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

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

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration

Catflap08 and Hijiri88

Initiated by Nyttend (talk) at 17:51, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Involved parties

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

Statement by Nyttend

Catflap and Hijiri have been on uncomfortable terms for quite a while. They were interaction-banned from each other some while ago (lots of people refer to this fact, and both have acknowledged it, [1] and [2], although I can't find the original ban decision), we've seen various dispute-resolution threads about them that sometimes go so long that they don't get any action (e.g. the ANI archive that I link above), and an incident yesterday resulted in both being blocked for an interaction-ban violation. I've listed John Carter as a party because as part of yesterday's incident, he suggested an Arbcom case; as far as I know, he's not taken sides in this fight. I definitely haven't; before I issued Hijiri's block yesterday, I don't think I'd ever interacted with him, and before leaving a comment in yesterday's incident, I don't believe that I'd interacted with Catflap aside from issuing an unrelated 3RR block last year (see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive832#User:Naveen Reddy reported by User:Catflap08 (Result: Both blocked)). There may be additional reasons to request arbitration, reasons that I'm not aware of; I'm just making it because it was suggested and because I can see previous attempts at resolution that obviously haven't worked. Both editors are blocked at the moment; I'll be willing to copy their statements to this page if other editors don't do it first, and I'll willingly unblock Hijiri (and ask the blocking admin to remove Catflap's block) to allow them to participate here if that's a better idea. Finally, please note that I picked the name "Catflap08 and Hijiri88" because of alphabetical order (were it "Katflap08", I would have switched them), not because of a perceived need to list them in that order.

Note to arbitrators — while both editors are currently blocked, I told them that statements are welcome: I offered to copy stuff for them (if they write a statement for inclusion here, I'll copy/paste it from their talk pages), and after getting permission from Fram (who blocked Catflap), I stand ready to unblock either or both if they want to participate here directly. Neither one's edited since I left talkpage messages for both of them, so I won't do anything yet, but hopefully we'll get a response soon. Nyttend (talk) 01:42, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Catflap08

  • I have said before that I have little faith in the processes here, given the refusal of admins to take what seemed to me required action regarding the misconduct of Hijiri88.
  • To the best of my knowledge my interaction with Hijiri88 began when he challenged material added to the Kenji Miyazawa article as can be found at Talk:Kenji Miyazawa/Archive 1#Nationalist. The bone of contention was whether the subject's membership in a nationalist group made him a nationalist himself. I had proposed to drop the word nationalist and simply include the undisputable fact of the subject's membership in that nationalist group, Hijiri88, editing often as an IP, continued to resist, indicating that there was no difference between the two, although there is a clear and obvious difference between the two ideas which was apparently beyond his ability to understand.
  • Since that time, Hijiri88 has shown an unusual interest in editing articles related to the topic which is pretty much my sole area of activity, the category of Nichiren Buddhism. They also, repeatedly, cast allegations regarding my competence. They have never done anything to substantiate their claim regarding my competence though.
  • He has, sometimes in his verbose comments or responses to questions, also regularly engaged in unnecessary personal attacks (including foul remarks in notes accompanying his edits) and explicit assumptions of bad faith regarding me, and, so far as I have seen, most anyone else who disagrees with him. I am aware from the comments of others that Hijiri88 may have been subject to abuse earlier, but I believe his demonstrable inability to adhere to conduct guidelines is a problem which cannot be excused or overlooked because of the earlier abuse he had received. I also agree with the comments of others here, that sanctions were past due before, and that attempts to resolve the matter short of strong and clearly-defined sanctions from the ArbCom are doomed to fail given Hijiri88's apparent inability to believe his conduct might be reasonably sanctionable. His comments [in his request for the block being lifted, implying he sees that he has an absolute right to respond to anything he perceives as criticism, is interesting here in the section beginning here, because of along with his obvious indications of paranoid thinking and his stated belief that somehow my comment to him must have been taken as an invitation to comment from me, even though I as an individual do not have the right to do so, so far as I understand. Their behaviour is such that there are reasonable bases for questioning their competence to editWP:CIR, and I believe that only a full review of all the activity involved in this and other instances involving him is likely to yield reasonable results here.
  • The continuous deletion of references I find to be problematic too. Challenging them is one thing, but making them invisible to the reader’s eye is de facto censoring Wikipedia.--Catflap08 (talk) 19:30, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Hijiri88

Last June I was reading the Kenji Miyazawa article and saw the lead describing him as a "nationalist". The source said different. I removed it and explained on talk.[3][4] I had no idea when, why or by whom it was added, and didn't care. Catflap08 reverted me and posted a non-sequitur, claiming that whatever the source says, a "sourced" claim can't be removed.[5][6] When I tried discussing on the talk page, he went to AN.[7][8][9]

After being told that article content disputes should be discussed on the talk page, he opened an RFC with biased wording.[10] The RFC closed with unanimous agreement that his wording was unacceptable, but he continued inserting the word into the article. User:Dennis Brown told him that his edits were unacceptable, and he replied with sarcasm.[11][12][13] DB was one of the many admins to notice the problem over a year ago and not do anything about it; he should not be bringing up unrelated disputes without recognizing his direct involvement in this dispute. Catflap08 is in constant conflict with multiple users -- User:Hoary, User:Dekimasu and various NRM- and Holocaust-focused editors for the former. This is not a problem with me alone.

Catflap08 showed an apparent misunderstanding WP:V and WP:NOR, so I checked a related page he had edited, finding the same problems.[14][15] In December Catflap08 returned to Kenji, describing the subject's "nationalist associations" in the lead and body and refusing to use the talk page.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22] During the ensuing dispute, someone "suggested" I look at Catflap08's similar-but-unrelated dispute on another article. (Why are unrelated disputes involving me being brought up to indicate I have a "recurring problem" with civility, when Catflap08 has the same problem?) I noticed that he was again inserting unsourced material. I pointed out on the talk page that this was a recurring problem; this was not an ad-hominem argument, as it is a recurring problem, and was relevant.

An IBAN was put in place.[23] Catflap08 continued posting OR,[24] fighting me on talk pages,[25] reverting edits I made before and after the IBAN, discussing me on his talk page,[26] and posting about me on ANI,[27] while avoiding mention of my username. During a discussion to dissolve the IBAN (which received unanimous support), Catflap08 compared Sturmgewehr88 and myself to neo-Nazis.[28] These IBAN-violations were repeatedly ignored (1, 2, 3) by the admin corps; I mentioned Catflap08's name in a discussion of dissolving the IBAN, and was blocked.[29][30]

Catflap08's refusal to understand our content policies should have seen him blocked years ago. His talk page etiquette is atrocious. I've been called out for resorting to mild profanity under frustrating circumstances; Catflap08 starts out with sarcasm and quickly elevates content disputes to AN/ANI. Half of his talk page comments are sarcastic barbs at users. I don't know why this problem was not dealt with long ago, and I am baffled why some users think it is my fault. Hijiri 88 (やや) 13:40, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by John Carter

I wholeheartedly and in the strongest terms possible urge the committee to take this case. There are I believe amply demonstrated reasons to believe that there are long-standing behaviorial issues involved, and that dealing with those concerns now will likely reduce the likelihood that similar problems will recur in the future. John Carter (talk) 18:04, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

A link to the previous request Catflap08 filed here for an interaction ban on April 8 can be found here. John Carter (talk) 18:26, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
If there is going to be a question about the name for a case, I think "Japan" or "Japanese culture" or similar might be best. And allow me to say up front the poor arbs who have to wade through this interminable mess if the case is accepted have my greatest respect and thanks. John Carter (talk) 18:50, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
I may be one of the individuals @Dennis Brown: is referring to below in his opening comment, and I agree that there is perhaps a rather obvious tendency toward problematic behavior on the part of several editors who may or may not yet have made statements. The potential list of parties to a case dealing with all the issues present here would be a really long one, and while I don't like the idea of doing that to you arbs I think that the behavior of all the individuals involved, including tendencies toward counterattacking by allies and harassment, will probably have to be addressed as well. John Carter (talk) 19:18, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
It should probably be noted up front that the "other guy" Hijiri88 mentioned here is rather obviously and almost certainly Catflap08, but that Hijiri88 might have been afraid of mentioning him by name because of the existing i-ban. The rather explicit assertion of paranoic tendencies and obvious refusal to even allow the possibility of good faith on the behalf of others in his statement regarding the alleged traps being set for him is also of interest. John Carter (talk) 19:40, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I realize User:Sturmgewehr88 may have little understanding or experience with this type of thing, but I also believe he should be notified that he already has a section for his comments, and that all of his comments would best be contained in that one section, rather than creating additional sections for responses to others as he has done here. John Carter (talk) 16:57, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Sturmgewehr88 (talk · contribs), once again, noting you apparently didn't bother to read the instructions, threading isn't allowed either. Please make an effort to understand the procedures here before violating them again. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 17:39, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
In light of this, I would suggest a temporary injunction for the duration of this case. John Carter (talk) 20:19, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Floq

Good idea, Nyttend, an ArbCom case is really the only practical solution. I saw this blowing up on ANI in passing yesterday, and there are lots more ANI threads that someone involved in this could list. It boils down to this: we (the community) let this fester so long that it is now impossible to solve this ourselves. There will never be a consensus on what to do, so ArbCom needs to cut the Gordian knot and make an unambiguous solution, even if it ends up being impossible to make a perfect one. Every new Catflap/Hijiri ANI thread runs several pages, populated nearly equally by long term editors convinced Catflap is right and Hijiri is wrong, and long term editors convinced Hijiri is right and Catflap is wrong, all referring to things that everyone involved seems to know about (and fundamentally disagree about), but which uninvolved admins new to the dispute cannot understand. I once looked at a Catflap/Hijiri thread with the intent on closing it, and gave up after a half hour produced nothing but confusion and a headache. Everything seems to end in "no consensus", which just makes the next ANI thread more complicated. My first instinct on seeing this a long time ago was "a pox on both their houses", but apparently many long term editors think one or both are good editors when not interacting. A topic ban is not a simple solution, apparently, as it seems the biggest point of contention is an area in which one editor focuses almost exclusively. And I'm slowly becoming convinced that interaction bans cause more gaming than the conflicts they are intended to solve; that certainly seems to be the case here. Please take this case, draw straws to determine what poor sap has to wade into this and figure out what the hell is going on and draft it, and then make a decision. Any decision. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:14, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

p.s. If this runs true to form, you're going to need the Clerks (or Arbs) to run a pretty tight ship, or the evidence and workshop will degenerate into incomprehensibility. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:34, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Note that I've unblocked both editors so they can participate here (rather than transcribing their comments, which gets complicated). The conditions of the unblock are that they can only post here, and on their own talk pages, until the existing 1 week blocks would have expired. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:58, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I've blocked Hijiri88 for a week for crystal clear harassment of CurtisNaito, based on this diff provided in Curtis' section. Two notes:
  1. This has no bearing on whether Catflap08 is being "harassed" too, nor does blocking for this imply that any possible harassment of Catflap08 is less than, more than, or the same level as this. As I complain above, it's too complicated for me to tell. It just means that this threat is very easy to see, and unacceptable.
  2. I have no opinion on whether GAR's for these articles are appropriate or not, so any other editor is free to review the articles, and start a reassessment if that is necessary. This a block for harassment ("If you keep trying to get me banned I'll send more of your articles to GAR, if you stop, I won't"), not "protection" of Curtis' articles.
If any Arb or clerk (or, really, even any admin) thinks Hijiri's continued participation at ArbCom is important in the next week, feel free to revise or unblock without talking to me first. This is not an AE block of any kind. But I'm not going to unblock myself, because this is deeply unacceptable behavior, and being part of an arbcom case is not a free pass to pull this kind of crap. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:40, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

Just to note that I've added the Wikilink to the iBan discussion. BMK (talk) 18:18, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Letting Nyttend know that I've done so. BMK (talk) 18:25, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Further, all other pathways having been tried and failed, I urge the Committee to accept this case. BMK (talk) 18:27, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Although, as noted above, a large number of noticeboard discussions about the situation between these two editors could be listed, I believe that the one that came between the iBan discussion and the "Harassment" discussion is relevant, as it directly relates to the latter, and also illustrates what Floquenbeam describes, the community's inability to reach a consensus. It can be found here. BMK (talk) 18:37, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I disagree with Kingsindian's comments below, concerning whether the conflict between Hijiri88 and (individually) CurtisNaito and TH1980 and should be part of this case or not. As he points out, the only common factor is H88, but in my view, that is sufficient reason to include examination of these conflicts in the case, as it may well help to determine if one of the two disputants in the main part of the case (i.e. Catflap and Hijiri) is the prime mover in promulgating the continuing conflict. If there are similar disputes between Catflap and other editors, they, too, should be examined. The Catflap/Hijiri situation does not exist in a vacuum. BMK (talk) 02:09, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Further, Sturmgewehr88's request to be added as an involved party should only be granted if the scope of the case is expanded as above. In general -- but by all means not always -- S88 has been an apologist for H88, and now, with the filing of the AN/I complaint against TH1980 using evidence compiled by H88, appears to be acting as his proxy. That situation should be avoided here, especially as H88 has deliberately stayed away from participating in this case request. BMK (talk) 02:19, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Struck non-factual statement. BMK (talk) 04:14, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by AlbinoFerret

This situation defiantly needs to be addressed by Arbcom. There are numerous sections on both AN and AN/I that deal with the problems between these two editors that never reach consensus. Part of the problem may be that, at least the ones I have commented on have been very long. It appears that they become to long didnt read and so the closer to consensus they become, less community involvement results. The conflict in the particular subject (Japanese culture) has spread to other editors. Arbcom should consider widening the scope if they accept. This one has most of the same people minus Catflap. In one subsection of that section I proposed a short ban and warning for Hijiri88 for a long list of uncivil comments, all backed by diffs. But it was derailed mostly by editors who support Hijiri88. AlbinoFerret 18:44, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

This issue is still ongoing, I think the case should be expanded to include CurtisNaito and TH1980. Sturmgewehr88 started an AN/I section against TH1980 2 days after they commented here using evidence gathered by Hijiri88. The evidence that was copied can be found hatted here. AlbinoFerret 21:07, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Sturmgewehr88

I've been watching this issue grow since February. Catflap added OR/SYNTH to an article that Hijiri noticed and contested, and when the CIR/IDHT by the former met the TLDR/CIVIL by the latter it lit up like gasoline, leading to the IBAN. Since then, Catflap has announced his "retirement" multiple times due to "harassment" by Hijiri. He also violated the IBAN multiple times (manually reverting Hijiri's edits, discussing him on user talk pages, and even !voting for Hijiri to be TBANned in an unrelated ANI thread) and didn't get so much as a slap on the wrist until now. Hijiri, emboldened by Catflap's immunity, also violated the IBAN a few times in a similar but lesser fashion, but received sanctions. While I believe that Catflap's editing and gaming is a problem, I do not condone the misbehavior of Hijiri. The IBAN has failed to be effective, and a general topic ban (like of "Japanese history and culture") would be counterproductive. ArbCom should take this up and settle it once and for all. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 18:53, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

  • @CurtisNaito: you are not involved in this at all, and you ought not to become so. The issues here are completely separate from your ANI thread, and should stay that way. While you are free to add your input, retaliating won't bring any good. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 04:31, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @John Carter: I didn't create a new section, I threaded CurtisNaito's secion and then Liz moved it into a new section[31]. And you speak of my "irrational", unfounded accusations. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 17:23, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Liz: I wasn't aware of that rule, but thank you. I wish you had moved my comment to my section rather than creating a new one, since it prompted another user to assume bad faith on my part. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 17:23, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
@Sturmgewehr88: I'm sorry, I didn't see that you already had a section, that was my mistake to create a new one. Please assume no bad faith, editors! Also, it is permitted for clerks and arbs to leave comments in other editors' sections so this apology is permitted. Liz Read! Talk! 18:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • To the arbitrators, please disregard the statement by User:TH1980. He follows Hijiri around and blindly supports anyone who is in a dispute with Hijiri regardless of the situation. That "list" included all of the editor involved in a Japan-Korea dispute, some of which were on Hijiri's "side". Because Hijiri referred to most of those editors as SPAs or sockpuppets, it violated POLEMIC and a number of editors, including myself, asked him to blank it, which he did. Note that the list is from May and Hijiri had been in disputes with Catflap since January, yet Catflap isn't on the list. John Carter and AlbinoFerret are also absent, which means it is not a list of perceived enemies. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 19:32, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I would like the arbitrators to recognize me as an involved party, and recognize that CurtisNaito and TH1980 are uninvolved in this specific case. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 17:41, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Dennis Brown

I closed the one of the last ANI with Hijiri88 [32], and it was ugly enough that I actually put a link on the top of my talk page, knowing I would have to revisit it. I don't think I've had to do that before. Right now, my talk page looks like ANI2 due to other problems with Hijiri88. I've been mulling over how to deal with that for days: Go to AN for a topic ban, try to talk more, block, anything. I can't think of anything that would work with any of these situations. There are other editors that have contributed to their interaction issues with Hijiri, so no one is blameless here. The community has tried and failed to deal with several of these interaction on several occasions, two of which I've been involved. I think that collectively, the community is out of ideas. Because of this, I would respectfully ask that the Committee accept this case, and perhaps expand it to look at other editors and their interactions with Hijiri88, to insure a fair investigation is done. Dennis Brown - 19:11, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by IJBall

Let me second John Carter's statement and [beg!], [plead!] that ArbCom take this case. The "dramah" between these two editors has been crashing about at both WP:ANI and WP:AN for months now, and it seems too intractable a problem for any single Admin to tackle. In short, this seems to be the kind of case that ArbCom was literally made for! Hopefully the Committee can fashion a remedy where others have failed... --IJBall (contribstalk) 02:31, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

Pile-on support for this, for all the reasons stated above. These editors are acting in good faith, hence they don't simply get banned, but it is proving impossible to prevent constant drama. Guy (Help!) 12:42, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Blackmane

I too urge Arbcom to look into this. Although uninvolved in the regular flare ups at ANI between these two, I have had on occasion posted to Hijiri's talk page regarding various comments I had made at ANI. I have also !voted previously in support of topic bans for both of them. I regularly gnome about on AN and ANI and their regular appearances there are a sign that the community is unable to decisively deal with the problem. This needs to be dealt with once and for all. Blackmane (talk) 03:41, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

To committee memebers: There is a thread on ANI where a block of TH1980 has been proposed by Sturmgewehr88. At this point, I urge the committee to consider expanding the number of involved parties to include the users have joined in the dispute whether it be on Catflap or Hijiri's side.Blackmane (talk) 02:24, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by CurtisNaito

I am putting forward my name as an involved party. I was involved in a recent AN/I case which was mentioned by Dennis Brown in his post. Hijiri88 is currently showing an unusual degree of obsession with my edits as well as me personally as an editor. I can't help but notice that his stalking and harassment of me perfectly parallels the same problematic behavior he has exhibited towards Catflap08 and other users. I was recently named on the list of five users who Hijiri hopes Arbcom will "reprimand" (John Carter, AlbinoFerret, Beyond My Ken, CurtisNaito, TH1980). Therefore, I suppose I ought to become an involved party in this case.CurtisNaito (talk) 17:04, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Hijiri88 apparently does not want me to participate in this Arbcom case, because he responded to my post above by threatening to reassess the articles which I have brought to good article status unless I stop commenting about him. "But don't worry -- I won't post any more GA reassessments for the foreseeable future (even though I have half a dozen already drafted off-wiki) as long as you cease your campaign to get me removed from the project. Immediately."

Good article reassessments are supposed to take place to determine if an article meets good article criteria. And yet, Hijiri says here that whether or not he takes an article to good article review depends on whether or not I continue to post about him on Arbcom. I'm still interested in participating in this case in spite of these threats, but I want the Arbitration Committee to note that it is clearly inappropriate for an involved party in an Arbcom case to use threats to prevent other users from participating. This is evidently a trend on Hijiri's part since he has also made threats against AlbinoFerret[33] and TH1980[34] for commenting about his behavior on AN/I threads.CurtisNaito (talk) 19:50, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the aforementioned attack page Hijiri88 created in his sandbox, it's worth noting Hijiri also created attack pages against John Carter and Catflap08 during the same general period of time.[35][36]CurtisNaito (talk) 22:27, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

I think it's relevant to note the opinions that administrators have expressed regarding Hijiri88 in his disagreements with other editors. Concerning the Hijiri88-Catflap08 issue, the admin Drmies said, "Topic banning both editors the same way is highly unfair to Catflap, who was not the bad guy here". During a disagreement between Hijiri and myself, the admin Dennis Brown said, "To be clear, I do see Hijiri88 as the primary problem here". During one dispute, the admin Jayron32 said, "Hijiri is not here to work with others, but has major WP:BATTLEGROUND and WP:OWNership issues." In March the admin SilkTork described Hijiri as "a brittle and hostile user who makes things difficult for themself and others".

Also note that, during the past year alone, five unique users have proposed topic or page bans wholly or partially directed at Hijiri.[37][38][39][40][41]CurtisNaito (talk) 16:42, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by TH1980

Hijiri88's threats against other users is one of the most disturbing aspects of his behavior. I had noticed his shocking harassment of user Catflap08, but when I commented about it Hijiri threatened me with "harsh repercussions". I hope I will not receive any "harsh repercussions" for pointing this out again. He also posted numerous harassing messages on my talk page.[42][43]

Well before that incident, Hijiri put me on his enemies' list, a blatant attack page listing users Hijiri had personal disagreements with. Hijiri has been harassing me and everyone else on his enemies' list, plus Catflap08 and CurtisNaito. It's all the same pattern of simply deplorable, disruptive behavior.TH1980 (talk) 17:46, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by S Marshall

The committee should not be accepting new cases, as it plainly cannot deal with the cases already before it.—S Marshall T/C 17:47, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved Kingsindian

Can ArbCom clarify the scope of this case? In particular are CurtisNaito/TH1980 part of this case? I mention this because there is an WP:ANI thread regarding TH1980 recently started here (permalink). Kingsindian  17:23, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

My own viewpoint is that I do not see why CN/TH1980 are supposed to be part of the case. The issues with them are totally separate from Catflap. I don't think CN and Catflap have ever interacted. The only common link is Hijiri88. I participated in one WP:ANI thread regarding CN/TH1980/Hijiri88. Without going too much into details, my own viewpoint was that there was a fair bit of incivility from Hijiri88 and a fair bit of WP:OR/WP:SYNTH/edit warring from CurtisNaito/TH1980. I opposed any big sanctions there. As far as I can see, there has been one other ANI thread about CurtisNaito/TH1980/Hijiri88 which was very similar. My feeling is that people who wish to add the other parties to the case are simply sick of the whole matter, and just want it to stop: it does not make too much logical sense though. Kingsindian  00:17, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Ivanvector

I'm echoing others' sentiment in urging the Committee to accept this case, although it looks like my pile-on is moot. I don't consider myself involved, although I was one of a handful of users strongly endorsing long-term sanctions for both Catflap08 and Hijiri88 in one of the ANI threads linked above, which was not actioned at all. It appears to me that the community is not out of ideas, we are simply out of admins who are able to act on the community's desire by virtue of not already having become WP:INVOLVED through the many, many noticeboard postings these two users have generated in their time here.

I also strongly endorse Dennis Brown's comment above, encouraging an investigation of all users' behaviour who have been involved in disputes with these two users. In that context, CurtisNaito has already identified themselves as a likely party to the case, and Kingsindian refers above to an ANI thread regarding TH1980's alleged harassment of Hijiri88, thus I propose TH1980 be named a party as well. That being said, I observed personally through the ANI thread I was involved in that Hijiri88 does not take responsibility for their conduct, resorting instead to blaming everyone around them, and this has the effect of escalating conflicts with other users who might otherwise be valuable contributors.

It may also be worth noting that Catflap08 has been "retired" since April, yet disruption continues to follow them.

I actually don't think that the issues here are particularly complex, and I am confident that ArbCom can come up with an effective solution. But the community has certainly failed to do so, and has exhausted its patience in trying. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 21:11, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cla68

I read through each of the adversary's statements and one thing seemed to clear to me, it's that this is the kind of situation that WP's administration should have been able to take care of long ago. These editors have been in conflict with each other for something like a year. All it would have taken is for an administrator to take a couple of hours and go through the edits of each of the two editors in their common articles and on the related talk pages, then draw up a summary of what they found and present it at ANI or AN and invite input from other admins on who to block and for how long. For whatever reason, WP's current admin corps appear to be completely unable or unwilling to handle a simple dispute like this. I think there's a number of reasons for that, beyond basic incompetence. A case like this, involving only two editors, should not have to come to ArbCom for resolution. I suggest that ArbCom immediately desysop every admin who had a part in this conflict and was unable or unwilling to resolve it. That will help tell the rest of WP's admins that they need to step up and actually take some responsibility for situations that actually take longer than 10 minutes to examine, but are otherwise fairly straightforward. Cla68 (talk) 05:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {Non-party}

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

Clerk notes

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

Catflap08 and Hijiri88: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <10/0/1/0>

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse/other)

  • Waiting for statements from Catflap08 and Hijiri88 (who are currently blocked for a week); however, I am inclined to accept this case based on the urging of Floq and Dennis who don't normally do this kind of thing. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 20:12, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm leaning very much towards accepting this as it seems like the community has repeatedly tried and failed to resolve the issues, but I'm going to wait for both Catflap08 and Hijiri88 to have an opportunity to comment first. Thryduulf (talk) 22:32, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Like my colleagues above, awaiting comment from the involved parties, but I'm inclined to accept as it seems this issue is intractable otherwise. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:16, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept I can't conceive of anything Catflap08 and Hijiri88 might submit that would make it a bad idea to take this case (feel free to prove me wrong, gents), so I'm willing to accept it now, though I would of course like to hear from both parties. Yunshui  09:42, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Recuse. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:20, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Provisional accept, I can't really think what could be said by Hijiri88 that would render this case unnecessary, but anything is possible. Courcelles (talk) 02:09, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept -- Euryalus (talk) 10:05, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept LFaraone 18:40, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept Doug Weller (talk) 15:53, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept. AGK [•] 23:13, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept. We clearly need to take this case. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:40, 10 October 2015 (UTC)


Initiated by jps (talk) at 14:30, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Involved parties

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

Statement by I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc

I was blocked for one week and then subsequently unblocked by Spinningspark for disruptive editing with no explanation either as to the rationale nor duration of the block. I had been in an edit war with him at Self-creation cosmology. Spinningspark at first refused to explain when asked to do so by another administrator, but later admitted that this was a mistake. Spinningspark still maintains that he was not WP:INVOLVED with me in an editing dispute. I am of the opinion that when anyone reverts another user, both are in an editing dispute. Dennis Brown agrees with Spinningspark. He says WP:INVOLVED was not breached because "Protecting the integrity of an article you don't edit doesn't make you involved as an editor..." I cannot find a policy justification for this attitude and two other administrators think it was involved action. Spinningspark technically broke 3RR, and, after blocking me, immediately reverted back to his preferred version of the article.

Spinningspark's (and Dennis Brown's) position is that the only thing he did wrong was to not give a block notice, but blocking me was legitimate. He claims that his reverts were "admin actions" and therefore he was not edit warring, only I was. My position is that Spinningspark misused his administrative ability to block other users because he was involved in an editing dispute with me. I maintain he used the block to win the edit war. If this behavior is allowed, admins can, with impunity, revert and then block users who undo the admin's revert as long as the admin claims to be "protecting the integrity of the article". If this truly is the policy of Wikipedia, users like myself will need to give complete deference to administrators during editing disputes lest they risk being blocked by that very same administrator.

There are some additional concerns I have about the general attitude of Spinningspark. His last statement on my talkpage indicates that he thinks "...dealing with an editor with a block history as long as your arm (and thus already knew perfectly well how to appeal) and was well known (as stated at his arb case) for edit warring, wikilawyering and contentious talk page posts... [means that] any interaction would result in an attempt to grind me down with walls of text, and frankly, I have better things to do. I therefore chose to keep interaction to a minimum.... I don't think this was entirely out of order." This kind of insulting dismissal of a Wikipedia editor that had just been blocked seems like a case of administrator hubris that is indicative of the attitude that blocking users with whom you disagree is fine if they have a long block log or they have been subject to past arbitration decisions (no matter how ancient).

A fuller account of the blocking, unblocking, and ongoing dispute can be read on my User talk page. I want arbcom to say that Spinningspark was wrong to block me and I would like my block log amended to that effect.

Statement by Spinningspark

I will limit this comment to the substantive issue of the redirection of Self-creation cosmology. I came to the page through a CSD request to delete a redirect that was holding up an inappropriate name change. I have no previous connection with the article and have no axe to grind on the subject. Having found that the moved page had itself been blanked and redirected and that there had been a recent AfD on the page (no consensus), I put everything back how it was. I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc then redirected it again. Now if an AfD closes as delete and the same article is posted again, it can be deleted by administrative action under CSD G4. It would be perverse if the converse did not apply, that administrators could not restore articles AfD had decided to keep that had been blanked, redirected, or otherwise deleted by the back door.

