a highly effective (perhaps the most effective) way of reaching truth. But in order for this approach to work, the “crowd” must be wide. Limiting all sources on Wikipedia to “academically focused” or “peer reviewed” would be a grave mistake. It would be an even worse transgression, and a gross abandonment of Wikipedia’s purpose, to prejudicially impose such limit only in one topic area.

As a publisher of books in the subject area of Poland in World War II, I am acutely aware of the devastating long-term impact of postwar communist disinformation warfare, which even today colors international perception of Poland in the media and elsewhere—and indeed, including some of the discussion I see on this topic on Wikipedia.

Many of the problems with allowing only academically focused sources have been mentioned by others here. One of the most important to my mind is the fact that academic sources are by no means immune from personal bias or outside influence, including trends in research topics which are often dictated by available funding (which sometimes comes directly or indirectly from state actors with agendas). These dangers are more obvious in recent years, as academia has become more of a closed system tolerant of only certain viewpoints.

In addition, academic sources tend to be second-, third- or fourth-hand knowledge. They are highly dependent on the methodology by which the academic chose his/her sources and the scope of sources to which the academic had access—especially if, in a topic such as Poland in WWII, the academic is not multilingual. By the way, getting at the truth is one of the reasons why I like to publish firsthand contemporaneous accounts of events.

Peer review suffers from these same problems. Its unreliability was starkly illustrated by the recent retractions of Covid-related articles from the highly respected peer-reviewed journals Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine. The value of peer review in the academic social sciences is even more questionable, where one’s peers are likely to be subject to the same biases and influences, and where there is no replicable scientific data involved.

There are many, many useful and important non-academic sources, such as firsthand accounts, memoirs, documents, government reports or hearings, newspaper articles, ephemera, encyclopedias, museums, etc.—including trade books (in publishing, the term “mass market” refers to the small format paperbacks most commonly used for genre fiction).

Trade books can certainly constitute useful sources and should not be banned merely because of who published them or who buys them—for example, The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather, who is a highly respected researcher and journalist; or X, Y & Z: The Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken by Sir John Dermot Turing, nephew of famous Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing, whose well-researched book focuses on the Polish mathematicians who first broke Enigma in 1932; or The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery by Captain Witold Pilecki, his most comprehensive report about his undercover mission at Auschwitz; or the 2018 edition of Fighting Auschwitz by Jozef Garlinski with an introduction by Prof. Antony Polonsky (Chief Historian of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and Emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University), who says “It remains the definitive study of the topic and has not been superseded by more recent scholarship.” Other examples are the Osprey series of books on military history, the Jane’s guides, and there are literally thousands of others that can serve as useful sources.

I truly value the efforts and intent of the arbitrators and editors to provide to the maximum extent possible "truth" on all the various topics covered in Wikipedia. But I believe that if there are questions or doubts, the remedy is not to ban the information, but to provide a reference to a competing source and let the reader decide for him/herself. --Tataqp (talk) 20:53, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Evrik

The remedy is way too broad and unnecessary, and it prevents usage of perfectly reliable sources for uncontroversial topics which form majority of this case. --evrik (talk) 05:08, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by AK at Aquila Polonica Publishing

I am a prolific Wikipedia reader but not a Wikipedia contributor. I enjoy learning about Polish history and manage a social media account that shares Polish history tidbits. There is very little online about niche subjects of Polish history in English, and most of it is on Wikipedia. Articles on individual ships, skirmishes, and Polish people who lived during WW2 are appreciated reading material that may simply not be on the radar of English language academics. Facts like a ship being sunk on a certain date, or a person being born in a certain town, should be fine using sources that aren’t up to the standards of hardcore academia. If more authoritative sources prove these wrong, all more power to the editors. The current strict standard applied to over a decade of history seems very harsh. I hope this arbitration leads to more interesting reading and higher quality curation, while avoiding collateral damage. AK at Aquila Polonica Publishing (talk) 20:30, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should opine whether and how the Committee should clarify or amend the decision or provide additional information.

