Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland

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Main case page (Talk) — Evidence (Talk) — Workshop (Talk) — Proposed decision (Talk)

Case clerks: SQL (Talk) & Bradv (Talk) & L235 (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: AGK (Talk) & Opabinia regalis (Talk)

Case opened on 14:40, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

Case closed on 17:54, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 02:39, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 19:54, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 02:34, 18 December 2020 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 18:48, 9 May 2021 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 10:15, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

Watchlist all case (and talk) pages: Front, Ev., Wshp., PD.

Case informationEdit

Involved partiesEdit

Prior dispute resolutionEdit

Preliminary statementsEdit

Statement by IcewhizEdit

Starting after this perplexing AfD, I have been cleaning dubious sources, notably Mark Paul ("ignoble ungrateful Jew" myth[1] ,RSN, RfC) which were used in hundreds of articles. I have also fixed:

  1. Loosmark sock (+Poeticbent), IcewhizFix - Describing a Polish pogrom against Jews,[2][3] as Jewish oppression of Poles followed by Germans killing Jews - see AE determining this was a hoax. Note VM loudly asserted restoring this was non-actionable. Also see: Dr. Morris S. Whitcup on Wikipedia's articles
  2. Poeticbent+Loosmark sock, IceWhizFix - Local poles burn 600-2000 Jews alive in barn,[2][4] described as Jewish oppression of Poles followed by Germans killing Jews.
  3. Poeticbent,Loosmark sock,Poeticbent,IceWhizFix: related to 1+2, obfuscation of local killings+explusion+Jedwabne.[2][5]
  4. Poeticbent,IceWhizFix - extermination camp for Jews,[6] described as "intended to kill Jews and Poles from all nearby towns and villages" (Polish citation in article: "Jews".[7])
  5. PoeticbentBiałystok,PoeticbentHistoryOfTheJews,PoeticbentCommons - IceWhizFixBiałystok,IceWhizFixHistoryOfTheJews,IceWhizFixCommons - "Jewish welcoming banner" in 1939 image captions (extended discussion, caption offwiki) - actually election notice to the People's Council of Western Belarus in 1941
  6. Loosmark sock,IceWhizFix - describes the "Polish operation" (one of multiple NKVD national sweeps) as "the genocide of Poles in the Soviet Union", misstating named historians[8] and using a dubious source. Contrast academic sources:[9][10][11].

The wide scope and nature indicate these aren't innocent mistakes, but deliberate distortion/denial rising to WP:HOAX. The small editor pool involved prior to 2018 did not remove such content, and tolerated widespread use of sources that clearly fail WP:RS policy.

Volunteer Marek (VM), adds little new content (see last article 1.5K, single bareurl primary source), has been reverting and stonewalling corrections.

VM's conduct: (see also referred AE)

  1. Despite repeated requests to stop,[1][2] VM has hounded me. Between 15 and 30 May he has followed me to some 38 articles - 4 new articles I authored, ~20 articles VM never edited previously, and ~14 articles he had edited previously.(interactiontool 15-30May)
  1. VM has restored/inserted material on Jews/communists not supported by citations: "Soviet-armed Jewish militiamen helped NKVD agents send Polish families into exile"[3][4] (not in source) or against MOS:ETHNICITY(lead) "was a Polish communist official of Jewish background trained...[5]
  2. (below)
  3. WP:NPA/WP:ASPERSIONS: [6][7][8][9][10][11]
  4. considers sourced on-topic descriptions of antisemitism in Poland as: "It's a COATRACK for the whole disgusting and racist "Poles are anti-semities" POV into this article.".[12]
  5. WP:PROXYING Loosmark, fails verification: [13][14]
  6. WP:PROFRINGE/WP:UNDUE - op-eds in right-wing media/blog by far-right activist/historian:[12][13][14][15] [15][16][17]
  7. WP:BLPSPS: [18].

Editors restoring content challenged as failing verification (doubly so from socks(WP:PROXYING)), are expected to verify. However -

  1. VM has restored content contradicted by the cited sources. If a source says "white" an editor shouldn't be saying "black". This is not a "content dispute", but rather WP:CIR. e.g. [19], describing this as "excuse to remove well sourced text" - besides most of the content not being in the source (+being bullshit: refugees sought USA for standards of living), some of it is refuted in page 72 in citation.
  2. It seems he spent all of 1 minute - 07:00,06:59 different article in examining content challenged on being from a banned sock, failing V (+SYNTH, NPOV, and MOS).
  3. VM has openly admitted he restored newly introduced content challenged as V/NOR without verifying - (Kopciowski, is missing "thousands").
  4. See this discussion - VM seems to be arguing for the sake of arguing (or as a bargaining chip?) for content (WP:BLP scholar attributed) clearly failing V.
  • Clarification (though said all along) - this request is first and foremost about Poeticbent/Loosmark. Examples 1-5 are egregious, show a pattern, can't be explained away as a mistake, well beyond POV pushing. A ban would make WP:REVERTBAN apply, and allow for methodical treatment of vast amount of content by Poeticbent in mainspace. Icewhiz (talk) 08:42, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

@SilkTork:,@Robert McClenon: AE referred[20] this here not since it was not actionable, but since it was too complex and time-consuming (Sandstein,Seraphimblade). In retrospect, I should've filed AE with the worst, and easiest to evaluate diffs - which would've been: allegations of racism: [21][22], extremism: [23][24], WP:ASPERSIONS: [25][26]. These are all actionable under DS, and easy to evaluate.Icewhiz (talk) 05:00, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis: - User:Loosmark was banned on 29 November 2010. WP:REVERTBAN would seem to apply to edits afterwards. I am not saying VM is communicating with Loosmark, but that the provision in WP:PROXYING - "Editors who reinstate edits made by a banned or blocked editor take complete responsibility for the content." - applies.Icewhiz (talk) 09:35, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
@AGK: - Jew with a coin (which I authored, and did not expect to turn into a battleground - I saw this a light-weight topic that would be DYKable) is a good example. Despite sourcing, certain editors have been objecting to this being common/widespread/popular (see [27], tag clarify on popular). Very limited outside input at: Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 266# Jew with a coin. And now we have the following unresolved dispute: first introduced, taggedFailedV, tagRemoved: spurious tag based on personal OR, attempt to Match source, reverted: "original text was fine". Discussion: Talk:Jew with a coin#Dobrosielski - popularity (VM absent from the discussion). The Polish language source (a preliminary research report) contradicts the text being pushed here (heck - the text itself - "However the practice is very limited in Poland and doesn't have wide popularity with only 19% of Poles surveyed possessing such item and 16% confirming its use." - is a self contradiction - "only 19%"?!?!). Besides being clear in the Polish, We have an academic summarizing the Polish source in this English translation of an article by Ewa Tartakowsky. Which says:

This image is not only widespread: one in two respondents associated it with the superstition according to which it brings prosperity. But it does not automatically follow that people use it. According to Paweł Dobrosielski, “only” 24% of respondents knew that one must place a grosz behind the frame..."

"Another survey" also wrong. After the last revert, I walked away. At RSN/NORN - I'll probably get walls of text and little outside input. At AE - I'll probably get "no action, content dispute". And this misuse of sources (either very poor quality, or misrepresentation) is rampant - particularly in non-English sources that few editors are willing to verify themselves. Introducing content clearly contradicted by the very source you are citing is a conduct issue. Jew with a coin is light subject matter, but this occurs throughout the topic area.Icewhiz (talk) 05:17, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
In terms of WP:AGENDA - I'll readily admit I've performed hundreds of edits challenging use of self-published material by Mark Paul("ignoble ungrateful Jew" myth[1],RSN, RfC), Ewa Kurek (see recent TPM, as well as [28][29][30][31][32] - referring to her as a revisionist/distorter), op-eds in far-right media (e.g. Nasz Dziennik), etc. - removing content, placing cn tags, or replacing with mainstream academic sources - I happily admit to this per WP:RS/WP:NPOV.
Shockingly - 22 May diff by Piotrus sources such as Kurek are still being brought up despite being "somewhat controversial" (per Piotrus) and self-published by iUniverse. See Piotrus here (or the whole discussion) where Piotrus contrasts Kurek to Jan T. Gross and Jan Grabowski (historian) on the basis of "Polish far-right media".Icewhiz (talk) 06:33, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Additional parties - This was originally opened as an AE referral here. In light of the committee's comments, and since there is indeed an issue throughout the topic area, I intend to bring in the case, should it be accepted, evidence against Piotrus (advocating fringe sources (e.g. above), tag teaming - e.g. diff Piotrus, diff VM (prior to this being on any public fora), and misrepresenting source (and failing to provide quotations per WP:NOENG) - while admitting he did not actually check the sources himself (+a few other cases)), Tatzref (in relation to aforementioned incident + a few other ones), and Xx236 (BLPTALK/personal attacks - e.g. [33],[34],"Icewhiz symhatises with German Nazis"). There is probably merit for additional parties here as well.Icewhiz (talk) 14:17, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
references

