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

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

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

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Infoboxes

Initiated by Dane2007 at 06:40, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Infoboxes arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes#Decorum
  2. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes#Use_of_infoboxes
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • I am requesting a modification to include a restriction on any bludgeoning type behavior on all types of Infobox discussions.
  • General sanction for entire community on Infobox related RfC discussions with a limit of two posts including initial post. Any expansion beyond a minor expansion or clarification of an existing statement would be considered a second post.

Statement by Dane2007

There have been several AN/I requests regarding Infoboxes with limited administrator involvement due to unclear expectations of what is or is not enforceable. This is the most recent AN/I that was opened regarding the conduct of users participating in Infobox discussions/RfCs. This AN/I request was closed suggesting a filing to ArbCom requesting Discretionary Sanctions. This AN/I case was never officially closed but also included heated debate over Infoboxes which sparked a further AN/I discussion. The "infobox wars" as they have been referred to are causing discontent within the community and further restrictions are necessary to prevent these continued issues from repeating as they did in the example above. Involved users on all sides of the debate are guilty of the behaviors in which amendments are being requested. I am requesting that discretionary sanctions be authorized for Infoboxes.

An amendment and/or clarification would allow for enforcement and provide two paths for infobox related discussions:

  • Path 1: General discussion on talk page with no restrictions on post limits or replies. This would be discussions as they are typically carried out today.
  • Path 2: Move to RfC venue for outside eyes and community input. General sanction would apply and no more than two posts would be made. This would allow community input on specific articles and prevent disruptive behavior from parties on both sides of the issue.(Replaced with request for Discretionary Sanctions)

It is my hope that with this amendment request we as a community can move towards a productive resolution on this issue. The parties listed above as involved have been part of one or more of the AN/I's above.

It's been a bit since I originally filed this request and there's been plenty of comments. I'd like to address some things that have been brought up in regards to this request.
  1. The request was not intended to be aimed specifically at addressing Cassianto but rather behavior by multiple editors. I used the AN/I's as a mechanism of stating that Administrators seem to be unclear as to handle the behavior of requests with anything to do with Infoboxes, and as stated already, cited that the next step in handling this should be a request for amendment. While I disagree with many of Cassiantos behavioral actions and decisions related to the Infobox discussions, he is a valuable editor and one that we should support and try to retain.
  2. As a longtime editor here on and off, I chose to become particularly active and invested in the project this summer. As someone who edited on and off but not consistently and didn't necessarily know all of the ins and outs, the behavior demonstrated at me as an outside party for trying to reach a final resolution for a particular article like at Talk:Noël Coward was off putting and could potentially dissuade newer editors who could perceive the bludgeoning as an attack. As JzG pointed out, the entire situation is still bizarre to me in the way that random infobox discussions are like setting gas on fire.
  3. Discretionary Sanctions appear to be the best way to move forward so that problems can be addressed with AE when a pattern of problematic behavior continues. A clear authorization in this area will eliminate the inaction we are currently seeing when this issue boils over to AN/I. As Laser brain pointed out, there are groups of editors who specifically appear on these discussions around infoboxes every time which demonstrates the problem is deep with in the community.
  4. The notion that these specific discretionary sanctions would apply to 90% of the community is simply wrong: as stated by Thryduulf, it would really only impact discussions around infoboxes.
  5. When this initial request was filed, I invited SchroCat to notify more parties. My permission is not needed for that - it was simply a reminder since concerns were expressed that this ARCA was one sided which was not my intent. My intent was to involve the most active users in the recent AN/I's. I will restate for the record: I believe that both sides involved in the "Infobox wars" are at fault for the disruption to the community.
  6. This issue should not be personalized in regards to who is leaving or remaining in the community. I think all editors, regardless of their feelings on this issue, are valued contributors and we should not allow our discussion or outcome to be affected by actions of departure.
  7. While I respect all of the comments here against discretionary sanctions, I think we need to recognize that peaceful discussions wouldn't be impacted by those sanctions if developed correctly. The problem of the incivility and hot discussions, however, would be much easier to solve. I would rather see a temporary topic ban or a solution other than blocking with blocking being a last resort for non-compliance.
  8. A community wide RfC is needed to establish whether or not Infoboxes are a style or a content issue.
I have amended my requested action in this ARCA to be discretionary sanctions as this is a far better approach and thank Laser brain for recognizing my good faith attempt at finding a solution. I don't think the project will gain anything if we simply brush this problem aside again and take no action. -- Dane2007 talk 03:09, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Cassianto

Statement by FourViolas

I have no emotional investment in the "infobox wars", but I was recently so dismayed at the incivility of one user in an IB-related dispute that I filed one of my first AN/I reports. I thought it would be a clear-cut case, but many experienced editors commented that action against this user was inappropriate because I was overlooking a long history of bitterness on both sides. If the situation is so bad that an editor can admit to being disruptive (by being uncivil enough to discourage third parties from commenting; [1]) and escape sanction because this is apparently not out of the ordinary for this issue [2], ArbCom clearly needs to intervene.

Dane2007 chose two remedies which gained some support in the discussions, and I wouldn't oppose them; however, I think a simpler and more effective amendment would be simply to make Infoboxes#Decorum enforceable by discretionary sanctions. WP:Bludgeoning (an essay) is already forbidden under Infoboxes#Decorum (disruptive point-making, harassment, NPA), but is not being enforced; and AN/I participants have expressed concern that the two-post restriction could be gamed.

@SchroCat: I'm sorry to hear you're considering leaving the project. The filer invited you to add parties if you feel other editors need to be involved [3]. FourViolas (talk) 12:11, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Laser brain

I appreciate the filer's attempt to address the ongoing infobox problems by filing an amendment request. However, the request is misguided and targets one of the symptoms (endless discussion) without addressing the problem. Limiting people to two comments might quiet the noise, but certainly doesn't solve the issue. The only responsible remedy is to authorize discretionary sanctions for the infobox domain. If someone is being disruptive, an AE request can be filed and it can be handled by uninvolved admins. We need an end to the never-ending disruptions on article Talk pages and AN/I, right now. --Laser brain (talk) 10:48, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

@Guerillero: The MoS is under DS. So technically the entirety of article space is under DS if you want to look at it that way. --Laser brain (talk) 17:14, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies: How did it come to this? We're not dealing with individual editors. We're dealing with groups who have entrenched and whose frustration (on both sides) has manifested in behavior problems and battleground mentality. Every time a thread appears on a noticeboard about infoboxes, everyone grabs their pitchforks and runs into battle, and nothing gets solved. ArbCom has already tried to deal with this and it's still going. So you're comfortable punting this back to the community? --Laser brain (talk) 17:14, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies: It's been well-documented in this request that most of us are asking for DS. Many of the commenting Arbs seem OK with setting aside what the filer is asking for, which is in good faith but misguided (see my initial comment here), and listening to the community instead of creating more bureaucracy by asking for yet another request be filed. You seem to be focusing on the detail of how many admins deal with a situation on AN/I versus AE, but that doesn't reflect the reality of what occurs in each venue. In any but the most open-and-shut cases at AN/I, mob mentality and groupthink rule and nothing gets resolved. There have been many threads opened and closed about behavior around infoboxes without satisfactory resolution. At AE, the discussion is focused and requires evidence. Normally several admins comment and come to a consensus about the correct action before something is closed. I think DS is a reasonable intermediate step before another full Arb case is needed. You asserted that DS are purely punitive, but don't forget their deterrent effect. --Laser brain (talk) 14:36, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

@Gerda Arendt: But there are groups, and pretending something doesn't exist doesn't help solve problems. I can write down a list of names who show up with eye-rolling predictability every time infoboxes are being discussed, and the fact that I can do that is at the heart of the problem. --Laser brain (talk) 15:02, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by We hope

Like Gavin, I wasn't going to make a statement as I was close to being out the door when this was filed. Made one at requests which I think covers it all from my standpoint and felt no possible help in the matter would be forthcoming when this was tabled. It's almost impossible to concentrate on text content work when the noise from the infobox issues is at high pitch.

The discussions don't remain at the respective talk page or at Arbitration Requests, but follow you to your talk page; see the link above for 2 instances where it happened to me. The committee should also be aware of a page which is listed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion. Please view the page at the link as it is a previous version of the page, which has been considerably edited since being listed at MfD. The edit summary comment regarding the Coward article ""‎let's see how many times back and forth, actually quite amusing" is no longer on the page. We hope (talk) 15:44, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

I support the statement of User:Yngvadottir and wonder if the admonitions and bans / restrictions lifted in March 2015 should be re-examined. The stability of some FAs may be at stake since the present infobox issue has been "amusing" to one of the involved editors. We hope (talk) 21:10, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by SchroCat

I wasn't going to bother with a statement (particularly given the rather odd selection of 'cast list'—all from one 'side' of the debate, which speaks volumes about wishing to punish, rather than bringing the situation to a constructive close). But after what appears to be an organised push on a series of articles (both without IBs and on other matters) by a small number of tendentious tag-teamers highly active in the IB fields or as the self-appointed Guardians of the MoS, I have been winding down recently (just getting the inestimable Josephine Butler through FAC first, if anyone is interested in reading about a proper struggle) prior to leaving.
My decision to leave WP has been accelerated because an admin (a fucking admin, for crying out loud) questions my mental health because I am not in favour IBs; I know it's time to move on when such shoddy and despicable accusations are made by someone who is "expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others".
I'm out of here either when my role as an FLC delegate finishes in a couple of months, or when my two FLCs and one FAC have come to an end, and the final article on which I am working has gone through FAC. You all have fun without me when I'm gone, but while the tendentious MoS wall-of-text merchants continue to wear down opposition with their relentless grind, this and related matters where the MoS is out of step with good practice (like quote boxes – a future battleground for the MoS Warriors) small MoS-driven outbreaks of aggression and disruption will continue to act like a cancer in isolated pockets. Pip pip – Gavin (talk) 11:58, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

@FourViolas: I've already advised the filer to do it properly: if they want to leave it malformed and so obviously biased, there is less chance anything will happen. – Gavin (talk) 12:17, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by clpo13

Clearly, ArbCom needs to do something about infoboxes. The current situation is untenable and will only lead to more of these disputes. I agree with those who have suggested that discretionary sanctions should be authorized to enforce decorum and prevent bludgeoning of good faith participants in infobox discussions (whether to add or remove them). I don't know why the issue is so contentious, but it is, and ignoring it isn't going to make it go away. clpo13(talk) 16:20, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Further: I don't know if anything can be done to prevent infobox disputes entirely (short of mandating/banning infoboxes or, preferably, going the CITEVAR/ENGVAR road), but we can at least make them less likely to drive people away from the project entirely. I can understand the frustration that long-time editors can feel when the issue keeps getting brought up time and again, but editors who may happen along an article without an infobox can't be expected to know the entire history of the infobox wars and shouldn't be bitten for trying to add one or asking why there isn't one, especially if there is no previous discussion about it on the talk page. The use of hidden text can help with that so long as such text points to a pre-existing consensus. clpo13(talk) 21:11, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish

Support first proposed remedy (no WP:BLUDGEONing, a form of WP:DE), oppose the second (2-post rule). Stifling discussion generally is not the answer. The habit of certain editors of bludgeoning to death various infobox discussions can be dealt with at ANI. The discussions themselves often necessitate a fair amount of pro and con about what an infobox might bring to an article or how it might be superfluous, so "muzzle everyone" is not an appropriate direction to take. The first of two principal problems in these discussions is not the length of the thread, but the repetitive badgering behavior. Regardless, this aspect of the matter is not really an ArbCom issue.

Authorize discretionary sanctions. The second and more serious problem, as I pointed out at ARCA only about two weeks ago, is definitely an ArbCom issue, and it is the increasing and seemingly unstoppable artillery barrage of incivility in these discussions, which has nothing to do with post length or frequency. This smear-all-who-disagree-with-my-faction behavior is not being brought by any parties to the original WP:ARBINFOBOX. It's "Infobox Wars: The Next Generation". We don't need a new generation of disruption, and the only reason we have one is because WP:ARBINFIBOX is basically toothless without WP:AC/DS in play. DS is enabled for "style" issues generally (the WP:ARBATC case), but this dispute isn't quite a style one; it's a content arrangement and presentation dispute. The difference is distinguishable enough that AE will not act on such a dispute under ARBATC, but it's so nearly the same in motivation, tenor, and WP:LAMEness that ArbCom has good reason to apply the same remedy. As I noted at ARCA last time, if DS isn't going to be made available, then a WP:ARBINFOBOX2 is the only likely outcome (a case I've already prepared, other than there's about 5x more evidence than is actually permitted to be included, so I'd have to trim it [update: and two obvious parties have suddenly said they're leaving WP].  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:09, 30 August 2016 (UTC) Updated:  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:18, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Curiously, despite disagreeing with Thryduulf's skepticism of broad usefulness of i-boxes (I use mobile devices frequently as a reader rather than editor, and the i-boxes are very useful on them, if they are not full of trivia), I still agree with every single other thing that editor said below. The dispute doesn't really seem to be a pro-infobox versus anti-infobox thing in most cases, but rather an "I can edit any article I want, dammit" versus "don't mess with my FA"/"don't challenge this wikiproject's scope authority" matter. It's not limited to infoboxes at all, but affects all sorts of things, including decorative quotation templates, "in popular culture" material, external links, citation formatting, etc. It's just mostly a civility nightmare when it comes to infoboxes.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:43, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Concur with with Jytdog that SV's proposal to extend the Sortan remedy to include infoboxes would be ArbCom making policy; that decision is citing existing WP:fooVAR guidelines, not making up new ones. And CITEVAR should not be a model for anything, given how many lame disputes it causes rather than prevents. The problem with applying such an approach to i-boxes: all those fooVAR and barRET[AIN] guidelines are about changing from one style to another for no real reason; this is about adding or deleting material for real reasons, so the comparison is twice-faulty.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:51, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

MoS could address infoboxes better: Many editors on all sides of this (there aren't just two) believe MoS should have a section on why/when to [not] include an infobox, and what to [not] put in it (since WP:INFOBOX seems to have no buy-in or effect). This would be challenging to develop, but it would surely be helpful, in the way that guidelines about navboxes have been.
Technical solutions that could reduce certain clusters of dispute: A) hidden-text infoboxes, not too unlike the old PersonData, that emit the metadata without visually changing the article. B) Wide landscape images could be handled by a |landscape=y that put the image above the infobox frame (or kept it in place, but expanded the frame only around the image – harder to code) and otherwise kept the i-box the same width. Just thinking along the lines of what MoS's lead says about writing around disputes to moot them.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:18, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf

I think the Committee has the following choices:

  1. Authorise discretionary sanctions for Infoboxes per the repeated requests, accepting that the original case and the review have failed to solve the problems.
  2. Accept another infoboxes case, accepting that both the original case and the review have failed to solve the problems.
  3. Watch the disruption to the project continue.
  4. Bury your heads in the sand and pretend there is no continuing disruption to the project.