It goes without saying that I do not believe, or even wish, that "admins can, with impunity, revert and then block users who undo the admin's revert as long as the admin claims to be 'protecting the integrity of the article'." In this specific situation though, it was an admin action, not edit-warring, and the real problem was the continuing attempt at back door deletion. SpinningSpark 16:23, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

  • I urge everyone considering this case to read this post by I9 where he appears to argue that edit warring is the normal means of achieving consensus on Wikipedia. SpinningSpark 08:53, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I hope that if Arbcom take on this case that they will look at this behaviour of I9. It is his belief that edit warring is an acceptable, even normal, method of achieving consensus that is the root cause of this issue. This is not just one isolated example, just a few from his recent edit history;

Flyby anomaly [49] [50] [51] [52]

Acupuncture [53] [54] [55]

Big Bang [56] [57] [58] [59]

Enfield Poltergeist [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] [66]

Crop circle [67] [68] and [69] [70] [71] [72]

His first reaction is always to reach for the edit war buttons. He might go to the talk page afterwards, but only after he has steamrollered the opposition into letting his preferred version stand. The only difference here is that he happened to get blocked. Now I9 does good work in keeping fringe crap out of Wikipedia, but turning every disagreement into a battlefield has to stop. I suggest Arbcom place some kind of revert restriction on him. SpinningSpark 17:43, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
  • MastCell has made a great deal of the statement in the deletion policy that if there is no rough consensus, the page is kept and is again subject to normal editing, merging, or redirecting as appropriate. The key instruction in that sentence is the page is kept. Together with the previous sentence, which MastCell did not cite, that deletion of a page based on a deletion discussion should only be done when there is consensus to do so make it quite clear. Redirecting to a page that does not even mention the subject of the article is not "normal editing" and I cannot believe that the authors of the policy had in mind removal of all information whatsoever about the subject when they wrote that sentence. There was no attempt to place even a cursory one-sentence mention in the target article, let alone anything that could be described as a merge. I stand by my original assessment that this was an attempt to circumvent an AfD close that did not go the way the nominator wanted, rather than anything supported by policy. I welcome an ArbCom ruling on the correct interpretation of this policy and will, of course, abide by that in the future. SpinningSpark 10:41, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Dennis Brown

I think SpinningSpark thought he was protecting the outcome of an AFD. Even I thought it was an ok block until MastCell explained it. These are not common situations, and the line between editor and admin action are often blurry. If jps had only redirected once, we wouldn't be here at all, but he inserted it 3 times. SS erred as well, I'm just saying this didn't happen in a bubble. I now see why the block was bad. My problem was that once he made the block, he refused to explain it in detail to EdJohnston or jps. I was a bit more blunt on jps's talk page and directly asked via WP:ADMINACCT, which forced his hand, but to be honest, he did so in good faith after that.

I didn't see malice, just errors, it wasn't an article that he had edited before, and I can believe he was doing what he thought he should do, but Bish's link of his final words do put him in a negative light. I was completely wrong in the interpretation of policy at first but I listened to MastCell with an open mind and realized he was right. So I can understand why SS got it wrong to start with. If SS had listened and reconsidered his position after the unblock, then we wouldn't be here. So, it seems that it is up to SS whether or not a case (or motion) is needed. Personally, I think education is a better solution than a case, short of a showing that this is a pattern. I certainly learned something from it. Dennis Brown - 15:30, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

  • I need to be emailed if more is needed from me as I'm going on a scheduled Wikibreak. I don't really see myself as an involved party if this goes to a case, but will respond if specifically requested. Dennis Brown - 22:43, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MastCell

This is really simple. I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc (talk · contribs) and Spinningspark (talk · contribs) were edit-warring over a redirect at self-creation cosmology. When Spinningspark hit 3RR (1, 2, 3), he blocked I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc to ensure that his preferred version "stuck". You will not find a more blatant misuse of admin tools, or a more blatant violation of WP:INVOLVED. Spinningspark also refused to leave a block notice, despite prompting from another admin, later stating: "frankly, I have better things to do."

Spinningspark argued that he was not edit-warring, but instead acting as an admin enforcing an AfD closure. In fact, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Self-creation cosmology was closed as "no consensus". The deletion policy explicitly states: if there is no rough consensus (at AfD), the page is kept and is again subject to normal editing, merging, or redirecting as appropriate (emphasis mine). Redirecting the article was completely legitimate in the setting of the prior AfD. Spinningspark was not "enforcing" any sort of consensus; he was just straight-up edit-warring. His view of himself as an uninvolved admin is based on his ignorance of very basic site policy. (In his defense, this misunderstanding of basic editing mechanics seems to be shared by many commentators here and by at least one Arb).

This episode showed piss-poor administrative judgement on several levels: fundamental misunderstanding of AfD and editing mechanics, edit-warring, disregard for WP:INVOLVED, and an abusive block followed by a refusal to meet minimum standards of accountability (e.g. a block notice). That said, I don't know that a case is necessary. Assuming this is the sole blemish on Spinningspark's admin career (I haven't checked), it would be fine to treat this episode as an educational opportunity rather than a punitive one. It's also a chance to affirm the basic tenets of admin accountability and standards in the face of a clear violation of both. For that to happen, it needs to be made absolutely clear that this was a bad block and Spinningspark needs to understand why. We don't need a full case for that, but we do need to do a better job of making clear where the line is. MastCell Talk 18:01, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Bishonen

Please review Spinningspark's use of admin tools in this instance. (All hour-minute indications in the following are UTC.) There was no consensus to delete Self-creation cosmology in this AfD, but there certainly wasn't consensus against redirecting the article to Brans-Dicke theory either. Jps did so redirect it after the AfD had been closed, and then he and SS reverted each other twice (somewhat distractingly, there was another revert by SS in the middle of it, of a move by another editor to a re-spelled title, but I would recommend people to simply ignore that). Jps had argued for a redirect at the AfD, and several other people had agreed that might work. Nobody at the AfD had argued against redirecting. Just before he was blocked, jps attempted discussion in several places, including on Spinningspark's talkpage at 23:26 25 Sept, where he asked him not to revert again. Spinningspark's response was to revert again at 23:49 25 Sept and then immediately to block (23:50 25 Sept). Only then did he reply to jps's post (at 23:56 25 Sept), recommending him to open a new Afd "when your block expires". This is the language of power, of "I'm an admin and you're not", and unpleasant to see in a pure editorial dispute.

I was following the discussion on jps's page, not planning to comment, but this so far final post on the subject from Spinningspark pushed me into doing so. It too is unpleasantly power-speaking: doubling down on the block, conceding "in retrospect" that not leaving a block rationale was a "mistake", but only a mistake in the sense that admins responding to an unblock appeal would require a rationale. SS explains his original thinking in not leaving a block message by referring to jps's "block history as long as your arm" and the way he, jps, was well known "for edit warring, wikilawyering and contentious talk page posts". He, SS, thought it better not interact with jps at all, as that would only "result in an attempt to grind me down with walls of text, and frankly, I have better things to do". This kind of talk of long block logs, old arbitration cases, and propensity for "walls of text" (? really?) is smoke and misdirection, and smells of old dislike. Where is the relevance of it, other than poisoning the well? Not interacting with a guy you have just blocked for a week because you have "better things to do" than engage with the walls of text from him that you think will ensue? (Are walls of text really something jps is known for?) It's all unacceptable in my view, and it moved me to ask SS on his page to relinquish his tools and stand for a re-RFA. (He hasn't commented.) Incidentally I don't like his unblock rationale either. Bishonen | talk 15:06, 27 September 2015 (UTC).

@Doug Weller: I agree it doesn't need a case, as the facts are simple and limited, and the pomp of "Evidence" and "Workshop" etc would hardly help arbcom interpret them. But how about a motion to tell Spinningspark to not use his tools in such situations and not to talk to/about respectable users like they're a mess he wants to clean off his shoes? Because I don't see any indication that he has taken any of that on board. Bishonen | talk 17:15, 28 September 2015 (UTC).
@Salvio guiliano: Obviously a full case isn't needed and would be a poor use of resources, see my response to Doug. However, since no arb has shown any interest in my suggestion for a motion, I'm starting to suspect that perhaps a motion can't be proposed at this stage, but the case has to be accepted first and can then be dealt with by motion if desired. Is that how it is? If so, then I think the case should be accepted and rapidly abbreviated to a motion. There needs to be something official, IMO, principally because the arbs should put a note in jps's block log acknowledging that it was a bad block. (You guys know how to annotate the block log, right?) Or should at least come to a determination about the matter of a log note — as you can see, jps has requested one. Spinningspark has been demonizing jps with reference to his "block log as long as your arm". And the way his block log looks now, especially with SS's self-serving unblock rationale, the next admin can block with reference to "last block as recently as September 2015". Arbs and others keep saying it was a bad block, but, implicitly or explicitly, that its badness doesn't need to be officially stated — wagging a finger at Spinningspark on this board is enough. But what about the other individual involved? Bishonen | talk 10:25, 5 October 2015 (UTC).
@Salvio guiliano: You're not in the business? I must say that's some nice power speech too. Your business is up to you guys, isn't it? And obviously the block log is only part of what a motion would be for. But I'm done here. You didn't answer my direct question, and my resources are limited too. Bishonen | talk 13:33, 5 October 2015 (UTC).

Statement by EdJohnston

The block of jps showed up on my watchlist. This made me curious to see what was happening, so I went to User talk:I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc to get the details. Since there was no block notice, I suggested to User:SpinningSpark that he create one. (My leaving the note for SS seems to be why my name is mentioned here). I will leave my two cents' worth of opinion. Experience suggests that blocks of jps will lead to controversy, and clear communication may be useful. It does not come as a complete surprise that jps was blocked due to his three edits at Self-creation cosmology (converting the article to a redirect), though it might have been better for SpinningSpark to ask for review of his actions at ANI to allay the concern about involvement. (Most likely ANI would have lifted the block). Revert-by-admin-followed-by-block-of-the-other-party is a pattern that sometimes occurs but more commonly in cases of vandalism or BLP violation. That sequence of events tends to raise our eyebrows. EdJohnston (talk) 17:56, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Kraxler

The AfD Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Self-creation cosmology was nominated by the filer of this complaint. The result was no consensus. Although !voters mentioned a redirect (Tigraan !voted "delete" and said "no objection to a redirect"; the nominator says "One possibility might be a redirect"; Ashill !voted "delete" and said "I agree that making this a appropriate"; Garthbarber voted "keep" and said "The suggestion that 'One possibility might be a redirect' might be a good consideration"; there were also 3 more keep and 2 more delete votes) none of them !voted Redirect. The closing statement does not mention any redirecting, but suggests a new AfD instead. No consensus defaults to keep the article. Deleting the page (using the tool of a redirect), contrary to the AfD result, must be considered vandalism, especially when done by a grudging AfD nominator who didn't get it their way. Under the circumstances, admin Spinningspark was absolutely correct to protect the article, supported by a clear mandate by the AfD result, and blocking the disruptor is not any involved decision. Spinningspark did not take part in the AfD, and did not edit the article, he only restored a blanked page. Anti-vandalism is also exempt from 3RR. ArbCom should Decline the case, and instead admonish User:I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc to respect the result of community discussions, and follow the appropriate procedures indicated in their outcomes. Kraxler (talk) 15:14, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Drmies

I usually take a pretty hard line when it comes to "enforcing admin-made decisions", and the other line I take is the blue line, or so I'm told. But in this case I cannot. First, the lack of a rationale is pretty incomprehensible to me and if I can psychologize for a moment or two, it indicates some anger and frustration, not the best emotions for an admin to have when making use of the tool.

Second, and this goes to my "hard line", I am all for protecting the outcomes of discussions. That is, if a deletion discussion closes as "redirect", admins can and frequently should enforce those decisions, which are no different from RfCs, for instance. If an editor continues to undo such a redirect, then of course the admin can revert and revert and revert without being guilty of edit warring and without being INVOLVED, in all-caps and in blue print. Now, I do not know if there is any reason to think that Spinningspark was involved in the content of the thing one way or another, but it doesn't matter: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Self-creation cosmology was closed by Randykitty as "no consensus", so there was no community decision to protect. And so I cannot agree with the block. Drmies (talk) 16:29, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

  • I just had a look at the comment by JustBerry below, and just wish to note that a. this is completely unrelated; b. Spinningspark wasn't acting as an administrator in that exchange; c. Spinningspark was right and JustBerry was wrong. Drmies (talk) 00:52, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't know if all the arbs are counted off already, but I do not think, and I should have said this earlier, that this is an ArbCom matter. Admin error, yes. ArbCom matter, no. Drmies (talk) 17:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Black Kite

I am surprised that experienced editors such as Spinningspark and, especially, Kraxler above, do not know what an AfD result of "No consensus" actually means. It does not mean "Keep" (although the obvious result of the AfD is that the article is unchanged). It effectively means that the AfD is null and normal editing can continue. In this case, redirecting the article is a normal editorial decision (it's certainly not vandalism, that's simply ludicrous). Now of course I, or any other editor, can simply revert that change and point to WP:BRD, but as an admin, as soon as I've done that, I would be involved. This is a bad block, I'm afraid. Whether it's worth a full case is quite another matter. Black Kite (talk) 17:04, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by NE Ent (spinningspark), revised

Take the case. If, ~10 days after the event spinningspark is still synthesizing arguments on very thin ground "Redirecting to a page that does not even mention the subject of the article..." it seems apparent it hasn't sunk in his job is to minimize disruption and the totality of his actions -- edit warring, failure to use article or user talk, failure to post block notice / explain block -- indicate that a few words in decline statements have not been sufficient to clearly communicate he needs take a Mulligan on this encounter and do better in the future. NE Ent 02:40, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by John Carter

While I agree with BlackKite above regarding the meaning of no consensus, as per WP:DP, quoting the current version in full, "The deletion of a page based on a deletion discussion should only be done when there is consensus to do so. Therefore, if there is no rough consensus, the page is kept and is again subject to normal editing, merging, or redirecting as appropriate," in that it clearly does indicate that normal editing, including redirecting as appropriate, is acceptable after an AfD discussion, the extant phrasing at WP:AFD regarding this matter, quoting again, "If consensus seems unclear the outcome can be listed as No consensus (with no effect on the article's status) or the discussion may be relisted for further discussion," is somewhat ambiguous. Expanding the text there to provide more information might be appropriate. Not watching the page of an editor he has blocked is probably at best dubiously acceptable, and, honestly, having a block log in and of itself is in no way necessarily relevant to any individual block action. I agree that this was an at best dubious block, although I am not at all sure myself one way or another that it necessarily is one that particularly requires a broad review of the blocking admin's actions. And in response to Bishonen above, I have never known jps to be a wall-of-words person. I do believe that given SS apparently considered the block log as a factor in the block, there may well be grounds to have this particular block removed from the record, and I also agree that there is cause to at least admonish SS for his actions. And I can understand where Bishonen is coming from. I think while the block in and of itself might not be sufficient for SS to stand for a confirmation RFAdmin, his actions, inactions and comments about it since the block can be seen to raise questions which might best be dealt with in that way. John Carter (talk) 18:26, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

In response to Gamaliel below, I think he and many others might better known I9 by one of his earlier names, and he provides a link on his user page to all of them. John Carter (talk) 18:47, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
In response to Coretheapple, who I think forgot to sign, I also think it would be a good idea if we could, somehow, get WP:AE or some similar page to engage in preliminary review of administrative actions for the possible purpose of disciplinary action, but I am unaware of any such procedures available at this time. If ArbCom saw fit to request such a matter, however, ... John Carter (talk) 22:58, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Gamaliel

I do not believe I've ever seen the usernames I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc and Spinningspark before. All I know of this matter is what I read here, and a number of users whom I respect have raised concerns about this block above. I'm not sure what the issue is, though. WP:INVOLVED seems like a canard. It's pretty clear Spinningspark believed they were performing administrative matters and attempting to uphold policy, though there is some reason to believe they were interpreting policy incorrectly. I9Q was edit warring, and their block log does not impress. "any interaction would result in an attempt to grind me down with walls of text" does not strike me as a statement of arrogance, but one of experience and common sense, as WP:ADMINACCT is often employed to harangue admins, filibuster enforcement, and otherwise disrupt matters. Nevertheless, as an administrator, Spinningspark is obligated to explain administrative actions, even if they are not obligated to respond to any subsequent harangues or other negative behavior. Since I9Q was relatively quickly unblocked, if Spinningspark will agree to explain their actions in the future in compliance with normal procedures and expectations, there's really nothing else to do here. Gamaliel (talk) 18:29, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MSGJ

Doesn't seem to be ripe for arbitration and prior dispute resolution does not seem to have been fully tried. Suggest taking this to WP:AN where SS can be invited to comment more fully. Either way, if this is just about one (possibly misjudged) action then it does not rise to the level of needing arbitrators. Cheers — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 19:36, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

This case isn't the worst RFAR request this month, but that says nothing, given that the worst RFAR of the month was just filed. I would urge ArbCom to decline it because it is just as trivial an off-by-one mistake by an administrator as Lady de Clare v. Necrothesp. The only difference is that in the first case, there was a content dispute, and the admin used the page-protect button rather than requesting another admin. In this case, there was move-warring against consensus, and the administrator used the block button rather than requesting another admin. If ArbCom isn't going to open an off-by-one admin action in a content dispute, why should ArbCom open an off-by-one admin action in what appears to have been move-warring against consensus? I recommend a decline, since the admin mistake has already been noted. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:41, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by JustBerry

I happen to come across this case; having encountered issues with the sysop recently, the situation does not look good in their favor. In case this case is accepted and further investigated, I would encourage the committee to review a rather unpleasant encounter with Spinningspark quite recently. Although the rationale of Spinningspark does appear to have substance, their response here does not reflect "administrators are expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others" from WP:Administrators. If this issue appears to be off-topic from the main issue at hand, feel free to use this additional information however you may see fit, committee members.

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment To address Drmies's comment above... @Drmies: Are you saying that administrators have no responsibility to act in a respectful, civil manner outside of their administrator duties? Regardless of whether they're acting as an administrator remains independent of their expected conduct. Also, I never said that Spinningspark's comment was not substantive, as mentioned above. The concern is the failure to recognize that the revert was made as a good-faith anti-vandal edit and, with that, the tone in which the administrator decided to use. Although this instance may not be directly related to the exact case at hand, it still exemplifies the administrator's tone towards other editors. I'm not sure how this would classify as a "low blow," as you mentioned on Spinningspark's talk page. --JustBerry (talk) 00:59, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment @Hawkeye7: I don't recall mentioning outside Wikipedia. "Policies and guidelines should always be applied using reason and common sense" from Wikipedia:Policies_and_guidelines. I think it's fairly clear that these guidelines apply to Wikipedia; there was no mention of conduct outside of Wikipedia. The goal here is not to exaggerate one instance into an entire case, but I think there appears to be a pattern being noticed. Thus far, I have not done any serious digging, but if there appears to be a need for it - I will most likely present the additional diffs, etc. after the case has been accepted. --JustBerry (talk) 12:45, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment @Hawkeye7: Not to pile on here, but to address your comment to Courcelles: accepting a case does not necessarily mean that the user will be admonished; rather, patterns of behavior will be looked into upon the acceptance of the case. --JustBerry (talk) 12:48, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Opabinia regalis

Really? This is like watching the emergency vehicles fly past burning buildings in order to respond to a fender-bender. The GMO case has been ready to open for almost two weeks. There's at least one other recently discussed long-outstanding matter of arbcom business that the community is waiting for a response to. Admonish by motion if you really must - or however you say "that was dumb, don't do that again" in bureaucratese - and move on from this one. Opabinia regalis (talk) 02:22, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Hawkeye7

@JustBerry:: Are you saying that administrators have a responsibility to act in a respectful, civil manner outside of their administrator duties, including outside Wikipedia? I think this goes way too far.
@Courcelles:: How is it possible to take your claim that "the entire situation will be examined, as it must when INVOLVED is the issue at hand" seriously, when ArbCom did just that (and quite correctly) as recently as the Lady de Clare v. Necrothesp case the day before yesterday.
I recommend that the Committee reject yet another pointless and meritless case. Admonishment should be reserved for patterns of behaviour, not individual lapses; arbitration should be for cases where normal resolution mechanisms have proven inadequate and not a knee-jerk response; and admins should feel that will be supported and not second-guessed by arbs. Hawkeye7 (talk) 03:31, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Shock Brigade Harvester Boris

This wasn't Spinningspark's best moment as an admin. This wasn't jps's (aka Alpha-Bits) best moment as an editor. But making an arbcom case out of this is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overboard. If you really feel like you have to do something this deserves no more than a motion to give them both a stern talking-to, without the agony of a full case. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:45, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Looie496

For the sake of clarifying the background, it might be useful to point out that jps, aka AlphaBits, is the editor who was once known as ScienceApologist. Looie496 (talk) 17:02, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MrX

One has to admire the temerity of I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc, given his well-hidden history leading up to a ban, as well as his more recent history of edit warring, personal attacks, and BLP violations (diffs available on request). At worst, Spinningspark's block falls into a gray area of WP:INVOLVED. While not optimal in some respects, it's hardly worthy of more than mild rebuke. I too am surprised that some Arbcom members, whom I respect for their usual good judgement, would consider accepting this case. If the new normal is to bring Admins here for one transgression of involved, admin accountability, or unpopular blocks, then I predict a deluge of such cases, starting with one concerning an admin involved in another request on this very page. - MrX 17:38, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Floq

I guess my question would be, now that it has been explained by several people that this was not administratively enforcing an AFD decision - i.e. that redirecting is not a forbidden edit after a no-consensus AFD - does SpinningSpark understand that the block was incorrect because he was making editorial decisions about the article? If so, then I strongly suggest declining, rather than issuing some kind of official admonishment. Otherwise... well, I guess I still suggest declining unless someone shows evidence of a pattern of behavior of some kind, but in that case I'll add my name to the list of people who think this was a block by an involved admin, and that an ArbCom case would be a distinct possibility if it happens again. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:25, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Swarm

Also just weighing in to go on record: Spark's edit summaries alone clearly reveal that he was not acting in an uninvolved administrative capacity but instead had taken a position in a dispute. There should be no doubt as to the fact that this was a clear abuse of the tools. Whether or not one is involved is almost always a matter of common sense and I assume and I assume his defensiveness is merely a natural human reaction as opposed to a genuine lack of understanding as to why his actions were wrong. Bad judgment happens, and people make mistakes. That's okay. Hopefully the feedback in this case request serves as ample admonishment as to render additional measures unnecessary. However administrators who make this "mistake" multiple times should absolutely not remain in possession of the tools. Swarm 21:14, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Ched

Along with agreeing in great part with Floq above, I'd like to mention my own perspective.

  • I have no idea what would or would not come out in a "case", but it appears to me that some of the roots of this disagreement may also be tied to some form of "Fringe"[73] (either directly, or indirectly). If you do decide to take this on, the newer members may want to brush-up on some of the past cases where that topic has been involved. (I believe there are a few of them) Admittedly, it may be well outside the "scope" of what you would agree to take on if you accept this as a case - but background never hurts. And forewarned is forearmed. — Ched :  ?  21:13, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cla68

How about one or a few of you experienced admins put together a better admin guide, an admin training syllabus, a list of best administrative practices, and a log of non-routine admin actions with added peer-reviews? I know, I know, this would require WP's administration to actually get well, you know, organized and stuff. Cla68 (talk) 05:55, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Olowe2011

I believe this case brings to light a bigger issue that is facing many newer editors on Wikipedia and that is being confronted with administrators who will deliberately decline Afd in favor of their own point of views. Many administrators also have problems with understanding that civility is important and reflects on the community as a whole. It is worth noting that in order for Wikipedia to be fit for the generations in front of us we must continue to engage new editors with different opinions and different outlooks without imposing rather barbaric treatment. Unfortunately it is often the impression of new editors to Wiki who I have spoken to that after editing they find that they no longer use the Encyclopaedia as a source of information. When asked why three of my good friends said once they saw the administrators apparent bias treatment of certain topics and users that they no longer felt comfortable in the general integrity of information found through Wikipedia. This is an exceptionally serious issue because while indeed it is true that Wikipedia is designed to bring free and accessible knowledge - its integrity and public image is equally important. A factor often forgotten by this often self absorbed community. Let us remember we do not edit this place for ourselves but do it for those who read it and I seriously believe that in this case and others it is reflected that editors have formed this disruptive insider type scheme which only considers the understanding of itself rather than those which it serves. Articles like the one mentioned above (Fringe theory) demonstrate almost perfectly how content is emerging that seems designed not for all to freely access but only those who have a higher education to understand and partake in - this defies the point in having a free and open place to gain knowledge that is accessible by all. This article is just one example of many which are products of a place that has become so focused on its own self that it no longer considers the goal for the wider good. Administrators acting idiots without any regard for civility or the public image of Wikipedia are part of the problem as it creates a community focused on its behaviour and discontent for it rather than what really matters and that is our readers. Olowe2011 Talk 11:23, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Johnuniq

Apart from the recent edit war over the redirect, Spinningspark has not edited Self-creation cosmology and could reasonably believe they were uninvolved, and were implementing the AfD no-consensus result. Explanations have been given that some errors of judgment were made, but one bad-hair day does not warrant an Arbcom case. Everyone should have better things to do. There is no reason to think this is part of a pattern that needs a case. Johnuniq (talk) 23:01, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Choor monster

I'd like to add a point of clarification regarding something Black Kite and NE Ent said above. WP:ATD-R, the redirection alternative to deletion spelled out as part of WP:DP, states regarding a contested blank-and-redirect: "If the change is disputed, an attempt should be made on the talk page to reach a consensus before restoring the redirect." That is, BRD in this instance is part of deletion policy, and is not simply a well-respected essay.

How much this should be taken into into consideration is not clear, but it could imply that SpinningSpark acted properly.

I am uninvolved, but I have come across editors who think their blank-and-redirect edits should be treated the same as any other edit. Choor monster (talk) 16:29, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Coretheapple

I have no involvement in any of this, but I am alarmed by the fact that it takes an arbitration case, a massive drama like this, to deal with a possible abuse by an administrator. Neither the administrator involved nor the person bringing the case should be required to go through this kind of time-consuming procedure. There needs to be a streamlined method of ensuring that admins abide by the rules, that they set an example, and that their tools be removed if they don't. Admins also need to be protected from meritless claims. But non-admins need a less intimidating and forbidding way of bringing claims. Think of all the valid cases of admin abuse that aren't brought, all the mediocre or worse admins out there that shuffle along, doing a crummy job, because these are lifetime appointments and if the rest of us don't like it we can lump it. There's got to be a better way than the status quo, yet every time a reform proposal comes up, it is shot down due to monolithic opposition by administrators. Coretheapple (talk) 22:41, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

@Cla68: You may have more faith in the ability of the people here to draft such things than I do. If a syllabus or administrative manual of some kind is drafted poorly it could make things worse, and all the administrative reforms in the world don't impart good judgment. There still needs to be a better way to deal with this kind of situation. Hopefully this case will show to administrators that the status quo needs improvement. Coretheapple (talk) 14:07, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Davey2010

I'm not involved in this whatsoever - SpinningSpark should've first left a message as well as a block message but other than those 2 hiccups I believe the block was justified - The AFD was closed as No Consensus which is basically Keep so the appropriate thing JPS should've done was to start a new AFD which he was blatantly told to do [74], I don't believe SS needs to lose his tools nor do I believe this even needs to be here, IMHO At the end of the day lack of communication was the only issue here and both editors simply need a strong warning. –Davey2010Talk 23:24, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Mrjulesd

I don't believe this was an involved block, or at most an extremely borderline case. If it had been over the content of a section, then of course it would have been an involved block. But blanking an entire article? With no consensus to do so? I truly believe this is disruptive editing to enforce this if challenged, and it is an uninvolved administrative action to overturn this in these circumstances. Just like a vandal blanking a page, it does not make you involved. Sure there was a redirect, but nevertheless an entire article has been wiped out without consensus, which makes it disruptive in my book. The lack of consensus being crucial. And the no consensus at AfD making the AfD irrelevant.

But it was a mistake to not fully explain the reasons for the block, which obviously did not help. Edit summaries are not enough really. It should have been explained explained exactly why the block occurred, which would have helped greatly in this sort of situation. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 14:05, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by JohnBlackburne

I too do not think there is anything that requires arbitration intervention. Blanking a page, effectively deleting and redirecting, after an AfD had failed to result in deletion so agains consensus, is inappropriate. Doing so when you started the AfD, so know all about it and knowing why it failed to get the page deleted, is borderline disruptive. Doing so repeatedly is definitely so. As such Spinningspark’s actions were appropriate. But they erred in not providing an explanation or warning outside of the edit summaries. It does not matter that the disruptive editor is an experienced one. Explanations and warnings are always preferred to repeated reversions. Usually multiple warnings are given before blocks are issued, and at least one should have been given here.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 20:27, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Anthonyhcole

Salvio, I agree that since Spinningspark genuinely thought jps was obviously, repeatedly, slyly and improperly overturning the outcome of an AFD, Spinningspark wasn't deliberately acting as an admin while involved - when an editor is "obviously" repeatedly overturning consensus and an admin has no interest or involvement in the topic, the admin should use the tools to defend consensus. But Spinningspark is mistaken about the right to move, merge or redirect an article after a "no consensus" AFD close, and this needs to be addressed. If Spinningspark doesn't recognise their error, would you please consider accepting this case, if only to deal with it by explaining Spinningspark's error to them (and reminding them about WP:ADMINACCT)?