Antisemitism in Poland: Clerk notes

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

Antisemitism in Poland: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Re GS's questions: 1: Yes. We regularly hold certain areas of the encyclopedia to higher standards, and I see no issue with requiring higher standards of sourcing. That to me is not a content issue. 2: Probably. 3: Aye, there's the rub. I was not on the committee when it was written, but my interpretation follows. It absolutely precludes the use of blogs, self published sources, and other non-RS material. But it should also been seen as discouraging anything but the highest quality sources (which the community can decide what that looks like). For historical research, that should be academic journal articles, and well researched books. Books can be tricky, and I'm not going to weigh in on this one in particular (that would be a content decision), but I think the community can handle what a high quality book is. For example, I'm writing on the American Civil War and Lincoln at the moment. My sources include several books that are the best I could possibly find, including a Pulitzer winning book and several others by Pulitzer winners and a Lincoln Prize winner (David Herbert Donald's "Linclon", James M. McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom", among others). Not inherently academic, but of a superior research quality in the tradition of the best academics. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 03:04, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I have now read the initial request here and the links it offers (namely to DGG's talk page and more significantly the RSN discussion). I have no interest in answering question #3. I think the discussion at RSN is appropriate and is a consensus forming exercise about content. Any further clarification from us would subvert that process, possibly decide content rather than form which is beyond our remit, and I am not seeing that this is necessary to prevent disruption in the topic area. I will over the next few days, as time permits, read what others have to offer here before offering any thinking about questions 1 & 2. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:24, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
    Alright I've now read through the comments here. I will note that those suggesting we get rid of this sanction are much lighter on diffs, on the whole, than those saying we should keep them. The comments of Volunteer Marek really made me think and if there were diffs to back up those assertions I would be willing to give more thought as to whether this sanction is still appropriate/needed.
    I said in my initial remarks that I wasn't interested in answering question 3 and that largely is true. However, I will note something spurred on by DGG's comment: this sanction should not be taken as a reason to exclude minority viewpoints. Minority viewpoints and fringe viewpoints are two different things; fringe viewpoints may be excluded (and will likely only be noted when we're covering them as a topic as in Modern flat Earth beliefs). So minority viewpoints, under our general content policies/guidelines (most notably WP:NPOV, can and should be covered while being noted as such even under this restriction.
    The reason I said I was uninterested in answering question 3 is because I view further clarification as a content ruling and that is outside our remit. The discussion at RSN is not disruptive. It is thoughtful and challenging, yes. But not disruptive. And since it's not disruptive it is not in our remit to short circuit it by getting 14 people to decide rather than our normal community process. I respect those who say the restriction itself is beyond our remit. On the whole I disagree - I think diffs have been presented here and in originally enacting the motion showing that disruption has been lessened by this restriction. In its place is a chance to have the kind of conversations like what has happened at RS.
    So absent community consensus telling us otherwise (and the DS review I keep mentioning when DS is brought up is moving forward and will be a chance for that consensus to be expressed) my answer to question 1 is that such sanctions are in our remit. For now my answer to q2 is yes, but as noted above I remain at least a little open to rethinking this. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:52, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    @My very best wishes: As I tried to explain above I don't see a discussion here that needs an ArbCom nudge (or outright decision). The right questions are being asked, the decorum is appropriate. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:23, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    @DGG: none of my comments should be taken as a criticism of what you wrote. You were writing in general and that spurred my own thinking. My ask of diffs was from those who were focused on this topic area in their own thinking. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:40, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
    I have sent a friendly nudge about this but that the committee has a few other issues that have been occupying arb attention which, combined with the complexity of this area, is probably why comments have been slower to come in despite the clear community interest in this topic. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:21, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
    @Volunteer Marek: thanks for the diffs. I read the RSN about Polish media a little differently than you but the information and analysis about Nasz Dziennik and Glaukopis are helpful indeed. I will think more about this and look forwarding to hearing from other editors about this as well as what other arbs might say. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:39, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
  • To answer the questions from the initial request: 1. Yes. That's not to say it's something we should resort to often—it isn't—but I see it as a valid tool available to us, and don't see it as worth second-guessing. 2. I defer to participants here in saying yes. I'll try to give some more thought to #3. I have been giving all of this thought despite my lack of response thus far, for which I apologize. I really want to say "not within our scope" to #3, but can appreciate how frustrating it probably sounds to get an answer of "yes, this is still needed, but we won't tell you what it means." Ultimately, I would prefer that be settled by the community rather than ArbCom if that's at all possible. --BDD (talk) 18:35, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I have given very considerable thought to question 3, and will try to summarize my views as follows. I think the spirit of the remedy is to impose a MEDRS-style sourcing restriction on articles in the topic of Polish history over WWII. For the MEDRS (or the natural and physical sciences) spheres, the definition of an "academically focused book" would be something that, in general,...
    • Excludes coffee-table-style books or other books where the intended audience is the general public instead of academics
    • Excludes non-peer-reviewed literature
    • Includes peer-reviewed monographs written by an academic, and published by an academic press, and have generally positive reviews
    • Includes the type of book that has an a prominent established academic as an editor and has chapters contributed by other academics, is peer-reviewed, is published by an academic press, and is generally a secondary source (review) versus something that's more of a primary research report (but consider that the primary research report might have a section with a good review and summary of the existing literature)
    • Includes academic textbooks, preferably aimed at the senior undergraduate to graduate levels, but we can live with a first-year textbook depending on what claims are being cited
    • Depending on the claims, would favor mostmore recent scholarship that is widely cited.
  • The next question is whether such a framework translates to a very contested history topic—my feeling from this discussion is that it may be an overly blunt tool not quite akin to using a sledgehammer to kill a fly but more like using a sledgehammer on carpentry nails. Would loosening the current remedy to permit other reliable sources for information that is unlikely to be controversial (e.g. basic uncontroversial biographical information??) and is not found in the three types of sources permitted by the remedy be a workable solution or would that cause undue difficulties to enforcing administrators? Maxim(talk) 14:11, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I have made edits to my list above per Paul Siebert's excellent feedback. What I want to emphasize again—and it's something I wish I was perhaps more blunt about—is that I don't intend for this list to be seen as a prescription for the topic area at hand as it was written with medical or physical/natural science topics in mind. On the other hand, it may have established that such an approach does not translate as well to history and that the range of articles covered within the remedy may be too broad.

    I wonder if a more usable remedy would be along the lines of "[requiring] high-quality sources for exceptional claims for articles related to anti-Semitism and Jewish history in Poland, specifically in relation to World War II and The Holocaust, as well as on biographies of scholars studying these topics" that is enforceable via AE. This would: (1) narrow the scope as to not sweep up everything to do with Polish history in WWII; (b) not require specific types of sources within the topic area for material that is unlikely to be controversial; and (c) a reinforcement of the WP:V policy within the given topic area. Maxim(talk) 14:59, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

Amendment request: India-Pakistan

Initiated by Interstellarity at 11:26, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
India-Pakistan arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Standard discretionary sanctions
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Standard discretionary sanctions
  • This clause concerns India-Pakistan sanctions. I would like the arbitrators and the community to consider loosening the sanctions to a certain year like we just did for WP:AP2. For example, we could only sanction post-1996 politics which was 25 years ago. On Wikipedia, we try to keep sanctions to a minimum. I hope this move would be positive to Wikipedia so we can maximise editing freedom.