References

  1. ^ a b Michlic, Joanna B. "'I Will Never Forget What You Did for Me during the War': Rescuer-Rescuee Relationships in the Light of Postwar Correspondence in Poland, 1945–1949." Yad Vashem Studies 39.2 (2011): 169.
  2. ^ a b c Bender, Sara (2013). "Not Only in Jedwabne: Accounts of the Annihilation of the Jewish Shtetlach in North-eastern Poland in the Summer of 1941". Holocaust Studies. 19 (1): 1–38. doi:10.1080/17504902.2013.11087369.
  3. ^ Spector, Shmuel; Wigoder, Geoffrey; Wigoder, Research Associate Institute of Contemporary Jewry Geoffrey (2001). The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust: Seredina-Buda-Z. NYU Press. p. 1230. ISBN 9780814793787.
  4. ^ The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, Geoffrey P. Megargee, Martin C. Dean, and Mel Hecker, Volume II, part A, pages 943-944.
  5. ^ The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CAMPS AND GHETTOS, 1933–1945, Geoffrey P. Megargee, Martin Dean, and Mel Hecker, Volume II, part A, page 900.
  6. ^ Chelmno at USHMM
  7. ^ "SS Sonderkommando". Obóz zagłady w Chełmnie n/Nerem. Obozy zagłady. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  8. ^ Michael Ellman, "Stalin and the Soviet Famine of 1932-33 Revisited." Amsterdam School of Economics. PDF file
  9. ^ Martin, Terry. "The origins of Soviet ethnic cleansing." The Journal of Modern History 70.4 (1998): 813-861.
  10. ^ Morris, James. "The Polish terror: spy mania and ethnic cleansing in the great terror." Europe-Asia Studies 56.5 (2004): 751-766.
  11. ^ Petrov, Nikita, and Arsenii Roginskii. "The “Polish Operation” of the NKVD, 1937–8." Stalin’s Terror. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2003. 153-172.
  12. ^ DID A POLISH FAR RIGHT ACTIVIST HELP DONALD TRUMP WRITE HIS SPEECH IN WARSAW?, Newsweek, 6 July 2017, quote: "In June 2014, he appeared at a rally of the far-right Ruch Narodowy party, where he proclaimed “We want a Catholic Poland, not a Bolshevik one, not multicultural or gay!”"
  13. ^ Donald Trump’s Visit to Poland Further Emboldens Far-Right Elements, SPLC, 17 July 2017, quote:"Chodakiewicz’s far-right beliefs have not only centered on dabbling in anti-Semitism. In January of 2017, he penned a piece lamenting what he called the “ongoing genocide against Whites” in South Africa. The term “white genocide” is a common white nationalist trope, with many pointing to South Africa and falsely claiming that white people are systematically massacred by people of color."
  14. ^ Historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz with Controversial Views Serves on Holocaust Museum Board, SPLC, 29 November 2009, quote:"Chodakiewicz, who describes himself as "a Christian conservative of Polish ancestry," has written favorably about Francisco Franco, the late anti-Communist dictator known for his brutal suppression of the Spanish left. He is an admirer of the late shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, an autocratic leader who criticized American Jews for "controlling" U.S. media and finance. He sees gay rights as a threat to society, has linked President Barack Obama to communists and domestic terrorists, and is a voluble critic of what he sees as Western "political correctness.""
  15. ^ Michlic, Joanna (2007). "The Soviet Occupation of Poland, 1939-41, and the Stereotype of the Anti-Polish and Pro-Soviet Jew". Jewish Social Studies. 13 (3): 135–176. JSTOR 4467778. quote: "Chodakiewicz's works represent the most extreme end of the spectrum of the contemporary mainstream ethnonationalist school of history writing. The following features characterize all his writings. His vision of modern Polish history is rooted in the right-wing ethno-nationalistic ideology that originated in the pre-1939 National Democracy movement and its extreme formations. His interpretation of Polish-Jewish relations in World War II and in the early postwar period, 1944-47, is based on the concept of a zero-sum conflict between ethnic Poles and Jews. Chodakiewicz casts the two communities as separate nations engaged in the struggle for survival without noting that they were part of one society in which ethnic Poles represented the dominant majority group and Polish Jews were one of the ethnic/national minorities. Even when he acknowledges that Polish Jews were a minority, as he does in Massacre in Jedwabne, he regards them primarily as the carrier of a culture intrinsically incompatible with the culture of ethnic, Christian Poles."

Statement by PoeticbentEdit

Statement by Volunteer MarekEdit

The first 6 diffs from Icewhiz have nothing to do with me, they concern users which have long ceased editing Wikipedia. Putting aside the question of whether Icewhiz is presenting these honestly, I am not going to respond to them, except to note that it’s strange for Icewhiz to try and bring a case against an editor from eight years ago.

In regard to the diffs against me, I tried to respond. And quickly ran out of the word limit. However, all these are content disputes. I do want to say that they misrepresent and falsify the nature of these disputes. Icewhiz accuses me of “UNDUE” or “OR” etc, and it's all false, but at the end of the day, these are run-of-the-mill accusations that Wikipedians often throw at each other. To the extent that it's not the ArbCom’s job to adjudicate content disputes (that’s a matter for likes WP:RSN etc) I would advise the committee to take this case ONLY IF they are willing to look into sources, check what’s actually in them, delve into who’s misrepresenting what.

Regarding the portions of Icewhiz’s statement I do wish to respond to

First is his initial presentation of the problem, which included an odious and utterly false insinuation that I was engaged in “Holocaust denial/distortion”. This is absolute nonsense. Icewhiz did NOT provide a single diff which would even come close to supporting such a contention. He did finally remove that part [35] although apparently only to shorten his statement. However, he reintroduced another repellent accusation even as he “trimmed”. In response to my description of his edits as “shitting on Poland” (yes, I know, I should have worded that better), he responded [36] with:

"Referring to a <diff of my comment>- are Holocaust victims killed by Poles "shit"?

This is messed up. I very clearly was criticizing the fact that overwhelming majority of Icewhiz’s edits in this topic area attempt to portray Poland in a negative light (WP:AGENDA). Icewhiz dishonestly tries to turn that into a claim that I referred to Holocaust victims as “shit”.

This is simply lying and smearing. Obviously I said no such thing nor did I imply it. It’s an abhorrent thing to say and for personal reasons, I am disgusted that someone would accuse someone of such a thing. With both the original insinuation and the odious claim about Holocaust victims Icewhiz did NOT provide a single diff or supporting piece of evidence. This goes beyond WP:ASPERSIONS, it’s simply a smear. And for what? To get an upper hand in an ArbCom case request?

It is one thing to be falsely accused of violating Wikipedia policies like WP:UNDUE or WP:OR. Par for the course. I don’t take it personally. But these two accusations go far beyond that. They are personal, hence my initial strong reaction. I would hope that any normal person in the same position would react the same way. These accusations are not just your usual Wikipedia bickering about POV and sources. They betray a cynical, dishonest, willingness to say anything, accuse a fellow editor of anything, misrepresent anything. Just to win a dispute.

Its exactly this kind of behavior which has led to quick indef blocks in the past. Recently one of Icewhiz’s partners in edit warring, Yanniv was indefinitely banned by User:TonyBallioni for exactly this behavior. Why should Icewhiz get away with what others regularly get indef blocks for?

User:Aquillion below says that this has to do with collapse of WP:AGF. That ship has sailed friend. When someone falsely accuses you of “Holocaust denial/distortion” and falsely claims you referred to Holocaust victims as “shit”, WP:AGF is simply no longer an option.

And that concerns a bigger question. If Icewhiz has no shame in showing up here and lying about other editors, then how do you think he approaches Wikipedia editing in general? He misrepresents what editors said. He misrepresents sources. He misrepresents Wikipedia policies. Etc.

I don’t know what could be done at this point to restore the good faith. I think with some of the others involved in the conflict, like Francois Robere, yeah… good faith can still be assumed, despite everything. But with Icewhiz, the guy needs to seriously rethink and redo how he approaches Wikipedia editing. An indef block or at least a topic ban will give him the time to reconsider.

Regarding User:Alanscottwalker's suggestion of mediation - that is indeed what is needed here. AFAIC it has been suggested before but "some" participants weren't keen on it. Maybe give it another try.Volunteer Marek (talk) 13:23, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

@DeltaQuad: since there are exemptions being granted left and right to the word limit I have no idea what I'm at. Also, if I go over, then you remove, then an exemption is granted, then... removing it in the first place was kind of pointless no? Anyway, since Icewhiz wants to add other people to the case, an obvious person to add is User:François Robere who's been involved in this disputes, consistently and reliably supporting Icewhiz.

Also, Icewhiz says: "I'll readily admit I've performed hundreds of edits challenging use of self-published material by Mark Paul (...), Ewa Kurek (...) op-eds in far-right media (e.g. Nasz Dziennik)" - yeah, except nobody has a problem with THOSE edits. Icewhiz is acting like he's some kind of martyr, battling others to remove these sources, but in reality nobody gives a fudge if he removes them (or even support these removals). The problem is that Icewhiz is removing OTHER well sourced material. Indeed, he'll often use the mere existence of unreliable sources - which are not being used - as an excuse to remove OTHER, reliable, sources. "Oh look, there is this unreliable source Nasz Dziennik out there that nobody here actually wants to use, that means I get to remove all the DIFFERENT reliable sources WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT". It's a dishonest switcharoo tactic and part of the reason why talk page discussions go nowhere.Volunteer Marek (talk) 22:46, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Indeed, come to think of it, the only person here to use far-right sources in an article (a BLP no less) is ... Icewhiz himself. So Icewhiz himself has no qualms using far right sources (fronda.pl, tysol.p, prawy.pl), which he pretends to oppose, when these happen to match his POV. This is gaslighting.Volunteer Marek (talk) 22:51, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Preliminary statements by uninvolved editors.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Statement by SoftlavenderEdit

I am completely uninvolved. Neither AE nor ArbCom seem to me to be currently appropriate venues for this. The appropriate venue would be ANI, so all efforts at resolution have not been attempted, and therefore I recommend that ArbCom decline the case. The case belongs at ANI, and if the diffs check out more or less as Icewhiz claims, then the appropriate remedy or remedies are rather simple: A topic ban of VM (and possibly the other two editors) from Poland-Holocaust, and possibly also a one-way IBan with Icewhiz (or at least a final warning not to stalk him). And sanctions on the other two editors as appropriate. Softlavender (talk) 22:39, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by EaldgythEdit

I'm just going to link to my statement from a month and a half ago - here for diffs and documentation. For a more recent problem - see Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold? where just trying to get basic information about a query takes several requests that get drowned out by the fighting between involved editors. I could bring more (plenty more) diffs, but I'll end with my statement from that clarification request:

"It's not just the troubling/sloppy sourcing that's occurring (and these are likely the tip of the iceberg), it's the constant battleground mentality that affects most editors in this area. One person adds something that's sloppily sourced, the other side reverts and screams bloody murder on the talk page, but then that second side adds something else that's also sloppily sourced and then the first side starts screaming bloody murder. And everything is accompanied by endless reverts ... there is not any way for third party editors who aren't invested in the conflict to actually contribute for any length of time because it's just so dreadfully draining. 1RR doesn't seem to help, because there are multiple editors on each "side" so ... the reverts just roll in and people who aren't on a side just give up and walk away - I've done it often enough." Ealdgyth - Talk 22:50, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

@SilkTork, yes, that’s also related. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:20, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
There's more to this complex conflict than just Icewhiz and VM but... I'm right in the middle of moving and just do not have the time to devote to digging up diffs and dealing with it. The behavior on display here in this request is just an example of what happens when a conflict arises in the area - it rapidly becomes a battleground. All that does is drive editors like myself (who are not Polish or Jewish and who have at least some passing familiarity with the sources and historical methods) right out of editing in the area. I really doubt that ANI will be of any help, but I can't dredge up the time to find the diffs and lay out the reasons for accepting this beyond what I've posted above. Look at the RS noticeboard discussion and the ANI, and you'll see that it's not just the two named editors above, but a whole host of editors, some of them probably socks of banned editors, some of them SPAs, some of them definitely here to push a narrative that's not mainstream. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:51, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
And ... @Tatzref ... it's not "Laurence Weinbaum ... his essay in The Plunder of Jewish Property during the Holocaust (New York University Press, 2000) ". The CORRECT citation is the Laurence Weinbaum (2000). "Defrosting History: the Restitution of Jewish Property in Eastern Europe". In Avi Becker (ed.). The Plunder of Jewish Property during the Holocaust. New York University Press. pp. 83–110.. The essay is entitled "Defrosting History: the Restitution of Jewish Property in Eastern Europe" and the whole collected work is titled The Plunder of Jewish Property during the Holocaust. (This is not the first time this has been pointed out to Tatzref). And it was reviewed here without any major issues. My own opinion on the constant sloppy referencing is that too many editors are relying on google and not actually reading the whole work. (I'm just going to leave the whole "but the mouthpiece of the World Jewish Congress, an organization with an aggressive restitution agenda" aside as restitution claims are only part of the WJC's remit) Ealdgyth - Talk 21:51, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to point out an old ArbCom case that dealt with similar issues of accusations of source distortion - Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG. That might be a good guide - where there was no determination made about what the articles would contain, but the behavior of the editors in regards to sourcing was scrutinized. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:45, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by My very best wishesEdit

Icewhiz tells that many sources have been misrepresented, like here (edit summary). No, after looking at the sources (I checked only a couple of cases though), it appears there is no evidence that anyone misrepresented anything on purpose, including even edits by banned and inactive contributors.