The current discussion at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests should be added to your required reading lists before choosing. Thryduulf (talk) 15:41, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis: I've not yet seen an argument that convinces me that the vast majority of article types are suitable for an infobox, and can't think of an argument that would convince me otherwise. To me arguments about aesthetics are all about what the content of the infobox should be - what fields it should have, what (if any) image it should have and where images not suitable for the infobox but desirable to have in the article are located relative to it. The latter questions are ones that are only suitable for discussion on an article-by-article basis as they depend on the nature and dimensions of images, the length and organisation of the prose and what is notable about the individual subject (e.g. what is trivial information about one person is key to the notability of another - that Tony Blair plays the guitar is not really relevant to his infobox but it absolutely is for Eric Clapton). The issue comes from my approach of "let's discuss what the infobox on this article should contain and how it should be formatted" clashing with "I do not want to have an infobox on this (class/type of) article" - sometimes (but alas not always) the latter comes with reasoning that can be discussed. That reasoning usually boils down to either "an infobox that is poorly formatted/overly long/contains misleading or inaccurate information would degrade the quality of the prose therefore there should not be an infobox" (I agree with the first part of the argument but strongly disagree that the conclusion follows the premise) or "all the information is in the prose therefore there is no need for an infobox" (which misses that a Wikipedia article serves many different audiences seeking different things in different ways and omits completely the value of metadata). Sometimes unfortunately the arguments still just boil down to "I don't like infoboxes (on my article)".
In addition to RexxS' response to you, part of the problem is with differing approaches to Wikipedia - some people invest a lot of time and energy into getting a relatively few articles to GA and FA status and maintaining them at that level; other people invest equal time and energy into the project but distributed over getting and maintaining many more articles to a lower standard, sometimes by focussing on one or a few specific aspects. There is sometimes the feeling that the efforts of the latter group are less appreciated generally and/or by those of the first group and their views are not given equal weight when there is a divergence of opinion (whether this is true or not, it is the perception). Thryduulf (talk) 12:36, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
@Gorillawarfare: in my experience, when there is agreement to have an infobox (either after discussion or because it's uncontroversial) and the subject is not opera or classical music, the discussion about what the infobox should include is almost never uncivil and almost always very productive even if there are significant disagreements (i.e. it's like the significant majority of other aspects of Wikipedia).If the subject is opera or classical music* then the likelihood of a civil, productive discussion drops very significantly. It is normally discussions of whether to have an infobox in the first place that are the really problematic ones, and in the opera and classical music fields* these discussions are even more likely to be contentious and poorly conducted than those elsewhere.
 * in my experience these are the significantly most problematic areas, but my experience is not necessarily representative of the whole totality of the problem. Thryduulf (talk) 12:55, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
@GorillaWarfare: fixing ping. Thryduulf (talk) 12:56, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
  • @Guerillero: If approved, DS would not apply to 90% of Wikipedia, it would (or at least should) apply only to:
    1. the addition or removal of an infobox
    2. making major changes to an infobox (presentation or content)
    3. discussions about infoboxes.
Infoboxes do appear on a sizeable percentage of articles, but only in an extremely small proportion of cases are they at all controversial, so I really do not see this as a relevant issue. Thryduulf (talk) 12:00, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
  • @Drmies: If arbcom does nothing now then the only question is how soon before another request comes your way - doing nothing has not worked on every other occasion arbcom has tried it, why is this time any different? Cassianto is simply the most recent user to have lost their decorum - there is an entire history of that is not explicitly mentioned here because (a) editors are (rightly) required to be succinct, and (b) everybody assumes that arbitrators are either already familiar with the history of case requests and ARCA filings or capable of becoming so when it is obviously required. Thryduulf (talk) 20:31, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
    • @Drmies: I'm less certain now than I was above that discretionary sanctions will solve the problems, but nothing else that has been tried so far has done either. The benefits of AE over AN(I) are that it is a structured space where comments without evidence don't hold weight and being a prolific contributor is not regarded as an excuse for incivility, etc. Speaking personally at least, I do not want to "get rid of (editors like) Cassianto" - I want discussions about infoboxes to be civil, productive and based on reasoned arguments without encouraging or even rewarding ownership of articles. If the committee feels that discretionary sanctions will not achieve this then it needs to take some other action, and I'm not seeing anything other than "the community can handle it" - the evidence of years is that that no, the community cannot handle this. Simply saying "reform ANI", while certainly highly desirable, is not going to resolve this dispute. Thryduulf (talk) 09:45, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

The entire dispute is bizarre, since both sides in each successive fight are usually long-term Wikipedians with large numbers of edits making substantial improvements to articles - but I guess that applied all along to the infobox wars.

Circular argument, ownership and assumptions of bad faith are currently much in evidence, and it's pretty clear that some (most, by my quick overview, but that could be sampling error) of the repeat combatants have fixed positions and do not decide on an article-by-article basis.

I endorse the proposal to invoke discretionary sanctions, the two-post proposal is novel but I can think of a number of potential pitfalls and ways of gaming it, and doing nothing is not good for anyone other than whoever sells us disks for the servers. Guy (Help!) 15:52, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Seraphimblade

I entirely endorse the request to add discretionary sanctions to this area. Blocks are a blunt tool unlikely to do anything but inflame the dispute. The more nuanced enforcement offered by discretionary sanctions might be able to cut back the nastiness and vitriol, and failing that can remove the worst actors from the topic. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:09, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by SlimVirgin

Please authorize discretionary sanctions. In the meantime, I wonder whether the MoS DS could be used (authorized in 2012 in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article titles and capitalisation), given that infoboxes are a style issue; see MOS:INFOBOX and this subsection for advice about including them. SarahSV (talk) 20:09, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

To pick up on Jytdog's point and my earlier post on another page, it would help if (in addition to authorizing DS; those are needed more than anything) the ArbCom would simply add "and infoboxes" to the first sentence of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Sortan#Preferred styles (2006):

Wikipedia does not mandate styles in many different areas; these include (but are not limited to) American vs. British spelling, date formats, and citation style. Where Wikipedia does not mandate a specific style, editors should not attempt to convert Wikipedia to their own preferred style, nor should they edit articles for the sole purpose of converting them to their preferred style, or removing examples of, or references to, styles which they dislike.

That decision dealt very effectively with the edit warring over several style issues. The same approach is needed for infoboxes, and while it's clear that the Sortan decision can be applied, adding "and infoboxes" would make it explicit.
Having done that, the ArbCom could (as Jytdog suggests) ask the community to organize an RfC to determine whether the community does want to "mandate a specific style" when it comes to infoboxes. SarahSV (talk) 21:32, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Jytdog, an INFOBOXVAR would have to say a good deal more than that; and I do agree that that should be developed by the community. Adding "and infoboxes" to that decision would simply make explicit what is already there, namely that infoboxes are a style issue covered by the MoS, and that the MoS regards them as optional. Note (bold added): "Wikipedia does not mandate styles in many different areas; these include (but are not limited to) ...". The principle is that editors should not be edit-warring over optional styles.

But I wouldn't want to suggest anything that might complicate and delay the authorization of discretionary sanctions. SarahSV (talk) 22:38, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Jytdog

I entirely agree with SlimVirgin above - this is a style matter and please do authorize DS. I do not think it is within Arbcom's scope to resolve the deeper question of project-wide guidance on infoboxes, as the 2013 Arbcom recognized in this remedy: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Infoboxes#Community_discussion_recommended. I suggest that the remedy be re-iterated and amended to more tightly focus the discussion - namely, recommend that the community hold an RfC to determine whether infoboxes should be treated per article like CITEVAR or whether they should be treated as a "mandated" style element, project-wide, that cannot be idiosyncratically opposed on a per article basis. I lay this out in more detail here. Jytdog (talk) 20:42, 30 August 2016 (UTC) (amend... don't mean to be so draconian... Jytdog (talk) 21:49, 30 August 2016 (UTC))

  • User:RexxS the importance of recognizing this as a style issue (especially in the eyes of the infobox opponents, who, as far as I can tell, see them as hideous), is to understand that the dispute is not amenable to reason; matters of style are not rational. Have people discuss it over a drink and you are more likely to get fistfights than reasoned discussion. It is not a content thing - it is a matter of how content already in the article is presented, which is Jytdog (talk) 22:19, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I do not agree with User:SlimVirgin's additional comment above, that it is within Arbcom's scope to apply the CITEVAR option to infoboxes. That moves into policy-making, in my view. Jytdog (talk) 22:25, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • User:Ealdgyth I did not say that infoboxes should be mandated; do not attribute that position to me. Jytdog (talk) 23:00, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by RexxS

I disagree entirely with Jytdog and Sarah above. ArbCom has repeatedly taken the position that infoboxes are part of the content of an article, not a mere style decision, as I've explained in a post elsewhere. Infoboxes contain a structured collection of key facts relevant to an article, and "key facts" are indisputably content.

Having said that, I would like to see an end to the clashes between the two sides on the infobox wars. What I would like to know is how does anybody think that discretionary sanctions are going to work in this case? [Clerk removed personal attack – Kevin (alt of L235 · t · c) 14:39, 1 September 2016 (UTC). You'll just have to imagine a vivid description of the Wild-West antics of some admins resulting in us losing good editors] Or are we going to see good content editors being topic banned from the topics they spend so much time stewarding? Without some direction as to the outcomes we want, it's equivalent to giving the prefects bigger straps to hit the juniors with.

What we need is behaviour modification. That takes two elements: the carrot and the stick; what Jerry in Zoo Story calls "the teaching emotion". The sanctions used so far ("stick only") have merely served to entrench the two camps. Not only that but we now have SMcCandlish's "The Next Generation" - a new swathe of editors taking up the pre-defined positions in the current round of disputes. The only way forward I can see is if we can build on whatever common ground we can, rather than dig it away to form the ranks of battle. That's when it starts to get personalised. If I could just get all the disputants together, face-to-face over a drink of their choice, we could go a very long way to taking the sting out of the incivility we currently see. But that's not going to happen - although the offer is always open - so are there any other possibilities?

I'd like to see each side be able to find some "carrot" in any proposed solution. How about we get rid of hidden comments forbidding infoboxes ("carrot" for the pro-boxers)? but in return, wherever there's an amicable discussion of whether or not to have an infobox, the decision becomes binding and unchallengeable for a period of six months, or a year, or whatever, ("carrot" for the anti-boxers)? If you don't build in something that rewards civil debate, I'm willing to bet that you'll make incivil debate the more likely outcome. --RexxS (talk) 22:07, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

@Jytdog: There are a lot more reasons than aesthetics for some of our very best editors to oppose an infobox in certain articles. One perennial problem is that fine editors like SchroCat and Cassianto, who do their best to steward articles that they have nurtured through the FA process, find that their decision not to include an infobox on a particular article is repeatedly challenged by other editors, fresh to the article, who don't share their reasons, or perhaps don't have insight into them. They find that wearing and I'm not surprised. I'd like to find some way of lessening that burden without throwing away the principle that "anybody can edit".
As for fisticuffs, my experience in meeting other Wikimedians (and I've met a lot of them) is this. Given the choice between: (1) letting me buy them a beer while listening to me apologise for losing my cool and being rude to them; and (2) starting a fistfight (given I'm 6 ft tall, 230 pounds, and grew up in a tough neighbourhood); everybody so far has picked (1). It must be the healing power of good beer. --RexxS (talk) 23:12, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
@Opabinia regalis: You're asking the question in exactly the wrong place. The only people (hopefully) who are watching this section are the ones who are invested in the infobox debate and are unlikely to change their minds for the following reasons. The decision on whether an infobox represents an improvement or not depends on a much larger range of factors than almost any other I'm aware of on the encyclopedia, including: aesthetics; the emission of microformats; the problems of trivia being stuffed into infoboxes; the value of an at-a-glance summary of key facts; huge infoboxes dominating a tiny article; avoiding searches for a single piece of key information that's not in the lead; the inability to have a big landscape lead image without making the infobox unreasonably wide; and many more. Each editor will give a different weight to each factor, so there is no argument that all of the regular participants have not seen and already weighed up as important or not.
The situation is made worse by an imbalance in the two camps: there are a couple of relatively small groups of editors who have spent much of their time on Wikipedia improving articles to FA standard. They share a common dislike of infoboxes in certain disciplines, notably theatrical biographies and classical music, principally (I believe) for aesthetic reasons. They tend not to be concerned with the technical aspects of infoboxes in providing metadata and re-use by third parties. That is a perfectly reasonable stance. There is another group of technically-minded editors who give less emphasis to aesthetics and much more to the technical advantages. That is also a tenable stance, but neither side is likely to convince the other to change their mind. The asymmetry occurs because the former group have invested a lot of time and effort in improving a particular article and try to act as stewards for those articles. The current round of disputes have flared up because uninvolved editors sometimes see an article, often an FA, that has no infobox and either add one or request one on the talk page. This causes a burden for the stewards of the article who feel they have to explain their nuanced decision not to have an infobox time-and-again. Unfortunately this sometimes leads to a failure in civility, and quite often draws in more editors from the two camps, not only arguing about the infobox decision, but also whether editors who have never edited the article before should be allowed to raise such a sensitive issue. Many of the latter camp will conclude that in those cases the stewardship has crossed the line into ownership. My own recent involvement has been in supporting an uninvolved editor who challenged the presence of hidden text which prohibited the addition of an infobox to several articles. That's the way in which this poisonous dispute is able to spread from the original locus. We're going to need some means of accommodating both camps, so that each feels they have something to gain, bearing in mind there's no compromise available in a binary decision like having an infobox or not having one. --RexxS (talk) 19:36, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
@Masem: Why must "all material in an infobox ... be duplicating content already in the article"? Why is it a problem "If there is material in the infobox that is not part of the article"? {{Infobox medical condition}} contains information found nowhere else in the article such as ICD-10, etc.; {{Infobox drug}} is mainly made up of information and images which do not appear elsewhere; most infoboxes present an image, a caption and alternate text that is not already in the article. What's the problem with those and how would it improve the encyclopedia to either remove those pieces of information from the infobox or duplicate them in the rest of the article? The selection of what goes into the infobox, especially when not duplicated in the remainder of the article, is a content decision, not a style decision, as much as any other decision to include or exclude content is. --RexxS (talk) 01:17, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Alanscottwalker Statement