Statement by Interstellarity

 Clerk note: moved from the arbitrators discussion section. This comment is in reply to Primefac's comment in that section. Dreamy Jazz talk to me | my contributions 14:01, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

  • I think the first date we should consider should be 1996. I think this date marks the balance between current events and history. If that date is too late, we could consider a early date. I am also open to listing this at DS community consultation. Interstellarity (talk) 13:39, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by SpacemanSpiff

Just chiming in as I saw NYB's comment pop up on my watchlist. I don't think a scope reduction is needed. The scope was increased because the disruption wasn't restricted to just the India-Pakistan dispute, and also general sanctions from the community (e.g. WP:GS/Caste) were added under this for the sake of convenience. To answer NYB's point about sanctions being too broad, please see the log at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log#India-Pakistan 2 for 2020 or 2019 and you're likely to see only very narrow sanctions except for a few cases. I was one of those who complained when the scope was increased from just the dispute to what it is now, but I'm quite happy to say that I was wrong that time and the current scope of ARBIPA is actually beneficial to the 'pedia. I believe that most of us who admin this particular area keep the scope of sanctions to the level necessary and do not just apply a broad brush unless it is absolutely necessary. It would be good if a bot could notify those who admin this area so that you get more opinions on this. —SpacemanSpiff 13:23, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Guerillero

I urge arbs to look at the DS log instead of the 14 year old case when determining the scope for DS. As for broad topic bans, sometimes it is best to remove an editor from the entire area than to play whack-a-mole across topics --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 14:48, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Nosebagbear

Normally I'd agree with this, as well as perhaps slightly narrowing the constraints (or enabling either a narrower or the broader one to be used), I do think given we have an ongoing DS consideration, it should be limited to there. Even if it delays it by a month or two, best to handle it cohesively. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:02, 30 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by MJL

Just wanted to note for the record that Chess are having an ongoing discussion about this specific DS authorization here. I also wanted to ping Chess to ensure he sees this. –MJLTalk 07:05, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Uanfala

I only occasionally venture into those topic areas, but my impression has been that the disruption is not at all restricted to events of the last 25 years. The bloodbaths that take place over current events are the same sort of bloodbaths that occur over the Kashmir War since 1947, which are the same as the ones occurring over Mughal history, the same as the ones occurring over the events around the advent of Islam over a millennium ago. It's not the current relevance, it's the cultural significance that works people up. – Uanfala (talk) 13:00, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Chess

I'd like to thank MJL for pinging me here.

The biggest issue with the sanctions as currently written is they apply to ALL articles relating to India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to putatively address the India-Pakistan conflict. It's far too overbroad and it's evidence of a double standard. For example, despite the numerous conflicts and issues in the US or primarily based there, there is no authorization of DS for all US related topics broadly construed. Instead there's September 11 and post 1992 US politics because it would be considered overkill to put the US under discretionary sanctions broadly construed. Same for how with the Northern Ireland conflict sanctions are limited to only that conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict has its sanctions limited to just that conflict.

We need to narrow these sanctions significantly in where they are authorized, although not remove them entirely as they're still necessary for some areas. MJL over at DS review gave a good wording of what the sanctions are meant to apply to (political, geographical, ethnic, religious, sociological, and cultural disputes related to those countries) and that would definitely be a more preferable wording to broad sanctions over all India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan related articles.

While currently there appears to be a norm (according to the discussions I've had at least) of only applying discretionary sanctions to conduct actually relating to the aforementioned disputes (let's call it PCREGS since we need more acronyms), I don't believe that's a good implementation of discretionary sanctions. First of all, we shouldn't have singular admins deciding by fiat what topics discretionary sanctions needs to be applied to. That's the job of ArbCom or alternatively the community (in cases of community authorized discretionary sanctions). Secondly, relying on unwritten norms to decide what topics are "actually" under sanctions is unfair, unjust, and goes against the fundamental principle that editors should be aware of what discretionary sanctions are before they are enforced against them. It can lead to problems when enforcing administrators have different ideas of what the unwritten norms are as well.

If it turns out later that discretionary sanctions need to be broadened or there are areas not covered by the existing wording, there is nothing preventing an amendment request or asking the community for general sanctions on whatever topic needs it.

For what it's worth though, I disagree with adding a fixed cutoff date for Indian and Pakistani politics. Many current conflicts stem from ancient historical disputes, for example the Babri Masjid where one of the primary justifications for its destruction was the belief that an Indian temple existed on that site before the mosque was built. There's still a lot of tension over things that happened thousands of years ago. While in the United States "old" disputes aren't really that controversial in India and Pakistan many still are. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 04:36, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Shankargb

I would oppose this request and recommend declining it.

