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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:

Contents

Requests for arbitration

Conduct in portal space and portal deletion discussions

Initiated by ToThAc (talk) at 16:52, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Involved parties

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

Statement by ToThAc

This has been a recurring debate ever since the separate mass deletions of portalspam created by The Transhumanist.

As summarized in Robert McClenon's essay on issues surrounding portals, the necessity of portals in general has been heavily debated over the course of several months. In April 2018, The Transhumanist started an RfC on deprecating portals, which was closed with a rough consensus to not delete all portals. However, a few users took this as a sign that Wikipedia needed more portals, and began creating automated spam that eventually led to a portal topic ban applied to The Transhumanist and the aforementioned mass deletions.

However, several users, myself included, have repeatedly called the necessity of certain portals into question, and have slowly been nominating additional portals for deletion. This has caused us to clash with the so-called "portal advocates" who wish to keep certain portals.

More recently, this has led to extremely heated arguments between BrownHairedGirl and Northamerica1000. During portal deletion discussions, both users have displayed, at best, questionable behavior. BHG has become increasingly frustrated with her interactions with NA1k, even going as far as to calling him "sneaky" and "either a liar or an idiot or both". However, NA1k's actions are also a cause for concern; he has repeatedly demonstrated fait accompli behavior, failing to properly disclose his methodology for the kinds of selected content he added to portals, not to mention implementing said changes without an adequate community consensus. (While NA1k's proposed organization method of selected content was well-received in this discussion, nothing there was ever formally closed, and NA1k has failed to cite whether he based his edits off of that discussion.) The ongoing back-and-forth at the deletion discussion for Portal:Transport is a good example of what I'm talking about here.

However, as generally agreed upon in this ANI discussion, singling out one user in this whole mess would appear to poison the atmosphere one way or another. Since it appears that nothing else has succeeded in cooling this debate, I strongly urge the Arbitration Committee to review the conduct of all users involved in this debate, myself included. ToThAc (talk) 16:52, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

I'd also like to note that I am having some trouble with the tally of involved parties in this case request, and so anyone who genuinely feels they would be better off added or removed as a party to this case is free to do so. ToThAc (talk) 22:42, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

@Francis Schonken: I've changed the title to better reflect the scope of the case. Hope that addresses your concern. ToThAc (talk) 17:55, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
@Ched: Yeah, the number of parties involved is something that I'm not entirely clear on myself for now. I'll probably add more within the next 48 hours or so. ToThAc (talk) 18:12, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
@AmericanAir88: No, just...not a chance. I'm not at all changing this case request to focus on one user; this is about the potential wrongdoings of all users involved, and singling out just one user won't solve anything. ToThAc (talk) 21:28, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
@AmericanAir88: Okay, thanks for clarifying. ToThAc (talk) 22:01, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: I guess you're right, so I've removed you from the "involved parties" list. ToThAc (talk) 22:29, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by BrownHairedGirl

Statement by Northamerica1000

Statement by Robert McClenon

This is a difficult case, as it was in March when I first requested that ArbCom take up the issues of portals and conduct concerning portals. The content issues, about the existence and maintenance of portals, are not within the usual scope of ArbCom; but it should be obvious from history that this is a dispute that cannot be settled by the community. The question for ArbCom should be whether to: (1) decline this case, thinking that the community will resolve it in the near future (although I see no reason to support that belief); (2) accept this case, and address the content as well as conduct issues, possibly exceeding the committee's authority; (3) decline this case, knowing that the community cannot resolve it either, referring it to another authority, such as Jimbo Wales or the Wikimedia Foundation; (4) decline this case, leaving it alone, although knowing that the community cannot resolve it; (5) accept a case, and assess what aspects of the case are within the committee's charter, to try to "break the back" of the dispute. Since I don't think that the committee intends to exceed its authority, as in option (2), and since I don't know who the other authority would be for option (3), I would suggest that option (5) is the wise minimal option. I respectfully disagree with those who think that there is about to be a successful RFC, at least not without discretionary sanctions. The minimal RFC to ratify a set of portal guidelines that had long been standing failed, and I am not optimistic that a different RFC is likely to be more successful at this time. I ask editors who think that ArbCom should decline this case what they think should be done instead. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:41, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

The filing party, User:ToThAc, initially listed a large number of editors who are known as portal skeptics, and then amended the filing also to list a large number of portal advocates. I think that there has been good-faith erroneous zeal in listing many parties, and that ArbCom can significantly trim the list. Robert McClenon (talk) 06:31, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I urge that ArbCom first, identify editors whose conduct concerning portals has been disruptive and take action, and, second, authorize discretionary sanctions either for portal discussions, or for XFD deletion discussions including but not limited to portals, an area in which disruption has been an issue in the past. Robert McClenon (talk) 06:31, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
User:Joe Roe and others - I suggest that anyone who is named in the statement of another editor be listed as a party and everyone else be trimmed out. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:10, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Moxy

Moved from #Statement by ToThAc: The post above says North did not inform as to what they were doing....this was proven incorrect a few times....most recently at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive1020#Portal updates reverted. What should be looked at is the behavior and disruption to any conversation Brown is in. They claim to want to form a consensus but at every attempt at an RFC by a third party on some aspect of portals is blocked by Brown a few can be seen at Wikipedia talk:Portal/Guidelines. What the community is looking for is a way forward without the combative rants about someone's ability or lack there of. Don't think brown has abused their admin tools but is this someone the administration community wants representing them? At this point it's not really about portals but the Integrity of the community at large. The editors inability to see any wrong doing makes us normal editors wonder if the administration community has lost its integrity if this is the type of admin that is representative of the community. I keep hearing what are portals by the few that go out of their way to stop progress...but the majority are fully aware of the purpose of portals as outline at Wikipedia:Portal#Purposes of portals for a decade. What we are stuck with is a circular argument that leads us to nowhere but here. Last thing we need is an administrator going out of their way to mess with the rest of us. Brown may have many valid point but lacks the ability to express this in a productive manner again leading us here wasting the time of all involved.--Moxy 🍁 23:38, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Mark Schierbecker

I'm going to give some background.

I have initiated about 200 MfDs for portals since I first became involved in the portal debate in June (all but four of those MfD that have completed have been deleted or merged). Previously, in 2010, I had been maintaining Portal:United States Air Force after that portal's maintainer tapped me to continue his work after his retirement. This portal was one of the first portals I nominated for deletion.

BHG has exhibited some battleground behavior—both with matters large, like deletions, and matters small, such as where and how to point portal redlinks.

In August BHG agreed to discontinue personal attacks against portal supporters. The community adopted a WP:AN resolution, which I supported:

1. BHG has taken the positive de-escalating step of agreeing to refrain from using the word portalistas. She is urged not to use another such word instead and not to accuse her perceived opponents of mendacity but instead to focus the discussions as much as possible on pages and policies rather than on editors or perceived groups of editors.
2. Close this thread immediately as the rest of this is either content dispute or heated feelings over said dispute. There is no indication of anything even remotely resembling misuse of Admin tools.

I can't pinpoint when, but I believe BHG reneged on her commitment to avoid personal attacks. However she did appear to discontinue using the tired "Portalista" expression.

In October BHG reverted en masse dozens of portal changes by NA1000 [1]. I found the reverts bewildering at the time, as the changes helped address a persistent problem with portals being outdated. While the topic selection was not perfect, up-to-date content is vastly preferable to forested subpages of eight-year-old content forks. I've felt that, in any case, one-off improvements would not necessarily stave off deletion at MfD. I did not participate in the unproductive ANI discussion that followed.