I have not been really involved in all this (except on your talk page, interestingly enough), but I have not seen any current consensus on whether Infoboxes are style or substance or both (see also, WP:CONTENT), so that may be an open question. But can't you strongly encourage whomever to go to mediation to construct RfC's for the community to adopt, perhaps modest default rules guidelines or something like that? (You've done that before on contentious issues). Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:23, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Ealdgyth

I take Rexx's statement as somewhat spot on, but I'm with Sarah and Laser Brain. I, however, disagree with the idea by Jytdog, that infoboxes should be mandated. I'm generally slightly pro-infobox - most articles I start have them - but there are a few articles I've worked on that they won't work on, in my opinion. (See Middle Ages, Jersey Act, Carucage, or Gregorian mission). Many above are correct that there is too much personalization... but I'm not sure an RfC is going to be any more productive. I don't think DS can hurt IF they are used for the personalizations and extreme-battleground behavior that exists. Certainly something has to give. Ealdgyth - Talk 22:54, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Mike Christie

Opabinia Regalis is right to say that there is no consensus that infoboxes are a style issue, but I think this is a symptom, rather than a cause, of the different views, and I don't think those underlying views can be brought to a consensus. The two sides' preferred solutions flow from that point: if it's stylistic, it's up to the discretion of the first significant contributor; if it's content, no editor should be allowed to arbitrarily exclude it. If Arbcom can find a workable solution that bypasses settling that point, they're worth their pay, or would be, if they were paid.

Below are some requirements I feel any solution has to have. I posted a version of these at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests and have trimmed them a bit. I tried to make these neutral with the hope that at least both sides might agree on the requirements, if not the solution itself.

  1. Fairness. It has to apply equally to the addition and removal of infoboxes.
  2. Permanence. It has to make clear how permanent a decision is, in order to prevent a recurrence of the discussion wasting more time. When and how can an infobox decision for an article be revisited?
  3. Article quality. Any solution has to acknowledge that there's a difference between adding or removing an infobox to a stub, and doing the same to an article that has had a lot of work and thought put into it, particularly if that article has been through a review process. This would be true for any edit; it's not more true for infoboxes, but it is true, and has to be remembered.
  4. Participation. It has to address the concern that "uninvolved" editors will show up to add their opinions to any discussion. And when I say "address", I don't mean "disallow" or "allow"; I just mean the solution has to clearly say whether this is OK, and if not, how it will be stopped or remedied.

Montanabw made some comments in response to these points at the WT:A/R thread that are worth reading. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:05, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

@User:Opabinia regalis: you asked what would make an editor change their mind about infoboxes on an article. I don't think there are any participants in this discussion who think every article should have an infobox, nor any who think no articles should have one. (For that reason I'd like to find better terms than "pro-infobox" and "anti-infobox".) Hence it's not about infoboxes per se, it's about the context. For myself, if I think the information is not misleading (usually by inaccurate summarization) and is important (date of birth is clearly important, for example) I'm OK with including one, though if those restrictions limit the box only to information easy visible in the first one or two sentences I would usually opt not to have one. Two examples, both of which I nominated at FAC: Offa of Mercia has an infobox which is clearly beneficial; Amazing Stories does not and should not.

With regard to a solution, I am certain that discretionary sanctions will not work, if by "work" we mean that editors on both sides will be more productive as a result. Until we get a ruling (via Arbcom or via a community RfC) that settles, not the behaviour issue, but the underlying question of what rules apply to discussions about whether to add or remove an infobox, this will not be resolved. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 16:34, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Cullen328

I support the request to add discretionary sanctions to the infobox controversy. Whether or not infoboxes are a style issue or a content issue strikes me as unimportant and secondary to the need to stop the ongoing, persistent disruption which includes incivility. Any such effort will be successful only if enforcement is thoughtful, fair, restrained and even-handed. Sadly, otherwise highly productive editors who are both "pro" and "anti" infoboxes have been drawn into these protracted, repetitive, lengthy and disruptive disputes. Giving uninvolved administrators the power to topic ban editors who repeatedly persist in disruptive, uncivil behavior regarding infoboxes would be a useful tool, as I see it. To be clear, the topic ban I propose would apply only to infoboxes, not to the articles as a whole. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:47, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by LaughingVulcan

I have refrained from commenting so far, as I feel too close to some of the heat in one of the germinating articles - both giving and receiving. However, in going through the history of this I noted that there was a recommendation from Arbcom in the original case that there should be, "...a well-publicized community discussion be held to address whether to adopt a policy or guideline addressing what factors should weigh in favor of or against including an infobox in a given article." I managed to miss the infobox wars case during a long period of wikibreak/IP editing. Thank God. Was that discussion ever held to anyone's knowledge? I think I see and agree that it is not up to Arbcom to hold such discussion, but did any neutral party actually do that? And also I am not positive that any amount of discussion may bring peace in our time. Yet that too could be tried if it hasn't happened. If no, how could one go about starting that? Last, if discussions were held, what conclusions were reached and would some sort of banner link to them in any IB local article dispute help? None of this is meant to be a yes/no opinion on discretionary sanctions. Maybe any such community discussion should be preemptively placed on DS if held, though. LaughingVulcan 14:57, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis, point three I still consider myself an outsider, this have been my first experience on Infobox discussion. But a good survey of the readership, or an RfC or vote of the editorship (as in Infoboxes Remedy 4.3.7 or similar,) or an office action would be objectively empirical evidence for me. In the matter of Infoboxes, anecdotes or lone opinions generally won't change minds IMVHO, nor will article stewards' opinions if one differs with them. At least the ones I saw didn't persuade me to difference in the case at hand, even though many were well written and I reread the RfC and article this morning. Which leaves nose counting, no consensuses, and deferment to status quo ante. Speculation: Maybe if the RfCs were restructured to have "yes/no/comment" subsections collective opinions of either side might be more persuasive.

LaughingVulcan 01:04, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies While I’m convinced that my problems were with one editor and thus might agree that DS should thus not be authorized, I’m also extremely concerned at this point that some Arbs may feel like double jeopardy is now attached to his conduct outside this amendment request. (i.e. this Amendment closes with no action, bringing a request about an individual here named would now considered double jeopardy / hounding. ??? ) Or are you suggesting the scope of this amendment be narrowed down to that user's conduct? (And potentially those he's interacted with - quite frankly part of the reason I'm still involved with this and elsewhere trying to solve IB problems is because I'm well aware that I had my own faults with him in that thread and elsewhere... while believing that his problems and mine are of different orders of magnitude. And that he will not change, where I will. I like bio IBs, but not this much.) Sorry for changed sig... LaughingVulcan Grok Page! 12:09, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies (again) Thanks for the explanation. The way I’d see it, the project has not enforced decorum through normal means, multiple times, instead being told time and time again that it’s a matter of Infobox Controversy. 1 (never closed, archived when RfC started.) 2 3 4brought us here-now, I believe

Face it: If Arbcom can’t do anything further about this (either about specific editors or infoboxes, whichever is the cause or both,) no one else will, either. About the individual(s) or the subject. Because y’all will hast then spoken in the negative, and in the future the Admins and users elsewhere will think or say, "Well, Arbcom didn't act on it then-there, so why should we?" And while it may earn me yet more trouble I really don’t want: At least the subject of the Noel RfC has apparently nobody left with anything to say ATM. Last word (so far) is interesting. It won’t be the end of the trouble with certain individuals, though. Bet you ten quatloos on it.

  • Finally, I’d disagree and dare to venture that most of us who never come before Arbcom love y’all: Because you’re all too often the last line of defense. Help us, Arbi-Wan, you’re our only hope!ok not, but hope that one gets a laugh, at least... LaughingVulcan Grok Page! 01:33, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

@Guerillero Is 90% of WP being put under DS with this? Potentially if 90% of articles have IBs or will have the proposed, though I'd bet over time you're closer to 99% then. But could the question here be to have DS for when there is discussion to include or delete an IB - that discussion is what is under DS? I think that comes to a lower number. Maybe. LaughingVulcan Grok Page! 12:01, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Smeat75

I just want to point out that Tim riley, SchroCat, Cassianto and We hope have all retired or announced their intention to end their involvement with WP over this issue in the last few days. These are all highly excellent content creators, driven away from the project by incessant demands from editors otherwise uninvolved with the articles they have worked on to have infoboxes added to the articles. Very sad, a failure on a systemic level to help and value core content creators.Smeat75 (talk) 19:23, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Reply to Opabinia regalis - I think RexxS above, in his reply to you, has done a very fair and balanced job of evaluating the current situation. Things have moved on a little from the time when there were two opposing "camps" of regular editors, one pro, one anti-info-boxes who would slug it out repeatedly. The present, very horrible, conflict is, as he says, centred on FA which come to the attention of the "community" which unfortunately often means editors who neither know nor care anything whatsoever about the subject of the article but just think every article should have an infobox, because that is the cool modern thing to do. The what I might call hard core old school pro-infobox regulars have become a little more willing to compromise and extend understanding to the editors who have taken "their" articles to FA and do not feel infoboxes on them are appropriate, but not the "wider community" summoned by RfC's and so forth, which has been instrumental in the four highly excellent editors I mention above announcing they are quitting WP. Tim Riley is the one whose work I am most familiar with, it is a terrible, terrible loss. This is one of the reasons why I am not interested in trying to take the articles I have created or expanded to "Good" or "Featured" status, then you will have "the community" insisting on infoboxes, I would rather try to please the real "outsiders" who are not WP editors, but readers/users who turn to this website, now (unfortunately, I often think) the most frequently used resource for information on the internet, for accurate, well-sourced, hopefully interesting information.
Opabinia regalis asks what would change my mind. I have included infoboxes on articles I have created about books and also about various saints, but in the area of classical music/opera that I work in a lot I feel that infoboxes are not suitable at all for many of the articles I work on and experience someone trying to add one as sabotage of what I have tried to accomplish. I would change my mind if I could see that there is a consensus, not of the wider "community", but of the other editors working in the area of classical music/opera, that infoboxes should be included in articles.Smeat75 (talk) 05:03, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Drmies says "If infoboxes are the problem, deal with infoboxes." Good idea. How?Smeat75 (talk) 17:58, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Mr Ernie

Arbcom should go ahead and authorize DS for this topic area, but it won't adress the root cause of the issue. I agree with User:Jytdog that infoboxes are a style issue and the community should author a policy to end this dispute once and for all. Sure, one side is going to be upset, but they'll just have to accept it and get over it. This drama mongering and incivility by some editors is simply ridiculous, and far past the point of enough. If DS is the only thing done, we'll end up with a large amount of editors who are eventually blocked, banned off, or simply quit on their own. There will always be a new editor who comes along wants to add or remove an infobox on an article due to the nature of Wikipedia, and without a style guide to look to the main article contributors feel like their article quality is reduced by such changes and react. Mr Ernie (talk) 20:15, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Serialjoepsycho

Someone can correct me if I wrong, but following the discussion at [4] it seems entirely a matter of preference whether or not to include or exclude an infobox. If this is the case then any consensus, regardless of quality argumentation, is based of either "I just like that" or "I just don't like that". In the short term Discretionary sanctions are a good idea. For the longer term though some other action needs to be taken. Again my understanding is the inclusion and exclusion of inboxes is a matter of preference, and if the inclusion or the exclusion of an infobox was less arbitrary it stands to reason that there would be less disruption. I assume that the creation of the appropriate policy or guideline is a matter for the community and not ARBCOM directly unless done as a matter of discretionary sanctions. That's a line I question if members of ARBCOM would be comfortable crossing though. Perhaps there i some means that ARBCOM could help in presenting this to the community? If my assumptions about the arbitrary nature of infoboxes is incorrect my apologies and thanks for your time.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 04:49, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

TLDR D/S stand to stop the disruption but it avoids addressing the root cause of the disruption. The root cause does seem to be addressable.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 05:01, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies: It can't be ARBCOM who answers the question but can it be ARBCOM that frames the question? Speaking solely of dealing with the infoboxes of course. What is the general problem that comes up that makes people get into a discussion about whether an article should have a infobox? What is the most cited logic for exclusion or for inclusion? Should this logic be standardized in some way?-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 00:33, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Dr. Blofeld

Everybody knows what my opinion is of this situation, and I'm not going to throw around accusations as we know who'll turn up asking for them to be struck down and censored. But I will say that there urgently needs to be a mechanism in place to stop arguments over infoboxes escalating into uncivil, time wasting discussions which last weeks. I'm with Laser brain and Mr. Ernie on this in particular, the blocking editors/topic bans will not address the root of the problem and only turn editors away, as there will always be more editors who will come along and try to add infoboxes and then people will be powerless to defend them.