Just like all pages related to Eastern Europe and Balkans and all pages related to Horn of Africa are under Arbcom sanctions because their histories date back to thousands of years ago, there is nothing surprising about keeping India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan under the same sanctions. Shankargb (talk) 05:36, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Agree with Guerillo. Also re:scope of ARBIPA bans, I would note that users find it easy to describe the scope of bans in this area including the ones listed here. Shankargb (talk) 15:19, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Vanamonde

Widespread, persistent, and exceptionally disruptive behavior of the sort that requires discretionary sanctions occurs on a far greater range of topics than content related to the last 25 years. Within the scope of current ARBIPA DS, these topics include, at a minimum; the Indo-Pakistani conflict (1947-present, arguably beginning earlier); religious violence (spanning many centuries, if not millennia); caste-related matters (likewise, spanning centuries, if not millennia); and content about the origins of humanity in South Asia (a very long time indeed). The scope of the current DS regime is certainly very broad, but unless ARBCOM wants to craft a number of different DS to replace the current regime, the current scope seems entirely appropriate to me. Vanamonde (Talk) 22:41, 9 April 2021 (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.

India-Pakistan: Clerk notes

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

India-Pakistan: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Interstellarity, is there any particular date range that you want us to look at, or are you just throwing out an idea and seeing if there's interest? (please do not ping on reply) Primefac (talk) 12:48, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Awaiting statements. As a preliminary observation (which I have made before), it may be that a better change might not be to change the authorized scope of these discretionary sanctions, but how they are applied in particular cases. For example, imagine an editor who consistently has trouble editing neutrally regarding disputes between India and Pakistan. That editor might, if a warning proved unsuccessful, be topic-banned from editing about disputes between India and Pakistan. Instead, these days that editor might find himself or herself topic-banned from "all editing about India, Pakistan, or Afghanistan, broadly construed." That topic-ban might be broader than necessary, as it bars the editor from vast numbers of articles that are about India or Pakistan but do not implicate disputes between them. As a comparison, imagine if editors sanctioned under "American Politics" were typically banned from "all editing about the United States, broadly construed" which might exclude virtually every topic that editor is knowledgeable about or wishes to edit about. Just a thought for the admins who, as I appreciate, take on the not-easy task of implementing these sanctions. Newyorkbrad (talk) 12:53, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
    • I agree with moving this discussion to the current DS review. Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:37, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I am certainly open to this idea but think discussion, at least for now, should happen over at the DS community consultation where there has already been discussion about the scope of this sanction. Barkeep49 (talk) 13:30, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I am open to the idea of adjusting the scope of this DS topic area, as it seems to be considerably broader than the actual disruption. Reading through the case, the disruption appears to be limited to religious and cultural nationalism in these two countries – if that's the case it doesn't seem to make sense that topic bans would automatically apply to all aspects of these two countries. Rather than moving this discussion over to the broader DS consultation, I would prefer to gather more input here as to the scope of this particular remedy and whether it remains suitable. – bradv🍁 13:58, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I echo the call for this to be raised at the DS review or handled afterwards. Even if this specific DS topic is not discussed in depth at the DS review, the outcome of the review could have an impact on (for example) the scope of DS authorizations or other issues that have a bearing on this request. (It also might not, but the timing right now is somewhat poor.) Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 19:36, 29 March 2021 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement


Elijahandskip is warned that their topic ban applies to User space. signed, Rosguill talk 02:04, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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 Elijahandskip

User who is submitting this request for enforcement
Fram (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 07:58, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested
Elijahandskip (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 (1992 cutoff)
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it
  1. 23 March 2021 (the actual violation is deleted, this is the discussion about it): while this violation (a Prod placed on the article of a current US politician) may have been a genuine mistake, it at least will have reminded them of the topic ban;
  2. 25 March 2021 Another editor inquires about this link (which was added pre-topic ban), and Elijahandskip indicates that they can't discuss it due to their topic ban (fair enough, I guess, but necessary background for the next diff)
  3. 31 March 2021 Elijahandskip adds to their user page "I was (Unofficially) mentioned by News Akmi in their article Wikipedia Editors Censor Hunter Biden Bombshell, Call New York Post ‘Unreliable’ Source on October 15, 2020." (bolding in original). This is a clear and blatant violation, and given their comment from 25 March (diff 2) they should clearly be aware of this. It also harks directly back to the edits for which they were topic banned in the first place.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any
  1. 2 March 2021 topic banned, logged in Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log#American politics 2
Additional comments by editor filing complaint

While probably outside the scope of this request, the editor has been problematic elsewhere as well, with Draft:Torino Walter Bickmore created and deleted G10 only yesterday as well. This from a week ago also highlights some problematic (though hardly sanctionable in themselves) actions. I think that, apart from strict application of the AP2 topic ban, some mentoring by someone more patient than me is needed here. Fram (talk) 07:58, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Elijahandskip, can you please a) stop making personal attacks, as these are unlikely to help your case, and b) provide links or diffs for the statements you make("an admin told me", "another admin told me", things like that)? Fram (talk) 10:54, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
We are rapidly approaching WP:CIR territory here. I hope that the admins who will look at this compare your claims to what is actually said in those diffs. User:El_C did not state (or even imply) that "as long as I didn't edit articles/discussions related to the t-ban, I was ok"[34], they said that if you want their advice about a specific violation or so, you can link to that edit on their talk page. I don't see in that edit (nor do I think they meant to give you) any permission to post blatant violations, of the kind that led to your ban in the first place), on your user page. But perhaps they will chime in to give their own perspective. Fram (talk) 11:54, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
I guess continuing this back-and-forth won't really help, but for the record: I am not their mentor, I never claimed to be, I surely don't want to be; what I said is that they could perhaps be helped by having a mentor, but that it would need to be someone with more patience than I have. The above CIR claim is not about their personal attacks, but about the things I actually wrote in that post, i.e. your complete misinterpretation of what El_C said. Finally, striking through your personal attacks and then making a statement about the strikethrough where you simply repeat the attacks once again is not making things better, but worse. Fram (talk) 13:08, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested

Discussion concerning Elijahandskip

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 Elijahandskip

Let me discuss each of the 3 edits in question.