On November 7 I nominated Portal:Transport for deletion. I became aware, after nominating, that NA1000 had made improvements to the portal in October, only to be reverted by BHG. I reverted BHG, as NA1000's revision was superior and I did not want to appear to be attacking a straw man. BHG reverted me, but was reverted by another portal supporter.

This MfD appears to have triggered a a proposed resolution to topic ban BHG from portals for six months "for battleground behaviour and incivility." I supported this.

All this is not to scapegoat a single person or say that certain portal supporters have not done admonishable things. I have had issues recently with a portal supporter who I believe has acted vindictively towards me. I am choosing, for now, not to name them here as their behavior has only been relatively recent and has not been repeated, and so as not to invite future conflicts. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 01:29, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Newshunter12

I have participated in hundreds of portal MfD's since early August, and made eight comprehensive portal nominations at MfD, the latter of which were all deleted without opposition, save a single vote by one portal's creator, and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Special operations was WP:SNOW delete.

My main concern for ArbCom is the destructive, fact averse, and often irrational conduct of portal advocates/fans.

At Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Antarctica, over six days in UnitedStatesian added some automated content in less then 40 minutes to a micro-portal that had been abandoned since 2008 and made various false claims, rebutted here, that they were a dedicated maintainer of the portal and there was an active WikiProject that might take it on. This was not the end of their disingenuous conduct. At Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Language, UnitedStatesian stated a portal that is over 13 years old and abandoned for nearly six years did not fail the then guideline WP:POG's very low minimum of 20 articles because it was just "in the process of being built out". Facts, policies, and reality do not matter to this editor.

North America (NA1K) has repeatedly added content to portals in a sloppy, haphazard manner. On Portal:Ghana, they re-made a long abandoned portal and inexplicably left a sub-page about a dead person the portal said was alive, and when called out, took seven edits to make a very basic short response. At Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Djibouti, a portal NA1K re-made was deleted yet again for being junk and BrownHairedGirl's nom describes in detail how poor NA1K's update was. BHG described in detail here 1, 2, 3 NA1K's "black-box" portal plan and other shenanigans, which greatly unbalanced the POV of dozens of portals in hostile takeovers he hid from all other interested parties (including in their edit summaries on the portals) until called out by BHG. An editor with such conduct does not belong in portal space.

At Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Monaco, portal advocates Certes and Kusma both respectively 1 and 2 3 displayed incredible cognitive dissonance stating that page views (or lack thereof), a core reason for deleting most of the 1000 abandoned pre-TTH spam portals over the last 7 months, were not a reason to consider deleting a portal. Portals do not have their own content and are useful only for their utility as navigational devices, and how else can a rational person measure this basic utility other then in page views? What mattered most to Certes was that the portal looked good, not that the portal would take nearly five years to get the total number of views the head article gets in a single day, and Kusma displayed the same irrational keep criteria here at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Christmas, which ignored the obvious abandonment and decay of the portal. They are clearly not in portal space to help build an encyclopedia, they are there to have fun.

It is only after seven months of this type of nonsense and disruption, and over 1000 hours of her time donated to help clean up portal space, that BrownHairedGirl has finally started to crack and speak more harshly to portal fans in recent months then in a perfect world would be ideal. The answer to her harsher words is not to punish her for selflessly cleaning up the playground and trying to install rational encyclopedic quality standards, but to either shut the playground down or to permanently remove the above portal fans who treat it as playground to begin with. Newshunter12 (talk) 06:26, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ɱ

I am not fully in the loop with all of the drama, but I have seen strong evidence of repeated WP:NPA violations here, something that needs to be investigated and dealt with. NPA all too often goes unnoticed and almost never leads to blocks, an attitude that needs to change if we want to keep editors (especially fresh, easily dissuaded ones) around. I highly recommend ArbCom take the case. ɱ (talk) 01:38, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Knowledgekid87

Over the past month or so there has been a great increase in the amount of portals taken to MfD. Things took a turn when the bottom fell out of the arguments to delete as the portal guidelines that had been put into place were deemed by consensus to be a failed proposal. In my view some portals certainly deserve to be deleted, but editors are also to assume good faith and be civil. This is per our WP:CIVILITY policy, and there are ways for an editor to take a cool down when needed. This being said, the only side which I witnessed being in my view uncivil was BrownHairedGirl in regards to her edits. Editing Wikipedia is about focusing on content NOT contributor. When you begin to say things that demean another editor, it crosses the line into tedious editing and creates a hostile environment. I will finish by saying that Wikipedia isn't about winning. BrownHairedGirl makes great arguments, sadly it seems like she has not been listening to the advice given to her by other editors. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 04:52, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

I will also echo Scotty in saying that a constructive discussion is going on regarding potential new portal guidelines. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 04:55, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I have struck evidence presented for now, I agree with the comments below though that the fact that an admin had to block another admin is reason for concern. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:47, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: I only have evidence against BrownHairedGirl as I observed it, and was on the receiving end of it. I can if you wish participate but my evidence is one sided in the matter. There were other editors on the receiving end of it as well which include @Moxy: I believe. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:40, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Kusma

As evidenced by the recently closed ANI discussion, the community is unable or unwilling to deal with some of the behavioural issues surrounding portal space, but it is not acceptable that it continues. I think we are able to deal with the content issues without involving Arbcom once the behavioural issues (specifically, the behaviour of BrownHairedGirl towards Northamerica1000, Moxy, and some others, and the reasons she claims for her behaviour) have been dealth with. There is currently some constructive discussion going on, which has until now been far more pleasant than many other recent portal discussions that I have been involved in, probably because we have been discussing portals instead of being sidetracked by the conflict between BHG and NA1k. I suggest that the committee should accept the case and consider issuing a temporary injunction similar to JzG's "Topic/interaction ban proposal" in the recent ANI thread. —Kusma (t·c) 21:38, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

@JzG: I admit wasn't even aware of that attempt at an RfC. The currently active discussion is at User talk:Scottywong/Portal guideline workspace. —Kusma (t·c) 07:22, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

If/when this is accepted, the Committee should carefully consider the scope of the case. It could either focus very narrowly on BHG and NA1k, or somewhat wider on selected people deemed major participants in the portal wars (I guess opinions may differ on whether I am a major participant; given that I wasn't even among those in the first round of invitations to the recent workshopping effort by Scottywong, I personally do not think so), or on the entirety of how we got here from the first "delete all portals" via the mass creations and deletions, and the recent block and unblock of BHG. The list of parties to the case should be clarified and pruned accordingly, depending on what scope is chosen. —Kusma (t·c) 10:33, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Britishfinance

Statement by Certes

Statement by UnitedStatesian

I recommend that ArbCom take this case. UnitedStatesian (talk) 22:35, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Hecato

I also recommend that ArbCom takes this case. Please see the statement by User:Vermont, which basically sums up the issue in my eyes. --Hecato (talk) 23:02, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Okay I actually bothered to look up some quotes. Please see: User:Hecato/BHG for a minor list. --Hecato (talk) 00:08, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Guilherme Burn

I see 4 factions, which defend different opinions: - Free portal creation. - Maintenance of everything as it is (or was). - Reduction to a minimum number of portals - End of portals

These factions are facing each other through MfDs and Edit reverts, and in the absence of WP:POG and outdated WP:PORTAL, there is no consensus.