What we badly need here is to recognize that a] Infoboxes are not compulsory. They are a stylistic preference which should not be enforced on others with a different view, and are at best a minor part of the wikipedia intrastructure at least in arts biographies where their actual informational value is generally less than it may be in articles on sportspeople, aircraft, skyscrapers etc b] Recognize that infobox enforcement is not a problem across the entire site, most articles go by without warring. Recognize that it is often the same names involved in the disputes and articles by the same authors often at the centre of disputes. It is Featured Article sin particular which are often at the centre of disputes, I think something needs to protect those articles in particular from warring after an article passes FA and there is a formal consensus on infobox or no infobox. c] Ultimately recognize that Featured and Good Article writers are extremely valuable to the project and that uncivil discussion over infoboxes increase the risk of people leaving. Acknowledge that FA/GA contributors spend dozens of hours improving articles which nobody else can be bothered to improve, so should have more leeway in stylistic preference as they do in making any other editorial decision to omit/include certian material, ref style and layout in writing the full article. This includes articles which may have previously had an infobox but were undeveloped and poorly written (as infobox protectionism is also a major part of disputes) I think it's those FAs and GAs which have had extreme hard work put into them and careful decision making which needs to be respected above all and people be assured that they can promote an article without later having to fight people from adding an infobox.

  • @ GorillaWarfare, sorry I disagree that infobox discussion is ever likely to be civil. Your comment seems to demonstrate a distinct lack of understanding of a situation which is virtually always contentious. Yes, it might be possible to discuss it civilly, but in practice that far from happens, and you need to recognize that. In fact it's been one of the most bitter areas of confrontation on the site in recent years.♦ Dr. Blofeld 06:12, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
@ GorillaWarfare In most cases adding an infobox isn't contentious, and people do it and don't have to start a discussion. But in my experience when an editor comes along and says "why doesn't this have an infobox?" on a featured or good article and then starts a new thread to add one it tends to become a long discussion, usually with personal attacks involved. I agree that it shouldn't get uncivil but I'm yet to see an infobox discussion which isn't heated in some way myself.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:04, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Olive

  • AE is not a solution. AE would be a punitive bandaid on the encyclopedia that is not punitive. AE is broken. One admin carries both the responsibility and pressure of deciding on a fair result, a situation that opens the door to both abuses of the system and undo pressure on one human being. Like other forums on Wikipedia AE can result in multiple and long comments, nothing different than an Arb clarification except that decisions are reached by one person instead of many. How can AE result in a better outcome than here?
  • Info boxes are in my mind not strictly format issues. They are an alternative format for carrying content that can be read quickly. It can be frustrating to have created a long and well written article and to know a reader may choose to read only the most basic facts. However, very early and preliminary studies seem to indicate readers reading on a screen retain less information than if they experience the tactile, paper version of the information, remember less, and tend to scan (the left side of the screen) rather than read carefully. An info box then becomes a landing platform for the screen reader where he will see what he needs quickly per her tendency to scan and if the information is interesting enough may read the whole article. This has to be about the reader. We can't change how the screen is read, we can't change how human beings have come to read a screen, but we can be some of the first to understand and cater to the reader and perhaps lure them into reading more extensive knowledge.
  • We have to deal with this issue with a deeper understanding and willingness to adjust per what works for our readers; we have to be in the forefront of understanding how readers read online. That has to be the discussion, a discussion which includes multiple inputs and opinions and the forging of something groundbreaking. We have to think outside the box here, and stop being stuck on what was, and we need the experienced editors to do the thinking and the collaborating rather than leaving the encyclopedia. We're here because what was didn't work for everyone. We need a larger solution which may put a stop to this kind of protracted and in the end usually unproductive discussion.(Littleolive oil (talk) 17:08, 1 September 2016 (UTC))
    • On rereading some cmts: My cmts are not meant to address anyone in particular but are just opinions based on my own experience rather than replies to anyone.(Littleolive oil (talk) 23:18, 1 September 2016 (UTC))

Statement by Rschen7754

While I can see the rationale behind DS, I worry that the warning templates will be used as a weapon in areas that have used infoboxes for years with few issues. I also am concerned that we are moving closer to putting the whole site under DS. --Rschen7754 03:21, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Jo-Jo Eumerus

Breaking a little convention of mine, I'd like to suggest that any DS imposed in this topic area be preferably enforced by ways that don't involve Special:Block as the very first tool of enforcement, e.g by reverting or revdeleting violating edits or by edit filters. My impression is that we are not dealing with problems caused by SPAs or disruption-only accounts but with issue perpetrated by editors with mostly good contributions to the project, and the blocking tool (both as a first sanction or as a response to a ban violation) is poorly designed for such issues - for example it cannot be applied on a per group-of-pages or namespace specific basis. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 06:46, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Gerda

I agree with Opabinia regalis. I question Dr. Blofeld's "I disagree that infobox discussion is ever likely to be civil", - as much as I have enjoyed collaboration over many years. These discussions are no curse, they are as we make them. We could still start today:

  • to not think of people who don't agree with us as a group, giving them group names, but as human beings
  • to voice our opinion in small doses
  • to accept preferences
  • to not get more excited over infoboxes than other article features such as images and tables.

For a sample of pleasant conversations with a user who doesn't agree with me, see here.

For a recent example of a civil infobox discussion see here.

I have more than enough of the topic which I archived when the year began. If you see me on any article talk regarding the issue, remind me of this pledge. I invite you to my latest PR, part of Max Reger, my topic of the year. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:26, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

  • @Opabinia regalis: what could change my mind? I prefer this, concise information about the pictured person at a glance, to the plain picture. My mind was changed in 2012 when I found that redundant. Such a thing has been called "sabotage of what I have tried to accomplish" on this very page, and many other niceties in the article talk.
  • @Laser brain: Would you please consider to stop using group names, and "pitch forks"? I gave some samples of peaceful infobox discussion, and could supply more. The "hot" discussions to which you seem to refer when you say "every time" are a minority. Why they get so much attention, I don't know. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:57, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Again: are there groups? Yes, I am a member of several projects that "like" infoboxes (Infobox, Opera, Quality Article Improvement, etc), these projects also have other members, - in that respect you have groups. Black and white is too simple. I have enjoyed the collaboration of people you might see "on the other side": Dr. Blofeld and Tim riley, among others. When I write an article such as Requiem with Tim, I don't even bring up the question of an infobox, for respect. In The Company of Heaven, a collaboration of Tim, Nikkimaria and myself, we settled for a miniature infobox. There are many good options besides sanctions. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:39, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
@Yngvadottir: I agree with your voice for fighting "always" and "never". I disagree with your interpretation of the QAI list: While project members generally prefer articles with infoboxes we do not monitor a list "that keeps count of infobox additions and removals for the purpose of encouraging their addition as a general principle". The counting is (only) for three infoboxes created with the help of project members, and a list remembers articles where an infobox was reverted. The project knows nothing of infoboxes as a "general principle", but as a simple tool of accessibility. - Regarding GA and FA: it is not without irony that the article Noël Coward was TFA with an infobox. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 20:26, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
Today, reading Victoria's comment, I added Ezra Pound to my watch list and read the "less pleasant" (why?) 2012 discussion with interest. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 20:51, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Jcc

Any hope of civility without sanctions in the topic of infoboxes is simply wishful, naive thinking. One only needs to read Talk:Noel Coward to see the level of entrenchment between the two sides- and DS is needed, otherwise it will just be repeat of that every single time the topic is brought up. One editor has had 4 ANI threads by four different editors on ANI about their conduct in that thread, all of which have been closed, because what's really needed is DS. Sure, it won't solve the root cause, but it acts as an encouragement for editors to moderate their behaviour, and it'll help until we come up with a policy on infoboxes. jcc (tea and biscuits) 10:32, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Masem

I would strongly encourage the Committee to require the community to come to some MOS or the infobox equivalent of DATERET on how to determine when infoboxes should be include and how to appropriate breach the subject of how to seek a change (removal of a long-standing infobox, and/or addition of an infobox to an article that has lacked it). The one thing that I have found when reading through discussions on the infoboxes is very much an WP:OWNership aspect by those that have decided they didn't want an infobox on the articles they brought to GA/FA, and a view imcompatible with WP:CCC. The lack of a DATERET-type approach to avoid all these arguments on the process is what makes these discussions highly argumentive.

This should also be alongside a discussion to determine if it is possible from a technical standpoint to allow users to enable or disable infoboxes, as to help find a middle ground between the two stances on infoboxes. There is presently some discussion going on in WP:VPT towards this. --MASEM (t) 01:51, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

One comment on the SMC's comment in this diff: [5] - all material in an infobox should be duplicating content already in the article. If there is material in the infobox that is not part of the article, that's a problem. (Alternatively, the infobox should be seen as a way to sustinctly group useful data that are discussed in depth in an article, without having the reader have to read through and seek the data) This is why this should not be seen as a content issue but a style aspect, whether you provide that summary or not. --MASEM (t) 23:18, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
@RexxS : This is probably why having ArbCom force the community to sit down to come to an understanding of what purpose infoboxes serve and when or when not to include them and how to address debates on that after the fact, needs to be done. If we have infoboxes that include pertinent information that is not required to be repeated in the prose, then they become somewhat mandated to be included, which I know is an objection by those wanting to avoid their use. Not including some of this information in prose also becomes an accessibility issue. But this page is not the place to hash out the problems, just that I think we need ArbCom to make use stop ignoring the elephant in the room and come to some consensus on these. --MASEM (t) 16:00, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Yngvadottir

I strongly encourage the committee to reaffirm its ruling in the original infoboxes case that infoboxes are neither compulsory nor deprecated and should be discussed on a case-by-case basis, and otherwise to refrain from ruling in the matter.

The MOS is commonly used as a bludgeon; some of the wisest rulings on Wikipedia have concerned allowing variant usage to stand in the interests of our mission: to be an encyclopa/edia that anyone can edit: WP:CITEVAR, WP:ENGVAR. On the other hand the ruling on capitalisation of species names lost us an entire cohort of expert editors in the field of ornithology, in the name of a specious consistency.

People will always disagree about the merits of infoboxes, depending on the areas in which they work (they make good sense for athletes, ships, species, and films; they are appallingly reductive for any person with a varied body of work and in many other areas), their visual image of an encyclopedia, the priority they assign to facilitating automated use of our content (to me a negative), their approach to accessibility, their empathy for those trying to load increasingly template-heavy Wikipedia pages, and other variables I probably haven't even thought of. (I was trying not to mention also that the presence of an infobox also entrains many other issues ArbCom has grappled with recently, such as how to and whether to list a person's religion and ethnicity. But damnit, I think it's relevant.) It's an intractable difference of opinion with valid general arguments on both sides that, for me, weigh heavier on one side or the other in specific articles; I applaud Arbcom's wisdom in having ruled out as invalid the argument that there must be an infobox in any specific case, or that there must never be an infobox.

But that has not been enforced. I recently participated in an MfD for a project page that keeps count of infobox additions and removals for the purpose of encouraging their addition as a general principle. Discussions on talk pages present ample examples of generalized pro-infobox argument. And any broad RfC would of necessity boil down to consideration of the generalization, not of specific cases. That's analogous to variation in citation formats. People will always have varying opinions, and making a general rule will just weaken the encyclopedia to no purpose by driving off editors.

In particular, just as the project page I referred to above is under a project named for quality improvement, a number of excellent content producers have focussed increasingly on the GA and FA processes in part because the review of such an article provides a certification that the article was good or excellent without an infobox (or with a collapsed one). That's a valid argument should a challenge arise on the issue, but a sad reason for people to withdraw from creating new articles or improving some of our bad stubs. The underlying reason is not an unwillingness to work collaboratively, it's that what ArbCom once recognized as an area in which editors may legitimately hold differing opinions has not been treated as such as per ArbCom's ruling. Reaffirm that. Yngvadottir (talk) 20:03, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Wehwalt

I would not take the case, or amend it, unless arbitrators truly feel they can solve the issue by doing so, not just because nothing so far has worked. So far I see no indication that they so feel. Nor do I see any proposal on this page that I would bet more than ten cents on. Accordingly, I would deny the request.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:52, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Montanabw

I am pretty late to this party (off wiki several days, then ill), but my take is that I don't think that DS will help much. The two-comment rule might work, at least if it is used to bring in new and additional voices instead of all the same people yelling at each other. I favor working on civility and sticking to the topic, not the personalities. I believe that the infobox dispute is, as one editor mentioned, more about emotions than anything else, and if we can firmly keep emotion out of the issue, the rest will eventually fall into place. There are useful compromises that would be reached (collapsed infoboxes being one that has been used, infoboxes that place the image as a free-floating and resizable element above the box is another concept with potential) and there certainly is room to improve upon the layout and content of some infoboxes (the classic case of bloat probably being the one at Serena Williams). But the real problem here is civility. DS is not going to help that, it will just get the most involved people sanctioned without reducing the heat. It is a bludgeon, not a carrot. An infobox-type mechanism for metadata is going to exist, and I do rather favor a "six month rule" or "one year rule" between discussion of an infobox on an article once a consensus has been reached.

