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

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

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

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration


Initiated by WJBscribe (talk) at 00:03, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Involved parties

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

Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard#Resysop request (Floq)
Wikipedia:Community response to the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of Fram

Statement by WJBscribe

I restored the admin permissions of Floquenbeam (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA), which were not removed through a community process or as a result of a ruling by ArbCom. My reasons for doing so are stated in this post. I refer this action to ArbCom for review and scrutiny. I will of course accept any sanction that ArbCom judges appropriate.

@SilkTork: Doesn't it depend on what the call is about? ArbCom may well want to explore with the WMF the circumstances of the ban of Fram (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) and the later decision to desysop Floquenbeam (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) instead of referring either matter to ArbCom. In the case of the former at least (I stand by my view that there could be no justification for the latter), it may that sensitive non-public information played a part - although I think everyone increasingly doubts it - so that it might be legitimate for that discussion to be had off-wiki. If the conversation were to move towards the general subject of WMF v Community relations, and the extent of the self-governance WMF is willing to permit us, then I agree that discussion is best held in a more open forum. However, ArbCom members may be best placed to make the argument for why a more open forum is needed for that conversation. I think that you for one would make that case well, so I would encourage you to participate. WJBscribe (talk) 10:47, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
@AGK: You're the only active Arb who (other than making some "clerking" edits, including changing the case title to make this case squarely about me, and creating bizarre redirects (see WP:Redirects for discussion/Log/2019 June 18#Wikipedia:TRUSA)) hasn't opined yet, even though the request has now been open for a week. I realise this case presents tough issues, but tough issues are what you're elected to deal with. Would you like to let us know your position...? WJBscribe (talk) 23:31, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: Whether or not Fram (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)'s conduct has been such as to justify a ban is squarely within the competence of ArbCom to determine. You can invite the WMF to submit evidence to you, in private if necessary, to substantiate their case. If WMF chooses not to do so, that would be up to them, but it would expose them to the risk that ArbCom would conclude that a ban is not warranted. It would then be a matter for Fram, who is not blocked on this project, to decide whether to resume editing if ArbCom determined that no ban was justified on the evidence available to it. ArbCom has access to all of Fram's edits on Wikipedia and WMF has not positively stated that it considered anything else (other than the request from the anonymous complainant) in taking its decision. As far as we know, you're in just as good a place to adjudicate this matter as they were. WJBscribe (talk) 10:13, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JEissfeldt (WMF) on behalf of WMFOffice

My name is Jan Eissfeldt and I’m commenting in my role as Lead Manager of the Wikimedia Foundation Trust & Safety team.

The Trust & Safety team apologizes for the disruption caused by our implementation of an Office Action. While the application of Office Actions is at times unavoidable, in this case it caused disruption to the community, which was not our intention. By default, we always aim to follow the principle of least intrusion possible for Office Actions. In the future we will improve our coordination with community-elected bodies like ArbCom across the movement when carrying out our duties.

The recent change to Office Action policy that allowed for the introduction of time-limited and partial (project-specific) bans is not a change of the team’s scope of cases taken. However, it does alter the way that sanctions are enforced by introducing more gradual steps intended to fill the gap between conduct warning office actions and indefinite global bans. We acknowledge that there has been confusion about how these changes apply to the English Wikipedia community.

Though my team followed precedent for a Foundation desysop of those who attempt to interfere in Office Actions, in deference to the confusion of this case, the Foundation will not be issuing further sanctions against or desysopping those who edited the block or the sysop rights of those who edited the Fram block to date. We defer to Arbcom’s judgment on how to proceed with regard to such behavior issues in this case.

The Trust & Safety team wants to stress that we do not want to impede or damage local processes on this project. We want to work with the English Wikipedia community and ArbCom on improvements to processes. We are closely following the discussions, including the ones on the ArbCom Noticeboard discussion page. about ideas for improvements and might comments on several of them in response to community questions there or on the other page as part of the issues we are currently exploring.

A more detailed post on the current situation is here and I will publish a first follow-up to non-ArbCom questions there shortly.--Jan (WMF) (talk) 19:29, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

@@Nick: ArbCom traditionally partners with T&S Operations, which partners not just with this committee but also other community self-governance bodies like the Ombuds Commission or the stewards. James Alexander, during his time here, led the T&S Operations team itself, which was why he was present on ArbCom calls. I am in the role that Maggie Dennis previously filled, which means that while I oversee Operations, among other teams, I do not participate in the day-to-day tasks of Operations such as regular calls with community groups. Best, --Jan (WMF) (talk) 14:53, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Tryptofish

Current word length: 453; diff count: 0.

The most beneficial thing ArbCom can do right now is to refrain from escalating an already fraught situation. Please keep that forefront in your minds whatever else you might do. In my opinion, WJBScribe should be commended for the action that he took. I don't see any good in sanctioning the WMF account. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:09, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Before deciding whether to evaluate WHEEL issues, you may want to consider whether or not you will want to find that WMF violated it. And, just because you can sanction reversals of office actions, does not mean that you must do so. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:27, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I think the Committee should make no decision until after things have settled out some more, but I increasingly feel that your best choice would be to decline the case. I agree with what Sandstein says about that. It looks to me like if you were to poll the community, there are a lot of editors who believe that office actions must not be undone, and that it is sanctionable to have done so, and there are also a lot of editors (including me) who believe that the parties have done the right thing in an unprecedented situation. And no matter how much evidence you might collect in a case, no evidence is ever going to tell you which view is "correct". It's a matter of opinion, not evidence, and a case decision will just be an opinion poll of the active arbs. In a way, the case request is sort-of daring you to find fault, in the expectation of vindication (although I'm not questioning the sincerity of it). Again, all that leaves you with is the opinions of a couple of arbs (and I can facetiously suggest simply asking each of you on your talk pages if anyone really wants to know that). --Tryptofish (talk) 21:06, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
SilkTork wrote I feel we should take the opportunity offered by this situation to talk openly in the structured environment of an ArbCom case, and start moving toward both a new type of ArbCom and a new type of relationship with the Foundation. It's clear that the relationship between ArbCom and WMF needs work, but a "new type of ArbCom" may be too much for a case. ArbCom may want to consider one or more community RfCs prior to a case. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:17, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it's my role to argue with other editors' statements, but I feel the need to briefly comment in re:WHEEL, that what got undone wasn't so much an office action, as something that appears to have been improperly labeled as an office action, because it apparently was dealing with something that has not historically been considered appropriate for an office action. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:13, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Floq

WJBscribe didn't add me as a party, but I probably am. I, too, will happily accept any sanction the ArbCom feels is justified for unblocking Fram yesterday. However, in my (completely unbiased!) opinion, no sanction is due either one of us. --Floquenbeam (talk) 00:11, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

  • @BD2412 and GorillaWarfare: BD's confusion is my fault. I said at VPP I wasn't going to ask for a resysop after my 30 day temporary desysop was up, as long as Fram was blocked. I did, however, ask for the bit back now at WP:BN. That's not quite as hypocritical as it might look at first blush, because (a) Fram isn't blocked (tho he apparently, I guess wisely, still isn't editing), and (b) since this was a request to basically overturn the desysop, I viewed that differently than asking for a resysop after serving my time. (plus, I didn't actually expect to be resysopped....) If, as I expect, I'm eventually desysopped by WMF again, I do not plan to ask for the bit back if Fram's still WMF-blocked. I'm using up my precious 500 word allotment to address minutiae, I know. --Floquenbeam (talk) 12:21, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If ArbCom - Hell, if any one ArbCom member wants me to stop using the tools, just tell me. No need for a motion. I'm under no illusion that I'm going to be a sysop here when the dust settles anyway. But God damn it, it's going to be ArbCom that tells me to hang them up. --Floquenbeam (talk) 16:03, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't believe that my unblock of Fram was within local policy, as some are trying to frame it. If there is some loophole I could wiggle through if you parse the words one way or another, I'm not interested in wiggling through it. I thought at the time that it was clearly a violation of local policy, and I knowingly did that per IAR; in extremis, I knowingly broke a rule to improve the encyclopedia. Reversing the WMF's block Fram - with overwhelming consensus to do so - was clearly in the best interests of the English Wikipedia. The contempt WMF is showing our local processes and "self rule" needed to be addressed somehow, and I firmly believed - and still believe - that they would have replied with 1/4th the current (insufficient) effort if all I'd done is join the long, long, long list of people objecting on WP:FRAM. They can break local policy and ignore overwhelming local consensus with impunity; I felt that breaking local policy with ... punity? ... was my only recourse. It was not a result of my "confusion", as Jan implied in one of his posts, even if it might be easier to make it all go away if we pretended it was. So if things are leaning towards "don't desysop Floq, but issue a clarifying motion that such action in the future will result in a desysop", then please don't. That's a cop-out. Either support the unblock (which would make me proud), or say you disapprove of the unblock (which I would completely understand) and chose from the spectrum of possible responses (no action, reprimand, temp desysop, permanent desysop, block, 1 year ban with no appeal). But let's not pretend I didn't know what I was doing in order to make the decision easier for you, or the consequences easier on me. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:36, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Mz7

The facts of the matter aren't really in dispute: WJBscribe, Floquenbeam, and Bishonen have all knowingly modified clearly designated Wikimedia Foundation office actions, which is something that has been sanctioned in the past by the Arbitration Committee (e.g. [1]). The Arbitration Committee has jurisdiction to review administrator and bureaucrat conduct with respect to office actions, but no jurisdiction to review the actual office action itself (c.f. WP:ARBPOL#Jurisdiction). The question now is whether it would be prudent for the committee to intervene at this stage in this case – honestly, I don't have a view here yet, but given the complexity of the case I'm thinking the answer will eventually be "yes", though right now may not be the best time to do so to avoid needless inflammation. Mz7 (talk) 00:20, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Xaosflux

It may be a bit premature, but I suggest that the committee take up a single case, and expand it to all of the wheel warring that has occurred since Fram has been banned by the foundation. Suggest this is held for at least a few days as there may be more parties. — xaosflux Talk 00:23, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

@Worm That Turned: I'd agree there is not standing about the actions performed by the office, but I do think there is standing about the actions performed by our admins and bureaucrats. Related to office actions, there is room to determine if our functionaries are expected to abide by policies such as OFFICE, or if the policy should be completely void as it has no community force. To a somewhat lesser extent there is also the issue of one 'crat overturning an explicit "deny" by another 'crat in a rapid fashion. — xaosflux Talk 15:04, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Regarding the suggestions to "resolve by motion" from @Joe Roe, KrakatoaKatie, Worm That Turned, and GorillaWarfare: - if doing so please clearly define what was, and as importantly - what was not considered as in scope of the case request that was resolved by such motioning, so we can tell if additional case requests or other deliberations are still needed. Topics I'd want to see include: Any activities of Fram; the administrative actions of Bishonen and Floquenbeam; the bureaucratic action of WJBscribe; if the Wikipedia:Office actions policy is deemed to be a community enforced policy at all (perhaps it is just a summary of things the WMF has declared they may exercise?); how or if the involuntary nature of office desysopings interacts with the restoration of adminship section of the administrators policy. Thank you (and the other committee members) for your work on this trying matter. Best regards, — xaosflux Talk 03:06, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Hell in a Bucket

There needs to be a great meeting that is open and transparent and Arbcom needs to represent the communities interests in this. I think opening a case with respect to this is needed as I think this is a crisis in the making in how this place functions. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 00:28, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by ST47

This situation remains too "hot" for a case to start at this time - with daily wheel-warring, there would be a dozen new parties before the evidence phase even ended. I would encourage ArbCom to consider ways to help cool the situation down by motion - possibly including removing tools from some of the parties pending resolution of the eventual case. Since at least some of the admins involved have stated that they don't believe their actions constitute wheel warring, a clarification from the committee on that point (and a statement that future participants will lose the relevant tools) may be helpful.

A full case will eventually be necessary to determine the outcome with respect to Floquenbeam's and Bishonen's sysop bits (who should be added as parties to a consolidated case), WJBscribe's crat bit, any future wheel warriors, and (if the committee feels there's anything to rule on) Fram's own sysop bit, once their office ban ends. ST47 (talk) 00:35, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by StudiesWorld

I agree with xaosflux on this. While I believe that it is, at this time, premature to accept a case, I also think that this will inevitable come to the Committee and allowing it to expand would make sense. I would add that I think that the case should be more expansive than any concerns regarding wheel-warring to include an investigation of the off-wiki harassment of contributors and any other conduct issues that may arise from this incident. As stated by ST47, I also think that the actions of Floq and Bish should be reviewed with an eye towards possible violations of WP:OFFICE and loss of community trust. StudiesWorld (talk) 00:37, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

I want to add that contrary to others' claims, office actions are not subject to local policies and therefore, it is impossible for WMFOffice to wheel-war. I would also say that I agree with Rob with respect to desysoping and decratting. StudiesWorld (talk) 10:27, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
With regards to proposals to let Floquenbeam, Bishonen, and WJBscribe off without any action, I think that is an option that ArbCom should consider only if they get binding assurances from these users that they will not use any advanced permissions they have to reverse office actions or ArbCom decisions at any point in the future. If they are not willing to make such an agreement, then they should all be desysoped because we can not trust them to act in this area, as a result of their behavior in this instance. StudiesWorld (talk) 21:40, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Building on what BU Rob13 said, I think that the fact that they describe their action as civil disobedience should be telling. When one engages in civil disobedience, one knows that they are breaking the rules and expects and is prepared for punishment. Given this acknowledgment, it would seem that they would not contest a finding that they broke policy. StudiesWorld (talk) 21:51, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by EllenCT

Please use this opportunity to review the propriety of the Office actions, starting with the unilateral expansion of their remit to local non-legally necessary imposition of sanctions within the purview of established conduct policy and community processes and removal of advanced permissions; imposition of civility standards without community involvement, review, or approval, with secret trials by secret and unaccountable judges without the right of representation, defense or appeal, on secret evidence submitted by secret accusers; including the issues of "appropriate principles and our established constitutional order" cited by Jimbo;[2] and whether and which such actions are appealable to him.[3] EllenCT (talk) 00:51, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

In connection with the likely scope of this case given arbitrator comments so far, I would like to make sure they are aware of this offer from Fram, inviting "the WMF to provide their evidence to a number of trusted WMF people who have no real reason to defend me, but whom I still trust to be impartial. People like Newyorkbrad, Drmies, Ymblanter, GorillaWarfare, Giant Snowman, ... Let them judge the evidence in private, without sharing it with me; if they agree that a) the evidence is compelling, and b) it couldn't have been handled in public, then so be it." EllenCT (talk) 01:27, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

  • @Wbm1058: (link) "For multiple self-unblocks, wheel-warring, and abuse of rollback." WP:IAR is policy, and it means that community consensus pertaining to what does and does not improve the encyclopedia takes precedence over rules. EllenCT (talk) 04:18, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
@Wbm1058: Fram's stern and often gruff corrections have been repeatedly evaluated, over the decades now, with at least dozens of complaints similar to Laura's -- and while there is unquestionably plenty of room for improvement, which I believe Fram was sincerely trying to make since the initial T&S warning -- in the vast majority of cases I've been able to review, the community has concluded that Fram's efforts were improving the encyclopedia. In Fred's case, he was clearly trying to hide debate about his candidacy, which is very wrong. EllenCT (talk) 19:54, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Drmies

I think there is no way for ArbCom to avoid taking this, and it will be a good opportunity for the committee to affirm its commitment to our collaborative system of editing and our community-driven governance. The resysopping of Floq was, at worst, an excellent use of WP:IAR (with the caveat that there were no rules for this situation, I read IAR as Do the Right Thing), and in my opinion a pretty clear expression of the community's desire to not be ruled by unelected officials who have very important jobs, which sometimes require secrecy, of course--but in this case they completely failed to explicate anything at all to the community. Drmies (talk) 00:50, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph

While I appreciate some aspects of IAR, I also appreciate that WMF ultimately has the defacto authority here and we have to weigh IAR against anarchy. We can't have admins and bureaucrats going around making changes. So ARBCOM does need to discuss this. Whatever the reasons for the WMF ban, there needs to be a clear line of authority on who/what/when anything can happen. Also, I hereby rescind my topic ban, and ask that one of the admins modify the log so I can edit the full Wikipedia, in keeping with IAR. Sir Joseph (talk) 00:56, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Awilley

An argument could be made that a good application of WP:IAR is to enforce the clear and explicit will of the community over the actions of a "random stressed underpaid employee" who tried to pull stunts that Jimbo himself couldn't get away with. I hope that Arbcom will side with the community should a case become necessary. (I suspect that in this case the cooler heads at the WMF will decide that it is in everybody's best interest for them to back down, at least from the Floquenbeam desysop.) ~Awilley (talk) 01:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by 28bytes

ArbCom does not have the remit to overturn Office actions, even ill-considered and badly communicated ones. It does have the option to offer leniency to any editors who, in good faith, have stood up against Office actions they felt were illegitimate and damaging to the community. I hope the committee will offer that leniency. 28bytes (talk) 01:52, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Adding: I think the #Statement by Sandstein below gets it right. 28bytes (talk) 16:34, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@Softlavender: That tweet has been deleted. Granted, it shouldn't have been posted in the first place, and it's symptomatic of the new environment we're in where it's fair game to call people "abuser" and "harasser" (and even a criminal, apparently) without consequence, but let's give proper credit when these types of attacks are withdrawn. 28bytes (talk) 01:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Adding, contra BU Rob13 and others: nothing in our policies requires the committee to desysop the editors who felt compelled to take these "bright line" actions. The committee will use its best judgment as to whether doing so would benefit the encyclopedia. I submit that sanctioning these editors for their "civil disobedience" would be more harmful than helpful, although I'm sure the committee understands they'll get complaints and angry reactions no matter what they decide. 28bytes (talk) 22:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Javert2113

I shall be brief: the situation remains unresolved. If, however, the Committee does choose to take this up, I ask they examine the totality of the circumstances; and ultimately reach a just conclusion. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 01:57, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by BD2412

There has already been some discussion of the fact that WMF's statement with respect to the desysop of Floquenbeam is somewhat ambiguous. It is arguable that it does not specifically forbid a 'crat here from restoring that bit, so long as Floquenbeam did not request this (which they did not). It says with respect to the period of the removal that the community "may decide on the request at that time", but it doesn't say what should happen if there is no request, or if the community (or a 'crat) decides to enforce Wikipedia policies by restoring rights previous to that time. bd2412 T 03:57, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Per GorillaWarfare's comment, I had not realized that this was requested (I suppose due to Floquenbeam's talk page post indicating that they did not want the bit back). I agree with their rationale for making the request. There is still no express language prohibiting a 'crat here from restoring the bit, so any case against WJBscribe should be moot. bd2412 T 04:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by BU Rob13

Current word length: 545; diff count: 0.

Let's see what the Office does in response to this egregious abuse of the bureaucrat toolkit, but I urge the Committee to accept this request. First, and most importantly, WJBscribe's action to revert an office action is egregious abuse of tools. It violates the Terms of Use. It should come with not only de-crat but also de-admin, as this is conduct severely unbecoming. Further, ArbCom should evaluate whether the desysops of Floq, Bishonen (pending, but sure to come), and WJBscribe (if you address that question) are under a cloud and require an additional RfA under existing policy. ~ Rob13Talk 04:08, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

  • @SilkTork: You simply do not have a scope to examine procedures around office actions, as office actions are implemented by the WMF and are not subject to enwiki policies or guidelines. What part of WP:ARBPOL's enumeration of the Committee's responsibilities would that fall under? ~ Rob13Talk 17:21, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Welcome to post-policy Wikipedia. Should we just delete WP:WHEEL now, or...? ~ Rob13Talk 19:37, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I want to elaborate on this, because it's a continuation of an extraordinarily dangerous attitude from the Committee that permeated my entire term. The Arbitration Committee is hesitant to take decisive action, especially where unpopular with the community. This is true even when our policies clearly favor a particular action. The hope is that, by avoiding conflict and de-escalating, the Committee can cause a problem to vanish. The reality is that this rarely happens. Instead, people learn that they can walk all over the Arbitration Committee without any consequences. They learn that there aren't limits, so long as you can drum up sufficiently loud supporters to make action difficult.

      The Committee is on the verge of making an extraordinary mistake by failing to address the administrative conduct issues here. You are teaching the admin corps that they can cross bright-line desysopping offenses, and if they can get a large enough number of supporters to show up, nothing will happen. Please look at the posts of Floq and Bishonen before they reversed the office action. They knew what they were doing was against policy and the Terms of Use. In fact, Bishonen even said "desysop incoming" at BN. They took an action of "civil disobedience", as they call it, or "abuse of tools", as our policies call it, with full recognition that they were crossing the line. The message is about to be sent that no such line exists if you can find some loud supporters of an admin action, because the Committee is unwilling to do unpopular things that will draw criticism.

      This will lead to more controversial admin actions in the future, including the reversal of any future office actions implemented locally. It will lead to long-term editors acting more brazenly in controversial topic areas. It will lead to editors failing to bring intractable disputes to ArbCom, because they do not trust you to resolve them with any helpful, decisive action. This pattern if avoiding conflict to the point of being walked all over needs to stop. It is fatal to ArbCom as an institution. ~ Rob13Talk 21:34, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by KTC

It doesn't matter how much they disagree with the Office action over Fram. Knowingly and deliberately reversing an Office action is a flagrant abuse of the bureaucrat toolkit by WJBscribe and administrator toolkit by Floquenbeam and Bishonen. Being popular, or making a popular decision doesn't make it right or okay. Everyone involved knew their actions is a violation of policy / against Foundation enforcement of the ToU. That's why it was done. To make a public stand. Well great, you got the plaudits, now suffer the associated consequences. -- KTC (talk) 07:15, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Xover

There is no question or dispute over the actions involved in this case. There is little or no dispute over what the applicable policies are in this case. Thus the central issue is that the named editors (including Floq, who I agree should be named as a party) assert the necessity and justness of their actions despite existing policy.

The situation precipitating these actions is also hugely controversial, still emerging, still hovering between escalation annd deescalation, and with potentially massive and unpredictable long-term consequences. The discussion—despite valiant efforts by some to centralize and structure them—is also spread out over who knows how many noticeboards, project and user talk pages, and even across projects.

For these reasons I believe it is too soon for ArbCom to deal with the actual issue here; ArbCom will have to deal with one or more cases springing from this eventually, but the "fog of war" makes that impossible right now. There are also big questions about what ArbCom's effective remit will be in the locus of those cases when we get to them. I also believe that ArbCom can't simply ignore this issue (decline the case): doing so would in practical effect contribute to the chaos and risk contributing (unintentionally) to further escalation in an already fraught situation.

I would therefore urge the comittee to consider resolving this by motion, and that the motion that will best serve the community in this case is to employ, in effect, jury nullification (CGP Grey explainer video, 4:30). There is no real dispute about the actions or the applicable policy: but to implement a remedy based on that policy right now would be "unjust" (it would offend the sense of justice of the vast majority of the community), and would put ArbCom in an impossible situation. Resolve by motion that the named parties all violated policies in various ways, but that ArbCom will enact no remedies under the current circumstances.

Once this mess shakes out and it becomes possible for anyone to get any kind of perspective on it, that calculus will be entirely different. --Xover (talk) 07:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Banedon

@WTT & Callanecc, are case requests now venues for discussion? I don't understand. As a RFAR, the request is asking the committee to resolve a dispute, not saying "hey here's a problem, let's discuss it in this structured venue". This also seems distinct from any extra information, board meetings or anything like that; it's simply a question of whether WJB stepped out of bounds by reinstating Floq's admin tools knowing what he did at the time. Banedon (talk) 07:59, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

@SilkTork: Let me be clear that I firmly believe that the Foundation acted inappropriately here if you've already made up your mind against one of the named parties, shouldn't you be recusing? Banedon (talk) 09:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Fæ

Clearly the remit here for Arbcom is not simply to make a statement about WJBscribe's actions, or to limit themselves to sanctioning WJBscribe when they are unable to sanction WMF employees acting anonymously as "WMF Office", even when blatantly wheel warring.

Arbcom is in the dock here, Arbcom has failed the Wikipedia community by failing to maintain a positive relationship with the WMF and contacts within WMF T&S. If Arbcom had not failed to fulfil its role on this project, then WMF T&S would trust Arbcom with the claims of harassment or bullying that underpin WJBscribe's actions.

More fundamentally Arbcom must restore the Wikipedia and wider Wikimedia community's trust by considering motions that:

  1. Confirm and detail Arbcom's role in active improvement of the implementation of Wikipedia's value expressed in WP:5P4 Wikipedia's editors should treat each other with respect and civility
  2. State in plain English exactly how the relationship between WMF T&S (esp. use of the WMF Office role account) and Arbcom must work so that the WMF Office role account only ever needs to act in extreme and exceptional cases
  3. Take responsibility for the sanctions on Fram's account and negotiate with WMF T&S to ensure that all the evidence can be reviewed and safely held by Arbcom

Lastly much has been made of the evidence that the WMF provided this "Fuck Arbcom" diff to justify their ban of Fram's account for abusive conduct. If Arbcom accepts that such vulgar conduct, in particular by an administrator, is unacceptable for this project, then this threshold for bans and sanctions for abuse or bullying should apply equally for everyone, including Administrators, Arbcom members and WMF Trustees such as notorious potty mouth and unelected Arbcom member Jimmy Wales:

  • diff ... if you tell people to "fuck off" you should be blocked for it immediately, and banned if you continue
  • diff Utter fucking bullshit
  • diff ... telling them to fuck off is not nearly as satisfying as maintaining a good sense of humor while making them fuck off

-- (talk) 05:47, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf

I don't think this needs a full case as the facts are not in doubt: Floquenbeam, Bishonen and WJBscribe all used advanced privileges to overturn an office action, something that is explicitly prohibited in policy. The only reasonable response to this is to remove all their advanced privileges. These not to be returned without a new RFA, to be held after the dust has settled. The merits or otherwise of the Office actions are irrelevant, and even if they weren't they are explicitly outside the remit of the committee to investigate.

The questions regarding civility and its enforcement are completely separate and should not be conflated with the necessary removal of privileges. Thryduulf (talk) 08:58, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

  • @Dank: Whatever else you might think of Jimmy's statement, it is long-established that any block/ban or almost* any ArbCom sanction/lack of sanction can be appealed to him (at least in relation to en.wp, I'm uncertain about other projects). He doesn't always accept the appeal, and in practice he has never overturned an ArbCom decision, and it's been a very long time since he overturned a block or ban, but he does have the power to do so. (*Jimmy's actions can be appealed to ArbCom, but such appeals may not then be appealed to Jimmy). Whether he holds this power regarding the office is undefined, but ultimately the board (of which is a member) has the final say over the Foundation of which the office is a part. Thryduulf (talk) 14:39, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @SmokeyJoe: WJBscribe most certainly did not act "for the community" - at most he acted for his interpretation of what a vocal sub-set of the community were demanding; he acted directly contrary to the wishes of another, equally important, part of the community (including me) and completely ignored that the vast majority of the community have not commented. You are correct that it was a political statement, but political statements are very nearly the last thing we elect 'crats to make. Thryduulf (talk) 00:27, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Oshawott 12

In my opinion, the best thing to do is just for ArbCom to accept the case and look at the WMF account’s actions along with the whole Fram drama. I’m just here to give a recommendation, and I’m probably wrong, but hey, this is a great chance to get ArbCom to review the whole incident and get a better sum-up and conclusion than the WMF’s crap responses. Oshawott 12 ==()== Talk to me! 09:27, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

I take my words back. WMF gave new statements. However, it would still be a good chance to see ArbCom's take on this and what they plan to do with the sysops, the WMF and WP:WiR's tweets along with the case. It is ArbCom's job, and they've got no choice at this point anyways, so I'd say accept. Oshawott 12 ==()== Talk to me! 02:43, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by WBG

  • What Drmies states.
  • @Rob:- Did T&S inform you anything about the (supposedly pending) de-sysop of Bishonen? You seem to be quite certain .... WBGconverse 09:25, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Black Kite

If I were ArbCom I would be staying well away from taking any action on anything here at the moment, until more clarity on the entire situation is provided. As it is we have a situation akin to playing chess against an opponent which randomly moves the pieces around the board occasionally, and says "I can't tell you why I did that, but I can ensure you I had a full discussion with myself before I did it". Given the increasing stonewalling from the WMF, and the suggestions that this will happen again, I think ArbCom needs to look at this now. Otherwise we will just be here again when the next editor is disappeared. Black Kite (talk) 09:30, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Softlavender

There is no reason for this resysop action to be brought before ArbCom, especially not by the performer; if an admin or bureaucrat wants a review of their admin/crat action, the venue for that is AN or BN. I would therefore advise ArbCom to decline this case, since this is not what ArbCom is for (vanity review of admin/crat actions, submitted by the performer). If WMFOffice wants to take any action regarding the resysop, they can do so. If editors beyond the admin/crat in question have a major problem with an admin/crat action, they can file an ArbCom case, as a complainant, after review in the appropriate venue(s) (review as in polling of "Endorse" or "Overturn"). As it is, this case request seems to be out-of-process, unnecessary, and lacking any of the requisite pre-venue resolutions/reviews/polls. ArbCom doesn't do "review/scrutiny". That's what AN and BN are for. Softlavender (talk) 09:56, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

ArbCom also does not do "test cases" or "statement cases". If ArbCom wants to make a statement, it makes a statement. It does not accept cases under the pretext that doing so will allow it to make a statement. Softlavender (talk)

@28bytes: I'm well aware that the tweet was deleted two hours after it was reported at WP:FRAM and 16 hours after it went live on Twitter. That does not change or excuse the fact that an official WikiProject and Wikimedia-linked Twitter account with over 6,000 followers stated publicly on Twitter that a long-term Wikipedia administrator in good standing had committed "real crimes". Softlavender (talk) 02:46, 15 June 2019 (UTC); edited 03:27, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SN54129

Current word length: 434; diff count: 0.

I'm not sure that anything need be done at least until after the board meeting when we will know where (presumably) the WMF stands on the desysops/resysops. WJBscribe did the correct thing bringing this hear, but the biggest concern should be with de-escalation, not re-escalation, which further such actions including blocks and bans would only encourage.

If a case is still felt necessary after that, it should be brought and heard as a form of truth and reconciliation commission, coming to Xover's conclusion by motion. This is the one result that would truly de-escalate tension—a reversion to the status quo ante bellum.