Furthermore, Icewhiz claims MOS:ETHNICITIY (edit summary), but instead of simply removing "Jewish" (which I think would be reasonable), removes info that the person was involved in "in Stalinist regime show trials of the 1950s" and implicated in the arrests and executions. She is known as a state prosecutor during these Kangaroo courts if I understand correctly. That info was well sourced on the page. Looking more (this series of edits [37],[38],[39],[40],[41], [42][43],[44],[45],[46]), it appears that Icewhiz removes sourced information about political repression of Polish population by the Polish communist regime and Soviet NKVD. Why? He tells it was "just" ethnic cleansing. Not according to many academic RS [47], [48]. But he is probably just playing a game to provoke Polish users to follow his edits, so he can cry wolf (aka wikistalking and tag-teaming) [49] when it comes to submitting his WP:AE report or the arbitration request. No, as long as contributors work to improve content, this is not tag-teaming and wikistalking, but should be viewed as a productive collaboration.

Further, Icewhiz said this (“a redline conduct issue”) meaning this edit by VM. What? It was written: "a Polish officer ... of the Polish People's Republic." VM removed one of the "Polish". That's fine. But somehow Icewhiz perceived this edit as "a redline conduct issue" because Morel "happened to be Jewish".

In any event, this is actually a disagreement on multiple pages between Icewhiz and several other people (excluding SPA and occasional contributors). If you remove Icewhiz from this subject area, the conflict will stop (the conflicts started when Icewhiz joined this subject area). If you remove VM, nothing will change except having one good contributor less. My very best wishes (talk) 19:11, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by El_CEdit

I'm the one who closed the AE request. I am also the only admin who made attempts at addressing the request, feeling it was a 50-50 about whether this should go to Arbitration, instead. The other three admins did not, however, share such reservations, with all of them recommending it should be referred to Arbitration. So I chose to close accordingly in light of such consensus. Note that I am not familiar and have not reviewed the ANI, but my impression (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) is that it's at a standstill and impasse. I, therefore, recommend the Committee to accept this case. El_C 05:20, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Members of the Committee: I do not envy you! El_C 08:43, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
SilkTork, I thought ANI (like AE) was unable to resolve this dispute — I stand corrected. But I still feel an Arbitration case is due here. Because the problem ANI is likely to face if this were to be brought before it stem from the sheer complexity of the evidence involved. Yes, even if the remedies themselves might, at a glance, seem fairly straight forward. But maybe I can't see the forest from the trees. El_C 17:00, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
On the mainspace, I had added DS to History of the Jews in Poland et al., so that has already been in place weeks before the AE request was filed. El_C 20:24, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Thank you GoldenRing for the background and the framing. Hopefully, the Committee will find it as helpful as I did. El_C 17:18, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by PiotrusEdit

Ugh. This is a problem with many angles. As someone who has been involved in this topic area for ~15 years, and interacted with pretty much all involved editors, here is my analysis.

1. Polish-Jewish history, particularly WWII-one and thereabouts, is subject to extensive and ongoing historical research. Within it, there are several camps, some of which, with academics at professor rank, effectively calling one another names and accusing one another (or their 'camp') of major bias. Icewhiz description of one of those camps is correct - as long as one accepts that it comes from another camp... which in turn is described in a similar pejorative way by the other. While there is some mainstream 'center', the content problem we face is that the 'more extreme' camps both have some more or less reliable scholars, and the related discussions often involve inconclusive discussions of whether some author/source is an expert, fringe, etc.. All of this is further complicated by a number of issues, such as political interference (ex. both Poland and Israel have state-sponsored research institutes which are not immune to political agendas), and political correctness (as in, associations of antisemitism, anti-Polish attitude, and the imperfect balance between those - i.e. accusing person of one of those attitudes carries a bit more negative connotations than accusing them of the other one; I'll let you work out which is more 'damning'. Not all bigots are equal...). Anyway, the point is that while it is easy to weed out unreliable non-academic sources (ex. far right, nationalistic press, etc.) it is much more challenging to decide if a professor, who still teaches, publishes and generally is not pelted with tomatoes or ostracized by his peers or neighbors, is an unreliable anti-something or just biased within bounds acceptable by NPOV.

2. Editors involved:

  • first, why are we talking about Loosmark, banned since 2010?
  • second, Poeticbent, who retired in early 2018? Nonetheless his case deserves more consideration, because Poeticbent was the most prolific editor in Polish-Jewish topics, easily measured by ~1000+ articles he started, hundreds of which ended up at DYK, and a few as GA. For example, he wrote probably 75% of not more entries and content on WWII-era Jewish ghettos. Following a very random and unfair IMHO AE ruling based on a single diff perceived as violating NPA for which he received a 6-month topic ban, with no prior history of topic bans, blocks or even warnings (context: [50] and here), he retired, saying effectively 'if this is the reward I get from the community after so much work, bye'. This is a testament to the misguided cowboy random lottery ban that is AE, and to how certain admins should be politely asked to move to a different mop'n'bucket area instead of making a desert, and calling it peace. It also offers a constructive option for this ArbCom (given that Poeticbent is somehow a 'party' to it) - this topic ban should be reviewed and rescinded, with an apology issued. This could bring a prolific content creator back. And what is a better outcome than getting another 1000+ quality articles in this topic area?
  • third, Icewhiz. Per his statement, he joined this topic area in December 2017. In my view, his input has been valuable (for example, per his diff, he saved an article from AfD; while I was the nominator of that, in hindsight I concur keeping it was the right choice). But it is also a fact that until he joined this topic area it has been quite stable for years. Since, it has indeed become a WP:BATTLEGROUND. Now, it is hardly Icewhiz's sole doing - it takes 'two to tango', and there are other editors active in this topic area. Icewhiz's input is valuable as it represents a viewpoint from one of the 'camps' I mentioned in my previous paragraph that was indeed unfairly underrepresented, and I commend Icewhiz on improving the neutrality of the coverage in this area. However, it is also my view that he is unwilling to compromise with the 'other camp' editors. I describe such an attitude in this mini-essay. This lack of desire to compromise on his part, given that he is now one of the most active editors in this area, is, IMHO, one of the main causes why this topic area became unstable. While source quality and neutrality are often improved in the end, many articles in that area keep swinging from one side (camp...) to the other, as unwillingness to compromise breeds likewise mentality 'on the other side'. A major problem is that some editors refuse to accept sources from 'the other camp', and a lot of warring is due to that.
  • VM. To some degree, a mirror image of Icewhiz representing the views of 'another camp'. There are, of course, differences in attitude (VM seems to have more issues with NPA/CIV than Icewhiz) or history (VM has been involved in this topic area for much longer, and with generally no wiki conflicts prior to Icewhiz joining this topic area).

3. My analysis of diffs was removed by the clerks which also removed the diff link to it. If you think you'd like to read it, you have to hunt for it in the page history, because, sigh. Unless it gets oversighted.

4. Final thought. Would topic banning both Ice and VM solve the issue here? I dislike bans, but it would be nice to see peace and quiet return to this topic area again. But perhaps some conflict is preferable to lack of neutrality, as in the end, IMHO this topic area as improved despite, and perhaps even due, to the occasional conflict between those two editors (and few others). As I suggested above, the most constructive course of action, instead of banning anyone, could be, gasp, to anti-ban Poeticbent and invite him back with an apology, so that he could resume his mass production of relevant articles and DYKs. His loss has hurt us all, and his return would be the only clear win for this topic area I can imagine. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:28, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by PudeoEdit

I recommend accepting this case because of the intensity of the dispute and the inability of AE to deal with such a broad issue. The "Polish death camp" controversy article had massive edit wars in early 2018 and the actual issue just keeps boiling under the surface and popping up in different articles (historians, historical figures, organisations, politics etc.) What got this topic into spotlight was the February 2018 Polish Act on the Institute of National Remembrance so the edit-warring in the aforementioned article would be a good starting point. There also was some nasty off-site trolling by someone pretending to be Tatzref (talk · contribs) because of edits in this topic area. I would add some of the editors from the original death camp controversy article as parties, and most of them have had the some dispute in several other articles as well. --Pudeo (talk) 19:49, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps it needs to be further spelled out that it's just not Holocaust in Poland, but Jewish-Polish issues during World War II generally. These articles had a lot of similar disputes:Collaboration in German-occupied Poland, Bielski partisans, Koniuchy massacre, Naliboki massacre, Blue Police, Paradisus_Judaeorum etc. with many editors participating in all of them (not just Marek and Icewhiz). --Pudeo (talk) 06:58, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Paul AugustEdit

I think a length exception ought to be granted to Piotrus, so as to accommodate his complete statement. Paul August 19:59, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Paul SiebertEdit

@Katie I respectfully disagree. To save space, please read this discussion with was inspired by the current case. It discusses the fake description of the image, which represents Jews as pro-Soviet "fifth column" in Poland, and which implicitly justified the actions of Poles. You may also be interested to note the opinion of Ealdgyth on that matter.

In my opinion, the primary problem here is not a conflict between two users. The root of this conflict is the worrying tendency of admins to focus on behavioural issues and ignoring the cases when minor or even major misinterpretations of sources are committed in attempt to push some minority POV. It would be incorrect to blame only VM or Poeticbent in that: the admins created a situation when one can safely treat sources liberally as soon as proper decorum is observed. Based on my own experience, I can say that it takes enormous time and efforts to figure out a real origin of fake information in Wikipedia and to eradicate it. It is a really worrying tendency, because Wikipedia has tons of mirrors that give a wide circulation to those fake facts. Usually, I encounter source misinterpretation just by accident, that means there is potentially a lot of fake facts in Wikipedia. Do admins care? No. "You found an error - just fix it" - our policy says. However, what if this error is being constantly re-added by some polite and experienced users who act according to a local consensus? How do admins approach this problem? "This is just a content dispute" - they say. "This appears to be between XXXX and YYYY", - they respond.

This approach created a situation when Wikipedia content, at least, in some sensitive areas covered by DS, became a hostage of emotional stability of the parties involved in the dispute. If one party loses their temper, the second party's POV wins no matter whose interpretation of sources was correct. Do you admins really believe this state of things leads to improvement of Wikipedia?