1. The edit in question was a recognized violation by me and I self-reverted after the edit. Basically I was on new page patrol and saw an article (that is now deleted) that at a quick glance, was about a ceo of some small burger place. What I missed was a small section with I think 2-3 sentences about an attempt to run for 2020 President of US. Fram thankfully saw it and messaged me about, so I self-reverted a PROD that I had on the article. I would like to point out that Fram in the link he said above said "I don't tend to try to get people blocked for what seemed like a genuine mistake." Because of that comment and now this, Fram, you will have to earn my trust back as I no longer trust you, since you lied and all.

2. The second edit in question sort a shows that I didn't want to violate my T-Ban. I have a comment on my userpage, "I am not allowed to talk about all of these recognitions until September 2, 2021." which I have had on my userpage since the t-ban started. On my talk page, someone asked a question to a pre-tban edit that was on my user page, and I just told them that I can't talk about it until September 2. This shouldn't even be in this discussion as it was a pre t-ban edit.

3. The 3rd edit in question confuses me and I have been confused on this for a while now. When my t-ban started, [[36] I was told by an admin that linking to things related to the t-ban was a violation. Recently, another [37] admin told me that as long as I didn't edit articles/discussions related to the t-ban, I was ok. I really don't want to violate the t-ban and will be happy to self-revert, but can an admin just say in plain terms what the rule is for userpages & admin talk pages? I have asked before and never got a straight answer. The answers were all in paragraph form, not just a straight answer. Update: I just self-reverted the edits in question.

4. The additional comment made by fram in my opinion just shows that I improved as a Wikipedia editor since the t-ban. One comment in the t-ban discussion was that I went and created articles way too quickly. A few days ago, a CBS reporter was doing some breaking news on a US citizen arrested in front of hundreds of spectators in Puerto Rico. I started a draft on the guy and decided to wait to see how it turned out before either g7'ing the draft (deleting) or working on the draft. While I was asleep, it got g10'ed and to not cause problems (even before this discussion), I decided to not restart the draft. The case is a unique one as the guy in question only got a $100 fine, however, the judge ruled that "He cannot be charged, since he is drunk", which got I think the President of Puerto Rico judges involved. Honestly, that control for me to not create the draft into an article on day 1 shows that I improved a lot since the start of my t-ban.

In my defense, the first edit shows I wasn't trying to violate the t-ban. The second is irrelevant to this discussion (pre t-ban edit). And the third is just confusion for me and I have requested guidance. I don't believe I should be blocked more or anything as I have really tried to to not violate the t-ban. Since the t-ban started back on March 2, I have started 7 articles and I am working to improve them all. I hope the admins that read this see that I don't have bad intentions on Wikipedia and that I shouldn't have a longer t-ban or have a real block. Elijahandskip (talk) 10:45, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Stating for the record on why I did strikethroughs. My self-proclaimed "mentor" apparently believes that me mentioning that he lied to be is a violation of CIR. Because of that and the fact I do not want another ban/block (because I have worked hard to improve since my t-ban), I am recanting EVERY statement I made about Fram. Apparently, lying is perfectly acceptable on Wikipedia. Good to note. Elijahandskip (talk) 12:13, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Update: I recently asked Fram a question on his talk page and he happily answer why my edits were “personal attacks”. I do understand why they were personal attacks and am sorry for them. I would like to ask the admin not consider them in the final discussion as I now understand those mistakes I made. Elijahandskip (talk) 13:40, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Reply to Fram


Statement by Grandpallama

I'm fairly sure this edit, which precedes the ones noted by Fram, was also a clear violation of the TBAN; however, I suspect Elijahandskip didn't realize it would be considered as such. That said, in line with Fram's concerns about greater editing issues that are outside the scope of this enforcement, but which lend credence to the idea that Elijahandskip needs mentoring, is the "unofficial" Wikipedia Current Events Twitter account Elijahandskip has created (he appears to have scrubbed mention of it from his userpage[38]). Apart from the questionability of a relatively new user under sanctions creating what looks like a WP-sanctioned account is the fact that Elijahandskip name-checks editors on the account who suggest certain current events aren't notable, which seems tied to prior complaints of him discussing user conflicts off-wiki. There do seem to be competence issues at play here. Grandpallama (talk) 15:11, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Elijahandskip, the problem isn't you mentioning the existence of your own ban; when you are under an AP2 topic ban, commenting in a noticeboard discussion about an AP2 topic ban for another user is a violation. You must stay away from all things AP2, period. That's what the "broadly construed" part of the ban means. Grandpallama (talk) 15:40, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Reply to Grandpallama

Wait, that is a violation of the t-ban? How. I was told as long as I didn’t edit articles about the post 1992 US Political realm, then I wouldn’t be in violation. I didn’t know that mentioning I had a t-ban was a violation. Does that mean I violated it on my talk page (in #2 of Fram’s original reasons) since I mentioned I had the t-ban? Elijahandskip (talk) 15:35, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

OH. That makes more sense. Thanks for that! Elijahandskip (talk) 15:41, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
@Grandpallama: If I may ask, what was wrong that that Twitter thing? In my mind, it was a way to help spread information about current world events and the Wikipedia articles associated with them. At the start of this, I stopped tweeting from it until I can get some answers. It was unofficial and never had any affiliation of Wikipedia, so I didn’t see a problem in it. Would love for you to elaborate on that some more so I can learn and adapt. Thanks! Elijahandskip (talk) 14:59, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