Punishments may be deserved by the letter of the "law", but would actively pour fuel on the fire as far as broader community dissatisfaction goes.

  • @BU Rob13: pending but sure to come: wishing for it does not make it so. JW commented that further wheel warring will not be productive...I am recommending the same to WMF, so perhaps calmer heads have prevailed. We shall see, of course.
  • Thruuydulf's / KTC's suggestion lacks nuance, to say the least, although it would certainly be successful at the fuel + fire interface. The latter also is unnecessarily aggressive and seems indeed to preempt these proceedings.
  • IAR is fundamental. The encyclopedia was not improved by the office's original action; it has been improved by subsequent reversals. That is the bottom line. And I don't particularly buy the argument that the WMF is the highest authority here except in regard to extremely narrow areas of legal (and possibly political) consequence. As far as en.wp is / should be concerned, the WMF are the caretakers of the building in which the encyclopedia is written, and perhaps, keep us in paper...
    ——SerialNumber54129 10:07, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Re. Ivanvector' diffs regarding WP:BN: in short, no. We can hardly be seen sanctioning an admin for upholding WP:NPA in the middle of a case dealing with aspects of civility. The irony would be supreme, f not the profitability. ——SerialNumber54129 11:40, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Ivanvector, quite. I don't necessarlly disagree with your principle (and as I said in my OP, I don't want any more blocks/desysops/resignations over this, so we certainy agree on that); but I also note that—perhaps with a certain logic—the most vocal admins in this dispute—those most likely to put on the spidey suit—are also the most active layer of the administura we have. The action you propose would leave us with arbcom and a few legacy admins. ——SerialNumber54129 11:59, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Excellent point by Alanscottwalkerviz, that one of the parties is untouchable by any sanction or recommendation that Arbcom could issue, and perhaps emphasises the degree to which any case would be a vacuous execise. ——SerialNumber54129 13:56, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Boing! said Zebedee

I'm going to go against the majority so far and suggest that ArbCom should refuse to have anything to do with this whole affair. WMF chose to exert their superior power and override ArbCom's remit in dealing with English Wikipedia behavioral issues, and I think that's the way you should leave it - they made the bed. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:09, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

@Ivanvector: Well, I for one have chosen to not take any administrator actions at all for the duration of this dispute, and I would at least urge everyone to avoid all admin or crat actions in anything directly related to it while the situation is so inflamed. There's nothing so badly wrong right now that can't wait a little while to be resolved. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:06, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
To expand on my first thoughts, I would suggest ArbCom should at least wait until the board had met and has tried to sort out the mess together with WMF, before voting to start yet another process to examine it all before we're sure we have all the available facts. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:10, 13 June 2019 (UTC) (There are far too many words on this page, and mine don't really add anything. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:19, 17 June 2019 (UTC))

Statement by User:Reyk

I urge ArbCom not to get involved in the issue of de- and re-sysopping the administrators in question. In my opinion, none of them have lost the faith of the community; all of them should get their admin bit back if they've lost it automatically on request to a bureaucrat (this includes Fram); and there is need for neither an RfA nor an ArbCom ruling. Reyk YO! 10:21, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ivanvector

I wasn't going to participate in this at all given my separate protest, but just moments ago we've had an administrator in the anti-WMF camp threaten another admin with a block over this incident ([4]). I think it would be a good idea at this point for Arbcom to temporarily remove the advanced privileges of everyone involved in this dispute as a cautionary measure, before someone does something incredibly stupid and tips off another war of escalation. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 11:33, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Courtesy ping Future Perfect at Sunrise, Thryduulf, Beyond My Ken. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 11:34, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Oops, that was Boing! said Zebedee, not BMK. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 11:41, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @SN54129: whether or not I agree with the basis of FP's threat or the principle they're claiming to uphold, the point I'm trying to make is that I'm certainly not going to take action against anyone that's participating in this, no matter how egregious their abuse, because I don't know who's going to be the next to decide to be the Great Defender Of The Wiki and overturn my block or decide I need to be blocked because of their unique interpretation of ignoring the rules. There's already a parade of admins turning in their bits at BN. The grandstanding is doing real damage to the project, on many fronts. The WMF has seriously fucked up here, but each threat, each block, and each rogue admin action makes matters worse, not better. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 11:53, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Partially in response to Amakuru's statement I have struck my recommendation to (paraphrasing) desysop everyone. Of course that's not helpful. Let me replace that with: "I think it would be a good idea for everyone involved to remain calm, and remember that we're not each other's enemies." To borrow Opabinia regalis' analogy, the WMF lit the match, but we're the ones dumping gasoline on this dumpster fire.
Directly to the case request: I enourage the Committee to accept, but only after we receive some kind of response following the Board meeting scheduled tomorrow, and then limited in scope to only English Wikipedia's community policies with respect to adminship and bureaucratship. To my mind, the Committee has no authority to place, nor modify, nor enforce Office actions. Let the WMF clean up their own mess and block/ban who they want to, but once that's settled, there are issues to deal with locally. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:43, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Carcharoth

Current word length: 494; diff count: 0.

My advice would be to to wait a few days and see what happens and where community discussions (and the WMF Board meeting) go. In the meantime, try and come up with a sensible collective statement from ArbCom to help people understand your role (or lack of a role) in what is happening here, maybe on the whole matter, or maybe narrowly focused on your responsibilities. Try and help the English Wikipedia community and the WMF work out a way through this. Try to limit the damage being done. Don't limit discussion (here or elsewhere), but do try to set some boundaries for civil discussion. (As a small point of order, naming and notifying a role account may not actually reach the people operating that role account i.e. has someone emailed the email address listed at User:WMFOffice, and are those posting at User talk:WMFOffice actually expecting a reply?). Has a role account ever been named in an arbitration case request before? Carcharoth (talk) 11:54, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

  • There are signs that more information is slowly emerging, and things are becoming clearer. Unfortunately, there is a lot of reading to do to get to that point. Clear summaries and timelines may help get a handle on what is going on here. Plus reading around all the discussions in various venues. On a specific point, my question to the arbitrators is, in light of what SilkTork says here, why are you letting the WMF put you in a position where you knew ahead of time about this, but were not trusted with any information about it? Consider what that says about the relationship between ArbCom and the WMF. If anything is to come out of this, insist on a better-defined relationship and don't let yourselves get put in an awkward position like that again. Carcharoth (talk) 14:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Katie, please can you and other arbitrators who will be participating in that phone call with the WMF, read what Fram has said here and consider: (1) The WMF are affecting the editorial independence of their projects by this level of micromanagement and are opening themselves up to legal liability; and (2) the WMF are dealing with matters that are your jurisdiction. A sensible resolution to this would be for the WMF to pass jurisdiction back to you (ArbCom) and for you to open a case examining Fram's conduct. That would likely resolve the specific matter at hand. On the general matter going forward, the WMF approach that is most likely to build bridges and repair some of the reputational damage is for them to make the case for the need for this sort of project-specific WMF ban as part of their toolset, but to work with the communities on implementing it in a way that will gain acecptance. Carcharoth (talk) 13:24, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Statements are being withdrawn and two of the named parties have made further statements. ArbCom, you need to get a grip here and sort out what you are going to do. Carcharoth (talk) 11:33, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Dave

Personally I'm with Boing on this - WMF chose to ignore all processes we have and simply do things their way ..... so as such I feel this case should be declined, That being said if a case is really desired then I would suggest waiting after the meeting,

I also thank WJB for coming here although ofcourse they didn't have to. –Davey2010Talk 11:54, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by WaltCip

The origin point of everything that has occurred here is the messaging (or lack thereof) by WMF. The board meeting on June 14th is expected to provide to the community some clarity to an incident that badly needs clarification. Until then, ArbCom should remain in a holding pattern.--WaltCip (talk) 12:29, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

WMFOffice has given a statement effectively deferring judgment to ArbCom for those who were responsible for reversing or circumventing office actions. Regardless of how I feel about what has transpired, and however much I disagree with what the WMF has done, policy is clear, as is the precedence on how we have handled cases like this in the past: This is wheel-warring. Floquenbeam and Bishonen were out of line in unblocking Fram, and WJBScribe was out of line for reversing the office de-sysop of Floquenbeam. These individuals should be respectively de-sysopped and de-cratted, eligible to regain their advanced rights only after a successful RfA/RfB.--WaltCip (talk) 20:13, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Amakuru

Current word length: 452; diff count: 0.

  • First of all, I am definitely in sympathy with Fram because, based on the evidence available so far, their block was an unwarranted office action in an area where it is not sensible IMHO for the office to act. Based on the evidence, of course. There may be things we do'nt know about that affected the decision, in which case perhaps it was justified after all.
  • That said, though, the office is God for us since they own the servers, and reversing their actions just isn't permitted. We all signed up to their basic rules when we opened our accounts and that still holds even if we disapprove of what they do. So speaking personally I would never have taken the actions that Floq, Bish or WjbScribe took. I don't think they particularly advance the situation re Fram's access and cause a lot of distraction and drama. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 13:02, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Responding to SilkTork's acceptance comment below, in moving the focus away from WJBScribe's action, which would be a fairly pointless exercise, to one centred on the interplay between ArbCom and the office regarding civility and harassment cases. I think that is a great idea and I would be interested in following a case of that nature. Having Jan and the office on board exchanging views would be ideal, but even without that it would be an opportunity for the community to clearly structure its thoughts on how this *should* work and hopefully feed that back to the office, either through Jimbo and DocJames or directly. As a quick example of the sort of ideas that might be shared, I personally think that ArbCom is a much better vehicle for this process than the T&S department,despite their pronouncement to the contrary on the WP:FRAM page. Wikipedia is a diverse community of many nations, genders, races, creeds etc. and for all that they get some stick sometimes, I think ArbCom actually does have broad representation from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The WMF, on the other hand, is an organisation based in a physical location on the US West Coast, presumably with employees who reside in the area, and hence, albeit through no fault of its own, has a more limited world view. There's also the more prosaic point that we elected our ArbCom and they are accountable to us. The WMF's line is that ArbCom just isn't dealing with the things it's supposed to deal with. If that is the case, we need to sort it out. Make sure that harassment really isn't tolerated. But the solution is not to hand the keys to the kingdom to people who, with the best will in the world, don't really understand its workings.  — Amakuru (talk) 22:11, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Doug Weller

I'm with Boing! said Zebedee and a few others who have asked that this case be declined. It's possible that something might come up tomorrow that makes it unnecessary or, hopefully less likely, might lead me to change my mind, but I'm not convinced that taking this case will benefit the English Wikipedia. I understand the arguments about the ToS, etc, and as an Arb I was almost always willing to accept caess of Admin misconduct. But this is different. It's an extraordinary, unprecedented situation. Although I disagree with User:Drmies about accepting this case, I agree with his comment on IAR meaning "Do the Right Thing". Not taking this case will not result in anarchy or Admins Gone Wild - I don't think that any Admin will see what's happened this week as a precedent for doing what they like. And if they do, they'd be wrong and should expect the consequences. I'm not arguing that the WMF was wrong - or right - but that I've seen some excellent editors and Admins acting as their conscience dictated, not for personal reasons but for the good of the encyclopedia. We should cherish that, not punish it. Leave this to the community (and I guess inevitably to the WMF if they continue to sanction). Doug Weller talk 13:32, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

The WMF has wisely decided not to take any further action against the participants in this case. If it is correct that they broke the ToS, then the WMF has decided to ignore that. Given that, I can see no positive gain from ArbCom deciding to discipline them and still believe that the case should be declined. At the most it might pass a motion noting that this has been a very serious clusterfuck and that the Committee expects all participants to avoid such actions in the future. Of course the Committee could also recommend various courses of action for the community to embark upon, but my 4 years on the Committee suggests that doesn't often pan out. Doug Weller talk 07:25, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SchroCat

  1. Floq, Bish & WJB (F-B-W). Jan Eissfeldt non-apology apology says "In acknowledgement of the confusion caused by the application of this newer type of ban, we will not be issuing sanctions against or desysopping those who edited the block or the sysop rights of those who edited the block to date". If the WMF are prepared to replace some actions of ArbCom as the final 'executioner' of editors, then their remit on not punishing people involved in the same events should be equally applicable. Eissfeldt acknowledges that the mess is WMF's fault: that is notification that a case does not need to be held, or we get into a double jeopardy situation.
  2. Excellent comment from Carrite. Eissfeldt's statement also says "the introduction of time-limited and partial (project-specific) bans is not a change of the team's scope of cases taken. Yes. It. Is. This is a naked power grab by the office into the remit of ArbCom and to usurp it. It has made you look toothless and pointless. They did it without explanation and it extinguished the much of the community's trust. This was a deliberate step, not an accident (if accidental, you have to query the competence of those involved).
  3. John Cline, I cannot image a worse step for the community than those three individuals resigning their tools. It happened as a result of an extra-ordinary step by the Office; extra-ordinary steps generate extra-ordinary responses, and the actions of F-B-W are a reaction to such.
  4. Future steps. Comments have been made (eg by SilkTork) on the need to hold a case "to clarify procedures moving forward". Yes, we need something to discuss a future relationship, but is this within ArbCom's remit?

Cheers – SchroCat (talk) 07:43, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Joe, "additional, private and off-wiki information ": can you clarify (or ask to be clarified) whether the information is held/was filed offline, or whether it relates to action taken by Fram offline? There is a huge difference in implications between the two. - SchroCat (talk) 14:25, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Joe, Given the way it is phrased here ("additional, private and off-wiki information"), it possibly infers that there was off-Wiki activity by Fram (although this may just be your phrasing). It is not against their policy to state whether Fram's "infringing" actions were on wiki or off wiki, but T&S have misled many by refusing to clarify. There is nothing to stop them saying "There were offline actions by Fram which were involved". Fram says no off-line activity, but if T&S are trying to mislead (even by silence), this is more of an issue. – SchroCat (talk) 14:55, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Joe, 1. "off-wiki" is clearly not on WP (not offline) and that needs clearing up, as it looks like Fram is being accused of something here (although it may just be your phrasing); 2. "I think your question is directed at the WMF": Given the WMF refuse to discuss anything with us peons, and given your statement has an implication that there have been serious infringements here, I think it would be best if you obtained the clarity - ArbCom appear to be in the loop more than the rest of us. - SchroCat (talk) 15:58, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Alanscottwalker

So, this is how it goes: something happens; before seemingly even reading any policy or guideline or bothering to relate what we can read, we seemingly start yelling; we don't contact the people involved, even though such could have been found, nor say what we could easily find; we name conspiracy theories, call out claimed personal peccadilloes, and assume bad faith, and we make it abundantly clear that whatever the response is, we will not accept it. Into this you get tool wielders climbing the ramparts to throw themselves off. It is no wonder why reasonable people might say this project demonstrates incapability. (Nor is it any secret to honest pedians that from time to time, we demonstrate incapability).

For the future, Arbcom immediately issue a temporary injunction so people don't throw themselves off the ramparts. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:45, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

We are here to give away writing, images, and audio in the form of an encyclopedia. That is all. We are not here to experiment in democracy, nor anarchy. It is a mystery what some people want Arbcom to do in an area in which Arbcom does not even have jurisdiction, and where WP:CONSENSUS and WP:TOU are crystal clear, and will not be thrown over by Arbcom, nor could they be, in that Arbcom relies on similar power and the similar ability to take things in private. -- Alanscottwalker (talk)
It is fundamental to Wikipedia Consensus that office actions cannot be overturned; it is also fundamental that a true WP:CONSENSUS can only exist if it respects Wikipedia policies, and there are a number of Wikipedia policies which grant the office discretion (authority) to make these decisions. It's a Central Pillar of the project that the project is not an experiment in democracy, nor anarchy. The facts are plain that the one Crat action that began this case, now two more admin actions that have been added are useless, so cannot improve anything even if the desire is to have a social order, which is not the purpose of the project. How many times do we stress to people in the administration of this project, NOTFREESPEECH, NOTSOCIALNETWORK, NOTJUSTICE. Because none of those are what the project is for. And despite the stress in our 1) Central Pillars, 2) every Arbcom case, 3) in many statements of editors, 4) and sometime actions of administrators, that WP:CIVILITY matters, no one can claim the project does not fail there from time to time. There is no case here, because we already know the policies, and Arbcom is completely without competence nor authority to overturn WP:CONSENSUS, et al., which just leaves remedy, but the remedy has already been decided, no further action on the 2 admins and 1 bureaucrat for this incident, here no matter how mistaken (if mistaken it was), or venal (if venal it was), their conduct. (On Fram, there are a few things to note: 1) this committee does not have jurisdiction; 2) in their first statement, Fram seems to say they were trying to do better since being warned, which suggests there was indeed a problem; 3) at least, one former arbitrator [5] and one current arbitrator, and perhaps some others have suggested there were conduct problems, 4) but at any rate, the remedy, is out of this committees' hands). Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:38, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Dank

Jimmy's statement here is extraordinary ... in a clear context of T & S bans, he's saying that it's long-established that he can overturn bans, and that he's willing to fall on his sword to do so. This completely undercuts arguments on this page and elsewhere that there's no point in even discussing things here (and I don't know Jimmy from Adam, but I suspect that was his goal, to enable moderate ... and moderated! ... discussion). T & S may outrank us, but Jimmy's position is that, in exceptional circumstances, he outranks them in some sense (or maybe he's just confident that he can out-persuade the Board). So, yes, until and unless Jimmy changes his mind, discussion leading to a case, and even a case itself, may be beneficial. Calm discussion would certainly be more beneficial than the likely alternatives. - Dank (push to talk) 14:21, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

@Thryduulf: What's extraordinary is that he made the statement immediately, and in a context where he has to mean the T & S ban, rather than bans in general ... he's clearly considering his options here. So, while Arbcom may want to decline the case because their hands are partially tied, it's demonstrably false to say (as some are saying) that a case would be "pointless". Ultimately unsuccessful, maybe, but it's not pointless to give parties on all sides the opportunity to talk rather than waving (or falling on) swords. There's a lot Arbcom can do, and Jimmy may be able and willing to do some of the things they can't do. - Dank (push to talk) 17:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ms Sarah Welch

I urge the committee to accept this case after the June 14 meeting and follow it through for the following reasons: the en-WP project's content creation and its maintenance is volunteer-driven. The best interest of this project can be served and sustained only if the necessary rights and responsibilities of editors and admins are maintained or revoked through a consensus process. Rob and a few others remind us of the TOU, but every person with love and bits for this project derives her or his just privileges from the consent of the volunteer community. If and when any person or unelected Office appears to act against these interests of this project, it is the right of the community to question it, protest about it, act on it, and so alter it.

The committee is our elected group. They are qualified and trusted to review difficult cases, institute procedures, and adopt appropriate motions. That includes cases of alleged hostility and harassment in wikipedia, with or without alleged egregious and disruptive editing.

A large section of the en-WP community is clearly upset with this extraordinary WMFOffice action on Fram who has been one of en-WP's gadfly, plus the actions on Floq, the resignations and the rest. The issues here: "what processes were followed, were they fair and just, are our standard processes not capable of handling such cases, was there any undue favoritism or undue cruelty shown in this case to either side because of any direct access to the members of WMFOffice, are there checks and balances against the WMFOffice to help the interests of the project, what must be done in this case, what must be done in future cases, why or why not". A review and scrutiny of the facts and decisions in this case, at an appropriate time, will help the project and heal the en-WP community. Thank you, Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 14:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

@Opabinia regalis and Doug Weller: On "reviewing office actions is out of the scope of an arbcom case", the WP:ARBPOL states, "The Committee has no jurisdiction over: (i) official actions of the Wikimedia Foundation or its staff;..." and then it reads "The Committee may take notice of conduct outside its jurisdiction when making decisions about conduct on the English Wikipedia if such outside conduct impacts or has the potential to impact adversely upon the English Wikipedia or its editors." Doesn't the latter apply here? While ArbCom may have no jurisdiction on "official actions" (e.g. global indef block by WMFOffice), is ArbCom forbidden from reviewing non-actions such as policies, rules and procedures that directly or indirectly affect the purpose of en-WP? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 20:13, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by RegentsPark

I was off-wiki for a couple of days so apologies if my understanding of the situation is incorrect but here's what I've figured out. Fram was blocked, banned and desysopped for unexplained reasons by an "office action" on the part of WMF. Floq unblocked Fram and was desysopped under the same office action. WJBScribe restored Floq's admin bits with the reasoning that neither the community nor arbcom were involved in the desysopping of Floq. The nub of this situation appears to be that we, as a community, are unclear about where our own role (whether as a community or through arbcom) in managing en-wiki ends and where that of WMFoffice begins. Unfortunately, this is just another website and, like all websites, it comes along with its "Terms of Service". Regardless of what happens to Fram, Floq, or WJBScribe, whether we want to contribute to this site or not should depend on an understanding of the implications of our agreeing to these terms of service and ArbCom should accept this case only for the purpose of bring clarity to that. In particular, it would be good to get answers to the following questions. Do we accept that WMFOffice can desysop admins in cases that can be handled on-wiki (like Floq's desysopping)? Should WMFOffice consult with ArbCom or the community (sharing whatever information they can reasonably share) before taking unilateral action against an editor (as in the case of Fram)? These, I believe, are reasonable questions and, to the extent that the committee works for the community, it should take this case to seek answers to them, leaving the status quo (Floq resysopped, WJBScribe a bureaucrat, Fram unblocked but still banned pending explanation from the foundation) in place. --regentspark (comment) 14:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Amorymeltzer

I would like to echo and expand upon what xaosflux and others, including Arbitrators, have suggested, namely to consider the broader Sturm und Drang around tool use, but in due time. It is incredibly likely that ArbCom will have some role in the outcome — especially because doing so is likely to be more acceptable to all parties — and it would be best to do so after more of the play has unfolded, at least as far as advanced tool use is concerned. Portions of the storm seems to be calming somewhat, and while it's nigh time to process cleanup, it has not yet passed. ~ Amory (utc) 15:56, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sandstein

ArbCom should take no action here. It exists to resolve disputes among editors. This dispute, however, is between editors and the WMF Office, which is not subject to ArbCom's authority. A case would therefore be pointless because it cannot result in (effective) sanctions against the WMF Office.

Nor should ArbCom take a case to consider sanctions against the users who have undone actions of the WMF Office. That's because the WMF Office has the ability, as events have shown, to sanction such conduct by itself. (By which, to be clear, I'm not suggesting that the WMF Office should impose any more such sanctions. Doing so would compound the apparent grave errors the WMF Office has committed so far.)

The dispute can only be effectively resolved by the body with the authority to make the WMF Office comply with this community's expectations regarding dispute resolution. That body is the WMF Board of Trustees. Users should make their expectations in this matter clear to the members of the Board, primarily the community representatives. I intend to do so. Sandstein 16:22, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by RexxS

I'm going to suggest that ArbCom postpone any decision on taking this case for a week or so. I honestly don't think that there's any urgency needed in reviewing the actions of the players so far. It may well be that some sort of compromise solution might render any such review moot.

On that point, I will ask ArbCom to consider a suggestion from me that they are going to have to be part of any long-term solution. Hopefully you've already reached that conclusion and are already engaged with T&S in looking at ways of improving procedures so that we minimise the chance for this sort of crisis to recur.

If it's any help, my view is that T&S missed the opportunity to involve you more closely when they issued warnings and an i-ban. If T&S had involved you more at that point, it may even have been possible for the warnings and i-ban to have been issued in the name of ArbCom, and given the community a sense of ownership of any sanctions. Similarly, if T&S had presented their case for a site ban to you in confidence, you may well have been able to take over that case and reached a conclusion, likely in camera, and issued a ArbCom sanction that was appealable with conditions you set. I'm not suggesting that T&S need to involve you in dealing with paedophiles and on legal issues – those "extraordinary circumstances" that we understand must remain the remit of WMF – but for something that normally would be dealt with by ArbCom, I'm sure both you and T&S appreciate the necessity and good sense in working closely together. --RexxS (talk) 18:29, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Agent00x

If we refer specifically to WP:TOOLMISUSE, it does not appear to mention the reversal of office actions as a misuse of administrative tools, however, it does say that it is a possible indication of an incipient wheel war. It's not even listed as a special situation. Pending the outcome of the meeting on 14th June, maybe it's time that the policy is updated to reflect that a reversal of office action counts as tool misuse. This way we will not have so much uncertainty about whether the actions of the administrators and bureaucrat count as a misuse of tools.

Also, based on the behavior of the office team in this investigation, maybe it's time the WP:OFFICE General Information section is reviewed too. It appears that the "Office actions are transparent when possible, but safety (and legal compliance) comes first." section did not apply in this case? There was no safety or legal compliance to worry about, so why was this not transparent? Also per WP:OFFICE, they were also requested to provide details of the internal processes followed to enforce the office action, but I am not sure we saw sight of those by the office, only via members of the ArbCom team. Agent00x (talk) 18:56, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Moe Epsilon

I've been looking at this discussion since it began without commenting to see how this would play out. Now that a lot has, it's clear that there's only one solution and I hope arbitrators seriously consider what I'm saying. The only logical choice to make here, outside of inaction, is the following:

  • Desysop Floquenbeam and Bishonen for thirty days, for reversing an office action minus time served for Floquenbeam (since that was the benchmark the Foundation previously used in deciding Floquenbeam's desysop)
  • Desysop and decrat WJBscribe for thirty days, for reversing an office action.
  • Reinstate the ban of Fram, minus time served, until the issue is discussed and resolved however the outcome.

Office actions have always been subject to not going through the normal community processes (it says it plainly in the nutshell at Wikipedia:Office actions) and have always been subject to no appeal option. This didn't bother anyone until it affected an unblockable user. While more transparency from the Foundation is needed, they have office hours and are not readily able to chit-chat or disclose all the information you seek right away. Multiple people are looking into it, and resolving the issue can take time. That isn't the problem. The problem is the community having no patience. And again, you can have community consensus, but the Foundation is going to act regardless and not even ArbCom is above them. This lack of patience, however, has resulted in misuses of the administrator and bureaucrat tools. The only person I think has had any tact in this situation has actually been Fram. Floquenbeam, Bishonen and WJBscribe: I want you to know I have no problems with you personally and think you do fine around Wikipedia, and my suggestions above are not reflective of that. However I feel like you all stepped beyond the line willingly, especially you WJBscribe, knowing there would be consequences. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the community (clearly not everyone) loses a little trust in your actions.

But let me make one thing perfectly clear, this whole fiasco was self-inflicted. The reason the Foundation side-stepped ArbCom is because they believed this community isn't able to reach these conclusions on their own and decided it for you. The misuse of tools only proved that, if anything. Unless you want the Foundation to continue to side-step ArbCom, then all of you need to follow the policies as written and act accordingly (and yes, I mean civility as well). If you don't, then prepare to be trampled upon. If ArbCom doesn't act here, whether in a case or a motion, then I can only think the gap of trust widens between you and the Foundation. — Moe Epsilon 20:17, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Montanabw

Current word length: 496; diff count: 0.

I concur that overriding WMF Office is outside the purview of ArbCom. WMF owns the servers; it's their house, their TOS, and if someone sued, they'd have to pay the lawyers. That said, WMF has an obligation to be as transparent as law and policy allows. So if something is opened up, I think it is an opportunity to create a crystal-clear understanding of where the line between ArbCom and the WMF is drawn.

I concur with BU Rob13 that the failure of the community to rein in Fram is one reason WMF got involved in the first place. Fram should have been subjected to disciplinary actions (and probably a few blocks) for his incivility years ago. Just because Fram might have been technically correct was not carte blanche to be a jerk; and no one seems to disagree that at times his behavior went far beyond the pale. Similarly, just because some of us are able to meet Fram head-on and slug it out in the rough-and-tumble of the WP talkpage universe doesn't mean everyone should have to.

As for Floq and Bish, they each deliberately chose to exercise civil disobedience by reversing an office action, and they knew that going in. For that reason, they don't need to be exempted from appropriate penalties, and both of them no doubt are big kids who are ready for that. But I think a bit of leniency is appropriate. A de-sysop for this single action is too much; but restrictions of some sort are needed as a reminder to all to keep cool. Once they have taken their medicine, everyone needs to move on.

Wikipedia needs to modify its consensus model—"consensus" too often reflects the views of a loud, aggressive minority who drown out all other voices. Also, people bothering the alleged victim off-wiki have crossed the line, which can carry real-life penalties.

Yes it can get frustrating to deal with certain problematic styles of editing. But incessantly hounding until people feel they have to contact the WMF is not the way to fix things. If Fram received civility warnings prior to this block, he should have taken them to heart and figured out a different way to get his point across. also has problem with sexism and intolerance. It is not only male-dominated, it is also infected by the "brotopia" culture. I don't think it's entirely deliberate—For some individuals, I think they are simply clueless, but others have biases they refuse to examine.

The WMF has the right to enforce their TOS, and an obligation to investigate complaints. But, it is reasonable to call them to account for that ham-handedness. They should make their actions as clear as law and policy allows, in part to educate the community about how to avoid similar sanctions in the future. Montanabw(talk) 20:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ajraddatz

Since they were introduced in 2006, it has not been acceptable for a Wikipedia administrator or bureaucrat to reverse an office action. This applies to any office action, regardless of how the individual or even the community feels about it. Furthermore, one of the best practice of being an admin is to not use the tools in tense situations when action is not needed. It has always been the expectation that admins and bureaucrats maintain a level head and take reasoned responses.

We have a situation where three advanced rights holders have violated all of these policies and practices. And for absolutely no reason. The ban happened Monday, and the first unblock happened the day after. The second unblock the day after that. We're now four days out -- the board hasn't even met, and there has barely been enough time for the bureaucratic machine of the Foundation to issue a full response. Quite simply, nothing that happened here needed to happen in the timeframe that it happened.

Because of that, there needs to be some accountability for the users that made an active decision to violate these policies and practices. I don't think that it should happen right away, because like with the Fram ban, there is nothing urgent here. But I would ask that the Committee at least accept this case. This is an incredibly unfortunate event that has reflected poorly on all sides. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 21:06, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Hurricane Noah

I do not think the arbitration committee should take this case as the WMF has clearly stated it will not be taking action against these individuals. Yes, what they did was wrong. I'm not excusing their behavior. I just don't feel there is a need to discuss this at Arb Com. In cases like this, it is the WMF that has the authority to issue sanctions. Since they have chosen not to go forward with them, I see no reason to discuss the matter. NoahTalk 21:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SmokeyJoe

There is a crisis of confidence. There is a crisis of trust. There are questions of scope, ArbCom and WMF. The most trusted people at en.wikipedia are the bureaucrats, including User:WJBscribe. WJBscribe's action was not an abuse, but a precisely crafted political statement. It was done in the interests of the project, and it spoke for the community.