Taking into account that Wikipedia is not a social network where emotional comfort of users is a primary concern of admins, but an encyclopedia that is supposed to provide a good quality content, the correct approach to this and similar conflict would be:

removed to fit into the 1000 words limit. I seems obsolete

--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:13, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

June 7Edit

Before I propose the solution, I recommend you to read the analysis of the conflict between several Wikipedians around the Vietnam war article (another area of conflict in Wikipedia). This analysis was performed by a professional scientist, not by a Wikipedian, and it was published in a peer-reviewed reliable source. In particular, the author concludes that Wikipedia "changes the criteria we use to judge expertise, albeit, I would argue, without replacing them with much that could be construed as progressive". Indeed, when a discussion revolves around the question who should be banned/restricted and for how long, that is de facto a judgement of one's expertise (the party that has not been sanctioned gets a right to continue editing, which is an implicit acknowledgement of expertise). Obviously, this is a dramatic modification of traditional criteria, and these criteria are definitely worse, because uncivil behaviour have no relation to one's expertise.

I agree Arbcom cannot and should not analyze the sources and correctness of their usage. However, Arbcom can impose additional restrictions on the usage of sources that will make tendentious editing more problematic.

Taking into account that I myself was among the Wikipedians whose behaviour was analyzed in the above cited article, and that I was the only user who, according to the author, used a correct approach to judging one's expertise, I believe I can propose a solution.

I believe, you agree that the whole conflict revolves around the following collisions:

1. "Your source is marginal, my source is mainstream."
2. "What I am writing is a mainstream POV, whereas you are advocating minority views."
3. "This source says X, whereas you write it says Y."

Accordingly, the sanctions should be:

1. More stringent source selection: The parties are allowed to use only top quality reliable sources, i.e. the peer-reviewed sources that can be found via Google Scholar, Scopus, Jstor, Thompson-Reuter, and few other scientific/scholar search engines. That immediatelly eliminates 90% of garbage sources (which, unfortunately, are allowed per our policy), and lion's share of conflicts will die.
2. The users must perform the search jointly and according to a transparent procedure: In the case when the parties disagree about a neutral representation of some topic that is described differently in the sources that fit the criterion #1, (i) each party proposes their own search string, for example, anti-jewish violence in Poland, and perform google scholar search. The highly cited articles and books from the top of the resulted list are selected as mainstream ones. (ii) If another party disagrees, they propose their own search string, for example, polish resistance movement jews and, these lists are compared. (iii) When the list of sources has been compiled, the parties jointly propose the text, which they add to the article. What is important, the procedure of source selection is transparent now, so there will be no accusation of cherry picking, and it will be easy to see which POV is major and which is minor. And, most importantly, since both sources and the procedure of their selection are common knowledge now, then, per Aumann's agreement theorem, the ground for a conflict disappears.
3. If ##1&2 are implemented, I doubt the type 3 conflict to happen too quickly. Nevertheless, if that conflict takes place, the parties jointly select some user who will decide who is right, and only after that the proposed changes are implemented.

I hope this will work, and that may give us a new tool to deal with that type conflicts. I also believe this will work because the topic of that kind differs from some school football team or anime series articles, which means it is covered by very good quality sources, and additional restriction described above will not affect the content negatively.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:17, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

June 7Edit

Statement by TatzrefEdit

This arbitration request is misplaced. It is based on the faulty premise that (presumably) Polish-background Wiki editors and sources are biased and unreliable. In fact, Icewhiz has been involved in biased, unreliable and even fraudulent postings. Icewhiz is not part of the solution, rather a large part of the problem.
Last year Icewhiz and K.e.coffman concocted a bogus attempt to discredit a major book, Sowjetische Partisanen, by historian Bogdan Musial, published by a renowned German publishing house (Schoningh, 2009) and hailed by Yehuda Bauer, a leading Holocaust historian, as “a most important contribution” to the history of the war, the Soviet partisans, and Polish-Jewish partisan relations in Belorussia (Yad Vashem Studies, vol. 38, no. 2). The book was removed from the “Bielski Brothers” article several times as allegedly “fringe” and “SPS” (self-published sources).
Icewhiz relies on Joanna Michlic, a minor historian, in an attempt to “prove” that Musial and Chodakiewicz are nationalist hacks. No major Holocaust historian has paid any heed to what Michlic thinks about these authors. Chodakiewicz’s monograph, The Massacre in Jedwabne, is one of very few publications of hundreds on Jedwabne cited and relied on by Peter Longerich, a leading German Holocaust historian, in his Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews (Oxford University Press, 2010). Joanna Michlic has herself been exposed as a biased author who specializes in detecting alleged antisemitism at every turn. See for example, Joshua Zimmerman, The Polish Underground and the Jews, 1939–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2015), at p. 103–104.
Recently Icewhiz has been championing Laurence Weinbaum as a reliable source, although his essay in The Plunder of Jewish Property during the Holocaust (New York University Press, 2000) is replete with flagrant errors (p.101), which I detailed under Talk: The History of Jews in Poland. Weinbaum is not an independent historian, but the mouthpiece of the World Jewish Congress, an organization with an aggressive restitution agenda, for whom he works as a research and editorial officer. The book was edited by Avi Beker, Director of International Affairs, WJC and Executive Director of the Israel Office. It is clearly a POV effort. In order to bolster Weinbaum’s bogus claim that the Polish authorities blocked the return of Jews from DP camps in Germany, Icewhiz engaged in a flagrant misrepresentation, claiming “The “grossly discrimanatory” Polish act was criticized by US president Truman,” whereas according to the very source he cited, Truman was criticizing certain provisions of the 1948 Displaced Persons Act.
Icewhiz has also been disruptive in purely Polish-related matters. He recently deleted all the edits I made to the Canadian Polish Congress article on the stated pretext: “We prefer reliable secondary sources over the website of the subject.” When I restored them he accused me of edit warring on my Talk page. When I asked him to explain why he was removing neutral information for which I had provided third party sources, he failed to do so.

Statement by RiskerEdit

Just a note in passing that there seem to be very conflicting instructions from the arbcom clerks about word limits for statements, and extensions to those word limits. Even as someone who's spent years following these cases, I can't tell who is and is not permitted extensions, or whether all the extensions were withdrawn and now everyone has to cut back to the standard 750 words. Could an arbitrator please clarify if there is anyone who is permitted a longer submission and, if so, what the actual restriction is? Thank you.

Statement by Xx236Edit

@Paul Siebert - do you see only Polish nationalistic bias here? Many edits by Icewhiz are biased anti-Polish. Icewhiz pretends to be an expert in Polish history, but he doean't read Polish, he uses computer translations of Polish language texts, which he sometimes misunderstands. Anti-Semitism is wrong, but is anti-Polonism acceptable?

Fighting Polish nationalism may remove any Polish editors interested in history. Xx236 (talk) 07:04, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
If Icewhiz (mis)uses computer translations, is it misinterpretation?Xx236 (talk) 13:32, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

@Ymblanter - Poland belongs to Central Eastern Europe and is an EU member since 15 years, which is a little different than eg. Transnistria. Irish or Bask nationalisms are Western and more bloody than the Polish one. Any generalisations of Eastern Europe is discrimination, racism. How is it possible that you can see six Polish nationalistic edits, but you ignore hundredss of anti-Polish ones by Icewhiz and his supporters?Xx236 (talk) 13:21, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

@François Robere And the other teaches history in Ottawa. The Polish aacdemicians are sometimes sociologists, historians of literature, psychologists, they write about psychology and sociology of the Holocaust rather than about facts. Grabowski's Hunt for the Jews has been corrected by Tomasz Frydel from Toronto, co-author of Dalej jest noc. Grabowski uses false numbers, which isn't academic.Xx236 (talk) 07:00, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
@Sir Joseph a concerted effort by Polish nationalists to distort and revise history. This is a Wikipedia, not a forum to discuss NYC local events.Xx236 (talk) 07:06, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by YmblanterEdit

I really find this diff extremely concerning. An editor who is barely active here over a dozen of years but who is pretty active in the Polish Wikipedia suddenly shows up and makes several edits within a short time interval - all of them replacing Polish nationality with Jewish nationality in infoboxes of articles about Polish citizens of Jewish origin. Accidentally, the ANI request is underway at the time of edits, and accidentally these edits have been already introduced before by other users and reverted by their opponents. This means there is likely a concerted effort similar to the Eastern European mailing list aimed at engaging users who are normally not active here into edit-warring on "their" side. (Note that I am not seeking sanctions against the user, as it is clear from the subsequent discussion they clearly did not understand what they were dragged into).--Ymblanter (talk) 07:35, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

I am doing quite some admin work (I might be even the most active admin currently in Eastern European topics, though not specifically Polish), and I see similar behavior a lot. On the other hand, we have already authorized discretionary sanctions in the EE area (and in some more specific areas), and this behavior (including misrepresenting sources and concerted efforts to push certain viewpoint) is going on for years, so that I am not sure what else can be done here. Most admins prefer to stay away from the area, and those who dive in and start blocking established editors quickly burn out or walk away.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:35, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Let me try to reformulate the last part a bit. I think this is a complex dispute which involves not just Icewhiz and VM (who both usually act more or less constructively) but a lot of editors. I do not think there is any way a community can resolve it (with a possible exception of topic-banning everybody who is even tangentially involved here). I do not think ArbCom can resolve it either. One needs some brainstorming on what are the best practices of dealing with partisan sources of unclear notability (the main issue here), when the reliable sources noticeboard can not help. This brainstorming can happen in the framework of this case, or elsewhere, but, to be honest, I am not that hopeful: Existing processes already failed, and the community is unlikely to accept any new process at this point.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:57, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sir JosephEdit

I just want to say that I do think ARBCOM should take the case, it is not just a dispute between Icewhiz and VM and it should not just be an ANI or DR issue. I want to echo what Ymblanter said. I also want to say that there is currently a concerted effort by Polish nationalists to distort and revise history, and we saw some of that in NYC a few weeks ago during a protest and we are seeing some of that in Wikipedia as well as some SPA are popping up. VM's behavior in all this has not been ideal and for whatever reason he seems to be allowed to skate by and this should also be looked into. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:17, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by François RobereEdit

Regarding VM's conduct, I'm mainly concerned with WP:NPA: Is it policy, or not? If it is, then why isn't it enforced? Here's some of VM's comments from the last two weeks:

  • "Very clearly someone went through the internet and tried to drudge up anything negative to add here" [51] - summary of an edit removing well sourced criticism of the subject's theoretical approach, which I thought went well with the (many) criticisms of his ideological involvement. VM could've objected on editorial grounds - relevance, clarity, etc. - but instead he chose to attack me personally.
  • "f no. Enough of these BLP vios and using Wikipedia articles as smear pages. I've tried to keep all the legitimate and well sourced criticism in the article to the extent it was possible but the over the top nasty and gleeful attacks DO violate BLP" [52] - about a completely DUE criticism by a source who's a project director at Brandeis and a fellow at Harvard and UCL. Like most criticisms in that article, this too was eventually accepted into the consensus "stonewalling" and repeated objections.
  • "Stop making shit up" [53] - an oft-repeated phrase. It may sounds like an off-hand comment, but it's actually a serious accusation: that an editor falsified a claim. I don't understand why admins take it so lightly.