In fact, it's the accountability aspect that troubles me most here. Too many of you think you can strut about here doing whatever you want with the tools and only need to explain yourselves when a gang of outraged colleagues demands it. When you're asked to explain an admin act, do so, whether the person asking is the one you blocked, an uninvolved bystander or an angry mob. If you're far too busy or self-important to explain your admin action to a colleague who asks, you must not take that action - leave it for another who has more time or respect for their colleagues. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:58, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

So, once an AFD has been closed as "no consensus", is it gaming to blank the article and redirect the title? Would doing so be flouting the AFD result? I don't think so. MastCell doesn't. Spinningspark does. ArbCom's thoughts on this would help. I would also appreciate your thoughts on the level of accountability Spinningspark displayed when queried about the block. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 12:57, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Jehochman

ArbCom should issue a formal ruling because the dispute is unresolved. SpinningSpark makes a plausible defense of their actions. Rather than backhandedly admonishing them while rejecting the case, ArbCom should accept it and address it thoroughly on the merits. You need to explain why SpinningSpark was wrong, and issue a warning, or you need to exonerate them. If you feel the matter is trivial enough, you can resolve it by a motion based on the statements. Jehochman Talk 13:08, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

@Salvio, the argument, "We were wrong before. For the sake of consistency, let's be wrong again," doesn't sway me. Jehochman Talk 13:10, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cavarrone

I definitely agree with Choor monster above. Anyone could boldly merge/redirect a page, but once they are reverted, they should start a discussion on the talk page, period. I9Q made his move, Spinningspark objected and requested a formal discussion (with the edit summary "Wiping out long established articles should be discussed first"). For whatever right or wrong reason Spinningspark disagreed with the bold redirect, I9Q should had stopped with blanking the page and start a discussion about the redirecting, weighting consensus for their idea. I9Q istead chose to edit war, and their edit summaries, which argue that the result of the AfD was effectively a redirect outcome ("It was discussed. See the AfD", "The consensus on the AfD was that a redirect was fine"), sound really misleading and bogus to me. Spinningspark was not necessarily impeccable with his block, but at some point I9Q's behaviour was quite evidently a badly disguised attempt of gaming the system. --Cavarrone 06:33, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {Non-party}

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

Clerk notes

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

Spinningspark: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <5/7/0/0>

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse/other)

  • Accept as "Spinningspark" --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 19:04, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept as "Spinningspark". Whether or not Spinningspark was acting in accordance with policy, or in a good faith belief they were, and regardless of whether I9Q's actions were correct or otherwise, there is enough of concern here that it merits ArbCom looking at the situation. Thryduulf (talk) 19:22, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept. As for comparison to the above case, I get a lot more concerned by involved blocks than protections or other actions, as those target a specific editor, and there's enough concern raised here that the block was made while involved that I think we need to investigate. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:12, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept and I couldn't really care which name it is under, the entire situation will be examined, as it must when INVOLVED is the issue at hand. Courcelles (talk) 01:22, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Hawkeye7, how do you propose not looking at the entire situation? The first step in a case about INVOLVED is to determine if the admin was, in fact, involved. Also, the difference between this case and the other one is that blocking an editor is a far more severe action than protecting a page. Courcelles (talk) 18:05, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • 'Decline' to break the deadlock, as I can't see supporting anything more than a formal admonishment. Courcelles (talk) 14:59, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept My initial thought was that this was something that could be dealt with by a straightforward admonishment, but the more I look into it, the more I think this was a really bad block. I expect a full case to end with no greater consequence than the admonishment that I'd originally have preferred, but I think it's worth taking nevertheless. Yunshui  07:21, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm quite surprised to see my colleagues voting to accept this case, after voting to decline Lady de Clare v. Necrothesp, where, in my opinion, the conduct of the administrator involved was less justifiable and more clearly violated WP:INVOLVED. Here we have an admin who thought he was helping in the enforcement of an AFD result; and I agree that, in those cases, admins can use the tools, even after reverting, because those edits do not speak to bias and can be described as administrative in nature. Consequently, per policy, they are not enough to trigger WP:INVOLVED. Granted, SS made a couple of mistakes, but, for me, they do not rise to the level where they'd warrant a case. For that, decline. Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:32, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
    • @Anthonyhcole: If Spinningspark doesn't recognise their error, would you please consider accepting this case, if only to deal with it by explaining Spinningspark's error to them (and reminding them about WP:ADMINACCT), I've been considering whether to change my vote for a while now, but, at the moment, I still think a case is not needed; and I'd prefer we should explain SpinningSpark's errors to him in an unofficial manner. To be very honest, for me, holding a case for that would be an inefficient use of our limited resources (especially considering the number of cases we already have open)... Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:39, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
      • @Bishonen: ArbCom is not in the business of annotating block logs; to the best of my knowledge, it's only been done once and it was an exception. I'd rather we didn't get involved in that. But even assuming we should, had jps' block been imposed by anyone else (and had it been explained), it would have been perfectly cromulent: jps was editing disruptively, he was edit warring and, so, a block was one of the appropriate responses. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:52, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline per Opabinia Regalis, Salvio Guiliano and the imbroglio. This was a bad block but I'm not seeing a pattern of conduct in it. Spinningspark, please be careful not to use tools while involved. -- Euryalus (talk) 10:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline per Salvio and Euryalus's comments. And yes, Spinningspark needs to be more careful, but this doesn't require a case. Doug Weller (talk) 13:12, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline, as a case is not necessary without potentially egregious lapses in judgement or a pattern of a number of smaller instances of the same. LFaraone 18:43, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Accept. Although this instance of misjudgement would probably have been overlookable as an "occasional lapse", this administrator appears not to accept or even understand that he or she breached policy. AGK [•] 23:11, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline per Salvio. The discussion here is sufficient reprimand. There's no point in a full case to get to the same conclusion. DGG ( talk ) 00:59, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline. Although Spinningspark's block and subsequent refusal to explain were definitely in poor judgment, I'm not seeing a pattern. So far the only attempt I see to introduce any sort of evidence of a pattern of misjudgment is by User:JustBerry, and it seems to be completely without merit. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:34, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline We could admonish but I think to some degree being dragged in front of arbcom and being told that it was a bad admin action is actually fairly comparable in what it says and means. If enough arbs wanted to take such an action we could but it seems somewhat superflous to what has already occurred. NativeForeigner Talk 17:23, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Hotel Paid Edits w/ Disclosure

Initiated by Blueberry Hill (talk) at 14:52, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
  • [diff of notification Beyond My Ken]
Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried

Statement by Blueberry Hill

I am a paid editor creating and posting pages on a behalf of a hotel chain. My paid editing status wasn't properly disclosed which was pointed out to me (and which I would have gladly fixed, but that's not the issue here). I made a paid edit to Plaza Hotel which is a page Ken is clearly passionate about. He reverted that paid edit and then reverted the paid edits for all 30+ hotel pages that I had previously done. I've attempted to engage with him on his talk page as to his objections to my paid editing and it's very clear that he won't engage with me on the merits of my work. I feel that Ken isn't open to my contributions because of my Paid Editor Status and if you look at my total contributions to the community, I'm making large numbers of non-paid edits for topics that I'm passionate about. I have posted over 30 Paid Edits for the hotel chain and only one other Wikipedian total has objected to me in any manner before Ken did...and as a new editor who did not quite do attribution properly, that's testimony to the validity of my pages for the Wikipedia Community which comply with Wikipedia's style and content guidelines. I would like to repost the pages with the proper paid attribution and I want Ken to leave them alone. With Plaza Hotel, I will gladly work with him to see any concerns over my work are addressed.

I am happy to take this elsewhere first and follow McMatter's advice. Please withdraw my complaint. To Iridescent's point, I do think this is an important issue and it's important for the community to know what is OK and what is not for paid editing. All my paid edits have been acceptable in the manner that I've understood the rules...I would like to understand what the boundaries are for I wish to always be in compliance. Blueberry Hill (talk) 15:37, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

OP has opened a AN/I report here, and, per the second statement above, withdrawn this complaint. BMK (talk) 00:37, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Comment by Iridescent

99 times out of a hundred I'd suggest declining this as a content dispute in which all steps in dispute resolution haven't been tried, but at some point someone, be it Arbcom, the WMF or a community RFA is going to need to grasp the nettle and decide where the new boundaries on what paid editing is and isn't acceptable are. The current setup, an unhealthy combination of don't-ask-don't-tell and mutually contradictory policies inherited from the MyWikiBiz disputes a decade ago, and seen through the glass of assorted unhelpful interventions by Jimbo, aren't viable in the long term, and a relatively straightforward case like this might be a good opportunity to discuss where the boundary separating "declared conflict of interest" and "spam" should lie. ‑ iridescent 15:09, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by McMatter

I have recommended to Blueberry Hill to withdraw this request and try other venues such as WP:DR and WP:3O as ArbCom is not the right spot yet. I support BMK's actions as Blueberry Hill's edits have been extremely promotional in context. I think any venue BlueBerry Hill goes to will end up in a case of WP:BOOMERANG and he may need to step back and try to work with the community a bit more before jumping into long arduous process to be told what BMK has already told him.McMatter (talk)/(contrib) 15:12, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by {Non-party}

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

Clerk notes

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

Hotel Paid Edits w/ Disclosure: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <0/4/0/1>

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse/other)

  • Decline' Arbotration is a long, process that serves is the very last step in dispute resolution. Nothing here can't be handled at WP:ANI, a far quicker and more lightweight venue for this sort of matter. Courcelles (talk) 15:03, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline LFaraone 19:45, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline. Thryduulf (talk) 08:58, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Decline I more or less agree with iridescent that there will need to be some case, but this particular one just doesn't have the requisite ingredients in my opinion (plus it was withdrawn). As a bit of an aside I think arbcom will continue to have issues with paid editing outside of COI or POV issues until the community at least to some degree converges. NativeForeigner Talk 17:19, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
  • True, at some point arb com may have to decide this, but this is not the appropriate time. The discussion should continue in the community first--I would suggest, by focussing on the individual edits. If they cannot resolve it, then would be the time to bring it here. as an aside, I think the community may be converging to the degree that they may need little assistance from us, except perhaps in enforcing the rules that they decide on. DGG ( talk ) 06:30, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )

Initiated by Beyond My Ken at 21:33, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

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 Beyond My Ken

In the current AN/I thread concerning the editing of User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (RAN), a number of concerns have been raised, however there has been disagreement during the discussion about the scope and meaning of Remedy #2.2 of WP:ARBRAN, "Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )'s topic ban on article creation". I would like clarification of this remedy, both for RAN's information, and for the information of other editors examining RAN's edits, including those involved in the current AN/I discussion.

Here is the history of the remedy as I understand it:

  • In December 2011, another community discussion on AN/I, closed by Swarm, determined that the topic ban should be made indefinite. It was expressed as " Richard Arthur Norton's topic ban (from creating new articles and from performing page moves) is extended indefinitely".
  • In March 2013, the final decision of WP:ARBRAN was posted. Remedy #2.2 "Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )'s topic ban on article creation" -- which passed 12 to 1 -- reads:

    The Committee acknowledges that Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )'s community-placed topic ban on article creations was a valid and apparently successful attempt to curb his text-based copyright violations, and further recognizes that this sanction has been violated a number of times. This topic ban will remain in place and is assumed under the Arbitration Committee's authority. After at least six months have elapsed, Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) may appeal to the Committee to have the topic ban lifted in full; in order for appeals of this remedy to be considered, he shall be required to submit evidence of substantial work on his part towards resolving the Contributor Copyright Investigations filed against him, most particularly the one focused on his text contributions.

Given this history, it appears to me that the Committee did not fashion a new topic ban, but simply accepted, endorsed and adopted the existing community ban. If this is correct, then RAN's topic ban forbids him "from creating new articles and from page moves".

The problems arise in trying to determine the exact meaning of this. There are, I believe, two distinct possibilities:

  1. RAN is forbidden to create articles anywhere on Wikipedia, and is forbidden from making page moves of any kind anywhere on Wikipedia; or
  2. RAN is forbidden to create articles in article space, but may create them in his userspace. He is forbidden from moving those articles into article space.

Obviously, these are radically different. If the first is the correct interpretation, then RAN has violated his topic ban hundreds of times by the creation of articles in his userspace, and a similar number of times by making normal page moves (i.e. those not related to his userspace articles). If the second is the case, then there have been no recent blatant violations that I am aware of, although an argument could be made that by directly encouraging movement of his userspace articles into articlespace by other editors, and by submitting articles to AfC, RAN is attempting to circumvent the topic ban through the use of proxies. That, however, is not the subject of this clarification request.

To assist in this clarification request, I plan on notifying members of the Arbitration Committee at the time of the ARBRAN decision who are not members of the current committee, in case they have insights into the Committee's thinking at the time. BMK (talk) 21:33, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

I have posted neutral pointers to this request to the 11 Arbitrators who voted on Remedy 2.2 who are not current members of the committee: Carcharoth, Coren, David Fuchs, Hersfold, Kirill Lokshin, Newyorkbrad, NuclearWarfare, Risker, SilkTork,Timotheus Canens, and Worm That Turned. AKG and Courcelles are the two current Arbs who voted on the remedy. BMK (talk) 21:58, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
My thanks to Worm and SilkTork for bringing up the November 2013 clarification, which I was not aware of, even though it was probably included in a link Choor monster brought to light in the AN/I discussion. BMK (talk) 21:19, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Yunshui - Could you or a clerk specifically ask RAN to respond? BMK (talk) 03:11, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To bring everyone up to date, the AN/I thread has been closed by Spartaz, with the implementation of Carrite's suggested community ban on RAN using the "quote=" parameter. In addition, Carrite implemented SilkTork's suggestion that RAN's articles in his user space be tagged with an explanation of the reason the article was in userspace and not mainspace, and informing anyone planning on moving it of their responsibility for the article's content, including any copyvio problems.

The question remains, however, of what, exactly, RAN's primary article creation/page move topic ban means, so the closing of the AN/I thread should not cause this clarification request to be closed. I would ask that it not be permanently stalled by RAN's apparently deliberate choice not to make a statement here. BMK (talk) 17:50, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

I'd like to point out that the use of the "Quote=" parameter being discussed on Jimbo's talk page is not at all central to my clarification request. What is central is the question of what RAN's topic ban means. Does it mean he can create articles in his user space but can't move them, or does it mean he can't create articles anywhere and can't move pages anywhere, or some combination of the various possibilities. Editors discussing his contributions disagree on the meaning and purpose of the ban, which is why I asked for clarification; the "quote=" discussion is a side issue. BMK (talk) 20:41, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )

Statement by SilkTork

We almost reached a decision to suspend the topic ban - Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Richard_Arthur_Norton_(1958-_)/Proposed_decision#Richard_Arthur_Norton_.281958-_.29.27s_topic_ban_on_article_creation, but I don't recall a discussion on allowing him to create articles in userspace, and then having someone approve of it before moving it into mainspace. I think if that option had been raised, I would have supported it, probably in preference to a suspension. The form of the topic ban, in which he was forbidden to make page moves, implies that he was allowed to create articles in draft space, but not move them into mainspace himself. It is up to the current Committee as to how to proceed; my view is that if the articles that have been created under this method are free of copyright violations, then I don't see a problem, and it would be something to be considered favourably in a future appeal. SilkTork ✔Tea time 22:41, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Following Worm's example, I have moved my comment here. And thank you Worm for providing a link to the November 2013 clarification, in which I was involved. My view at the time was that if RAN were urging other editors to move his drafts into mainspace, that could be considered proxy editing as a way to circumvent his topic ban, and that a direct appeal to have the ban lifted would be more appropriate. The conclusion of the discussion was that creating articles in draftspace wasn't explicitly forbidden by the remedy, so RAN could create articles, and someone else could move them into mainspace as long as they assumed full responsibility for them. I think that was an appropriate outcome. I think it's for the present Committee to decide if an amendment needs to be made to explicitly forbid article creation in draftspace, as I think we didn't explicitly forbid it. My own current view is that allowing RAN to create articles in draftspace, and then have someone check them before moving them into mainspace, is a positive remedy as it provides the means to educate RAN on what is appropriate, and also allows the community to assess RAN's progress, which would be helpful in any future appeal. If he continues to violate copyright rules in his draftspace editing, then the ban would remain in place, and may even be extended to draftspace to prevent further waste of the community's time. SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:48, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
I have proposed that a move notice should be placed on all RAN's draftspace articles making users aware they take full responsibility if moving them into mainspace. SilkTork ✔Tea time 09:47, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Jbhunley

I was briefly involved in the ANI discussion that prompted this request and I supported an indef block because of his obstinate refusal to recognize there was a problem with way he was using quote= to include copyrighted text in violation of our non-free content policy. My thought being if someone does not get a clue after many others describe the problem over a period of years and they are continuing the problematic behavior then they really do not belong on a collaborative project like Wikipedia.

RAN is a prolific writer of articles and has created ~300 in his user space [75], evidently since his ban. I looked at 10 randomly and found one (1) that used quote= and was a redirect to project space; Five (2) that seem to have the problem with excessive text in quote= and four (3) not making use of quote=. The articles I looked at are below.

  1. User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Edward Everett Grosscup ==>Edward Everett Grosscup
  2. User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/John Jacob Esher, User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/George Henry Payne, User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Arthur von Briesen (lawyer), User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/James William McGhee, User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/J. Walter Smith
  3. User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/John Milton Potter,User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Gerard Maxwell Weisberg, User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Death on Birthday, User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/Johannes Sembach

Looking at his contributions shows me he is a prolific content creator and but for his obstinate refusal to 'get' that he should not be importing excessive quotations into articles and why doing so is bad he would be an asset to the project. The continuation of the original problem in his user space indicates to me that his ban should extent to all name spaces. The question what the original intent of the ban, and his understanding of it, was is really only relevant if he is going to be sanctioned for violating the ban. If he is not going to be sanctioned now just make it clear he may not create articles in any name space and be done.

Massive violation of the non-free content policy is not compatible with with the goals of the project. The down side of this is I hate to see what is obviously a lot of time and work, voluntarily contributed by a talent researcher, go to waste. If the articles in his user space are not going to be deleted out of hand I would be happy to, with the permission of the committee, help go through the articles and clean them up so they do not violate our content policies. JbhTalk 23:31, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Worm That Turned

I'm happier out of that section below, the decision should be with the current committee, so I'll just comment here instead. Richard is a prolific contributor and generally an asset to Wikipedia. However, he appears to have a blind spot on how Wikipedia handles copyright. As this is such crucial area for the encyclopedia, we need to be firm on this - and Richard's arguments that his actions are "legal" are irrelevant here. Excessive use of quotes was one of the issues that was raised was with excessive quotes (Carrite's evidence), and that issue is still happening. Personally, I supported Carrite's excellent suggestion at the ANI (topic banning Rich from using quotes at least in references), and given that Carrite has followed this case closer than most, I do recommend listening to his opinion.
As for the "creating articles in his user space" issue, I do remember it being discussed - as the November 2013 clarification was specifically around the issue of pages moving from his userspace into article space. WormTT(talk) 08:00, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Coren

When we enacted this remedy, it was very clear that RAN had considerable difficulty with complying with the requirement of copyright law; and copyright violations are just as damaging regardless of which namespace they are in. My intent, when supporting that remedy, was that RAN was not to create any articles in any namespace. — Coren (talk) 22:13, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Carrite

As Worm That Turned notes above, RAN was expressly permitted to create articles in his own space per the cited November 2013 Arbitration clarification. The core of this ruling is that he could create but that anyone moving his ostensible new starts to mainspace would be doing it on their own authority and under their own responsibility that the material should be copyright clear. To my knowledge no substantial copyright violation has been committed by RAN through this process. Does the process actually work? No, there is a huge and growing backlog of RAN's unported creations and the encyclopedia is the less for it. I've made a proposal at AN/I calling for a prohibition of RAN's use of the "quote=" parameter of the citation template — which is clear "fair use" under American copyright law, but still a point of contention for the Anti-Fair Use caucus. (It's completely unnecessary and should be removed from the template itself, in my opinion, and the source of much of this latest hubbub, in my opinion). I think RAN is completely safe in his understanding and adherence of copyright, but he has his enemies, to be sure. I believe the Arbcom expectation that he should go through 50,000 nearly 10-year-old edits looking for his own copyright violations is patently absurd and should be vacated at this time in conjunction with this clarification request. If RAN doesn't truly "get" copyright and violates it, he'll be banned off almost instantaneously — he knows that, we all know that. Yet because the Contributor Copyright Investigation process does not scale and is backlogged, RAN is effectively lifetime banned from new creations via normal means for no very good reason. Carrite (talk) 15:49, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Pee Ess. This is still the correct answer to the puzzle:

"...Get rid of the ill-considered topic ban on creations, which was a really bad decision in his case. Limit him to 5 starts a month for 12 months or some other reasonable number. He'll be monitored with respect to copyvio, trust me." Carrite (talk) 10:10 am, 14 November 2013

Step up to the plate and get rid of the idiotic "Must Self-Police Entire Decade of Volunteer Work For Wikipedia First" requirement... The old copyright violations were never so prolific or terrible as alleged, done is done. Carrite (talk) 16:10, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

  • @Thryduulf - It is an abject waste of time for me or you or Richard Norton or anyone to waste time parsing 10-year old edits, virtually all of which have been through subsequent editing by others, looking for nefarious cut-and-pasting from websites or failure to footnote in the 2015-approved manner. To repeat: an abject waste of time. It is never going to be done, ever, by anyone — so please don't pretend that this is any less absurd a requirement than chopping down the tallest tree in the forest with a herring... Greenlight Richard for a limited number of new starts per month, monitor those carefully, and ban his ass if he violates copyright. That's the solution. Carrite (talk) 19:41, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
  • November will mark the FOUR YEAR mark since the CCI case against RAN was opened. There are cases in the queue that are nearly two years older. CCI does not scale — this queue will never be resolved. Carrite (talk) 19:47, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
  • As I have been working through the backlog of user-space articles started by RAN I have been not only flagging each in accord with the recent AN/I decision in his case but have been removing all "quote=" quotations. Assuming these deleted cites fall within the umbrella of Fair Use under American copyright law (which is nearly certain), I have found ZERO evidence of any copyright violations in the material I have touched so far. It also seems clear that RAN has accepted the AN/I prohibition on further use of the "quote=" parameter. It makes no sense whatsoever from the perspective of building the encyclopedia to tighten sanctions on this very productive editor. Carrite (talk) 06:29, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • @Thryduulf - Your intimation that RAN's 2014 and 2015 have copyright violations is absolutely dishonest — "no consensus that they do not"... That's completely bogus. Show me one example of copyright violation in any of those. Five bucks you can't do it without nit-picking his (soon-to-be-deleted) fair use "quote=" glosses... I'll even loan you a herring. Carrite (talk) 15:50, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Please re-read what I wrote, "no consensus that they do not" is accurate. Your statement that "there are no copyright violations from the last two years, if you exclude the parts where there is not a consensus that they contain no copyright problems" may or may not also be accurate, but it is a different claim and not a claim that I consider relevant. Thryduulf (talk) 16:06, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
It is completely bogus, "have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife" type phrasing. It is also equally true that "there is no consensus that they do" contain copyvio. Small sample size either way, n=0. It's an absurdity, and one phrased in a very dishonest way. I'll go further since I've been over the new 2015 material and am ready to embark on the 2014 material — there are no apparent copyvios in that, and I insist you or anyone prove me wrong before you go intimating that there is any such problem with that material. It is simply not a problem with RAN's new material outside of the controversial-and-now-prohibited "quote=" quotations he has been so fond of. We're here to build an encyclopedia, last I checked. RAN actually is doing that. Why are people impeding him? The bad edits of 2005-2008 are buried under the better part of a decade of editing by others, revisions, deletions, and changes. They're part of the sheetrock job at Wikipedia by now, spackled and painted over three times. It's absurd to expect him to waste a year of his time on the really quite unimportant job of analyzing ancient edits. Carrite (talk) 02:18, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Good job, Arbcom, more brilliant INVESTIGATIVE WORK to help cap off an excellent and productive year helping build the encyclopedia. Carrite (talk) 18:52, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Andrew Davidson

Jimbo Wales recently stated that "It should be noted though that extended quotes, properly sourced, are not generally a violation of copyright. ... We have never, to my recollection and knowledge, had a legal complaint or threat of any kind about a properly sourced quote." We should therefore not be officious or bureaucratic in preventing the use of quotes when their use is being endorsed at the highest level. Andrew D. (talk) 17:42, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Also, please note that many of the sources in question were published before 1923 and so are now public domain in the USA. For example, in User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )/John Jacob Esher, there is a quotation from the Chicago Tribune of 1901. To complain about quoting such sources is as absurd as complaining about the use of photographs from the same period. This suggests a way forward. As RAN likes to work on deceased subjects of this sort, he could perhaps stick to pre-1923 US sources and use them freely without all this fuss. The date provides a clear demarcation, which is what he would like, and there is a vast body of material of that age which will keep him busy for years. Andrew D. (talk) 16:33, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Choor monster

My involvement began when I raised the issue on ANI regarding a particular article that began as an RAN subpage. After a comedy of good faith errors that turned mildly unfunny, it seemed best to turn to ANI for help.

I believe the issue boils down to a single question. Just how absolute is our policy regarding WP:NFCCP?

I would say that, despite the words written there and quoted above, there is in fact an unstated but widely accepted gray zone. We normally do not delete non-justified fair use quotations, we bury them in the history. They remain on WP, available for any reader who knows where to look. They can be linked to from anywhere on the Internet. In particular, they are sometimes linked to in Talk discussions. Meanwhile, admin-level deletion, whether a simple RevDel or a full-scale AfD, is left for the extreme cases only.

I suggest that user subpages fall into this gray zone. They are the sort of page which you have to know where to look. You do not stumble upon them in normal browsing, and even Talk discussions rarely link to them.

Placing the two in the same gray zone does not imply identical treatment. But it does provide breathing room. Choor monster (talk) 14:00, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Rich Farmbrough (RAN)

Indeed the "quote=" issue should be set aside in considering the stated question for clarification: "What was the meaning of the restriction assumed by the Committee?"

However there are additional questions:

  1. What should the restriction say henceforth?
  2. Has the restriction passed its sell-by date?

For these questions the "quote=" issue has some relevance. It should be understood, that "quote=" fills at least four functions, which I discussed some years ago:[citation needed]

  1. It provides concrete, albeit de-contextualised, citation support for a statement.
  2. It relates a specific passage to a specific citation.
  3. It provides insurance against link rot.
  4. It provides a means of limited verification, especially important in hard to find or restricted content.

(As remarked elsewhere, copyright concerns are somewhat misplaced.)

It would seem that the "quote=" issue shows that RAN is interested in providing quality citations, providing them requires more work than not doing so, effectively refuting claims (if any such were made) that previous issues around using copyright text were born of a desire to produce articles with he least effort.

On the other hand it might be argued that RAN failed to see the writing on the wall in both these issues, and it was for that reason that sanctions were imposed, and since that has not (apparently) changed sanctions should be maintained. However even if we impute an inability to see community consensus before a restriction is imposed, there is no doubt that RAN is aware of and has understood and complied with copyright concerns of the community.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 23:03, 22 September 2015 (UTC).


There seems to be a mistaken idea that we benefit from preventing good content being created by people who created poor content in the past. On this reckoning no-one would be editing Wikipedia (except one or two who only tell others what to do, or delete things, I suppose).

Some time ago I looked at the "examples" of alleged copyvios by this editor, and remain unconvinced by some of them. For example one was text written by a Smithsonian employee. Approximately half of their employees are funded by the federal government, and their work is PD-USA. No-one has made any effort to establish if this was the case. If the copyvios were as egregious and extensive as was claimed it should have been simple to find numerous unambiguous examples.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 20:36, 30 September 2015 (UTC).

Statement by Only in death

Someone who knows advised me it would be simple (5 minutes!) to write a bot to strip all the uses of the quote= parameter from the articles in RAN's userspace (leaving the references otherwise untouched). Since this is the primary cause of the COI material, perhaps ARBCOM could pass a motion this be done instead? Given that RAN is now prohibited from using the quote function by the community, this would resolve a lot of the issues and allow people to actually move forward without the need for excessive and time-wasting vetting of his drafts. The refs are the important bit, quotes are not needed 99% of the time. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:39, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

If only it were that simple, but while the quote= may be the primary cause of copyright violating material in the recent drafts, it is not the only cause for concern in all the drafts. It does need human review. Thryduulf (talk) 09:54, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
True, but it would be a damn sight quicker if the quote= issue was taken out of the equation. The actual backlog of articles with issues from last time still exists, there is now a backlog of *drafts* (500+ at last count I think) in his userspace due to the less than explicit wording from the previous case.. Surely the prime purpose of any alterations in his restrictions at this point (since no one is willing to pull the trigger and go for an outright ban despite RAN's unrepentant refusal to obey consensus on this issue) is to reduce the backlog of RAN-related issues? How does the below do that? Preventative measures have had no effect previously, so why not try doing something to actually clean up the mess? Relying on some outside influence to get RAN to do his own cleanup is folly, he has no intention to, has made no efforts to, and is not going to just because an additional restriction is placed on top. Only in death does duty end (talk) 10:14, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
User:Yunshui, the problem which you seem to be missing is not that quote use may or may not be a copyright violation, its that RAN's use of it certainly violated the use of non-free content. Non-free quotes have to be short and provide detail that could not otherwise be paraphrased or explained without the quote (in context). Extensive quotes are prohibited. RAN's use of quoted text was not even in the article as read, he used (and still does in his userspace) excessively long quote= that added nothing to the article. Even a short quote of non-free text would generally not be used in that situation. RAN's issue is that despite being repeatedly told time and again his extensive use of non-free content violated wikipedia's policies he has shown no inclination to stop and has just moved from doing it in article space to doing it in his userspace. Policy and the non-free use guidelines are very clear on this. Enforcement on this has been consistant for years. RAN either argues his additions are not a violation, or that they are a violation but not according to US copyright law so he doesnt have to obey wikipedia's policies. The first has been rejected soundly by the community repeatedly over a number of years. The second has been rejected as irrelevant as wikipedia's policies and guidelines are by neccessity, stricter than the law allows for. All of the above is merely explanatory and could be gleaned from 5 mins looking at the past cases, and discussions, and restrictions placed on RAN. At this point RAN is community banned from using quote= at all anywhere because he cannot be trusted to use correct judgement in line with wikipedia policy in his use of it. His past articles have extensive problems, his drafts have the same issues. Literally every single one has to be checked, line by line in some cases due to his past history. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:38, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Because this really is getting old now:
2015 Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:53, 5 October 2015 (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.

Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • I've moved Coren's section to their own section. The Arb section below is for the current Committee. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:05, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Per a recent discussion on the clerks' mailing list I've removed qualifiers ("ex-arb") from section headers, if you'd like to make it clear that you're commenting from that perspective could you please say so at the beginning of your statement. Thanks, Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:13, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ): Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Copyright violations are possibly the most damaging things to include in Wikipedia, regardless of where they are. The December 2014-January 2015 amendment request was declined because there was no evidence of him doing the "substantial work" on clearing the backlog of his CCI, and there appears to have been none since, rather more copyright issues have been introduced. Accordingly I believe that we should be clarifying/amending the restriction to disallow all article and article draft creations in all namespaces and disallow all moves of pages into the article namespace by him or at his request/encouragement. Anyone else may move pages he has created, but they must explicitly take full responsibility for any copyright violations on any page they move. This would last indefinitely but may be appealed when (a) all draft articles in his userspace and all pages he authored in the draft namespace have been verified free of copyright violations or deleted; and (b) he presents evidence of substantial work on his part towards resolving the Contributor Copyright Investigations filed against him, most particularly the one focused on his text contributions. I will propose a motion to this effect if my colleagues agree with my opinion and think such clarification is required. Thryduulf (talk) 11:42, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
    • @Carrite: As was made clear in the most recent ammendment request, we do not expect RAN to go through his entire contribution history, we expect him to undertake substantial work towards clearing his CCI backlog. To date we have seen evidence of almost zero work towards clearing it and so I will vote against any proposal to remove the requirement or relax the restriction until that changes. If you believe the encyclopaedia is poorer without RAN's creations, you are free to confirm they contain no copyright problems and move them yourself, until that time please do not complain that others are not doing so. Thryduulf (talk) 18:23, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I largely agree with Thryduulf. Before considering scaling back any restrictions, I want to see that the existing issues have been addressed, meaning that RAN has made substantial efforts toward addressing the previous problems, and has done so properly. The point here, to be quite blunt, was that RAN was to help clearing up the issues he caused, and I won't consider relaxing the restrictions until substantial effort is made toward that. If instead it's more of the same in a different namespace, we may need to make the creation ban apply to all namespaces until the existing issues are addressed. I do agree that the original restriction was not on all namespaces, so if we decide that's needed it would require an amendment motion. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:54, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm awaiting comments from RAN before making any decision, but I would note that I can't see any clear evidence that he's fully accepted the community's views on extensive quotations/copyvios at this time. I would like to hear an explanation of his current understanding of the copyvio policy before accepting or denying this request. Yunshui  10:06, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
I've asked RAN to respond here, but note that he's already done so at JimboTalk. Still considering. Yunshui  11:32, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't look as though we're going to get a response, so here's my take on BMK's original request: As I read the wording of the sanction, it allows RAN to create drafts in userspace, but prohibits him from moving them to mainspace. This may not have been the intention of the original drafters of the wording, but it was confirmed to be the approved interpretation in the 2013 clarification and I see no reason to differ from the consensus arrived at there. If there is to be a proposal to amend the sanction so as to explicitly prohibit the creation of drafts, this would need to take place by motion, but I for one would not support it. Yunshui  08:11, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  • By way of clarification, RAN's ban allows him to create articles in his userspace, but not to move them to mainspace. And, regarding the proposal to lift the restriction, I am opposed. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:28, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm with Thryduulf on this one, and it does seem that a new motion will be required. I don't think RAN should be working on new material while there is outstanding material that needs to be cleared. 12:27, 24 September 2015 (UTC) previous unsigned comment added by Doug Weller

Motion: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )

Remedy 2.2 of the Richard Arthur Norton (1958 - ) case is struck and replaced by:

2.3) Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) ("RAN") is indefinitely prohibited from:

  • Creating any articles or draft articles in any namespace.
  • Moving any page into the article namespace from any other namespace.

Other editors may move pages created or substantially edited by RAN, but only if they explicitly take responsibility for any copyright violations on that page.

This remedy may be appealed after the later of 6 months and when all draft articles he has authored, in his userspace and in the draft namespace, have been verified free of copyright violations and moved to the article namespace by other editors or deleted. In order for appeals of this remedy to be considered, he shall be required to submit evidence of substantial work on his part towards resolving the Contributor Copyright Investigations (CCI) filed against him, most particularly the one focused on his text contributions.

Any article or draft article created contrary to this restriction will result in a block, initially of at least one month and then proceeding per the enforcement provisions. The article or draft article may be speedily deleted under criterion G5 by any administrator.

Any page moves made contrary to this restriction may be enforced by blocks per the enforcement provisions. The page move may be reversed by any editor able to do so.

For this motion there are 13 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.


  1. Thryduulf (talk) 11:09, 28 September 2015 (UTC) as proposer
  2. Doug Weller (talk) 13:26, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  3. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 16:08, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  4. I understand Yunshui's concerns, so my vote, at least, does not reflect any thought on exactly how the "quote" parameter should be used. It is, rather, that RAN is still and yet creating articles that are at least in a grey area as copyright and nonfree content use go. The spirit (if not the letter) of the original ruling was that RAN was to help clean up the mess, that being, substantially work on the CCI, before returning to such activity, and that it would be wise for him to stay well clear of the line when it comes to copyright and nonfree material, not try to dance right along it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 10:01, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  5. AGK [•] 23:18, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  6. (see comments) Yunshui  09:04, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  7. Brings this more in line with the intent of the original ruling. This is potentially more restrictive than necessary but I think with the substantial number of borderline copyright cases this is the best solution at this time. NativeForeigner Talk 17:06, 12 October 2015 (UTC)


I can't get behind this. Unless someone can show me either clear evidence of copyright violations in RAN's recent drafts, or clear consensus/policy that use of the quote parameter violates WP:COPYVIO, I'm opposed to tightening the existing restrictions. Yunshui  11:47, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
RAN's drafts need to be individually examined for copyright violations - whether they contain them or not (and there is no consensus in the community that they do not). This motion is required to stop the backlog of contributions needing to be examined growing faster than it can be cleared, and to try again to get RAN to do the substantial work towards clearing his CCI that he needs to do. Thryduulf (talk) 15:20, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Equally, I see no community consensus that they do. My concern is that this skirts the fringes of policy-by-fiat; if we decide that the use of quote in these drafts constitutes a copyright violation, we are effectively amending the copyvio policy to that effect. I am not convinced that the current policy's interpretation should be so broad as to encompass this, and it certainly isn't our place to make changes to it. Yunshui  07:09, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
This is not about the quote parameter, which is why it is not mentioned at all in the motion. I have no opinion at all on whether it is a good or bad thing in the general case. This is, per Seraphimblade, about RAN continuing to create work for other editors without even attempting to help clean up the backlog he has already left. Thryduulf (talk) 17:21, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  1. In the absence of the evidence of more recent copyright problems. Show me some, and I'd support this. Courcelles (talk) 19:29, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
  2. In my opinion, the restriction recently imposed by the community should be enough to curb the disruption caused by RAN. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:47, 10 October 2015 (UTC)


  • As best as I can tell, we're sitting on a motion at 5-1 when the subject of the motion has not been formally notified of it. I'm going to ask the clerks to do a round of notifications. Courcelles (talk) 05:45, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Jumping to the comments section to lay out my position, so that the Oppose section doesn't get too crowded... @Thryduulf: I do get where you're coming from with regards to reducing the workload on other editors with this motion. However, as I understand it, the primary reason for the copyright complaints made against RAN is the "excessive" quotation from sources. I am unsure whether this constitutes a clear violation of the copyright policy, and it seems to me that the community is too: some argue that long quotations are a copyright violation, others that they are not. There appears to be no clear consensus. It is therefore unclear to me whether there actually has been any consistent history of copyright violation in RAN's contributions. I do not think it's possible to make any meaningful headway with the CCI until this question is resolved - if the overuse of quotations is a copyright violation, then this motion has merit and I would vote in favour of it. If the use of quotations is not a copyright violation, then unless a pattern of other text-based copyvios can be demonstrated, the CCI is moot. I am not happy imposing a prohibition on draft creation until that issue is decided. Yunshui  07:27, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, on reflection and having reviewed some of the history more closely this morning, I'm starting to think that I've focussed too heavily on this one aspect of the case. There are other copyright concerns that need have been raised, and taking those into account, I've become convinced that the best course of action for Wikipedia is to pass this motion. It may not be entirely fair to RAN, but Wikipedia isn't benefitting from contributions tha have to be checked like this, and ultimately it's the good of the project that we need to consider. Striking my opoosition, and moving to support. Yunshui  09:04, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Amendment request: Gun control (Gaijin42)

Initiated by Gaijin42 at 20:15, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Gun control arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun_control#Gaijin42_.28topic-ban.29
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Lifted/loosened

Statement by Gaijin42

It is now 1 year, 166 days since my topic ban in gun control was applied , 1 year, 158 days since the change I made which was found to violate the topic ban [76]. Further it is 1 year, 283 days since the most recent of the diffs used in the findings against me in the case, and most of the diffs were 7 months prior to that. [77]

First the mea culpa : While I believe that the opinions of Halbrook and others constitute a valid "notable minority viewpoint" under WP:NPOV and WP:RS sufficient to receive minor coverage in mainstream articles I acknowledge that

  • there is not (and was not) consensus for inclusion of these viewpoints in mainstream articles,
  • and that I failed to recognize and abide by that lack of consensus,
  • and that during that time I did contribute to a battleground with edit warring, incivility, and the other findings in the case.

On the behaviors : In the time since my ban was imposed, I feel I have otherwise been a productive member of the community, and have not had any sanctions or blocks applied (with the exception of the early topic ban violation mentioned above). (1 warning for incivility which was later rescinded by Callanec User_talk:Gaijin42/Archive_2#Arbitration_enforcement_warning) During this time I have been involved in several controversial/hot areas a number of which are under DS (ARBPIA, BLPs, ARBAPDS) and have been able to engage with editors of all persuasions without significant issues. I have taken particular care to not engage in warring, and engage with those on the other side of disputes with me, working to build a collaborative environment that conforms with wiki policy. I believe I have shown I can act appropriately in hot-button areas and that I deserve a second chance in the gun control area.

On the topic area itself : if my topic ban is lifted I will abide the consensus described above. Further, I will not initiate any actions to try and change that consensus (No new RFCs, WP:BOLD changes etc) in mainstream articles. Even if the ban is fully lifted, I have no immediate plans to edit to that effect in the "nexus" areas where the topic is already discussed, such as Nazi gun control theory or Gun_Control_in_the_Third_Reich_(book).

If the committee feel it is not appropriate/timely to completely lift the topic ban, possible stepping stones would be some sort of probation, mentorship, 1rr, or to narrow the topic ban to the Nazi gun control theory topic itself. If that path is taken I request that the ban be more narrowly construed, as "broadly construed" would cover the NRA, and Stephen Halbrook, etc which are central to the wider topic of Gun Control. (Although obviously any edits dealing directly with the narrow topic area would still be verboten) (Halbrook for instance has been significantly involved in all of the recent SCOTUS gun control cases, and many of the lower court cases, including District_of_Columbia_v._Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, Printz v. United States etc). See also my 3rd point below about "broadly construed" and american politics.

In regards to why I am making this appeal, First of all I feel that I can be a valuable member of the community in the broader GC topic area, and would like to resume editing there. A few of the things that I would edit off hand are :

Secondly, I would like to be returned to general full standing in the community. As a specific example, I have had fairly significant involvement in SPI with a good track record of identifying socks I run across [78]. I made an application to become an SPI Clerk [79] but was declined with both Rschen7754 and Callanec mentioning this sanction being a reason for declining [80]. If in the future I were to apply for this, or other permissions/roles, I would like to have this not hanging over my head any longer.

Thirdly, One of my main areas of interest in editing is politics, legal issues and court cases in general. Due to the way the legal and political system works gun control topics often interact with non gun control topics (and visa versa) , similarly notable judges,lawyers, and politicians are involved in cases across the spectrum, and therefore the ban interferes with editing far outside the gun control topic area. One specific example : the clarification request I made in November 2014 Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun_control#Request_for_clarification_.28November_2014.29 the ban made working on an Obamacare article more complicated and working on the Commandeering article virtually impossible. Also, as election season heats up, gun control is again a major topic for many candidates, and the "broadly construed" bit starts risking being an "american politics" topic ban (particularly in light of how the Commandeering clarification went.

Yunshui Two clarifications, by "normal arbitration appeals process" do you mean this process we are doing right now? Or appeals directly to the admin/AE/AN for DS type actions? Also, regarding the 1 year lift, is that automatic, or do I need to come back here for confirmation in a year? Gaijin42 (talk) 14:13, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

AGK pinging you in particular since you had commented already, consider this a friendly nudge to you and your cohorts :) (Some delay is understandable, with all the kumioko drama and other events aroudn the wiki, but this seems like an easy one to cross off the honey-do list!) Gaijin42 (talk) 20:54, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Cwobeel

I was not aware of this ban, but despite being almost always in opposing ends of content disputes with Gaijin42, I have found him to be very mindful of respecting policy and engaging civilly and respectfully in dispute resolution. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:16, 5 October 2015 (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.

Gun control (Gaijin42): Clerk notes

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

Gun control (Gaijin42): Arbitrator views and discussion

  • My initial thinking is that a trial suspension of the topic ban would be acceptable. I'm not in favour of a narrowed-scope tban, which could easily descend into wikilawering, but I believe I'd be content to suspend the ban for six months and then repeal it if no issues crop up during that period. This is not a vote to accept at the moment, but I'm definitely leaning that way. Awaiting further comments before making a firm decision. Yunshui  07:04, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
@Gaijin42: The appeals process would be that laid out at Wikipedia:Banning_policy#Arbitration_enforcement_bans. Once the suspension expires (assuming the ban is not reinstated) so would the topic ban, though you might need to remind someone to update Wikipedia:Editing_restrictions at the time. Yunshui  14:23, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The usual suspension is a year (and given the contentiousness of the area, I'd probably more favor that), but I'd certainly be willing to consider doing that. I'd like to get some more comments before we consider if we should put up a motion, though. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:57, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I have limited time available for arbitration matters at the moment and no initial opinion about this either way, so please consider me inactive on this request. Thryduulf (talk) 17:24, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I would allow this request (initially on a probationary basis, as my colleagues suggest). AGK [•] 23:19, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Allow, initially on a probationary basis. Doug Weller (talk) 13:31, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Motion: Gaijin42 topic ban suspension

Gaijin42 (talk · contribs)'s topic ban from gun control-related edits imposed as Remedy 4 of the Gun control case is suspended for a period of one year. During the period of suspension, this topic ban may be reinstated by any uninvolved administrator as an arbitration enforcement action should Gaijin42 fail to adhere to Wikipedia editing standards in the area previously covered by the topic ban. Appeal of such a reinstatement would follow the normal arbitration enforcement appeals process. After one year from the date of passage of this motion, if the topic ban has not been reinstated or any reinstatements have been successfully appealed, the topic ban will be lifted.

For this motion there are 12 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive and 1 who has abstained or recused, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.


  1. Since there's some support for this, let's turn it into a proper motion. Yunshui  09:43, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  2. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:44, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  3. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:14, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  4. Doug Weller (talk) 10:14, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
  5. Not without some mild reservation, but worth seeing what happens. Courcelles (talk) 14:40, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  6. AGK [•] 09:14, 12 October 2015 (UTC)



  1. Thryduulf (talk) 22:48, 5 October 2015 (UTC)



Amendment request: Rich Farmbrough

Initiated by Rich Farmbrough at 12:47, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Rich Farmbrough arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Remedy 2
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Terminate the remedy

Statement by Rich Farmbrough

In a case brought against me some three and a half years ago, it was found that certain community norms had been broken by me, specifically WP:BOTPOL, WP:5P4 and WP:ARBRFUAT.

I note that in the intervening period I have complied with WP:BOTPOL, been civil and collegial with other editors, and been responsive to other editors concerns, as anyone active in the community will know.

In particular I have continued to work at WP:TEAHOUSE, welcome new users, attempted to smooth ruffled feathers at WP:GGTF, mainly by focussing discussion on substantive issues, provided assistance to other editors both on and off-wiki (a list could be made available if desired). I have continued to work on other wikis with no issues.

I also continue to perform work high community trust, on protected templates, but more importantly on edit filters where, together with others (notably Dragons flight) I have overhauled almost every filter to ensure that the whole system continues to work (it was failing) and new filters can be implemented.

Moreover not only have I been policy compliant, collegial and responsive, I have every intention of continuing indefinitely to be so.

For these reasons I request the Arbitration Committee to terminate remedy 2.


Please note that I am eligible to request termination of this sanction from 15 January 2013. The sanction, qua sanction, is continuing to impact my good name in the community, notably impeding my recent RfA, and so the time has come to remove it.

Please also note that I have suggested a more nuanced approach to complete termination in the past, which has been dismissed by various committee members, with rather unflattering characterisations.


Thryduulf@ I would certainly consider you views valuable. I have met with other members of the committee at various wiki-functions. Whether to recuse must be your decision. I would not find fault either way. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 20:28, 8 October 2015 (UTC).

Thryduulf@ "editor's future employment prospects" maybe; however they can and maybe should consider the effect on the project - especially if the reasons for maintaining the restriction aren't particularly cogent.
"All automated tasks paused or blocked until..." You may be aware that I offered this as part of a solution in the workshop. (I was under the illusion that a workshop was for co-operating to find a way forward.) And I beleive that SmackBot was the only major bot that allowed anyone (including IPs) to stop it - a facility I intended to reintroduce for Helpful Pixie Bot.
Hotcat: really I would doubt that I would use it more than a few times a week at most.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:10, 12 October 2015 (UTC).
Clarification - I am not looking to any of the half-dozen tools I mention to perform masses of edits. I am probably one of the slowest Huggle users there is - because I tend to look in more depth at anything that could possibly be goof-faith. It's simply that these tools are all useful, and most of them can be used by every Wikipdia editor except me. Certainly even an IP is allowed to prepare a table in Libre Office and paste the result on-wiki.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:54, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Guerillero@ You must have a reason for saying that, do you mind if I ask what it is?

Gorilla Warfare@ It's hard to be specific. Indeed I have very little time to put into large scale projects. But even simple things like:

  1. This list I created on Meta today are forbidden on en:WP.
  2. User:WereSpielChequers has a number of lists that need updating.
  3. There is a lot of work with WP:Women in Red that needs doing.
  4. User:Carrite was looking for better information on editor activity, which I have acquired the data for, but not started coding, partly because I would not be allowed to upload the results.
  5. The correction of the User:Jagged 85 issues has ground to a halt, partly because I had to load my diagnostics onto Meta
  6. It would be nice to be able to use Twinkle, Reflinks and Hotcat
  7. I might even do some anti-vandal work with Huggle or STiki

But the main point is the stigma. This affects not just my standing in the community, but my ability to volunteer for certain roles on-wiki, and even my eligibility for employment off-wiki.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 01:32, 10 October 2015 (UTC).

Seraphimblade@ What lead up to it? A lot of things, that I can address here (or elsewhere) if you wish. However what I prefer to address specifically is the negative "findings of fact" which are putatively the committee's take on "what lead up to it." For example one suggested that I was "not responsive". I do not here challenge that claim, I simply point out that since that date I have been responsive. Similarly I have not infringed on BOTPOL. And I doubt anyone could challenge that I have been collegial - indeed my main thrust on the non-content part of Wikipedia has to be to encourage people to work together - and civil. Indeed I have had two complaints about being too civil.

Moreover I can state categorically that I have every intention of continuing to be collegial, civil, responsive and policy compliant.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 15:11, 10 October 2015 (UTC).
(Currently watching WikiConference USA live.)

Corcelles@ Your response does not provide any useful feedback. I have explicitly invited feedback from Arbitrators on several occasions over the years, which has given you plenty of opportunity to discuss any issues you think remain unresolved. If, of course, you believe that I am an unredeemable case, then no feedback is to be expected, as it would be a waste of your valuable time. Otherwise a more detailed response would be useful.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 16:35, 10 October 2015 (UTC).

AGK@ I am surprised you are not recusing yourself here All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 16:05, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Native Foreigner@ I am always interested in any wisdom about my actions. I reiterate the invitation to share or discuss them, here, on my talk page, by email, by phone/Skype or in person which I made some considerable time ago.

As to looking into the case, I'm afraid it's a bit of a mammoth, but I find the weakness of the supporting evidence to the findings, and particularly the need to go back additional years quite telling. To take one example, I am under sanctions now, partly for making edits in 2010, which someone has deemed were "too fast" to comply with BOTPOL. And yet there is nothing in BOTPOL of 10 November 2010 about any limitation on assisted editing speed. (Later versions specifically exclude speed alone as being an issue.) And the speed wasn't excessive - most editors who do administrative work will have had bursts of comparable speed - for example you edited at 10 edits per minute on 17 July. According to the 2012 committee you should have submitted a BRFA authorisation for that.

Now this is just one part of one finding, and it took quite some research to check the BOTPOL pages for the appropriate dates, check the evidence, come up with a comparator. It is also a nominally objective piece of evidence and a nominally objective policy. For subjective matters like being "civil" and "responsive" the amount of work required to construct a good refutation is much higher. I therefore requested the committee allow me 14 days to put together a response to the proposed findings. This was refused and I never got to defend myself from the very surprising proposed decision, and have been working on-and-off to deal with the problems it has caused ever since.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 03:57, 13 October 2015 (UTC).

Statement by Carrite

I'm not sure what exactly would prevent Rich from parsing a large data set and posting his results, which he mentions above with regards to analysis of WMF data to draw inferences about the editing population. If anything stands in the way of this, it needs to be set aside, at a minimum. As for the rest, once again ArbCom is looking more than a little stubborn and vindictive here in not allowing RF some sort of path back to full functionality as an editor. Drop his restrictions and restore them by motion if he resumes negative behavior, it seems obvious. I'm very frustrated with the current committee's lack of faith or willingness to take minor risks for the greater good of the project. Carrite (talk) 14:56, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by WereSpielChequers

I can see that Arbcom might see an opportunity here merely to clarify the original excessive limitations and allow Rich to use hotcat and reflinks and to generate reports in his own userspace or ideally Wikipedia space. But really the time for such a clarification was three and a half years ago, surely by now it is time to simply lift that sanction.

As Rich mentioned he has produced some very useful lists Wikipedia:Articles with UK Geocodes but without images being my favourite example. Along with a couple of other editors I've been testing image adding as an exercise for new editors, and we reckon we are ready, we just need this sanction lifted so we can get the report regularly refreshed instead of telling newbies to remove items from the list.

With the loss of toolserver and the problems at labs we have lost many regular reports. Including three areas I've started or been involved in such as Death Anomalies - which would be the next one I'd ask Rich to consider adopting. The lack of these reports is incredibly frustrating, and seriously holds the project back. You have an opportunity to reduce that problem by lifting or at least reducing the restrictions on Rich. ϢereSpielChequers 09:23, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Fæ

It is time to move on, and let the Community of Wikipedians take over, rather than Arbcom never letting go and in the process throwing away the Committee's valuable time, which ought to be invested on real risks and divisive harmful issues within the community.

There is no risk whatsoever to Wikimedia projects if all sanctions are now lifted. This long ago became a incomprehensible and bureaucratic punishment, rather than a sanction that can be claimed to be done to "protect the community", or Rich for that matter.

If members of Arbcom wish to advise the Wikipedia community, they might validly suggest a voluntary restriction like 10 pages per minute. I have no doubt that Rich would subscribe to these suggestions and make a case with the community when he is ready to relax them further. There are plenty of highly active Wikimedians that will help Rich out with advice and reviews of his edits, should they introduce any issues with articles or templates.

Everyone writing here knows that Rich is a valuable contributor who has rare talents to offer our shared mission and he should be supported, encouraged and praised for his astonishing commitment, rare skills and patience during this years long case.

I haven't talked in person to Rich since last year. However we have had several chats about the future of the projects, chapters and the Foundation over the years. Back in 2012 I interviewed him about his experience with Arbcom, this remains unpublished. I expected to write it up once his Arbcom sanctions ended, as I did not want an interview which examined the experience and emotional impact that long punitive cases like this have, to influence the case or later appeals. We had no idea that this would be eating up our time and stopping Rich from contributing in 2015. -- (talk) 12:55, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by IJBall

After three and a half years, it's time to just lift these sanctions. I don't think leaving them in place in any way serves the interest of the project. I doubt very much that Rich is suddenly going to go off into 'La La Land' if these restrictions are lifted. It's time to AGF here and move on. Also, it is reasonable to assume that leaving these sanctions in place will make it impossible for Rich to advance at RfA and be resysopped – thus leaving sanction in place almost seems punitive at this point. Anyway, that's my $0.02. --IJBall (contribstalk) 04:33, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Jenks24

Adding my support for the sanction to be lifted. Others have said it more eloquently above so I won't try and rehash it. Plus, if I'm honest, I'm still pretty annoyed about the original decision and I'm not sure if writing a few paragraphs criticising the committee would help Rich's case here. Suffice it to say, I think they made the wrong call then and it looks even more wrong three years down the track. Please do the right thing and extend Rich some good faith. Jenks24 (talk) 07:28, 13 October 2015 (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.

Rich Farmbrough: Clerk notes

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

Rich Farmbrough: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I'm considering whether to recuse on this, given extensive interaction with Rich IRL at wikimeets and the like. Rich, if you have a strong opinion either way let me know and I'll respect that. Thryduulf (talk) 14:49, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
    • I have decided I do not need to recuse here. I do not think that an editor's future employment prospects are something that we can consider (cf Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fæ#Motion Carried re images of sexuality in ancient and medieval times) as our remit is to act in the interests of the encyclopaedia and the wider project rather than the interests of individual editors (where these are mutually exclusive). In contrast perhaps to previous committees I'm tempted to allow a modification to the restriction. As an initial proposal for discussion I would suggest allowing:
      1. the manual use of WP:HOTCAT at a rate not exceeding a rate of 10 pages edited using hotcat in any 60 minute period. Your hotcat edits should not exceed 50% of your total article namespace edits in any 24 hour period.
      2. the use of automated tools to generate project-space or userspace lists and to maintain those lists if necessary, where these have been asked for by other Wikimedians and have permission granted at WP:BOTREQ.
      These would all be subject to the requirement that in the event of any complaints or queries raised about your automated edits by another editor, all automated tasks must be paused or halted at least until the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, or to the satisfaction of an uninvolved administrator if agreement cannot be reached.
    I would not, at this stage, be inclined to allow the use of any automated tools that make any edits to content namespaces (other than hotcat). I do not think that these would lead to the problems that lead to these restrictions in the first place, but would allow Rich to demonstrate he can use automation responsibly. Thryduulf (talk) 10:21, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not inclined to remove this sanction --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 04:01, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Rich Farmbrough: What kind of bot-assisted edits would you intend to make, should this sanction be removed? GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:05, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • @Rich Farmbrough: What do you understand as the issues that led up to the sanction being placed, and what steps would you take to prevent similar situations from occurring again? Seraphimblade Talk to me 13:35, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I will not support removing or loosening this sanction. Courcelles (talk) 14:36, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I too would not allow this request. AGK [•] 09:16, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I have serious concerns about lifting such sanctions. That being said I do somewhat concur with the view that occasionally risks must be taken. The action which Rich took were indubitably problematic and I think to some degree he may not fully understand what was problematic about them. I feel, personally, like it may not be prudent. However, we're quite far down the line and to take a risk (or even to do something as minor as allowing bot edits in non content workspaces so long as the bot is reviewed, or perhaps implementing a somewhat more strict mentor or approval process). As my term continues I am growing less and less enthusiastic with the notion of grand packages of restrictions to allow problem editors to stay, although this is primarily within the realm of civility. Nonetheless I think this needs discussion past the point of "I have issues trusting this individual." Don't get me wrong, I have concerns about lifting the restriction myself, but it's been 3+ years and some of the originally identified poor behaviors seem to have changed for the better. The general community support for removing them also bears considering. The individual certainly seems to have more trust with the community than with the members of arbcom, and why exactly this is I am not sure, but it has convinced me I should look more into the case to see if I am missing anything from eiter side. NativeForeigner Talk 17:14, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Clarification request: Privatemusings

Initiated by CypherPunkyBrewster at 15:22, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Privatemusings arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

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 CypherPunkyBrewster

Note: This is a legitimate alternative account. I will be happy to reveal my main account to arbcom on request.