The committee should act calmly, and logically, with a view to what's best for collegiality, community confidence, and the project. A sensible statement might suffice.

Statement by Robert McClenon

First, User:Sandstein is entirely correct that this is not a case that is within the scope of ArbCom. The ArbCom was set up by the WMF to deal with disputes between editors that the community cannot solve. It was not set up by the WMF to deal with disputes between the community and the WMF. ArbCom cannot open a case involving any of the issues about sanctions on User:Fram or any action taken with regard to any other administrator.

Second, User:Montanabw is correct that the English Wikipedia does not have an effective governance process. The WMF has sent a two-part message. First, the WMF has no confidence in the ArbCom. The ArbCom should have been the forum that dealt with issues involving conduct by an administrator, but the WMF found it necessary to take action without asking or involving the ArbCom. That was a finding of no confidence in the ArbCom. I do not know whether the WMF was right in that judgment. My guess, unfortunately, is that the WMF was right in ignoring the ArbCom. Second, the WMF recognizes that the English Wikipedia community is not governing itself effectively, either via the ArbCom or via the "community" process. The English Wikipedia is able to deal effectively with trolls, vandals, flamers, and other editors who are not here to contribute to the encyclopedia. It does not deal effectively with harassment, misogyny, bullying, persistent POV-pushing, or intractable content disputes involving reliability of sources. The English Wikipedia has not been able to manage its own disputes, and the WMF has had to reassert control. Any effort by ArbCom at this point to open a case would be too little and too late, and would interfere with solving the greater problem of which this is a symptom, the lack of a governance process.

The current governance of the English Wikipedia has not changed much since 2006, consisting of the ArbCom, the "community" process, which, as User:Montanabw notes, is too often simply the loudest editors, and the WMF exercising reserve powers. This governance model did not include any effective mechanism for its own evolution or for orderly change or growth. Changes, such as the Terms of Use have been mostly instituted by the WMF. The current events illustrate that the governance model of the English Wikipedia needs to be reformed.

Third, at this point, the arbitrators have a choice as individuals, which is whether to follow User:BU Rob13 and resign, either in protest, or as recognition that ArbCom is not effective, or for any other reason, or continue to represent the English Wikipedia community. Those arbitrators who continue to represent the English Wikipedia community should take a lead role both in explaining the current situation to the community and in working with the WMF to establish an effective governance system for the English Wikipedia.

Please see my further statement at User:Robert McClenon/Governance. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:45, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Hawkeye7

The contention that this case is beyond the scope of ArbCom is incorrect. The arbitration process exists to impose binding solutions to Wikipedia conduct disputes (i.e., not content disputes requiring mediation) that neither community discussion nor administrators have successfully resolved. (Wikipedia:Arbitration) ArbCom has accepted many cases in the past that have been solely about conduct. Acceptable conduct is defined by the Terms of Use instituted by WMF. These are the rules that the rest of us live by. Every day (it seems) editors are blocked for trifling violations. The contention that the conduct of the bureaucrat and administrators falls outside the scope of ArbCom due to their privileged position has never been accepted before. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 03:59, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

@Cryptic: According to WP:WHEEL, the definition of WHEEL warring also includes "Reversal of a Wikimedia Foundation office action". While it is true that in the distant past some administrators were de-sysopped for WHEEL-warring, in recent times (the most recent case being Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fred Bauder), ArbCom have taken a far more relaxed and understanding view, and have regarded WHEEL-warring as worth no more than a caution at most. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:29, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
The most recent relevant case regarding an office action was the "Increase of protection on article protected under WP:OFFICE action" case, in 2014, in which Kww was "admonished for knowingly modifying a clearly designated Wikimedia Foundation Office action, which he did in the absence of any emergency and without any form of consultation". Although you could argue that administrator behaviour in this case is arguably far more egregious, that was four years ago. I doubt if the administrators in this case have much to worry about. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:29, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Cryptic: I agree with you, except that there's no such thing as a "bright-line instadesysop" any more. ArbCom generally ignores WHEEL-warring these days. And interference with office actions, once another bright line, is now also a relic of the past. None of the admins in this case need have any fear being blocked or de-sysopped, at least by ArbCom. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:34, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm personally very happy that admins de-sysopped for cause can now be re-sysopped on request. This is a great step forward. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 22:38, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Snow Rise

Honestly, I don't see how the Committee can avoid taking a case here, ultimately. Indeed, I would have liked ArbCom to have taken immediate steps to clarify that there was to be no more wheel warring in response to the WMF Office Action--frame it as "temporary emergency injunction" to stabilize the situation, but some immediate action was called for, imo; ArbCom's usual tendency towards caution (laudable as it is) should not have prevented drawing a line with regard to the escalating disruption. We very nearly saw a mass-desysop and the creation of a fault line between the WMF and the community as bad as any since the Knowledge Engine, and only the decision of the T&S team not to exercise their authority in the face of community members overstepping the bounds of their positions spared us mass sanctions.

I can appreciate your being caught off guard when the initiator of this case did the final office action reversal and then came straight here to throw the situation into your lap like the most high-stakes game of hot potato I've ever seen onsite. I sympathize especially in that the T&S team also did not give you more of a concrete headsup about the Fram's sanction. But the situation is within your purview and I don't see how you can avoid commenting at least upon the appropriateness of a community member reversing an office action, even if you ultimately only give responsible parties a slap on the wrist to sooth community upset. I'm sure its also self-evident the community would really appreciate an accounting of the depth of the committee's involvement in advising on T&S investigations and how comfortable you are with the situation in (as Jimmy would put it) a "constitutional" sense?

When Jimbo and his early collaborators ceded ownership interest in this project, he entrusted it to two groups, of which this community is one. The other, however, he vested with much more authority, including all legally-enforceable rights and responsibilities. The WMF owns the domain, the name, the servers, the tech backbone, and the bank accounts that keep the lights on around here. Whenever there exists a civil suit or a criminal complaint based on behaviour in this community, it lands in their laps. Everyone here will be safely in their armchair director seats and well insulated from the consequences. Put bluntly, the parties who reverted the office actions were out-ranked by light years and went way beyond what could be justified by the extent of their community mandate.

None of which should be taken to mean that I think the community is a junior partner here or shouldn't be upset about how events unfolded; far from it. But there is a division of responsibility and an institutional reality here that was not respected by some members of this community entrusted with powerful tools. ArbCom cannot go without addressing that behaviour at some level and making it clear that there can't be a repeat in the future. Snow let's rap 04:37, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Lourdes

ArbCom should decline the case for two clear reasons:

  1. Assuming they take the case up and pass some decision against the Foundation's actions; they would clearly all be kicked out en masse by the Foundation, the community be damned.
  2. Assuming they take the case up and pass the decision in favour of the Foundation, much of the community would see them as simply being lickers.

Sometimes, to run is better than to fight. Seeing all your current ambivalent responses, you guys are on the right path. Thataway puhleaze iz the fire escape. Lourdes 05:59, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Leaky caldron

No need to deal with the eponymous subject. These acts of self-immolation should be sensibly unwound in due course if that is what the functionary(s) concerned desire. They have served the purpose of escalating and highening awareness. It should stop - and probably should not have started - but we are where we are.

For next steps, we have the statement from WMF [6]. Today's meeting should provide direction. AC must be the conduit for conduct issues associated with en-WP matters that are identified to the WMF (but not raised en-wiki) and AC must guarantee their involvement and fully represent the community in all such decisions. A failure to accomplish this will immediately create the risk of any community member being office-banned by virtue of any scant evidence claim brought to WMF's attention by any mischief making, vengeful party willing to make a case of abuse by a community member they have had a run-in with. (not saying that is what happened here).

Finally, it is possible that a competency block of an editor who is also a WMF staffer might be required at some point. Paraphrasing our own essay on the subject, 'when we have finally exhausted all reasonable attempts to correct their behavior, explain and demonstrate how to do things correctly, and after a pattern of behavior has been well established and the user shows they are unlikely to do things correctly, a block, topic ban, or full ban may be the only solutions that minimize disruption to the encyclopedia'. There is no doubt this would end up in your lap down the line.

@SilkTork: - In any circumstances, what amounts to talks about talks should be attended if only to demonstrate a willingness to listen. If the invite is in good faith without commitment, what is there to lose?

Statement by Britishfinance

ArbCom must take this case, because in 7 to 14 days time, we will need a "clean the slate" ruling from ArbCom on interpretation of any "future" similar actions, post the expected upcoming WMF/BoT "clean the slate" statement. From subsequent WMF communications (esp. Jan Eissfeldt of T&S), it seems WMF have chosen not to go to Defcon 1 yet (e.g. not looking for material sanctions on these admin actions), but that may change if things on-wiki are not clarified, and further on-wiki counter-actions ensue. BN is filling up with corpses.

The crux is represented by FRAM's "F-ArbCom" post (and that whole exchange). FRAM correctly assumed his words did not merit material sanctionable actions, as in an audience of some of the most senior admins on WP, there was never a suggestion that such action was being contemplated.

In WMF-world however, the "F-ArbCom" post, in that audience, was evidence that on-wiki cannot govern WP:5P4 (note this). Given past warnings to FRAM, it seems it was a final straw for WMF. It is apparent WMF's rule change to have 1-year bans, and the communication from JE of T&S, is a sign WMF is going to play a more active role in this area.

The initial WMF communication was bad – no clarity the issue was civility, no "heads-up" as to their concern on WP:5P4, and no guidelines on their interpretation. However, ultimately, per Sandstein above, the WMF/BoT view will prevail; in my experience of BoTs, no trustee is going to over-rule legal advice in these areas of conduct and civility (god forbid, but if a person does something harmful to themselves after their concerns were ignored, the moral-legal-financial implications for WMF are dire). However, given disturbing posts about WMF potentially having COI issues in this case, it would seem critical that BoT/ArbCom are allowed inside the "secrecy circle" on such cases for good governance. ArbCom needs to prepare for this change (we all do).

Britishfinance (talk) 20:00, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Proposal. We need "civility blockers" (CBs) – trusted pillars of WP:5P4 to handle breaches. Guideline is language appropriate to a courtroom – strong debate but not personal (we all know what this means). First warning you strike-out and retract, second warning is a 31-hour block and so on, up to 1 month. CBs should, at least initially, be a separate designation from admins to avoid conflicts amongst/with admins (who could not unblock a CB action); it would give CBs time to focus and refine CB rules. CBs should liaise with the T&S team and share data as it relates to civility, thus integrating some T&S process into en-wiki/ArbCom. CBs bring repeat offenders, with the T&S, to ArbCom for bans over 1 month, which after a few cases, will refine the CB-T&S-ArbCom process. Britishfinance (talk) 10:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by The Land

I'd suggest that Arbcom takes some kind of case along these lines.

First, hopefully the outcome of the WMF's process will leave much of the resolution of this situation to community processes. It's preferable for decisions to come from Arbcom than from the WMF, where possible.

Secondly, hopefully Arbcom will use this as an opportunity to reflect on and develop how it as a body deals with harrassment and bullying, both in its own right and in conjunction with the Trust and Safety team.

Thirdly, I would like Arbcom to send some kind of signal about how this kind of discussion should be handled both by WMF and community members. I am sure there is already plenty of discussion about this behind the scenes, but some kind of statement from Arbcom about how it views its role and how it views Trust and Safety's role would be good. Also, there have been times when the discussion about this whole issue has gone well beyond the limits of what's acceptable on Wikipedia. We've seen some pretty unpleasant instances of harassment and bullying in the debates about Fram's ban, and I urge Arbcom to take action on those too.

Statement by MrX

Arbcom should decline this case as being outside of the scope of it purpose, and per Softlavender, Boing! said Zebedee, Doug Weller, Sandstein and others. Arbcom is not the de-escalation team, nor the community's chosen liaison to the WMF, nor the vanguard in a conflict with the WMF. Perhaps there is some small aspect of this that would require a motion, but a full case would not be productive in my opinion.- MrX 🖋 12:48, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm troubled by the suggestion from Katie that Arbcom would consider reinforcing WP:OFFICE by desysopping admins who reverse WMF office actions. Fram's one year ban is either WMF testing the waters for a total usurpation of power, or it is incompetence heaped upon corruption to get even with a vocal critic. T & S has acted without transparency, accountability, and (apparently) oversight. While the board of trustees apparently takes their sweet time to align their message with Jan's contorted blather, this assault on our long standing self-governance continues its advance.
We have lost several admins over this, but I wonder how many regular editors like myself are just waiting for the last act of this horror show to unfold before we decide to quit contributing altogether, knowing that at any time, we might be ejected for any reason or no reason at all.- MrX 🖋 12:29, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by DGG

Actually, arb com is the community's liaison to Trust and Safety. It worked tolerably well in the years I was on the committee, with our liaison there at the time, James Alexander. The problems that T&S and arb com deal with sometimes overlap. DGG ( talk ) 14:22, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by GRuban

I have a slightly different reason that I hope you accept. The statements from Trust & Safety have basically boiled down to "we are taking this action due to harassment, so can't reveal details to ArbCom because we need to protect the victim". Right now, WP:ARBCOM says "Arbitrators are volunteer users—usually experienced editors and administrators—whom the community of editors at large elects to resolve the most complex or intractable disputes that may arise within the community, and to oversee the few areas where access to non-public information is a prerequisite." - which has usually been interpreted that ArbCom is where to go to for harassment issues, and can be trusted with such information. But if WMF is taking this action because they can't trust ArbCom with non-public information related to disputes within the community, why should we? You don't need to accept this as a full case, you can merely pass a motion that changes this portion of your charter. (Or acknowledges that the WMF has just changed it for you.) --GRuban (talk) 15:37, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Carrite

There was a Wikipedia (est. Jan. 2001) before there was a Wikimedia Foundation (est. 2003). First the later was born and then it grew and grew into a massive bureaucracy with a $100,000,000 annual donation-take, cashing in on the work that the volunteer community has done and the public goodwill it has attained. As bureaucracies will do, its mission scope has expanded to match its income growth (largely to rationalize its budget and justify its future growth). This marks a turning point, a new phase, in which the WMF is attempting to micromanage day-to-day user behavior on En-WP. This has never been part of its purview; nor should it be. Arbcom absolutely must accept this case and fight as the volunteer community's democratically elected institutional representatives to preserve local autonomy in the face of the bureaucratic onslaught. Otherwise, we might as well admit that we are nothing more than unpaid interns for the (cough cough) professionals at WMF. And hey, that's not what I'm gonna do with my time. This is an existential menace for WP as a volunteer institution, all wrapped in the false guise of "Terms of Service." Carrite (talk) 16:07, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Historical explanation of origins of WMF is HERE.
Wake up and do your god damned job, Arbcom. Is Wikipedia the collective work of a set of semi-autonomous volunteer communities around the world or is Wikipedia a website run by professionals in San Francisco with (begrudgingly accepted) contributions from volunteers? Defend local autonomy! Carrite (talk) 01:43, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Gamaliel

If Arbcom isn't going to investigate tool abuse, what is the point of having Arbcom at all? Gamaliel (talk) 16:05, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Guettarda

I have mixed feelings about this, but it seems to me that we need a clear statement that accounts with advanced permissions need to be used with the utmost respect for our processes. We only allow a handful of role accounts (WMFOffice and WMFLegal are the only ones I can think of), and a person using an account like that needs to behave impeccably when using the account. Instead, we have WHEEL warring, and we have a block and de-admin of an account that WMFOffice could reasonably be seen to be in conflict with.

Whoever was using that account showed very poor judgment. We may not have the authority to sanction T&S, but the Arbcomm has every right to consider the actions of the person or persons in control of that account when those edits were made. Guettarda (talk) 18:55, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Beetstra

Note: I am not a fan of the ArbCom system to begin with. I still remain thatit is to be disassembled completely.

I am sorry, but I do not trust that ArbCom can come with any good resolution in the end. Anything that will go against WMF will be blundly overruled by WMF (seen Floq's desysop, and actions like superprotect). And any resolution in favour of WMF will result in the community asking the question whether the ArbCom came to a fair answer or whether they are meekly following WMF as to not make a problem. Both scenarios result in loss of (community trust in) ArbCom.

This is NOT something for ArbCom, this is plainly the community vs. WMF. ArbCom, stay at the sidelines, stay away from the core situation (as in this request) and make sure our individual community members behave with the expected decorum.

(and that from someone who thinks that ArbCom needs to be abolished). --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:27, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by OID

I want to link to Seraphimblade's comment first for some background.

I would urge Arbcom to take the case and decide on the question of did the WMF over-reach when it started taking direct action against members of the wikipedia community. Not on the issue of Fram, nor on Floq, Bish & WJBscribe's actions. The key point that needs to be clarified, and clearly communicated to the WMF is how much the ENWP community will tolerate interference. The banning of Fram is not even the most disturbing issue (non-appealable star chambers with unknown evidence and unidentified witnesses aside) the most disturbing thing is the WMF directly, or by implication if you wish to interpret their actions that way, threatened an editor and administrator into backing off a problematic editor who was continuously causing editorial issues. It was a direct attack on the editorial process of ENWP, a direct attack on the ability of ENWP to govern itself, and its clear that the WMF staff want to impose their own ideological viewpoints on ENWP over community consensus. How long before they decide that our articles are not supporting their views? Just disappear the editors who are keeping them neutral, vanish the admins keeping the NPOV activists in line. Arbcom can at least assess the community views on the WMF's involvement in a structured manner. And if it turns out the community does agree that the WMF has no business interfering in standard ENWP conduct issues, then all the actions subsequent to Fram's ban are therefore in furtherance of the community's wishes and can be ignored. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:00, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

I am seeing comments from the Arbs here that talk about improving or handling the WMF as if the recent actions are a done deal. Very little about outright rejecting their interference. If Arbcom are going to roll over and throw up their hands, there is very little point in accepting a case. Deal with it by motion and rubber stamp the WMF Ofice point of view. Only in death does duty end (talk) 22:31, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Cryptic

Contrary to some statements above - and I sure hope the committee doesn't need a reminder of this - reversing an administrative action is not wheel warring. Floquenbeam did not wheel war. WJBscribe did not wheel war. Somewhere between two and three users did: whoever was operating the WMFOffice account, in reblocking Fram; Bishonen, in reunblocking; and JEissfeldt (WMF), in effectively reblocking Fram by declaring that any edit by Fram would get him glocked.

The committee may find that it's not able to sanction the WMF accounts. But it can certainly issue a statement that they behaved in a way that would have gotten one of the ordinary morlocks that generate the donations that pay their salaries instantly and uncontroversially desysopped. —Cryptic 21:22, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

In response to Hawkeye7's statement here, no, "* Reversal of a Wikimedia Foundation office action" is not in the definition of wheel warring. It's in a list of four "Possible indications of an incipient wheel war:". Which isn't to say that it's not sanctionable in itself, or indeed has been in the past, but selective out-of-context quoting from policy in an attempt to turn a sanctionable action into a bright-line instadesysop one like wheel-warring doesn't help your case. —Cryptic 05:37, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Hasteur

Observing that there are various "Support our Fram"/"OfficeBlocks mean unimpeachable" factions within the debate, The Bureaucrat (and needless to say the Admin) actions should be taken up by the committee. No amount of Administrators Noticeboard/Bureaucrats Noticeboard/RFC will resolve the issue at hand. The committee is the only one able to take the Non-Public information that the Foundation has and take into consideration the Admin and Bureaucrat actions. Anything less would be an abrogation of what the Arbitration Committee has been chartered to do. Hasteur (talk) 23:23, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Headbomb

Whatever you do, please, just deal with this by a motion, rather than protracted proceedings that span months. Put 1 month moratorium on specific people / types of actions if you need to and give a clean pass to the parties involved in recognition of the unusualness of the situation, or summarily desysops/decrat people, just don't let it fester for months. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:58, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Kudpung

When I registered , IIRC, the WMF then had 7 employees. It has now grown to over 300 which leads those employees to believe that they are our masters where in reality, they are there to serve the communities. At its genesis, the founders had no inkling that Wikipedia/Wikimedia would grow to be what it is today, so many of today's issues were not preempted. Thus the communities and the WMF have had to evolve organically. We now need a strong Arbcom and what the Committee needs to do here, IMO, is regard this as a test case and conclude - without necessarily issuing any sanctions just because they can - with a statement of what needs to be discussed and created by the community to address the lacunae in our policies. In other words, deal with it by motion. Therefore I would suggest waiting on the outcome of the board meeting. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:08, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

JEissfeldt (WMF), you have provided some background about the position you hold in the WMF. Basically admitting that you are in charge of T&S but are not aware of what goes on there. Perhaps you could let Arbcom and the community know who your immediate superior is. It might help towards establishing lines of responsibility and communication for the future. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:02, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Serialjoepsycho

While I can't say if this case should be taken or not, I will say that arbcom should look at their own current competencies. "The office" was created in another time and at that time the competencies it ended up with were needed. What competencies does "The office" have that Arbcom could handle, without overwhelming arbcom? I wonder if the office could act in an investigatory and advisory capacity with arbcom acting in a judicial capacity. That's more an idea but the actual question what can ARBCOM specifically handle? And well ARBCOM knows what they can handle. The Logic: ARBCOM is elected by the English wikipedia. You represent our interests. While there are times when things can't be made public, the community at a minimum needs someone representing us. Consider opening a discussion with the office if nothing else.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 04:40, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by

StudiesWorld writes, "I also think that the actions of Floq and Bish should be reviewed with an eye towards possible violations of WP:OFFICE and loss of community trust." Others have said similar things.

I want to say that my own trust in Floq, Bish, and WJBScribe increased after the unblocks/resysops that they did. They were elected to serve the encyclopedia rather than the WMF, and they stood for the encyclopedia with their WP:BOLD actions when there was a conflict between the encyclopedia and the WMF. Meanwhile, I have lost considerable trust in the WMF, and also in the various sycophants, enforcers, concern trolls, and nervous Neds/Nellies on-wiki who couldn't bear the idea of the community responding with actions rather than words to the WMF's own outrageous incursion.

We are dealing with a WMF at least part of which is NHBE and wants to run a mini-Facebook or clickbait publisher instead. I'm convinced that Floq, Bish, and WJBScribe's willingness to engage in Realpolitik strengthened the pro-encyclopedia position within the WMF. We owe them gratitude and heightened trust rather than sanctions and lower trust. The large collections of barnstars posted to their talk pages following the incidents, and the strong support they received at WP:FRAM and WP:AN (consider the heavy support for a proposal to literally block/ban the WMF office account), show that quite a lot of other editors feel the same way I do. (talk) 05:21, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Comment by Wehwalt

Take the case, don't take the case, as you please, what does it matter? The hammer of deciding who shall remain on this project has well and truly shifted to T&S. Who will have the patience for an arb case when anonymous denunciation will do, to a T&S whose standards are not our own? If you can say the right things about how you feel, and if the right people go to bat for you behind the scenes ... the bottom line is we could be marking this page historical in a very few years.

My personal advice is don't take the case because all the sound and fury will be meaningless unless something fundamental changes. Depending on where you are, it is spring or it is fall, but probably without exception, outside the birds are singing.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

@Joe Roe: What they said is meaningless. The name of the complainant would constitute additional private and off-wiki information. So we already knew that.-—Wehwalt (talk) 14:46, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Reaper Eternal

I urge Arbcom to decline this case, since they can only sanction one party. Even an indefinite block on User:WMFOffice does nothing since they can simply unblock themselves and change anybody's user rights via meta. Reaper Eternal (talk) 17:49, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Govindaharihari

  • Acccept and move to office actions - the arbitration committee is the highest authoritative body here and this storm needs to be addressed at the highest level. Per Rob, Should we just delete WP:WHEEL now, or...? locally on this wikipedia muliple violations of advanvced permissions have occured as yet without recriminations, that is clearly something arbcom has a remit for. Govindaharihari (talk) 17:57, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Jéské Couriano

The goal of any Arbitration stemming from this incident, bluntly, should not be any form of sanctions on anyone. WMF's largely boilerplate responces have almost universally pointed to our policies in re harassment and civility and their lack of trust in ArbCom to address this area, so the focus should be on finding out just where the policies are deficient (as WMF won't outright tell us). While ArbCom generally does not make policy per its mandate, I am of the opinion that it can strongly suggest improvements to be made and leave the specifics of how to get there to the community members willing to make the sausage, and indeed it has done something similar before (WP:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Ottava Rima restrictions, WP:Requests for arbitration/Macedonia 2, WP:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Civility enforcement as examples). The question of the relationship between ArbCom and the Foundation is one that should be held between ArbCom and the Foundation only as this would directly affect ArbCom's mandate and their ability to hold in camera arbitrations such as Joshua Z (2008 Feb 5). —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 19:25, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Rockstone35

This has to be the most dramatic incident I've ever seen at Wikipedia in all of my 12 years here; plus out of everything I've read on Wikipedia drama from before my time here. Whatever decision ArbCom makes will have serious impact that will reverberate for years to come. Indeed, the very survival of the project 10 years from now, at least in its current form, likely would hinge on what ArbCom decides. That's why ArbCom should be very cautious about taking this case before we get more information, and I'd recommend holding back on accepting it at this point. Rockstonetalk to me! 21:54, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Atsme

Current word length: 392; diff count: 0.

I'm on the same page as Montanabw and BU Rob13. Based on my understanding of WP, I've always seen a structured hierarchy (starting at the lowest) editors, administrators, bureaucrats, ArbCom & WMF. I was not aware en.WP was sovereign - thought it was part of a united front with the buck stopping at WMF. Considering admins comprise ArbCom and admins spend time in the trenches, it's hard to imagine they don't form alliances, friendships and have favorites - we're only human; thus UNBLOCKABLE and Teflon editor come to mind. I'm also aware of minor rumblings about alliances between editors and WMF staff but they are fewer and farther between, and the structure within WMF makes potential biases/favoritism less likely - of course, there's always recusal. I support T&S and believe their actions should be respected. No one is above civility policies or what the community expects from administrators; the latter of which requires high standards. While admins and ArbCom are an editor's 1st two lines of defense, WMF is our last resort. I see WMF as the least biased and safest place to seek help or resolution when all else has failed. Theirs should be the final word, so if you don't comply, say goodbye. ArbCom needs to take this case. Atsme Talk 📧 21:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

  • After reading the responses, I don't understand why so many feel they have to "resist WMF". Our first priority is the project - same applies to WMF. Why the divisiveness and not unity? There's no need for anarchy - we're collaborators here because of the good graces of the WMF Board of Trustees - they've entrusted us to do the right thing, to be treated and treat others fairly, reasonably, and w/civility. There are aspects of the system that have failed us. In the broader picture, editors and admins are not the ones who will be held legally accountable/responsible if something goes awry or in cases of failed fiduciary responsibility/ToU. WMF's Board of Trustees carries that weight. The anarchy I've witnessed has not been in the best interests of the project but more of resistance to maintain independence, power and control with little to no legal responsibility. I don't see such tactics as noble because it's divisive and the project suffers. It's time to move on and let the responsible parties do their jobs. Let's all get back to creating an incredible encyclopedia.   Atsme Talk 📧 22:20, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Count Iblis

Per IAR, we should restore the status quo ante, so Fram should also be resysopped. If the WMF has evidence that Fram cannot be trusted to be an Admin or if his editing here poses a threat to Wikipedia and that evidence cannot be disclosed, then hand that evidence to ArbCom and let them decide on taking appropriate measures. Count Iblis (talk) 22:17, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Starship.paint

My original statement was removed at the request of ArbCom as it was not related to this case of change of user rights. This post is just to clarify what happened to whoever visits here from the several links and notifications I wrote to the original statement. That is all. starship.paint (talk) 02:46, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by John Cline

If this shitstorm stays its present course, I can not fathom its not being accepted as a case. Neither can I fathom its not becoming the largest disruptive distraction (by far) to building the encyclopedia this community has ever endured nor (potentially) the most derisive discourse ever regrettably had. The last thing I would ever wish to see on this site is the kind of nuanced bickering this case will undoubtedly engender among the most experienced and well respected of our editing community as is posturing now (on and off of en-Wikipedia). I fear (at this point) that we will suffer losses across the entire spectrum of this great project (among admins, editors, and readership alike) no matter what course ultimately emerges as the path of resolution. The only solution that could have positive mitigating effects, in my opinion, would be if ​all ​three ​parties who boldly chose to misuse their advanced permissions in calculated defiance of policy and bright-line rules would now take responsibility for, and ownership of their decision and actions by relinquishing their associated permissions voluntarily. I think this would spare everything undesirable about a case, hasten the likelihood of realizing positive changes in the methodologies under protest by your collective actions, and allow the community to heal her own wounds by reasserting our trust and appreciation in each of you at the earliest RfA/B that you each will hopefully convene. I sure hope that each of you will.--John Cline (talk) 11:01, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Cwmhiraeth

I would urge the Committee to accept this case in order to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the WMF Office as against those of the representatives of the community (ArbCom, bureaucrats, administrators). The case, or motion, should settle such issues as who has a right to overturn Office decisions, and whether an editor desyssopped by the Office needs to undertake an RfA before being given back the bit. The findings could then be used to set a precedent for the future. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 12:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Barkeep49

I thought after Gamaliel said my thought better and more succinctly than I could've I wouldn't be making a statement. However, I feel compelled to point out that this would now be the second time ArbCom, in the interests of community comity, declined to sanction a sysop for use of the tools in contravention of the Office. On the one hand it truly shows that Wikipedia has no firm rules, a pillar which I fully support. On the other hand, is it even a rule if it never gets enforced? I thought what Floq, Bish, and WJB did was brave because they acted knowing that there would be consequences. I agree with the principle they were standing up for, but it diminishes their action if the consequence is a hearty pat on the back for a job well done. I would support a re-RfA for Floq and Bish, but also think they need to go through one. If, as some of us suspect, WMF made this action because they've lost confidence in us to handle civility issues then part of that lack of confidence has to be our repeated willingness, even at ArbCom, to prize short term healing of the community over the longterm health of the community. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:49, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Jehochman

I like what Carcharoth and Sandstein have said.