I could suggest that MfDs and new portal creations are paralyzed until WP:PORTAL and WP:POG are updated.

In most MfD discussions, I've argued for deletion of narrow topic portals. I believe there is some relativization by some users of what would be "narrow" to vote for "Keep", but without clear criteria this is a fruitless discussion.Guilherme Burn (talk) 23:16, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nemo bis

I'm not sure why I was included as a party, but then I see almost all the regulars of the deletion discussions were so I guess it's fine.

As far as I know, I've not had any heated exchange with anyone in my relatively unremarkable participation to the discussions. If someone thinks I should explain more about my conduct, please let me know.

I came to MfD discussions after seeing that a handful of users were shouldering most of the work of the case-by-case examination of portals which was forced on us by the inconclusive RfC. Furthermore, they were targeted by a relentless mud machine for their efforts. It was impossible to sustain such a climate for many more months: the only option I saw was to keep up the pace (if you have fewer deletion discussions, they just expand to fill all the space and consume all oxygen) and to provide some support to the most hard-working users.

In most MfD discussions, I've argued for deletion on WP:NPOV grounds. My only significant contribution was probably the SQL query to identify decaying portals. I was trying to provide a tool for objective reasoning and to reduce everyone's manual work. Seeing it was mostly ignored, I put it to the test by opening a handful of MfD, which I think were mostly well received and civil. I think most people kept using other methods to identify portals worth deleting, so my role in this saga can be written off as irrelevant. Nemo 22:08, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SportingFlyer

I strongly believe this case is about conduct, not content. We have made sustained progress in improving what remains of portal space in the past couple of weeks alone, and we've consistently voted to keep portals. While there are a number of questions we need to solve in portal space, I am asking ArbCom to review the actions of the users involved, especially BrownHairedGirl, who has led a sustained, six-month harassment campaign against Northamerica1000, for no clear reason other than Northamerica1000 has attempted to improve the existing portals. This conduct should be considered unacceptable in our community, as many different avenues exist to work with and report users who allegedly edit outside the norms. Continually disparaging them is the worst way to solve the problem, and this, combined with the fact no specific rules currently exist for whether to keep or how to improve portals, has directly led to a battleground mentality in this space. I would ask ArbCom to review and mediate this dispute, and I would ask that BrownHairedGirl be at least desysopped for their actions and role in this dispute. SportingFlyer T·C 23:08, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SmokeyJoe

It looks like everyone who has ever stated an opinion on these two is “involved”. Ok.

  • BrownHairedGirl. BHG
  • Northamerica1000. NA

BHG has made harsh criticism of NA. I think the substance of the criticism is between “defensible criticism” (if overstated) and “correct”. The tone is what I would call “uncomfortable”, and “non-collegial”.

NA generally does not respond to her criticism.

I have urged BHG, that if she has evidence of NA’s behaviour being unbecoming of an administrator, three times, she should seek his desysop, or other remedy, at WP:AN. That she should not make further repeated allegations in lower level discussions. This dispute between two administrators is highly detrimental to the project. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:25, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Arb Com must keep out of Portals, they are content, and existing community processes are at play.
Arb Com must referee the debacle of long running acrimonious conflict between admins. Admins are supposed to be exemplars of Wikipedians. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:14, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Scottywong

I don't understand why I am considered an "involved party" with respect to this request. My only involvement has been as an uninvolved administrator closing some portal MFD's, as well as writing a few brief votes on portal RFC's and related ANI threads. I also don't think that most of the other "involved" editors should be on the list either. User:ToThAc's opening statement only mentions the conduct of BHG and NA1K. In my view, they should be the only involved parties in this request for arbitration. If other users are to be investigated, then please amend the opening statement to include the specific incidents where these users are purported to have behaved inappropriately. Additionally, it's unclear to me what the scope of this request is. It clearly seems to be asking the committee to investigate the behavior of BHG and NA1K, but it also seems to be implying that the committee should investigate whether or not portals should exist at all, or that the committee should make some kind of decision that imposes inclusion criteria upon portals so that users cannot create "spam" portals anymore. I disagree that arbitration is the right forum for the latter investigations/decisions. ‑Scottywong| [spill the beans] || 00:39, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

I have removed myself as an involved party in this request, per a message from ToThAc on my talk page. ‑Scottywong| [express] || 01:56, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by BD2412

I think that perhaps the net has been cast a bit wide in identifying "involved" parties, but I will provide a broad statement of my opinion on the matters under examination within the next 24 hours or so. BD2412 T 23:53, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Conduct of the administrators

For full disclosure, I have twice initiated discussions on User:BrownHairedGirl's user talk page, archived here and here, to suggest that she refrain from characterizing editors with whom she has policy disagreements as liars. These discussions generally arose in response to statements made in Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Golf and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Ohio State University, which are worth examining. I do believe that she has toned down her invective following these discussions, but still evinces a tendency to view such disagreements through an ill-fitting moral lens in which those who think differently are harshly characterized as dishonest or incompetent.

For his part, User:Northamerica1000 has tended to edit boldly where cautious editing would have better served the interests of the project. I have alluded to this in one of the more recent ANI threads on this topic, but have not taken it up with the editor specifically.

Portals, generally

With respect to portals generally, I would note that the community has repeatedly rejected binary proposals to eliminate portal space. Furthermore, while there have been hundreds of successful proposals to delete specific portals, there have also been roughly a hundred proposals for portal deletion that have resulted in either an absence of consensus for deletion, or an outright vote to keep the portal in question. It is therefore apparent from practice that the community wants some number of portals to exist. The problem is extremism of views constrained by two-dimensional thinking on both sides. Some editors appear to want to save as many portals as possible, and therefore engage in a flurry of activity to revive moribund portals without instilling a sense of confidence that this level of maintenance will be sustained. This is understandable to the degree that it is how things work in article space, where an article nominated for deletion due to specific defects can be saved by remediation of those defects, but this is generally not how things work with portals, which must be somewhat dynamic to serve a purpose distinct from that already served by articles. Other editors appear to want to delete even those portals that are relatively well-attended and consistently well maintained. Editors need to stop pining for one extreme or the other and find a middle ground. BD2412 T 13:52, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Bermicourt

Statement by Sm8900

I am not a party to this case. I urge Arbcom to take this case. the rhetoric used in cases pertaining to portals has continually included various disparaging terms used by some editors for other editors with whom they disagree. Arbcom is sorely needed to review editor conduct. this includes some editors who are admins. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:19, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

@JzG: Comment. your statement below is highly beneficial, but with respect, the RfC highlights the problem; the editors who dislike portals refuse to accept any existing consensus that portals should exist as a whole. Sm8900 (talk) 17:36, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

If this case is taken, it will prolong for some weeks the festering sore that has been caused by our inability to properly decide on the role of portals in Wikipedia. It may result in sanctions for one or more sincere individuals who differ on the issue and have failed to find a proper consolidated venue to hash out these differences and obtain wider community consensus. The dispute has been going on for a long time and led to Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/RfC: Ending the system of portals and other discussions including Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 153 § RFC: Formalize Standing of Portal Guidelines as a Guideline (18 July 2019).

Put simply, we do not have a consensus as to the role of portals, the parameters which might govern their creation or deletion, and even the true status of the guidelines we use to describe them. This is a recipe for dispute, and that is exactly what has happened. The number of active disputants being small, and the merits of most of the arguments being hard to objectively decide on one side or the other, we have failed to deal with the problem.