Reply to Dennis Brown

(See below for his statement in the “Result” area.) I would be perfectly fine with a strong warning. I hope that other editors allow me to show that I don’t want to violate the t-ban again, so hopefully (Crossing fingers) no one starts that ANI during this or even right after this discussion. It isn’t too hard to live with the t-ban as there is millions of articles that I can still edit and improve. The difficult comes from a stray edit that is accidental or done without really thinking about it, which can result in a full on Wikipedia block. Thank you for your comments! Elijahandskip (talk) 16:03, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Elijahandskip

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • Obvious mistakes were made, but it seems they were reverted and more importantly, based on the limited evidence I'm seeing here, Elijahandskip appears to be trying to live by the tban. Instead of talking about how unfair it is, they appear to be reasonably quick about correcting mistakes. It seems that good faith is being exercised, even if mistakes are being made. I can only imagine how difficult it can be to work under a tban, as I've never had them. As long as they are being cooperative and fixing the errors when pointed out, I find it difficult to slap harsh Arb related sanctions on them. That said, a strong warning is due, and they need to exercise better diligence in staying compliant with the tban. Personal attacks don't require AE, but since we are here, Elijahandskip needs to knock that off as well. Apologizing for it afterwards isn't a substitute for simply having civil discussions with all editors. As for CIR issues, that would require more digging and is really outside of the scope of Arbitration Enforcement. That is something that would best be discussed at WP:ANI where the entire community can join in. Dennis Brown - 15:25, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree with Dennis. We should not punish someone for an honest mistake that they owned up to. We should also allow editors a little leeway on their own user pages. A logged warning clarifying the scope and extent of the topic ban would seem to strike the balance between the need to enforce the restrictions and AGF. Logging the warning means that there will be a record of it for admins in future should Elijah end up back here. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:54, 1 April 2021 (UTC)


30/500 rule explained to Katafada on their talk page in a logged notification/warning. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:00, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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 Katafada

User who is submitting this request for enforcement
Huldra (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 22:20, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested
Katafada (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:ARBPIA4 :Tendentious editing
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it
  1. 18:23, 22 March 2021 Adding {{History of Israel}} to article Jund al-Urdunn. That is changed to {{History of Palestine}}
  1. 00:25, 25 March 2021 Katafada rv to {{History of Israel}}, with edit-line: "Reverting vandalism"
  2. 20:12, 1 April 2021 Re-adding [[Category:Archaeological discoveries in Israel]] to the Dead Sea Scrolls; with the edit-line "Reverting political vandalism". (All the Dead Sea Scrolls were found on the West Bank, ie, not in Israel)
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
Additional comments by editor filing complaint

Katefada has less than 100 edit; they have been told "Please note especially the 30/500 rule" when given the ARBPIA-alert. Still they continue to make extremely controversial ARBPIA-edits, with inflammatory edit-lines. Also; I am very disappointed that Sir Joseph (talk · contribs) re-adds [[Category:Archaeological discoveries in Israel]] about discoveries done outside Israel (link): he should know better than this, Huldra (talk) 22:20, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

User:HJ Mitchell, my "Please note especially the 30/500 rule" (diff) was not a template. In general; I am disheartened by such aggressive edit-lines as this user makes; one is not very tempted to engage in discussions with editors who repeatedly calls you a vandal. Huldra (talk) 23:14, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
User:Sir Joseph: the Dead Sea Scrolls were not found in Israel, as I think you know very well; how do you justify placing the cat Archaeological discoveries in Israel on the article? Huldra (talk) 23:47, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
The Qumran Caves are wholly on the West Bank, undisputedly not in Israel, Huldra (talk) 21:24, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Now that the Cave of Horror has been included in the Dead Sea Scrolls article; I withdraw this report. (Although; noting the opinions/attitude that Katefada has shown on the Talk:Dead Sea Scrolls-page: I suspect that Katefada will find themselves back here soon), cheers, Huldra (talk) 22:54, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested

Discussion concerning Katafada

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 Katafada

I am new to Wikipedia. I am not a political activist or a keyboard warrior. As you can read on my profile, I am allergic to propaganda. I'm mainly interested in linguistics. Some years back (2015 if I remember correctly) I edited the Modern Hebrew page which had been vandalised by anti-Israel editors who gave undue weight to fringe theories in order to classify Modern Hebrew as "Relexified Yiddish", I provided most of the sources that enabled other editors to fix the article, its classification section is largely based on my initial draft. I had no account back then. What prompted me to create an account was the appearance of the [[Category:Archaeological discoveries in the State of Palestine]] category on the Dead Sea Scrolls page, this category was created in February 2021, ostensibly with the intention of granting undue weight to the Palestinian Authority's ownership claim (which is entirely spurious, what Huldra conveniently ignores is that the "West Bank" was under illegal Jordanian occupation from 1948 to 1967, and that the PLO made no claims on this area until 1968). To make sure the article is more balanced, I have added the [[Category:Archaeological discoveries in Israel]], which Huldra seems quite keen on removing, using Huldra's logic the "Archaeological discoveries in the State of Palestine" category should also be removed as there was no "State of Palestine" when the scrolls were discovered. As for the other edits, I have no issue if the Palestine infobox were added as well in the Jund Filastin and other articles, that being said Huldra should have no problems with the Palestine infobox's absence, after all if we are to follow her logic none of Jund al-Urdunn was in the territory normally assigned to Palestine (Gaza & the West Bank) , most of it was in what is now Northern Israel. Replacing the Israel infobox with the Palestine infobox obviously is a political edit. The impression I'm getting so far is that I've stirred a hornet's nest and am being unfairly targeted for it. Katafada (talk) 00:17, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph

Note to Huldra who decided to mention me here, you'll notice I didn't remove "State of Palestine" from the article but it's just silly to not have Dead Sea Scrolls as part of the Israeli archeology cat. Not everything has to be a conflict. Sir Joseph (talk) 23:35, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Nableezy

I dont know how anybody reads the edits, talk page comments and hell the response on this page and doesnt say WP:NOTHERE and good bye, but thats just me. Beyond the 500/30 violations, which the user continues to repeat despite being informed of, the actual POV being pushed here goes well beyond fringe. But if you feel that AGF is in fact a suicide pact, at least make sure that the user understands the 500/30 rule, and uses the time to learn that WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS is not in fact the purpose of Wikipedia. nableezy - 00:54, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

Whether Katafada is actually "relatively new" or not (per HJ Mitchell below) is thrown into doubt by their statement that they edited the Modern Hebrew article "Some years back (2015 if I remember correctly)". There is indeed an IP who made edits which fit their description in May 2015. If Katafada was that IP, and they were editing with proficiency 6 years ago, then it seems wrong to treat them as if they were a newbie. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:51, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Shrike

The only edit that could be under scrutiny is the last edit as other edits were before an alert--Shrike (talk) 19:36, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

The new discoveries was founded in Israel[39] ,[40] so its not WP:TE at all .The removing the Israel category by Huldra it is [41] I don't know if it rise to level of WP:BOOMERANG but this case should be dismissed Shrike (talk) 20:59, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

Result concerning Katafada

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • At first glance this does look like tendentious editing but only one of the diffs is post-alert and this is a relatively new editor. Has anyone attempted to explain the problem with a hand-written (ie non-templated) message? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:59, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I've actively tried to avoid this case, but it seems no one else wants to jump in. HJ Mitchell has already modified the Dead Sea Scrolls article to EC, which is probably a good thing. I'm having trouble buying all the innocence from Katafada, to be honest. If this wasn't PIA, it would be a simple content conflict, but it is PIA so here we are. At a minimum, we probably need a logged warning, with instructions to Katafada to avoid PIA topics until they have the required 500 edits. Even if the page isn't locked as EC. How "new" they are is up for debate but the spirit of the Arb ruling is pretty clear, so it's just a good idea. Not sure what else to do. I'm not really thinking a block or topic ban is due for a first time issue. Dennis Brown - 12:05, 4 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree with HJ and Dennis that an explanation of the 30/500 rule would be a good first step and that it would be appropriate to log that notification/warning. If Katafada continues to edit in the PIA area after my message to them then a block would likely be appropriate. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:00, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

Blocked as a standard administrative sanction by Dennis Brown. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:00, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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

User who is submitting this request for enforcement
NorthBySouthBaranof (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 16:10, 9 April 2021 (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
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it
  1. 17 March 2021 Willfully misgenders a transgender man
  2. 7 April 2021 Undoes another IP who fixed their misgendering
  3. 7 April 2021 Again reverts the misgendering
  4. 9 April 2021 In response to being warned, declares that misgendering is a obviously left wing belief and states their intention to continue reverting the misgendering
  5. 9 April 2021 Again reverts the misgendering
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)
Additional comments by editor filing complaint

Reference the article Shooting of Tony McDade - the person shot and killed was a transgender man, as discussed by reliable sources. The IP user edited the article to intentionally misgender the person - changing transgender man to woman who identified as a man. This is a clear violation of BLP and MOS:GENDERID. In response to being reverted and warned, they attempted to turn it into a political debate, made a number of personal attacks, and mocked the very idea of misgendering. The user clearly understands Wikipedia policy in this space, but has no intention of following it. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 16:10, 9 April 2021 (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

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.
  • Rather limited to what I can do with an IP, but I blocked the IP address (corporate/static) for one year as a standard admin action (non-Arb Enforcement). Leaving open in case another admin has a better or additional idea. Dennis Brown - 18:44, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree with the block and above comment by Dennis Brown and think this can be closed. Johnuniq (talk) 07:59, 10 April 2021 (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 Grandmaster

User who is submitting this request for enforcement
Steverci (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 01:23, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested
Grandmaster (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/Armenia-Azerbaijan 2
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it
  1. 9 April 2021 Grandmaster deliberately distorts what the RFE/RL source here says. He cites "RFE/RL experts" but these are not the words of Ron Synovitz (article writer), they are the words of Can Kasapoglu and Fuad Shahbazov, Turkish and Azeri officials, respectively, and far from neutral or reliable sources.
  2. 9 April 2021 Rather than simply move the source to the "Supported by" for Turkey below, Grandmaster removed the entire citation
  3. 7 April 2021 Grandmaster refers to neutral and reliable sources (The New York Times, Reuters, Stratfor) that confirm something he doesn't like as "pointless"
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any
  1. 1 February 2008 4 week topic ban in the same area
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
Additional comments by editor filing complaint

The complete misrepresentation of the RFE/RL source was especially alarming. Given that the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war article already has the Very Long and Controversial templates and has the 1RR applied, it is both very harmful for false information to be included like this and very easy to overlook it. --Steverci (talk) 01:23, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