In the 2007 Privatemusings case, (Final decision --> Principles --> Sockpuppetry) the following language was used:

"Sockpuppet accounts are not to be used in discussions internal to the project, such as policy debates."

This is referenced by Wikipedia:Sock puppetry (Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts --> Editing project space) with the language

"Editing project space: Undisclosed alternative accounts are not to be used in discussions internal to the project."

I created this account after the gamergate arbcom case. In that case, I did not comment on that case using my main account because so many people who have expressed an opinion on gamergate have received real-world harassment off-wiki. I was hoping to use this account if that ever happened again (and, of course, only in cases where I was unambiguously uninvolved.)

Q1: In cases where I have had no prior interactions with anyone named in an arbcom case and had never edited the pages being discussed is using my alternate account to make a statement in an arbcom case a legitimate use of an alternate account?

Q2: Same question, but for ANI, RS noticeboard, NPOV noticeboard, AIAV, COI noticeboard, etc.

Q3: What, exactly, are undisclosed alternative accounts? Is this account "disclosed" by way of my disclosing that it is an alternative account, or do I have to name my main account?

Q4: What, exactly are "discussions internal to the project" and/or "edits to project space"? Are we talking about namespaces here, and if so, which ones?

Basically, I just want clear guidelines on what I can and can not do using this alternative account. I am not disputing any policies or decisions; I just want to know how to follow them.

  • To User:JzG, who wrote "CypherPunkyBrewster is an account apparently created to advance the cause of climate change denial": You are wrong, and you are failing to assume good faith. This alternate account was created in order to edit articles and participate in discussions related to those articles where there is a significant chance of being branded as pro-gamergate, anti-gamergate, global warming denialist, global warming alarmist, pinko liberal, tea-party conservative, or even swivel-eyed loon. I am well aware of the discretionary sanctions associated with American Politics and Climate Change. I do not believe that I have violated the DS using this account, and I have completely stayed away from climate change on my main account for obvious reasons. If you think that I have violated the DS, feel free to report me at AE (I have no problem with identifying my main account to arbcom and asking them to publicly confirm no global warming involvement.)
  • To User:Rich Farmbrough, who wrote "Of course that is a matter for the community, not the committee, though their comments would undoubtedly have some weight", because the 2007 Privatemusings case is cited at the sock puppetry page, I strongly suspect that any attempt to start a community discussion on this topic would quickly devolve into multiple comments telling me to go to arbcom, so I did that first. Also, depending on how one answers my questions above, I could very well be forbidden from starting a community discussion on this topic. It would be, after all, a "discussions internal to the project". CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 03:57, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
  • To User:Seraphimblade (regarding the entire comment), That makes perfect sense to me, and I will have no problem following the clarification you posted. Thanks! On reflection, I see the wisdom of using the alternate account only for article editing and dispute resolution directly related to those articles. I will stay away from discussions of project policy, requesting sanctions against other editors, or general participation in dispute resolution or audited content processes when not related to articles I am working on with my alternate account. And of course I already knew that the main and alternate account must keep strictly clear of editing in the same area, and all the other "don't do that"s listed in the sock puppetry policy. I will note that I made one edit that I now know was not allowed.[81] I apologize for that and assure you that it will not happen again. Again, thanks for the clear explanation. CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 04:17, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
  • To Salvio giuliano, If another case like gamergate ever hits arbcom, I would like to comment as an uninvolved editor (revealing my main account to arbcom so you can verify that I am not involved), but not if it means revealing my real-world identity. Some of those involved in gamergate have done some nasty real-world harassment against those who disagree with them. Let me know if you think a majority of arbcom agrees with you and I will post an RfC at the sock puppet page. I have never made a gamergate edit using either account, but assuming that I had edited gamergate using my alternate account, as I understand it it would be OK for someone to name me as being involved, followed by my revealing my main account to arbcom so you can confirm that the main account has never edited gamergate. So let's say that happens and I end up being blocked (not likely, BTW; my main account is over five years old with over 10,000 edits and no blocks or editing restrictions and I don't intent to abuse this one either). It would seem reasonable in that case to block both accounts, but how to do that without revealing my real-world identity? In my particular case I know the rules about block evasion and would cease editing using my main account until the block was lifted on my alternate account, but I doubt that this would be a good solution for the more aggressive editors who end up at arbcom. So how do we handle that situation? --CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 17:32, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • To GorillaWarfare, is it even allowed for an alternate account like mine to make a clean start while the main account stays the same? I kind of assumed that that wouldn't be allowed. Unrelated question; I do want to give people confidence that I am not violating our sock puppet rules, so if I put a notice on my user page saying that any and all checkusers can look at my account for any reason, would that override the usual checkuser restrictions? Is there any way my waiving my privacy in that way could compromise the privacy of someone else? CypherPunkyBrewster (talk) 17:42, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

I urge the committee not to accept any requests from this account until there is a public declaration of the editor's primary account. BMK (talk) 20:37, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Re: Guy's comment below, I concur that CPB's edits do indeed seem to be pushing that agenda. I have asked CPB on their talk page to reveal what account they are an alternate of, but if he or she refuses or ignores the request, I strongly urge the committee not to proceed without CPB revealing to the committee what that account is, and an evaluation being made to see if any aspect of WP:SOCK is being violated. Alternate accounts may not be used to avoid scrutiny, and the climate change area is certainly one in which there has been a significant amount of sockpuppety and other disruptions. BMK (talk) 22:06, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
I have placed a Climate Change Discretionary Sanctions notice on CPB's talk page. BMK (talk) 22:09, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────So on his talk page - as well as personally attacking me and my motivations - CPB says that he wants to use this account to edit contentious subjects, such as Gamergate, Climate Change, and American Politics. But there is a standard in place for editing Gamergate - since we don't know who CPB is, how is that standard of time/edits to be applied? Certainly the CPB account wouldn't qualify.

In any case, from CPB's description on the talk page, it appears to me that what he wants is a "get out of jail free" card, where his "legitimate" alternate account can raise hell in contentious and disputatious subject areas, and his primary account can merrily edit without suffering any consequences, or scrutiny from other editors. BMK (talk) 03:12, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Since anything the Arbitrators say here is simply advisory in nature, and since CypherPunkyBrewster has outed his other identity ([82]), perhaps this ought to be closed. BMK (talk) 22:13, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
@NE Ent: Blocks are for people, not for accounts. BMK (talk) 02:27, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I note for the record that admin Swarm has rev del'd or oversighted the self-identification I referred to above, I'm not sure under what theory. BMK (talk) 05:10, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

  • I also note that the AN/I thread which Guy Macon opened about this issue has been moved by Swarm [83] to Archive 901, and then was rev del'd or oversighted from that archive by him [84]. BMK (talk) 05:24, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement Rich Farmbrough (CPB)

This has always seemed to me an invidious limitation of legitimate socks. If someone wants (for whatever reason) to use different accounts for different subject areas, then to suggest that those accounts be banned from "project space" discussion is not useful. Certainly crossover should be minimised. I have always imagined that this was an unintentional broadening of the proscription regarding creation of false impressions of support.

Of course that is a matter for the community, not the committee, though their comments would undoubtedly have some weight.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 21:00, 8 October 2015 (UTC).


This is a clarification request about:

  1. A previous ruling
  2. Opinion on policy

Clearly if it constituted trolling and was also deemed not useful, then the Committee would be very likely to speedy close it one way or another - and in the very unlikely event that the trolling nature was obscure, posting evidence to that effect would be legitimate.

However this seems a perfectly good faith question - and the fact that there is difference of opinion, and legitimate hemming and hawing from respected editors indicates that it is one that needs to be taken seriously.

In this context neither attempted outing nor tarring the interlocutor with the brush "climate change denialist" are necessarily useful.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 15:58, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Salvio@ - I think NE Ent is perfectly correct. Editing while blocked is of course blockable, and generally leads to block extensions. It would certainly verge on self-outing if a block of the alternate account/extension of block resulted in people putting two and two together. Of course there would still be no need for anyone to, rejoicing in their own cleverness, comment on the identity of the main account. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 16:16, 12 October 2015 (UTC).

Statement by JzG

CypherPunkyBrewster (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is an account apparently created to advance the cause of climate change denial. Given the arbitration cases in that are already (both American Politics and Climate change), it would seem like a really bad idea to let this alternate account edit in project space. Guy (Help!) 21:21, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Answer from NE Ent

If one account gets blocked, the editor simply doesn't use other when the block is in place. NE Ent 19:42, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Callanecc

The way I've handled the main account blocked and alt account issue is leaving the alt account unblocked, then if it evades the block on the master's account blocking it for block evasion (without saying more) or asking another admin (a CU when it happened) to block the alt account. That way the two blocks are either separated by time, or, even better, by different blocking admins. If you wanted to block both accounts for the duration of the block the same principle applies, one admin blocks the main account and another blocks the alt account (with a different, but similar block summary). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 05:04, 13 October 2015 (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.

Privatemusings: Clerk notes

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

Privatemusings: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • As Rich Farmbrough says, this is a matter of the sockpuppetry/alternate accounts policy, but it was also brought up in the Privatemusings case. The idea behind it, I think, is quite clear. Some editors, if they, for example, edit articles on sexuality, politics, or other "hot button" areas, may not want those edits to be associated with their main account. Provided that the main and alternate account keep strictly clear of editing in the same area, and the alternate account isn't being used to behave badly or otherwise avoid scrutiny, that is permitted. But the alternate account is not to be used in areas outside of article editing. Article editing, in my view, would generally be composed of the article and article talk spaces, any dispute resolution processes directly related to those articles such as mediation if you're reasonably a party to such a process, and other areas directly related to article content editing such as featured article/good article/DYK candidacies related to articles edited by the alternate account. So at least in my view, it wouldn't be entirely bound to a given namespace. Rather, it is bound to a purpose, content editing. It would not, therefore, include discussions of project policy, requesting sanctions against other editors, or other such internal processes. Nor would it allow general participation in dispute resolution or audited content processes when not related to articles the alternate account is working on. The editor would need to pick a single primary account to use in such internal discussions, and use only that account for them. If you'd prefer that the primary account not be associated with such discussions, your option would be to avoid participating in them.

    For your specific hypothetical scenarios, then: In an ArbCom case, the alternate account should be used only if it is a named party. If you'd like to jump in on a case you're not a named party to, use your primary account. (If the alternate account is a named party, it would be wise to inform the Committee privately of the situation.) AN(I) and other administrative boards, generally not (though I personally wouldn't care if you reported blatant vandals to AIV with it.) Content discussion boards like RSN, NPOVN, etc., yes, so long as the discussion there is directly related to the alternate account's edits. So, discussing content yes, discussing editors no. For your third question, "disclosure" in this sense would mean publicly and clearly disclosing what primary account the alternate account is linked to (you can see my public terminal account for what that looks like), not just disclosing that it is an alternate. I think your fourth question is answered by the above. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:11, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

@Beyond My Ken: You bring up some additional good points. In the case that an alternate account is engaging in poor or sanctionable behavior, I would see it as entirely justifiable for an administrator to indef the alternate account as a "bad hand" sock. Alternate accounts are not meant to engage in poor behavior without that reflecting on the primary account, and the sockpuppetry policy already forbids that type of misuse. The conduct of the alternate account must be absolutely above reproach. So far as areas like Gamergate where editing restrictions apply, if the alternate account doesn't meet the requirements to edit there and isn't clearly and publicly linked to an account that does, well then, that account can't be used to edit there. Admins need to be able to verify that the editor is eligible to edit there; a vague handwave that "Oh, I have a different account that does meet the requirements" doesn't cut it. Nor is private disclosure and verification in that instance. Even when feasible, that would be too much of a timesink. Seraphimblade Talk to me 11:13, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • My interpretation of current policy is as follows:
    • Q1: In cases where I have had no prior interactions with anyone named in an arbcom case and had never edited the pages being discussed is using my alternate account to make a statement in an arbcom case a legitimate use of an alternate account?
      No. Participating in "discussions internal to the project" on an alternative account is explicitly prohibited by WP:SOCK, and ArbCom cases qualify.
    • Q2: Same question, but for ANI, RS noticeboard, NPOV noticeboard, AIAV, COI noticeboard, etc.
      Same as above; these are internal to the project.
    • Q3: What, exactly, are undisclosed alternative accounts? Is this account "disclosed" by way of my disclosing that it is an alternative account, or do I have to name my main account?
      No. Publicly disclosed alternative accounts are accounts that are identified by name and clearly linked to the main account. For example, if User:Foo stated clearly that they had registered the account User:Foo(public) for use on unsecured networks, it would not be a breach of policy for them to comment on internal discussions, as this account would be clearly linked to the primary account. Simply stating that an account is an alt is not sufficient. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:50, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Q4: What, exactly are "discussions internal to the project" and/or "edits to project space"? Are we talking about namespaces here, and if so, which ones?
      I'm hesitant to say concretely that alternate accounts can only edit the Main and article talk namespaces, because there are plenty of exceptions. I think Seraphimblade is correct to instead identify edits that are not directly related to improving article content as inappropriate.

I do think there is an interesting issue here, though. People who have accounts that are clearly traceable to real-world identities may not be comfortable participating in situations like the Gamergate case, where there is a real risk that people will try to retaliate. These people are effectively barred from participating in these discussions, as alternate accounts cannot be used in projectspace discussions even when used to protect privacy. The only real way for a user to get around this is a WP:Clean start, which comes with its own host of problems. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:50, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

      • Sorry if that was unclear. You would not be able to "clean start" with an alternative account—you would need to abandon the primary account in this hypothetical. GorillaWarfare (talk) 02:13, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
  • My thoughts on this are essentially the same as Seraphimblade's. One way to allow alternate accounts used for the purposes of protecting privacy to participate in internal discussions would be to allow disclosure to the Arbitration Committee (possibly with some safeguards to prevent abuse of this). However, this would require amending both the sockpuppetry policy and the Privatemusings case. I would be amenable to the latter, but only if there is a community consensus for the former at an RfC or equivalent. Until that happens though, alternate accounts that are not publicly disclosed may not participate in arbitration cases, etc. to which they are not a party and that are unrelated to article content they are working on. Thryduulf (talk) 09:36, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Generally speaking, I tend to agree with my colleagues, with one exception: for me, alternative accounts disclosed to ArbCom cannot be considered "undisclosed alternative accounts" for the purposes of WP:SOCK. Then again, this is only my opinion and we are being asked to clarify a policy, rather than one of our decisions, so I don't know how much weight our collective opinions carry here. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:57, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
    • If an editor has good reasons to desire to participate in an ArbCom case with an alternative account, he can try sending us an e-mail, explaining those reasons to us and if we're persuaded, we may grant an exception. That doesn't need an RfC.

      It would seem reasonable in that case to block both accounts, but how to do that without revealing my real-world identity? [...] So how do we handle that situation? I'll have to think about this a little more before I can give you an answer... Salvio Let's talk about it! 19:35, 10 October 2015 (UTC)


Motion: Overlap of Sanctions

For this motion there are 14 active arbitrators, not counting 1 who is inactive, so 8 support or oppose votes are a majority.

To prevent confusion and overlap between existing sanctions,

  1. Remedy 2 of the Bluemarine case is rescinded. The discretionary sanctions authorised for the American Politics 2 case and the Editing of Biographies of Living Persons case continue to apply in this topic area;
  2. Remedy 2.1 of the Election case is rescinded. The discretionary sanctions authorised for the American Politics 2 case continue to apply in this topic area;
  3. Remedies 4 and 5 of the Free Republic case are rescinded. The discretionary sanctions authorised for the American Politics 2 case continue to apply in this topic area;
  4. Remedy 1 of the Neuro-linguistic programming case is rescinded. The discretionary sanctions authorised for the Pseudoscience case continue to apply in this topic area;
  5. Remedy 1.1 of the Tea Party Movement case is rescinded. The discretionary sanctions authorised for the American Politics 2 case continue to apply in this topic area;
  6. Nothing in this motion provides grounds for appeal of remedies or restrictions imposed while discretionary sanctions or article probations for the foregoing cases were in force. Such appeals or requests to lift or modify such sanctions may be made under the same terms as any other appeal.
  1. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
  2. Thryduulf (talk) 23:21, 13 September 2015 (UTC) Striking my support until we resolve the Vivaldi issue. Thryduulf (talk) 09:51, 16 September 2015 (UTC) restoring support now the Vivaldi case has been removed from this motion. Thryduulf (talk) 19:06, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
  3. LFaraone 23:27, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
  4. Salvio Let's talk about it! 10:01, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
  5. Yunshui  08:27, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  6. AGK [•] 23:21, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  1. I agree with all but the last bullet, and that one is enough to oppose this. Courcelles (talk) 18:59, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
    @Courcelles: Could you explain your particular objection to it? Also, i'm camped here till my note about Vivaldi is resolved. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 05:36, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
    @Courcelles: My understanding of the last bullet is that it is simply saying that all current sanctions issued under authorisations we are retiring continue as if the authorisation was still in force - i.e. the sanction is still valid and it may be appealed in the exact same way as it would be if the authorisation was still active. The only other thing it does is note that our retiring the authorisation is not grounds for appeal of an active sanction. What is it you disagree with about this? Thryduulf (talk) 09:51, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
    @Thryduulf:, my vote made a lot more sense before the Vivaldi bullet was removed. Courcelles (talk) 18:31, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
    I posted while the Vivaldi bullet was still in place. If you meant "penultimate" rather than "last" (referring to Vivaldi) your vote comment would make sense - if you really do mean last then I am still confused. Thryduulf (talk)

Discussion by arbitrators (overlap of sanctions)

Proposed --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
@Guerillero: Hut is very much correct below as it doesn't cover probation was authorized on... -- Amanda (aka DQ) 05:36, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Having re-read the results of the Vivaldi case I'm inclined to agree. I think the simplest way to transition from article probation to a more modern remedy here would be to authorise standard discretionary sanctions for all pages related to Jack Hyles, specifically including Preying from the Pulpit, First Baptist Church of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College? Thryduulf (talk) 09:51, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
I removed Vialdi from this list and transferred it to the remove pile. They haven't been used in a decade and 50 edits ago is 2012. --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 16:49, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Community comments (overlap of sanctions)

  • I'm not sure that the sanctions in the Vivaldi case are redundant to the BLP ones. Although the articles in question do have material that falls under BLP there is plenty of material that doesn't. For instance Jack Hyles has been dead for well over a decade, it would be hard to argue that BLP applies to most of the article. Hut 8.5 19:08, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Motion: Removal of Unused Sanctions

For this motion there are 12 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive and 1 who has abstained or recused, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Every so often, it becomes reasonable to terminate sanctions that are no longer necessary,

  1. Remedy 1 of the Lapsed Pacifist 2 case is rescinded;
  2. Remedy 2 of the Mantanmoreland case is rescinded;
  3. Remedy 1 of the Waterboarding case is rescinded;
  4. Remedy 1 of the Vivaldi case is rescinded;
  5. Nothing in this motion provides grounds for appeal of remedies or restrictions imposed while article probations for the foregoing cases were in force. Such appeals or requests to lift or modify such sanctions may be made under the same terms as any other appeal;
  6. In the event that disruptive editing resumes in any of these topic-areas, a request to consider reinstating discretionary sanctions in that topic-area may be made on the clarifications and amendments page.
  1. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
  2. Yunshui  11:38, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
  3. Per Yunshi's comment below, I think the small risk that this will flare up without the threat of sanctions is small enough and easily countered enough (cf our recent motion regarding Longevity) that we can take it. Thryduulf (talk) 15:07, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  4. AGK [•] 23:22, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  1. Enough of these have the potential to flare up that I think this is a bad idea. Courcelles (talk) 19:00, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
  2. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:10, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  1. LFaraone 17:36, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Discussion by arbitrators (removal of unused sanctions)

Proposed --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm going to wait for any community comments before opining here. Thryduulf (talk) 23:22, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
  • These are all pretty old, and a review of the relevant article histories suggests that they may no longer be needed; however I'm mindful of the fact that the sanctions may be the reason that the articles have been so quiet recently. I'm leaning towards supporting this motion, but like Thryduulf would be happier to wait until a few more opinions are in. Yunshui  08:33, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Sod it, I think the benefits outweigh the risks. The option of reinstatement by request at ARCA does, as Harry points out, make this a reasonably safe gamble. Yunshui  11:38, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Community comments (removal of unused sanctions)

  • Noting Courcelles' objection, but I would have thought that point 6 (allowing the sanctions to be reinstated by request at ARCA if necessary) covers everyone in the event that disruption returns. Some topic areas won't quieten down until real-world events do (the obvious example being Israel-Palestine), but we shouldn't keep discretionary sanctions lingering around where they're no longer necessary or useful. The alerts and warning notices that editors see whenever they edit an affected article potentially deter valuable contributions and give an impression of a dispute that is no longer there. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:33, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Given the state of the US and its jaunts into the middle-east (as well as its treatment of Muslims at home) object to the waterboarding being lifted (no comment on the others). 'Closely related pages' effectively means anything involving state-sanctioned torture. Totally cant see how THAT might flare up... Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:23, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
    • But the last sanction imposed pursuant to a remedy in that case was nearly five years ago (by strange coincidence, I was the admin imposing it), and the sanctions can always be re-imposed if necessary. Besides, most subjects to do with waterboarding as it relates to the United States' foreign policy would probably be covered by the discretionary sanctions on American politics. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:07, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
      • Well I would generally follow the school of thought that states 'Its calm because of the sanctions'. However you are right American Politics would (probably, someone will argue otherwise no doubt) cover any US based torture problems. Sadly the US does not have a monopoly in torture. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:20, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I hate to keep bringing up essentially the same thing every time, but once again we have a problem (a minor one this time, but entirely avoidable) this time caused by someone referring to the "last" item on a list that is still having items added and removed. This small issue and a number of large issues to come can be avoided by the simple idea of designing procedures and sticking to them instead of winging it every time. To be specific, in this particular situation, anyone commenting on a list item should refer to "item number 6" instead of "the last item. Anyone removing an item should replace it with "6. (removed) instead of deleting it and letting a new item take the #6 slot. Please Arbom, there are members of the community who are experts at designing these sorts of procedures. Let us help. We won't step on your authority and you will get to approve all procedures. Whether because of lack of skills, lack of time, or lack of interest, you really suck at this. Just give the word and I will start recruiting experts and drafting procedures (on-wiki, so you can comment and veto at any point in the process). --Guy Macon (talk)
Re "easily corrected"; it was corrected while I composed the above. My point about procedures still stands though. If anyone wants to dispute this, I can document previous problems that weren't so easy to fix. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:19, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: What are you talking about? You are the first person to edit this page in over two days --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 03:27, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Oops. When I went back to look at the page I looked at "Motion: Removal of Unused Sanctions" (which doesn't have the problem) instead of "Motion: Overlap of Sanctions" (which does have the problem -- in the oppose section) and assumed it had been fixed. Sorry for the error. Does anyone wish to comment on my offer? --Guy Macon (talk) 03:59, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't think so. See you next time the lack of procedures causes a problem, and I hope it is a minor problem like this one. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:25, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Even after your post above, I still do not understand what your comment relates to. Thryduulf (talk) 12:31, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Motion: New Religious Movements

For this motion there are 11 active arbitrators, not counting 3 who are inactive and 1 who has abstained or recused, so 6 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Due to how closely related the topic areas of several of the existing sanctions are,

  1. Remedy 3 of the Brahma Kumaris case is rescinded;
  2. The 23 October 2014 Motion to the Falun Gong case is rescinded;
  3. The 20 December 2012 Motion the Prem Rawat case is rescinded;
  4. The 1 June 2012 Motion to the Scientology case is rescinded;
  5. Remedy 7 of the Transcendental Meditation movement case is rescinded;
  6. In place of these sanctions, Standard Discretionary sanctions are authorised with immediate effect for all pages relating to post-1929 New Religious Movements and related people, broadly construed. This includes all of the areas listed in parts 1-5 of this motion. In the case that there is a disagreement over a group's categorization as a New Religious Movement, these sanctions apply to a topic if the high-quality, reliable, independent sources describe it as such;
  7. Nothing in this motion provides grounds for appeal of remedies or restrictions imposed while discretionary sanctions or article probations for the foregoing cases were in force. Such appeals or requests to lift or modify such sanctions may be made under the same terms as any other appeal.
  1. Two major flaws in this one, it extends coverage to things that have not been problems, and then picks an arbitrary (and too recent) initial date to define NRM's, as well as a definition that makes admins at AE make content decisions in order to use the sanctions. This is just an all-around bad idea.. Courcelles (talk) 02:44, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
  2. Casts the net too wide for my liking. Yunshui  08:25, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  3. It is impossible to cast this net without it being way too wide. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 17:51, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  4. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:12, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  1. LFaraone 17:36, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Discussion by arbitrators (new religious movements)

This was proposed as an alternative to removing the Brahma Kumaris article probation. I added the 1930 cutoff so groups such as The Salvation Army, Quakers, Mormons, Bahá'í Faith, Apostolic Church, Opus Dei and Conservative Judaism are not placed under DS without any problems. I'm still not 100% happy with this setup because Rastafari is covered by this setup. At the same time, I know that this will solve future problems. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 23:05, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
I was the one who proposed this, but I'd like to see community comments before deciding whether this was one of my better ideas or not. Thryduulf (talk) 23:23, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Community comments (new religious movements)

  • Can it be more clearly stated that all the subjects for which individual sanctions are being removed are explicitly included in "post-1929 New Religious Movements"? This is to prevent Wikilawyering on the order of "my faith is not part of the New Religious Movement". BMK (talk) 02:03, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Yes, that's a good idea. NE Ent 02:17, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
      • I will try to do this --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 03:01, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
      • @Beyond My Ken and NE Ent: How does this look? --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 03:04, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Looks good to me, thanks. BMK (talk) 03:06, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Great. NE Ent 09:16, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
          • Not knowing the reason for the cut-off date, this looks at first glance good to me, although I might welcome some clarification whether the sometimes smallish base groups which prompt further spinout groups would be grandfathered in or not. Some of those parent groups might be older than 1929, but, at least sometimes, not much older. John Carter (talk) 01:33, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
            • P.S. Basically, because I just like making life harder for you all ;) Speaking unofficially, meaning without citations, it seems to me that there are some topics of a broadly NRM or New Age (which is itself counted as an NRM) type which are perhaps not considered by all individuals as "religious." I am thinking specifically about the recent popularity of the Christ myth theory, and the questioning of the Historicity of Jesus associated with it. So far as I can tell, this is most strongly associated with the more recent agnostic/atheist movement, which probably broadly qualifies in the NRM field, and has peer-reviewed academic journals, just like virtually every major denomination or faith tradition. However, in the broader field of what might be called "academic history," the idea has as little weight as some of the historically nonsupportable beliefs of some older faith traditions. Would "alternative"/fringe beliefs associated primarily with NRMs, and which purport in some cases to fall within the areas of sciences or some other area of academia, but have little support outside of that group, qualify under these sanctions? And, again, sorry for the question, but I think it might apply to the various proposals of von Daniken and other fringey New Age thoughts. John Carter (talk) 14:47, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
              • If the sources consider a religion to be a NRM then the DS would cover it. I am not prepared to stretch this so far as to encompass the Historicity of Jesus, which is under its own DS. This is not a junk drawer to throw any tangelty related topic that might spark a controversy.