Right now, Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Portals guideline is looking to resolve the root cause of the issue. I would invite the Committee to suspend judgment for now, I would like to propose that:

  • While the RfC is underway there is a moratorium on creation or deletion of portals;
  • All discussion of portals should be directed to the RfC or its talk page while it is underway;
  • We adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards ad-hominem arguments, personal attacks, snideness and the like on the RfC.

This, the community can do. In my opinion, if portals are not being deleted, created or pretextually reactivated while the RfC goes on, the behaviour noted above should stop.

If the Committee does decide to take the case I would request that it is put on hold until after the RfC to see if the process that has been initiated in order to deal with the root cause, results in a meaningful improvement in the symptoms as laid out above. Guy (help!) 17:31, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Sm8900 I do not think that is actually true, and even if it is, a well-conducted RfC with substantial input will be impossible to ignore. I see no attempt to burn all portals since the earlier RfC. I don't see any evidence that anyone is acting on the absolutist stance you describe, even if it their view privately. I could be wrong: let's see, via the RfC. Guy (help!) 17:46, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Worm That Turned you are right, but my feeling is that if we divert all the participants to that page, then consensus may emerge - at least if it is their last chance to avoid an arbitration case. That may be hopelessly naive. I admit my view is coloured by the presence on both sides of admins whose mops and usual good humour I would sorely miss. Guy (help!) 17:52, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Lepricavark It is not true that BHG has failed to demonstrate bad faith on the part of NA1K: there is clear evidence of WP:GAMING. Guy (help!) 20:30, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Francis Schonken

Imho, if this would be accepted as a case, ArbCom should look at all behavioural issues regarding the area of conflict. The case proposal limits behavioural issues to one, i.e. civility. If one party is WP:GAMING, and another counters with incivility, only the second party would be scrutinized, while the first walks free while their reprehensible behaviour would be outside the scope of the case? If limited to a single behavioural issue, I'd suggest that ArbCom declines to take the case.

Note that at least one of the currently proposed involved parties has already been "punished" with a block (the reviewing admin evaluated the block as punitive) in this matter: non bis in idem is not necessarily a principle for ArbCom proceedings, but one could also say: enough suffered. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:35, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ched

  • I would urge the committee to accept, and to hold until the 2020 group of Arbs are seated. This will be a long and likely difficult case, and the more eyes the better. — Ched (talk) 17:43, 18 November 2019 (UTC) .... (add) Since it's only the legal talk that is usually heard here: I suggest the case be accepted and Held in abeyance. 22:38, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • note 1: I suspect that you'll need to modify the list of parties involved. — Ched (talk) 18:09, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • note 2: I'd like to request that one of the clerks (Guerillero or Liz), or the Arbs if that's required to address a concern I have with the party list. Jehochman added Diannaa to the list[2] (see: reasoning here). My request is that a clerk either remove Diannaa, or add JBW to the list as the unblocking admin. (and not without controversy, see here. Also note that it appears resolved.) I've made a direct request to Jehochman, but he is apparently declining in favor of allowing me to add additonal parties. Personally I'd prefer Diannaa be removed from the list (unless she desires to be there for some reason) because the block and unblock are not directly related to Portals, and the issue can be addressed either by statement here, or via an evidence phase which would make clearer how appropriate it is to have them on the list. There are plenty of actors here to choose from for a list of parties, and since neither Diannaa or JBW appear to be active in the Portal areas, it makes sense IMO to restrict the number of people to only those most directly involved in the topic of the case request. Thank you — Ched (talk) 08:51, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by isaacl

The problem with all attempts at discussion is they get derailed by editors assuming they haven't been heard and who repeat their arguments over and over, including accusations of poor behaviour such as lying. This fails to acknowledge that other editors can still want to discuss and investigate possibilities that are in disagreement with these arguments, whether it is to brainstorm new options, or because the others don't agree with the analysis. This stalemates any discussion to move forward, and as it generates antagonism, it discourages collaboration. This negative behaviour should be examined and appropriate remedies enacted. isaacl (talk) 18:06, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf

I will likely be presenting more evidence later, but see WP:AN/I#Previous portal discussions (permalink) for an extensive but incomplete list of discussions about portals. For evidence of behaviour in the topic area see also just about any MfD discussion about portals.

In this request, and if the case is accepted (which I recommend), then I very strongly encourage the arbitrators and clerks to take a very firm line regarding both personal attacks and word limits (a skim read of any of the previous discussions should explain why). Also the scope should be conduct in portal space and in discussions of portals, not just deletion discussions. Thryduulf (talk) 18:35, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Vermont

I’ve been following this issue since a disagreement between myself and BHG over the portal for Vermont (now deleted) resulted in myself being labeled as incompetent and a "portalista" back in August of this year. As such, my statement focuses on BHG’s conduct; I have not sufficiently looked into that of NA1k.

In the recently-closed ANI thread about this subject, BHG referred to other contributors, mostly NA1k, with the terms: “incompetent", "mendacious", "habitual lying", "idiot", "poster-child for the Dunning–Kruger effect", "incapable of conducting rational discussions", "a liar or incompetent, or both", a "mix of stupidity and mendacity", "anti-truth", "bad faith", "low-skill group", "very low-competence editors" (which she went on to name Moxy and NA1k), and various other phrases. I had confronted her on her talk page with that list, and in her reply she referred to NA1k’s actions as stonewalling and their arguments as “word soup which conveys nothing”. I replied, using that exact phrasing to describe her argument as to why her insults are justified, which she then described as “spectacular rudeness”, bad faith, trolling, uncivil, and disruptive, subsequently kicking me off her talk page. In the same comment, she wrote, “So sustained incivility directed at me is fine, but my incivility in response is unacceptable?” This establishes that she recognizes her actions are uncivil, and evidently believes that when responding to people whose arguments she sees as incorrect, namely portal proponents, WP:5P4 does not apply. As such, I urge the Committee to take this case and take action to ensure a civil and welcoming community contributing environment. Vermont (talk) 18:49, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by FeydHuxtable

Recommend accept – but to resolve by motion. Something like an indefinite no fault 2way iBan for BHG & NA1K, and then perhaps delay any further action to see if the outcome of various active RfCs & other discussions produces a calming effect.

A 2 way iBan probalby isn't fair, but may be pragmatic. BHG & NA1k seem to be almost supernaturally energetic editors, and it could take many hundreds of hours to give careful attention to the enormous past arguments they've generated. It doesn't help that the anti-portal side rarely seems to use diffs to clarify what they mean. Take the seemingly non-neutral opening statement for this arb request as an example. There's a hand wave to the 12,000+ word transport portal MfD, with nothing specific to point out how it shows any fait accompli or other problematic behaviour by NA1K. IMO it shows the opposite. NA1K had for many weeks been carefully updating portals, partly to address BHG's concern that portals were going unmaintained. Then on 12th Oct, in violation of WP:FAIT , BHG mass reverted improvements to ~100 portals, which had clearly took NA1K at least dozens of hours, totally overwhelming his ability to respond without edit waring. (Tables showing the ~100 portals are in ANI archives ) BHG made a long but unconvincing argument that NA1K's improvements were an "extraordinarily huge breach of WP:FAITACCOMPLI". Yet at the ANI, a clear majority supported BHG's reverts being undone, though not quite enough to establish consensus. In the specific case of the Transport portal, even the person who put it up for MfD judged that NA1K's edits were "an improvement".