Would the arbitrator people please confirm that neither ArbCom as a group, nor any individual arbitrator asked WMF to investigate Fram. I think it will help to deflate suspicions, especially against AGK (talk · contribs) who’s name appears in the edit that was used by WMD to justify their sanction. Thank you. Jehochman Talk|

Statement by WereSpielChequers

This is the biggest such kerfuffle that Wikipedia has had for years. But I bet it won't be the biggest or worst ever. Arbcom could and arguably should take on a case to help reconcile the community and the WMF. A key part of defusing the current situation is to find a way that somehow gets a collective reconciliation and burying of the hatchet, not just for two admins and a crat who have stood up to the WMF, but for various admins who have resigned over this, and also for the unknown number of WMF staff behind the WMFoffice role account, many of whom are also members of the community.

At the moment it is probably clear to everyone that the WMF wants to alter some community norms on this site. But because in their first use of a 12 month ban it was unclear as to why they were banned Fram, we don't know what change they want to make to behaviour on this site. Only that some things that some of us do may earn us a 12 month ban. That should be troubling for those who have sensibly remained strictly pseudonymous, but for those whose real identities are or have been linked to their accounts - this is or should be a matter of concern. I would hope that my stock in trade of correcting easily confused words is uncontentious. But if the standard now is being perceived to harass goodfaith editors who you think have made mistakes, should I worry that someone will get me blocked for fixing typos in many of their edits?

Six years ago we had in my view a much worse kerfuffle here. In those days it was the WMF who had much lower standards for online behaviour than this community could accept, and Arbcom had to go through the difficult process of desysopping an individual who was unblockable because he worked for the WMF. Ironically, and I hope coincidentally, on that occasion it was Fram who threatened to block a WMF staffer for personal attacks on IRC.

I'm hoping that Arbcom can:

  1. Find out from the WMF what policy changes they want to make to our cultural norms.
  2. consult the community re these changes and implement the ones we can make work.
  3. Negotiate with the WMF re any changes we object to
  4. Make sure that these changes are not retrospective, so anyone who has been following the old rules has the chance to shift to the new ones.

I don't know the current Arbs as well as I knew some of your predecessors, but I'm confident that you are the right people to get us all out of this mess. ϢereSpielChequers 19:28, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Liz

Current word length: 500; diff count: 0.

I've thought about this for several days and part of me thinks that the last thing ArbCom needs is yet another statement from a Wikipedia editor on this matter. But I would like to encourage you to take this case and make it not about admins and their blocking/unblocking or sysoping/desysoping but tackle the trickier aspect of the relationship between ArbCom and WMF. A case is not the ideal forum for this discussion but I can't think of an alternative method that would tackle this evolving relationship. There needs to be some focus on where ArbCom's responsibilities start and stop and if WMF is going to usurp part of ArbCom's role, everyone should be aware of this and at least have a modicum of agreement with this change.

I think this is important because WMF is only going to grow bigger, not smaller and the chances of a situation like this occurring again are increasingly likely if this experience has taught us anything. Yes, everyone agrees that this incident was not handled correctly but I agree with SilkTork that it does present an opportunity to define roles. The reason I think this action has hit everyone so hard is a) most of us didn't see it coming and b) the evidence is considered private and can not be shared.

If ArbCom can have a formal conversation with WMF on their intentions and how they see themselves policing projects, I think editors, admins and the committee would feel better knowing in advance what actions they might take when WMF feels it is necessary to act. Fram's block and the ensuing actions were unprecedented and caught so many of us off-guard and having a better understanding of what ArbCom handles vs. what WMF handles can only improve all of our expectations. Editors might not like the answers that come out of this discussion but at least we would be warned ahead of time on ways WMF can exercise disciplinary authority on hot-button topics like those Trust & Safety oversees. I can truly understand those who are saying you should stay a mile away from this subject and I agree that the outcome might not change. But I think that to avoid incidents like this occurring in the future, it's a discussion that needs to happen, better sooner than later. Liz Read! Talk! 23:58, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

P.S. If there is another venue for having this conversation between ArbCom and WMF rather than a full-fledged case, then go for it. But a community RfC just can't handle something so fundamental to the way this website is governed. This will involved a sustained discussion between ArbCom and WMF and if there are alternative ways of handling it, that would be great. I just don't see any right now but that might be from a lack of imagination. Do whatever works best to bring ArbCom and WMF into more agreement, other than an extended conference call. That sounds like it didn't work out so well last time. Liz Read! Talk! 00:07, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Epipelagic

This behaviour by the WMF may be here to stay. Similar clamps on free speech are currently happening on social media sites around the world. So is it that, following Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the WMF are eager to show they are up with the play by unpersoning and disappearing their own community members? There is nothing new about this on Wikipedia. Jimbo Wales initiated similar crackdowns on the more able content creators a few years ago. It was his attempt to placate an infestation of social networkers who wanted to control them. Now it seems the WMF is hunting for community members they can disappear, charging them with the one act guaranteed to generate mindless outrage – the political incorrectness of saying something someone else didn't want to hear. Or, as the WMF likes to put it, "harassment and/or abusing others".

Damnation comes easily this way on the basis of evidence from anonymous informers that only the WMF knows about. Even the WMF becomes anonymous at this point, and the charge itself is made by a faceless apparatus called the WMFOffice. No details of the charge is offered, merely that there is a charge. No review is offered, no defence is possible. We have no idea whether Fram was engaged in serious bullying, and it seems Fram has no idea what the charges relate to either. Liberal principles of justice have been abandoned. Guilt is final on the grounds that an unknown charge has been made by a faceless apparatus. The same suppression techniques Kafka wrote about and Stasi implemented. The Committee needs to establish whether this behaviour by the WMF is likely to continue as part of a wider alignment with the clamps on free speech by other social networks, or whether the current incidents are just an aberration. – Epipelagic (talk) 04:07, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Kusma

Basically the whole issue is that some people at the WMF are not satisfied with the norms of this community, and how it chooses to enforce them (or not). They chose a heavy handed way to approach it, bypassing ArbCom and banning Fram. The WMF Office staff (assuming they are not completely incompetent, in which case they shouldn't have anything to do with the management of a community of volunteers) knew this was a declaration of mistrust in our ArbCom. I would like to see something done by ArbCom, but it should not be directed at WJBscribe, Floq or Bishonen here. Defending our community against an aggressive bureaucracy is not a crime, nor is saying "I'm Spartacus". Any case should be the WMF Office versus the ArbCom arguing about who has jurisdiction about editor conduct here. If ArbCom doesn't believe it should have jurisdiction, I suggest you all resign. If ArbCom believes it should have jurisdiction but hasn't, I suggest to go on strike until outside interference ceases.

While I'm here, a few words about Fram (I was his admin nominator many years ago). I have often disagreed with Fram (sometimes about the substance, more often about the tone of his comments) but have never regretted nominating him. He is a tireless and uncompromising advocate for upholding quality and standards, especially on the Main Page. I can understand why some people would feel followed or even harassed by him, but I always felt he did what he did (asking for high quality/notability standards and calling out people for repeatedly failing to improve) to everyone. There is a line between repeated legitimate criticism and harassment, and in the case here we are not shown where it is, so we can't actually do anything about our community norms to address this. An invisible hand enforcing invisible rules is not an acceptable situation. —Kusma (t·c) 05:18, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

  • @Premeditated Chaos: @KrakatoaKatie: I don't think the proposed motion giving admin tools protest against an Office action a pass this time but promising to disallow it at the next Office action, no matter how problematic that action might be, is a good way forward on its own. Remember, there is no way to appeal Fram's ban through any normal channel. We don't know where the authority of ArbCom ends end where the authority of T&S starts for local project issues, and we don't know what type of behaviour might get us a one year office ban. If all we get out of this is your proposed motion strengthening the Office, with no resolution of the underlying conflict, the correct community response should probably something like the "fuck arbcom" that may or may not have started this mess. —Kusma (t·c) 05:44, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nishidani

Optimally, we are trained to research, control sources, winnow wheat from the chaff, in order to produce a quality in articles that can stand up to the best external specialized scrutiny. Documentation must be verifiable, by a link or direct consultation in libraries, and if someone cannot verify what I, for one, report from a source, I am obliged to reconsult it and copy out the queried passage to enable the sceptic to ascertain/verify the correctness of the paraphrase. Trust in the integrity of the product is secured by the best-practice procedures. The reader of our ideal FA articles is assured that minute scrutiny by multiple editors of competence has verified everything in the text. When disputes flare up or persist, we have an internal system of monitoring and judgment deliberated upon by elected members of this community, and defer to their decisions because, like the process of high quality article drafting, everything is visible to the involved parties. We can verify everything in a democratic process. We may dispute conclusions, bans or closures without verdict, but we know who said what, how which arbitrator interpreted the evidence. What the WMF is proposing challenges all of the principles that govern the actual construction of the encyclopedia. It may be within their right as owners to do so, but for 16 years it wasn't thought necessary, and the innovation proposed undermines enwiki's autonomy while encroaching on its established culture of conflict resolution. It does this by instituting a parallel process/Proceß whose methods and criteria of assessment are beyond our purview, cannot be independently verified, and therefore demand blind trust. It is, apart from modern experiments in totalitarian 'justice', essentially theological, a secular demand for a mass community fideistic acceptance that some omniscient godlings will understand and punish more fairly than our sublunary institutions manage to do.

In short, the culture we were encouraged to develop: subjecting admins to scrutiny and recall, constraining editors to abide by known rules, verifying everything to secure the trust of our global readership, is rendered subordinate to a parallel universe that demands trust without proof of competence, methods of verification and evaluation that are opaque, and whose results cannot be challenged. All this because of a numbers of plaintiffs feel their hurt sensibilities have not obtained justice within the existing Arbitration process. Since the innovation implies arbitration is inadequate, cannot be internally reformed, Arbcom itself of questionable efficiency, and that the remedy consists of the introduction of secret deliberations that overrule the standard methods we employ, it is surely imperative that the community and its representative organs, assess the issue, ne vitam silentio transeant velut pecora, quae natura prona atque ventri oboedientia finxit. Nishidani (talkcontribs) 10:13, 17 June 2019‎ (UTC)

Statement by Nableezy

Just as a general comment, if any individual arbitrator filed an anonymous complaint to the WMF T&S team about Fram I think it is incumbent on them to recuse. And any editor who has filed the same should not be commenting as an uninvolved editor. Either make your complaint privately or publicly, but publicly supporting your own private complaint should not be allowed. nableezy - 16:57, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by MJL

Current word length: 566 (limit: 500); diff count: 2. Evidence is too long: please reduce your submission so it fits within limits.

I've been following this controversy for the last week. I am disheartened and unamused; at times shocked and vexed; but most of all I am just tired.

Tired of this drama, tired of mob mentality; tired of how the most I can ever hope to achieve right now on this site is more additional whitenoise to this near endless fiasco. What is there for me to do? I wrote an essay, made my comments, and received semi-positive feedback. However, I'm not satisfied because if I truly did enough then we would never have been here.

Here's my contention: I suggest that Arbcom duly accept this case by motion.

Precedent for this case

(1) In early 2014, after Kww filed this request, arbitrators admonished them for reversing an office action. (2) Later that year, Arbcom opened [and closed] Media Viewer RfC. (3) Even in 2017, arbcom enacted Crosswiki issues: Motion.

For various legitimate reasons, arbcom has not previously involved itself with the issue of Fram's conduct. In 2016, Arbcom declined to hear a request against Fram as the request had many faults. Then in 2018, arbcom declined a similar request from Gatoclass as it was premature.

Arbcom has jurisdiction

In full disagreement with WormTT below, Arbcom clearly has jurisdiction here. In the section on precedent, I have outlined 3 specific times Arbcom (1) reviewed admin actions that interfered with WP:OA, (2) reviewed community conduct in reaction to WP:OAs, (3) previously found a need to step in community disputes related to WMF.

Separately, Arbcom has the ability to set the parameters for which it chooses to look into Fram's conduct as an administrator (without interfering with the office action). I am aware of at least six accounts that have both a global ban and an arbcom ban (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6). However, I make no statement as to whether arbcom should choose to act on this matter. Historically, arbcom has not chose to review Fram's conduct, and there is no precedent for arbcom taking action after an office ban has been placed.

Community has deadlocked

There have been multiple attempts to resolve this controversy. Spanning multiple pages, there have been 1 million characters written on WP:FRAM alone. The community cannot engage with this issue any more than it already has.

Arbcom needs to take action

To conclude, this is the group of arbitrators I trust the most to be able to settle this issue. This arbcom has thus far made some the most difficult choices and has worked harder for this community than any arbcom before it. It consists of users with amazing judgement and insight.

Yes, there exists ongoing discussions in the community and the WMF board regarding this issue. However, regardless of the outcome of those discussions, we need to see arbcom step in to restore order and prevent further disruption to the project.

I fully believe our rules work if only there exists a will on Arbcom to enforce them. I believe there is right now. Thank you.  MJLTalk 18:30, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Current word length: 500.

Extension granted on 23:56, 18 June 2019 (UTC).


@Kww: My apologies for abrupt ping.

@SilkTork: Don't resign; you're needed.

@WormTT: This case couldn't overturn WP:OA, yes. Conduct is still reviewable. Comparison: Getting blocked for WP:3RR violations at the WP:OFFICE enwiki page. It wouldn't be OA to block (Just ADMINACCT).
Regular conduct disputes don't require this. Otherwise, I'd agree. –MJLTalk 05:36, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

I would like to bring to the Committee's attention Newyorkbrad's "A suggested resolution" at WP:FRAM. While not specifically addressed to this case request, it is pertinent to the background of the case, and could potentially impact the decisions of Arbitrators about whether to take the case or not. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:01, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by wbm1058

@Hawkeye7: "While it is true that in the distant past some administrators were de-sysopped for WHEEL-warring, in recent times (the most recent case being Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fred Bauder), ArbCom have taken a far more relaxed and understanding view, and have regarded WHEEL-warring as worth no more than a caution at most." (link)

Excuse me?? Bauder was DESYSOPPED! The hypocrisy here is absolutely astounding. If an editor can be EMERGENCY desysopped for wheel-warring on their own ArbCom elections page, then it should be a slam dunk to desysop them for overturning an office ban. Y'all should just admit you have no respect for rules, and just make things up as you go along to rationalize your self-serving desired outcome. wbm1058 (talk) 01:34, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

@EllenCT: (link) Well, if you can make a valid argument that Bauder's possession of the admin toolset "prevented the community from improving the (content of the) encyclopedia" in order to justify his desysopping, then an equally valid – or even more valid – argument can be made that Fram's presence was preventing certain community members from improving the encyclopedia, and thus that is a valid reason for the WMF's Office Action. – wbm1058 (talk) 15:02, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Kww

Really weird to get pinged on this one on the basis that my admonishment set some kind of precedent. I guess in a way it did: WMF behaved irrationally, I behaved rationally, so I got admonished, despite the fact that the WMF action was clearly erroneous and that all accusations that I had somehow "reverted" WMF by increasing the protection level on an article were blatantly false. I expect to see a similar result here.

There may be a chance to address one of the root problems that plagued Wikipedia while I was active, and, from periodic monitoring, still seems to be the case. Somehow, somewhere, people got the idea that it was OK to unilaterally undo a block placed by another admin, even when that admin objects, and that it becomes the blocking admin's responsibility to generate a consensus for the block. That's how problems like Eric Corbett got magnified and magnified. That behaviour also goes against the flow for all other admin actions: if the blocking admin disagrees with the unblock, the block should be reinstated unless and until there is a community consensus to unblock. I'm quite certain that if that approach had been used here, the community consensus to unblock would have been easily obtained, and we would not be in the case of one admin facing sanction for doing something most people think was right.—Kww(talk) 05:17, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by North8000

Any case involving admins / 'crats who undid WMF actions is going to end in a quandary. I'm certain that they had obvious & overwhelming support enwiki support, but possibly there was no organized process that arrived at that. Also the mysterious WMF processes and unspecified rules that led to their actions could be (or not be) considered an authoritative rulebook. Plus it appears that the admins / crats that undid WMF actions are not going to suffer any retribution. So IMO a case involving them would be a bad idea. A better case would be to wait a bit and then have Arbcom take up the case of what Fram did and didn't do. Say that Arbcom must be given all of the info, which can be kept confidential as needed. North8000 (talk) 16:24, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by UninvitedCompany

This whole thing makes me sad and has sapped much of my motiviation to contribute. I see disrespect for the community and its traditions all around and a lack of leadership and communication in certain key places.

The handling of the office action (and by extension, what to do with Fram) is a problem for @Jimbo Wales: and the community members of the board of trustees. I hope they take their responsibility seriously. I do not believe that the arbitration committee can help in this area. I believe that accepting this portion of the case would distract the community from the more important task of working with the trustees and, in future trustee elections, remembering the vital importance of these roles.

There is a trend towards activism and politics among the bureaucrats. Maxim's desysop of Fred Bauder, and (in essence) supervoting at some recent RFAs, are prior examples. WJBscribe's actions in this matter are a continuing example. It is not clear to me whether this is a good thing. It is here that that committee could make a difference.

UninvitedCompany 21:13, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nick

The statement I don't know Jan, and he hasn't been on any of the meetings with us so far this year and I don't know why (James Alexander missed very few). worries me enormously. I have the utmost respect and trust for Katie, I know her to be tactful and diplomatic, so for her to say this makes me incredibly worried. Just how much of a breakdown has there between between T&S and ArbCom ? I would like @JEissfeldt (WMF): to comment in relation to this.

-- Nick (talk) 08:09, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Rschen7754

Maybe I'm not supposed to say this as a former steward, but I would be deeply troubled by any motion that requires or mandates that ArbCom remove sysop permissions for any violation of WP:OFFICE. Yes, in most cases ArbCom should remove sysop, and admins should know that it is a very likely consequence (and I would not object to that being the motion), but it could tie ArbCom's hands in a future case when the "right" thing to do is to oppose the OFFICE action, or whether mitigating factors should be considered. (It leaves the question of what "right" is, I suppose).

I also think that a six-month ban on RFA after that comes dangerously close to ArbCom making policy, and is inconsistent with past decisions where admins who did far worse things didn't get that restriction. --Rschen7754 04:17, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

@Bishonen: I suppose, but I think that ArbCom would lose credibility if they did that. --Rschen7754 23:17, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Bishonen

I have a question for Katie, and also Rschen7754. Arbcom famously doesn't go by precedent. The policy states: "While the Committee will typically take into account its earlier decisions when deciding new cases, previous decisions do not create binding precedent. As community policies, guidelines and norms evolve over time, previous decisions will be taken into account only to the extent that they remain relevant in the current context. So if Katie's suggestion for a motion that "in the future, reversal of WMF office actions will be met with desysop and no RFA for at least six months" is supported by the committee, can that motion even tie the hands of future committees? In six months, we'll already have a partly different committee. Maybe they won't think it's relevant in the next context.

As long as I'm here, I'll just say I agree with Floquenbeam's recent addition.[7] What he says goes for me too. Bishonen | talk 10:00, 22 June 2019 (UTC).

Statement by Mendaliv

I want to echo the complaints above about the notion of the Committee rubber-stamping Office Actions with a summary desysop. I have little to add that hasn't already been said about that specifically. I want to further address the notion of a six-month RfA ban. It is my view that the Committee should never enact RfA bans as part of a desysop. The Community's ability to start a RfA as a means of overturning a rogue Committee's overreach should never be subject to question.

I additionally want to address the outrageous notion that this Committee's jurisdiction does not encompass the entire website. The Arbitration Policy, which may be amended, does exclude the official actions of the Foundation and its staff. And yet, the Committee is not subordinate to the Foundation. Wikipedia is a separate sovereign, not a treaty port where visitors from this foreign land of the Foundation are not subject to our policies. This is inherent in the history of Wikipedia and the relationship between Wikipedia and the Foundation.

Even if remedies might be difficult to enforce, it is likely that the Foundation would obey the decrees of the Committee out of a sense of comity. Viz. Mr. Eissfeldt's use of a non-role account to make an official statement in this case. And if the Foundation wishes to disrespect the commands of the Committee and desires of the Community, they may do so. Regardless, it is important that the Committee formalize its ability to investigate and pass judgment as to the wrongfulness of Foundation conduct and the conduct of its staffers. Refusal to declare a wrongful act wrongful merely because the wrongdoers would thumb their noses at you would be symbolic of the utter failure of this Committee.

I therefore propose that the Committee take the following actions:

  1. Hold this request in abeyance
  2. Enact a Motion to amend the Arbitration Policy to strike any jurisdictional limitation with respect to the Foundation
  3. Hold the required referendum
  4. Resume this request once the referendum passes

Statement by Promethean

Current word length: 510; diff count: 0.

Arbcom should not take this case as any sanctions given would be ultra vires to WP:ARBPOL,WP:OFFICE and common sense for the following reasons:

1. No Complainant: There is no clear complainant in this case due to it being a self-referral. If the complainant against WJBScribe (et. al) is WMFOffice, then they could clearly state that they're disputing his action so that their position is known. If they are not disputing his action, then any other complainant would be invalid, as only WMFOffice has reasonable grounds to allege a breach of WP:OFFICE, which is what the matter of user conduct pertains to. Although, even if WMFOffice did nominate as a complainant, it is arguable as to whether this would grant WP:ARBCOM the discretionary authority to act on WP:OFFICE breaches; Refer to dot point #3 for explanation.
2. No jurisdiction over WMFOffice: Arbcom does not have jurisdiction over the actions of WMFOffice and cannot sanction or admonish the WMFOffice account for any breaches of local policy. Putting aside the fact that WP:ARBPOL explicitly prohibits it hearing disputes regarding official actions of the Wikimedia Foundation or its staff, doing so would create an even larger public relations issue than already exists.
3. No jurisdiction over WJBScribe's (et al.) alleged actions: The conduct of the Administrators and Bureaucrats may have brought them into conflict with WP:OFFICE, a policy that clearly states that Administrators (and others) are cautioned against reverting office actions; There is no doubt that all involved parties exercised due caution when taking their respective actions, aware of the risks such entailed and using their best judgement while doing so. The policy as written allows them to do this. Furthermore, the policy states that reverting such actions "may lead to sanctions by the Foundation", but this does not empower any other entity to make such sanctions in response to a reversal of WP:OFFICE actions. Finally, WP:OFFICE does not grant WMFOffice the right to delegate the authority to determine breaches of WP:OFFICE to a third-party, such as WP:ARBCOM - The policy is very clear; Only the Foundation has the authority to determine a breach of WP:OFFICE, and only the Foundation may issue a sanction for such.
4. Not within the community interest: If adverse actions were taken against any involved parties, who were bold in acting in accordance with their conscience and the expectations of the community, it will only reignite the bitterness regarding WMF's recent actions and thus is not within the interests of the project. We've already lost good admins over this issue; More senseless bloodletting is not needed.

Finally, on a point of history: It was the WMF T&S team acting in an arbitrary manner that got us here; Ironically, in a response to a comment about Arbcom exceeding its remit. I fail to see how more arbitration will help. There needs to be a transparent dialogue between the community and WMF if they want to resolve the broader questions around T&S interference and processes. Arbcom's job is to stay out of it and let the community come to a consensus.   «l|Promethean|l»  (talk) 18:56, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by El_C

Seeing as the Foundation's representative has seemingly entrenched themselves in their position, now is the time for the Arbitration Committee, as the closest thing to the community's elected governing body, to assert itself on our behalf. I realize Committee members still have to work closely with the Foundation, but the time to take a stand is now. El_C 19:18, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nick-D

It is not acceptable for admins and bureaucrats to unilaterally attempt to overturn office actions: they simply do not have the right to do so, and it amounts to protecting people who have been assessed to have violated the terms and conditions. In the case here, a prominent editor who had been found to have engaged in harassment was protected, which obviously sends a terrible message. Commons had similar problems with this after Russavia was banned by the WMF, with users with advanced permissions there insisting that he retain his admin rights and his ban-evading socks not be blocked as the ban hadn't come from their community (see [8], for instance) - never mind that he had been banned for sexual harassment after years of trolling and other misconduct which the Commons admins had disgracefully failed to address. At the time there was a widespread view here that Commons was dysfunctional and its admins and bureaucrats needed a clean out. More recently, we had some similar issues with admins wheel warring over blocking Eric Corbett. As we obviously don't want to go down the same path as Commons did, Arbcom needs to accept this case. As to the problem of the WMF foolishly stepping into Arbcom's role through its intervention here and not explaining why it needed to do so, I'm struggling to see how it could be sorted out through an arbitration case given it relates to WMF policies, not En-Wiki policies. Other avenues would be better suited to resolving the issue. Nick-D (talk) 23:31, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Mjroots

I respectfully request that ARBCOM does accept this case. Fram should be a named party. He should be permitted to participate in the case notwithstanding the threat from OFFICE to block him should he edit on en-wiki.

Even if the case is that ARBCOM cannot impose sanctions on OFFICE, it can certainly make statements that It is very strongly recommended that OFFICE... (takes a certain course of action).

This issue is far too big to ignore.

Statement by Levivich

Not taking a case here and instead passing a motion that in the future – reversal of WMF office actions will be met with desysop and no RFA for at least six months or future reversals of Office actions would be unacceptable and grounds for loss of tools sounds a lot like "We're going to do X, then pass a motion that says X shall never be done again." If, in this case, the circumstances present a good reason not to desysop, then what makes anyone think that in all future cases, the circumstances will never again present a good reason not to desysop? By not accepting this case, you have already recognized that it is simply not true that wheel warring with the Office is always unacceptable, or that it always merits sanctions. "No sanctions" might, indeed, be the right outcome here, but for the love of Jimbo, be honest about it. If what these admin did is not OK, then say it's not OK, officially, like with an admonishment. If what these admin did is OK, then say it's OK, officially, like by denying this request. But don't sit on the fence by saying you disapprove but doing nothing, while trying to mitigate that inaction by purporting to tie your own hands and the hands of future Arbcom members with a motion along the lines of, "This is not OK, we're not going to do anything about it, but we really mean it this time, next time there will consequences!" Say something about this, one way or the other. Make a decision, take a vote, and approve or disapprove of these actions. I think the committee should accept a full case, add Fram as a party, and demonstrate to the WMF and to the community that yes, it can sort through these issues, without needing T&S to do it instead. Of course that will be a very tough task, but then the community did not elect sunshine soldiers and summertime patriots. You asked to be the ones to decide matters of admin tool use/misuse and serious user conduct issues: this case meets that criteria. I know you will get criticized no matter what you decide, and I'm sorry for that, but when you stood for election, you asked the community to choose one of two fates for you: either you would suffer a defeat, or you would suffer a victory. Congratulations on your victory. Levivich 19:04, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Aquillion

I can understand the need to make it clear that, ultimately, trying to reverse Office actions is futile and counterproductive; and I trust ArbCom enough that if you genuinely feel that such a finding is necessary as a show of good faith in order to reach a better outcome from discussions with T&S, then it's necessary. That said, I urge you to avoid a formal finding to that effect unless it is absolutely necessary. Community backlash is an important part of what keeps our editorial independence safe from WMF overreach. ArbCom was chosen to be the representatives of the community in that sort of discussion, and I don't think they should be making that sort of overreach any easier than is strictly necessary. I mean, if this is part of negotiations with the WMF and you think it will help, go ahead, but I'd strongly suggest not doing it out of a desire to maintain stability or things of that nature - the fact that WMF overreach risks destabilizing the site and its community is a feature, not a bug, and serves as a sort of Poison Pill that ensures that the culture, outlook, and opinions of the community do matter even in situations, like this, where the WMF is putting the full weight of its authority behind its actions. Normally, we discourage those sorts of WP:POINTy gestures because other channels for resolution exist - but in this case, when dealing with the WMF, the fact is that they often do not. --Aquillion (talk) 20:12, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Dennis Brown

I accept office actions in cases where the community can not deal with the problem, however, Arb was fully capable of handling the Fram situation without the ham fisted actions by the Office. I have no opinion on the merits of the Fram case, as I don't have the information, but I do take issue with the methods employed by the WMF. Of course, that isn't why we are here, Actions by Crats and Admin are at issue.

It is not ArbCom's job to be the minions of the WMF and enforce their rulings, particularly when their methods so offend the community. The WMF may have a right to do as they please, but if they want to maintain a community of volunteers, they have an obligation to engage the community, or by extension, Arb, before taking non-emergency action on an editor. The actions by WJBscribe, Bishonen and Floq might violate one policy, but they are clearly within the spirit of another, the most important policy we have, WP:IAR. Sometimes you do the right thing even if one policy says don't, not as an act of defiance but as an act of restoring the status quo and in the long term, improving the encyclopedia.

My personal recommendation is to decline the case, let things stand, and continue working with T&S towards a better solution in the future, one that doesn't alienate the community. If the WMF has no accountability to the community, then we are not volunteers, we are subjects, and I don't care to be ruled. Dennis Brown - 11:17, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Buffs

Current word length: 329; diff count: 1.

The issue with this ban is twofold: the first is the lack of transparency. ArbCom is our body of elected representation and should be privy to relevant communications when banning a user. The second is a lack of process. ArbCom is perfectly capable of handling this situation. Given that one of the possible aggrieved parties ("Laura" as identified by the WMF) has a personal relationship with the WMF Chair and a block was enacted with someone they are having a disagreement, at a bare minimum, there is a conflict of interest present at the bureaucratic level. That the same person implied that the community response was sexist leads to the implication that a ban may have been at least related to an attempt to "right a great wrong". ArbCom should have been given the evidence and dealt with it. If ArbCom has seen the preliminary evidence and deems it appropriate, I have no problem with a suspension of rights/privileges of Fram until such time as ArbCom rules. WMF Office Actions should be limited to emergencies and I've seen no evidence of such exigent circumstances.

It is worth noting that I do not feel that Fram has done a particularly good job maintaining civility (in fact, he's been pretty lousy). Had I been in the position of authority, I would have probably desysoped him for his behavior; as an admin, it's inexcusable. I do not defend him personally, but the process here is ripe for abuse, POV pushing, and fraught with atrocious precedents that need to be addressed and curtailed/clarified. Thanks in advance to ArbCom for taking on this case.