                The post-1929 date is to keep Opus Dei, a fairly-mainstream Catholic movement from being encompassed. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 15:06, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

                • Understood about the historicity of Jesus, my apologies for the bad example, and thanks for the clarification. But, well, there are a lot groups within the NRM field, like several groups like the Raelians and others who believe that we are bred by aliens, for instance. I am going to assume that the theories of anyone who is a self-declared Raelian would be covered by the sanctions, but would for instance pages in the Category:Ancient astronaut speculation which reflect in substance the fringey beliefs of the Raelians and similar NRMs, and the Raelians are in fact the subject of the only subcat of that specific category, qualify in the "broadly construed" section or not, even if the proponents aren't necessarily explicitly tied to a group that qualifies? John Carter (talk) 15:17, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
                  • Topics such as Star people (New Age belief) or The Law of One (The Ra Material) would be covered because of their religious component; since the sources to not tie Jungfrau Park to a NRM it would not be covered. The DS are guided by the sources and not by original research or categorization --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 16:37, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
                    • I would very STRONGLY support such a move. It is neither the community’s nor admins fault to be ignorant on issues regarding the specific new religious movements. The issue is highly contentious and when dealing with the group’s adherents it is just like fighting windmills and nerve racking as I experienced on the articles regarding Soka Gakkai and Soka Gakkai International.--Catflap08 (talk) 19:45, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
                      • I did some wordsmithing to hopefully resolve some of the potential conflicts. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 20:58, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
  • In response to @Courcelles:, I have gathered together a page at User:John Carter/Alphabetical list of new religious movements which I hope in time, as I do other things, to add to the existing Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion/New religious movements work group/Prospectus, and I think the sources used in the first list are at least of sufficient quality and respect that they can serve as at least a partial list of what qualifies as an NRM. There are other such sources, of course, but I have trouble seeing that there will be many new groups, other than those started since those works were published, which will not be covered. There is a question regarding the date, and, personally, I'm not sure I would want to exclude Opus Dei myself (I dunno - I don't think I've ever really dealt with that content) but unless some sort of dividing line is established, then we will have the group of NRMs going back to some established centuries earlier. I suppose one other option might be to allow all NRMs, described as such in the relevant reference sources, qualify for discretionary sanctions by simple motion. That might work. If such were to be done, I think a real case would that Soka Gakkai related content should be considered by motion. John Carter (talk) 17:05, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Also, I guess I should add that, much like seems to be true regarding most pseudoscience content, there is an inherent problem with the terms new religious movement, and the closely related term cult, in and of themselves. That particular issue has been raised repeatedly regarding any number of articles. It was, in fact, the reason I spend the rather extensive period of time gathering the user space list above in the first place. There are a few editors who have edited extensively in this broad topic area, including perhaps most notably @Jayen466: and @Cirt:, and I would welcome any input they might have, in addition, of course, to@Dougweller:, who has been at least peripherally involved with several related topics as an editor. John Carter (talk)
  • I should add as a qualifier that Cirt has expressed reservations here regarding whether it would be permissable for him to comment here. I guess I can understand that, but, as one of the editors who has been most involved with this topic, I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to allow the restriction to not apply to comments here, and request clarification if he can edit here according to the restrictions and/or that the restrictions be waived for this discussion. John Carter (talk) 18:37, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
  • And I guess I should add that the Landmark Education Corporation now Landmark Worldwide in its previous incarnations is also described as an NRM, and, on that basis, might be reasonably included in the group of subtopics included in the list above. Maybe others too, I haven't checked actually. John Carter (talk) 19:28, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
  • needs more clarity(as to the parameters of its enforcement)--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 21:43, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
    • @Ozzie10aaaa: Please can you be more specific about what you feel lacks clarity? Thryduulf (talk) 01:31, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
      • by clarity(quality of coherence) I would echo the opinion it extends coverage to things that have not been problems[85] ... Rastafari [86] would be covered by this motion, but where is the evidence it should be?--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 08:08, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
        • The evidence for the scope of this coverage, more or less as per the discussion on my user talk page at User talk:John Carter#FYI, in my conversation with Cirt, which he suggested I link to here. The terms new religious movement and cult are, basically, inherently problematic in and of themselves, much like the word "pseudoscience". There are already two existing ArbCom discretionary sanctions on the broad topics of pseudoscience and alternative medicine. Certainly in the case of the first of those two, the term "pseudoscience" itself can be one of the more controversial aspects of the topic. And, of course, the study of the sociology of many of the NRMs, particularly that from the most active era of the anti-cult movement, is almost always controversial. I don't see any particular difference between the rationality of the existing decisions regarding the fields of pseudoscience and alternative medicine and the rationality of this one. There are, and will be, in all of them some aspects which are no longer at this point at all controversial, but that can and often will change over time, and the existing controversy about the terms themselves will, not surprisingly, possibly extend to many or most of the individual articles or topics involved. John Carter (talk) 17:32, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Would groups like 3HO or Dera Sacha Sauda be included in this? Both claim to be "service organizations" but are quite obviously religious movements and sources seem to consider them to be just that. These are just two examples and there are a dozens more from where they come, though a good chunk of them would also be covered by WP:ARBIPA (3HO wouldn't though). cheers. —SpacemanSpiff 19:19, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
    • If that an organisation would be considered a NRM if either they self-describe as such or if there are independent reliable sources that call them that. If it is unclear then a consensus of uninvolved editors could be sought, or if that fails then we could consider it at ARCA (assuming that there is a need for discretionary sanctions - if there ins't then it's not worth risking importing drama imho). Thryduulf (talk) 20:09, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
      • I'd say that in a lot of these dozens of articles there's a need for DS as most of these topics don't get taken to ANI etc simply because hardly anyone cares enough (but a history of some of the articles in the 3HO group would show the pendulum switch between the two extremes) or on the off chance they do go there, they are left unattended. In such a situation a sledgehammer to crack a nut would appear to be the only solution, therefore my question: could hitherto unattended topics be brought under the purview of this, and it appears that the answer is "yes, if the circumstances require it." Please correct me if I'm wrong. cheers. —SpacemanSpiff 05:06, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Yes, as long as they are new religious movements and the standard DS requirements are met (e.g. awareness) then it wouldn't matter whether the article had previously been discussed at ANI or not. This is the same as in existing authorisations, for example Scientology in Brazil does not currently exist, but it will be within the scope of the Scientology authorisation (or the NRM authorisation if this motion passes) the moment it is created. When the American Politics authorisation was passed, articles like Delaware gubernatorial election, 2012 became within the scope even though it doesn't seem like there has been any significant dispute regarding that article. Thryduulf (talk) 11:30, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd oppose for now. For some of these there have been motions to put under standard discretionary sanctions replacing an initial remedy before. Why make the process even more convoluted? I don't really see a rationale being given for that.
Also, in general, with the replacing remedy I see more borderline issues. Don't think it a good idea. Would A Course in Miracles fall under it? Would ISIS fall under it? I mean, I like the clean sweep idea, but seems to have more downsides than advantages in this area. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:36, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Actually this would make placing discretionary sanctions easier rather than more convoluted - there would not need to be a request to place the topic area under sanctions first as this motions would already have done that. ISIS is not a religious movement (they are a militant group) and so would not fall under these sanctions. A Course in Miracles would seem to be about a book describing a new religious/spiritual philopsophy rather than a movement or organisation and so would not be covered. Thryduulf (talk) 11:30, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
For what little it might be worth, A Course of Miracles is, in and of itself, a book, but it has inspired a large number of other books and speeches and tapes and god knows what all else, and that broader field is, more or less, counted as being an NRM given its unique teachings according to at least some of the relevant reference works. And, in response to Spaceman above, I have seen where 3HO is described in the relevant reference sources as an NRM, but I haven't that I know of seen Dera Sacha Sauda described as such to my knowledge, although I admit I haven't looked completely.
I can and, I guess, do see some basis for saying that not all NRMs are inherently controversial. Some have died out completely, for instance, and at this point are at best subjects of apathy among most, including a lot of academia. Having said that, I tthink that there still remains at least a bit of controversy around most of those groups which were broadly included as targets of the anticult movement. If there were some way to limit the scope of these sanctions to those groups, or similar groups which would have been counted as such if they were active at the time, given similar reception by the general public, that might limit it a little. Having said that, I don't know of any specific sources off the top of my head which could easily identify only those groups called "cults" and those which would have been called that had they been active at the time. John Carter (talk) 14:33, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I would support this. As a case in point, I offer the fresh edit warring by an account on Scientology. Even though France classes the movement as a cult and the very parliamentary report that establishes this classification is given as a source, the same account has deleted both the source and any reference to it three times in just one hour now. I believe it shows how contentious these articles are and why sanctions may be needed. Jeppiz (talk) 20:04, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Actually, having just looked, after being prompted by the above discussion, I think that only one of the existing sanctions being discussed, regarding Prem Rawat, is not about groups included in the article Governmental lists of cults and sects. The Prem Rawat sanctions, from what I can remember, were basically about BLP matters, which are, probably, already covered by BLP sanctions. Most if not all of the other problematic groups I can think of are included in that list as well. Maybe we could alter the phrasing of the sanctions to specifically cover only those covered on that list? Other groups or sets of articles could presumably be addressed elsewhere, or, perhaps, by specific amendment. John Carter (talk) 20:13, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
I'd support the above suggestion. Jeppiz (talk) 20:24, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
I can see adding any groups which have specifically been denied legal recognition as a religion or cult in those countries where such legal recognition is required, or groups which have had in some way specific modern governments declare it is acceptable to call the groups in question cults or similar. The one primary example of the latter that comes to mind is The Local Church, which a US court said at some point might fairly be called a cult. And it might, I suppose, be not unreasonable to maybe specifically include many or most of the articles or subarticles related to recent controversies regarding many groups, as I think at this point, most of the content related to the anticult movement is to be found there. John Carter (talk) 16:59, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Requests for enforcement


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

Request concerning VictorD7

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
EllenCT (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 02:42, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
VictorD7 (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
discretionary sanctions for all topics involving post-1932 American politics established by WP:ARBAP2.

Proposed resolutions

This section is for proposed resolutions to the dispute, comments on proposals, and limited replies to administrators. It is not for extensive discussion between parties. Please be concise. Off-topic posts or inter-party discussion may be removed at the discretion of an administrator.

Comment from Jbhunley

I have not encountered VictorD7 but his behavior here is enough that I would support a topic ban. EllenCT, I have seen around and in fact one of the first articles I thought of editing here was Economic growth while she was having a 'discussion' with Volunteer Marek. Her tendentious behavior there put me right off the entire topic area - I still have some sources in my sandbox I wanted to introduce into the debate but no way in hell was I going to engage with an editor that fixed in their POV. Her recent diatribe on Jimbo's TP, mentioned above, reaffirms my view she is a POV warrior and a topic ban, preferably on all issued related to growth, inequality and taxation since they are all tied together in her anti-Trickle-down crusade.

I am less inclined to allow them to participate in mediation, neither is likely to change or soften their POV and the walls of text and venom would insure mediation failed. I guess an AE imposed Wikipedia Cage Match might be interesting in the same way the Romans sentenced people to the gladiator pits but even then it was done solely for entertainment not to actually solve anything. I am as atavistic as the next guy, maybe more so, but I do not see how forcing these two into mediation would benefit the project. Just ban them for three months and go up from there if the same disruption resurfaces on their return to editing. JbhTalk 20:15, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

AE requiring mediation for issues already worked out does nothing but reward persistent, disruptive editing and allow EllenCT to continue here crusade to the exhaustion of the other participants. If other editors than VictorD7 and EllenCT think mediation is required then mediation should occur. If it is just based on these two participants it is healthier for the project to simply remove them from the field for a while and let the other editors form a consensus without the constant disruption.

I doubt mediation would be successful with these editors since EllenCT is already begging the question by getting VictorD7 to agree to her views of sourcing up front with her 'Proposed mediation' section below - bad form, very bad form. JbhTalk 16:11, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Per this conversation I want to clarify the above is intended as a comment on the wisdom/advisability of mandated mediation as a useful AE remedy not as an additional call for topic bans. I also feel more strongly that EllenCT's behavior warrants a topic ban than VictorD7's although I do feel his behavior here indicates a ban would not be an unreasonable outcome. JbhTalk 00:19, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Comment from Capeo

Since my proposal and the reasoning behind it are hatted I'll just reiterate my suggestion. A 3-6 month topic ban from American Politics and Economics for both parties is probably in order. If just the most recent activity is taken into consideration though I would say Ellen's conduct has been far, far worse. On the article and talk page that was the impetus to this filing I see little fault in how Victor dealt with it. He also hasn't seemed to have any conflicts on articles in recent months so I could see an argument for currently only topic banning EllenCT. Capeo (talk) 20:57, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Striking the above. I had not seen those RFCs. They are quite literally EllenCT trying to include cites from sources she lambasts above including Op-Eds and the WSJ. There seems to be no logic to her arguments other than bolstering her POV at all costs. That the responses from other editors who are both sympathetic and those that disagree ask her to stop pushing her trickle-down crusade show that this is symptomatic of a bigger issue. After EllenCT stopped editing the article that prompted this report the issues were worked out amicably on the talk page. I'd suggest a topic ban for EllenCT would solve 90% of the conflict in these articles. Capeo (talk) 22:14, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Not sure why mediation is even in play here. The content issue is done. It was resolved on the talk page once EllenCT left the article alone. Capeo (talk) 00:04, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm wondering on what basis Victor would be topic banned here, as that seems to be where this is heading, with both parties TBed. Past behavior? Because if it's just this incident alone I can't see the justification. It seems Ellen is still excusing her edit-warring against consensus as justified [253] and claiming some cabal of editors were trying to use biased sources when in fact, as shown above, the sources that ended up being used per consensus are anything but. The real issue is consensus didn't reflect her POV hence we're here. In this particular report I'm only seeing one party doing anything wrong. I'd venture it's no coincidence that everything got quite after Ellen stopped editing. Capeo (talk) 17:12, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Some of the sources EllenCT seems to think meet the criteria she lays out below: Citizens for Tax Justice? Center on Budget and Policy Priorities? FiveThirtyEightEconomics? Not to mention having an issue with a WSJ op-ed above but starting a prior RFC to include a WSJ op-ed because it supported her POV? Lastly her saying "Ideally, Victor will see the light and decide to embrace demand side economics," pretty much shows she believes her edit-warring was justified because she's spreading the Truth and will continue to do so. Capeo (talk) 13:03, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Comment from VictorD7

Of course I oppose a topic ban for me since no evidence of me actually doing anything wrong regarding taxation has been presented or cogently articulated, much less in the last several months. Since I'm not entirely familiar with the procedures being discussed here, I would like clarification on whether an appeal is possible. I wasn't planning on editing much over the next few months but I'd prefer not to have a frivolous topic ban on my record. Either way I'm willing to engage in a mediated discussion on the topic with EllenCT, but I would also like clarification on the scope and eventual impact of this process. Because, as I pointed out earlier, a talk page consensus has already formed among editors who have been involved in the discussion and know a great deal about it. Could this mediation result overturn that? If so, I don't see the purpose or justification for it. Starting a discussion from scratch that brings in new editors who know little or nothing about the topic would likely lead to a lower quality result than what's already been achieved, and might be disastrous. We saw what happened when admins here tried to wade into a content dispute on the complex topic. They admitted being hopelessly confused by it.

Also, would it include the inequality dispute? Because an RFC initiated by EllenCT herself weeks ago is soundly rejecting her preferred wording and should be closed within the next few days.


This follows the community likewise rejecting three other recent RFC proposals by EllenCT along similar lines: [255], [256], [257] (nobody bothered closing the last two, though they overwhelmingly went against her, as you can see).

The recent discussion on tax progressivity also seems to have reached its conclusion, with a 2 to 1 majority opposing EllenCT's proposed changes, not counting multiple other editors who made their opposition known in edit summaries while reverting her.


Is all this time and effort invested by these editors now arbitrarily invalidated just because EllenCT didn't want to accept consensus? Is she being rewarded for her edit warring?

If so, out of curiosity what would happen if I declined mediation?

I would also like to ask HJ Mitchell to self revert and restore my final edit to the above discussion. [259] I was already typing it (and was likely almost finished) when the section was hatted, and had posted a place holder in my previous edit saying more was soon coming and asking for it not to be closed yet. It's only fair that I should have the right to respond to last second accusations made against me, and have that response in the record. VictorD7 (talk) 21:29, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I'm still waiting for a clarification on precisely what this mediation would entail, but if the goal here is to avoid future disruption, this may be a solution in search of a problem. The established consensus formed on the talk page in the links I provided above has settled both specific content issues at play here. The only documented recent behavioral issue here was EllenCT's edit warring against consensus. If that stops there is no problem. Before this I certainly wasn't planning to interact with EllenCT more or discuss these same issues again from scratch unless absolutely necessary. I don't see the need to take any action based on stale links or even against Specifico or Protonk for the false personal attacks they leveled here.

The reason this request blew up into a confusing mess is that it was malformed and confused from the start, not reflecting the facts. It didn't help that the initial admin to respond (rather than close it as malformed) ended up recusing himself over a past personal involvement. At this point, especially given the paucity of actual evidence presented (except in the edit warring report I filed) the best thing to do would be to close this with no action taken and a caution for people to follow instructions next time when filing an AE report. VictorD7 (talk) 23:07, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

If I'm truly a "problem" editor (which I'm not), then it won't be long before someone files a report here against me that actually contains clear evidence of wrong doing. In the meantime, when in doubt it's more responsible to err on the side of not being heavy handed than to rush into punitive action just for the sake of taking action. VictorD7 (talk) 23:05, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Comment from SPECIFICO

Per my comments above, now hatted: I propose a one month TBAN from American Politics for VictorD7. As I understand it this is the prescribed maximum sanction under the American Politics Arbcom rulings. I propose a stern warning for EllenCT that she should ensure she does not edit or use accusatory language in talk page discussions. I urge some Admin to un-hat the previous evidence here and to use some other display format to indicate that no further evidence should be presented. Hatting the section obscures the facts in the case, including diffs and VictorD7's personal attacks and undocumented aspersions which are in themselves prima facie evidence that he is worthy of tough love here. SPECIFICO talk 23:42, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

According to VictorD7's comments, as I understand them, he does not favor voluntary mediation of the content dispute. So that solution is stillborn. Moreover, content mediation will not resolve the behavioral issues on both sides that are evident on this thread alone. I'd be very disappointed to see the current group of AE volunteers kick the donkey down the road. Most editors react to bad behavior simply by fleeing the scene. At least we've got some contributions of evidence by uninvolved editors here. If nothing comes of this case, that effort will have been lost and more editors will walk away concluding that WP cannot deal with personal attacks, unsupported allegations, tendentious disruptive behavior, etc. SPECIFICO talk 12:51, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't know the ins and outs of AE, but it seems to me that since the Arbcom sanction relates to American Politics and because we've seen these editors have problems on several articles related to American Politics, that any temporary or permanent TBAN should cover American Politics, not an ad hoc subset defined here, e.g. progressive taxation. SPECIFICO talk 16:10, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Comment from Robert McClenon

I concur with all of HJMitchell, Guy, and Dennis Brown. This is in part an interaction issue, in that we have two editors who have quarreling for a long time. However, an interaction ban would not work in this case, where the dispute is mostly in one article (and interaction bans do not work very well in general), but discretionary sanctions need to be used somehow. Of course, formal mediation is voluntary, but a topic-ban via Arbitration Enforcement on the issue, with an exception to permit formal mediation, does not have to be voluntary. If one party declines to take part in mediation, or if a mediator cannot be found because of the hostility of the dispute, the AE administrators can re-address this. I concur with a topic-ban with an exception to permit and encourage formal mediation. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:07, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Mediation proposal by EllenCT

I would like to try mediation but first I would like to know if Victor agrees to the traditional reliable source criteria of basing the encyclopedia on peer reviewed literature review articles in academic journals, when available, when the primary sources disagree, no matter how scholarly or well funded those primary sources may be. My anti-trickle down crusade, as it has been called, is nothing other than proper editorial discretion when the secondary sources which reach conclusions on a question all come to the same conclusion. For the question of trickle down, or supply side economics, or whether income inequality is beneficial, the secondary peer reviewed sources which reach a conclusion have in past decades reached the same conclusion. Yes, that fact influences which sources I find reliable when the unanimous conclusive peer reviewed literature reviews disagree with paid advocacy foundations, for what should be obvious reasons distinct but apparently difficult to distinguish from bias towards non-mainstream views. If Victor was not a problem editor, why would complaints about me boomerang against him? The worst transgression I am guilty of is thinking that the secondary literature was entirely unanimous for decades, when in fact there are secondary sources which do not reach conclusions, including a meta-analysis. Mediation may give him the opportunity to air his views about how he believes advocacy foundations which reject peer review because their arguments are so unsound that they usually fail to pass peer review. Mediation may allow the process of explanation why literature review articles that pass peer review are substantially more accurate than paid advocacy which is unable to achieve peer review. Ideally, Victor will see the light and decide to embrace demand side economics. EllenCT (talk) 07:51, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Result concerning VictorD7

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I agree with Gamaliel. This is a mess and asking a few admin to read through and make sense of it is asking too much. Dennis Brown - 22:08, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I've read the wall of text; it's not the most coherent, largely due to the copying and pasting of a thread from another noticeboard, but what we essentially have is EllenCT complaining that VictorD7 is POV-pushing and using unreliable sources to support his POV, and a counter-claim from VicotrD7 that EllenCT is edit-warring. I note, for the record, that the two are not mutually exclusive. From a superficial look at the history, the claim that EllenCT is edit-warring is borne out. I would be interested to hear more from @EllenCT: about her complaint against VictorD7. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:58, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • In as much as I can make sense of the above: the two editors are engaged in a content dispute, in which both are edit-warring but EllenCT has the advantage of being right and VictorD7 has the distinct disadvantage of pushing a non-neutral POV. The solution is fairly simple: Ellen makes a good and IMO compelling case for VictorD7 to be topic-banned from the subject of US taxation, following which it may become easier to unpick behavioural issues from necessary defence of the wiki. I recommend a 3 month topic ban followed by probationary review of edits with a view to a permanent ban if the issue continues. I concur with Rhoark, and thank him for the patient extra analysis. Guy (Help!) 16:29, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
    • You know what? This is beyond the capacity of us mere mortals. It needs to go to WP:DR and thence to ArbCom if not settled. It requires detailed analysis of much more than I (and I venture to suggest most others here) have time to delve through. Guy (Help!) 21:57, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I endorse Robert's suggestion of formal mediation for the content issues. It's not the place of admins at AE to rule on reliability of sources or other content issues, except where problems are immediately obvious. As far as the conduct issues, it's clear that neither party is a saint. At this point, my suggestion is to defer the content issues to mediation, and in the meantime to ban both EllenCT and VictorD7 from the subject of the progressiveness or otherwise of taxation in the United States (except for discussion as part of mediation) for three months or until the mediation is finished, whichever comes first. If mediation fails or doesn't start because of the conduct of one or both parties and the disruption resumes, much more stringent sanctions will likely be forthcoming. Unless any uninvovled admin vociferously objects (@Dennis Brown and JzG:?), I will implement this and close this request in 24 hours or so. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Fine by me. I don't see this as an American Politics issue as much as a user interaction issue, but it may boil down to enforcement of American Politics, it is simply too messy for me to unpick. Guy (Help!) 20:00, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Ditto what Guy said. This is the least aggressive solution I can see coming from this mess while the content issues are resolved. Dennis Brown - 11:34, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I think a ban from the topic (except mediation) is what's needed to deal with both content and conduct issues here. My only suggested modification is that the ban lasts until mediation finishes whenever that may be. Reason is it gives them both an impetus to participate fully in the mediation rather than wait out the three months (whether they were to do that blatantly or not). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 06:50, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Part of my reservation is that at least one side is claiming that the issue is resolved and that further dispute resolution is unnecessary. I don't want to force further dispute resolution where the dispute is one party's refusal to accept consensus, but nor do I want to impose sanctions on one party for responding poorly to tendentious editing. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:40, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Yeah good point, go with three months or after mediation (which ever is sooner). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:21, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
@HJ Mitchell: Are you still planning to do this? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:15, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Slovenski Volk

Appealing user

User imposing the sanction

Notification of User imposing sanction

Sanction being appealed

  • Indefinite topic ban since January 23 2014 from all articles and discussions related to Balkan history, sensu latu, for alleged violation of restrictions relating to ARBMAC. [261]

Statement by S.V.

  • I have been indefinitely topic-banned by HJ Mitchell, subject to appeal after 6 months [262] (" but you may ask for it to be reviewed after six months. If, in six months' time, you have built up a history of uncontentious editing in another subject area, and you have not been sanctioned for any violations of this topic ban, I would look favourably on loosening or lifting it, and I would hope other admins would agree"), after being accused of violating my specified restrictions. Those in place had been:

1) an indefinite 0RR in Ancient Macedonians article since 2011 for violating the 3RR once [263] AND simultaneously a restriction to one revert per article per 24 hour period on all other articles within the scope of the case (ARBMAC article).

2) In August 2012, I was placed on a partial topic ban for breaching restriction # 1 [264] by Blade of Northern Lights, although the BoNT initially suggested a 3 month ban only. I was allowed to edit prehistoric and Roman period Balkan article [265], however.

3) This was then extended to all Balkan articles, because of a complaint by an editor for my editing to Illyrians. However this article clearly falls into the Neolithic- Roman time frame, and thus I felt was OK, and had little if anything to do with Ancient Macedonians. I nevertheless, did not appeal, admittedly I might have taken at times a too liberal interpretation of my allowances, and took a Wiki break.

• I initially believed that the very first sanction was heavy handed ( an immediate 0RR and 1RR for all other articles just for 1 breach).I understand that Balkan articles are a hot bed of editorial conflict, and can retrospectively understand the need for such. In addition, because I’d had previous 24 hour blocks, I suspect this had something to do with it. However, the first one (“sock accounts”) was when I very initially began, and was a honest error of creating two accounts because I’d made a spelling error in my username (in 2007 I had just started using the Internet)  ! Another block on the Scythians for edit warring, (but the article has nothing to do with the Balkans, but is in Iran and Russia).

• Nevertheless, I plainly see that my behaviuor has been hardly been model. I did edit war. I really saw my edits as non-partisan, academic, in perfect English, etc, and thus had an air of arrogance about my editing, I admit. Moreover, I felt often cornered into edit wars because I was facing ‘tag-teams’ of editors. I now know that there are better ways to approach this – attempting to reach consensus on talk pages, asking for third party advice, arbitration, or simply walking a way for a few days ! I have since participated in other forums and feel I have ‘grown up’ as a contributor.

• I also want to point out that the content of my editing has always been non-inflammatory. I.e. I have always edited- indeed that is my interest- prehistoric and medieval topics, and discussions about prehistoric minutiae of little relevance to modern controversies. I have never discussed about modern wars, conflicts and politics. I’d argue my interest is ‘pure’. I'm a western born person with mixed Balkan ancestry, and feel I am impartial and respectful of all nationalities, and my only aim has ever been to infuse the often poorly written, un-referenced, and partisan Balkan article with an air of impartiality and scholasticism. Unfortunately, this had attracted resistance by several editors. And even, then, there was nothing personal or inflammatory. In fact, one editor who’d I’d edit-warred thanked me for highlighting better references [266]

  • . Overall i have very cordial interactions with other users. Dare I say, I'm often a go-to person for advice and pointers [267] (and there's 7 volumes). :)

• Not to sound high and mighty, but I believe my edits are of an excellent calibre. For example, I wrote this section [268]. I trust it speaks for itself. In fact, after the 0RR, I essentially wrote the entire Ancient Macedonians article, replete with maps, and images [269] in full cooperation and after getting the entire content checked by other editors on the talk page first. The non-biased content and the sheer databank of references I have at my disposal again speaks for itself. I have also created numerous maps for Wiki Commons, some of which are here [270], and indeed have won Wikipedia renown as even erudite scholars have used them, like James Mallory in his talk in Indo-Europeans.

• In summary, I am a very well informed, and well intentioned editor who in the past erred with hot-headedness. I am now beyond that, and a more mature contributor. I ask that I can be re-allowed to edit on Balkan history topics, and continue my contributions to further improving areas of needed work.