Given the insults listed above by Vermont, some might think BHG would be getting off lightly with a no fault iBan. But having spent a couple of hours reading some of her arguments, she does seem sincere. Occasionally calling out what you perceive as blatant lying probably is the right thing to do. And with her phenomenal 13 years of contribution, she surely has earned a little slack for occasionally getting passionate about the project. FeydHuxtable (talk) 19:24, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

JzG Lepricavark was correct, there's been no bad faith by NA1K. Please either support with diffs or strike your inaccurate maligning of NA1IK's good character. FeydHuxtable (talk) 20:51, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Lepricavark

I do not believe it is within ArbCom's remit to make policy decisions with regard to portal space, but there are protracted behavioral issues here which need to be resolved. While this is not my preferred venue, other options have not worked. Vermont has clearly laid out the case regarding BHG's behavior and while BHG has repeatedly insinuated bad faith on the part of NA1K, she has yet to present evidence that supports her claims. Moreover, if this case is to be accepted, I urge ArbCom to scrutinized the actions of Newshunter12, who has been noticeably disingenuous in their replies to Vermont in this discussion. Given the well-established fact that BHG has repeatedly attacked NA1K, there is no possible explanation for Newshunter12's feigned ignorance that could reflect well upon their motives. This is an encyclopedia, not a middle school playground, and Newshunter needs a reminder of that at the very least. Lepricavark (talk) 19:37, 18 November 2019 (UTC) @JzG: I second FeydHuxtable's call for evidence of bad faith on NA1K's part. I'm willing to change my mind if presented with convincing evidence, but so far I have not seen anything of the sort. Lepricavark (talk) 04:01, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by AmericanAir88

I agree with Lepricavark that policy decisions are not what this ArbCom case should be about. This should be about holding a user accountable for their actions. On the ANI discussion board, I provided examples of BHG harassing and attacking other users, such as NA1K. From my ANI: "BHG is violating WP:HARASS through examples like: this, this, and this. What is even more concerning is that BHG is an admin, a privilege that is meant to be a role model for examplar Wikipedia behavior. NA1K is a victim of harassment from someone who does not learn from their previous mistakes. It is unbelievable that an admin can be this disrespectful of their peers." My personal recommendation was a proposal to desysop BHG. AmericanAir88(talk) 20:48, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Reasons for Desysop of BrownHairedGirl (Copied from my ANI proposal):
1. Harassment. Plenty of evidence is prominent through diffs and this discussion. Targets other users. This violates WP:ADMINCOND and is against Wikipedia policy through the pilars.
2. Violation of WP:ADMINACCT. BHG does not reason properly as she erupts into poor judgement and accusations. She breaches multiple policies
3. Reverting and edit warring. Violation of WP:TOOLMISUSE by reverting other admin's edits. She reverts other users edits without consensus and does not consider WP:ALTREV and WP:ROWN.
4. Not a role model for non-admins. Administrators are meant to be examples of Wikipedias who excel in the pilars and understand all policies. They are meant to cooperate and help build an encyclopedia. BHG being able to commit activities I mention above is not what an Admin stands for or what ANY Wikipedian should be doing. AmericanAir88(talk) 20:48, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Moved from #Statement by ToThAc: @ToThAc: I am not asking for you to change the request. I am stating that BHG needs to be held accountable and that in my opinion, the idea of desysop should be floated around. It is a statement from me, not a request for a case change. I agree that this needs to encompass everything. Hope that clarifies it. AmericanAir88(talk) 21:50, 18 November 2019 (UTC)


Statement by Javert2113

I recently made a comment on this at AN/I, but I would like to reiterate my stance that personal attacks cannot be tolerated; but I should hope that the Committee, if they choose to accept this case, would choose to hold this case (which is indeed likely to be long and protracted) in abeyance, pending the installation of the new Committee at the conclusion of this term. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 01:31, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Jehochman

I noticed that Diannaa (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) recently blocked BrownHairedGirl related to this issue. When one administrator feels the need to block another administrator, that's a sign that the dispute should go to arbitration, because the admin corps is too divided to deal with it. ArbCom could be useful identifying bad behavior that obstructs the formation of consensus. As JzG suggests, stop the bad behavior and the underlying issue will then resolve. I don't agree, however, to wait for the moribund RfC to end. I think people can write guidelines and have a bunch of MfDs to clear up this portal mess. Jehochman Talk 04:10, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Lightburst

I urge Arbcom to take this case. The overriding concern should be to stop the disruptions on the project and restore civility and confidence in administration. The incivility and personal attacks by the administrator Brown Haired Girl are a major concern. An administrator must have credibility in warning or blocking editors for personal attacks; Brown Haired Girl has lost that credibility. Brown Haired Girl's mass reverting of the edits of a fellow administrator North America 1000's were a major disruption to the project. What followed was a long, drawn out, disruptive public feud which has taken time and energy away from the project. The administrator North America 1000 has tolerated abuse in the form of personal attacks and insults from Brown Haired Girl. I lament the fact that policies are not applied evenly on the project. Administrator's are at different levels of competence: some administrators are punitive or worse. However at a minimum every editor and administrator on the project should follow the guidelines and policies and especially the fourth pillar WP:5P4. If an ordinary editor behaved as Brown Haired girl has behaved, they would get an indefinite block. I believe that Brown Haired Girl should be Desysopped. In addition, as Usedtobecool has correctly stated this disruptive feud should not have gotten to this point: the many administrators who failed to act to protect the project and North America 1000 should be addressed. Only one administrator had the courage to finally block Brown Haired Girl for the behavior and that was only after this very long disruption.I !voted to topic ban Brown Haired Girl at ANI Lightburst (talk) 04:08, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Usedtobecool

I'd been waiting to see if this actually comes about, ever since the October ANI discussion (one of the longer ones I've seen) whose close I read as "parties who might possibly be considered for any sanction are too big for any individual admin to have the courage to apply it to, even assuming they were willing to wade through the mountain of evidence, so take it to ArbCom". I think this case should be accepted because:

  1. It's starting to look like admins are held to a lower standard, not higher, in both how involved admins have (/allegedly) behaved, and how uninvolved ones have chosen to !handle it.
  2. If NA1K's conduct is found to be so unseemly that all of BHG's accusations (and word choices) are judged to be on the mark, not only might we need serious sanction/s against NA1K, and possibly others, but also clarifications/rewrites to much of our policies, because it would mean that there's so much confusion among editors on this that BHG's accurate characterisations have, so often, been discredited as breach of civility/personal attacks.
  3. If BHG's conduct is judged to be completely unacceptable, ArbCom needs to look at the conduct of admins who've refused to take sides and basically said "you both are grownups, go figure out yourself", essentially falling short of their obligation to protect NA1K, and possibly others, from ongoing abuse.

Personally, I hope it turns out to be the exact middle where everyone is half-right, with the other half being simple good-faith misunderstandings, so we can all just appeal to human imperfections and move on. But we won't know, unless ArbCom elects to undertake the risks involved in choosing to actually go through all the evidence. Usedtobecool TALK  06:01, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)&diff=835404515&oldid=835404382&diffmode=source

Statement by Galobtter

@ToThAc: There's an error in your statement in regards to In April 2018, The Transhumanist started an RfC on deprecating portals - twas I who started the RfC. I wonder where starting that RfC ranks in WikiHistory for single actions leading to the most amount of drama... Galobtter (pingó mió) 06:55, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thincat

Arbcom should accept this case because the community has failed to agree any substantive action regarding the behaviour of BHG and NA1k[3] and delegation to Arbcom was agreed to as, seemingly, the only solution.[4] It is important to show the community can indeed deal with behavioural problems.