I think it's pretty clear that the actions taken here by admins were in good faith and they made their point well. I think they are indeed guilty as sin and their punishment should be a solid trouting at worst. The rest of the issues needed to be resolved and this was the best way to do it. Buffs (talk) 17:33, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Tazerdadog

I'd like to endorse the actions of Floquenbeam, Bishonen, and WJBScribe as necessary and correct. They should be commended, should not be sanctioned, and no rule should be put in place to enjoin future similar actions.

The committee should accept this case with an eye towards scrutinizing all parties, including the WMF. A motion is not likely to be sufficient to address the problems here. Even if sanctions are not enforceable, a statement from ARBCOM that said this is unacceptable and would've gotten a community administrator desysopped would still be effective (assuming that's what the evidence shows).

Statement by {Non-party}

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

WJBscribe: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • I have removed a few statements that do not contribute anything to the question of whether to accept a case or not. To those editors, there was nothing objectionable in your statements and you are not unwelcome here; I am just trying to keep the case request as manageable and relevant as possible. GoldenRing (talk) 09:20, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (Note of a clerical nature, rather than by a clerk as such.) @BU Rob13: The request may be renamed after the committee's view crystallises. I was renaming as a judgement on what the request should not be (a bunch of words all boiling down to one bureaucrat's name) named rather than what it necessarily should be named. Watch this space, I guess. Significant renames are usually handled when the case is opened. AGK ■ 17:15, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Recuse I have spoken about issues that might cross over with this case with a reporter that I respect at a national (US) outlet --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 20:15, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Note to all: Please remember that the purpose of statements here is to help the committee decide whether arbitration is necessary, not to give detailed arguments for particular outcomes. I have asked a couple of editors to trim their statements in line with the word count limit (1,000 words for parties, 500 for others), bearing this particular point in mind. GoldenRing (talk) 09:03, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  •   Clerk Note: At the direction of the committee I've removed references to Wiki Project Women in Red as they did not play a role in the change of user rights. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 16:54, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Since there seems to be some concern with where I received the directions from the committee. The clerks team was instructed to remove statements pertaining to WikiProject Women In Red on the Clerks-L mailing list by a member of the Arbitration Committee. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 07:21, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    • As above, I have removed the remaining references to WiR. SQLQuery me! 01:22, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • BU Rob13, Amakuru, Atsme, MJL: You are all over the word limit to varying degrees. Please trim your statements. Snow Rise gets the prize for correctly guessing the number of sweets in the jar. GoldenRing (talk) 16:02, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Thanks to those who have shortened their statements. GoldenRing (talk) 09:48, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

WJBscribe: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <4/0/0>

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

  • Comment The last thing I want is for the Arbitration Committee to rush into becoming involved in an already fraught situation and make things worse. I intend to keep up-to-date with all of the various conversations surrounding this to the best of my ability, but I would like to be deliberate about any action we choose to take. There is no rush to decide whether this case needs to be accepted, and especially considering that the board will be meeting in a few days and that the folks behind the WMFOffice account are likely not working around-the-clock, we should extend some understanding that things may move a bit slowly on the WMF side of things. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:38, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @BD2412: No comment on the point you're making, but I did want to note that Floquenbeam did indeed request it. GorillaWarfare (talk) 04:09, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I would like to publicly register my support for what Opabinia has suggested below: using this opportunity to have an arbcom community consultation/RfC on a few key points of improvement for local community processes for dealing with complaints about harassment and related behavior. GorillaWarfare (talk) 18:26, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Accept with the intention to resolve the case by motion, and follow up with an RfC (organized by the Arbitration Committee) on how the community would like to see harassment and private complaints handled going forward. While I fully understand SilkTork's concerns about doing this in RfC format, I think we could organize an RfC with moderation rules similar to an ArbCom case and ask the clerks to keep careful watch over the page. This page has already become quite long, and much of the conversation here addresses matters outside of the scope of the RfC I'm envisioning, so I'd rather not try to lump it all in to this case. GorillaWarfare (talk) 21:06, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I've been doing my very best to keep shtum over the past few days, as someone is going to have to tidy up this mess. A case request is a good place to have some discussion. I intend to ask the clerk's to enforce word limits evenly and firmly. If there is something you want to say, say it succinctly. WormTT(talk) 06:41, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Banedon:, no, case requests are awful places to have sensible discussions - but the case request page can act as a stopper to controversy around and about. Since it is monitored by clerks, hopefully extraneous discussion can disappear. WormTT(talk) 13:38, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    My current thought is that we should accept the case and resolve it by motion. The facts are not in dispute, we all know what happened. I was looking back at what 2014 WTT thought about Arbcom handling Office actions and I agree with that wise individual. Those actions are rightly out of our jurisdiction. Things are still developing, so I may hold a different opinion in the near future - but I feel that any motion should make a statement about what happened and little more. I have little or no interest in sanctioning individuals who were reacting to such extraordinary circumstances. I empathise with those community members, and while I may not agree with their actions, I do understand them. If the WMF can make peace with our community member's dissenting actions then I see no benefit to the committee throwing around sanctions instead. WormTT(talk) 20:32, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @MJL: I remain unconviced. ArbPol specifically states that Arbcom Has no jurisdiction over OFFICE actions. I'm not willing to enforce their actions - they have the ability to do that. They appear to be attempting to de-escalate, by answering questions and not doubling down against the admins and 'crat who acted against them. When it comes to Office actions, I am willing to accept their decisions - they have more information than I do and the dialogue I have had with them over the past year and half has led me to trust the WMF of 2019 far more than the last time I was on the committee. Further, website owners are under increased pressure to manage their own communities properly. We are not in 2004 - the world has changed, and we need to accept that. Arbcom is the last step in dispute resolution amongst the community and the WMF actions are outside that remit. WormTT(talk) 14:50, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
    Xaosflux, thanks for that, I absolutely agree that any motion would need to answer those questions. My hope is that a closing motion would answer those questions to the best of the committee's ability - so that follow up cases would not be needed. WormTT(talk) 11:05, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I've just come back from an extended break and am not intending to say much about this elsewhere on the project. As Worm notes, a case request is a good place to have some discussion about this as long as it is done calmly, respectfully and succinctly. Keep in mind that we may have more information after the Board meeting and that a case request does not necessarily preclude the Office from acting as they see fit. I'd also like to emphasise GW's comment that the folks in the WMF Office have office hours and we should not be expecting them to communicate around-the-clock. @Worm That Turned: did you intend to include the ≠ symbol? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:15, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @Banedon: I was referring to comments specifically on the issue at hand: The use of admin/crat tools to override/interfere with/other characterisation an office action, what ArbCom's role is here, and when, if at all, we should take any action. My preference to wait until after the Board meeting is primarily that the result of that meeting could be directly relevant. For example, the Office may decide to act itself or the Board might ask that we all draw a line under it and move on. To what extent the outcome is relevant is an unknown at this point so I'd rather wait. Hope that answers your question? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 12:36, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I dunno, guys, I don't think enough stuff is on fire yet. Come back when there's more stuff more on fire. (Since this is one of those situations where humor is in short supply: No, I'm not serious.) I agree with GW about patience with a WMF response, and plan to sit on my hands on this one for a bit. The board is apparently scheduled to meet on the 14th, so the time horizon is not long. Consistent with my general views on the subject of good-faith but imperfect actions taken under highly urgent circumstances, I actually think we could make some progress untangling the community aspects of this separately from inquiring further into the WMF's decision-making, but on balance it's better to take a holistic view if we can. One important point: I think most people who follow arbcom know that I'm not exactly the civility warrior type. So I am serious when I say that in this particular request, in any resulting case or other followup, and ideally in discussions of this issue across the project, please be extra civil. Even if your temper is frayed, even if you're sure you're right, even if the other person was rude, etc etc etc. Opabinia regalis (talk) 08:03, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Thank you JEissfeldt (WMF) for your comments and for your (in my opinion) wise decision to help us all de-escalate this situation by not pursuing further actions. I do not think we will need or should have a full case: reviewing office actions is out of the scope of an arbcom case, and dragging this out for a month about the community aspects under our purview would be the worst thing we could do. I'd accept only to dismiss by motion, documenting the outcome with no local sanctions. (Accept-and-dismiss sounds a bit silly, but is a handy way to make sure we preserve all the relevant history here in a searchable way that is consistent with all the other stuff in arbspace.)
      There's a lot still to unpack here, but I think we can more productively do that in other venues. To the extent that it's a communication-with-arbcom matter, that's better discussed privately; many of the remaining issues are either the subject of ongoing community discussion or are more general than an enwiki dispute resolution process. I understand there are ongoing conversations that people might be interested in contributing to on meta, for example this "Community health initiative/User reporting system consultation" talk page. Jan's statement indicates there will be further initiatives that are designed to promote inclusivity by ensuring a healthier culture of discourse, and may I strongly recommend that notifications about those initiatives be posted in places like the arbcom noticeboard where community members with knowledge of our dispute resolution processes will see them, as well as the usual places. And likewise, may I also recommend that enwiki editors voice their opinions in those processes. I personally don't tend to do that - in part because (ironically!) I don't tend to feel heard in those conversations - but perhaps that's a mistake and there's a communications gap on our end too.
      Earlier I floated the idea on the mailing list of channeling the widespread interest in this issue into an arbcom community consultation/RfC on a few key points of improvement for local community processes for dealing with complaints about harassment and related behavior. I think Steve's idea below has merit, but think we should start with a more focused agenda, and a format that doesn't have the local-sanctions/admin-conduct stuff in this case mixed in or leave the community members who are parties to this case waiting for discussions about other issues to wrap up. Specific points of interest, for me at least, would be:
      1. communications expectations around actions taken on private evidence - which always generate lots of star chamber/secret trial drama, which is a disincentive for taking those actions (no matter how much I'd like to believe otherwise about my own motivations)
      2. managing the environment in case requests and on case pages - I know the contentiousness of cases can also be a disincentive to pursuing dispute resolution
      3. handling harassment-related complaints that are based mainly on public behavior, but where the complainant believes a public complaint will prompt retaliation
      Lastly: I am still hoping that we will get an answer to the question I asked in comments to Jimbo in advance of the board meeting, as to whether the ban rationale included non-public information (as I'd first assumed) or was based entirely on public behavior - either as a public response or privately to arbcom. Opabinia regalis (talk) 21:12, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
      @Only in death: I think "done deal", "roll over", etc. is the wrong framing. The argument is basically that this should have been handled locally. For that to be the case, we need to make sure of two things: first, that our local processes really can handle harassment problems within reasonable limits, and second, that this really did involve a set of complaints that were within those limits. The first part is something the community has struggled with before, and the conversation about this incident has highlighted some potential current problems. If there's problems, we should fix them while we have the opportunity, even if we don't like how they came to light. On the second part, I think we need more information still. We know what Fram has said on commons, but we do have to consider the possibility that he is misrepresenting or misunderstanding something (though it would be out of character). It is also possible that T&S chose not to describe the full range of issues in their communications to him because the material was private, or that some kind of misunderstanding or miscommunication occurred that led them to think the issue was beyond our limits when we would have thought otherwise. Being too confrontational puts us at risk of ending up in a worst-case scenario where we don't repair the damage to the relationship between the community and the Foundation, and we make it harder for harassment complaints to be handled by either party.
      Speaking more broadly - the three people who used their user rights here did a lot of things right. They saw something they really disagreed with, took the actions they thought were necessary, explained their reasoning, did not personally attack the people who made the original decision, and took responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Although their reactions were the ones that were "against the rules", and undoubtedly escalated the situation - and really, speaking with the Arb Hat on, are Things That Should Not Be Repeated - those actions are in many ways more constructive than a lot of the other stuff that's been said and done in response to this incident. There's aspects of the community's reaction here that I'm really uncomfortable with, and think we need to do better on. One is the rampant unsubstantiated personal speculation (please nobody repeat that stuff here). Another is the flame-war-y style of a lot of the comments about T&S staff - calling for their firing, accusing them of corruption, questioning their motives on dubious grounds, comparing them to various historical repressive regimes, etc (please nobody repeat that stuff here either). T&S is these people. We might recognize some of them. Any one of us can think they made a serious error, and say so, without all the purple prose.
      @Ms Sarah Welch: I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting we actually do with that. I think it's inevitable that we'd "take notice of" the WMF's actions here, if there were a case - and I suppose we could in principle vote on a collective statement of some kind - but I don't think this is best done in a case format. Relations with the office could be a topic to include in the RfC. Opabinia regalis (talk) 21:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I've been quiet over this whole saga, mainly because I do not want to seem like I am involved, show a bias etc. I concur with my fellow Arbs here, this is a good place to have a CIVIL discussion. I cannot stress civil enough here. I also want to see what comes from the board meeting tomorrow as well. FOr the moment i am neutral on taking the case. RickinBaltimore (talk) 11:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • While I am generally inactive on all matters, I feel I have to get involved in this one as it relates directly to the very incident that I am concerned about. The head of the WMF team responsible for this incident, Jan Eissfeldt, has said: "We defer to Arbcom’s judgment on how to proceed with regard to such behavior issues in this case." As such ArbCom can decide to remain silent on the issue (decline the case) in order to reduce drama in an already tense situation, or can accept that Jan is courteously acknowledging that conduct on enwiki is best handled by enwiki. Remaining silent does not always resolve anything. Sometimes it does work to ignore drama. Indeed, we advise that as the initial approach to disputes and incivility: WP:DISENGAGE, WP:UNCIVIL. But sometimes not dealing with an issue doesn't actually make the issue go away. It can make things worse by allowing inappropriate conduct to go unchallenged and unchecked. In the various threads on this issue, there are a number of comments that Fram should have been dealt with a while ago, and that - essentially - through our own inaction, community and ArbCom, we have forced the Foundation to act in this way. We are blaming the Foundation, when we should be taking this opportunity to critically examine ourselves. Let me be clear that I firmly believe that the Foundation acted inappropriately here, largely through inadequate communication, but even there we need to reflect on ourselves and look at what we have done, community and ArbCom, to assist paths of communication. I don't think we have done enough. I feel we should take the opportunity offered by this situation to talk openly in the structured environment of an ArbCom case, and start moving toward both a new type of ArbCom and a new type of relationship with the Foundation. So far Jan has spoken, but any member of the Foundation can speak here as a party because User:WMFOffice is named as a party. I don't think the case should be named WJBscribe, as Will is but one person involved in this incident. The case should be named Office actions, and the scope should be to look into all aspects of this incident with a view not to punish anyone, but to clarify procedures moving forward. My ideal would be that if the Foundation do take full advantage of the opportunity offered here, that at the end of this case we will have clarified in an open discussion between enwiki and the Foundation exactly when and how the Foundation can get involved in conduct disputes on enwiki, and exactly how the community can raise objections that will be listened to. With the full involvement and commitment of Foundation, community and ArbCom we can establish procedures that we all support and uphold. Let's take this opportunity and Do The Right Thing. Accept. SilkTork (talk) 08:25, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I also feel that it is important that if we do hold this case, that everyone conducts themselves as they would at a job interview. With the benefit of the internet, none of us are speaking live, and so we all have the opportunity to pause and reflect on what we have typed before pressing the Publish changes button. Anyone who uses the sort of language that would not be used in a job interview or on day time TV will be reverted and warned. If they do it again they are banned from the case pages. Anyone who comments negatively on another person rather than that person's actions will be reverted and warned. If they do it again they are banned from the case pages. Anyone who posts angrily will be reverted and warned. If they do it again they are banned from the case pages. It is time for us to stop making allowances for people being angry and insulting during ArbCom cases. There is far less excuse for that than there is during a live court case. We need to move forward and show that sensitive and contentious issues can be conducted in a calm and structured manner. SilkTork (talk) 08:36, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
User:Banedon. I think I may have expressed myself poorly. I am not proposing a case in which we seek to punish anyone or even look for blame. I am proposing a case in which we seek out to resolve the problems we have. There in nothing in ArbCom policy that says we have to have a case in order to decide blame and punishment. Our role is to act to resolve problems and to reach binding solutions. Those solutions can be positive and enhancing - they need not be restrictions and sanctions. I think not only that the Foundation made an error here, but also that ArbCom made an error, and that the community made an error, and I as an individual made an error. I think that's the basic starting point: recognising that we have made errors. Acknowledging that helps enable us to be clear that we need to seek solutions to assist us in avoiding such errors in future. If anyone here is thinking that the community and/or ArbCom are blame free in this incident, and that any fault is entirely that of the Foundation is probably not going to be helpful to the case. For this to work we all need to be self-reflective and entirely honest. Nothing less will do. But, of course, it depends entirely on the Foundation being willing to take part and embrace the opportunity. I am optimistic that they will. SilkTork (talk) 15:41, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • WMF and ArbCom are currently arranging a phone meeting to discuss this issue, and I have been invited. I wish to decline that offer here in public, and invite WMF instead to discuss the issue openly (minus, of course, any private information specifically about Fram) on enwiki. I think for an open project which is built on accountability and open record keeping, we have drifted toward a culture of accepting too many private meetings in which decisions are made which have an impact on the community and the project, and are then imposed on the community with no accountability. As far as possible we need to break that cycle, and bring back openness and accountability. My stance here is not going to change that meeting, but I feel it is important to indicate that I favour holding meetings in as open an environment as possible, with accurate record keeping to allow everyone freedom of access. At the very least, those taking part could commit to providing minutes of the meeting for the community. SilkTork (talk) 09:26, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I hear what people are saying regarding attending the meeting. I hadn't expected to be militant about this issue. I am not a militant person, but we are living in interesting times, not just here on Wikipedia, but out in the real world as well. There is much fear, secrecy and walls when what we actually need is trust, communication, and openness. Today I visited a friend who has recently had a baby. During her pregnancy it was discovered she had breast cancer. She was allowed a few weeks to breast feed, but is now doing chemotherapy so cannot breast feed, and her hair is falling out. Her partner is not coping with the stress, and last night they had a big row and he stormed out. So she's got three mega stress events all going on at the same time. But she's a brave woman and is handling it all really well. It puts this Fram Incident into context I suppose. Maybe what is needed here is less people protesting and being militant, and more people willing to cooperate and seek a solution. On the other hand, I am so so so annoyed at what has happened, which has exasperated my already fragile frustration at ArbCom doing much of what it does out of sight (when much of it can be done here on enwiki). There are some good people on Trust & Safety. People known and respected here on Wikipedia. The Foundation itself is composed of well meaning individuals - same as here on Wikipedia. We are essentially the same people. It's not the people that are at fault but the procedures. Not all the procedures. But certainly a number of the procedures that take place out of sight of the community. While I may possibly serve some good by attending that meeting, I'm not sure that I could, and I'm not sure that is the true route out of this situation anyway. Also, I'm not sure I want to do it on a personal level. Thoughts of resigning are also present in my mind, and have been since this started. Indeed, if I'm not prepared to discuss this situation with the WMF via a phone conference perhaps I'm not living up to the responsibilities of this post. Sigh. But, on the other hand, I am very very very willing to discuss the matter with WMF here in the open on enwiki. My mind is in a whirl, and I'm "veering all over the place like a supermarket trolley". So, I am undecided on what to do. But I do feel that it would be better to hold discussions out in the open than in secret behind closed doors. SilkTork (talk) 18:57, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I understand the "restore order and move on" thinking behind Katie's suggested motion. But I could not support a motion in which one part of the community (ArbCom) instructs another part of the community (Crats) to remove community given rights from a user who was operating with the consent of the community and with the best interest of the community merely because that user was doing so in opposition to an unclear Office Action which potentially undermines the community. What I'd like to get from this case is a clear understanding of the relationship between the community and the Foundation, and more clarity regarding when and how Office Actions are performed. I don't think it is helpful for ArbCom to swear blind loyalty to the Foundation and promise to uphold whatever action the Foundation does in the future, regardless of how damaging to the community and therefore the project as a whole that action may be. We need clarity before we can support any future Office Action.
I would like to get that clarity from an open discussion here on ArbCom pages where experienced clerks can maintain decorum, and where - if needed and appropriate - private material can be examined by ArbCom, rather than via a RfC where keeping the discussion in hand would be more difficult, and where private material could not be seen. I'd like to see the Evidence pages turned over to Discussion pages, and the Workshop pages turned over to Suggestion pages. And, however many Committee members take part in this case, an equal number of Foundation members take part, and all build and vote on the Proposed decision pages. I am excited at the prospect of how such a case could bring the community and the Foundation together with greater understanding, and we can all move forward in greater harmony and stability. There is an opportunity here to do something great. This is not a time to hush things up and sweep concerns aside, leaving nothing resolved. This is a time to do The Right Thing. SilkTork (talk) 11:18, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The levels in which this whole thing makes me sad are innumerable. My community is tearing itself apart. At my count, in the last week we've lost eight good administrators, including Fram, who have either taken breaks or have resigned the tools. WereSpielChequers, we're supposed to have a meeting with Trust & Safety this week, and I'm going to do my damnedest to get the answers to your questions, because they're my questions too. I support OR's idea for an RFC, because we as a community simply must do better in handling harassment and bad behavior. As for this case, I'm on the fence. I understand the 'civil disobedience.' I do. I also understand that we can't have admins contravening WMF office actions. I'll most likely make a motion to make sure everyone understands that going forward – in the future – reversal of WMF office actions will be met with desysop and no RFA for at least six months. Before all that, though, I want to hear what the outcome of the board meeting was and I want to have this conversation with Trust and Safety. Then I'll have more to say. Katietalk 12:09, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Carcharoth: Thanks for pointing that out to me. I don't spend much time on Commons so I missed it. Fram's concerns are part of why I want to get some answers from the WMF. There was a recent case where Fram's conduct was part of the FoFs and the remedies, and I voted against them. I didn't do that because I wasn't concerned about Fram. I did it because if we're going to discuss Fram, then le's do it in a case about Fram. Do we need to do that now? Maybe. At the moment, I'd say hold off until we get to talk to the WMF. Let me temper expectations, though – it's entirely possible that we don't get the answers we're seeking. I don't know Jan, and he hasn't been on any of the meetings with us so far this year and I don't know why (James Alexander missed very few). All I can vow is that we'll do our best. Katietalk 14:26, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Accept to resolve by motion, though I won't be the one putting it forward. We've discussed it, and I see some of the problems that Bishonen has pointed out. Here's the macro view: I'm very encouraged by the initial conversation we've had with T&S, and I hope we can find a way to handle these kinds of private matters locally, as a committee, in the relatively near future. I wish I could say more than that, but I can't at this time. Soon, though. :-) Katietalk 13:40, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Although I haven't been editing this week, I have been keeping up with both FRAMBAN and this case request. Speaking only about the unblocking/resysopping that this case request concerns: I don't think it would be helpful for the Arbitration Committee to place sanctions on editors whom the WMF has explicitly decided not to sanction. That doesn't mean I endorse or support their reversal of Office actions, but I think it would be counterproductive to reignite the issue when the WMF has opted to take a step back and not re-escalate the situation. I would support a motion like the one Katie suggests, to make explicit that future reversals of Office actions would be unacceptable and grounds for loss of tools. ♠PMC(talk) 21:08, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Accept with a view to resolving by motion. I'm coming late to this, but I'm seeing a consensus that, whilst reversing office actions should not be encouraged, nobody wants to see any further sanctions in this instance. What happens next with regard to harassment and T&S bans is going to be a longer discussion, outside the scope of a single ArbCom case. – Joe (talk) 13:21, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Xaosflux: As I see it, this case pertains to the administrative actions of Bishonen and Floquenbeam and the bureaucrat actions of WJBscribe in overturning an office action. For the time being at least, ArbCom has neither the authority nor the information needed to review the original WMF ban of Fram. I would like ArbCom to be part of the discussion on the role of community processes vs. WMF oversight in harassment and private reports, but I don't think it's our place to "rule" on that as part of a case. – Joe (talk) 09:18, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @WJBscribe: We have asked, and were told a) there is additional, private and off-wiki information relevant to the ban; b) ArbCom doesn't have all of it; and c) they do not consider the ban, as an office action, to be overturnable by ArbCom. Given that, I don't feel competent to assess Fram's ban, although others on the committee may feel differently. – Joe (talk) 14:17, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @SchroCat: I don't know. I can ask, but I strongly suspect that the answer (either way) will end up giving out more information about the ban than I could disclose under the access to non-public information policy. I am also not sure what the purpose of asking would be if I can't share the information, other than curiosity, because I don't foresee being in the position of reviewing Fram's ban any time in the near future. – Joe (talk) 14:48, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @SchroCat: "Off-wiki" does not necessarily mean "offline", and I'm not saying either are the exact words they used; otherwise, I think your question is directed at the WMF rather than us. – Joe (talk) 15:27, 24 June 2019 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: Palestine-Israel articles 3

Initiated by Nyttend at 01:19, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Palestine-Israel articles 3 arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request:

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

Statement by Nyttend

This is not some sort of complaint/argument/etc. Just trying to get an authoritative statement on this decision's scope.

Airbnb is a US-based company that acts as a broker for people who have spare rooms in their homes and people who want to rent those rooms. Apparently there was some controversy related to Israel-Palestine and this company, so the article has a section on this issue. Ymblanter recently protected the article under ARBPIA following some disruptive editing to this section. I questioned this action, saying basically "did you accidentally protect the wrong article", and Ymblanter responded basically "I protected it intentionally, because the disruptive editing was related to Israel-Palestine". His response mentions some consultation with Galobtter regarding the duration.

So the question...are this decision's stipulations on page protection meant to apply to all articles that have bits related to Israel-Palestine, or is it only intended for pages to which Israel-Palestine is an integral component? This article is definitely the first — one can understand the company quite well without a tiny Israel-Palestine section sourced only to news reports and an advocacy organization. By the latter, I'm talking about Israeli politicians, places in the West Bank, events in the history of Gaza, etc. The situation here reminds me of the "weather" situation at WP:TBAN — if we had similar sanctions on the topic of weather, I suppose we'd not consider all articles with "climate" sections liable to ARBWEATHER protection.

If we assume either Ymblanter's perspective or mine, there's no room for dispute over whether this is an appropriate protection; if Arbcom meant to include all pages with Israel-Palestine sections, of course this is an appropriate protection, and if you didn't mean to include pages like this, obviously this should be treated like any other victim of disruptive editing rather than an Israel-Palestine issue. So once again, no hard feelings exist yet, and I don't envision them arising in the future; I just want the scope to be clear.

if the result of this clarification request is that only dedicated articles can be extended-confirmed protected (or anything else) this is perfectly fine with me says Ymblanter. I agree — if the committee intends ARBPIA to apply to articles in an Airbnb-type situation, that's fine with me. Nyttend (talk) 23:48, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
By the way, at User talk:Ymblanter#Protection of Airbnb, Ymblanter said I am not sure I can now so easily remove or lower the protection. I do not think we have a mechanism of lowering ARBPIA protections. If an admin levies an ARBPIA sanction and then changes his mind, is there something preventing the admin from self-reverting? If this is indeed the case, and it's specific to ARBPIA (I don't know; I don't do WP:AE), it would be helpful if you implemented a mechanism for lowering ARBPIA protections or allowing other self-reverting. Nyttend (talk) 23:54, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ymblanter

The consultation with Galobtter which Nyttend mentions is at my talk page, User talk:Ymblanter#Protection of Airbnb. Concerning the issue itself, I indeed interpret the decision such that if an article contains a significant part (in the case of Airbnb, this is a dedicated section) the discretionary sanctions apply. However, I do not hold strong opinions here, if the result of this clarification request is that only dedicated articles can be extended-confirmed protected (or anything else) this is perfectly fine with me.--Ymblanter (talk) 05:40, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

@Huldra: Without giving my opinion of the motion you mention, if someone compiles a list of articles where the notice must be placed I volunteer, after a reasonable check, place the notice to all these articles (which obviously is going to take time but it is still better than nothing).--Ymblanter (talk) 21:13, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

@AGK: Yes, it is time to conduct review of all remedies. We are slowly moving towards professionalizing of AE in general and PI in particular, when one first needs to study for five years and then run an internship in order to be able to act there responsively. This is not really good.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:33, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Galobtter

Statement by Doug Weller

It looks as though this problem is going to continue. It's been discussed for over a week at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests#Some issues relating to the IP area which I urge everyone to read (and User:Huldra has found a slew of articles that need templating and edit notices given the current sanctions). Towards the bottom of the thread I've tried to outline how I understand ARBPIA sanctions are meant to work. Doug Weller talk 05:36, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

It's also virtually the same issue as I raised a few weeks ago which can be found at Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/Palestine-Israel articles, isn't it? Doug Weller talk 09:19, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: I'm pretty sure that my understanding as outlined at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests#Some issues relating to the IP area is in line with yours, if not please tell me where I have it wrong. What's needed now to clarify "reasonably"? I presume a motion, right? Doug Weller talk 14:41, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: I'd like to see a discussion of your suggestion to remove the "blanket 500/30 of "reasonably construed" pages in favor of discretionary but liberal use of 500/30 to combat abuse across all "broadly construed" pages." In the last two days I've had to disappoint an Admin (User:El C and an experienced editor(User:Nableezy) who thought IPs couldn't edit anything to do with the conflict. I also like rewording somne DS alerts to mention 1RR. Doug Weller talk 11:54, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Huldra

This is not related to the issue about parts/whole of the article being under ARBPIA, but it relates to the imbecile motion added March this year. Yes: imbecile!

After that motion, no-one can be sanctioned for 1RR unless an admin has placed an edit notice on the article in question. Since there are thousands of articles, and only a few hundred of them have edit notice, the result is that clear cut violations of the rules goes unpunished; see this example.

So while "All Arab-Israeli conflict-related pages, broadly interpreted" are placed under "discretionary sanctions", the 1 RR rule has become unenforceable on most article.

This is a totally untenable situation, I hope that either:

  • 1. Undo their March 2019 motion, or
  • 2. Start templating the thousands of articles which need to be templated. (In addition to the ones I have already mentioned on Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests, we can add all the ‎Israel settlements on the West Bank and the Golan Heights, all the kibbutz, etc built on the 48 villages land (they will be found in the "current localities" in the infobox, see eg would be amazed as to how often that information "disappears"...)