Athenean, I'm sorry that is untrue. The only view i do strongly push is that all perspectives supported by evidence and reputable sources be fairly represented. That is often not the case prior my involvement in articles, which I seek to remedy. Otherwise I'm personally disinterested in matters of "historical significance". The "bickering" you refer to is negotiating, and yes, at times intense debate. But that's how it is supposed to work, isn't it ? Anyhow, i can assure you that should that I'll continue to bring forth quality material and current state of the art materials to all historical topics (time permitting- as I'm rather busy these days). I look forward to your feedback and collaboration. We have both been on wiki for years and are mature and cordial enough to negotiate things open mindledly should any perceived differences of opinion arise Slovenski Volk (talk) 14:03, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Alexikoua, As I stated clearly and transparently in my opening sentence, my initial topic ban was ABMAC - placed in 2012, with allowance of appeal after 3 months. I clarified what I could edit from the admin in Question. He said "Anyways; ARBMAC is generally meant to cover the former countries of Yugoslavia (although in practice, I'd have no problem with you editing articles on Slovenia) as well as the naming dispute between the FYROM and the Greek province (other articles on Greece not related to said dispute are fine). You're not supposed to edit any of the articles or discussions, but should someone start an AE thread on the topic directly concerning you you're allowed to respond" Also The Neolithics and Roman Balkans aren't a problem, no. Those are fair game." The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:47, 15 August 2012 (UTC).[271]
Clearly my contributing to Byzantine/ Roman Peoloponesse was permissible, as was my editing on Illyrians (who are a prehistoric/ Roman Age discussion). And I did not 'edit -war', i undid the mass-reversion of Alexikou who felt my otherwise excellent quality edit was not allowed, although I discussed with him on the talk page I was in fact allowed to do so. And this was in 2014- well after the 3 month appeal time was up. But i did not appeal the ARBMAC out of good faith and as a prolonged cooling off period, and stuck to things I considered Roman, Celtic, Iron Age - which are clearly very peripheral to anything on the main crux of ARBMAC - and I had obtained express clarification to do so.
Nevertheless, you and Alexikoua complained after the abovementioned edit to Peloponessu, and Illyrians. My ban was resultingly extended to all Balkan articles in Feb 2014. This was unfair, and very harsh I felt at the time. Nevertheless I accepted it and let it be. I was allowed to appeal after 6 months, but did so only ~ 18 months after. I think I have done my penance, for a ban that was rather harsh to begin with. I urge to you chaps to be fairer and less partisan. All I ever want to achieve is more academic and balanced articles.Slovenski Volk (talk) 00:19, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
no such "sporadic violations" exist- apart from one instance of my replying on a talk page when asked. Everything else you have mentioned is pre-2014 and this not pertinent to this discussion (and in anycase fell within permissible editing as per admin "Northern Blades" stipulations. You cannot claim I have wronged in this when I clealry and demonstrably got his clarification on the matter). Thus, you have not brought any evidence at all that i have been anything less than compliant with the restrictions imposed, and you have not provided any solid reason why I should still be on restrictions other than you "feel" I should. If the admins feel a probation period is justified, then fine. But you're reasons are absent or false; and only rests on the fact that I did edit war in the past (2010 (!)), and am somehow incapable of amending this behaviour in the present. I very much beg to differ. Slovenski Volk (talk) 04:05, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
Athenean, I disagree. The poor climate was due to an entente-blockade style tacticking by certain members, yourself included. mass reverting cited, relevant, NPOV and up-to-date referencess. It is only your perception that i had a slant to play, becuase the article previously read like a propaganda forum site than an encyclopedia article. Changing it to a more NPOV, balanced and academic article was always going to be a tough job, and required someone to be WP:BOLD. Unfortunately, you a priori assumed bad faith, when the opposite was the case. It has never been my intention to prove that AMs were not "X", but were "Y", etc; and in fact yu never had any problem with my edits to any other article but AM (seems a bit odd?) Anyhow, my overhaul of the article, with your kind help now (rightly) displays various lines of evidence and interpretations - from ancient and modern scholars - as it should ! Anyhow, Im happy to discuss any significant changes with you in the future, if I ever get around to editing the article in question. My current focus is Celts, etc Slovenski Volk (talk) 00:31, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Relevance ? Everything you're referring two is from 2010-11. Yes, I edit warred in 2010. The reasons were my frustration in lieu of tag -teamed reversions of sourced content - but I do not pretend in blameless and could have handled the situation better. The restriction has been in place for 5 years; it can now be removed as I now know what other avenues to pursue in case of content debate; plus I'm simply calmer :) Slovenski Volk (talk) 23:25, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
I have not made allegation that others are "POV pushers' or other words to that effect. Rather, I can honestly state that my edits are academic and non-partisan. To claim this is not to "miss the point", as it not attempting to accuse anyone else or shift the blame in anyway. I'm fully aware that ultimately its one's own actions which earn one consequences (stating 'I do not pretend to be blameless and could have handled the situation better"), and admitted from the outset that no matter the sophistication of language or reference base one perceives to posses, I understand very clearly that consensus is the name of the game on Wikipedia and I should not arrogantly engage in edit warring. Moreover, I am now aware of the dispute resolution process (yes, I was actually ignorant of its existence until last year !).
I had not edited the AMs article since 2011, and indeed, the bulk of my editing has focused elsewhere, as is clearly visible on my log (more than 95% of all contributions ) and the maps I have created. So I;m not really sure why your focusing on this; the AMs article is merely what began my initial 1RR back in 2010.
Since then, I had been editing as per Northern Blades guidelines ("other articles on Greece not related to said dispute are fine" as per Northern Blades, and "Neolithics and Roman Balkans aren't a problem"). So, for example, i made a contribution on the Byzantine theme of Peloponessus. Aleikoua reverted it citing not a problem with the content, lack of references, or anything substantive, but that he felt it was a violation of my ARBMAC terms, although it was clearly not. I thus felt justified in re-instituting what was an erroneous mass revert of a well intentioned edit ( I even wrote to him to try and explain). Nevertheless, I was Topic banned for this (in Jan 2014).
It is now 18 months since that, and 5 years since the very initial restrictions. The conditions which required my restrictions are no longer present: I am a more mature contributor now, more relaxed (after all, these are just article) and I now know about Wikipedia's dispute resolution process (yes I was actually ignorant of this !). I am not bitter, I am not resentful. I just have a lot to contribute, and after all this time, I humbly believe that a return of full editing privileges (as any other editor) is not unwarranted Slovenski Volk (talk) 08:18, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by HJ Mitchell

Statement by Glrx

His writing is dense but otherwise seems good. I'd remove the restriction; it's been 18 months. Glrx (talk) 01:17, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Athenean

Slovenski Volk pushes a very strong POV at ancient Macedonians. His claim that "I essentially wrote the entire Ancient Macedonians article, replete with maps, and images [272] in full cooperation and after getting the entire content checked by other editors on the talk page first. " is totally misleading. He most certainly did NOT edit that article in full cooperation with other users. I remember endless bickering and edit-warring, which is what led to these sanctions in the first place. While the blanket topic ban on all Balkan topics is excessively harsh, I'd be very cautious about lifting the 0RRR restriction on Ancient Macedonians. Athenean (talk) 07:33, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

SV, it appears you were editing Balkan topics throughout the duration of your ban [273]. Here is a diff of you edit-warring in an article covered by the ban [274]. Such diffs are not hard to find. Can you please explain? Athenean (talk) 05:21, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
That's not what I remember. I remember you being blocked three times for edit-warring on Ancient Macedonians, including once when you socked to circumvent the 0RR [275] (June 20 2011), and each time it was over the same topic: the "Greekness" question. There is a reason that 0RR was imposed in the first place. It's only after that restriction was imposed that the climate in that article improved and we started making progress. Like I said earlier, I think the blanket ARBMAC topic ban is excessively harsh, but the revert restriction at Ancient Macedonians is for the better. Athenean (talk) 05:55, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
No, you edit-warred in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Your latest comments show you have not understood the problem. Of course you think you were right and you were NPOV and they were POV-pushers and they ruined the article. Of course you thought you were right when you edit-warred. No one edit wars thinking they are wrong, do they? Don't get me wrong, you are a valuable contributor I think the topic ban is excessively harsh. But your latest comments are the best indication that the revert restriction at Ancient Macedonians should stay. Athenean (talk) 06:26, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Alexikoua

I can't understand why SV claims that his restriction is already over [[276]] while this wp:ae is not closed yet. From his history log it's clear that he not only edits Balkan-related articles freely while this AE was already filled, but in a vew cases he was already violating his topic ban in the Balkans-field in this 20+ month period for example [[277]] patricipating in talk:Croats, a Balkan people.Alexikoua (talk) 10:31, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Nevertheless, after a long period of absence (if we ignore sporadic violations of his restriction) I agree that a 1rr restriction will be a good start, but SV should realise that wp:ARBMAC concerns the entire range of articles concerning the Balkans.Alexikoua (talk) 19:25, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

really ? Chatting on a talk page in April 2014 is a violation?
You are topic banned from February 2014 and per policy this is supposed to include the correspodent talkpages too. Per wp:TBAN a topic ban covers all pages (not only articles). It's not the first time you breach a topic ban, this was also mentioned in the previous wp:AE.Alexikoua (talk) 21:53, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
20+ months is a long period, but seeing that sporadic violations during the current topic ban occurred, I still believe that a 1rr restriction in ARBMAC topics for a limited time period will be a good restart.Alexikoua

Statement by Aigest

I was so much surprised seeing this thread. As far as I remember I know user:Slovenski Volk since 2009, from conversations we've had with him and user:Andrew Lancaster here in wiki. Our debates here were one of my best experiences here. Both him and Andrew Lancaster were very good contributors on genetics and prehistory. Their articles or edits were on the point and extremely well researched and referenced, a rare thing from what I've experienced with many contributors here in wiki. This is the quality wiki needs and we can not afford to lose.

I want to add something else. I've taken a wiki break of about two years because I was tired of the continuous edit wars, hate and lack of collaboration between wiki users from different countries, especially between neighbors. From his article interests I presume user:Slovenski Volk to be of Slavic origin from somewhere in ex Yugoslavia. Being myself an Albanian editor one would presume automatically some kind of clashes here between us. On the contrary, I have only good memories and our collaboration showed me that we can overcome such things. As I told above, I was surprised seeing in his talk page this thread, dragging on stories so old that none can even remember how it started.

Dear administrators. We all know wiki is losing contributors. The reasons are many and the more I read wiki article on that, the more I beg you to embrace his appeal. He is an excellent editor and a good collaborator. We should be happy for him to come back and contribute. Don't push him away. Show us that something is evolving for good. Please don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution. Best Regards Aigest (talk) 08:15, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Result of the appeal by Slovenski Volk

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • No blocks since 2013, seems to understand the problem, he doesn't agree with all previous sanctions but accepts responsibility and seems more mature, at least in this filing. When the tban was put in place, the admins participating seemed very open to a review later. I've looked only a little into this, but I wonder if lifting the restriction, or at least relaxing to 1RR would be ok. I also see that he could have filed this request a year ago, but didn't rush to meet the first deadline, which I see as a positive. I'm inclined to say give him a chance and a fresh ARBMAC warning template so any inkling of a problem can be dealt with quickly. Unless someone has some evidence to the contrary, of course. Dennis Brown - 23:16, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Slovenski does not seem to be the sort of ideologically motivated warrior that we all to often see at AE, and he seems to have mellowed in the past 20 months (which is a long time on Wikipedia). Unless there was evidence of significant recent disruption, I'd be inclined towards lifting all restrictions and seeing how things go from there. I can't work out whether all the sanctions are mine and thus whether we need a consensus of admins or not. I'm certainly happy to vacate all the restrictions I've imposed. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 11:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with comments above. It seems that Slovenski Volk understands the reasons for the sanctions, even though they don't agree that some of them were necessary. There doesn't appear to have been any (recent) misconduct which would suggest that the sanctions are still necessary. Therefore I'm in favour of lifting all sanctions and seeing how it goes. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 11:55, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Caste articles and talk pages

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 Caste articles and talk pages

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
SpacemanSpiff (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 04:09, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Proposal to limit editing of Caste pages
This concerns the topic area covered under Category:Social groups of India and Category:Social groups of Pakistan. I propose that uninvolved administrators should be empowered to limit editing of an article about an Indian or Pakistani social group (and/or its talkpage) to accounts older than 30 days and with at least 500 edits. This is similar to the Gamergate 500/30 restriction and can be implemented through an edit filter similar to Filter #698.
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/India-Pakistan : standard discretionary sanctions
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

This is a proposal that some of us editors and uninvolved administrators who patrol this area came up with and is reflective of what seems reasonable to all of us. Discussion can be found at User talk:SpacemanSpiff/sandbox2. (Contributor list: Abecedare, Bishonen, NeilN, Philg88, Sitush, The Blade of the Northern Lights, SpacemanSpiff)

  • The environment around caste articles has been found to be toxic and disruptive numerous times at various venues.
  • We have Arbcom-imposed WP:ARBIPA that covers all India-Pakistan-Afghanistan topics and thereby the caste-related topics.
  • We have WP:GS/Caste imposed by the community to cover caste-related topics across South Asia (which includes Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, as well as India and Pakistan) but the overlap with India makes the coverage similar to ARBIPA.
Current issues
  • While the sanctions are helpful in dealing with stuff post facto, they do not prevent disruption which results in time and effort of editors and admins being wasted as well as bytes on ANI and other related forums
  • Caste-based off-wiki discussion groups are dime a dozen and we often see coordinated edits. Worse than that, though, are the off-wiki attacks that editors and admins in this space have had to suffer. A few such incidents have been brought up to ANI or Arbcom on an ad-hoc informational basis, but very rarely are they brought up for remedial purposes as the people targeted by them don't want to take the extra effort.
  • With our low level of policing of such articles in the past, numerous mirrors have sprung up and are now regularly being used as sources for contentious material within the same articles. An extreme problem of this can be seen from this CCI, pending for five years.
  • Another example where this sanction would have been useful over the past five years is at Nair. The talk page history shows just how many SPAs and socks come up and how few "regular" editors are there to deal with this problem.
  • We have to create an environment where our regular editors are not driven out by such activity, and also keep our articles at a reasonable level of cleanliness.
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 
Courtesy pings to contributors: @Abecedare, Bishonen, NeilN, Philg88, Sitush, and The Blade of the Northern Lights:SpacemanSpiff 05:24, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

@Ryk72 and Floq: If you look at Talk:Nair and the talk page history you will notice how this would have helped in the past (let's ignore the standard vandalism in the pages for now). Almost all the new accounts and/or IPs have been part of a sock/meat collective (with one exception that I see) and you can see how much time "regular" editors have to spend discussing the same issue multiple times. In addition, you can also see how uninvolved editors get dragged into the discussions while responding to semi-protected edit requests. The latest sock was not identified by any of the page regular editors. I just happened to patrol that page and noticed that to be a sock and filed an SPI, but I was wrong in identifying the master. This isn't to say that the restriction has to be concurrent -- both article and talk page. My recommendation is that it is a possibility, let the patrolling admin decide whether it is required and/or if they should be imposed for varying duration. —SpacemanSpiff 16:53, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

@Liz: Proactively case-by-case. I don't think we need to wait for the disruption to reach a boiling point before implementing this. Admins who patrol this area generally have an idea when there's a sock/meat or other disruptive uptick etc but can not take things to SPI. Sometimes we know that disruption in one article is going to mean that another follows. e.g. Ezhava will follow suit when there's group editing at Nair and it's just sensible to apply the sanctions then. Likewise when something pops up on Mukkulathor, Agamudayar isn't far behind. On the other hand, I don't see why it should be applied for something like Kadiyan even though there's a history of poor content, but just not enough disruption. —SpacemanSpiff 03:28, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

@EdJohnston:I think any time we add this restriction to an article and/or talk page it would be appropriate to post a banner notification on the talk page, that could perhaps be linked to a category that's included at EDR. There is a bit of paperwork involved with adding and removing entries from edit filters and that part of the process will also have to be documented. On the other point regarding appeals etc, the suggestion here is to treat this as a standard AE process: the sanction can be imposed by an uninvolved admin or through AE, and follows the standard appeals process also -- imposing admin/AN/AE/ARCA.—SpacemanSpiff 15:39, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
@EdJohnston and Callanecc: I've created {{Ds/talk caste}} as a start to document this. This would place the article in the necessary cats and the categories could simply be linked from WP:AC/DSL/2015 and any future logs. Of course placing the template on the unprotected talk page of a 500/30 article might not be the best idea as it could be removed without anyone noticing it, so a simple transclusion of a template similar to {{Pp}} on the article might be an option too.
And for clarity: The proposal here is to add individual articles and individual talk pages by name to the edit filter. cheers —SpacemanSpiff 11:45, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Note: Lowercase SigmaBot was eager to archive this and I've reverted; timestamping so that the uninvolved admins have another week to close this before the bot tries to archive it again. —SpacemanSpiff 13:14, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Discussion concerning Caste articles and talk pages

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 Bishonen

I support this proposal. Disclosure: I took part in the preliminary discussions, and I'll repeat a little of what I said there. The area is dogged by socking, off-wiki canvassing and WP:CIR issues. New editors on caste articles need, and get, a lot of advice from experienced editors and admins, but are unfortunately often too suspicious of our intentions to accept it. I've come to realise people who edit Wikipedia with a caste agenda tend to assume anybody contradicting them has a caste agenda of their own, and in extreme cases this is the lens through which they view all other editors. I've seen both Sitush and myself accused of inflating the claims of our own caste and despising other castes… apparently Sitush is a brahmin — yes, I've seen that confidently asserted — and god knows what I am, but I seemingly have no respect for this, that and the other caste. On a good day, I may have heard of these castes, but usually not. I only admin the area, I don't edit it, and so it's water off a duck's back for me, but it must be terminally frustrating for the editors in the trenches. A 500/30 restriction should forestall some of the worst waste of their time and patience. For instance, I've been watching Sitush's talkpage for years, and I frequently see new users (I can't tell how often they're genuinely new) complaining there about being reverted on some caste article — sometimes complaining politely, indeed — but more usually with angry accusations about how he must "hate" their caste, or must be paid to defame it. It's downright depressing. An ounce of prevention would be worth a pound of cure here. Bishonen | talk 11:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC).

Response to User:Floquenbeam and EdJohnston: I take a notion from your comments that you may be willing to approve stronger measures than we have actually requested. We don't want a blanket 500/30 restriction across caste articles. (And to User:Liz; this is what you ask about.) When SpacemanSpiff asked some of us to look at his draft proposal, I originally suggested it should be a blanket restriction across the articles in Category:Social groups of India and Category:Social groups of Pakistan, but that was because I didn't know any better: these categories are huge. The non-comprehensive Category:Social groups of India by state includes over a thousand pages, mostly probably quite unproblematic, and we may add something like 10-20 every month. What we want is to be able to apply the restriction to the problematic articles, starting with a few notorious hotspots — say Nair, Jat people, Vanniyar, Bhumihar — and then see how that goes and whether more are needed. Nobody wants to restrict the whole area, or in any way be aggressive about this. As far as I know, the (few, overworked) admins who enforce discretionary sanctions on caste articles aren't known for being trigger-happy, and I don't believe they would be wrt to this restriction either.
To make this reasonably smooth to administer, I think two things are important: firstly, single uninvolved admins need to be empowered to put an article under the restriction without asking for consensus, going to AE, or any other pushing-a-locomotive-up-an-incline nonsense; simply per admin discretion, which I hope is considered as trustworty in this area as others. (And to remove restrictions without any special by-your-leave, too.) And secondly, it's quite important that talkpages can also be restricted if needed. @Ryk72: you ask why editors should be restricted from discussion of content. This is because bloating-up of talkpages by disruption and eternal repetitiousness by meatpuppets and throwaway socks prevents useful discussion of content. Look at Talk:Nair and its archives. It's only when talkpages are in imminent danger of becoming unusable that we would want to restrict them. Bishonen | talk 14:14, 30 September 2015 (UTC).
EdJohnston, I agree with what you say about having a category for the restricted articles, and restrictions being appealable at AE, and very much about the importance of spelling out the rules clearly. I'm not sure about logging restricted pages at WP:EDR; I only see individual restrictions there. The GG restriction is logged in the discretionary sanctions log, which does have provisions for page-level sanctions. Do you think that would work for our articles? Btw, I want to thank you for pinpointing the problem: "Everybody wants their own caste to be descended from warriors". That's it in a nutshell. :-) Bishonen | talk 15:39, 30 September 2015 (UTC).
P.S. @EdJohnston yet again: I just realized you speak of excusing innocent violations. But there shouldn't be any violations, innocent or otherwise, because the restriction is supposed be automatically enforced by a filter, as it is for Gamergate. This is an important part of our proposal, because for admins to enforce the restriction by hand would be arduous. If the responding uninvolved admins below haven't taken hold of the filter proposal, could they please say whether they support it or not? Pinging NeilN: you understand these things, could you please explain in simple terms how the filter would work? Bishonen | talk 10:03, 1 October 2015 (UTC).

Statement by Ryk 72

W.r.t the limitation as applied to WP:MAINSPACE, this is a de facto Semi-protection 2, and I suggest that it be documented as such at WP:Protection policy; with the same caveats & advice as listed there for Semi-protection. Similarly, given that this is a de facto change in WP policy, suggest that it should follow the normal process for such changes - RFC at the policy page (as I understand it).

While the limitation as applied to MAINSPACE is easily understandable in terms of protecting the integrity of the Encyclopedia, it is less obviously so w.r.t the limitation as applied to Talk space.

Would supporting editors be able to advise the reasoning by which editors should be restricted from discussion of content? - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 11:57, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by RegentsPark

This is a sensible proposal. Caste related articles are a problem because most of us don't understand the web of relationships between various caste articles and cannot effectively act as administrators on those pages. The articles are plagued by SPAs - often with off-wiki relationships - and an inordinate amount of time is wasted by very productive editors in dealing with these SPAs, filing sock reports, and trying to separate out the good editors from the not so good ones. This proposal will keep the articles open for editing by editors who have an encyclopedic purpose for being here while closing off editing - when necessary - by SPAs and off-wiki cabals. The proposal is simple, easy to implement, and will be effective. --regentspark (comment) 15:15, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Rhoark

Neither endorsing nor rejecting the present proposal, some retrospective of the GG restriction's motivation and effects is in order. Essentially, the restriction was an extraordinary measure to salvage a problematic editor by depriving him of newbies to bite. It failed, inasmuch as Zad68 (talk · contribs) who instituted the rule would eventually topic ban the editor in question. In ancillary comments, he confirmed the whole thing had been an experiment in extending rope. Nor did it seem to particularly improve the conduct of other similarly problematic established editors assuming opposition was based in nefarious motives. In the case of castes, it seems to be the fresh rather than established editors who fail to assume good faith, so the situation is not parallel. (Which is not to say it must be parallel to be considered.) The restriction did have a salutary effect in that it reduced the velocity of the talk page, making it more convenient for the remaining participants. I wouldn't personally choose to reverse that change, but I can see how others might not balance convenience opposite core wiki principles. Ultimately, I think the question is whether the problem is large enough as to make the page(s) impossible to maintain. If so, IAR. Rhoark (talk) 16:28, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by NeilN

Explanation of caste edit filter as requested by Bishonen. It would be modeled off the GG edit filter which editors can see here. When an editor clicks Save to save their edit they see a message, "Sorry, editors with accounts that have fewer than 500 edits or are less than 30 days old may not edit the Gamergate controversy article, its Talk pages or subpages at this time. This page restriction is an Arbitration Enforcement action. We apologize if your edit was well-intended. Please gain experience editing other areas of Wikipedia before considering returning to this article. Thank you." For caste articles, the filter should probably look for a category. Pinging MusikAnimal to see if that's possible. --NeilN talk to me 13:09, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Masem, the disruption experienced at caste articles is different from GG. GG as a topic is not that complicated and basically all the sources are in English and can be judged by any experienced editor with an awareness of pop culture. Caste warriors constantly bring sources only a select few Wikipedians can evaluate. Plus, as opposed to GG, Palestine/Israel, India/Pakistan, Greece/Macedonia, etc., there's usually no "other side" to keep things in check. The caste warriors are interested in promoting their own caste and that's about it. And since the topics are obscure and unimportant from a Western point of view, many of them suffer from a "too hard to understand, not worth figuring out" attitude. --NeilN talk to me 05:03, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MusikAnimal

In response to NeilN (I guess this is how it works at ArbCom?), you can certainly target categories using edit filters. We should try use the combine the proposed filter with the Gamergate one, simply for performance and that they do exactly the same thing. The new copy should read something like "Sorry, editors with accounts that have fewer than 500 edits or are less than 30 days old may not edit this article, it's talk page, or subpages at this time..." The part we're missing is the clarification of what subject they are unable to edit, but the upside is performance for what is otherwise an expensive filter. Just a thought, and obviously that can be discussed later MusikAnimal talk 14:01, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Darwinian Ape

There is an increasing trend to restrict Wikipedia to new users and it is fundamentally against the spirit of the project. Excluding new users will not solve problems, it may make it quieter but it wont solve anything. Just look at the first application of that rule at GG page. It's still a mess that no one can understand. What do you think will happen to new editors who want to contribute because they are interested in this topic? Will they continue to contribute after being chastised for no apparent reason. It is against AGF and it is contradictory with the "everyone can edit" motto. New editors and IP editors are a tremendous source for this project, and yes it comes with a price. But I think the price doesn't outweigh the benefits and so does the foundation, since they are firm on not changing the "anyone can edit" rule. 500/30 rule has no place in a free encyclopedia and if it becomes a norm, it will eventually be the end of the project. So if you want to speed up the slow death of Wikipedia, you are on track, if not please reconsider. This rule might seem convenient, but it's much more destructive than a couple of socks and agenda pushers in the long run Darwinian Ape talk 15:58, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Sitush & Masem: I understand it can be extremely frustrating to deal with bad faith or just downright unexperienced editors, but preemptively baning every single new editor from a topic just seems to me unfair, and it's a bit of an overkill at any rate. I proposed this for the original GG sanction at the imposing admin's talk page:

We let any auto-confirmed editor to edit, but implement a zero tolerance policy for disruption and impose 500/30 sanction only to those who seem to be disruptive or unfamiliar with the Wikipedia rules to comprehensively discuss the topic.(Note that this would not be count as a sanction, only giving time to a new user to familiarize themselves with the Wikipedia rules just as it was meant to be in the original sanction) Therefor we would be assuming good faith and let new editors say their piece and give them a chance to constructively contribute to Wikipedia, while simultaneously protecting the article from people who, willingly or unwillingly, disrupt the work of others.

I understand this will be an inconvenience for the admins monitoring the topic, but at least we can filter good contributions in and not drive new editors from the project. Darwinian Ape talk 16:47, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Sitush, No I've never edited the subject area, I am against the restrictions of this kind in principle. I am not against sanctions being imposed in problematic areas, least of all in this subject. I am against sanctions of this magnitude becoming the norm. Darwinian Ape talk 16:53, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

@Masem, okay perhaps I am being naive, I tend to be naive sometimes. But this rule has the potential to ruin WP for good. I was a happy IP user a few months ago and this restrictive attitude made me use this account, because I thought one day I may not be able to contribute as I like. Darwinian Ape talk 17:10, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Sitush

@Darwinian Ape: no, sorry. I understand your concern about creep but you have two choices here: either introduce something along these lines or watch the caste articles descend into even more chaos because I, for one, am fed up of the do-gooding attitude destroying them. Nowadays, I spend most of my time re-arguing and reverting, and there are very few other experienced contributors involved in the subject area. You either support this proposal or some derivative of it or you watch me walk away. And without me, you might as well scrap all policies when it comes to caste articles because newbies in the subject area almost always do not give a shit and experienced people avoid them.

Wikipedia has gone past the "anyone can edit" phase - accept it or watch it become absolutely pointless as a repository of knowledge. - Sitush (talk) 16:12, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

I notice your edit summary for Darwinian Ape's post says Wikipedia: The encyclopedia anyone can edit, unless it's a contentious topic. Most caste articles are not contentious in the sense that DA means - the disputes and disruption, prolific socking and meating etc occur because people are unwilling to accept our policies, even when they are explained to them. I also notice that DA seems not to have edited in the topic area at any time in at least the last three months, and I can't recall ever seeing them edit in the area: do you really know what is going on? - Sitush (talk) 16:30, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

@Liz: problematic caste articles, such as Nair and Rajput, will always be problematic: it is the nature of the beast. Reviewing any imposition of editing restrictions every six months is just bumptious officialdom. Far better to review if challenged by an editor in good standing. - Sitush (talk) 18:31, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

@Masem: the proposal is not intended merely or even necessarily to combat off-wiki co-ordination. This is not GG Mark 2. - Sitush (talk) 18:34, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

@Masem: no, semi-protection and "careful observation" do not work for caste articles. Nor is the issue always COI. That is why this proposal has emerged. I'm sorry but I find it very frustrating that people who have no clue about the things are weighing in here with comments that are miles off course. Please take some time to dig through the history at, say, the Nair article and its related talk page. Then comment. - Sitush (talk) 18:49, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

@Masem, I think your past investment in Gamergate is showing and it is overwhelming your opinion. If you don't think that the Nair article has been a time-sink for a very small number of experienced contributors for many years, you're missing something. - Sitush (talk) 19:25, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Liz, I don't really care why you suggested six months. The fact remains that it should be indefinite by default because of the nature of the beast. - Sitush (talk) 19:29, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Actually, I'm out of this. My tolerance for the clueless is pretty poor at the moment, and too many have appeared in this discussion today. I just hope common sense prevails and that people are not put off by irrelevancies that are being raised. - Sitush (talk) 19:34, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Masem

@Darwinian Ape: While the 500/30 rule is antithesis of "the encyclopedia anyone can edit", if we are clearly aware of outside influence that are engaging in long-term attempts to alter an article, as was the case in GG and appears to be the case here for castes, then we do need stronger measures to counter that to avoid a flood of new accounts and IP that can be used to support that outside influence (even if it necessarily is for the right reasons and/or in line with policy) that simple semi-protection and 3RR/1RR limits on an article cannot stop. But that influence must be something that is readily evidenced, otherwise asking for such protection is a chilling effect. I know we could readily demonstrate it for GG, and I would expect that such can be demonstrated for these caste articles where the 500/30 rule would be proposed. But if editors are simply asking for that type of 500/30 protection without any strong evidence of that influence, we should not allow that 500/30 rule to be used; it should be seen as a last resort to handle something that is outside of WP's control. --MASEM (t) 16:21, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

@Darwinian Ape: I'm not sure if a "acting in bad faith" is an easily discernible metric, and to me invites both false positives and negatives that make it more of a headache. Sometimes it takes many edits of the individual in question to figure this out. 500/30 sets a rather objective bar that the editor has learned the ropes about how WP functions (and that we can readily detect gaming the system to get to 500/30 as one ArbCom enforcement for GG showed); an editor with an earnest interest in improvement to WP can still participate elsewhere to get to that point and then participate fairly. But I will stress that if this is to be adopted at caste articles, there has to be a clear set of evidence of off-wiki organization, and that it should be the last resort after other page protection methods have been tried. It keeps articles to be those that anyone can edit, once they've shown us they've learned enough elsewhere on WP to participate usefully, in contrast to a full-protection that absolutely limits participation. --MASEM (t) 16:55, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Sitush: If we're talking about using this just because it is a caste article that attract COI-like issues (which assuming we're talking either an editor that is a member of that caste, or a member of a caste that is in disagreement with the caste article that is at attention), and we cannot find evidence of outside collusion that are trying to impact the article specifically, that's overkill. We have other tools at our disposal that should work. (Prior to 500/30 at GG, it was semi-prot on the mainspace space with careful observation on the talk page). Now, as I'm reading here, we're talking 500/30 on the mainspace page only and leaving the talk page open, and to that, a half-step between semi-prot and full-prot on mainspace, I think is a fair concern if all available methods are unable to cope with the volume of IP/SPA changes. But again, that volume also needs to be demonstrated. There are pages that I watch that are a constant target for "slow" vandalism by IP/SPA, and I'd never consider the need for something like 500/30. --MASEM (t) 18:46, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Sitush: When I look at the Nair talk page (which was given as an example of SpacemanSpiff) and consider it by itself, I don't see anything that triggers a need to lock down the page that is not already covered by the above ArbCom motions. Compared to GG, where it was both volume and civility of the IP/SPAs activity that required a novel solution, that doesn't exist here. But that's purposely not considerign the statement that there is off-site coordination happening. Given everything else said (the sparsity of editors on these pages to start, the nature of them being castes, etc.) then as long as the off-site collusion can be readily demonstrated, 500/30 makes sense. But to say that just based on the Nair history and talk page alone, I would not support that, because there's thousands of non-controversial articles that have the same exact type of behavior (a random IP or new editor coming along and trying to have the article making a specific point without sourcing or the like), making the 500/30 a potential thing that can be abused if we are not careful. Critical is the demonstration of the off-site influence to justify the 500/30. --MASEM (t) 19:12, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Sitush: All I'm trying to point out is that as long as we are aware this is coordinated off-site influence (which I'm not denying, I just want to make sure we have that evidence), as was the case in GG, the 500/30 rules seems reasonable because that is narrowed aimed to cut off that influence. Without knowing that, the problems otherwise described for these pages appear to be the otherwise unfortunate side effects of our open wiki nature that to put further measures that are beyond existing means (3RR, page protection, and arbcom decisions) does impact our openness. 500/30 is a good concept but should only be a last resort. --MASEM (t) 19:55, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

I would like to add my own comments to disagree with those of Darwinian Ape. They appear to be focused on the words "which anyone can edit", but those words have always been hyperbole, a slight rhetorical exaggeration. There has always been an exception to the "anyone can edit" concept for users who were banned by Jimbo Wales. Wikipedia is not an experiment in anarchy or an experiment in democracy. It is an experiment, mostly successful but with a mixed record, in crowd-sourcing an encyclopedia. As such, it is necessary to learn from the results of the ongoing experiment. Since the early days, it has been found necessary to impose a few restrictions on the "anyone can edit" rule, such as banned users, topic-banned users, and sockpuppets. GamerGate may illustrate the limits of the experiment; there may be a few areas that are so contentious with so much off-wiki coordination that it has become impossible to develop a satisfactory crowd-sourced encyclopedic article even with 500/30. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep trying in other areas. If we need 500/30 to maintain NPOV in caste-related articles, then we should try 500/30. I think that I agree with Masem in that 500/30 is a draconian restriction, but occasionally we need draconian restrictions in order to maintain the encylopedia. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:46, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Arjayay

As someone who has tried to deal with caste article problems, over several years, I fully support the 500/30 proposal.
Many new editors over-enthusiastically promote their caste, adding puffery descriptions such as "brave", "intelligent", "generous" etc., as if these could be universally true about any group. They also add the names of famous people, merely on the strength of their family name, and often add themselves as well. There are also attempts to promote one caste (presumably "their" caste) above others. These additions/changes are almost always totally unreferenced, although some do cite Victorian British Empire writers, whose sweeping generalities are not considered reliable sources. Attempts to revert these changes as unsourced, or for not using reliable sources, are almost always reversed with, as Bishonen reports, frequent accusations of bad faith and even claims that they don't need reliable sources because as a member of that caste, they "know", and only members of their caste should be allowed to edit that article. This frequently leads to multiple IPs and SPAs edit warring.
I have also seen negative edits, adding derogatory descriptions to castes, adding criminals/terrorists to them, and demoting them in the "pecking order". 500/30 would prevent all the drive-by editing, and most sockpuppetry, and would, I believe allow us to retain the best new editors, who are often frustrated/appalled that their genuine work, within the guidelines, is being over-written/undone by COI editors trying to push their cause. - Arjayay (talk) 17:50, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Abecedare

Disclosure: I have commented upon and edited the proposal when it was in draft stage.