For uninvolved people like myself the committee could determine whether frequently repeated remarks such as "NA1K's mendacity and incompetence" and "NA1K's lies and smear tactics"[5] are "derogatory comments" which, by WP:NPA, could and maybe should have been removed by any editor (such as myself). Also, although I have seen many criticisms of NA1k's editing and behaviour, I am still unclear what they have done outside Wikipedia norms. The evidence phase of this case and the subsequent dispassionate assessment would help people like myself understand where disagreeing with a majority over a series of discussions becomes "gaming". Thincat (talk) 13:12, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by WaltCip

I'm not going to pretend to understand in full the complexities and eccentricities of the portal-space debate, namely the creation (and subsequent deletion) of hundreds upon hundreds of "junk portals" as well as the purpose that portals serve in this community in general. To me, this whole debacle resembles the Infobox Wars in the amount of vitriol being spilled between what would otherwise be very competent editors and administrators. But from my point of view, I find the heavy-handed incivility and personal attacks by BHG - even if they are even REMOTELY justified in some small fashion - to be counter-productive to an atmosphere of collegiality. This affects not merely the editors who are directly being called out, but also editors who are merely tangentially involved, as they may be dissuaded from contributing or collaborating further.

Nonetheless, I'm not sure that blocks or topic bans are the answer to this. Portals are a problem for which there have been multiple attempts at resolution or RFC, but each time, no consensus arises from it. I think ArbCom needs to take the unenviable position of setting a policy in stone regarding portals and holding everyone to it under threat of discretionary sanctions. Only then, I think, can the conflict be deescalated. In any case, the situation has coalesced to a point where it's impossible for ArbCom to continue kicking the can down the road any longer; the community has clearly proven itself incapable of solving it.--WaltCip (talk) 14:10, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish

I agree word-for-word with Thryduulf. However, I would add something I'm not seeing said yet: This isn't just about WP:CIVIL / WP:NPA / WP:ASPERSIONS matters, but also WP:MEATBOT and WP:FAITACCOMPLI, on at least two sides. The "delete almost all the portals" crowd have made such accusations about the (mostly a year or so back) mass creation of portals (which has stopped, and which may be too stale for ArbCom to address). Currently, though, many of us skeptical of mass deletion of portals (even if leaning pro-deletion on most of them when we actually have time to analyze particular WP:MFD requests) have raised similar concerns about the "firehose" abuse of MfD to list portal after portal after portal, generally with no individual distinction or consideration of current or future merits (or lack thereof) on a per-topic basis, and at such a rate that no one sane could keep up. It's a WP:NOTHERE + WP:WINNING + WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior pattern, of obsessing over portal-nuking, and crushing opposition or even the ability to ask some questions, by engaging in such a rate of deletion demands that it's impossible to respond to it all unless you devote 100% of your time to deletion discussions about portals.

I'm kind of a centrist in this, having joined WikiProject Portals (mainly to suggest some material for a "WP:Manual of Style/Portals") then having been critical of the creation of so many pointless and redundant portals, but also alarmed at the deletion, with basically no meaningful discussion, of various portals on major topics that are certainly viable. PS: I agree that the "ongoing" portal RfC is not ongoing. It has completely stalled out, because of too much trench-digging to even agree what the RfC should ask.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:06, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Wugapodes

This case should be accepted and held in abeyance per Ched. Discussion is at this point intractable. Pick any random ANI thread or contentious MFD and you will find walls of text that make any kind of discourse difficult. Additionally there are routine assumptions of bad faith, name calling, and a collective failure of uninvolved editors to intervene per WP:RPA. The straw that broke my back is this ANI thread where I attempted to get BHG and NA1K to find a mutually agreeable solution; it quickly fell apart and exemplifies the problem faced in collective/discussion-based solutions. I agree with Smokey Joe that there are serious problems in this dispute of editors casting aspersions that need to be considered, and an arbitration case will examine those complaints and require substantiation. The central issue is not content but patterns of conduct issue that makes contributing in portal space unpleasant. This leads to problems such as false consensus since a broad portion of the community, including myself, is wary of wading into this dynamic. It has gotten to the point where MfD has an option to filter portal debates so that even MfD regulars don't need to get involved. Social dynamics like these break our typical consensus building processes and is a classic case of CommunityDoesNotAgree similar to the Infobox issues in 2013. ArbCom can hopefully remedy the conduct issues so that regular editing and consensus building can function properly and make the environment less toxic so that editors are willing to contribute to portal discussions. 06:29, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Given Joe Roe asking about who should be included as parties beyond BHG and NA1k, I would point to this edit from BHG which suggests Certes and Moxy seem to have significant history in this dispute. There are likely others, but it would largely be based on whom I've seen around these discussions rather than whose conduct is at issue. 06:01, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {Non-party}

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

Conduct in portal space and portal deletion discussions: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Please refrain from editing in other people's sections --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 17:42, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
    • As a reminder, don't get too bogged down by the parties list at this stage. The Arbs can, and plausibly will looking at the length of the parties list, remove and add parties. Please don't add and remove people without talking to the Clerks or Arbs. You can email us at clerks-l lists.wikimedia.org. --In actu (Guerillero) | My Talk 17:16, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Just a reminder that statements here should concern whether a case request should be accepted or declined by the committee, not for putting forward evidence for any particular outcome of a potential case. That evidence can be presented should the case be accepted by the committee. Liz Read! Talk! 00:38, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Conduct in portal space and portal deletion discussions: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <1/0/1>

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

  • I'm awaiting statements, but JzG, the RfC you mention was opened in July, and has had a total of 3 edits since the end of July, and none in 2 months. I think stating that it's in progress is a bit of a stretch... WormTT(talk) 17:40, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Also awaiting statements, but I'm much closer to an accept now than I was in April. Katietalk 18:22, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Recuse. I've argued in and closed enough contentious portal MfDs that I'd consider myself too involved with the topic in general, even if I haven't waded into these particular discussions. ♠PMC(talk) 18:42, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Pausing for further statements, but unless the request changes I am likely to accept the request. The role of portals on Wikipedia has remained a source of tension throughout many months of discussions, including an arbitration request earlier this year. Examining this issue now seems necessary and unavoidable. In the examples cited, behaviour by BrownHairedGirl, an administrator, is also concerning to me and it would be helpful if she would separately address the issues (portals and WP:ADMINCOND) in a statement. AGK ■ 21:42, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Leaning towards accept but I need more time to review everything. Mkdw talk 00:46, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Accept. I was in favour of accepting in April, and things don't seem to have improved. This has proved to be a long-running and intractable dispute and I doubt the recent(ish) RfC will bring it to a conclusion.
To address a few points of discussion above:
  • Ched's suggestion of postponing the case doesn't seem necessary, because we're unlikely to have this finished before the end of the year, and the normal procedure is that incoming arbs can then participate.
  • I share Robert's concern that what ArbCom is limited in what we can do here because the core issue is a content dispute. We can't bend the rules to let ArbCom decide on content, but we're not just limited to individual sanctions either. For example, we could consider specifying a route by which the community must reach a consensus on these issues that is definitive and minimises disruption.
  • The list of parties clearly needs to be trimmed before the case is opened. It should only include people who have been substantially involved in the dispute. With that in mind, suggestions as to who should be listed as a party (apart from BHG and NA) would be helpful.
– Joe (talk) 17:56, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Palestine-Israel articles 3

Initiated by Zero0000 at 13:58, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Palestine-Israel articles 3 arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. WP:ARBPIA3#500/30


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



Information about amendment request
  • Remove ambiguity


Statement by Zero0000

The sentence "Deletion of new articles by editors who do not meet the criteria is permitted but not required." literally says that non-extended-confirmed editors may delete new articles. This was certainly not the intention. To remove this ambiguity I suggest the insertion of one word: "Deletion of new articles created by editors who do not meet the criteria is permitted but not required."