Now multiply this by a dozen or two dozen articles over a year... that's a lot of PA.

@Softlavender and RickinBaltimore: We've had perhaps a dozen discussions at ANI/AE, which proved mostly ineffective. How would another one change anything?

@SilkTork and Katie: VM has already been warned at least twice against personal attacks / aspersions.[54][55] It didn't work.

@My very best wishes: This is certainly not just "Icewhiz vs. VM" or "Icewhiz vs. the rest", as you well know. There are other editors and broader narratives involved.

@Piotrus: This has become a battleground not because of Icewhiz, but because of external events that push editors in its direction, like the IPN law and the JUST act. I disagree regarding Icewhiz and compromises: if you review the changes and discussions process on the most recently-contested articles (Chodakiewicz, the JUST act and History of the Jews in Poland) you'll see quite a lot of shift on Icewhiz's, your and my positions, and very little on others'. VM, in particular, was more engaged in "stonewalling" than in constructive discussion.

A note on "camps": Piotrus is right in observing that academia is divided to camps, but I disagree with his decisively post-modern view. From what I can tell, there are two, not three camps: "mainstream" global academia, including many Polish scholars; and a certain branch of Polish academia (including a handful of Polish scholars abroad). When Gross, a scholar with 2,000< citations globally, calls Chodakiewicz "anti-semitic", it reads differently than when Chodakiewicz, with 200< citations, groups 5-6 of his critics and brands them all "neo-Stalinists". It's different when one heads a research center at Polish Academy of Sciences, and the other teaches history in some college in Alaska. But for some reason it's the latter, not the former, that gets pushed every which way on Wikipedia; and it's the former that gets reverted, or worse: smeared. Funny thing is at the end those who try to promote the better sources get accused of "not liking Poles", as if Gross / Grabowski / Michlic / Krakowski / Gutman et al. aren't Polish enough... François Robere (talk) 17:26, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis and SilkTork: The request could probably have been phrased more clearly; personally I am of the opinion that ARBCOM should review this topic area more broadly. However, the fear is that it'll result in broad bans for everyone involved as an "easy" solution, rather than a thorough examination and more targeted sanctions.

@Paul Siebert: I agree with your analysis of admins' behavior, and I protested against that almost every single time we were at ANI/AE. I disagree with your approach to PA, however: other than being a sort of baiting that even experienced editors might fall for, repeated PA make the discussion quite unpleasant, which has an emotional toll on editors. There's no reason Wikipedia should be a "toxic work environment". François Robere (talk) 12:03, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

@GoldenRing: A suggestion: each "side" produces a list of 5-10 experts who they consider RS in the field; they may also submit a short criticism of the other side's experts. The committee then picks 5-6 experts from the combined list and asks for their input on specific revisions or specific sources, which is then fed back to the usual ARBCOM processes. François Robere (talk) 15:40, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Robert McClenonEdit

Written on 3 JuneEdit

First, in my opinion, any suggestion that a dispute should be resolved at WP:ANI when it is eligible for Arbitration Enforcement is seriously misguided, and any suggestion that a dispute between established stubborn editors can be resolved at WP:ANI is seriously misguided. WP:ANI works well for trolls, flamers, vandals, and other sorts of editors who are not here to contribute to the encyclopedia. It very seldom is satisfactory at resolving disputes between established stubborn editors, and this appears to be a dispute between established stubborn editors. In such cases, WP:ANI simply re-illustrates that the community is divided or polarized. If the arbitrators at Arbitration Enforcement said to take the case back to Arbitration, then it is unlikely that WP:ANI will resolve anything. Either ArbCom should conduct a full evidentiary hearing, or ArbCom should kick the case back to Arbitration Enforcement, or ArbCom should take summary action, or ArbCom should develop a procedure that is in between a full evidentiary hearing and kicking the matter back.

I propose that a two-part solution is needed. In the medium run, ArbCom should develop a procedure for handling cases in a faster way than full cases, possibly via panels. In the short run, I recommend that ArbCom act summarily in the case in point. It is clear that the editors in question are unable to present a concise summary of the case. So stop them from arguing at excessive length. Impose an interaction ban and topic-bans summarily.

Written after reading statement by User:Paul SiebertEdit

However, after reading the statement by User:Paul Siebert, I concur that there is an underlying issue about how to deal with editing that respects civility but ignores neutral point of view. Such disputes sometimes become wars of attrition (like the Eastern Front in World War Two). I urge ArbCom to accept this dispute with a two-part focus. The first should be the general question to address what procedures are needed to deal with filibusters of civil POV-pushing. The second should be to deal with this specific dispute by taking appropriate summary action against one or more of the principals in this dispute.

The idea of sending this dispute to WP:ANI is misguided (and will not resolve it). I urge ArbCom to accept this dispute with a two-part focus. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:53, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Stefka BulgariaEdit

I agree with some editors here that taking this to ANI will create a bigger mess there, and chances of that producing a clear outcome are slim. I concur with François Robere that there is clear evidence here of WP:PA by VM. Icewhiz's response to VM's apparent hounding and PAs has been to bring arguments back to content, so characterising this as a simply "dispute between two editors" overlooks evidence presented here.

I particularly found Ymblante's and Paul Siebert's comments quite eye opening, and agree that distorting sources in order to push a minority POV is a big problem. I've found several reliable outlets regurgitating distorted facts presented on Wikipedia, and that should be a priority concern for everyone here. IMHO, coordinated and persistent efforts to distort WP:NPOV should be examined, and this may be the most appropriate forum for such a task. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 10:50, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Response after Statement by GoldenRingEdit

GoldenRing's input is helpful as they seem to have experience with this case, but I respectfully disagree about their comments concerning behaviour. It's apparent that both editors have not dwelt with this dispute in the same way: it's one thing to call out someone for using an antisemitic source, but it's a completely different thing to resort to repeated insulting/name-calling. This, this, this, or this all seem like repeated WP:NPA violations to me. I can't find the same behaviour on Icewhiz's edits, so clearly both sides are not the same here.

If content is currently too time-consuming for analysis, then behaviour should at least be addressed (and that should not take up much time). Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 20:51, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Written on June 6Edit

Looking at some of the editing history of articles related to this report, I see Icewhiz constantly discussing content through policy, always being polite, and dropping the stick when things get too tangled up. My experience editing with Icewhiz in other articles is that he's usually quite accurate about sources, is very versed on Wiki policy, and is perhaps the most level-headed non-admin editor that I've come across in this platform. Stefka Bulgaria (talk) 22:39, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by GoldenRingEdit

I would urge the committee to accept this case. When administrators at AE conclude that the case is too hard for them to sort out using DS, doesn't that indicate that the dispute is one the community is unable to resolve? ANI is not more able to resolve complex disputes than AE; that, after all, is why AE was set up.

@SilkTork, KrakatoaKatie, and RickinBaltimore: Dispute resolution has been tried. This dispute has been simmering for years. Nearly a year ago, this AE request — a near-carbon-copy of the present one — tried to resolve the same dispute. I then floated the possibility that this case was too complex for AE to deal with and a full case would be required. My full comment there applies equally to this case and I urge the arbs to read it; the TL;DR is that sorting this out requires either a plauge-on-both-your-houses approach or such a deep understanding of the academic historiography of Jews in Poland in the 1930s & 40s that no-one is going to be qualified to do it. The former approach is so likely to lead to horrific grief for the enforcing admin that no-one is prepared to do it.

At that time, I privately asked both participants to explain to me what they saw the dispute as being about. They both deserve credit for their responses; they were, I think, honest and actually tried to help me understand. Sadly, it didn't help. They both have reasoned, reasonable-sounding positions on the content and I am in no position to decide who is misusing sources and who is not. The behaviour here is inextricably linked to the content. When one editor accuses another of peddling anti-semitic sources, either they are right or they are making a personal attack. When the other editor responds with an accusation of peddling racist, anti-Polish sources, either they are right or they are making a personal attack. It is true that neither side's style of interacting with each other has helped, but the real-world argument is fundamentally about genocide vs holocaust denial; this is never going to be an easy area to edit in. In the end, I took a week's holiday and someone jumped in with a three-month TBAN for both; it clearly has resolved nothing.

Accepting a case would help in two ways: Firstly, the structure of the evidence phase would help to assemble the competing arguments in a forum that doesn't lend itself to screaming and bickering. ANI is the wrong venue for this; the formality of a case is what is required here. Secondly, the arbs are paid to get their heads around complex situations and sort them out. If I spent two solid days of my time trying to understand it all and failed, the chances of anyone at ANI getting a realistic handle on it is vanishingly small.

Please accept this case. GoldenRing (talk) 12:51, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

More prior dispute resolution attempts:

Statement by ZeroEdit

I agree with most of what Goldenring wrote, especially the conclusion that ArbCom should take the case.

However I disagree very strongly with the assertion that the problem is "fundamentally about genocide vs holocaust denial". Actually nobody here is denying the holocaust. The real question is of how to assign relative weights to two undeniable historical facts. One is that a large number of Polish civilians died during WWII, and the other is that some Poles collaborated with the Nazis in the genocide of the Jews. Complicating this further is the role of the Soviets.

The primary matter appropriate for ArbCom to address is not the petty one of personal bickering, but the one of honesty and balance in the use of sources. Not to adjudicate reasonable content disputes but to judge whether the principal editors are here to build a great encyclopedia. Zerotalk 17:13, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by AquillionEdit

The root issue here is a breakdown of WP:AGF by almost everyone involved (including far more people than just Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek, as some of the discussion and back-and-forth above shows.) Many, many people in this topic area are operating under an assumption of bad faith for a large number of established users - whether it's assumptions of holocaust denial, anti-polish sentiment, antisemitism, being here to push a particular POV, or the like. (And, of course, the determination that they need to fight that sort of thing leads to WP:TENDENTIOUS editing on their own part, which other people see and take as validation for their own assumption of bad faith.) This is what led to many of the knee-jerk reverts, counter-reverts, use of weak sourcing, sweeping accusations and so on outlined above.