I too wanted to add my support for the proposal as an admin who has been involved in monitoring the area, and as someone who has great regard and sympathy for editors who try to keep wikipedia's article on the subject well-sourced and neutral.

Instead of repeating the points others have already made about why such a proposal is needed, I'll just like to highlight/clarify a few points that seem to have caused some confusion:

  1. It is not proposed that the 500/30 rule be applied automatically to all articles under Category:Social groups of India or any similar category. It is only proposed that uninvolved admins be allowed to apply such a rule on articles and/or their talkpages on case-by-case basis.
  2. It is important that admins have the ability to apply the 500/30 rule to talk-pages and not just articles, because the most common/frustrating problem seen in this area is IDHT behaviour and endless/circular arguments by a roving band of SPAs/sock-/meat-puppets who are convinced that they know the TRUTH about their caste (case in point: see edit-summary by IPsock of User:Truth only 1). Again the talk-page restriction would not be automatic, but would depend upon the particular form of disruption being seen.

As other have already pointed out, the proposed restriction is partially motivated by the type of off-wiki co-ordination and sock/meat-puppetry that has been seen in the GG area. In addition though, unlike the GG area, these set of articles also attract participation by truly inexperienced editors with marginal language skills and limited experience in searching for scholarly sources. It is both rude and ineffective to point such editors to WP:CIR. And blocking/topic-banning them individually is far from ideal, since doing so too early risks false-positives, while waiting till disruption from each individual SPA has reached conventional blockable level makes the cumulative disruption an unbearable burden for editors actually following and explaining wikipedia policies in this lightly patrolled area. That is another reason I am in favour of the 500/30 rule since, (a) it is not a logged sanction against an individual editor and makes it clear that it is only inexperience that is keeping them from editing an article, and (b) it separates editors who are willing to gain that experience from ones who believe they already know all the TRUTH they need to know. Abecedare (talk) 21:10, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Kautilya3

I took this long to comment here as I was trying to make up my mind whether it is appropriate to apply the 500/30 restriction to both the article and talk pages. I finally came to the conclusion that it is appropriate. We are mainly trying to combat the disruption caused by the POV-pushers, not just the damage caused to the main space. However, this does have the unfortunate effect that a new editor trying to suggest an edit to the article has no place to go. That is concerning.

On the other hand, my experience is that well-meaning new editors make casual and sporadic edits for years before they become active Wikipedians (if at all). The new editors that start battling on contentious issues from the get-go are the ones with pre-formed agendas. There is no harm in asking such editors to gain experience before we allow them to participate in highly problematic areas. If they are serious about Wikipedia they will stay and gain the necessary experience. If not, they will disappear. This is merely an instance of WP:PACT.

Statement by The Blade of the Northern Lights

This obviously has my wholehearted support, seeing as I helped out a little with the draft. The only major thing I want to add is, in addition to Sitush's work, these are massively difficult topics to administrate. The number of e-mails I've gotten accusing me of being all kinds of shit are too many to count, and I'be mostly been on the fringes for the last couple years (though I'm intending to change that). Although intended as humorous, at one Wiki-meetup I was telling the truth when I said I'm nearly fluent in Hindi swear words from talkpage comments and e-mails directed at me. Putting this in place will cut so much of that out it might just make the area a bit more palatable for other admins, which will make things even that much less difficult. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:15, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Question from NE Ent

Not saying this isn't a good idea -- but what exactly authorizes ya'll to put a 500/300 restriction on an article. Hint: the answer definitely isn't WP:AC/DS as written, cause of the whole notification requirement thing. NE Ent 16:33, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

EdJohnston ... except for the gamergate thing (which I just learned about this morning), any action which predates 3 May 2014 was not taken under the current policy. It enumerations the page level allowable sanctions at Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions#Page_restrictions and I'm not seeing anything the can be construed as matching the proposed 500/300. NE Ent 17:48, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Result concerning Caste articles and talk pages

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I've seen enough problems with caste articles over the years to make this an easy choice. We have evidence that this particular threshold is adequate to get them up to speed while only being mildly inconvenient to that editor. We are more likely to gain and keep more editors this way, as fewer will be getting blocked due to inexperienced editing. It's a Win/Win sanctions. Dennis Brown - 11:38, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • So it is clear, I support the 500/30 rule in this case whether or not the talk pages are included, and trust the judgement of my peers to define the scope. I'm wikibreaking, so didn't want it to be bogged down due a lack of support or clarity. Dennis Brown - 16:15, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm supportive in general, for two reasons. First, because I sympathize with the people on the front lines dealing with this. And second, because I think it would be a very useful limited trial to see if this can be used more broadly. I'd like the 500/30 rule to be considered a possible tool in many other AE areas of constant SPA's and sockpuppetry, like Israel/Palestine, etc. But we'll never know if this is productive - or too restrictive - if we don't try it in more places than GamerGate controversy and see. I'm not familiar with the type of disruption on caste articles; my immediate uninformed impression is that it seems different from the type we see on GamerGate controversy. What do people more on the front lines of this think about Ryk72's idea of limiting it to article space at first, and see if that's sufficient? I mean, it wouldn't be perfect, but neither is a full 500/30 rule on both articles and talk pages. If implemented, this would be an AE enforcement, so I don't see the need to change policy pages. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:57, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Per Bish's and SMS's clarifications, I support giving uninvolved admins the option to impose this 500/30 restriction on editing a covered article, or a talk page, or both, at their discretion. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:14, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Concur with Floquenbeam on this matter. The restriction has been an enormous help with Gamergate articles and we should try it elsewhere to determine if it is a universally effective method at combating SPAs. Gamaliel (talk) 16:58, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • SpacemanSpiff, do you foresee this restriction being imposed on a case-by-case basis for articles that are facing disruption or do you see this editing restriction being applied pro-actively to all caste articles? My basic question concerns how many articles/talk pages this would affect...a dozen? a hundred? more?
In the case of Gamergate, there are several associated articles but the editing restriction only affects the Gamergate controversy article. I'm not familiar with how extensive caste articles are so it's unclear to me how much of an impact your proposal would have if enacted. Liz Read! Talk! 21:58, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
My concerns are about "editing restriction creep" and while I can see that applying this filter would be a judgment call by an admin, I hope it would only be used for articles that are experiencing persistent disruption (trolling), not ones where there are simple arguments and disagreements that are a natural part of determining consensus. It worries me that we don't have an easily determined method of knowing when and when not such an editing restriction would apply but I understand that longtime editors working in this subject area have a good sense of when there might be off-wiki attempts to influence article content.
It looks like this editing restriction will be accepted and I just hope that it is used selectively and not liberally. Also, articles with such a restriction (and this would include Gamergate, too) should be reviewed after 6 months to see whether the restriction is still warranted. That is, editing restrictions should be a temporary solution (even if temporary means 1 year or 2) and not a permanently existing condition for an article or talk page. Liz Read! Talk! 17:45, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Sitush, I just mentioned, as EdJohnston suggested, that these editing restrictions can be appealable or reviewed if an editor believes they are no longer necessary. I said "after six months" because I think it would add to the disruption if an editing restriction was challenged on a more regular basis (as Gamergate controversy was for the first three months it existed). Liz Read! Talk! 19:09, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Floquenbeam. There should be a full 500/30 rule on articles. (Talk pages could be omitted from the blanket ban, but admins would have discretion to include specific talk pages). Wording should be the same as the ARBGG 500/30 rule if that is possible. For comparison, here is the scope of the community's caste restrictions: "..all pages about social groups, be they castes, communities, tribes, clans, kootams, gotras etc., explicitly including caste associations and political parties related to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal." A template should be created that can be placed on the talk page of affected articles. New editors not familiar with the rule could be excused for some innocent violations. To get some idea of the scope of the problem, notice that Talk:Nair is up to 20 archives. Everybody wants their own caste to be descended from warriors, and we have to keep explaining the WP:RS rules to a very unwilling audience. EdJohnston (talk) 22:38, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Bishonen's further comment sounds right. Just need to spell out whatever the rules are. Perhaps there should be a category for articles that are placed under the 500/30 restriction. Also WP:EDR could be used to record which articles are restricted. Single admins could add or remove the restriction, but restrictions should be appealable at WP:AE. EdJohnston (talk) 14:58, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • If the same sanction (ie 500/30) is used then the names of the articles could be added to the same filter which provide a public list (if you know where to look, but we can put that link in various places, also has the benefit of not needing to be advertised). I'd hesitate to put them on EDR since other discretionary sanctions, both ArbCom and community authorised aren't recorded there. Regarding how the filter would work, it'd check every account (assuming it's semi protected as well) which edits the article for 500 edits and for 30 days of registration, if the account doesn't meet that requirement the filter will prevent the edit from being made. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:19, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Having the filter apply to all caste article could be very difficult unless there is something specific which is included on all those pages (which could be gamed quite easily, c.f. the reason there's no cascading semi-protection). It might be better filter enforcement as an option for all caste articles and individual pages can be added to the filter as needed. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:22, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

  • Fully support the 500/30 concept here. — Ched :  ?  23:10, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Reply to User:NE Ent: See WP:Requests for arbitration/Eastern Europe#Log of article-level discretionary sanctions for some previous use of article-level discretionary sanctions. The 500/30 restriction on Gamergate is also an article-level restriction and is currently visible in WP:DSLOG. EdJohnston (talk) 17:35, 10 October 2015 (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 Bachcell

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Cirt (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 16:56, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Bachcell (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. 20:50, 28 September 2015 Adds info violating WP:BLP to page, sources that blatantly fail WP:RS (eg,, to back up his WP:EXTRAORDINARY claims.
  2. 20:59, 28 September 2015 Adds unsourced info to WP:BLP article, with unsourced description, attempting to connect an innocent living 14-year-old-boy to claims of terrorism.
  3. 21:06, 28 September 2015 Adds info violating WP:BLP to same page, sourced to what editor admits is "Conservative blog Weasel Zippers.
  4. 16:34, 29 September 2015 Adds back, again, same unsourced info to WP:BLP article, as above.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 

Numerous previous talk page warnings for disruption:

  1. May 2010 - edit warring warning.
  2. June 2010 - canvassing warning.
  3. July 2010 - spam links warning.
  4. August 2010 - canvassing warning.
  5. November 2010 - Wikiquette alert.
  6. June 2011 - Disruption at BLP warning.
  7. May 2015 - edit-warring and WP:NOR warning.
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 
  • NOTE: Bachcell (talk · contribs) is wrong, he most certainly was informed of this request, per my DIFF. Note that most recent WP:BLP violations were after discretionary sanctions warning by admin Liz. — Cirt (talk) 17:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

User notified, see DIFF. Thank you, — Cirt (talk) 16:58, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Discussion concerning Bachcell

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 Bachcell

Was not informed of this request, will not contribute to the clock incident if my contributions are not wanted. Bachcell (talk) 17:20, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by IP Editor

Again we see Gamaliel jump to apply sanctions in a content dispute involving TheRedPenOfDoom, Aquillion and MarkBernstein against an editor on the other side of that content dispute? This is becoming a pattern. (talk) 17:34, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

@Gamaliel: I see little evidence of IP involvement or sockpuppetry at the article (Ahmed Mohamed clock incident) or talk page and none directed at the editors in question. Certainly nothing rising to the level of the Nazi-related? (I don't see the relevance) conspiracy suggested by Mr. Bernstein. (talk) 18:58, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

@TheRedPenOfDoom: Quite right of you to call that out - one of the dangers of a dynamic IP, I didn't even think to check but I assure you the edit was not mine. (talk) 22:47, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Rhoark

The one violation after notification, while unsourced/poorly sourced, is a claim about a clock rather than a living person. I agree with Gamaliel's ban (temporarily) as a preventive measure against further disruption, but procedurally I question whether this is actionable under BLP discretionary sanctions. Rhoark (talk) 17:41, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by MarkBernstein

An IP from the same block, presumably the same editor, made a neatly identical complaint yesterday at AN/I [278]. Presumably, this is another little reddit quest -- this topic is now at the top of one of the Gamergate planning boards under a long, long post by the fellow whose name commemorates the sweet music of Nazi dive bombers.

I'd like to call the attention of administrators to the chilling effects that the continual threats of sanctions -- or at least time-consuming complaints at WikiLaw -- have on editors who are, as here, trying to prevent Wikipedia from being embarrassed by conspiracy theories. MarkBernstein (talk) 18:05, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by TheRedPenOfDoom

To the IP editor, if in fact, there is a group of people who are consistently editing in compliance with our policy regarding content about living people, and other editors who are consistently editing in contravention of the policy regarding content about living people, one would expect that one group would be praised for their work and one set would be sanctioned. When this happens, that would be a sign that the system is functioning as it should and everyone who cares for the encyclopedia should be happy! IP, you don't sound very happy, and that is troubling. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:25, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

As an IP who has made very few edits, but among those edits is [279], your unhappiness with the situation outlined above is probably to be expected. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:28, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Of course it wasn't. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:56, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by LavaBaron

I would like to echo the comment made by MarkBernstein above, vis a vis allowing low-tolerance for the block-shopping of editors attempting to enforce some minimal standards in terms of the injection of conspiracy theories and innuendo to the encyclopedia, a battle we are (IMO) losing. I have recently, myself, endured this when confronting a SPA/IP Editor duo (sock investigation active here) attempting to sanitize and legitimize the articles for Frank Gaffney and Center for Security Policy, well-known conspiracy theorists. The editor in question in this arbitration action, Bachcell, just today left a congratulatory aplomb on the SPA's Talk page in that case [280], seemingly underscoring his intent to continue participation in this "bad boys club." I'd ask the arbitrators to consider whether, given the established profile and edit history of Bachnell, he is currently in a position to immediately make an adjustment to his editing patterns and sourcing standards if nothing more than a warning is given? There is a journey of intellectual maturation on which Bachnell needs to embark and limiting his editing privileges to articles outside this topic area for a year or so will allow him to develop the skills in identifying RS and composing NPOV prose that will give him the best chance at reintegration into the mainstream of WP. LavaBaron (talk) 18:58, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by DHeyward

What area of conflict is this topic under Discretionary Sanctions from Arbcom? This is forum shopping and doesn't belong here. No ArbCom case is cited for Arbitration Enforcement. Where would a "topic ban" be logged? --DHeyward (talk) 22:22, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by "IP Editor" (Re: Statement by LavaBaron)

As the "IP Editor" is totally unrelated to the alleged "SPA" (i.e. not the same, nor related any way whatsoever) other than through correlation due to erroneous claims presented by LavaBaron after coincidental edits on the two pages mentioned – seemingly post hoc ergo propter hoc among other potential or actual fallacies – the commentary concerning innocent parties, exacerbated by the fact similar allegations have been posted multiple times on several boards and/or pages, could be perceived as an attack on the character of the "IP Editor" (et al) or in the least (each, some, if not all of those when viewed in total) seems uncivil. Therefore, I respectfully request references to the "IP Editor" be stricken from this discussion!

As for Bachcell posting a comment on the talk page of supposed "SPA", the reason is unclear, only Bachcell would know for certain. What I propose, as a potential explanation is that in having taken an interest in the "clock incident", Bachcell may have observed a fringe theories discussion on same subject matter, where LavaBaron posted on the thread commenting "I'd love to get into this but I have my hands full with the CSP (above), at the moment" (perhaps foreshadowing future involvement?), next clarifying "CSP" by using the full name and (what could appear to be a developing or adopted modus operandi of possible ad hominem?) when adding "[s]uffice to say, WP is on LoonWatch Level 5 right now." Later on, posting an RfC notice directly below the "clock incident" discussion. Note: This was done prior to the post by Bachcell on user talk page referenced by LavaBaron. Considering the aforementioned theory, which seems plausible (only Bachcell would know for sure), then I do not think any undue weight should be given to an editor becoming involved in what seems to be unrelated matters, or where relevance provided by an interlocutor seems to focus on extraneous issues LavaBaron brought into this discussion, i.e. why should Bachcell be called out for what appears to be simply a comment of support for an uninvolved editor when that may have been influenced by previous actions of LavaBaron, now commenting against Bachcell. (talk) 23:43, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenon

User:DHeyward asks what is the area of conflict for Discretionary Sanctions for this topic. The answer is American politics 2 (as per my comment on Talk:Frank Gaffney in response to a Third Opinion request that appeared to be a conduct issue rather than a content issue). This concerns a controversial political organization since 1932 that is still active and is within the scope of the ArbCom case. (It is true that the filing party doesn't identify the case, but that is where any sanctions would be logged.) Robert McClenon (talk) 01:55, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Result concerning Bachcell

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • Given the sensitive and inflammatory nature of these edits, which appear to link a 14-year-old to acts of terrorism, I'm issuing an immediate topic ban, but I will leave this matter open for discussion so editors and admins can evaluate whether or not that ban should stay in place long-term. Gamaliel (talk) 17:10, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, it is an unfortunate pattern when certain editors are stalked by an army of sockpuppets and IP editors. Regardless, I did not scan the article history to see which editors were participating before responding to the sanctions request here, but I doubt conspiracy HQ will believe such inconvenient facts. Gamaliel (talk) 18:13, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Do you actually have a relevant comment on the sanction or do you merely wish to provide more proof of this phenomenon? Gamaliel (talk) 21:13, 29 September 2015 (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 E.M.Gregory

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Kingsindian (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 16:49, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
E.M.Gregory (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. 12 Oct WP:NPA, WP:BATTLE
  2. 9 Oct WP:NPA, WP:BATTLE
  3. 4 Oct Article creation, see explanation below
  4. Sometime in Sep/Oct Article creation, see explanation below
  5. 17 September Article creation, see explanation below
  6. 21 July Article creation, see explanation below

(and many more in this vein - see this for the articles created by this editor)

Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 


If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Alerted about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, see the system log linked to above.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Let me state at the outset that the editor might be acting in good faith, probably due to some personal experience and I dislike prosecuting people, but this can no longer be ignored. I am not asking for any harsh sanctions.

The editor creates a spate of articles on rock-throwing in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Obviously only one side uses rocks, the other side uses bullets. When this was pointed out here and here, the user gave this answer (ignore the WP:BATTLE in the edit summary for the moment): "I make articles about rock throwing regardless of ethnicity", which is patently ridiculous. Their justification is not tenable because they also create a spate of WP:MEMORIAL and WP:NOTNEWS articles - not involving stone throwing - on one side of the conflict (see diffs above for examples - many more can be found by their article creation link).

When I again point out the WP:NPOV problem this creates here, the user dismisses my point and accuses me of whitewashing murder. Now, I don't mind any insult thrown at me (I have a pretty thick skin), but the repeated behaviour through article creation and behaviour at WP:AfDs is becoming unmanageable (see the first diff). Moreover, other people are posting messages on their talk page asking if they are going create more articles. WP:AE should clarify whether it is permissible to create one-sided articles like this based on skewed sampling. This is an endemic problem in this area (see this POV travesty for instance - not created by EMG), and something needs to be done here. Kingsindian  16:49, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

@Rhoark: I will note that categories, in contrast to statements inside a single article, do not require even a reference. For instance, as noted on the AfD page, Category:2005_murders_in_Jersey_City contains a single article (not created by EMG - but being vigorously defended at AfD by them) which was largely a WP:COATRACK article (permalink) insinuating Muslim attack on Coptics. Compare the POV travesty: it is entitled Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2015) - while all it contains are stabbings and attacks by Palestinians. Is that allowed? If not, why is creating a bunch of separate articles doing the same thing allowed? Finally the articles themselves are not WP:NPOV: they quote little or no Palestinian sources or even what happens to them. For instance, the Lion's Gate stabbing article: one of the people accused - Fadi Alloun - was himself killed in disputed circumstances - nothing at all is mentioned there. The article contained no background of the recent Al-Aqsa troubles and so on. There are a hundred POV violations, blatant and subtle, in the article - which is unavoidable because of the way the articles are created using skewed sampling. Kingsindian  19:51, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
@Gaijin42:: many of the articles are not being kept at AfD's. Many are "no consensus", many are being deleted/redirected. But that is not the point: AfDs are notoriously capricious and equally notoriously disrupted by sockpuppets - see (this for instance). As to "eventualism", that is an essay, while WP:NPOV is policy. According to Gaijin42's logic, it would be ok to create the POV travesty linked by me above, because someone will eventually come around and add deaths on the Palestinian side and the needed context. That is absurd. Kingsindian  19:51, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
To clarify, the case Nishidani mentions is here. Note the disagreement even between administrators there. I can't say it has gotten worse, but the issues remain. Kingsindian  05:41, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning E.M.Gregory

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 E.M.Gregory

The accusation does not merit a response, as my editing record will bear out.E.M.Gregory (talk) 16:58, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Rhoark

As long as the articles themselves adhere to NPOV, there is no requirement to balance article creation between pro- and anti- sides of any issue. Wikipedia is not mandatory. Rhoark (talk) 18:39, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Nishidani

These articles will continue because the criteria of WP:NOTABILITY, WP:EVENT, WP:NOTNEWS, are never taken seriously in the AfDs. The larger point is WP:NPOV, as an editorial obligation. I can remember Sandstein stating, some years back, that this means editors in the I/P area are under an obligation to contribute neutrally. I expect that means that we are obliged to ensure an article is constantly monitored for balance, and (b) more saliently here, that article creation by an editor cannot harp on one POV. Since you like creating these articles, E. M. Gregory, why is it they deal exclusively with Israeli victims of terror or stone throwing? I would expect that if you write an article like Death of Binyamin Meisner because of a horror of death from stoning, then it would surely tempt you to write a parallel one, The Death of Edward Ghanem. The Palestinian Christian boy after all was killed in exactly the same manner as the soldier Binyamin Meisner. A block of concrete was dumped on his head, falling from an Israeli outpost. That would be evidence that you contribute with encyclopedic neutrality, and not to abuse wiki for a set of articles as a political statement.(I should add that I don't think this kind of article be it for Meisner or Ghanem, should be written)Nishidani (talk) 18:47, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Gaijin/Roark. All of these articles start out as POV messes, remain so unless someone steps in and starts to fix them. I've had to do this on dozens of such articles, since the editors themselves either do not understand WP:NPOV or don't care to edit towards NPOV. So this kind of article always translates into a Fix it obligation on external editors who would like myself prefer to do something genuinely useful for an encyclopedia round here (e.g.Qos (deity) ). The sources say the Bennetts lived in a West Bank settlement. This doesn't interest Gregory. The sources provide a contradictory set of descriptions of the event. Gregory gives just one version. The sources tell a much more complicated background than just the version Gregory cherrypicks (Palestinians started it by barricading Al-Aqsa etc) If you search Bennett at List of violent incidents in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, July–December 2015 you'll get everything you get in here. Why try to make an encyclopedic article when the story is summable in a paragraph. Why persist in jerryrigging articles that scream for editors to fix them per NPOVNishidani (talk) 19:15, 12 October 2015 (UTC)?
Gaijin, showing NPOV violations would just spin out into a content dispute argument. I have tried to solve this chronic obsession with rushing to create dozens of independent Israeli victim articles (User:ShulMaven did several in a similar period of killings last year, and now one can expect a surge this time round. All that is needed is to create a list of all incidents, succinctly and neutrally listed, covering all incidents reported in the mainstream press (List of violent incidents in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, January–June 2015 and List of violent incidents in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, July–December 2015). That aspires, precisely, to meet encyclopedic balance per WP:NPOV, as opposed to the numerous (13) articles we have on Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel where one side's violence is listed, without any mention whatsoever of the violence related to these events from the other side. When I did that, what was the reaction. No collaborative effort to improve the balance, which fell to me, but merely insistent drive by POV tagging! This may not be an AE problem but it is certainly an issue ARBPIA ought to look at, perhaps by clarifying for us peons whether we can ignore the other version in any article, or whether WP:NPOV does impose on us a non-negotiable policy of covering both sides in this endless, stupid conflict.Nishidani (talk) 20:05, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
E. M. Gregory. Your 'editing record' bears out many things. Generally it is excellent outside the I/P area, but there you intrude on what was a remark by me on a 3rd editor's page suggesting he has compledely misread and reverted one of my edits, and the intrusion was simply to make the usual personal attack and egg on admiringly the other editor's 'taking me on' or 'facing me down'. That is a battlefield attitude where allies are encouraged and the common enemy identified.I.e.
Now you are quite entitled to these views about me. I get them too regularly to worry about them. What you should not be doing is interrupting an attempt at clarification on a user's page between me and that person, regarding editing issues, to attack me, with no consideration of the merits of the contended edit. Nishidani (talk) 10:27, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Gaijin42

This appears to be a cross-article content dispute, where the complaintants do not like the articles being created. There is little to no behavioral evidence of a problem, and the community can adequately handle article creation issues unless they are massive and frequent disruption. Indeed, per Nishidani's statement, the articles are being KEPT at AFD. NPOV across articles (tit for tat) is not required, and would any case be WP:FALSEBALANCE Suggest this be declined, with a boomerang trout. Gaijin42 (talk) 18:56, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Nishidani - if you want to claim NPOV violations that are actionable, then you would need to show concrete examples of them to be evaluated. But in general articles are edited under WP:EVENTUALISM. That he puts in some information, and you put in other, is the way things are supposed to work. It only becomes an (actionable) NPOV issue if he is somehow preventing your ability to provide balance, or if he is grossly misrepresenting sources Gaijin42 (talk) 19:27, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by Samtar

To further Gaijin42's above comments, I believe that while E.M.Gregory can be seen as a little abrasive at times, he is acting in good faith. samtar (msg) 19:21, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning E.M.Gregory

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