Comment by Victoriaearle

I'd strongly urge the committee to impose discretionary sanctions for infobox discussions - discussions that tend to escalate and get out of hand very quickly. Let's use Ezra Pound as a case study (btw - I'm the person who made the editorial judgment not to include the infobox): here's a discussion in 2010; another much longer and less pleasant discussion in 2012; there's this 2016 very unpleasant comment, which also made its way to The Bad Site (and which I read when dealing with an 18mm kidney stone <appeal to pity> (so you all can collectively say ouch and wonder why the hell I even came back to this place)); and the current discussion that was started the same day I spoke up about infoboxes on my talk page after spending years keeping my mouth shut, hands off keyboard. Let's assume good faith and assume that's a coincidence, and analyze the discussion: in little over 24 hours about 8 editors made about 20 comments. Three of the editors have been involved in writing, reviewing and curating the page (which is a featured article). Godwin's law was invoked fairly early on, regulars were templated, the discussion spread to other pages. Last night I made this comment and the discussion ended (which suggests to me that if we simply use those little DS templates when people start mucking around with infoboxes that it will slow the discussions). I'm expecting to be accused of ownership, but the reality is this: every single time I pressed save for the 1700 plus edits I made I was fully aware I was giving away my work. What can't be taken away, what I do own, is the knowledge in my head about the topic on which I can base a strong non-infobox-rationale (NIBR). Whether or not to add an infobox is an editorial decision and the best way to discuss is for the person requesting an infobox to enter into a rational discussion with the person who made the editorial decision. One party might sway the other, or perhaps not. But goading, baiting, templating, the basic tenor of these discussions is not only unhelpful but corrosive to the project. I shall now go write an NIBR - thanks all. Victoria (tk) 14:53, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Adding: I've written a lengthy no infobox rationale (NIBR) and have spent half a day on this. To say I'm fed up would be an understatement. In my view the arbs need to do something to prevent the reversion of the addition of an infobox (complete with non-free image) turning into an RfC and a brawl. There was nothing wrong with the reversion. Victoria (tk) 16:55, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Adding more: apparently the Ezra Pound RfC was opened per an OTRS request. Does the committee know how common that is? It might be worth investigating. I'm thinking if it's common, it might not be the best way to start these discussing and perhaps the heat could be lowered a little if people at least know an RfC was initiated in response to an OTRS ticket. I confess to knowing next-to-nothing about OTRS, but it seems a little odd. Victoria (tk) 16:51, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Infoboxes: Clerk notes

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

Infoboxes: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • At the moment I'm inclined towards imposing DS on the area. I don't see a need for another case. I might be convinced otherwise but I really wouldn't look forward to it. Doug Weller talk 16:56, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Might as well give DS a try. Nothing else has worked so far... Salvio Let's talk about it! 17:42, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm not opposed to authorizing discretionary sanctions here. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 20:10, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Hmm. In the last infobox-related ARCA, I (and others, but I remember my own posts best! :) suggested that someone who wants DS for infoboxes should file a new ARCA request on that point. No one did. Now we have another request about something related, where several people who commented on the previous request stop by to again ask for DS. (OK, I'm not sure what if anything that says, but it somehow seems significant.) I disagree with some of the comments above that this is a "style issue" and can be subsumed into existing mechanisms for handling such things - a look at the thread on the requests page clearly establishes that there is no consensus about whether infoboxes are style or content or something in between. However, I'm concerned that traditional DS applied to the topic of "infoboxes" will end up picking off participants one by one and dragging out the drama. There are also large areas of the project where infoboxes are not controversial. I think we need to be careful of unintended consequences. Opabinia regalis (talk) 22:45, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
    1. Whether or not you think it's uncivil or a personal attack or whatever, I don't see the value in discussing individuals admins here, especially those not currently active at AE. Let's spend our time on more useful discussions.
    2. The tone of discussions related to this subject has become excessively personalized. (There's my entry in the understatement of the year competition.) Relatedly, I think we all agree that nobody wants to see editors leaving the project over this, even in part, and I certainly hope those who are frustrated with this debate return after a break.
    3. This is a question for people on all sides of the debate: what kind of information would convince you to change your mind? What could you learn about editors or readers that would make you think "OK, at first I thought this article should/shouldn't have an infobox, but now I think the opposite"? Positions on the subject have clearly become entrenched over years of arguing, but what seems to me to be lacking is empirical evidence. If we can at least talk about what kind of evidence people find convincing, maybe we can move forward. Opabinia regalis (talk) 18:39, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Thanks to all who answered my question above, and apologies that I haven't had time to read the answers yet - it's a long weekend :) Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:39, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I think authorizing discretionary sanctions is an appropriate next step to trying to address this problem. I am not inclined to grant the two amendments requested by the filer. I'm not sure I'd ever support amending a case principle, simply because they're mainly there so that we can agree on background information. Changing it would not have any effect on current practice, since the principles do not authorize any remedies. The two-revert suggestion also seems misguided, as it's entirely possible to have a civil, productive conversation in this topic area while also making more than two posts. I feel like it would simply stymie productive discussion, and encourage repeated RfCs on very similar issues. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:01, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
    • @Dr. Blofeld: Thryduulf perhaps said it better than me in his comment above. There are plenty of discussions involving infoboxes that are perfectly normal; usually on pages where it's already been decided that there should be an infobox. I am not saying that there is no issue involving infoboxes; I've was active on the Infobox case review in 2015 and have also weighed in on various ARCAs regarding the cases, so I'm fully aware that it is an intensely problematic area. I simply want to avoid imposing restrictions that are so broad that a few editors can't even discuss, say, whether a person's previous occupation is relevant to include in an infobox. GorillaWarfare (talk) 20:54, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I am apprehensive about placing close to 90% of the 'pedia under DS --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 04:19, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
    • @Laser brain: the MOS itself is under DS but not pages that use the MOS. The issues never spilled over into individual articles in the same way that infoboxen have. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 22:23, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
    • @Thryduulf: and we would be back here again in a month defining what "major changes" are. Anything narrow goes through the merry-go-round and everything broad places more things under DS that ever have before. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 22:23, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
  • DS is punitive, by definition. I echo the sentiment of Rexx and Mike Christie (if not all parts of their statement), and some others, that what is urgently needed is a spirit of cooperation. And beer of course. What led to this? Comments by Cassianto which were deemed uncollegial (ahem) but were not handled/sanctioned at ANI? If we impose DS, don't we just shift that burden (of admonishing longterm content editors who sometimes lose their cool, maybe) to the few poor schmucks who patrol AE? The only "benefit" that can come out of it, and I'm putting that word in quotes since its beneficial nature will be a matter of contention, is not the block (Cassianto, for instance, has been blocked plenty) but a topic ban. Some will find that beneficial, others will not. The thing is (in my opinion) that if Cassianto (and I'm using him as an example because the filer did) somehow deserves a topic ban in this area for continued incivility, you don't need DS for all these articles to do it. Such a drastic measure directed at one editor really should be community imposed, not handed out by one of the aforementioned poor schmucks at AE. And if the community decides that such a measure is not appropriate, well, then the community has spoken--which is better, and will produce less bad blood, than one admin handing out a punishment whose consequences will be far-reaching.

    I don't think I'm sticking my head in the sand: I am also well aware of the enormous weight placed on infoboxes. But if editor x" is the problem, then deal with editor x. If infoboxes are the problem, deal with infoboxes. I do not believe that this is one of these cases where the problem of problematic editors in a problematic field (In a nutshell: problematic because it is not a problem that can be solved with RS or NPOV.) can be dealt with by imposing the kind of discipline that deals with neither an individual editor or the topic as a whole. Drmies (talk) 16:45, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

    • Laser brain, that is not what I see in this case request, which seems to focus on a. the behavior of one contributor and b. the lack of action taken at ANI in regard to that behavior. Drmies (talk) 17:18, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Thryduulf, I dig where you're coming from but I'm not feeling you completely. Sure, succinct--that's cool, but this is so succinct that I see little more than "we need to find a way to get rid of people like Cassianto". The rest of what I see, besides the call for DS, is the usual elements of any infobox discussion. So I cannot, from this request, infer that we should write up a case to take up again. If y'all want a real case, if you want to renegotiate the old one, then ask for one. (After I retire to Nassau, of course.) But again, I do not see the purpose for DS--and DS is, as one other editor pointed out above, also abused as a tool to chill and intimidate. Again I ask why one would want one admin to impose sanctions (at AE) when a group of admins couldn't (at ANI). I get that ANI is dysfunctional, and maybe AN is better, but if it can't be done there, what would y'all want from that one poor admin at AE? And did you read my objections to this request? You seem to focus only on the "no" part... Drmies (talk) 00:59, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Laser brain, sure, frequently there's more than one schmuck at AE, but not always, and I think this is one of those almost intractable cases where DS is just not a good idea, esp. not if we're doing that to make up for a failure at AN. The same admin(s) you want to enforce DS could be shopping around at AN, and they don't need more of a warrant to place a block there then they would at AE. DS, IMO, is much more suitable to topic areas like ARBPIA and BALKAN and whatnot, where you have old axes to grind but especially new and drive-by editors. The threatening language of DS is much more of a deterrent in such areas than it is in this, where the dispute is so old and the parties so entrenched. What kinds of solutions are sought? Blocks (and thus deterrents) for a. editors who breach decorum and b. editors who turn discussions into quagmires. (I don't think I saw much of a consensus on some kind of limit of postings.) Bring a case to AN--hey, editor X is calling us sons of bitches. If it's a real attack or whatever and admins won't block, then we have bigger problems that DS won't fix. This is just my opinion. Drmies (talk) 17:50, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
    • LaughingVulcan, what I see is a case that started about one editor and calls for very broad measures. I don't know about double jeopardy; I do know that the ANI thread was closed without solution and that we shouldn't block someone now for something that happened weeks or months ago and found no consensus then. I continue to think that we do not need DS to enforce one little thing from an earlier case, decorum, a thing that should be enforceable throughout the project through the normal means. OK, let's say that editor X did that terrible thing and no one blocked them for it because ANI is a groupshithole or something like that. Should ArbCom get involved because 1500 admins and a couple thousand editors can't agree to do something about something basic? We are better off bringing better cases to AN and keeping the discussion in check--and we should let admins do that, and we should allow admins the leeway to keep those discussions in check. I have spoken about that frequently: admins should run AN. They have that leeway already; they should use it. Face it, no one likes ArbCom, no one wants ArbCom involved--if you find better ways to manage the problems you won't need us. At least not for this one. Drmies (talk) 17:58, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Smeat75, "how?", you said. Good question--but it can't be ArbCom that decides on the basic question, infobox yes or no. Drmies (talk) 18:00, 7 September 2016 (UTC)
  • First of all, I don't see the point of DS when it is unclear what the DS are supposed to be enforcing. Since a large number of admins and other WPedians disagree about the solution, it amounts to a more rigid application of each individuals variant pov on the matter in a chaotic and contradictory fashion.
    Second, the previous decision that the question is up for discussion at each individual page has not proven satisfactory, or we wouldn't be here; there's no point repeating it.
    Third, the contents of an infobox is a matter of content--i.e., what fields should be included, how much verification is needed, and so on. The presence of an infobox, is a question of style. Most question of style are satisfactorily handled by the general ...VAR rule of uniformity within an article, but not between articles; the question here is whether this style is so important a feature that uniformity is essential (as it is for some aspects of choice of title)
    Fourth, it amazes me that anyone would leave WP over this issue, when there's another choice, which is to ignore the matter entirely. DGG ( talk ) 21:12, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Infoboxes: Motion to open a case

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

The Arbitration Committee has determined that the dispute, as it currently stands, would not be adequately solved through an amendment request to the previous case or review, nor by the imposition of discretionary sanctions. As such, an arbitration case (named Infoboxes 3) is accepted to examine the conduct of various editors involved in the infoboxes dispute.

Statements used on this page will form the preliminary statements for the case. The scope of the case will be to look at the actions of editors who are invested in the dispute with a view to determining those who can be disruptive. The Committee requests input from the community as to who should be parties to this case. Suggestions for parties should be made, with reasons and evidence, on this page. The Committee will consider these suggestions when determining the parties.

  1. Just noting that statements here will be considered preliminary statements when the case is opened. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 23:51, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
  2. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 03:25, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  3. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 03:42, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  4. Doug Weller talk 05:47, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  5. Although this would be better left to the community, there have been previous arb com decisions that did overlap with MOS issues. Since the community has been manifestly unable to solve it and it's gotten to be a continuing source of disruption, I reluctantly conclude it falls to us. DGG ( talk ) 14:42, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

  1. Salvio Let's talk about it! 09:01, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Clarification request: Palestine-Israel articles 3

Initiated by Epson Salts at 15:03, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Palestine-Israel articles 3 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 Epson Salts

WP:ARBPIA3 states that " All IP editors, accounts with fewer than 500 edits, and accounts with less than 30 days tenure are prohibited from editing any page that could be reasonably construed as being related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. ". Such an editor (account with < 500 edits) recently created a couple of new articles clearly related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which are now up for deletion. (see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Yinon Plan). An editor (Joe Roe) has stated that the aforementioned restriction does not apply to creation of new articles, so I would like clarification of that.

Given the clear statements by the arbiters below, can such an article be Speedily deleted under G5? Epson Salts (talk) 17:42, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Joe Roe

  • I didn't state that the restriction doesn't apply to creation of new articles, I suggested that the enforcement of that restriction might not extend to automatically deleting articles created by new users, rather than say, asking them to cease editing it further. This all seems rather over the top... Joe Roe (talk) 16:25, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Martyn.Preller

I was not aware of the rules about the Israel-Palestine conflict and created this article in good faith as it was a notable article missing from Wikipedia a notion supported by 2 other editors.

I will of course observe this restriction placed on me until I meet the criteria of over 30 days and 500 edits.

I think it would be a shame to delete the article and I'm happy for others to edit as they see fit to improve it.

Martyn.Preller (talk) 22:50, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Wehwalt

It is our policy to encourage good faith article creation. Purposeless to deter the love of writing on an article that is otherwise acceptable. Maybe keep it in mainspace. If it's abused, you can reconsider. And if the article is crap or propaganda, the road to AfD is especially clearly marked around here.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:54, 28 September 2016 (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.