As tempting as it is to pass this off to WP:ANI, I don't feel they're capable of dealing with something of that nature. Worse, the widespread factionalism around this topic means that any WP:ANI discussion has a high chance of spreading bad blood and making things even worse. What's really needed here is not just a determination of who is wrong or right or a set of topic/interaction-bans or whatever, but a deep dive into the disputes within the topic area followed by a well-structured, well-grounded finding of fact that can get people to stand down - or, if that investigation proves it's necessary, eject anyone whose WP:BATTLEGROUND outlook seems to be irreparable, regardless of how well they otherwise follow the rules. Only ArbCom can provide that, so I urge them to accept despite their misgivings (and despite, I know, the large amount of mostly-thankless work that this case will doubtless entail.) --Aquillion (talk) 23:31, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by LevivichEdit

There are some really great, insightful statements here by many editors. I see a group of experienced editors and admin here with involvement in this topic area who agree, I think unanimously, that there is a serious problem that needs addressing. They disagree about what the problem is, never mind who is responsible or how to address it. I don't know if this has been tried before on Wikipedia, but why not form a sort of Truth and reconciliation commission for this Polish/Jewish topic area. That could be a page where diffs can be presented in an orderly fashion, analyzed by everyone, and discussed. Yes, this could be done by Arbcom in the evidence phase of a case, but maybe that's not the best forum for it (that's not for me to decide). As the old saying goes, you can't get justice from a bored judge. If there aren't enough arbitrators who are interested in taking the case or think they can be helpful or have the time necessary to devote to it, I still see like a dozen editors commenting here who are qualified and could look at diffs together and perhaps at least identify what the problem is, exactly, which might lead to solutions. So, I'm saying, if Arbcom doesn't take the case, perhaps the editors commenting here could just set up a task force or a commission of sorts and just examine the evidence anyway and see where that goes. The analysis might proceed diff by diff, or source by source, or article by article, or editor by editor–I'm not sure–but it seems like we have the resources we need in this very group of editors to investigate the problem. Levivich 07:09, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by QEDKEdit

To put it quite simply, this is too much for ANI. I understand the rationales that the ArbCom members are putting forward but what's important is that if it's thrown back to the community, the chances of a resolution are close to nil. The main reason of having an ArbCom is to enact targeted remedies at very complex situations, a group of editors to pick apart at an issue with a toothpick until it unravels itself, throwing it at ANI is like making fillet with a chainsaw — is it possible? Yes, but is that the most reliable way? Definitely not. Most ANI threads which sprawl over walls of text end up with next to no solution (mostly) and my instinct tells me that will be the case here as well. The declining committee members should reconsider. --qedk (t c) 07:17, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by AlanscottwalkerEdit

What this needs is mediation, where the moderator can direct the discussion, and shut down personalization. The mediation should identify the one, two or three central articles to discuss, get the parties either to agree on content or construct RfC's (with research laid out) to settle it. The choice of central articles will flow to other articles in the affected area. I am sure their are other examples, in Arb cases, but look to the Muhammad arb case, and related mediation. (Perhaps 'Troubles' and 'abortion' too). I think it would be good to accept because, if you do it right, it will clear the way. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:21, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Cas LiberEdit

Yeah this looks complex enough to need a case. Also, @KrakatoaKatie: ok maybe not assess sourcing in huge detail but you need to at least take note if people add material that has been warped or misrepresented from the source, or reliable sources replaced with unreliable sources. This sort of editing is much more insidious and damaging to wikipedia. If two people are edit-warring and one is misrepresenting sources, it needs to be reviewed. You can't punish both without at least trying to figure that out. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:10, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SandsteinEdit

As an admin active at AE and in some cases related to this topic area, I entirely endorse what GoldenRing, above, wrote, and strongly recommend to accept a case to determine whether there is systematic misconduct by established editors in this topic area. Discretionary sanctions are available, but not helpful here, because the underlying dispute about sourcing is too difficult for AE admins not versed in the relevant scholarship (i.e., everybody) to get a grip on. Sandstein 14:17, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Preliminary decisionEdit

Clerk notesEdit

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Icewhiz has requested a word limit extension, which is granted to 750 words. For the Arbitration Committee, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 23:53, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
    • The increased word count has been extended to all participants. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 19:06, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Volunteer Marek: you are currently over 2,000 words in your statement please reduce your statement to 750 words or less.--Cameron11598 (Talk) 19:06, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Piotrus: you are currently over 1,500 words in your statement please reduce your statement to 750 words or less.--Cameron11598 (Talk) 19:06, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I've removed the image in Icewhiz's statement per clerks-l --Cameron11598 (Talk) 19:08, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Icewhiz: you are over 1700 words please trim your statement to 750 words. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 21:55, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Risker: Obviously I'm no longer an Arb, but what has been told to us is all people have 750 words on this case request only. I collapsed the sections because they are excessively over (mostly double) the limit. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 04:47, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • User:Piotrus has requested a further extension here. It has been passed to the committee. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 04:52, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Paul Siebert: Please be aware you are at 760 words and have no further room for additional statements. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 14:44, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Icewhiz: Links to statements or evidence outside of this venue are not permitted. You need to present what you have here. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 15:12, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Piotrus: You have been extended to a total of 1250 words by Arbitrators. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 17:43, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Recuse having made a statement and been involved in prior dispute resolution. GoldenRing (talk) 12:52, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Several notes:
  • SilkTork's vote is being counted as an oppose at this time per them indicating when commenting.
  • @Icewhiz: We are currently waiting to hear back from Arbitrators on your new extension request. Please be aware even if you are looking for 1250, you are already over that at 1335. I would recommend trimming.
  • @Volunteer Marek: You are still over the permitted 750 words at 813. Please trim or request an extension.
-- Amanda (aka DQ) 09:12, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • In regards to VM, I have forced a word removal so that they are at an appropriate length. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 18:28, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @François Robere: So you are aware, you are at the limit and have no further room for replies. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 09:14, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Volunteer Marek:, Linking to previous statements effectively sidesteps the word limit. Please decide on one statement to make here, and present it. SQLQuery me! 02:51, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I've gone ahead and removed the link. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 18:23, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Piotrus:, Please do not link to statements, analysis, or evidence elsewhere, including in hidden comments. You'll need to make your statement within the allotted word limit. SQLQuery me! 17:43, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I've gone ahead and removed the link. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 18:23, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Paul Siebert: You have been granted an additional 250 words by the committee. This brings your total word limit to 1,000 words (750+250 =1000). --Cameron11598 (Talk) 06:48, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (6/0/0)Edit

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

As there appear to be only two people involved in this - Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek, I think this could be sorted quicker and easier on ANI, perhaps by an interaction ban and/or topic ban. Only if the community are unable to solve this problem should ArbCom get involved, and as there doesn't appear to have been that community discussion yet, I am inclining toward a decline. Meanwhile, I shall give Volunteer Marek a warning for the personal attack on Icewhiz. SilkTork (talk) 16:33, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Folks, please stop arguing the case here. The Committee are not interested at this stage in looking at every single diff, and arguments back and forth on the implications of such diffs. Such detail is for the evidence page if a case is opened. There is no need for extravagant length statements. What we do here is look to see if this is the sort of situation that ArbCom can and should deal with. For that we simply need a summary of the concern, links to where previous dispute resolution has been tried and failed, and a few representative examples of the conduct that is causing concern. Please read Wikipedia:Arbitration/Guide_to_arbitration#Case_request_statements - I'll copy it out here:
In a request for Arbitration, a User tries to show the Arbitrators that there is a dispute requiring their intervention, as well as preliminary evidence of wrongdoing. A short and factual statement of 500 words or fewer should be written, including diffs where appropriate, to illustrate specific instances of the problem. The filing user is also expected to show that prior dispute resolution has already been attempted. Exceptions apply to situations where the Arbitration committee is the only possible venue of dispute resolution, e.g. those involving sensitive real-life evidence, or administrator misconduct. The Request is intended to be a summary of the available evidence including enough information to show why Arbitration is needed. You are not trying to prove your case at this time: if your case is accepted for Arbitration, an evidence page will be created that you can use to provide more detail.
For me, as the filer hasn't shown that appropriate dispute resolution has been tried I'm a decline. Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek please read Wikipedia:Dispute resolution; there are several options there for you to explore, though given the heat generated here, my recommendation is that you take this to ANI, where the community can decide if an interaction ban is sufficient, or if topic bans also need handing out. SilkTork (talk) 16:19, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm seeing that people are saying we should accept this case, but the case as presented before us is of one editor accusing another editor of hounding him and inappropriate edits, and the accused editor saying the fault goes the other way. So - as presented - this is a behaviour dispute between two editors on the same topic. The sort of dispute that normally goes to ANI not AE. That the dispute has failed at AE indicates to me that possibly the dispute keeps going to the wrong venue. I'm also seeing that people are saying the case is complex. Is that because the dispute is unclear, and/or is being presented in the wrong places? If someone can explain from what Icewhiz has presented what would be the scope of this case, that would be a help. For me, what I see is a clash between two editors that could be resolved by an IBan, and a discussion regarding a possible Topic ban for one or either or both which could be appealed after six months. If those who monitor and edit articles relating to Jews in Poland find that topic area is more stable and productive after the outcome of whatever ANI decide, then the matter has been resolved. If problems continue in that area, then the matter can again be brought to the community and sanctions stepped up. Only at the point where the community cannot agree on sanctions, or the community have run out of options should it come to ArbCom. So, again, as presented, this appears to be a dispute between two editors, and so I feel it would be quicker and easier to resolve at ANI; however, if someone can put forward a case request, naming the parties that should be in the case and why, then I will look again, and if appropriate vote to accept. SilkTork (talk) 16:06, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I've been thinking on this, but I'm still of the (now sole) view that this is a POV Battle/Conduct Dispute that should and can be resolved by the community. The origins of the dispute are common on Wikipedia - a disagreement on POV in articles that relate to religion/ethnicity/nationality. I mentioned my concerns regarding POV Battles a number of times during replies to questions during the ArbCom Elections. I do feel that POV Battles should be of greater concern to the community, and that the community should be looking for better ways to prevent them happening in the first place. Pushing this to ArbCom or AE is not the way that the community should be dealing with such disputes, and is certainly not the long term solution to POV Battles.
Discussion on POV can be really helpful to the strength and neutrality of an article. If people are not questioning POV then bias can creep in. So it is important to have such discussions, and it is helpful to have two editors (or groups of editors) who are approaching a topic from different angles. But when editors go beyond discussing how to improve the article and resort to personal attacks and bad faith accusations, then the community needs to step in and issue sanctions. If the community feels that the current systems in place for dealing with POV Battles is not appropriate, then the community should be actively looking for such a system (and some have been mentioned on this request page). I have faith in this community. In the inventiveness of this community. But the community will not be able to resolve this and future such issues if they keep directing ArbCom to sort it out.
ArbCom will not be able to sort this out, nor will AE, as both forums have the wrong sort of structure, and the wrong remit. Discussions related to this dispute need to be freer and looser than the rigid forms of AE and ArbCom allow. There needs to be greater interchange between the people involved. The forum should not be simply geared up to looking at wrong-doing and assigning sanctions or not. It should be looking at solutions. And allowing cross talk that sparks imaginative ideas. Looking at the conduct between IW and VM we have them often reverting each other. VM will sometimes remove several paragraphs [56], sometimes a single word [57]. IW will then put the text back: [58], [59]. That's a content dispute - ArbCom doesn't settle those. And it is difficult to settle this dispute without looking at the content.
And, as I keep saying, the community have not yet had the opportunity to look into this. It has only come to either ArbCom and AE, which, as I keep saying, are not the appropriate forums for dealing with this sort of dispute.
Where I am shifting in thinking is that this should be shoved to ANI just to hand out bans. GoldenRing says Topic bans have been tried, and that's not worked. And a user in this topic area has been issued a Topic ban, and has since given up all editing of Wikipedia. I'm not ruling out issuing such bans if appropriate, but if the edit warring, personal attacks, and casting aspersions is on investigation less than it appears at first glance at this request, then a better solution could be found, and such a better solution is unlikely to come from AE or ArbCom.
Could the community try a Holocaust in Poland Editing Panel? Both would be banned from reverting each other. So if IW or VM find an edit in the topic area that they dislike, they could refer the matter to the Holocaust in Poland Editing Panel who would adjudicate. SilkTork (talk) 11:00, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oooookay. Yes, I know arbcom makes everyone a little frazzled, but the sweary stompy back-and-forthery is not helping, please rein it in, guys. (Edit summaries included.) @Icewhiz:, I agree with the confusion expressed by some other commenters about focus - your requests starts with a number of diffs dating back to 2011, the latest 2017, by a blocked editor and an inactive one (Note for readers who are spacey like me: Poeticbent's last edits were in May 2018, not 2019.) with the comment that these were issues "until 2018-9". Could you please be specific (but brief!) about what aspects of this are current or ongoing? (Separately, unless you have specific evidence of relevant interactions, I'd drop the "proxying" stuff for now and focus on issues that are current and actionable. But then, this is my personal preference; I don't generally consider claims of "proxying". People can get their editing ideas from wherever they like.) Opabinia regalis (talk) 09:15, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm usually first to call for an end to word-limit fussiness, but there's way too much stuff here and I still can't quite make out what the request is. Given that, I'm hesitant to sent it all back to ANI where the mudslinging problem is worse. (Edited to add: to be clear, I'm not asking for anyone to post still more stuff. I would like to see 2-3 sentences about what value arbcom could add here, preferably 0 of which refer to blocked or inactive editors.) Icewhiz, I don't think "proxying" is really what you mean - the letter of WP:PROXYING says that editors should not make edits at the direction of a banned or blocked editor (emphasis original) unless they have an independent reason to do so. If you do have such evidence, please pass it along, but I expect you do not in fact have any evidence that anyone is making edits at the "direction" of an editor blocked eight years ago, and you're really trying to make a different point about retaining material contributed by a blocked editor, somewhere along the lines of the rationale underlying WP:G4. Relatedly, it is fine to argue that you think someone is POV-pushing, but implications of Holocaust denialism are very serious and hurtful and should not be made without extremely compelling evidence. Opabinia regalis (talk) 08:50, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Accept, reluctantly. I find these source-heavy cases difficult when I don't know anything about the topic, and it's not an area where arbcom overall has a strong record of success (in part because you really have to consciously stop yourself from making judgments about personalities and self-presentation if the meat of the material is difficult to wrap your mind around). But I think it's clear from the comments from AE admins and others not involved in the dispute that there's something here that would benefit from a careful structured inquiry. Of course, accepting a case request does not mean accepting its original framing and I think it's worth emphasizing that cases examine the conduct of all parties. Given the way the request stage has proceeded, I also would strongly encourage anyone who thinks that another party has posted insulting or offensive comments should contact the clerks or arbcom as a whole, and should definitely not take matters into their own hands and fire back. Opabinia regalis (talk) 08:06, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Leaning decline, because this appears to be between Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek. If so, I think ANI should have a shot at it first. And I endorse SilkTork's warning, Marek – dial it back. Katietalk 18:35, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
* Decline in favor of other forms of dispute resolution. Piotrus, that was helpful, and I'd like ANI to get a crack at topic bans and/or IBANs first. Katietalk 12:48, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Okay, I'm convinced. Accept to examine behavior but not to evaluate sourcing. We tried that once and it just doesn't work. Katietalk 17:06, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