@Jo-Jo Eumerus: I also doubt there has been actual confusion. I see this only as a little bit of cleanup that should be carried out on the principle that rules should really say what everyone assumes them to say. Zerotalk 18:16, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JJE

Well, has there been actual confusion because of this ambiguity? It doesn't sound likely. And if there was, should this be folded into the pending case on this topic area? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:21, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should address why or why not the Committee should accept the amendment request or provide additional information.Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Palestine-Israel articles 4

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

  • While it does not seem like the current wording has been problematic yet and it is technically impossible for non-admins to delete articles, I am fine with the suggestion of adding 'created' to clarify to what by is referring. Mkdw talk 22:26, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I too have no problem with this change. I'm aware. though, that we're about to open ARBPIA4 to review all remedies - as this hasn't been misinterpreted in the past, I think it's something that would be best covered there. WormTT(talk) 09:12, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
    Zero0000 would you mind raising this at WP:ARBPIA4 so that it doesn't get lost? IF so, I think we can close this and deal with all together. WormTT(talk) 18:17, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • The change makes sense to me -- agreed that it's confusing. GorillaWarfare (talk) 17:22, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Should be an uncontroversial clarification, I'm okay with it. – Joe (talk) 09:11, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Concur that this matter is best addressed in WP:ARBPIA4. AGK ■ 20:12, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

Clarification request: Editing of Biographies of Living Persons

Initiated by TonyBallioni at 21:56, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Editing of Biographies of Living Persons 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 TonyBallioni

Buffs is currently interpreting WP:ECP to state that admins must either declare protection is for disruptive editing, or apply it under DS. He has taken to requesting logging of ECPs on BLPs at WP:AELOG based on the ruling at WP:NEWBLPBAN. I am requesting the committee clarify whether the practice of using the standard Twinkle drop down Violations of the biographies of living persons policy requires logging at WP:AELOG if it is not intended as a discretionary sanction and it complies with the rest of the policy at WP:ECP. The committee could also clarify whether all actions taken to enforce the BLP policy are under DS or whether the current practice of enforcing it as normal admin actions is fine. I'm sorry to bother you all with this, but since all of his user talk contributions going back 2 weeks amount to a super-literal policing of the use of ECP, I'd prefer the committee clarify this before it gets any further. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:56, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

I’m not really sure how this is an end-run around ARBPIA4 (which I’ve ignored.) We have someone saying that using the Twinkle defaults for BLP protection requires logging, and when approached about it maintains that is the position. If Buffs is going to continue policing ECP (he can if he wants), there should be clarity on what is actually the standard outside of ARBPIA. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:43, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
Buff's. The reason this is at ARCA is because you said While the ECP of Joe Girardi was short-lived, you still need to log your actions here per the ArbCom ruling on BLPs. Please do so. Buffs (talk) 21:29, 24 October 2019 (UTC)} (diff)
You also told Risker If you are invoking protection of the article because it's BLP]], you need to log such actions here. Please do so. (diff)
You are saying that you are fine with this now that we are at ARCA, but the fact is that your most persistent activity of the last few weeks on Wikipedia has been policing the use of ECP. As I said, that's fine. What I have an issue with is you making up a requirement that all BLP protections must be logged, telling admins this, and when it is pointed out to you that you are wrong, you responding that you aren't. You have said on two occasions that ArbCom requires ECP of BLPs to be logged.
When I questioned you on it, you didn't back down and instead said Therefore, it you are citing WP:BLP as your rationale for WP:ECP, it seems to me that you're applying it due to DS, not DE. (diff).
As for your objections: when someone has made it their mission on Wikipedia to enforce policy on something, are incorrect on what the policy says, and invokes ArbCom as a reason for their position when ArbCom has said nothing of the sort, the place you go to ask for clarification is here. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:30, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Buffs

Well, that's a terribly biased and misleading interpretation of events.

First of all, to state that "all of [my] user talk contributions going back 2 weeks amount to a super-literal policing of the use of ECP" is beyond a stretch of the truth. In the only two specific instances he mentioned to me on my user page, the first had no rationale listed whatsoever. I asked for clarification and reminded him that, if it was under DS, to file it in the appropriate logs (even going so far as to provide a link to make it easier should that be the rationale). He stated that he probably overstepped where the protection needed to be. In the other, I asked for clarification and the Admin apparently felt it WAS under WP:DS and filed it under the logs as he should do so. In both instances, I felt such actions were appropriate and it was handled as it should have been.

Second, yes, I've asked for others to be more clear and, if necessary, to log such actions in accordance with ArbCom directives. In most instances, an admin says "hmm...you have a point there" and it's either clarified, clarified and logged, or any of a number of other actions which amount to   Done. To demonize all such conversations as super-literal policing of the use of ECP is beyond what anyone could objectively say is an accurate summary of events and is quite uncivil, IMNSHO.

Third, it seems quite obvious that the requirements for DS and ArbCom decisions are not being properly logged. You need to look no further than the first page of over 1800 ECP'd pages to see that there are dozens of pages under ArbCom rulings that are not logged anywhere. When notified, most admins go "Gee, you have a point there. I'll fix that!" Some have dug their heels in and said "No, I'm not going to do that". I haven't pursued such actions beyond a one-on-one conversation because of ongoing ArbCom discussion and clarification that's already underway. Bringing this here seems to be an attempt to end-run around that discussion. Buffs (talk) 22:31, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

Additionally, this falls under both ArbCom rulings (not just BLP) AND community consensus at WP:ECP. Please keep that in mind in your deliberations/conversations. Buffs (talk) 22:37, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