Palestine-Israel articles 3: Clerk notes

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

Palestine-Israel articles 3: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • The restriction applies to all edits, whether to new or existing articles. Obviously, there may be some differences in how the restriction is enforced on a technical level—as far as I know, the new protection level doesn't really work for not-yet-created articles—but the underlying rules are in effect regardless. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 16:28, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  • You can't create an article without editing. Doug Weller talk 16:45, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  • It applies to new articles, though we need to figure out howto apply it automatically. In the meantime I suggest moving to userspace. DGG ( talk ) 07:55, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I doubt there is a technical way to prevent it, however DGG's userspace suggestion makes sense. --kelapstick(bainuu) 04:51, 27 September 2016 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement

Volunteer Marek


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 Sean.hoyland

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
No More Mr Nice Guy (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 21:04, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Sean.hoyland (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. 21:54 16 Sept First revert (notice no explanation in edit summary)
  2. 03:00 17 Sept Second revert 5 hours later, this time claiming a BLP violation.

Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 

[41] 3 month topic ban for 1RR violation.

If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Previously blocked as a discretionary sanction for conduct in the area of conflict, see the block log linked to above.
  • Gave an alert about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months. He mentions ARBPIA 79 times in the edit summaries of his last 500 contribs, so it's safe to assume he is aware.
  • Participated in an arbitration request or enforcement procedure about the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on 3 May 2016.

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Sean.hoyland (who according to the banner on the top of his user page edits exclusively in the ARBPIA topic area because of something related to "suppressing dissent" [42]) first appeared on the Walid Khalidi article after two weeks of no editing. Despite never having edited this article or its talk page before, he reverted another editor without explanation in the edit summary or talk page [43]. I reverted him reminding him of BRD (can be seen in the first diff I link to above). He reverted me, again with no explanation. He was reverted and 5 hours later made the second revert noted above, where he refers to BLP but does not explain what the problem is exactly.
I notified him on his talk page that he violated 1RR [44] and invited him to either participate in the discussion and explain the nature of the BLP violation he sees there or self-revert. He removed my warning and did neither.

@Kingsindian, even if your description were accurate (and it isn't. Anyone can see only 4 people including you and me have participated in the discussion in the past year, and you arrived after Sean's 1RR violation), restoring the RIGHTVERSION is not exempt from 1RR. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 04:56, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

I added a link to a previous case in which Sean was reported for violating 1RR and received a 3 month topic ban. I would also like to point out that he has been warned [45] about accusing other editors of being socks without providing sufficient reasoning, as he did below.
Putting aside his ridiculous justification, I don't care if he talks to me or not. It has been long established here and elsewhere that "reverting but being unwilling to discuss the revert is unacceptable and disruptive behavior" [46]. He can address his comments to someone he likes, but he can't invent reasons for reverting without discussion and in violation of 1RR. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 21:15, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

@JzG, could you please explain how this is "a deliberate attempt at entrapment", and by whom? Am I reading you correctly and you think someone tricked Sean into making reverts without discussion or edit summaries, and in violation of 1RR? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 02:03, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

@AnotherNewAccount, you'd think a BATTLE laden rant in which an editor announces he will not collaborate with those he finds ideologically unacceptable would elicit some kind of reaction from the admins but apparently that's acceptable behavior for ARBPIA and this board. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 00:19, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

While we wait for the admins to finish contemplating this case (and I'm starting to get the feeling that Sean's sense of impunity is not completely unfounded), I have a question: would an editor saying it is "proven" that a living person deliberately committed academic fraud in order to "get" another academic be a BLP violation? Seems exactly like the sort of thing Wikipedia could get sued for. Such an accusation has been sitting in this thread for a few days now. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 16:15, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Could someone close this already? Here is a summary of the salient points that came up in the filing and resulting discussion:

  • 1RR violation (previously topic banned for 3 months for 1RR violation: [47])
  • Refuses to discuss his reverts ("reverting but being unwilling to discuss the revert is unacceptable and disruptive behavior": [48])
  • Proclaims here and on his talk page that he's an SPA only interested in reverting other editors in ARBPIA, and his edits in the last several months reflect this.

I gather you guys are going to just ignore all these things which would, for most other editors, result in indef bans (I wish you were more honest about your reasons for this. Entrapment? Come on), but someone is going to have to close this and put their name on the close. It's not going to just get archived. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 23:28, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

@Kamel, there's no consensus problem here. Not a single admin has indicated they accept Sean's BLP reasoning. Not a single admin said Sean's behavior was acceptable or that he didn't violate the Arbcom mandated 1RR restriction. There's a consensus, they just don't want to act on it. Apparently some editors get extra privileges, like not being bound by Arbcom decisions or normal editing practices. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:27, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

@T. Canens, don't forget to note you're using your discretion to let his refusal to discuss his reverts slide as well. Someone might compare this request to the filing just below and get the wrong (or right) idea. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 20:43, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Sean.hoyland

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 Sean.hoyland

Ed, I don't think your solution will work. Firstly, I don't think there can be a legitimate consensus to include a misquote presented as a legitimate quote and so I will not pursue one. The evidence that demonstrates that the Village Statistics 1945 survey was misquoted was provided on the talk page (see here) and the orginal document can be seen at the National Library of Israel here (see Explanatory Note, paragraph A/5). Secondly, I choose who to engage with in ARBPIA. It is not a choice for anyone else to make and it excludes people I regard as belligerant ethno-nationalist POV-pushers and/or sockpuppets. There also has to be a good reason to expose myself to the inevitable pitifully infantile personal attacks that accompany engagement with these kinds of editors on talk pages (many examples of which can be seen at Talk:Walid_Khalidi#Dr_Brawer_quote), and in this case there was not. So for me, there will be no response to statements made by NMMNG and Epson Salts here or anywhere else, no dialog or collaboration, no replies to questions, no explanations and no discussion on talk pages and no seeking consensus with these individuals on this or any issue. If that results in a block or topic ban, the benefit for me personally outweighs the cost of engagement. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:39, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

I should add that, while I have made hundreds, perhaps thousands of 1RR violations in ARBPIA reverting disruptive editors (as anyone can see from my edit history), I don't believe this was a 1RR violation. I think the removal was justified by WP:BLPREMOVE because a statement that criticizes a living person based on a demonstrably false quotation of the source they used fails the basic verifiability test. The source cited is simply wrong. The associated quote can and should be removed, in my view. There was no justification for the repeated restoration of the misquote and no amount of waiting or discussion could produce a situation that would justify its restoration based on policy. A legitimate consensus for that is impossible. There was nothing to wait for and there is never a good reason to avoid the inevitable reports that follow from any attempt to suppress the illegitimate actions of belligerent ethno-nationalist POV-pushers in sock and/or non-sock form. 1RR is not there to facilitate editors repeatedly and knowingly restoring false information into a BLP and self-preservation is not a valid reason to delay an action that an editor or bot regards as justified by policy in my view. Any long term editor knows that effective suppression of the disruption and contamination that inevitably follows from Wikipedia's inability to exclude these kinds of editors from ARBPIA will have costs for the editors doing it. So admins can do as they see fit and there will be no complaints from me. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:58, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

AnotherNewAccount, you are correct that I have 'no intention of editing collegially with those whom he deems "belligerant[sic] ethno-nationalist POV-pushers'. You are incorrect in assuming this is related to an "ideological agenda", but that doesn't matter. I had the privilege of attending a good college where working 'collegially' was possible. Perhaps in the future it will be possible to edit this way in ARBPIA with all editors, but right now that is neither possible or advisable in my view. The topic area does not have an effective admissions policy and so the notion of 'editing collegially' is wishful thinking and an irresponsible policy that exposes editors to attacks and the idiocy and ugliness of nationalism. My view after many years of editing, is that editors in ARBPIA should not collaborate with these kinds of editors because it is counterproductive. Editors who violate WP:NOTADVOCATE should not be here in the first place. Collaboration perpetuates the toxic unsafe environment which is why my edits are now restricted to uncommunicative bot-like reverts mostly of long-term-abuse accounts. I am glad that you misidentify these as "often good-faith new editor[s]" because the less you know about it the better. ARBPIA should be treated as an unsafe work area in my opinion and shutdown until Wikipedia can provide an effective measure of protection to editors and content.

Re: Kamel's 'directly rendering Wikipedia's policies meaningless' statement. This is nonsense. Wikipedia's policies are already meaningless. Bear in mind that in practice I have absolute impunity. I can literally do as I please. If blocked I can create as many accounts as I wish, all of which would be impossible to confirm as sockpuppets because, like many others, I have the access to the resources and experience necessary to do that. The fact that I wouldn't do that is just a random factor over which Wikipedia has no effective control whatsoever. Blocking is only effective against people with integrity, which sadly means it is largely ineffective in ARBPIA.

Re: Sir Joseph's statement "It is a common practice for those on the Palestinian side to claim sockpuppet for other people. We see that here and that has to stop. It is a chilling atmosphere when every dispute has allegations of sockpuppetry." The reason it's common practice to claim sockpuppet for other people is because it is common practice in ARBPIA for people to use sockpuppets. I'm aware that accusing someone of sockpuppetry without filing an SPI report is an article of faith the Church of Wikipedia. I haven't accused anyone of sockpuppetry here but I would have no qualms doing so even if it resulted in a block. I have simply reflected the reality that in ARBPIA the editors can be legitimate editors or socks, and the mix is probably 50/50. Complaining about the number of sockpuppets or telling people to shut up about sockpuppets does no good either way. It changes nothing. Blocking a sock changes nothing, they will just come back. In practice, if an editor that resembles a sock behaves well, does not violate WP:NOTADVOCATE, complies with all content policies, they will be left alone. But if they harass editors they dislike, which is what usually happens, or go back to their misuse of Wikipedia, someone is going to say they resemble a sock, and wishing they didn't or blocking them for voicing their opinion changes nothing. Sean.hoyland - talk 07:54, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Kingsindian

Please see the comment I made here on the talkpage. The basic issue is that there is (at least) 6-2 or 7-2 consensus on the talkpage to pare down some material, which is being obstructed by one editor by using wikilawyering. In the face of this obstructionism, Sean.hoyland has violated WP:1RR. You can "punish" the 1RR violation, or see the underlying issue. Up to you. Kingsindian   02:40, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

I am not surprised that Epson Salts is wikilawyering here as well. Here's the consensus timeline. The initial discussion was a year ago, which nobody objected to, 3-0. Here Zero made the first edit which they forgot to do a year ago. Epson Salts reverted (3-1). Sean Hoyland reverted (4-1). Nishidani commented (5-1). NMMNG commented and re-reverted (5-2). Sean Hoyland reverted again. I comment (6-2). Pluto2012 commented (7-2).
This is of course not the first time Epson Salts has engaged in wikilawyering. Nor is it the first time they have given an unsolicited opinion that Zero and Nishidani should not be editing in ARBPIA, insinuations about source falsification, personal attacks and so on. One can easily find a ton of pages where they insert themselves into a content dispute, always to throw gasoline on it. I can give diffs if required. Kingsindian   16:03, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Can we close this, one way or another? There is no more edit-warring on the text and there are proposals on the talk page to fix the text, one way or another, without including the misquote from Brauer directly. Kingsindian   04:08, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Zero0000

Although it would have been good for Sean to state his explanation more expansively on the talk page, I believe that it is a reasonable judgement that the revert was justified by the BLP rules. As KI says, one editor is wikilawyering to keep a fake quotation in the BLP, that reflects badly on the subject of the BLP, despite everyone agreeing that it is fake. Even if you disagree that this justifies a revert, I think you should see it as a fair call made in good faith. Zerotalk 05:38, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

@EdJohnston: Actually a link to a scan of the misquoted document has been on that talk page for over a year; see Huldra's text "I agree". Everyone has long all they needed to check that there was indeed a misquote. Zerotalk 23:23, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Epson Salts is easily the worst editor in the I/P area at the moment and I challenge anyone to identify any positive contribution he/she has made to the encyclopedia. What I see is endless POV-pushing, stonewalling, sneering and abusive tone and bad faith. The case brought here is actually representative. Any editor who is dedicated to article improvement, on noticing an objectively incorrect item in an article (in this case, a BLP even) will be thinking about how to fix the error within the rules. Epson Salts instead wastes the time of multiple editors by fatuous wikilawyering to keep the incorrect item in the article. The reason is quite obvious if you examine the direction of his POV-pushing. He/she even went to WP:NORN without notifying anyone else in the discussion and tried to get support by means of a distorted description (he/she makes it sound like a disagreement between an editor's opinion and a source's opinion, but it is nothing of the sort). Zerotalk 23:58, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement byEpson Salts

This is a very clear cut case of 1RR violation. Even the editors who posted here in support of Sen.hoyland do not deny that fact. I won't go into detail into the misrepresentations by Kingsindian or Zero as to the nature of the dispute (the quote is not 'fake' - we are talking about a possibly missing ellipsis; the current discussion is 4:2; it obviously can't be obstructionism by a single editor if they concede there are at least two who opposed to their position etc...) - because we are not supposed to be rehashing and deciding content issues here- that's for the talk page discussion - a page where Sean hoyland has been conspicuously absent. The question before us here is - do we allow 1RR violations for what some editors think are 'good' edits. That's a very slippery slope. Epson Salts (talk) 13:19, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies: You are confused as to the argument I am making. A noted scholar, who is a geographer by training and current occupation, who is published in a peer-reviewed academic journal on a topic of geography, is an academic source. An activist, who is an anthropologist by training and a current researcher in internet activism, who is published in a group blog on a topic far outside her academic expertise (WII history, Nazism and Arab antisemitism), is not. There's nothing inconsistent about this position.
Would you care to point out where I am wikilawyeirng on the relevant talk page? I have already said I am willing to rephrase the Brawer crticism and have asked Zero0000 for a proposal for such re-write - what is the issue?
And let me understand the position you are taking: It is ok to violate an Arbcom mandated 1RR restriction, refuse to discuss the reasons for the revert, and declare that you will continue to do so in the future , provided it is a revert to the "right version"? It would be useful to know this. Epson Salts (talk) 22:43, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Nishidani

There is no 'misrepresentation' by those editors. The second diff constitutes an IR violation, but was motivated as a WP:BLP violation. Zero outlined a case one year ago that the quote from Brawer comes from him running together two sentences widely separated, with a crucial element missing, to formulate a criticism of another scholar, Walid Khalidi.Nota bene that on perceiving this, he did not rush to 'score' a point, the vice of many editors here. He waited a year for further collegial input This is an inexpugnable fact which ES still challenges above: 'we are talking about a possibly missing ellipsis. I.e. the talk page has the evidence, a scan has been provided to verify the full text, the fact that Brawer in defiance of fundamental scholarly practice dropped the (. . . .) marks indicating an ellipse, to get at Khalidi is proven. For ES it remains a possibility. That is wikilawyering on WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT principles.