* I've read a lot of the discussion here and for one, there is WAY too much bickering going on. This mater should be handled at ANI for the community as a whole to discuss. Decline. RickinBaltimore (talk) 16:32, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

The more I see of this, the more I realized I was incorrect at first. The behavior here is definitely in need of ArbCom's review and a case I now feel is justified. Accept RickinBaltimore (talk) 12:42, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Placeholder: I intend to review this request and vote as soon as possible. AGK ■ 13:17, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
    Accept. We are setting the bar too high here. If even we are not sure yet what the dispute entails, what hope does the community have of defining the problem, let alone sorting it? The community designed arbitration for this kind of dispute. Many encyclopedia articles are being damaged by this dispute. Volunteer Marek (MK) is a prolific participant in the dispute, but seems to be right enough that administrators at AE recognise there is more to the matter than first appearances. That is where the process breaks down. We designed AE to sanction misconduct, not to act as a miniature ArbCom. The best method of working out what is causing these problems is arbitration. AGK ■ 21:20, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
  • On the surface as framed, this appears to be an upset between two editors, but I'm glad I held off on posting. I'm persuaded by GoldenRing's links especially, this has been going on for a while, and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better. I can't say it's a case I relish taking on, but you can mark me as Accept. WormTT (talk) 20:48, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Accept. I'm reasonably convinced that this is intractable as is, and will require the kind of back-breaking that ArbCom was set up for. We're not qualified to establish the reliability of the sources, but I think we can examine whether the sources presented are being quoted correctly (misrepresenting what a source says is a conduct issue, IMO) and whether or not that's being done systematically/intentionally. ♠PMC(talk) 23:49, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Temporary injunctionsEdit

Interaction banEdit

2) Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs) and Icewhiz (talk · contribs) are prohibited from interacting with or commenting about one another, except that they may submit (directly to the committee) responses to a proposed decision in these proceedings. Arbitrators supporting will desire immediate implementation under net 4 rules.

Enacted --Cameron11598 (Talk) 17:11, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Passed 4 to 0 under net 4 rules for immediate implementation at 17:14, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

Final decisionEdit

PrinciplesEdit

Purpose of WikipediaEdit

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect among contributors. Contributors whose actions are detrimental to that goal may be asked to refrain from them, even when these actions are undertaken in good faith; and good faith actions, where disruptive, may still be sanctioned. Use of the site for other purposes is prohibited.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

VerifiabilityEdit

2) On Wikipedia, the reliability and accuracy of content is paramount. Wikipedia:Verifiability, a policy, requires that article content that is challenged or likely to be challenged – within reason – must be attributed to a published reliable source supporting the information presented.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Preexisting disputesEdit

3) Issues that are contentious in real life are likely to be so on Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia does not permit disputed issues to be imported into its encyclopedia articles or to affect the pursuit of its purpose. Conduct that furthers a preexisting dispute on Wikipedia should receive special attention from the community, up to and including sanctions. It is perfectly possible to present a balanced, accurate, and verifiable encyclopedia article about contentious issues or preexisting disputes.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Neutral point of viewEdit

4) All Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view, with all relevant points of view represented in reasonable proportion to their importance and relevance to the subject-matter of the article. Undue weight should not be given to aspects that are peripheral to the topic. Original research and synthesized claims are prohibited. A neutral point of view requires fair representation of all significant historical interpretations. This refers to legitimate differences in interpretation of the historical record, as opposed to views considered fringe, outdated, or significantly biased or inaccurate by the substantial consensus of reliable sources.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Non-English language sourcesEdit

5) Wherever possible, English-language sources are preferable to sources in other languages so that English-speaking readers can readily verify the content of the article and, if desired, can consult the source for more information. However, sources in other languages are acceptable where an English equivalent is not available. Where editors translate a direct quote, they should quote the relevant portion of the original text in a footnote or in the article. There is no requirement for a translation of the source in other circumstances, although courtesy and good practice suggest that if a genuine concern arises concerning the content or reliability of the foreign-language source, providing a translation or paraphrase of the relevant portion of its content will help address the concern.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Talk pagesEdit

6) The purpose of a Wikipedia talk page is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or project page. Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views. Users should approach article talk page discussions as a place to advance arguments, listen to other users, and try to move the group towards a consensus.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Findings of factEdit

Locus of the disputeEdit

1) This complex dispute centers on reliable sourcing, non-neutral point of view, and battleground behavior over a range of articles related to anti-Semitism and Jewish history in Poland, specifically in relation to World War II and The Holocaust, and including a number of BLPs of scholars studying these topics.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Editing environment in the topic areaEdit

2) It is immediately evident that the editing environment in the topic area is highly strained, featuring assumptions of bad faith, personal attacks, incivility, and battleground behavior.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

History at dispute-resolution venuesEdit

3) The topic area at issue is covered by discretionary sanctions originally authorized in 2011 in the Eastern Europe case. The current dispute has seen numerous arbitration enforcement filings, including:

Link Filer Subject Date Result
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive231#Icewhiz GizzyCatBella Icewhiz 9 May 2018 Reminder to GizzyCatBella; referred to WP:RSN
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive231#GizzyCatBella Icewhiz GizzyCatBella 9 May 2018 Withdrawn per advice of responding admins
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive233#Icewhiz Poeticbent Icewhiz 23 May 2018 Poeticbent topic-banned for six months
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive236#GizzyCatBella Icewhiz GizzyCatBella 24 June 2018 GizzyCatBella topic-banned
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive237#Icewhiz MyMoloboaccount Icewhiz 3 July 2018 No action
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive238#Volunteer_Marek Icewhiz Volunteer Marek 5 July 2018 Volunteer Marek and Icewhiz both topic-banned for three months
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive248#Tatzref Icewhiz Tatzref 25 February 2019 No action against Tatzref; Volunteer Marek topic-banned for six months; François Robere blocked for a week
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive248#Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Volunteer_Marek Volunteer Marek N/A 3 March 2019 Topic ban successfully appealed
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive252#Volunteer_Marek Icewhiz Volunteer Marek 30 May 2019 Referred to arbcom
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive252#François_Robere Volunteer Marek François Robere 9 June 2019 No action

In addition, a request for amendment of the Eastern Europe case was filed by Icewhiz on 16 April 2019, and was declined by the committee. Aspects of the dispute have also been covered at the reliable sources noticeboard (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4) and the biographies of living persons noticeboard (e.g. 1, 2, 3).

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Incivility and inflammatory rhetoricEdit

4) A background of abrasive and uncivil commentary features in many conversations related to this dispute, including conversations in dispute-resolution venues:

  • Volunteer Marek engaged in name-calling ([60]), made unhelpfully sarcastic talk-page comments ([61], [62]), and personalized disputes ([63], [64])
  • Icewhiz made unnecessarily inflammatory comments ([65]), made negative insinuations about Poland ([66]), and made inappropriate ethnically derogatory comments ([67], [68])
Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Assuming bad faithEdit

5) Both parties regularly assume the worst of others' editing, including interpreting errors, misunderstandings, and disagreements about sources as hoaxing and lying.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Battleground behaviorEdit

6) Participants in this topic area have demonstrated significant battleground behavior, often apparently reflecting efforts to "win" content disputes via conduct-review mechanisms. Icewhiz has been involved in an unusually large number of AE requests as filer, subject, or commenter. Both Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek were topic-banned for three months in July 2018 for battleground behavior.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

HoundingEdit

7) On 10 occasions in a one-month period, Volunteer Marek appeared to edit an article because Icewhiz did so (see Evidence § Volunteer Marek's harrassment of Icewhiz: Hounding).