I would prefer that you chose option 1, that's because admins are not the best persons to see what is under ARBPIA, or not. Case in point: Solomon's Pools, where both, say, Icewhiz and I agree that it comes under ARBPIA, but "outside" admins have a difficulty in seeing that. (For those of you who don't know us: Icewhiz and I disagree about just about everything regarding the I/P area...) Huldra (talk) 21:07, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

User:Ymblanter: All articles mentioned in Template:Palestinian Arab villages depopulated during the 1948 Palestinian exodus (and the Israeli localities on their land), all Palestinian localities on the West Bank; listed under Template:Governorates of the Palestinian Authority. I would also say all localities listed in [[Category:Arab localities in Israel]], and all localities in the Golan Heights: Syrian towns and villages depopulated in the Arab–Israeli conflict, and the places mentioned in it and Template:Golan Regional Council. Huldra (talk) 21:28, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

That old expression: "Don't fix it if it isn't broken" should also be the guiding words for This 14 March 2019 change basically changed a structure which was working..sort one with lots of complications. I cannot recall any editor wanting to edit ARBPIA articles, achieving 30/500 status, and not knowing about ARBPIA sanctions. What normally happen, is that they wander into ARBPIA territory before they reach 30/500, they are promptly reverted, most with a note on their talk page. Then, if they are mature enough, they stay away until they have reached 30/500, and then they return.User:SilkTork: yes, the 14 March 2019 added "This remedy may only be enforced on pages with the {{ARBPIA 1RR editnotice}} edit notice." I just became aware of that, as I reported an obvious offence, but the editor walked scot free, thanks to this. See here.
User:AGK yes, it is a patchwork, and I would love to see one standard. Especially what "broadly constructed" and what is not. (I think User:BU Rob13 is the only one who understands it!) 1RR is one of the best things there are in the ARBPIA area, alas, the 14 March 2019 change was horrible: it made 1RR unenforceable on most ARBPIA articles. Why have rules if there is absolutely no punishment for breaking them? Huldra (talk) 21:52, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
Ah, User:SilkTork, I hadn't seen the January 2018 note: [9].(I don't follow the "Discretionary sanctions" page), that makes me more understand the 14 March 2019 changes. We have two set of rules for ARBPIA, and I have given up hope of ever understanding those rules....
Also, according to these idiots, I have a IQ of about half a zillion, I don't know if I would trust them, but I tend to understand things that have a logic to them. And as a corollary to that: when I don't understand a thing, it is usually because there is no logic to it. I would love to see some logic to the rules in the IP area...Huldra (talk) 23:33, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Well, I went to Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Template editor, and got pagemover rights. So now I see a "Page notice" on my editing screen, where I can put {{ARBPIA 1RR editnotice}}. I will advice everyone (who is not admins) to apply for this, Huldra (talk) 21:13, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Zero0000

To SilkTork: I think you missed the point when you wrote "If someone feels that there is significant enough content which falls under a DS topic on a particular page/article then they can place a DS template." No they can't; only administrators and template editors can add the editnotice that arbcom decided is needed for enforcement. Zerotalk 10:50, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

To BU Rob13: Before 500/30, IPs and new socks would cause disruption because they don't care about rules while the good editors trying to preserve article integrity were constrained by 1RR from reverting the disruption. The combination of 1RR and 500/30 has proved very beneficial to the area and I don't understand why you think removing 500/30 would be an improvement. Zerotalk 07:54, 11 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph

I think that articles that are not broadly about the conflict should not be locked down under ECP, they can be locked down temporarily, they can be IP protected, etc and then when the vandalism passes, it's good to go. We should not have many articles under a patchwork of horrible ARBCOM rulings that are terribly confusing to enforce and understand. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:03, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Davidbena

I think that it is wise and pertinent that no-one can be sanctioned for 1RR unless an admin has placed an edit notice on the article in question. If the 1RR edit-notice were to apply to all articles in the I/P area, and if ordinary editors could add such notices, who would prevent them from adding these notices to every town and city in Israel (Palestine), irregardless of whether or not the town had been involved in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle? Editors would still find a way to include it, since both sides vie for the control of the same country. This would greatly impede progress and make the simple task of editing much more difficult, just as we found in the article Solomon's Pools, which to my dismay came to be associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, although it has absolutely nothing to do with that conflict other than the fact that the pools lie within territory controlled by joint Israeli-Palestinian Authority officials. In my humble opinion, we should avoid making the task of editing bogged-down in red-tape and litigation, whenever possible, and only in those articles where by their nature they spark heated debate or POV views should these 1RR edit warnings be added.Davidbena (talk) 23:52, 29 April 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Gatoclass

I have long argued that discretionary sanctions should be applied not only to articles within the topic area, broadly interpreted, but to edits clearly related to the topic area in question, regardless of whether the article topic itself is related. This is because the topic area to which discretionary sanctions apply can be referenced peripherally in almost any article (falafel, anyone?) If somebody is making edits somewhere, anywhere, that can be reasonably construed as pertaining to the topic area, then surely all the usual discretionary sanctions should be applied to those edits regardless of which article they were made in. It seems to me that if this approach were to be adopted, the regular tiresome debates about whether or not a given article belongs in the topic area could be avoided altogether. Gatoclass (talk) 12:29, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps I should add, with regard to extended-confirmed protection, which is a special case because it works to automatically block anyone who doesn't meet the editing criteria on a given page, that an alternative approach might be to manually enforce extended-confirmed on articles which only peripherally relate to the sanctioned topic area (such as Airbnb in this case), in order to avoid penalizing the vast majority of users who are not making edits that pertain to the sanctioned area. Or alternatively, to use the automated protection only for limited periods, until the related dispute cools down. Gatoclass (talk) 13:14, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sandstein

@AGK: In response to your question: yes, ArbCom rules in the I/P area are too complicated, to the point where I'm reluctant to help enforce them because of the likelihood that I'll do something wrong and/or need to spend too much time reading up on the rules. I agree that the relevant decisions should be reviewed. Off the cuff, it might be worth it to consider reverting to basic discretionary sanctions. That's because drive-by disrupters using new accounts can be easily dealt with without the need for complicated rules, and AE regulars who are playing long-term games with the I/P content are quite capable of gaming complicated rules to their advantage. I could be wrong, though, and maybe the rules are actually helpful. Hence the need for a review. Sandstein 09:27, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nableezy

WP:NOTBURO. Yall have made this more complicated on each iteration. You have made it so what was intended to be a way of limiting edit-wars for the topic and limiting the sockpuppetry into one that on too many pages is unenforceable due to a technicality or not applicable because of this reasonably or broadly dispute. To me the answer here is obvious, divorce where extended-confirmed is applied (reasonably construed), but apply the rest of the prohibition to the larger set (broadly construed, with only the sections about the topic area covered). And remove the edit-notice requirement. What is important is that a person know that the edit is covered by the 1RR. Having the {{ARBPIA}} banner on the talk page and having been notified of the sanctions is enough of a notification, and requiring the edit-notice is allowing for some of the sillier games to be played without a hint of shame. Besides, I have yet to see an example where an editor was not asked to self-revert prior to being reported. By the time a report is made they are effectively notified and their refusal to self-revert should be enough to consider sanctions. This was supposed to be simple, and for years it was successful. The last several "clarifications" have undone a decent chunk of that success. nableezy - 09:06, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Or at least make me a template-editor so I can add the edit-notices myself. nableezy - 09:14, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Icewhiz

Rob's suggestion to make 500/30 conditional on ECP being applied to the page makes sense. I would suggest making this a "package deal" with 1RR (so if ECP is applied - 1RR is always applied as well). If these are handed out on an article level on a very liberal basis (e.g. mere relation of a page to the conflict - assuming requests at RfPP will be handled quickly and promptly - even without evidence of disruption for "reasonably construed" (for "broadly construed" - one should have evidence of disruption)) - then the amount of disruption should be fairly low (and if a new editor hops around many unprotected pages doing un-constructive editing - regular DS would still apply). For new articles, all one has to do is ask at RfPP (e.g. diff for a new current event conflict article).

The advantage to moving to a more normal (in relation to other topic areas) DS regime is that the current regime in ARBPIA is a rather severe roadblock for new editors, who can accrue sanctions at an alarming rate due to a mere misunderstanding of 500/30 and 1RR (which are even confusing to regulars (some long term editors diverge from AE norms in the parsing of "what is a revert") - let alone new comers). New Israeli or Palestinian editors invariably edit many pages that are "reasonably construed" (e.g. geographic locations, the country articles, all sorts of organizations) - even if their particular edits are not particularly conflict related (e.g. updating the head of the local council in a West Bank settlement after local elections) - the "survival rate" of such new editors on Wikipedia (without getting TBANNED from the topic area - and potential TBAN violations subsequently leading to blocks) is pretty low under the current sanctions regime - as they are able to edit non-ECP articles (running foul of 500/30 and often violating 1RR).Icewhiz (talk) 12:34, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Serialjoepsycho

The rules should apply where they apply naturally or rather the use of common sense is necessary. Every article need not be given a templet or protected simply because it dips it's toes in areas that are under sanctions. However when editors import the conflict into these articles due consideration should be given on a case by case basis for the appropriate action. An editor topic banned from ARBPIA related topics should be able to edit AIRBNB but they shouldn't be allowed to edit the portions of the article related to ARBPIA. Uninvolved admins also need the ability to take some appropriate form of action when the general disruption associated with articles under sanction is exported to articles that merely get their toes wet on the subject. I'd have to endorse a rewrite of these sanctions or any others that simplify them but they do need to have teeth.-Serialjoepsycho- (talk) 04:11, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Palestine-Israel articles 3: Clerk notes

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

Palestine-Israel articles 3: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Sometimes we can bogged down with the letter of the law rather than the spirit. The intention of DS is to prevent disruption; if there is material on Wikipedia which is likely to lead to disruption, then it is appropriate for us to monitor that material. If the DS wording inhibits us from appropriately preventing disruption then we may look to change the wording rather than allow the disruption to take place due to unclear wording. The material in this case, Airbnb#Delisting_of_West_Bank_settlements, does fall under the Palestine-Israel tension. It is currently neutral and factual, and we would want to keep it that way, so applying DS to that material is appropriate. (For me the greater debate is should that information be in the article on Airbnb, or in the article on Israeli settlement. But that's an editorial decision, not an ArbCom one.)
I think I'm comfortable with the template wording as is so we don't need to be fiddling with "page/article/section/material". If someone feels that there is significant enough content which falls under a DS topic on a particular page/article then they can place a DS template. If another person doesn't agree, the matter can be taken to AE for discussion and consensus. While the template is in place, any inappropriate edit to any part of the page would be liable for sanction - that would be to prevent, for example in this case, anyone deliberately vandalising Airbnb to reflect badly on the company in retaliation for their actions on the West Bank.
In short, I think we're fine as we are, and nothing needs to be done. Disagreements about siting of templates can be taken to AE. SilkTork (talk) 00:49, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
User:Zero0000. My understanding is that a DS notice goes on the talkpage to let people know that the article comes under DS, and if someone edits that article, and it appears they are not aware that DS applies to the article, they need to be informed on their talkpage before sanctions can be applied against them. I understand that an editnotice can also be added, but does that mean a talkpage notice cannot be placed, and a user cannot be informed? Has there been a rule change which says that we are no longer using talkpage notices, and no longer informing users? I wouldn't have thought an talkpage notice editnotice is sufficient notice alone before sanctioning someone because, lets be honest, most people don't read talkpage notices editnotices. But they do read notices left on their talkpage. SilkTork (talk) 16:06, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
User:Huldra, I see what you are saying. Though the rule regarding editnotices has been in place since January 2018: [10]. I think the intention was to ensure that users get warned by having editnotices placed on appropriate articles. But it has created a limbo loop hasn't it? The rule to place editnotices should be separate from the general rule on warning. That is, an editor who meets the general criteria for being warned, should not be able to escape sanction by wiki-lawyering that there was no editnotice in place. It looks like Rob intended or hoped that a bot would be created that allowed editnotices to be created if there was an appropriate talkpage notice in place. I think AGK is right - it would be helpful to conduct a review of the remedies. SilkTork (talk) 22:34, 29 April 2019 (UTC)
User:Huldra - Hah, yes, I was a member of Mensa in the Seventies, yet my mind glazes over when faced with some ARBPIA stuff. But, truth be told, IQ tests only test how good someone is at solving IQ tests, they don't measure the ability to handle arcane Wikipedia bureaucracy created by an ever changing committee. SilkTork (talk) 01:27, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Arbitration remedies applying to the Arab–Israeli conflict seem to have grown confusing and patchworked. Is it time to conduct a review of all remedies? I'd like to hear from editors and enforcing administrators who are active in this topic area. Among other questions for a review, we should look at whether 1RR is effective – both in general and under the current rules of notification. AGK ■ 10:20, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Airbnb is rather obviously not "reasonably construed" to be within the topic area of an international conflict, though it is "broadly construed" to be. That would mean discretionary sanctions are in force, but 1RR and the general prohibition do not apply. As for calls to review the entire topic area's sanction regime, I consider that unhelpful. There are some editors, admins even, who seem like they just simply won't understand anything we throw their way in this topic area. Further tweaking is highly unlikely to change that, because we've tweaked these sanctions about a dozen times already to try to solve such issues, and the repeated changes have never helped. If anything, they've made things more confused because we aren't just settling on one set of sanctions and sticking with it.

    What we have now is discretionary sanctions on articles "broadly construed" - meaning any article that's even tangentially related to the topic area. Additionally, we have 500/30 and 1RR on articles "reasonably construed" - meaning any article where one could not talk about the article subject at the top level without delving into the topic area. That really isn't that complicated or confused.

    The one positive clarification we could make here is to set forth a formal definition of "reasonably construed". I would suggest what I wrote above. ~ Rob13Talk 05:18, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

    • My thinking on this has changed rather sharply after the recent Huldra/Sir Joseph kerfuffle, especially the admin response at AE. It has become clear that the current sanction regime, in total, is not working. I think we need another ABRPIA case to review the entire situation. As a potential road map, I'd like to consider a removal of blanket 500/30 in favor of implementing 500/30 where disruption occurs as a discretionary sanction, with a remedy explicitly noting that the Committee would like it to be used liberally but not unreasonably. Blanket 500/30 is a relic of a bygone era when 500/30 could not be applied by technical means in case-by-case scenarios. Existing protections could be automatically converted to discretionary sanctions appealable at AE like any other sanction, so no "mass-unprotecting" during a switch. I also think we need to rethink the awareness requirements of 1RR and its applicability. In particular, we could change the DS notice to include mention of 1RR and then allow a consensus of administrators at AE to enforce 1RR in cases where a reasonable editor who had received the notice would be aware the article was covered in addition to being able to enforce it where edit notices exist. In other words, edit notices would only be truly needed to enforce the requirement on articles that are difficult to tell are reasonably construed to be within the topic area, but not on those articles that are obviously related. Plus I think a look at the long-term contributors in this area would be useful to determine where there are issues that have not been solvable by the community. ~ Rob13Talk 19:15, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
    • @Zero0000: Read carefully what I have written. I have not proposed removing 500/30. I have proposed removing blanket 500/30 of "reasonably construed" pages in favor of discretionary but liberal use of 500/30 to combat abuse across all "broadly construed" pages. I have proposed zero removals of existing protections, stating all existing protections should remain if we were to make such a switch. In fact, such a proposal may increase some protections by eliminating from our vernacular this "reasonably construed" language that is proving hard for admins to parse. The current rule is clearly causing some issues, given the protection of Airbnb, which I believe is rather plainly not intended by our sanctions, and I no longer think the benefits outweigh the harms of removing administrator discretion from the equation in this remedy. ~ Rob13Talk 08:00, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
  • PIA ARCAs make me want to hide under the blankets, and it seems I'm not the only one. Frankly I'd love to see this topic area get a rules overhaul, but I don't have the time to do it. A number of these repetitive requests on PIA issues have centered on this point about "what if it's just a small section in a larger and mostly-unrelated article" and I've generally held the view that such things should not be included in all the warning/templating/etc infrastructure. I don't see any reason this should be an exception to that general view. Opabinia regalis (talk) 08:48, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure what's more to be said here - but I've been lax at ARCA, so I thought I'd pitch in. In my opinion - the discretionary sanctions can be applied where the disruption occurs - hence the broadly construed nature of that. I would hope that the sanction would be as light as possible in areas that are more tangential to the case, be it through time limitation of the sanction or through a tailored sanction which hits as small an area as possible.
    I like the idea of re-doing ARBPIA, similar to OR, I'd want to hide under the blanket! WormTT(talk) 08:45, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Amendment request: DS Awareness and alerts

Initiated by Atsme at 19:20, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
  • Motion - The Awareness section of the discretionary sanctions procedure was modified.
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Basic DS template respective to the particular sanction, be it AP2, Pseudoscience, BLP, etc.

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request

Information about amendment request
  • Basic DS template respective to the particular sanction, be it AP2, Pseudoscience, BLP, etc.

Statement by Atsme

Topics subject to DS require that we alert users of same.

An editor is considered aware if:

  • They were mentioned by name in the applicable Final Decision; or
  • They have ever been sanctioned within the area of conflict (and at least one of such sanctions has not been successfully appealed); or
  • In the last twelve months, the editor has given and/or received an alert for the area of conflict; or
  • In the last twelve months, the editor has participated in any process about the area of conflict at arbitration requests or arbitration enforcement; or
  • In the last twelve months, the editor has successfully appealed all their own sanctions relating to the area of conflict.

Proposal to add something along the lines of the following example:

  • The editor maintains a DS Awareness Notice at the top of their user page stating they are aware of sanctions in the respective area(s) of conflict. Any editor who adds a DS Alert to a user's TP despite such notice of awareness for a specific area of conflict (custom or otherwise) will be in violation of DS and subject to AE per current Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions#Alerts 21:02, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Reasoning: some established editors have been the recipients of multiple DS alerts which may be viewed as harassment or abuse of the process. Admins have been taken to task for it from time to time. It typically occurs when a disagreement arises in a conflicted area and a DS notice suddenly appears on an editor's TP. Some editors, intentionally or otherwise, will add a DS template on the TP of an opponent without first checking to see if that editor is already aware, the latter of which is a difficult task in itself, but it can be easily remedied. While DS alerts are included on the conflicted article's TP, and typically in an edit view banner for the article itself, such notices apparently aren't enough.

  • Adding current special rules:09:53, 15 May 2019 (UTC) My bold
WP:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions § Alerts: "Editors issuing alerts are expected to ensure that no editor receives more than one alert per area of conflict per year. Any editor who issues alerts disruptively may be sanctioned. Editors may not use automated tools or bot accounts to issue alerts."
Template:Ds/alert: When you attempt to save the alert on a user talk page: "Special rules govern alerts. You must not give an editor an alert if they have already received one for the same area of conflict within the last twelve months. Please now check that this editor has not already been alerted to this area of conflict in the last twelve months: [links to logs and stuff here]".

My proposal is an effort to help limit DS alert template overuse/abuse (perceived or otherwise) by allowing editors, who are already aware of DS in specific topic areas, to include a permanent notice (customized or standardized) at the top of their user TP stating they are aware of specific areas subject to DS. In order for it to work, ArbCom needs to modify the DS Awareness section to include some form of mandatory check for said TP DS notices before an editor adds the respective DS alert template. I have a customized DS Notice at the top of my user page which I customized for aesthetics, but until ArbCom formally includes/accepts such notices as an acceptable notice of awareness and makes checking for same a mandatory procedure, the harassment issue will probably continue. It is actually an easy and efficient way for editors to make sure they are not overusing the DS alert template, or inadvertently finding themselves in a dispute over it.

  • Thryduulf - notice of sanctions for abusing the alert process are already in place - it's not something I added. The problem is knowing where to go to find the info - the notice at the top of one's TP is to help editors, not impede them. As indicated above, my wording is simply an example. I am not asking that a permanent TP notice be mandatory - it's simply an option. What I'm requesting is for ArbCom to recognize the optional TP notices as an editor's statement that they are aware of DS in the named topic areas. It's a convenience for others and saves them the trouble of having to search for prior alerts, or possibly be sanctioned for abusing the alert process. 10:29, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Rob, perhaps I've misundertsood your response but it does not address what I've proposed. I'm simply asking for ArbCom to include in their list of AWARENESS the recognition of an optional (custom or standard) Alert Notice on the top of a user TP as satisfying the alert requirement - that's all - very simple. Go to a TP of an editor who gets a lot of traffic and tell me if you can easily find if that editor has received an alert in the past 12 mos. Notices are difficult to find, especially for TP that get a lot of traffic. ArbCom made the special rule that an editor can be sanctioned for abuse of the DS alert - particularly because adding it after an editor is already aware of sanctions could be considered harassment by one's opponent - and that is why I proposed the above - to avoid potential harassment and potential sanctioning as a result. Atsme Talk 📧 11:02, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Rob, Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions#Awareness_and_alerts leads with (my bold underline) No editor may be sanctioned unless they are aware that discretionary sanctions are in force for the area of conflict. An editor is aware if: . The latter tells us an editor can be made aware by various methods, but then we're advised these only count as the formal notifications required by this procedure if the standard template message – currently Ds/alert – is placed unmodified on the talk page of the editor being alerted. Then we have: Editors issuing alerts are expected to ensure that no editor receives more than one alert per area of conflict per year. Any editor who issues alerts disruptively may be sanctioned. Jiminy Cricket. In retrospect, I probably should have asked ArbCom to simply recognize a customized DS awareness alert at the top of one's user page as formal notification, which makes things less complicated, spares editors potential sanctioning who are not aware of the TP search capability you were kind enough to bring to my attention. Apparently, quite a few editors aren't aware of that feature because in 2017, I received 3 DS alerts (2 in the same month, 1 the next month) despite my being fully aware of the DS topic area(s) via other means listed in the green box. At the time, it sure felt like harrassment. In 2019, I received yet another alert despite the notice at the top of my page and my being fully aware of DS in the topic area. I believe there are quite a few others who can relate. I just hope ArbCom will consider simply recognizing as formal notification (1) a customized DS alert awareness notice at the top of a user's TP and will (2) modify the following statement if the standard template message – currently Ds/alert – is placed unmodified on the talk page of the editor being alerted to accommodate it. Apologies for any confusion I may have caused for not being more clear in my initial statement. Atsme Talk 📧 14:21, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Rob I actually tried to avoid bringing Doug Weller into this discussion because as you can see from some of the responses here, people don't always AGF and for some reason, they become defensive over something as harmless as this request. I'm not the one who decided there has been abuse of the DS/Alert template - ArbCom made that decision, and that is probably where Bishonen can get answers - but for now, I'll just add that what triggered my request was this discussion wherein Doug very undeservedly was taken to task over the template, and I felt bad for him. I mentioned my idea to him, and that discussion is what brought me here, so all the wild guesses over why I've made this proposal can now be put to rest. I have seen admins taken to task by angry editors for no good reason, and I have seen editors harassed over the templates so I simply sought a remedy I thought might help eliminate or at least reduce the issues. I've seen it quite a few times but my purpose here is not to get anyone in trouble, including myself, because chances are, my detractors will somehow spin things around to make it all my fault, and that's what I consider a sad state of affairs. Atsme Talk 📧 12:44, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Mandruss, had I known you would have been offended by this, I would have approached it much differently. It was not my intention to purposely offend or hurt anyone's feelings - I was in defense mode - and I certainly hope you can understand why I was feeling piled-on after what I had just been through in January. Over time, such things tend to make an editor defensive, and that is what I'm trying to avoid happening to others by proposing something as simple as a custom DS alert notice that ArbCom will acknowledge. No harm - no foul. When other editors know the targeted editor is aware, why add that ugly template to their TP? Mandruss, you obviously have an advanced understanding of the technical intricacies of filters and how to find things some of us spend hours trying to find or never find. I'll be first to admit that I've had no professional/academic training in code much less CSS. Everything I know was self-taught and my introduction began back in the day when all we had was C> which later became C:\>. When Steven Jobs brought us the first Mac, I was elated!! Long story short - I hope some day you will stop seeing me as someone who is trying to complicate things when my goal is quite the opposite. My perspective branches out to newbies, to busy editors who simply aren't aware of all the perks and shortcuts, and/or to those of us who have trouble remembering all the acronyms, code and shortcuts. WP deals with all age groups and all levels of computer knowledge, and I believe it's worth the time to explore the full potential of our volunteers, and help them find a niche where they'll be happiest and can do the most good for the project. And Mandruss, you are welcome to comment on my TP anytime - I apologize for my lack of patience that day and for deleting your comment, and I hope you understand why I acted in that manner. I will try to do better. 🕊 Atsme Talk 📧 00:01, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss - I disagree with most of what you've said, including your comments to GRuban, me, and overall in your statement. <---constructive criticism. I see it more as squelching a much simpler process in support of a more complicated one. I don't see how my proposal makes things more complicated. Yes, it adds a tiny bit of work for ArbCom to make a few minor adjustments to their already complicated requirements - so sit on a whoopee cushion and we'll all have a good laugh. All one has to do is read and try to understand what ArbCom intended and why they chose the route they did - but first, install a fan, blow away all the smoke, and then tell me what you see. I'm of the mind that you'll find editors making excuses that they weren't aware the article was under DS in an attempt to get out of a t-ban or block which is what led to the "remedy" we have in place now - basically ignorance of the law - it has worked in some instances, and probably should have, so now what we have created is growing bureaucracy that requires alerts every year, leaving the ambiguity over what is or isn't harassment in place which further leaves opposing POVs vulnerable and subject to biases - and that is what you consider a simplified process? If so, I don't agree, which is why I made this request to simply things. If this discussion closes with nothing more than editors thinking about the things I've pointed out, I see it as progress; albeit at a slow crawl. Atsme Talk 📧 20:41, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Sir Joseph - thank you for making that connection about the bot/auto notices. I think it serves indirectly to support this request and allowing custom DS Alert awareness notices at the top of a user page. Maybe it will help lighten things up on the requirements necessary for establishing a user's awareness. Most new editors are simply not going to be aware of DS issues when they first show-up at an article - how could they be? Eventually, they learn but that's also when these other irritiating issues begin to rear their ugly little heads - including DS Alerts. It's easy for veteran editors to say how easy it is to look for prior notices using scripts, search options, etc. because they are familiar with the community and the processes - but we also have to take into consideration the thousands of editors, both old and new, who are not aware of all the options available, much less code or the many acronyms. So what is wrong with simplifying the process so that it doesn't require a wikilawyer, a great deal of effort or experience - just add a DS alert awareness notice at the top of your TP, and be done with it - you reduce all the guessing and leg work? KISS 💋 Atsme Talk 📧 20:15, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • SilkTork - please briefly explain what part of this proposal you find annoying? Are you referring to the simple addition of text to ArbCom's alert requirement and/or what is considered a formal notice? Atsme Talk 📧 17:29, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
SilkTork Clarifying the following response is with reference to the proposed custom/standard TP notice at the top of user TP. Atsme Talk 📧 16:47, 18 May 2019 (UTC) No, that is not the purpose or intent. There is obviously a misunderstanding. The notice is simply acknowledgement that the user is AWARE of DS in a given topic area. Its purpose is to save editors the trouble of searching for the bureaucratic "formal DS alert" or worse, saves them from adding a 2nd or possibly 3rd DS alert on that user's TP. With the notice at the top of a user page, editors can quickly see if the user is aware and move on or go through the extra efforts required to post ArbCom's DS alert. It is ArbCom bureaucracy that forces the extra work and complicates things by insisting there is only one formal notice that is acceptable, so we have to jump through hoops in lieu of having a simple acknowledgement at the top of our TP. It actually eliminates the annoyance you believe it creates. Atsme Talk 📧 18:22, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Objective3000 - it appears you may be conflating the current abuse of DS alerts as something I've proposed when it is already part of the DS alert process by ArbCom. I support its removal. The current process is confusing and highly bureaucratic. I support ArbCom removing the misuse sanction currently in place. The crux of my proposal is quite simply for ArbCom to formally recognize a declaration of awareness at the top of a UTP as meeting the requirements for editor awareness of DS sanctions for the following reasons:
    1. It's a simple DS alert notice at the top of one's UTP declaring awareness of DS in named topic areas - it remains as part of one's UTP and can be customized for aesthetics;
    2. When you go to a UTP, the first place you land is at the top of the page so it's hard to miss the alert;
    3. You don't have to hunt for anything as we do now because it lists all topic areas a user is aware;
    4. It saves editors time researching, and potential sanctioning for abuse of the DS alert process;
    5. It is optional, but will serve no purpose unless ArbCom formally recognizes it as a declaration of an editor's awareness.
  • Some of the comments below support it as an option while some suggest either (a) maintaining status quo, or (b) removing the abuse sanction from ArbCom's current policy, or (c) automating the process using a bot. My proposal simply streamlines the entire process, so if more users will opt in, the easier and less complicated it will be. Atsme Talk 📧 14:22, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Goldenshimmer, this proposal does not stop editors from getting a DS Alert unless they acknowledge at the top of their UTP that they are aware of DS in specific topic areas. If they don't use such a DS alert notice, then the normal procedure applies. Perhaps it would help if you re-read the proposal or maybe ask questions if you're not quite certain what is being proposed here. I will gladly oblige, preferrably on my TP so as not to break anything here. 😊 Atsme Talk 📧 00:07, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

It's actually quite simple - see Galobtter's statement below. In summary, I have an aesthetic "I am DS aware" notice at the top of my TP. Either JFG, Awilley or Galobtter (or all 3) have volunteered to write an ?embedded? or ?hidden? code we can simply add to our TP that triggers an already aware notice whenever someone attempts to add another DS notice - see Galobtter's example. I'm thinking most editors will see the custom DS-aware notice at the top of a user's TP and won't bother trying to post another one. But...if they don't see it, and attempt to post another DS notice, doing so will auto trigger an "already aware notice" and prevent it from being added. It's a wonderful thing - no aggravation - no extra work - everybody's happy. My apologies for not explaining it that simply from the get-go. Atsme Talk 📧 02:30, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by BullRangifer

  • Atsme is correct that tracking down whether an editor has received a DS notice can be difficult and a waste of time. It would really help the process, and be a help to editors who have received DS alerts and DS sanctions (as well as other editors), if DS alerts AND sanctions were logged so they could be seen in the same way and place as when one looks at an editor's block log. Please make this happen. Otherwise, I have no current opinion on Atsme's request, although I reserve the right to return.   -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:57, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I think this boils down to the need for everyone to grow thicker skin and just AGF. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:27, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf

I like the idea of an opt-in "I'm aware of discretionary sanctions in <topic-area-1>, <topic-area-2>" notice, and I'm fine with discouraging editors from adding another notice for any of the listed areas. However I think the proposal to make leaving another notice a sanctionable offence is going too far - e.g. alerting to major changes should be allowed (the recent merging of the Balkans sanctions into the Eastern European sanctions comes to mind as a major change that users professing awareness of one or the other should still be able to be formally made aware of). If someone is being disruptive or harassing another editor by use of the notices then that can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis without most editors being dragged to AE for mistakes. Thryduulf (talk) 18:27, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Many of the arguments against this - the added complexity of needing to check the talk page and the filter history - could be avoided if placing a notice about your own awareness triggered the edit filter in the same way that someone else leaving a DS notice did. This would presumably require the notice to be in a standard format, but to be effective it would anyway. It would require updating each year, but one edit a year is not a burden and you can set yourself a reminder using whatever method you normally use to give yourself reminders about tasks that need doing. Thryduulf (talk) 07:48, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Floq

Isn't the solution to getting a redundant DS notice to just remove it with the edit summary "Thanks, I already knew that"? The DS process is already complicated, why make it more complicated? --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:36, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Mandruss

I'll strongly oppose this, FWIW. It would be an added complication to something that is already unnecessarily complicated, without sufficient benefit to justify that added complication. I'd love to see some proposals to simplify.