A further point.In reverting Sean.hoyland’s revert Epson Salts’s edit summary reads: disruptive edit warring by editor not participating in the discussion. But that is precisely what ESS does. For example, this, at Max Blumenthal, where he reverted never having participated on that talk page. Epson Salts varies policy reasons for reverts from page to page, indulges in abuse of, and bad faith accusations of several editors, and when told to desist replies:'You get back exactly what you dish out', which misses the point. I asked him to stop abusing Zero, not me. There is no trace in Zero's edit record of intemperate language. Hoyland should have waited: there were several eyes on that page. But it is not as if he can't see what has been obvious to several editors since ES arrived on the I/P scene.Nishidani (talk) 21:55, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

I accept the I/P area is always going to be difficult. But there is an uptick in hostility and sneering recently that is effectively making any form of editing close to impossible because the hostility is undisguised, and it comes with theories about me, or others. I am assumed to be a Hamas-POV pusher (here and here, herewhere the technical literature I cite (per WP:NPOV - one cannot just cite incidents of terror and cancel out what the huge scholarship on it regularly produces as contextualization or theories regarding its causes - is then interpreted invariably as 'my opinion'), or part of a 'gang of buddies' who are going to get what, apparently, 'we' dished out now the 'shoe is on the other foot' (here; here against Zero;here; or here), which today echoes exactly the unembarrassed, openly 'vindictive' declaration of an intent to 'dish it out' to a perceived group which I mentioned earlier. It comes, note, after The Blade of the Northern Lights advised him to 'tone down' the aggressiveness he flaunts.Nishidani (talk) 21:15, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Huldra

Ah, this is a case of horrible "wiki-lawyering"; saying that if anyone is scholar, is a WP:RS, therefor should be represented. Well, there are countless of WP:RS-sources which gives the number of killed in the Deir Yassin massacre around 250. Today we know this isn´t true, so we do not use them in the article (except to note that the estimates of killed were earlier larger.)

That Brawer is a scholar does not mean that everything he wrote is correct. When shown that what he wrote was not correct, then it is a horrible (sanctionable?) idea to put it into an article. Huldra (talk) 23:46, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

OK, the Brawer quote S.H removed twice is: [According to Brawer, the reliability of the original version is in doubt,] to the point where the explanatory note on the original 1945 version specifically states: "The population estimates published here cannot, however, be considered other than rough estimates which in some instances may ultimate be found to differ considerable from the actual figures." This in a discussion of Khalidi`s 1992 book: All that remains.

Besides the fact that the Brawer quote is not as stated in the Village Statistics 1945, it also seems to me that Brawer wants to give the impression that Khalidi has hidden the fact that the 1945 populations were estimates. However, Khalidi does no such thing. On p. xxi in "All that remains" Khalidi writes: "It should also be stressed that the population figures are not the result of an actual census but extrapolations as at year-end 1944 prepared by the Mandatory Government´s Department of Statistics on the basis of the 1931 census."

It is not Khalidi´s fault that the 1945 populations figures were estimates!

To me: if editors add the full Brawer quote to Khalidi´s BLP, it indicates that the editors have no knowledge of Khalidi´s work, Huldra (talk) 21:03, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Kamel Tebaast

Most all of Sean.hoyland's edits are reverts, s/he walks the fine line and knows the rules, and you admins are suggesting a warning for a 1RR. No topic ban! No block! Nothing! A warning! You're out of order! You're all out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order! That man, that crazy man, reverted everyone, and he'd like to do it again! It's just a show! It's a show! It's "Let's Make A Deal"! "Let's Make A Deal"! Hey Admins, you wanna "Make A Deal"? I got an insane judge who likes to let off Palestinian nationalists with warnings! Whaddya wanna gimme Admins, 3 weeks probation? KamelTebaast 07:56, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

@Drmies: Not my fault you don't know one of Pachino's best scenes ...And Justice For All
@Zero0000: The worst editor in the A/I area is Sean.holyland. Since 11 August 2008, s/he has made 5,739 revisions. Clearly very little "positive contribution he/she has made to the encyclopedia".
@Kingsindian: You don't find it ironic that you wrote about Epson Salts giving "unsolicited opinion" about other editors while you were giving an unsolicited opinion about another editor?
@Admins: Enough with all these straw man and misdirection arguments, refocusing on other editor diversions, and, a first that I've heard on Wikipedia, "entrapment". With 5,739 REVISIONS, most all in the A/I area, Sean.hoyland clearly knew the rules. S/he made two reverts in five hours and bi-passed the opportunity to self-revert and discuss in Talk. A sanction must be given. If not, you are directly rendering Wikipedia's policies meaningless, and you are adding to the real concern that Wikipedia has one set of rules for editors who support Palestinian nationalism and one for editors who support Israel. KamelTebaast 16:01, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Can Wikicourt end with no consensus? KamelTebaast 18:21, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

@NMMNG, you're forgetting some very important details. The admins acknowledged that "wikilawyering" and "entrapment" were the real culprits, apparently causing Sean.H to act this way. KamelTebaast 20:11, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph

Two things need to be kept in mind. (I am not taking any sides in the content dispute or 1RR since I haven't looked into it.) It is a common practice for those on the Palestinian side to claim sockpuppet for other people. We see that here and that has to stop. It is a chilling atmosphere when every dispute has allegations of sockpuppetry. Secondly, the claim that there will be no interaction, no explanation, no discussion is completely contrary to Wikipedia. When someone edits they are editing under the guidelines that there will 100% be discussions and explanations. These comments need to be addressed, independent of the actual 1RR case presented here. 🔯 Sir Joseph 🍸(talk) 16:12, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Regarding calling others socks, Sean Hoyland was already warned for this before. Here is one time: Quite frankly I'm surprised no admins are commenting on his statements that he will not cooperate with editors. 🔯 Sir Joseph 🍸(talk) 20:36, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by AnotherNewAccount

This is a very clear 1RR violation, and I fail to see how the content in question violates BLP guidelines either. (As for Kingsindian's supposed "consensus", it looks very much to me like a traditional ARBPIA non-consensus: the standard sizable group of pro-Palestinian editors with strong views all agreeing with each other, out-arguing the rump of 1-2 opposing editors by sheer force of numbers. Neutral editors, are of course, entirely absent.)

Scrutinizing the accused editor's overall conduct of late, I question whether Sean.hoyland is even here to build an encyclopedia anymore. The last few months' editing has consisted of little more than ideological revert ninjaing and POV-motivated enforcements of 30/500 without even the courtesy of an explanation to the often good-faith new editor being reverted. Reading his rant above, it's clear that he has no intention of editing collegially with those whom he deems "belligerant[sic] ethno-nationalist POV-pushers" - that is, those editors who oppose his heavy ideological agenda. I was originally going to suggest he be placed on 0RR, but demonstrating this clear battleground mentality, I now think administrators should consider a topic ban. AnotherNewAccount (talk) 20:15, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Ijon Tichy

Sean.hoyland should be sanctioned for clearly violating the 1RR restriction. Perhaps a (short-term, temporary) topic-ban or block. I greatly respect and admire Sean's work, he is a net positive asset to the project by a very wide margin, he is clearly here to build an encyclopedia, and does a great job of reverting a wide range of edits by disruptive editors. Sean's work always strictly follows, and asserts, Wikipedia policies and guidelines across many articles in the I/P topic area(s). I hope that he will soon decide to exit his retirement or semi-retirement and resume contributing many more edits to the encyclopedia --- I enjoy reading his good work. However, he broke the rules (which is a very rare behavior for him) and should bear the consequences.

Meanwhile, Epson Salts appears to continue to edit disruptively while completely ignoring the warnings and helpful advice that were generously provided to him here on this board from experienced users including Kingsindian, Zero0000, Nishidani, Huldra, Drmies, JzG, and The Blade of the Northern Lights. For just one recent example of Epson Salt's many disruptive edits over the last few months, users may want to take a look at Talk:2008 Dimona suicide bombing. This is just one example of the many incidents where Epson Salts has continued to relentlessly, obsessively hound and personally attack Nishidani across numerous WP articles, despite several requests by Nishidani, and others, to stop. Ijon Tichy (talk) 17:11, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Result concerning Sean.hoyland

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I would close this with a warning to User:Sean.hoyland that he may be blocked if he edits the Walid Khalidi article again without getting prior consensus on the talk page. Sean's second revert doesn't appear to be justified by BLP. People are claiming that the Village Statistics 1945 survey could have been misquoted but there is not quite enough information provided at Talk:Walid Khalidi#Dr Brawer quote to be sure that happened. EdJohnston (talk) 15:43, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I disagree with EdJohnston--respectfully of course! I think that Sean.hoyland hasn't been perfect here, but it is pretty obvious to me that indeed Epson Salts is wikilawyering on the talk page where there seems to be a pretty clear consensus that a. not every apparently status quo is a "stable version" and b. the challenged material was indeed excessive and its source questionable. I note that Epson Salts claims that "sourced, academic material" (a rather vague adjective, that second one) shouldn't be reverted, though in another discussion (still at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Miriyam_Aouragh_as_a_source_for_the_views_of_Gilbert_Achcar) they are acting as if they believe the opposite. So yes, I think I'm with Kingsindian here (that that day would ever come...) and I think that the underlying issue needs to be dealt with here. If one calls Sean.hoyland's disruptive or in violation of this or that, then surely the handiwork by Epson Salts is, and I think that they're ready for a topic ban. That is, I think Wikipedia is ready for that. Drmies (talk) 22:33, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Sorry, Epson Salts, not confused, but your sarcasm is appreciated. Drmies (talk) 02:45, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Kamel Tebaast, I love a bit of entertainment, but huh? what? Drmies (talk) 17:30, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Frankly, this looks to me like a deliberate attempt at entrapment. Sean.hoyland needs a shot across the bows, which is fair, but nothing more. And Epson Salts needs a pretty strong warning to watch his step. Guy (Help!) 23:26, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Essentially agree with JzG, and further emphasis that Epson Salts seriously needs to back it way down. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:04, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I suggest this be closed with a strong warning to Epson Salts for wikilawyering and wasting time. I don't see much reason to sanction or warn Sean.hoyland or No More Mr Nice Guy. Bishonen | talk 09:43, 27 September 2016 (UTC).
  • For Epson Salts, I would go for a topic ban right now. I think we can use our discretion to let this 1RR violation slide. T. Canens (talk) 15:59, 27 September 2016 (UTC)


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

Request concerning ה-זפר

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Supreme Deliciousness (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 00:47, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
ה-זפר (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
  • pov pushing
  • vioaltion of npov

Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. Revision as of 19:19, 15 September 2016
  2. Revision as of 21:55, 16 September 2016
  3. Revision as of 18:21, 18 September 2016
  4. Revision as of 18:50, 18 September 2016
  5. Revision as of 16:49, 22 September 2016
  6. Revision as of 03:04, 23 September 2016
  7. Revision as of 21:49, 23 September 2016 "the edit was neutral and enhancement of the article head. discussion net required."

In the edits above he puts Hebrew before Arabic in the infobox and main article text, changes the map to an Israel north east map removes "occupied" by Israel in infobox and changes it to "control", adds Israel time zone.

I warned him at his talkpage and he continued to edit war and violate the 1rr after:[50]

He has not made one single post at the talkpage, he is just resorting to edit warring. I asked him to please discuss at talkpage and get consensus and he just continued to edit war:[51] --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 00:48, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning ה-זפר

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 ה-זפר

Statement by Debresser

This editor is damn annoying, but that isn't specific to his editing in the IP-conflict field. I think that it would be more beneficial for this project if WP:AE would explain to him the essentials of community editing one last time, and put him on probation. Debresser (talk) 15:23, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Malik Shabazz

My experience with ה-זפר has largely been limited to the article about Israel, but I find that the editor rarely uses edit summaries or the talk page, and inappropriately marks most edits minor. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 01:27, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning ה-זפר

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • In addition to the two blatant 1RR violations after a warning specifically about it ([52]), I'm quite spectacularly unimpressed by the attitude shown in these edits: [53] ("the edit was neutral and enhancement of the article head. discussion net required."), and [54] ("Enhanced the head. Added currently administrated by. My edit is not disputed. I'm just adding current administration status. [de facto and de jure cannot be used]"). For clarity's sake, ה-זפר: If someone disagrees with or reverts your edits, they are in dispute and discussion absolutely is required. This type of aggressive, dismissive attitude has no place in a sensitive area like ARBPIA, and I'd support a lengthy topic ban for both that and the blatant 1RR violations and general edit warring. Seraphimblade Talk to me 10:11, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Towns Hill

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Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning Towns Hill

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
EvergreenFir (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 17:03, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Towns Hill (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. 03:13, 26 September 2016 Editing in section about the‎ Kashmir conflict
  2. 03:13 - 7:29, 23 September 2016‎ (4 consecutive edits) Explanation
  3. 03:13, 23 September 2016 Adding content about Bangladesh on Wartime sexual violence
  4. 22:31, 22 September 2016 Creating content about Bangladesh on Wartime sexual violence
  5. 06:24 - 8:23, 19 September 2016‎ (5 consecutive edits) Creating section about Kashmir on Wartime sexual violence
  6. 00:08 - 02:58, 29 August 2016‎ (13 consecutive edits) Added content about Kashmir on Wartime sexual violence
  7. 07:27-10:59, 28 August 2016‎ (4 consecutive edits) Added content about Kashmir on Wartime sexual violence
  8. 09:25, 30 August 2016 Edited on article about battle from Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Diff since AE filing
  1. 11:14, 27 September 2016 Reinserted Kashmir content on Wartime sexual violence with edit summary "Sexual crimes by Indian occupation forces against Kashmiri women is not part of Indo-Pakistan conflict (which is separate and dates to 1947). Its part of Indo-Kashmiri conflict. This referenced and cited section cannot be removed by a random IP address."
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. 02:49, 24 March 2016 You may make no more than one revert every 24 hours to a page within the India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan topic area for a period of 1 month, subject to the standard exceptions by Slakr
  2. 15:12, 15 May 2016 Banned from the topic of conflicts between India and Pakistan and from anything to do with Bangladesh by EdJohnston
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 

User was also indef blocked by Diannaa on 19:22, 30 August 2016 copyvio and later unblocked.