Passed 5 to 1 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Accusations of sockpuppetry and proxyingEdit

8) Poeticbent was blocked in 2011 for sockpuppetry and subsequently unblocked after an appeal to the Arbitration Committee in March 2012. He last contributed to Wikipedia in May 2018. No evidence has been supplied that he has engaged in sockpuppetry or proxying since his departure.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Insinuations of Holocaust denialEdit

9) Icewhiz inappropriately and falsely linked Volunteer Marek to Holocaust denial ([70])

Passed 5 to 1 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

BLP violationsEdit

10) Significant aspects of this dispute center on sourcing in BLPs and on commentary about BLP subjects, generally scholars of the topic at issue.

  • Icewhiz has used inappropriate sources in BLPs ([71]), made negative edits to BLPs ([72]) including editorializing in Wikipedia's voice ([73], [74]), and made arguably BLP-violating edits on talk pages by posting negative claims or speculations about living scholars ([75], [76])
Passed 4 to 1 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Sourcing disputesEdit

11) Large volumes of evidence in this case center on disputed sourcing, including allegations of bias, POV-pushing, use of low-quality sources. Editors involved in these disputes are not limited to the named case parties.

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Challenges in evaluating evidenceEdit

12) Many of the issues in this dispute center on subtleties of source interpretation – for example, whether a particular source is reliable, whether a particular author is qualified, and whether a source is being misunderstood or misrepresented. RSN and talk page RfCs have often failed to settle these questions, in part because the sources are largely written in Polish and there are few uninvolved editors able to read them. This fact has also hampered arbitrators' ability to efficiently investigate claims related to source interpretation and representation.

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Specific-article sourcing restrictionsEdit

13) In June 2018, as part of an arbitration enforcement action, NeilN (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) enacted sourcing restrictions on the article Collaboration in German-occupied Poland, stating Only high quality sources may be used, specifically peer-reviewed scholarly journals and academically focused books by reputable publishers. English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones when available and of equal quality and relevance. and Anyone found to be misrepresenting a source, either in the article or on the talk page, will be subject to escalating topic bans. The effect of this restriction has been positively received.

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Events since the close of the workshopEdit

14) Since the close of the workshop:

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

RemediesEdit

Poeticbent removed as a partyEdit

1) Poeticbent is removed as a party to this case.

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Icewhiz banned from interacting with Volunteer MarekEdit

Amended by motion at 02:39, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

2) Icewhiz (talk · contribs) and Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs) are indefinitely prohibited from interacting with, or commenting on, each other anywhere on Wikipedia (subject to the ordinary exceptions).

2) Icewhiz (talk · contribs) is indefinitely banned from interacting with or commenting on Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs) anywhere on Wikipedia (subject to the ordinary exceptions).

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Amended by motion 8 to 0 at 02:39, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

Icewhiz topic-bannedEdit

3b) Icewhiz (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from the history of Poland during World War II, including the Holocaust in Poland. This topic ban may be appealed after one year has elapsed.

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek topic-bannedEdit

Rescinded remedy.

4b) Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs) is topic-banned from the history of Poland during World War II, including the Holocaust in Poland. This topic ban may be appealed after one year has elapsed.

Passed 5 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Rescincded by motion at 02:34, 18 December 2020 (UTC)

Article sourcing expectationsEdit

Superseded version.

5) The sourcing expectations applied to the article Collaboration in German-occupied Poland are expanded and adapted to cover all articles on the topic of Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland. Only high quality sources may be used, specifically peer-reviewed scholarly journals, academically focused books by reputable publishers, and/or articles published by reputable institutions. English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones when available and of equal quality and relevance. Editors repeatedly failing to meet this standard may be topic-banned as an arbitration enforcement action.

5) The Arbitration Committee advises that administrators may impose "reliable-source consensus required" as a discretionary sanction on all articles on the topic of Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland. On articles where "reliable-source consensus required" is in effect, when a source that is not a high quality source (an article in a peer-reviewed scholarly journals, an academically focused book by a reputable publisher, and/or an article published by a reputable institution) is added and subsequently challenged by reversion, no editor may reinstate the source without first obtaining consensus on the talk page of the article in question or consensus about the reliability of the source in a discussion at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard.

Passed 4 to 1 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 18:48, 9 May 2021 (UTC)

Acknowledgment of delayEdit

6) The committee acknowledges the lengthy delay in preparing the proposed decision for this case. We apologize to the case participants and to other editors interested in the topic area, and thank them for their patience.

Passed 6 to 0 at 19:01, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Extended confirmed restrictionEdit

Superseded version

7) 500/30 restriction: All IP editors, users with fewer than 500 edits, and users with less than 30 days' tenure are prohibited from editing articles related to the history of Jews and antisemitism in Poland during World War II (1933–45), including the Holocaust in Poland. This prohibition may be enforced preemptively by use of extended confirmed protection (ECP), or by other methods such as reverts, pending changes protection, and appropriate edit filters. Reverts made solely to enforce the 500/30 rule are not considered edit warring.

  • Editors who are not eligible to be extended-confirmed may use the Talk: namespace to post constructive comments and make edit requests related to articles within the topic area, provided they are not disruptive. Talk pages where disruption occurs may be managed by the methods mentioned above.
  • Standard discretionary sanctions as authorized by the Eastern Europe arbitration case remain in effect for this topic area.

7) The extended confirmed restriction is imposed on edits and pages related to the history of Jews and antisemitism in Poland during World War II (1933–45), including the Holocaust in Poland, broadly construed. Standard discretionary sanctions as authorized by the Eastern Europe arbitration case remain in effect for this topic area.

Passed 6 to 0 by motion at 19:57, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

Amended by motion at 10:15, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

EnforcementEdit

Enforcement of restrictions

0) Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked, initially for up to one month, and then with blocks increasing in duration to a maximum of one year.

Per the procedure for the standard enforcement provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications
Appeals by sanctioned editors

Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. Requests for modification of page restrictions may be made by any editor. The process has three possible stages (see "Important notes" below). The editor may:

  1. ask the enforcing administrator to reconsider their original decision;
  2. request review at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard ("AE") or at the administrators’ noticeboard ("AN"); and
  3. submit a request for amendment at "ARCA". If the editor is blocked, the appeal may be made by email through Special:EmailUser/Arbitration Committee (or, if email access is revoked, to arbcom-en wikimedia.org).
Modifications by administrators

No administrator may modify or remove a sanction placed by another administrator without:

  1. the explicit prior affirmative consent of the enforcing administrator; or
  2. prior affirmative agreement for the modification at (a) AE or (b) AN or (c) ARCA (see "Important notes" below).

Administrators modifying sanctions out of process may at the discretion of the committee be desysopped.

Nothing in this section prevents an administrator from replacing an existing sanction issued by another administrator with a new sanction if fresh misconduct has taken place after the existing sanction was applied.

Administrators are free to modify sanctions placed by former administrators – that is, editors who do not have the administrator permission enabled (due to a temporary or permanent relinquishment or desysop) – without regard to the requirements of this section. If an administrator modifies a sanction placed by a former administrator, the administrator who made the modification becomes the "enforcing administrator". If a former administrator regains the tools, the provisions of this section again apply to their unmodified enforcement actions.

Important notes:

  1. For a request to succeed, either
(i) the clear and substantial consensus of (a) uninvolved administrators at AE or (b) uninvolved editors at AN or
(ii) a passing motion of arbitrators at ARCA
is required. If consensus at AE or AN is unclear, the status quo prevails.
  1. While asking the enforcing administrator and seeking reviews at AN or AE are not mandatory prior to seeking a decision from the committee, once the committee has reviewed a request, further substantive review at any forum is barred. The sole exception is editors under an active sanction who may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed, but such requests may only be made once every six months, or whatever longer period the committee may specify.
  2. These provisions apply only to discretionary sanctions placed by administrators and to blocks placed by administrators to enforce arbitration case decisions. They do not apply to sanctions directly authorised by the committee, and enacted either by arbitrators or by arbitration clerks, or to special functionary blocks of whatever nature.
  3. All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.
Per the procedure for the standard appeals and modifications provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.
Comments:

AmendmentsEdit

Antisemitism in Poland: Motion (December 2019)Edit

Remedy 2 of Antisemitism in Poland ("Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek interaction-banned") is renamed Icewhiz banned from interacting with Volunteer Marek and amended to read:
Icewhiz (talk · contribs) is indefinitely banned from interacting with or commenting on Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs) anywhere on Wikipedia (subject to the ordinary exceptions).
Passed 8 to 0 by motion at 02:39, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

Antisemitism in Poland: Motion (May 2020)Edit

The following is added as a remedy to the Antisemitism in Poland arbitration case:

7) 500/30 restriction: All IP editors, users with fewer than 500 edits, and users with less than 30 days' tenure are prohibited from editing articles related to the history of Jews and antisemitism in Poland during World War II (1933–45), including the Holocaust in Poland. This prohibition may be enforced preemptively by use of extended confirmed protection (ECP), or by other methods such as reverts, pending changes protection, and appropriate edit filters. Reverts made solely to enforce the 500/30 rule are not considered edit warring.

    • Editors who are not eligible to be extended-confirmed may use the Talk: namespace to post constructive comments and make edit requests related to articles within the topic area, provided they are not disruptive. Talk pages where disruption occurs may be managed by the methods mentioned above.
    • Standard discretionary sanctions as authorized by the Eastern Europe arbitration case remain in effect for this topic area.

Passed 6 to 0 by motion at 19:57, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

Antisemitism in Poland: Motion (December 2020)Edit

Remedy 4b of Antisemitism in Poland ("Volunteer Marek topic-banned") is rescinded.
Passed 7 to 1 by motion at 02:34, 18 December 2020 (UTC)

Amendment (May 2021)Edit

Remedy 5 of the Antisemitism in Poland case ("Article sourcing expectations") is amended to read as follows: The Arbitration Committee advises that administrators may impose "reliable-source consensus required" as a discretionary sanction on all articles on the topic of Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland. On articles where "reliable-source consensus required" is in effect, when a source that is not a high quality source (an article in a peer-reviewed scholarly journals, an academically focused book by a reputable publisher, and/or an article published by a reputable institution) is added and subsequently challenged by reversion, no editor may reinstate the source without first obtaining consensus on the talk page of the article in question or consensus about the reliability of the source in a discussion at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard.
Passed 10 to 0 with 1 abstention by motion at 18:48, 9 May 2021 (UTC)


Amendment (September 2021)Edit

Remedy 7 of the Antisemitism in Poland case ("500/30 restriction") is retitled "Extended confirmed restriction" and amended to read as follows:
Extended confirmed restriction

7) The extended confirmed restriction is imposed on edits and pages related to the history of Jews and antisemitism in Poland during World War II (1933–45), including the Holocaust in Poland, broadly construed. Standard discretionary sanctions as authorized by the Eastern Europe arbitration case remain in effect for this topic area.

Passed 8 to 0 by motion at 10:15, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

Enforcement logEdit

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log, not here.