BTW, editors who don't like receiving routine non-critical DS alerts can issue them to themselves, which creates the normal page history entries. I pointed this out to Atsme before she opened this item. It takes a minute or two per year, not an unreasonable burden in my opinion. ―Mandruss  20:42, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Atsme's argument appears to rest on the false premise that it's too difficult to check the UTP history. Notices are difficult to find, especially for TP that get a lot of traffic. That is simply not true, and it's clear that Atsme wasn't aware of the easy way to do this when she opened this item. If Atsme's experience with duplicate alerts was due to good-faith lack of editor awareness (1) she is just as capable of pointing editors to the instructions as anyone else, and (2) doesn't her proposal presume and require editor awareness? If it was harassment (certainly possible, although Atsme has shown a marked tendency to perceive harassment where it doesn't exist[11]), the solution is sanctions, not an added complication to the system that wouldn't prevent harassment anyway. ―Mandruss  20:11, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

@GRuban: surely there should be some way to ask that specific boilerplate notices not come to our talk pages? And surely there is one, as explained in my first comment above. Are you really supporting this added complication to the rules to save a few editors that one or two minutes per year? Are you saying editors shouldn't be subjected to boilerplate notices from themselves? Is it just me, or does this approach the comical? Seriously, molehill→mountain. ―Mandruss  22:02, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

@GRuban, you're certainly not the first to fail to weigh the upside of a proposal against its downside with equal clarity and focus on both. That complexity is an ongoing cost is a fact that is very widely supported by experts—virtually indisputable—and yet almost completely ignored in countless decisions like this one throughout Wikipedia's history. That's why we have an editing environment that is maddeningly complex, and unnecessarily so. I will continue to fight that from time to time, as my time and motivation level permit. ―Mandruss  00:13, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

@Atsme: I completely understand your reasoning, and in my view you're missing the following. You propose to make things easier on editors in one way, without showing how many editors need things made easier in that way. At the same time, your proposal would make things harder on editors in a different way, a way that would affect every editor without question (that is, every editor who uses DS alerts). Currently, editors must check the page history. If your proposal were implemented, editors would have to check the top of the UTP, and then check the page history if they don't see the message. That's clearly a little more difficult; worse in my view, it's incrementally more complicated, i.e. more difficult to understand and remember. It's just a small increase in complexity, but the monumental mess we call Wikipedia editing is the sum of thousands of small increases in complexity just like this one.

Thus your argument hinges on widespread use of your proposed message—the more widespread, the better—and you ask us to take that widespread use on faith. I wouldn't use it.

had I known you would have been offended by this, I would have approached it much differently. - Helpful hint for future reference: Editors will somewhat predictably be offended when you call their constructive criticism "harassment", which is a sanctionable offense. ―Mandruss  01:40, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

@MONGO - This discussion is not about me or my comment on Atsme's UTP, and it's ridiculous to respond to a brief parenthetical aside with a 300-word off-topic essay. I seriously considered ignoring your comments entirely, but I assume most present will appreciate my not following you down that bottomless rabbit hole. ―Mandruss  22:37, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

@Premeditated Chaos: I really don't see the drawback of letting someone essentially opt in to knowing about DS. Let them spend one to two minutes per year showing that they know about DS, with no change required to the existing system. Or, let them stop being annoyed so easily, neither alternative too much to ask of a grown-ass man or woman. Homo sapiens is the most adaptable species on the planet, and it's a fool's errand to continually complicate the system to save a few vocal editors from having to make a small adjustment for the greater good. That only invites more of the same—literally without end. ―Mandruss  01:48, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

@Premeditated Chaos: - I really don't see it as a complication - It unquestionably adds a degree of complexity, slightly lengthening the learning curve for every editor introduced to DS alerts, for as long as DS alerts exist, as explained above. It will add to existing documentation and probably add one or more new software elements like templates. The return on that investment: (1) Some undetermined number of editors, only a handful that we actually know of, are saved the one or two minutes a year required to issue DS alerts to themselves, and (2) some undetermined fraction of editors who issue DS alerts—that fraction depending on how widely the new notice is used, a total unknown—are saved the small effort of checking the UTP history using the filter (note that there is no requirement for any single editor to issue DS alerts, and every editor is free to leave that to others if they find that checking too difficult). I'm sorry if folks can't see that that's a bad trade-off, and I guess I've outlived any usefulness I've had in this discussion. Good luck. ―Mandruss  00:07, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

@SilkTork - We are here to serve the project, not have the project serve us. - Exactly. Thank you! Somebody please enlarge that, frame it, and hang it on the wall. ―Mandruss  20:09, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by GRuban

Support basically per Thryduulf. We're allegedly not a bureaucracy, we don't have rules for the sake of having rules, Atsme maintains a prominent notice on her talk page that she is aware of these sanctions, and finds getting them annoying. Surely there should be some way to opt-out. Just saying "well she shouldn't find them annoying" as some here seem to be saying does not answer that. We're allowed to ask specific people not to come to our talk pages, surely there should be some way to ask that specific boilerplate notices not come to our talk pages? --GRuban (talk) 21:48, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

@Mandruss: Atsme wants to be able to put up a straightforward "no soliciting" sign once, and leave it up, rather than have to post messages on her own talk page at regular intervals. Even if that weren't a rather non-obvious way to go about things (I have to notify myself? Repeatedly?) there is a difference between being able to opt out once, and many times. Though as Thryduulf writes, I admit asking for sanctions for well intentioned missing of the notice seem to be a bit far; if someone is intentionally using whatever for harassment, we don't need to itemize all the possible ways. --GRuban (talk) 23:55, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Objective3000

Just 2.1 weeks back, ATSME complained about a DS warning on her page attacking two editors for actionable harassment, one correctly following procedure and one (me) defending the editor after the attack.[12]. There was no DS alert in the previous 12 months. Somehow the editor leaving the alert was supposed to know there was a recent appeal by ATSME. I then received an odd (but polite) notice on my TP that I was incorrect in defending the editor for following procedure. [13]

I leave a fair number of DS alerts. I search history (which can be very long) and the 602 log. Am I now supposed to also search the editor TP to see if they demand that I don’t leave a DS alert? (ATSME’s TP is now 35,377 bytes.) Further, if a DS alert isn't left annually, how is the next person to know not to leave another without an entry in the log?

A rare extra DS alert, which are now politely stated, is nothing compared to the SPAM I receive every day (hour). Just say thanks or remove it. The notice at the top of ATSME’s page telling editors not to post DS alerts is inappropriate. O3000 (talk) 00:25, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Comment – It’s much easier to search the 602 log (one click from the warning when you post an alert) than the UTP, and the log should always work if a previous alert was properly issued. And if it wasn’t properly issued, another should probably be issued anywho. I’d suggest removing the requirement to search the UTP history before posting an alert. O3000 (talk) 10:38, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
@MONGO: Please AGF. Most of the alerts I post are for newcomers to the ugly areas when it looks as though they are likely to violate, as a prophylactic. The alerts exist for a reason; and that reason is not to set some sort of trap.[14] O3000 (talk) 20:07, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
The problem I have with adding a DS aware notice on a UTP is instruction creep. There are users that don’t want other things posted on their UTPs, like humor, images, birthday notices. It’s fine to have options to control some bots. But, let’s not end up with a set of custom rules by UTP that an editor must read before posting. O3000 (talk) 10:32, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Atsme, I am not conflating anything. I’m OK with the current process. O3000 (talk) 14:33, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Drmies

I am not sure what we are doing here. NO ONE needs more bureaucracy in this area. A DS template is just that--a notification. If someone wants to see that as a slap on the wrist, I suppose that's up to them, but we shouldn't discourage notifying editors who might get in trouble. If I have to search by way of filters or what not before I can drop a DS template (usually, in my case, I think they're BLP templates), that's just yet another little hoop. I am sorry if Atsme got hurt in January (?), or if a DS template is triggering, but all this is already complicated enough.

And wile we are on the topic, I am having a hard time figuring this out because I'm also hearing that someone got upset at an edit summary last week, and that people were elated when Bill Gates delivered a computer to their place of work, or something like that. Which reminds me that Atsme's topic ban (former topic ban?) was issued in part because of that kind of chatter on talk pages, was it not? Drmies (talk) 03:04, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Comment to BU Rob13 by Bishonen

@BU Rob13: I don't know about the "fact" that admins have been taken to task for leaving a DS notice, since you're worried about that. It's only a fact that Atsme has stated that "Admins have been taken to task for it from time to time". Please supply diffs, Atsme. "Taken to task" sounds like something imposed from above, i. e. taken to task by arbcom. Really? Bishonen | talk 09:55, 16 May 2019 (UTC).

Comment from SN

I don't think this has been mentioned yet (?), but using User:Bellezzasolo/Scripts/arblink—to place DS alerts searches for a previous alert within the first year automatically, so you don't have to do it yourself (the script is able to automate the procedure for checking that a user has previously been notified of sanctions. ——SerialNumber54129 12:05, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by WBG

Seems like a solution in search of a problem. I, for one, check the EF hits (that can be easily accessed from the banner that automatically pops up, once you try to save the page for the first time with the template) to detect whether the user has been served with the same DS notice in the last year and accordingly proceed with issuing the notice. Also, in case of redundant issuings of notices, we need to assume good faith. WBGconverse 14:43, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph

1. @Serial Number 54129: IIRC, ARBCOM recently ruled that you can't use that anymore, but I can be mistaken.

2. I'm not exactly sure what the issue is. As it's written now, if you give yourself an alert every twelve months, you are covered by this: *In the last twelve months, the editor has given and/or received an alert for the area of conflict; or and when someone tries to give you a DS notice, the edit filter will catch it. All you have to do is just renew that every twelve months on your own talk page. I don't think we should add another rule or layer of bureaucracy. If you want to add something to the top of your talk page, then do so,and add a notify alert to yourself to renew the alert within twelve months so you can renew the alert. Sir Joseph (talk) 18:52, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Masem

I generally agree that having to deal with repeated notices can be a pain, but also just wanted to add that we have many bots that frequently drop user-talk messages and which recognize opt-out messages linked on the user's talk page. We treat those opt-outs that the user is well aware that any result from not recieving new notices is wholly their responsibility (eg image deletion).

If we were to have "DS message bot", in which DSes can only be placed by the bot by a request of an admin, that bot can check for such opt-outs. But how often does this situation come up? I'm just brainstomring here in case the community goes in that direction. --Masem (t) 19:50, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by MONGO

I wonder how many people who have issued DS "reminders" can honestly state that each and every time they have done this was just to provide a "friendly reminder". As part of AE enforcements one of the first steps to get a sanction placed against a editing foe is to make sure they first get a DS "friendly reminder".--MONGO (talk) 19:53, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Mandruss above alludes that his comment at Atsme talkpage was "constructive criticism" and I assume he meant this criticism (and almost immediately removed here) that I personally would label as harassment and bullying, particularly in the specific timeframe Mandruss posted it. I personally do not find the following passage to be "constructive criticism: "I forget whether I'm welcome here or not. After this comment, probably not, as there is a high correlation between support and welcome on this page. According to the page history, the previous AP2 DS alert expired in July 2018.[15] There is no requirement to be aware of, let alone observe, a notice at the top of the UTP. That notice is not a substitute for the page history entries that editors are instructed to check before issuing an alert. I issued my currently-active AP2 DS alert to myself, just to save others the trouble.[16] If you don't like receiving them from others, Atsme, you might consider doing the same in the future." I mean, if one isn't clear if they are even welcome at a talkpage, why badger that person at all? Yes, as Mandruss admits himself the last DS warning in that topic area was indeed less than a year ago and for petes sake, Atsme was sanctioned since then so I mean, it's obvious they are aware of the DS on that topic you think? The last sentence Mandruss offers makes a little sense, maybe, but why the hell are we going to place DS tags on our own pages just to avoid someone else doing it for us? For the record, my placement of a DS "friendly reminder" on my own talkpage was directly due to demonstrating the folly of such a notion.--MONGO (talk) 20:39, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Mr Ernie

The whole process of alerted editors to DS is overly bureaucratic for the sake of bureaucracy, especially because there's more ways than just the talk page notice to show editors are aware. Take this one, for example - "In the last twelve months, the editor has participated in any process about the area of conflict at arbitration requests or arbitration enforcement." Now back in February 2019, both myself and Objective3000 commented in an AE case in the AmPol topic area. But you may notice on my talk page that O3000 gave me the annual refresher 2 months later in April 2019. I'm technically also permanently aware, as I've been sanctioned (but since successfully appealed) in that topic area before. Is it reasonable to expect editors to check AE comment histories or logs to confirm that editors are aware? I don't think so, but it did annoy me somewhat to be given another notice, especially since I'd have a very similar discussion (see here) still visible on my talk page. I'm not sure what to do about it, if Arbcom insists that all the awareness criteria should remain. These talk page notices should really only be given to new or inexperienced editors. Everyone else is surely aware that misbehavior (real or perceived) gets you in trouble. Mr Ernie (talk) 09:35, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Awilley

A suggestion for something that (I think) would be pretty straightforward to implement.

We currently have Special:AbuseFilter/602 that detects if somebody is trying to add {{DS/Alert}} to a page and gives them the following warning:

It shouldn't be too difficult to modify that edit filter to also detect a self-awareness template or category on the same user talk page.

Steps needed to make this happen
  1. Somebody create {{DS/Aware}} that editors can put at the top of their talk page to indicate that they are aware of sanctions. The syntax should include a field for the topic area, and maybe an option to hide the template. Example: {{DS/Aware|topic=AP|hidden=yes}} The template could also place hidden categories on the talk page like Category:Aware of AP sanctions.
  2. Modify Special:AbuseFilter/602 MediaWiki:Abusefilter-warning-DS to detect if the awareness template appears on the page, and if it does display a message that the user is already aware of the sanctions. have the edit filter prevent the addition of {{DS/Alert}}. Also have the edit filter create log entries for when users add or remove {{DS/Aware}} from their talk pages.
  3. Arbcom adds "* The editor has placed a {{DS/Aware}} template for the area of conflict on their own talk page, or has removed the template within the last 12 months" to the list of items under "An editor is considered aware if:"
  4. Forget the garbage proposal about punishing editors who leave DS Alerts for editors who are self-aware (moot anyway if the edit filter blocks the edit).

I imagine this would take a couple of hours for somebody with the technical know-how, and I wouldn't be surprised to see lots of people opt in. The current system of manual annual alerts for each topic area is annoying.

~Awilley (talk) 15:21, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Pinging Arbs who have already commented: @BU Rob13: @Opabinia regalis: @SilkTork: @Mkdw:
I suspect you haven't yet taken the time to have not yet read deep enough into the "Statements" to see my alternate proposal above. I don't blame have a lot of reading to do, and I commented after some of you had already written your statements.
Reading what you have written I would summarize your current position as "Yeah, DS Alerts are mildly annoying, but the proposed solution makes things as annoying or more annoying by adding more hassle for people doing the perfectly acceptable work of placing alert templates. I'm open to other solutions that are less annoying and that don't create more work." I believe my proposal is just that. It's less annoying for the people who don't like getting templated every year (they no longer receive templates) and it's less annoying for the people placing the templates (they no longer have to search through the edit filter logs to try and determine whether the user is aware, since the automatic warning template would now explicitly say "This user is aware of the sanctions for the following topic areas: foo bar baz")
User:Galobtter has been kind enough to demonstrate that this will indeed work. You can check yourself: Navigate to User:Galobtter/sandbox3, edit the page, add the words "Testing of Ds/aware abusefilter", then hit "save".
In conclusion, the only thing you (Arbs) need to do is #3. Others (see also JFG below) are already willing to do the rest of the work required to implement this. ~Awilley (talk) 16:02, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
@AGK: Re: "complicating the issuance of DS alerts in any way would be the step backwards." I agree. I think my proposal is a step in the direction of simplifying things. See the following table
Procedure for leaving an alert template on a user's talk page
Current system Proposed modification
Regular user protected by ACDS#aware.aware 1. Place the template on user talk page and hit Save
2. Use the link from the Warning template to sort through previous alerts and verify that the user hasn't been alerted about this particular topic area in the last 12 months
3. (optional) Perform a search of the archives at WP:AE to see if the user has participated in cases related to the topic area in the last 12 months
4. (rarely done) Make sure the user wasn't a participant in the original arbitration case
5. Try to recall if the user is under any active discretionary sanctions for the topic area
6. Hit "Save" again to actually place the template
7. Be prepared to respond to the user's questions about why you templated them
No change in complexity from current system
User who has opted out of ACDS#aware.aware by placing {{DS/Aware}} on their talkpage 1. Place the template on user talk page and hit Save
2. The Warning template pops up and says that the user is already aware
3. Go back to editing
In summary, it doesn't make things any more complicated for templating users who have not opted out, and it makes things much more simple for users who have. ~Awilley (talk) 17:16, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by QEDK

The current system is just fine, instead of making a DS notice to be a big deal, we just need to destigmatize the notice. I oppose any proposal of pressing a button to inform an editor, it should be compulsory for an editor to do their due diligence. If it's absolutely necessary, we might as well shift the responsibility to bots, to inform editors whose edits meet a certain condition (bytes/number of edits) and log DS notices and get it off our hands entirely, instead of a half-hearted attempt to automate part of the process, then this finger-pointing with notices can finally stop. --qedk (t c) 15:42, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JFG

As a "regular" in the AP2 DS domain, I have had my fair share of giving and receiving DS alerts. In several instances when I received one, I got the uneasy feeling that "somebody wants to stir drama now". Sometimes I ask for clarification from the alert dispenser, to check whether any recent editing of mine prompted their action. I consider myself as having a pretty thick skin, and yet I sometimes feel attacked, so I understand that Atsme or other editors may feel threatened by such alerts, especially when it's obvious that they are editing regularly in a DS area, and they would be aware of the process. The feeling may be even stronger after an editor recently went through an AE case, irrespective of the outcome. I have unfortunately seen alerts being handed out as an intimidation tactic, despite the best efforts of alert drafters in making them less threatening now than they originally sounded. In the spirit of WP:DTR, I think that editors should be able to opt out of receiving such alerts, being understood that they cannot then defend themselves in an AE case by claiming ignorance.

As a practical step, I fully support Awilley's proposal of a standard {{DS/Aware}} message that could be placed on one's user talk page, and would be checked by relevant bots and edit filters. People trying to place an alert would be themselves notified that "this user already knows about DS in this area", thus saving both editors some time and mental effort. Should the Committee support this change, I would volunteer to help craft and test the appropriate technicalities.

Finally, I join other commenters in rejecting any automatic boomerang effect on editors who place DS notices despite an "I'm aware" message. Such behaviour, if deemed objectionable, would be assessed in the normal course of an AE proceeding. — JFG talk 06:13, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Good suggestion by below. @Awilley and Galobtter: Would that work well? Contrary to Fæ, I'd still support making the {{DS/Aware}} template visible. Telling people "I'm already aware" is a simplifying step. — JFG talk 07:21, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Agree with some other posters: we don't need a long protracted discussion here. Can Arbcom just decide in principle whether users can opt out of DS alerts in topic areas of their choosing? Then these users cannot mount an "I wasn't aware" defense at AE. There is demonstrated demand for this simplification, and it is likely to reduce drama whenever alerts are perceived as threats (irrespective of whether such perceptions are justified). The community will sort out the technicalities. — JFG talk 06:30, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Goldenshimmer

Just dropping in to say... I've studiously avoided learning about the various topic-area editing restrictions so far. So, I would appreciate getting a notice on my talk telling me I need to start thinking about them so I can adjust my behavior accordingly, if anyone thinks I do (rather than getting whacked with a sanction without warning). (I mostly do smallish, infrequent edits, and I guess no one's felt they needed to give me a notice so far.) So, please don't replace it with "you're expected to read the talk page before any edit to see if there's a sanction notice" or similar pitfalls for the unwary. All that said, a way for people to opt out if they don't want the messages doesn't sound like a bad idea. Thanks! (I hope I commented here correctly, and am supposed to; feel free to move/delete this if you want.) —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/their)|😹|✝️|John 15:12|☮️|🍂|T/C 18:19, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Oh, and harassment is totally unacceptable, of course, whatever medium is used for it, although hopefully this doesn't need mentioning... —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/their)|😹|✝️|John 15:12|☮️|🍂|T/C 18:23, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
To clarify the purpose of the above: My comment was mostly intended as something for future authors/implementers of alternate proposals to bear in mind, such as in the actioning of the suggestion to "open up a community call for ideas" (—Mkdw, WP:ARCA#DS_Awareness_and_alerts:_Arbitrator_views_and_discussion); as well as just to share my appreciation for the positive aspects of the current system, which didn't seem to have been voiced elsewhere. I was aware that this proposal as written would be dependent on a talk page header, and have no issue with it; I wasn't trying to argue against what was being proposed. Sorry this wasn't clearer! —{{u|Goldenshimmer}} (they/their)|😹|✝️|John 15:12|☮️|🍂|T/C 00:50, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Newyorkbrad

I don't have a strong opinion about this specific proposal, but I do about the bigger picture. ArbCom introduced discretionary sanctions in 2007 as a way of dealing with ongoing problems in our most contentious articles and topic-areas. Because the editing rules for pages covered by DS may be very different from the usual rules, and violations may be sanctioned more quickly or more severely, since the inception of DS there has been a requirement that editors be warned that the rules exist before they can be sanctioned under them. This is matter of basic fairness, to ensure that editors are not sanctioned for breaking a rule that they didn't know existed, and would have complied with had they known.

From this common-sense origin of the "warn before sanctioning" requirement, over the past 12 years there has developed an increasingly complicated and arcane set of procedural rules for DS warnings and notifications. This accompanies the increasing complexity of the actual discretionary sanctions themselves in the various topic-areas (including but not limited to the uniquely complicated rules for the Israel-Palestine and American politics areas). Each incremental step along this path has been well-intentioned, but the cumulative effect is that we may have created a morass of complexity that is increasingly difficult to understand. I myself don't understand all the rules at this point; and if I don't, given that I've spent more of my wikilife on the arbitration pages than any other editor, I'm not sure what chance anyone else has.

I don't have any specific changes to propose, and my intention is to finish stepping away from the arbitration pages (a process which this posting suggests I'm not all that good at), but in the interim I would urge caution before taking any step that might make matters even more complicated than they already are. Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:52, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Fæ

Rather than a big visible notice that would itself be annoying for users who find DS alerts annoying, it would be entirely possible to use an invisible process to achieve the same result.

The current system relies on edit filter 602 picking up an attempted edit matching the alert template text. Technically there is nothing to stop extending that filter to pick up on matches to an otherwise invisible template being added to the users talk page by themselves. This can then create a log entry showing that the user has elected to log that they are aware of DS applying to any topic(s) they are interested in.

Under current procedures for DS alerts, this then avoids any further notices for the next 12 months for that topic.

-- (talk) 08:28, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

@Od Mishehu: makes sensible remarks with respect to implementation, however I believe it wise for Arbcom to make a decision on the principle alone, without resolving specifics about what is technically reasonable, best or possible. For example, rather than discussing a clarification about notice templates and the edit filter, the clarification here should be focused on whether a user should be able to flag themselves as being aware of DS on given topics, and then be considered opted out of alerts. However that is then technically implemented is downstream, whether by self-added templates, self alerting, a request page/list or something else, and does not need to be resolved here through Arbcom motions, as usability and practicality is better done via community consensus. -- (talk) 11:14, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Galobtter

@ and JFG: Users can already alert themselves with {{Ds/alert}}, and Mandruss has suggested doing that above. The presumable benefit to a change here is having a notice that works permanently, i.e without notifications every 12 months for multiple topic areas. Galobtter (pingó mió) 07:50, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Od Mishehu

Since a number of users are suggesting that we use the edit filter to disallow DS warnings under certain conditions, I think I should clarify on some technical issues:

  1. The filter can only check the wikitext of the one page, not the UP of the UTP's owner, not an edit notice, not a transcluded "header" page.
  2. The filter can only access the current version of the page.
  3. As far as I know, there is no way to get the flag from the current DS warning and use this flag to check other text on the page. It is possible to explicitly write a test for each existing DS, but maintaining this would require new manual work on the filter each time a new DS is imposed.
  4. If a user is aware of multiple DS topics, he should be able to handle this with multiple parameters to a single template instance. The edit filter could be given an appropriate regular expression for each DS, but maintaining the filter would become extremely difficult.

Statement by (username)

DS Awareness and alerts: Clerk notes

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

DS Awareness and alerts: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • One already can see if someone has received a recent DS alert by searching edits on the user talk page for the "discretionary sanctions alert" tag, so the technical recommendation to somehow add a log is not needed. (Tags would be the only way of doing this sort of thing, given the realities of the MediaWiki software.) I'm not super hot on this idea because I worry that it will only encourage the view that leaving a DS notice is a negative thing. It is not. If you've been contributing positively in a contentious area and I noticed you haven't gotten a DS notice, I would still leave one, since it would be helpful for positive editors to be aware of the sanctions so they can go to AE and seek sanctions against others if needed. The fact that admins have been "taken to task" for leaving a DS notice for an editor is the real problem here, in my opinion, not the leaving of the notices. ~ Rob13Talk 20:32, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
    • @Atsme: "View history" --> "Filter revisions" --> type in "discretionary sanctions alert" to the tag filter. You get this. This is the same filter you're linked to by an edit-filter-generated warning when you try to place a discretionary sanction alert, so it isn't hard to find. I don't see any danger of editors not being able to find if someone has been made aware in the last year. Your proposal originally sounded like it was more targeted at getting rid of the awareness requirement for editors who don't want to receive DS notices every year on certain topics. That is why I responded basically saying I think that attitude – that DS notices should be avoided, and editors who give them out to good-faith contributors reprimanded – is the real problem. Is that not what you were saying? ~ Rob13Talk 12:23, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
      • @Bishonen: I don't have diffs or remember details, but I've personally seen this a couple times where people get upset about getting a DS notice and then the community makes comments about how the person who gave it did so in a POINTy fashion or should be trouted. Nothing serious, "taken to task" is maybe a bit strong, but I do get the gist of what Atsme is saying based on past experiences. I can't for the life of me remember the editors involved, so I have no way to really find diffs of it myself, unfortunately. Perhaps Atsme has a better memory or more recent example. ~ Rob13Talk 11:52, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • What Floq said. Yes, the DS notices are mildly annoying. So are long coffee shop lines, red lights, late trains, weeds in the garden, cats who always choose to play with the only toy that makes any noise (gee, thanks, sis, what a nice gift that was...), meetings that could have been emails, slow internet connections, balky printers.... normal life just unavoidably involves some mildly annoying things. "Normal life" in an online community is going to involve a little bit of annoying social friction. Remove the notice, give the cat a quieter toy, and don't waste any more mental energy on it. I'm getting my sister's cat a toy that makes noise and has flashy lights. Note: this strategy not recommended for DS notices.. Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
    • This is one of those things where I'm tempted to overgeneralize - it wouldn't annoy me, so why should it annoy someone else? On the other hand, I got Awilley's ping and the phrase "you haven't yet taken the time..." gave me an instinctive "harrumph!" reaction for no particular reason except maybe that someone annoying I used to know liked to say "please take the time to [do annoying thing]" - so fine, annoyance can be irrational and subjective :) I have no objection to a technical solution if someone wants to, ahem, take the time to do that. Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:49, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Thanks Awilley - I didn't mean you should have to edit! You were right, I hadn't read it :) Opabinia regalis (talk) 06:13, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
  • If something is annoying, and there is a reasonably easy way to stop the annoyance then I'm in favour of stopping the annoyance. To take OR's point about the everyday annoyances - yes, give the cat a quieter toy, introduce fast growing ground cover to prevent weeds appearing, brew coffee at home and take it in a flask or insulated drinking cup - you'll save time and money (and have a much wider choice of coffee beans). As for this particular solution - well, it seems to involve someone else doing something that could be equally as or maybe even more annoying. So I take the point that being DS spammed is annoying, but the proposed solution appears to be equally annoying. If there is a workable solution, such as a bot that automatically removes DS notices from pages which have a no-DS notices template, then I would support that. SilkTork (talk) 00:44, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Atsme - having to read the notices at the top of someone's talkpage to see if they object to having a DS notice could be annoying. SilkTork (talk) 18:01, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
If User:Awilley's proposal could be worked such that it required no further bureaucracy (ie, no changing of existing ArbCom wording or procedures) then I would have no objection to see it further discussed. My personal preference in this is that users in good standing who are clearly experienced and have made positive contributions to an article under DS, shouldn't get templated. But if that is the price to pay to keep contentious articles stable, then so be it. We are here to serve the project, not have the project serve us. SilkTork (talk) 18:55, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • For the purposes of this ARCA, I am totally open to a less annoying solution. It does not seem like we have a consensus on what that might be, so perhaps the next best step would be to close this ARCA and open up a community call for ideas. Should one or a few idea emerge with a lot of support, then it could be brought back here for a review and implementation discussion. Any editor who uses DS notices to harass another editor could be sanctioned already under our harassment policies. I do not see us needing to codify that further into the DS policy. Mkdw talk 16:21, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
  • As a community, we're prone to making changes that narrowly make sense but broadly are a step backwards. I get the thinking: why not let one opt out of the protections at WP:ACDS#aware.aware? Nevertheless, complicating the issuance of DS alerts in any way would be the step backwards. We should think of DS alerts like traffic signs: advertising a change in 'rules of the road' and putting everyone on an equal footing. I think we are asking for more wikilawyering and harm if we change DS alerts – issuing one and receiving one – into anything more. By introducing the possibility of talk page notices (that one is "perpetually in receipt of alerts"), we give everyone involved a further factor to weigh up. Their focus should really be "is Wikipedia is putting up a good article?" We ought to remember that DS is a system for rescuing disorderly articles from calamity. Anything that frustrates that objective should be avoided wherever possible; I think the language that already governs alerts strikes the right balance. Close without action. AGK ■ 21:35, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The logic of "DS alerts" is to ensure that people are aware they could be sanctioned for editing in certain areas, because it would be unfair to sanction someone who doesn't know that DS exists in the area they're editing in. Ok, that's a reasonable courtesy. But what started as a courtesy has evolved into a bureaucratic system requiring a yearly re-issuing of the alert, even for editors consistently active in those areas, just in case they get amnesia after knowing about the DS scheme for 365 days. They're no longer (if they were ever) seen as a courtesy, they're seen as a warning. Nobody likes getting them no matter how we re-word them, and they prompt frequent accusations of harassment or retaliatory alert-placing.
    Given all that, if we let people declare they're aware, I think it has the potential to save a lot of drama and bureaucracy. Once someone opts-in, nobody needs to place an alert at them, they no longer need to get alerts they're well aware of, and nobody needs to argue over alerts being placed. I really don't see the drawback of letting someone essentially opt in to knowing about DS. After all, declaring awareness means opting in to potentially being sanctioned; it's not like there's a strategic upside. I'm personally all for it. ♠PMC(talk) 23:37, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Mandruss, I really don't see it as a complication. How is it extra complicated to let someone "opt in" or "declare awareness" or whatever you want to call it, as long as it prompts the same kind of edit notice or error message that trying to re-template someone does now? Saves the effort of making sure they're DS alerted and lets you move right on to taking them to AE, if that's what you're after (and let's be real here, I really don't think anyone is out here issuing DS alerts as a friendly reminder between pals, no matter how often we try to pretend otherwise). You say let them stop being annoyed so easily, neither alternative too much to ask of a grown-ass man or woman, but it feels like we could ask the same of you here. ♠PMC(talk) 14:22, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Clarification request: Gun control

Initiated by Locke Cole at 16:59, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

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

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request:

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

Statement by Locke Cole

Remedy 1 and 2 of the Gun Control arbitration case (1. For the purposes of remedies in this case, the scope of "gun control" includes governmental regulation of firearm ownership; the social, historical and political context of such regulation; and the people and organizations associated with these issues. 2. Standard discretionary sanctions are authorised for any edit about, and for all pages relating to, gun control.) provide guidance on what is considered "gun control". However, El C (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) has placed discretionary sanctions on the Virginia Beach shooting (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) article. This article has nothing whatsoever to do with gun control regulation, nor is it about people or organizations associated with those issues. Can the arbitration committee please clarify whether it was the intention of this remedy to apply to articles about mass shootings? Thank you.