The Kashmir conflict clearly falls under ARBIPA as it's an ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan. Anything related to that conflict or Indian/Pakistani actions in that area would easily fall under the discretionary sanctions, broadly construed. I agree with Lankiveil that it's disingenuous to suggest Kashmir is not under these DS. EvergreenFir (talk) 00:46, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

17:04, 26 September 2016

Discussion concerning Towns Hill

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 Towns Hill

  • Actually I think all this is being over-interpreted. I have not edited anything contentious re. Bangladesh or Indo-Pakistan disputes. Rape of Kashmiri women by Indian troops is not part of Indo-Pakistan conflict. Its part of the Indo-Kashmir conflict. Towns_Hill 11:55, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Conflicts between India and Pakistan do not include conflict between India and Kashmiri people. If Indian army is raping Kashmiri women, it does not fall under Indo-Pakistan conflict. What would fall under Indo-Pakistan conflict would be the charge that the Indian Army raped Pakistani women.Towns_Hill 00:30, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by SheriffIsInTown

As he is still a fairly new editor, I am pretty sure he has misunderstood his restrictions and thought that Wartime sexual violence does not come under this restriction, as he is been staying away religiously from the pages which got him this topic-ban at the first place. This is a common mistake made by new editors when under a topic-ban as they think that the restriction is on the article names rather than content. Requesting that he should be given a leeway here with a more clearer explanation as how these restrictions apply to the edits he made. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 17:43, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

@RegentsPark: Blocks/bans are supposed to be preventative rather than punitive, he did not respond yet himself but my thinking is that he must have misunderstood these restrictions as I can see he stayed away from most of those articles which were specific to Bangladesh. Wartime sexual violence is not specific to Bangladesh. I see a potential of good contributor in him and think he should not be punished. Maybe he can be given a rope here. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 18:59, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Towns Hill topic-ban was invalid to begin-with, it was issued in haste and was based on a rather inflammatory comment of one editor to an admin's TP. He was never reported at AE and was not given a chance to defend himself. He was banned on a comment of an editor who went on admin shopping and knew which admin would be more than willing to entertain his request because that specific admin has been mentioning distributing topic-bans on forums in the past. Bans/Blocks should not be distributed like candies and avoided as much as possible until they are absolutely necessary as they put a huge stain on an editor's credibility and history especially when the editor is a new editor. Towns Hill's t-ban should be reviewed and reversed. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 10:20, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Volunteer Marek

@User:EdJohnston - dropping "and Bangladesh" from the restriction is just going to cause a shift in the problematic behavior. Like a balloon - you press in one place, it gets bigger in another. And that area has a lot of problems already (SheriffIsInTown's presence here indicates that if TownsHill is let loose there, it will probably get worse). @User:Seraphimblade - Bangladesh was part of Pakistan until the bloody and brutal Liberation War in 1971. That war also involved India. So for most practical purposes "and Bangladesh" is redundant with "conflicts between India and Pakistan". I'm assuming it was added in there just so TownsHill or whoever can't try to WP:WIKILAWYER it. I mean, there probably are some articles which are about "just Bangladesh" and are not somehow tied up with the India-Pakistan conflict, but probably not many, and in any case, these are not the ones that TownsHill chooses to edit.

As an aside, I do wonder if the increase in disruptive activity on Bangladesh-related articles correlates with the imposition of discretionary sanctions on India-Pakistan in 2012. It's possible that users who wanted to fight over I-P conflicts realized that was an easy way to get sanctioned, so they went over to Bangladesh articles to fights their battlegrounds there by proxy. I can think of a couple accounts who seem to fit that pattern. Another good reason to leave "and Bangladesh" in there.Volunteer Marek (talk) 04:53, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi

I'd just like to point out that although it is belt and braces to insert 'and Bangladesh,' the provision on the original restriction- that is, 'broadly construed'- should be enough to include it. Since, as had been pointed out above, before 1971 it actually was part of Pakistan ('East Pakistan'), it is disingenuous to argue that is now completely irrelevant.

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Towns Hill

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • Not sure what clarification is needed. The restrictions clearly apply to anything to do with Bangladesh and there are a whole string of edits on that topic. So also is the India Pakistan conflict restriction. Sexual violence during the conflict is clearly about the conflict. On the face of it, these are clear and umambiguous violations of the ban. --regentspark (comment) 18:07, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I would like to hear from EdJohnston as to how the topic ban from Bangladesh-related topics works. WP:ARBIPA authorizes discretionary sanctions for India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but I can't find anything indicating that the area of the case was ever broadened to Bangladesh. If it wasn't, that portion of the ban seems to exceed the authority to impose sanctions and wouldn't have been valid to start with. Seraphimblade Talk to me 10:24, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • The restriction I imposed on User:Towns Hill says "Banned from the topic of conflicts between India and Pakistan and from anything to do with Bangladesh." I would be open to dropping "and from anything to do with Bangladesh". However this won't make the present complaint go away, since all the diffs given above (except #4) apply to war-torn countries where Indian and Pakistan were fighting. The atrocities that were said to be committed in Kashmir were due to India-Pakistan conflict. Diff #4 does not violate the restriction because it was a charge that rapes were committed by soldiers of the post-independence Bangladeshi army. EdJohnston (talk) 21:07, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I think a clarification (or extension) is required to make it clear that matters relating to military conflict in Kashmir absolutely come under the banner of "conflicts between India and Pakistan", given the frozen conflict between the two states over the territory. It does to me seem somewhat disingenuous to claim that one thought the ban didn't already apply in that situation, however. Lankiveil (speak to me) 11:38, 28 September 2016 (UTC).


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

Request concerning Nishidani

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Debresser (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 22:21, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Nishidani (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles :

Specifically Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Palestine-Israel_articles#Decorum and Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Palestine-Israel_articles#Standard_discretionary_sanctions.

Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 28.9.16 Personal attack in the claim that I am "drifting", in the claim that I argue "from self-esteem". WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT claim that my objections are not policy/guideline-based.

He acted precisely in the same manner the last time we disagreed on the talkpage of an IP-conflict related article, Talk:Mahmoud_Abbas#Gilbert_Achcar, with blatant WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT behavior.[55] The insults were at other pages during that same time.[56][57]

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)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 
Further comments

@Kingsindian Content dispute? This post is about incivility in a very specific and sensitive area, where there exist clear standards of behavior, that have been violated. This post is about tendentious editing. When an editor asks for a policy/guideline even after it has been provided again and again, and does so on various talkpages, to create the false impression as though those who disagree with him refuse to reply to his "legitimate" request, and thereby show them as though illegitimate, that is extremely disruptive behavior. Debresser (talk) 23:14, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

@Nableezy If all you see in this post is a complaint about the words "drifting", then you are either trying to deliberately mislead editors here, or you are completely unfit to edit articles in the IP-conflict area. Debresser (talk) 23:14, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

@All I find it telling that editors with a well know POV try to make it look as though this post is about some triviality. This post is about a very smart editor, who knows how to hide his blatant POV and tendentious editing behind a mask of adherence to Wikipedia policies and guidelines, but is guilty of minor but systematic transgressions for years now, and it is about time he is called to answer for that. This WP:AE post is about what just a small example of that behavior, which I hope suffices to get him warned or temporarily topic banned, and my hope and expectation is that Nishidani will see it as a warning and mend his ways. Debresser (talk) 23:14, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Nishidani

This is vexatiously piddling, and coming quickly in the wake of Debresser's earlier problems here (arguing without regard to policy), doesn’t look like he has absorbed the lesson. Indeed, above in the indictment, he expressly shows that he has not accepted that verdict by directly referring to my behavior at Talk:Mahmoud_Abbas#Gilbert_Achcar and citing as evidence a diffwhere I pleaded with him to drop the chat and argue from policy. He was sanctioned for refusing to listen.

This is essentially a clash over whether the same interpretation of the rules should be applied to events regarding Israeli victims of terrorism, and Palestinian victims of terrorism, regardless of the ethnicity involved. I insist that editors are obliged by WP:NPOV to adopt the same criterion everywhere. Several Israeli victim pages include the names of the injured. No one objects. When I added the names of Palestinians maimed in an Israeli terrorist attack, Debresser suddenly objected. After 14 years of wikipedia, that one can still hairsplit and argue the point to exhaustive attrition on very simple policy guidelines in the I/P area is a further sign that it is totally dysfunctional. The seriousness of commitment can be generally judged by a simple glance at the edit history of each editor: who is actually constructing an article, and whose edit record consists mainly in raising objections to the addition of content, by revert and then by engaging in extenuating wikilawyering on the talk page. Since I have interests I in both areas I am never obstructed if I go and write up, say, to cite a recent example, Elio Toaff, I can triple the content in a day, undisturbed: if I touch the I/P area I am drawn into absurd melodramas over the simplest edits, which are contested, reverted or challenged at sight.

Regarding the specific complaint. Debresser in opening a thread to challenge my addition made an insinuation about my motives. I made the briefest of responses to this WP:AGF violation, and asked that one focus on policy, as did the other editor. Debresser’s comments here, here, here, here, and and here, are void of policy considerations. This is exactly the substance of the complaint made at the earlier arbitration case regarding him. He keeps talking past requests for policy justifications for his position, trusting in his opinions or suspicions. Having started the thread motivating his challenge by a personal insinuation against me, he ended it by protesting I had not observed WP:NPA, and jumped at an opportunity to report me.

When I asked him for the nth time to respond by policy his answer was I am applying good editing rules to this article

It is this that I referred to in the diff he adduces. In my judgment, his repeatedly ignoring requests to cite a policy ground for his objection, and, when asked to focus, simply replying ‘I am applying good editing rules to the article,’ sounds to be like an argument from self-esteem. To answer a request for a policy reason with the riposte:’I am a sound editor’ is to privilege a confidence in one’s own personal judgment over logic, policy and the reasoned objections another editor might raise. I.e. self-esteem gets the better of a neutral rule-based system of collaboration.Nishidani (talk) 12:23, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

As to Debresser's link to the warning on my page by Lord Roem, I responded here, and I think my record since will show I have hewed closely to that advice.Nishidani (talk) 12:44, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Kingsindian. All reports are based on 'content disputes'. The difference is, is the dispute being handled by respect for the rules, i.e. policy, or not. If an editor, as Debresser in the Mahmoud Abbas case, and, I believe here, refuses to cite policy when repeatedly requested to do so, it is no longer a content dispute, but a behavioural issue. He had 3 months for that, which he leveraged back to a month. Fine, that was fair. I'm bewildered as to why he would try to get back at me on such trivial evidence for insisting he just begin, after 90,000 edits and a sanction, to adopt solid policy grounds to oppose edits. I should add that I do not want a sanction: I'd like to see Debresser simply warned strongly to take to heart the advice he was given when he was sanctioned. Nishidani (talk) 15:00, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Debresser by this and this, you are suggesting I am such a subtly devious editor I get away with pushing a blatant POV, and that my recourse to policy is just a ‘mask’.
I take care, among other things, to try and see to it that the Palestinian side of the conflict is fairly represented just as numerous editors (like yourself) edit the Israeli side of the conflict to ensure fairness. I don't see the latter as being 'blatant' because they represent a POV. That's their job and it is perfectly respectable. The only thing is that both perspectives must accept that there are 2 points of view to be described, not one. WP:NPOV is obtained by balancing POVs, not by erasing one of them as ‘blatant’. If you think our interaction is to be governed by a suspicion, as you declared recently that my contributions are to be read as ‘inspired by’ this ‘blatant’ POV, then anything I attempt to register is subject to challenge, not on policy grounds, but by reference to my putative bias. Were that principle adopted, no one would be allowed to edit the I/P area. All policy reasons can be dismissed as a ‘mask’, which, effectively, may throw light on why you ignore repeated calls to cite policy. If it’s a ‘mask’, policy for you becomes meaningless or a pretext: it need not be addressed because your diffidence about the editor’s supposed ulterior motives is enough for you to oppose this or that edit. That way of thinking creates obvious problems here.Nishidani (talk) 15:12, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Discussion concerning Nishidani

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 Kingsindian

Content dispute. Kingsindian   14:50, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Statement by Nableezy

Jesus christ, somebody says youre drifting and thats a "personal attack" that requires coming to AE?

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Nishidani

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • Seriously? A single diff of being mildly standoffish is now a personal attack worthy of asking for a topic ban? If that's the worst behavior going on in the IP topic area, we should probably just tell Arbcom we don't need DS anymore. This has all the hallmarks of a vexatious filing. Debresser, if I'm mistaken please tell me why and why there should not be a WP:BOOMERANG here. The WordsmithTalk to me 14:00, 29 September 2016 (UTC)