@Rosguill: If the body of the article no longer mentions fighter jets, then someone has removed it at some point, and I will take care of re-adding it. The discussion on the talk page right now is not directly related to the source Grandmaster added to the article. I only wanted to bring to light that an editor is either hardly reading his sources for intentionally twisting what they say to suit his agenda. The RFE/RL source states Shahbazov is an analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan, which is a government organization. Kasapoglu seems to be director of a think tank that calls itself independent (at least officially), so I apologize for any oversight. And I didn't mention Mekishvili because he wasn't quoted in the edit. The thing to note is that Grandmaster took a neutral source simply reporting what Turkish and Azeri sources were claiming, and lied that it was actually the neutral source making those claims.
Perhaps Grandmaster could've discussed the RFE/RL source in the ongoing talk page discussion before even adding it in the first place, but that would've revealed it didn't state what he claimed it did. I already explained on the talk page how Turkey being the one responsible for recruiting and deploying the Syrian terrorists was being questioned on the RfC at the time, so I added that EU source to verify it. I would like to see Grandmaster try to explain how he came to the conclusion that Kasapoglu and Shahbazov are "RFE/RL experts".
And since Grandmaster has decided to bring up sanctions from several years ago (which I originally wasn't planning on doing), I'll point out he has been blocked multiple times for edit warring on AA2 related articles. He is also distorting the circumstances that led to the RfC. I had started the RfC so we could get the opinions of third-party editors with no personal bias. Those "other involved editors" were all entirely Azeri or Turkish users, some of which are now banned, and one of them was blocked for sockpuppeting and revealed to have been running an off-Wikipedia canvassing network for votestacking. There were a lot new users and IPs that showed up to the RfC to !vote on all pro-Azeri positions, including Turkey not being a belligerent. Who knows what could've led them there.
I have not done anything wrong by adding the Turkish leaders to the infobox. I was citing a source discovered after the RfC and simply being WP:BOLD to see if anyone would be opposed to it. Turkey being a belligerent is listed as alleged for now, but Turkish support is not alleged. I have also not violated 3RR or even the article's 1RR. Grandmaster's first link isn't a revert, and the second link is me reverting a user who called my edit "Armenian propaganda" when one of the sources is from an Azeri news site. Perhaps Grandmaster was hoping no one would check to verify that it was a revert, like he may have been hoping no one would verify what the RFE/RL source actually says. Lying about me making reverts seems to show Grandmaster is the one who hopes to get me banned to eliminate a threat, as he revealed at the end of his statement. --Steverci (talk) 20:46, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested

Discussion concerning Grandmaster

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Statement by Grandmaster

This report is simply ridiculous. None of the diffs provided show any rule violation on my part. Regarding RFL source, if Steverci disagrees with it, he could have discussed it with me at talk of the article. He never raised any objection or concern about it, but took it here instead. Second diff, Steverci used an EU parliament resolution to support the claim that Turkey was a belligerent, while the source clearly says Turkey was "offering military support to Azerbaijan". So in this case Steverci blatantly misused the source, and reported me for fixing the problem. Regarding the third diff, indeed, as it was mentioned here, my comment only meant that the presence of Turkish jets in Azerbaijan does not make Turkey a belligerent, as those planes did not take part in hostilities. I don't see how this comment could be a violation of the rules.

But this is a good opportunity to look at POV editing of Steverci himself, who was repeatedly permanently banned from WP for POV editing and sockpuppetry (please see his block log). I find his activity on 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war to be quite disruptive. He tried to have Turkey included as a belligerent, despite the overwhelming majority of reliable sources only mentioning that Turkey provided support to Azerbaijan. When his proposed edits received objections from other involved editors, he started an RFC, and the consensus was that Turkey could not be listed as a belligerent. Then Steverci demanded a closure review at WP:AN, without notifying other involved editors. To me it looks like forum shopping. The result was that the closure decision was upheld, and Steverci's demand was not satisfied. That still did not stop Steverci from trying to include Turkey as a belligerent into the infobox. He tried to list Turkish generals as commanders, even though Turkish generals cannot be listed, if Turkey itself is not a belligerent. 3 rvs to have the article his way, despite no consensus from other editors: [43] [44] [45] I understand that Steverci will not accept Turkey not being listed as a belligerent, and will continue editing against consensus, forum shopping, etc. This report here is an attempt to get me removed as a perceived obstacle to having the article his way, though I'm not the only one who disagrees with him. Please see the discussion at talk of the article, where his attempt to list Turkey and Turkish generals as belligerents does not get any consensus from other involved editors. I think it would be good if admins looked into Steverci's own activity, and consider banning him from AA topics due to disruptive behavior. Grandmaster 16:48, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Grandmaster

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  • For diff #1, I note that the source also cites an Alex Mekishvili, and that Kasapoglu and Shahbazov are think tank analysts, not government officials (I'm not saying it's a great source, but trying to use it hardly seems beyond the pale). I'm not really sure what to make of diff #2. My reading of diff #3 is that "pointless" was used to say that it was a moot point because there aren't any sources establishing that Turkish planes participated in the actual fighting; surveying 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war quickly, I don't see a mention of Turkish planes, so the comment seems reasonable.Given that there's currently a discussion on the article talk page related to Turkey's position in the infobox which seems to be leaning against Steverci a the moment, this smacks of trying to use AE to win a content dispute, which seems like the most concerning behavior on display at the moment. signed, Rosguill talk 06:07, 10 April 2021 (UTC)