Statement by El C

Pretty much, any recent mass shooting seems to invoke a gun control debate to a certain extent (Virginia_Beach_shooting#Reactions as an example here), so applying discretionary sanctions to any of them, when disputes becomes protracted, seems like a sensible application of GC/DS. El_C 17:09, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Seraphimblade, the dispute involves victims' lists — it does not involve gun control. In that sense, the discretionary sanctions were applied to the article broadly. If that overstepped its intended purpose, then perhaps removing them would be the right call. But it would be to the article's own detriment. Again, I think because mass shootings always invoke a gun control debate (unlike in peripheral ARBPIA cases, inextricably), a broader interpretation is more useful. El_C 17:29, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Template:Editnotices/Page/Virginia Beach shooting has to do with me deciding to keep the status quo ante (no victims' lists) until the RfC about it is concluded. In a sense, it's just easier to say that I'm doing so with the authority of Arbitration enforcement than anything else. Gun control DS, intuitively, felt a bit more pertinent than the BLP DS (which Abecedare suggested), but they are both pretty equally applicable, in my view. But regardless had I used GC, BLP, or no AE at all (just as an uninvolved admin, by fiat), the result would still be the same. Still, I'm relieved that AGK finds in favour of upholding my application of GC DS, and I hope that other members of the Committee are also similarly pragmatic. In a few weeks, the RfC will settle the victims' list question for this article, though not for others — because as mentioned elsewhere, WP:NOTMEMORIAL isn't detailed enough and WP:VL is just an essay. Anyway, after the RfC is done, I am likely to remove the DS altogether (certainly the editnotice will no longer be relevant), just to put all of this in context of what's happening on the groundfloor of the article. El_C 23:10, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Seraphimblade

I was involved in the drafting of this case when I was on ArbCom, and we were well aware that trying to find the exact scope for such a broad topic was going to be difficult, hence the clarification in the original decision. For mass shootings, I would say that they would fall under the normal formulation for discretionary sanctions in a peripherally involved subject; that is, those parts of the article which pertain to the subject under discretionary sanctions are subject to the DS. Since many mass shootings do bear on discussions in regards to gun control, I think there's at least reasonable cause for a notice that they could be subject to the restrictions so that editors are on notice. Portions of those articles which do not bear on gun control (for example, a controversy over the shooter's motivations or the response by the police to the incident) would be outside their scope. On the other hand, if there is a discussion over whether restrictions were too lax or badly enforced and that contributed to the shooting, or whether they should be changed in response to the incident, that portion of the article and edits pertaining to it certainly would be within the scope of the Gun Control case's DS. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:21, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Abecedare

I was briefly and peripherally involved in this via my suggestion to El C at RFPP to consider discretionary sanctions for the article. While I had proposed using WP:NEWBLPBAN, El's use of WP:ARBGC instead was at least equally good and valid. Three quick points:

  • The Virginia Beach shooting, as almost all contemporary mass shootings in US, is squarely in the scope defined by the ARBGC case. Just read the lede para of this WaPo article, for example.
  • And no, the identity of mass-shooting victims is not independent of the 'gun control' issue. Read this, for example (I am intentionally not linking to conspiracy theories linked directly to this particular shooting).
  • More broadly: the use of page restrictions at Virginia Beach shooting is an example of the discretionary sanction regime working well. ACDS allowed El C to craft a temporary and minimal set of restrictions based on what was actually going on at the article. And their actions demonstrably halted the ongoing edit-warring while allowing other improvements and expansion to continue.

I hope the arbitrators will endorse El C's use of the tools, and resist the entreaties and urge to add further complications on when and how such discretion should be used. The additional rule-making rarely works well and only increases the time and effort devoted to meta-discussions and wiki-lawering compared to actual content development (see, ahem, the above two sections on this ARCA page; do you really want to deal with more of that? :) ). Abecedare (talk) 02:00, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Gun control: Clerk notes

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

Gun control: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Where the topic of gun control is concerned, article disruption and problematic user conduct has affected a diverse range of articles. The most divergent articles have related to the historic and political context of gun control. New mass shootings are part of this "context" and it seems appropriate to me that related articles are subject to the remedies authorised by this committee. I would uphold El_C's reading of the scope. AGK ■ 18:46, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If there is no coverage of discussion of gun control in a contemporary USA mass shooting article, then I would think that either the article was in the early stages of development, or some form of inappropriate editorial suppression has taken place. To ensure appropriate and proportionate coverage (neither too little nor too much) of this very contentious topic it seems fitting that the scope of the Gun Control DS should be covered under the "social...context" aspect of the ruling. I don't have the slightest doubt that contemporary USA mass shooting articles come under the scope, even when they don't yet have coverage of discussion of gun control. It would be a anti-gun control wikilawyers dream to find a new article on a contemporary USA mass shooting and then fight to keep out coverage of discussion on gun control, and at the same time say that DS cannot be applied because the article doesn't have coverage of gun control. So, yes, from day one, even before there is mention of gun control, articles on contemporary USA mass shootings should come under Gun Control DS. SilkTork (talk) 10:32, 10 June 2019 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement


WookieInHeat in heat is warned, again, but otherwise, this report can be closed. El_C 17:09, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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

Request concerning WookieInHeat

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Galobtter (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 07:29, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
WookieInHeat (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American_politics_2#Discretionary_sanctions_(1932_cutoff) :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 11 June Reinstating a challenged edit without consensus.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive251#WookieInHeat: Warned for violating 1RR/consensus-required for making this exact edit repeatedly
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Alerted about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, see the system log linked to above or this diff.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

See El_C's warning. Their previous reversions on the same page can be seen here.

In response to He appears to be trying to maintain his preferred version of the article without any compromise or consensus, by simply ignoring those he disagrees with and hoping they'll go away: my life isn't arguing with people in the area of American Politics. I find it very unproductive to continue to argue in this area, and the way to resolve disputes here is to solicit more opinions so a consensus can be determined. An WP:RfC is a good way to get more opinions. Galobtter (pingó mió) 12:23, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning WookieInHeat

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

Statement by WookieInHeat

My last edit to the disputed paragraph was a month ago, I received a warning (I misunderstood the WP:1RR initially) and ceased the behavior. Galobtter ignored my last reply to him on the article's talk page regarding WP:NPOV in the lede, and has not participated in that discussion in several weeks. I'm not the first editor to raise this exact issue, only to be ignored. He appears to be trying to maintain his preferred version of the article without any compromise or consensus, by simply ignoring those he disagrees with and hoping they'll go away, while relying on the 1RR restriction to prevent any changes. WookieInHeat (talk) 08:46, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

To clarify, @Doug Weller: linked to a page I didn't comment on. He is talking about this reply to him, on the talk page of an article I have never edited, which obviously isn't relevant here, nor warrants his "I hope you agree that his presence isn't required" comment. WookieInHeat (talk) 01:25, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

@EdJohnston: the edit you linked to is regarding Vice as a WP:RS in relation to political topics as per WP:RSP, which is a separate issue from the WP:NPOV of the lede with its own discussion on the talk page. And yes I understand the complaint, I was just trying to keep my reply concise. I mentioned my edit a month ago to highlight that I'm not trying to edit disruptively. I ceased what I thought to be the offending behavior and waited patiently for a response from Galobtter, whom ignored the conversation for weeks only to instantly come running to file for AE when I made the edit again. From my perspective it seems the WP:1RR is being gamed. WookieInHeat (talk) 09:36, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Doug Weller

@Sandstein: I'm not involved in this dispute but am involved at Talk:Antifa where he's also arguing against a consensus, one that has been unchanged for over a year, so I'm only here to say that Lord Roem hasn't edited for a week. This shouldn't be ignored because he's not around and I hope you agree that his presence isn't required. Doug Weller talk 12:47, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

WookieInHeat is of course correct, my link was to the dab page. Apologies. My comment ""I hope you agree that his presence isn't required" was obviously about Lord Roem, I don't understand how that could have been misconstrued. Doug Weller talk 15:25, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning WookieInHeat

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
Though WookieInHeat has responded above, I am not sure they understand this complaint. They state "My last edit to the disputed paragraph was a month ago.." They should be explaining why they shouldn't be blocked for the edit named above, which occurred *not* a month ago, but on 11 June, which is just yesterday. EdJohnston (talk) 04:18, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
It appears that WookieInHeat has reverted their last change. Does this allow the complaint to be closed? EdJohnston (talk) 01:14, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I think so, but I think it would be best to close it with a formal warning to WookieInHeat not to do this again. Thryduulf (talk) 12:35, 14 June 2019 (UTC)


CharlesShirley is reminded about civility, but otherwise closing as no action. El_C 17:04, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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

Request concerning CharlesShirley

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
MrClog (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 08:34, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
CharlesShirley (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American politics 2#Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff)
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 00:42, 11 June 2019, 14:07, 11 June 2019 & 17:08, 11 June 2019: Reinstating bold edit after being reverted instead of first discussing the matter (WP:BRD). I tried to initiate a discussion at the talk page, but the editor has only responded one time, refusing to discuss the matter any further.
  2. 14:50, 12 June 2019 After I had originally placed a 3RR warning at the editor's talk page (because an edit war was starting), this was then removed. I then placed {{OW}} on the user's talk page. The editor then removed it, calling it "vandalism" (WP:NPA). When PaleoNeonate told them they shouldn't do this, they removed their comment as "completely off point and irrelevant".
  3. 21:47, 12 June 2019 Here the editor removes a friendly message of me asking them to discuss the matter at the article's talk page (now that the page has been protected for 5 days at my request so that there'd be no need for an edit war), calling it "hogwash". This once again shows that the editor is not willing to discuss the matter, but rather that the editor wants to force their own version in through an edit war.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. 01:11, 3 February 2019 The editor was topic banned from Elizabeth Warren for one month by Awilley (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) (also post-1932 American politcs).
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)

Previously given a discretionary sanction for conduct in the area of conflict on 01:11, 3 February 2019 by Awilley (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA).

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

None of the supplied diffs would require a sanction if they were an isolated incident. The problem here is, though, that the diffs show a pattern of refusing to discuss the contents of Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, instead wanting to force their version of the page through, despite my attempts (like here and my message on their talk page inviting them to discuss the matter) to start a civil conversation on the talk page. Instead, the user makes Wikipedia a battleground, making uncivil comments and personal attacks, and all this whilst being previously topic banned for similar offenses in the same area (post-1932 American politics). A general post-1932 American politics, broadly construed, topic ban may be necessary, but I will leave that up to the administrators.

I just saw the comment by CharlesShirley. Please note that I wasn't made aware that the editor decided to stop working on the page, but still I find the way the editor worked the last couple of days, including personal attacks and incivility, as well as refusal to discuss the matter on the talk page, troubling, especially when considering they have already been sanctioned for similar behaviour before. --MrClog (talk) 14:18, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@El C: The diffs are already provided above, but to sum them up: here, the user accuses me of "vandalism" (personal attack) and an attempt to civil discussion is called "hogwash" (uncivil). Similar uncivil edit summaries can be found in the recent history of editor's talk page (please also see PaleoNeonate's comment below). The editor meets awareness criteria #2 (previously TBanned from Elizabeth Warren). --MrClog (talk) 17:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC); editted 17:26, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning CharlesShirley

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

Statement by CharlesShirley

I have simply chosen to stop working on the article Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt. I have decided to take a break from this article, to de-escalate the conflict and to remove myself from the negative attacks on me from other editors. This whole arbitration/request/enforcement action is an attempt to goad me into debating with these other editors and inflame tensions more. These two editors will simply not leave me alone and who apparently will not let me withdraw from working on the FTB v Hyatt article. This whole process makes no sense to me because I have decided to take a break from the article and to simply walk away from the conflict. I would hope that whomever the admin or arbitrator of this process would respect that decision.--CharlesShirley (talk) 13:59, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

I have not engaged in any personal attacks. That is simply not true. Also, I have not engaged in any incivility either. Please do not repeat these claims without providing evidence to support these claims. Please stop. I understand that you did not like the good faith edits that I did to the article, but you have really need to stop now.--CharlesShirley (talk) 16:47, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by PaleoNeonate

I noticed this AE entry so may as well comment. I recently warned this editor about offensive edit summaries (which they of course reverted with a similar edit summary - Special:Diff/901538297, Special:Diff/901540049). This gave me the impression that there is an important interaction problem. However, when looking at the talk page history, I did see a few instances of communication. The attitude could be improved, Wikipedia being a collaborative system. I will not post additional diffs for these, but the edit summaries are visible in the talk page history and user contributions. —PaleoNeonate – 08:55, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

These two editors will simply not leave me alone and who apparently will not let me withdraw from working on the FTB v Hyatt article. If this includes me, I have not been involved at all at that article or in the topic. I also didn't know MrClog until I noticed these irregularities a few days ago. I have not engaged in any incivility either ... evidence to support these claims. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - This "silliness" is part of important standard Wikipedia processes that may lead to sanctions. As I previously warned already (WP:SUMMARYNO) edit summaries also apply for civility, although blanking is fine (WP:BLANKING). As for rarely discussing instead of reverting with an offensive summary, here are various links (some essays, other policy or explanatory supplement) that emphasise the importance of communication: WP:ENGAGE, WP:DISCUSSFAIL, WP:BRD, WP:CONSENSUS, WP:CIVIL, WP:RADAR, WP:TEAMWORK ... —PaleoNeonate – 19:46, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Acknowledging that we are not able to objectively or calmly edit a particular article/area is a good start and this may temporarily mitigate the issue if the same situation does not reproduce constantly with other articles. I noticed that before the apparent recent tension, a bot was automatically archiving posts. Perhaps that editing in less stressful areas will also as a result reduce the urge to write abrasive edit summaries. —PaleoNeonate – 19:46, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning CharlesShirley

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • From what's it worth, I've unprotected the article, since one of the parties has withdrawn from it. I recommend closing this without action. Note that there is neither an AP DS editnotice nor an article talk page notice. El_C 17:00, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Hyperbole and less-than-civil impoliteness do not rise to the level of personal attacks. The user says the edits constitute vandalism, which may be unintentional, they're not saying explicitly that that the other party are themselves a vandal. Hogwash may not be that polite, but it isn't particularly egregious, either. El_C 17:38, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Agreed, though Charles Shirley would do well to modify their use of edit-summaries to a more civil level. Black Kite (talk) 17:44, 13 June 2019 (UTC)


No action. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:01, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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

Request concerning Arglebargle79

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
JFG (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 11:43, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Arglebargle79 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
WP:ARBAPDS, {{American politics AE}}
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 17 June 2019, 01:20 UTC Arglebargle79 restores his/her edit of 00:24[19] despite Mélencron's revert at 00:58[20], thereby violating the "Enforced BRD" sanction prominently displayed as an edit notice.
  2. 7 June 2019, 14:21 UTC Arglebargle79 claims that a unanimous AfD outcome was a "false consensus", while s/he was the only editor disagreeing with the community. Proceeds to enact his/her suggestions despite talk page opposition, see Talk:2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries#Revision suggestions
  3. 9 March 2019, 17:11 UTC Arglebargle79 recreates an article, claiming "there was a discussion on this and a consensus was reached just the other day", whilst the actual consensus had been to merge it. This action was reverted and further discussed at Talk:2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates#Recreation of article.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  • None
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

The above evidence shows a pattern of disregarding community consensus, which is disruptive, no matter the topic area.

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Arglebargle79

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.
i know that my response is longer than the maximum and I apologize, but I thought it necessary and request it remain as is.Arglebargle79 (talk) 15:34, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Arglebargle79

Okay, let's start out with one of the so-called "warnings", shall we?

if you notice almost all the reversions and attempted deletions have been gratuitous, unnecessary, and have almost always been reversed. The quickest ones that come to mind are: France's only Vice President, the Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, 2019 Japanese imperial transition and territorial presidential caucuses from the last election cycle. This doesn't show that I"m disruptive, this just shows that young wannabee "cyber cops" like to assert some power. I have no problems with someone coming and improving my work, rather quite the opposite.

Now, as to the current situation. What is going on is completely bogus. Yes, I'm a bit of a fan of creating stubs. Stubs are necessary. For example, the de la Meurthe article, which was called for deletion because the one and only Vice president of France wasn't notable, is one of these. There are lots of these and it's part of what Wikipedia is for. So it was with the 2020 Democratic candidate and Debate articles.

AS to the latter, The article was created last December along with the "candidates" page. Election articles are fluid and need revision constantly. If you take a look, the December 2015 revision of the 2016 United States presidential election article looks absolutely nothing like the current version. Same thing with the subsidiary articles. Setting up a requisite number of stubs somewhat early in order to get everything right when the time comes is, in my opinion, a good idea, we have the templates finished and we could start popping info in. Easy peasy. But did they? No. A few people (six, in fact), decided to have a "consensus" without informing me or anyone else about it. Having noticed that the two articles were suddenly gone, I complained. There was no consensus. When a few people said it might be a nice idea to revive the "candidates" (actually if you look at the talk page conversation the people who requested it didn't know there was one) because the article was becoming too unwieldy.

I left a note saying that since this was the case if there were no objections in the next three days, I'd revive the article. There were none, and so I did it, and then a couple of days later, WHAM!!!!! They were deleted again, saying that there was a "consensus" last December. I vociferously objected. Therefore the two alleged "violations" were justified and therefore not violations at all.

Now as to Mélencron's starting an edit war with me there's a difference. Mélencron generally reverts everything I do whether it's necessary or not (and it usually isn't). I reflexively revert his reversions. His reversions of my trying to note who has been invited to the debates and who haven't are the disruptive stuff. It is necessary to inform the reader the basic info on the assumption that the reader is not going to move to another page unless he or she actually WANTS to. When it's easy to add more information in an unintrusive way, like adding an "*" to a name, then we should do so. Keeping the information from readers is always bad.

IN other words: it wasn't I being disruptive, it was Mélencron... and finally, I'd like to quote this explanation of a revision of my stuff: David O. Johnson contribs‎ 170,133 bytes +1‎ Undid revision 902165738 by Arglebargle79 (talk) we don't have to go by what the DNC says" In my opinion, it's better if we do when they make the rules. Arglebargle79 (talk) 15:25, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

you will notice on the Israeli election thing I was thanked. Banning me for starting articles which need to be made (like the September Israeli election kind of misses the point. Arglebargle79 (talk) 16:54, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Mélencron

I'm not able to currently comment extensively on this and I will come back to this later, but in general I intend to echo JFG's comments about a long-term pattern of disruption, combative editing, and WP:CIR issues with the user in question which has remained unchanged over the years. Mélencron (talk) 15:37, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Quick remarks – I don't believe my conduct on U.S. politics-related articles has been problematic and I've been scrupulous to abide by 1RR on the article in question (though I can't remember any instances off the top of my head). There is no way in which my conduct was at all disruptive: I made a single revert to a major edit for which I viewed as having no existing consensus and ran contrary to previous discussions on the talk page about separating major/minor candidates; just part of the BRD. IIRC, they're correct in that they've proposed this change before (splitting the candidates list based on the debates), but there was never any consensus for such a change and the current state of the article reflects that arrived to on the talk page (candidates included in most polls and with substantial media coverage – based on candidate lists).
I also don't "reflexively revert" edits by them (though I scrupulously monitor my watchlist and many of the articles they've edited are on my watchlist), though I find that in many cases there are obvious WP:CIR issues and an unwillingness to change their editing behaviors or respond to other editors' concerns about them. These basic CIR issues remain despite them having edited for years (see here); Number 57 can attest to these as well, and there has been no distinct change in their editing behavior (and sometimes bizarre comments on article talk pages) or attitude towards overriding roughshod over existing consensus to try to get their way over time.
At the same time, I have zero interest in anything involved to the WP namespace, so I'll end it here. Mélencron (talk) 16:02, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Arglebargle79

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I find Arglebargle79's reply somewhat unfocused and a bit all over the place. It lacks diffs, and frankly, is a bit unresponsive, especially vis-a-vis the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries edits. El_C 17:22, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Diff 1 pertains to a sanction by Awilley (talk · contribs), who should determine if enforcement is needed. Diffs 2 and 3 look like content disputes, which AE does not resolve. Sandstein 17:28, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, diff #1 is a violation of the BRD rule. That said, my personal preference when enforcing BRD (and the older Consensus Required rule) is to see that the user has been specifically made aware of the rule, and for first-time offenders been given some opportunity to self-revert. Because the rules are a bit different than the rest of the 'pedia I prefer to avoid "gotcha" situations. On the other diffs I've had time to look at #2 and agree that ignoring consensus is not good, but wouldn't block for that alone. So maybe put me down for a warning? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Awilley (talkcontribs)
  • This has been open for nearly three days with no one arguing for sanctions beyond a warning: I’m closing without any action due to lack of interest in sanctioning at this time. Additionally, the immediate disruption seems to have stopped and they haven’t edited in a few days, so I’m not sure what good any sanction would do. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:01, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Wrong venue. Try WP:AN3.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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

Request concerning

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Pinchme123 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 20:36, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 21 June 2019 This first edit by removed appropriate content from the page, which had previously been established via editing consensus over the past week. I challenged this edit via a reversion (21 June 2019) and stated, "At this point any disagreement should find consensus in the talk page before removal."
  2. 21 June 2019 Rather than abide by the discretionary sanctions requiring edits challenged via revert to be discussed for consensus on the Talk page, reinstated their edit. Not wanting to myself violate the discretionary sanctions by reverting a second time within 24 hours, I instead opted to open this here.
  3. 21 June 2019 Since beginning this form, this editor has again reverted their edit, which was challenged by yet another editor, Serial Number 54129 (21 June 2019)

Given that multiple others have reverted this edit, it definitely qualifies as a challenged edit and thus should not be reinstated without first finding consensus on the talk page.

Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 

Not Applicable

If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)

Editor's account appears new, with only edits the last few hours. However, editing this article requires first viewing a banner noting the discretionary sanctions, so it is highly likely they are aware of them. In my revert comment, though I did not mention the sanctions directly, I did state, "At this point any disagreement should find consensus in the talk page before removal"

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

With regard to the edit itself, the editor violating sanctions incorrectly points to an inaccurate description of the article's content in the opening section as justification for removal of the content. That description notes that "refugee camps" are to be excluded from the article. However, the content in question is about concentration camps that happen to hold refugees, not "refugee camps." There are other examples of concentration camps that happen to hold refugees in other parts of the article. See List of concentration and internment camps#Australia, Canada: Internment of Jewish Refugees, Denmark: After World War II, Finland: WWII, France: Spanish Republicans, India: World War II, Netherlands.

(I have never submitted one of these requests for enforcement before, so apologies if this is inappropriate and unnecessary information.)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 
  1. 21 June 2019 Notice provided to editor's talk page.

Discussion concerning

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

Statement by

Statement by (username)

Result concerning

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

Eric Corbett

The consensus is clearly that no action should be taken. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:54, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

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

Request concerning Eric Corbett

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
MJL (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 21:08, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Eric Corbett (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Civility enforcement#Amendments
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 22 June 2019 This is a comment about RFA.
  2. 22 June 2019 Bbb23 gives him an out.
  3. 22 June 2019 Corbett then expresses open contempt for this topic ban.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

This seems awfully cut and dry. (Non-administrator comment)MJLTalk 21:11, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Are we really going to say things like this? ..Really?

I am just in utter disbelief right now. Is there even a point in responding to that remark? –MJLTalk 21:55, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

I feel like I am in bizarro world right now. A Bbb23 literally warned Eric that this was a violation of the ban. Eric said he didn't care. Then he said it again. [22] (!) It takes an unbelievable amount wiki-lawyering to say this isn't blockworthy. I just don't know what is happening anymore... –MJLTalk 22:17, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
This is like a nightmare I can't wake up from. Seriously. What would possibly be considered a violation of this topic ban in your minds if this wasn't it? He literally says "What leads you to believe that I give a rat's **** about my topic ban?" (semi-bad word omitted). Why enable him? Why even have this process if it's so unbelievable broken we can't even justify a 24hr block for clear topic ban violations anymore... –MJLTalk 22:35, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Eric Corbett

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

Statement by Eric Corbett

I have not even the slightest interest in the outcome of this case, but I would just like to correct something. I did not express contempt for anything, despite what the over-zealous filer may claim, I merely stated my opinion that I couldn't care less about it.

And I will add my observation that against the backdrop of the recent over-reach of power by the WMF to suppress the unwelcome opinions of one particular editor, to suppress the unwelcome opinions of yet another seems like a dangerous option. Eric Corbett 21:42, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Pppery

@Iridescent: It doesn't matter whether he's engaging in threaded discussion, the actual remedy is a topic ban from RfA with an exception for ask[ing] questions of the candidates and express[ing] his own view on a candidate in a specific RFA, and both of his comments clearly do not do either of those things. * Pppery * it has begun... 21:34, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Promethean

Don't participate in the RFA process except for voting and asking the candidate questions; That was the ruling of the Arbitration committee, and they even went so far to explicitly name the sections Eric is allowed to participate in; The comments section is deliberately omitted from that list. Would suggest at the very least removing the comments and a authoritative reminder to the user concerned so as to ensure WP:ARBCOM's ruling is properly enforced.   «l|Promethean|l»  (talk) 21:56, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

@NYB: That is a matter for an amendment, which Eric is more than entitled to raise with AC if he wishes. Perhaps that can be the compromise; No action taken, but Eric clarifies with AC if comments is in or out for next time. Right now it's out, and to assume it's in is an indulgent interpretation that isn't what's on paper.   «l|Promethean|l»  (talk) 22:13, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Just putting this here: [24]

Statement by TonyBallioni

Considering he was initially replying to me, I’m not commenting in the admin section, but I don’t really care that Eric replied to me and let’s not let this turn into even more dramah that is unnecessary. If someone wants, remove the comments, but this is pretty minor. AE should not increase drama on the project when unnecessary, and I’d hardly call it necessary now. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:15, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Bbb23

Regardless of anything else, I wish this had not been brought here. I have no interest in seeing Eric sanctioned. I don't care whether his comment is removed. I do think the comment is a violation of the ban, but I'm not going to argue with those who disagree as, uh, I don't care that much. I think Eric's response was worse than his "violation", and although not surprising, certainly not sanctionable. I will have nothing more to say here.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:47, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Eric Corbett

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I'd hardly call that "engaging in threaded discussion" unless you're going to be ridiculously over-literal. ‑ Iridescent 21:30, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If this were to be deemed a violation, the initial remedy appears to simply be the removal of the comment in question. For several reasons, some obvious, I would really prefer for this issue not to blow up at this time. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:40, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
    • The "general comments" section at the bottom did not exist in RFAs in 2012 as it does now, so we can't infer a specific intent to exclude Eric from that section. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:02, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Per Newyorkbrad. Given the bigger picture at the moment, this is really not a good time to be nitpicking over the semantics of such sanctions. Black Kite (talk) 21:57, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't know how uninvolved I am given that I voted for the candidate, which would suggest Eric considers me not knowledgeable; on the other hand, ah well: storm in a teacup. If anyone wants to do something, they might remove the comment or whatever. "Over-literal" is a well-chosen adjective here. Drmies (talk) 22:03, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
  • De minimis non curat lex. Bishonen | talk 22:06, 22 June 2019 (UTC).