Buffs Responses to comments

  • KrakatoaKatie I don't know where Buffs gets the idea that discretionary sanctions has anything to do with the ECP policy
    Third paragraph of WP:ECP
    So, somewhere between Buffs, that third paragraph deals with the history of ECP, not the current state.
    @Worm That Turned: The point is that ECP is indeed applied for DS reasons. If you're saying the third paragraph no longer applies and admins can just do whatever they want, why bother having a policy at all?
  • I don't see the problem with the rationales as they are
    Then I respectfully submit you aren't looking hard enough:
  • If ECP is applied as a discretionary sanction, the admin should say so and log it...
    Agree 100%
  • it's not always the case that ECP is applied as a DS.
    Which is why I have a problem with the way this was initially brought to AFCA. I never said it was. This is no more than a straw man argument. There are hundreds of pages on the list of ECP protected pages which are BLPs that have nothing to do with ArbCom/DS. I don't have a problem with any of them. It's very clear from the edit summaries that WP:DE is a significant problem.
  • If it isn't, a standard rationale of 'persistent sockpuppetry' or 'persistent vandalism' or 'violations of the BLP policy' (and so forth) is sufficient for me.
    Likewise. I never said otherwise. Buffs (talk) 01:55, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • The extra "paperwork" he is seeking is a solution in search of a problem.
    I'm sorry. I guess I thought we were on a site where the policies actually mattered. I guess us mere peons have to follow the rules to the letter and intent doesn't matter while admins get all sorts of leeway? Last I checked, WP:AC/DS still applies. Specifically: "While discretionary sanctions give administrators necessary latitude, they must not...repeatedly fail to properly explain their enforcement actions". Saying that no one can even ask removes that layer of accountability to the community as a whole. Buffs (talk) 16:21, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • ...some of these confirmed users would go on to disrupt articles that were not protected at all...
    So why not block the users? You're just pointing out the flaw in your argument here. Buffs (talk) 17:26, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I would also want the parties involved to understand that actions needing to be logged are not made ineffective by a failure to log.
    AGK I never said they were and I don't see anyone advocating as such. An analogy: police officer arrests someone but puts the cuffs on too tight. I'm asking for the cops to make sure the cuffs are the proper tightness, not invalidate the arrest.
  • The appropriate response in most cases will be to simply WP:FIXTHEPROBLEM – add the log entry yourself.
    AGK I would have done that LONG ago if the rules didn't preclude that: "All sanctions and page restrictions must be logged by the administrator who applied the sanction or page restriction at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log." Likewise, this is very clearly defined as a role of administrators, not editors. I find it odd that no one is even discussing sanctioning admins when WP:AC/DS states "While discretionary sanctions give administrators necessary latitude, they must not...repeatedly fail to log sanctions...Administrators who fail to meet these expectations may be subject to any remedy the committee considers appropriate..." Buffs (talk) 21:29, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Johnuniq

My understanding is that ECP (30/500 protection) can be applied by an admin in either of these cases:

  1. In certain topics specified by Arbcom.
  2. In any topic if certain conditions (other methods are ineffective) are met.

In the first case, another admin must not change the protection as it is a discretionary sanction, and the action should be logged. The second case is a normal admin action which can be changed by another admin, and there is no log but pages are automatically listed at WP:AN. See the ECP RfC. Applying ECP is like any admin action—it might be reasonable to ask an admin why they had taken the action. However, it should be assumed that the first case applies if and only if mentioned in the edit summary. Admins have to take a lot of actions and requiring a discussion should be rare. In the second case, if there is reason to think that page protection should be reduced, ask the admin to do that or make a request at WP:RFPP. Johnuniq (talk) 23:28, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

  • Admins were notified regarding ECP on 23 September 2016: example. Johnuniq (talk) 00:28, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Newyorkbrad

Like the others who have posted, I suggest that Buffs drop this matter. The extra "paperwork" he is seeking is a solution in search of a problem. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:26, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Buffs appears to want to make it one. No thanks. Guy (help!) 10:13, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by El_C

With respect to my own protection cited here, the Kurdish set of articles had been a haven for socking-based disruption from confirmed accounts for months before I finally had to apply ECP to a set of related articles, to the relief of regular contributors. Anyway, some of these confirmed users would go on to disrupt articles that were not protected at all, so the formality of semiprotecting those articles first just so they could be immediately ECP'd seemed redundant to me. El_C 16:33, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

So why not block the users? You're just pointing out the flaw in your argument here — well, I did, at first, but as I recall, the volume proved to be too great. El_C 03:32, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
Some more context is available here — it includes Buffs' objection to my application of ECP as well as a comment from another admin, who supported my applying ECP to several Kurdish-related articles. That aside, that this matter is before the Committee —what purview does it have over this?— surprises me. El_C 03:44, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Xaosflux

There seems to be some overlap with the items being discussed at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Palestine-Israel articles 4/Workshop, to follow up on my comments there: uses of page protection that are not explicitly related to active arbitration should be dealt with in standard community venues. If the use of protection outside of remedies has truly risen through dispute resolution without a solution emerging it should be dealt with as its own case and not shoehorned on to an old case that primarily dealt with behavior over a different issue. — xaosflux Talk 18:15, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Blackmane

Having been involved in the original discussion (and in fact I was the one that suggested that the WP:AN notification be required. Credit goes to MusikAnimal for the hard work though) on implementing ECP as a discretionary measure I would note that the whole point of the notification list at WP:AN was precisely so that there was a log of all ECP's that were levied, irrespective of what they were levied for. Requiring admins to log it elsewhere _as well as it being automatically logged at AN_ is just a box ticking exercise which adds virtually no value. Blackmane (talk) 03:33, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by isaacl

@Blackmane: while logging of discretionary sanctions for this situation is a pretty tiny benefit for most instances (how often are these sanctions modified?), due to the rigid rules surrounding arbitration enforcement, it's still welcome. isaacl (talk) 19:42, 11 November 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.

Editing of Biographies of Living Persons: Clerk notes

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

Editing of Biographies of Living Persons: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I wrote the RFC to expand ECP. Option C, which became the bones of the current policy, states that ECP may be used to combat any form of disruption (such as vandalism, edit wars, etc.) on any topic, given that semi-protection has proven to be ineffective. Notification is to be posted in a subsection of AN for review, unless the topic is already authorized for 30/500 protection by the Arbitration Committee. A bot currently handles that AN notification. I don't know where Buffs gets the idea that discretionary sanctions has anything to do with the ECP policy, and I don't see the problem with the rationales as they are. If ECP is applied as a discretionary sanction, the admin should say so and log it, but it's not always the case that ECP is applied as a DS. (I don't think I've ever done it as a DS, but I could be wrong.) If it isn't, a standard rationale of 'persistent sockpuppetry' or 'persistent vandalism' or 'violations of the BLP policy' (and so forth) is sufficient for me. Katietalk 00:56, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I broadly agree with Katie above. ECP's usage has expanded far beyond DS over the years, and that RfC was the start. Buffs, that third paragraph deals with the history of ECP, not the current state. I accept that there are a number of rationales which are subpar, however that's not a question for ARCA. It's a question for the admins who placed ECP those rationale - we also have RFPP and AN if it cannot be resolved with the admin in question. For a review of ECP on a wider scale, can I suggest an RfC? At any rate, I'm not seeing the problem that needs to be clarified from an Arbcom perspective. WormTT(talk) 08:53, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I would think the current practice would be if an editor does not expressly state ECP is being applied as an arbitration enforcement relating to discretionary sanctions, it would be assumed it is a regular application of ECP. Mkdw talk 06:20, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Per Mkdw. I would also want the parties involved to understand that actions needing to be logged are not made ineffective by a failure to log. The appropriate response in most cases will be to simply WP:FIXTHEPROBLEM – add the log entry yourself. AGK ■ 12:01, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Amendment request: Sexology

Initiated by Jokestress at 20:29, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Sexology arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Lift of topic ban

Statement by Jokestress

I'd like this topic ban reviewed, please. My many created articles on value-neutral scientific concepts in sexuality have stood the test of time as NPOV helpful contributions. Example: Androphilia and gynephilia has hundreds of readers daily, and the terms remain widely used by ethical researchers despite the failed attempt to get it deleted here. The graphics I created for that article have been used in books. The sexologists who disagree with me [86] had their clinic shut down [87] since I was last editing. They and their like-minded allies still remain active editors here. Wikipedia has not kept up with the advances in the field. A few editors with very rigid medicalized views on sex and gender minorities maintain ownership of this subject area, causing our coverage to lag behind the published literature. It bothers me to see such an important topic become so outdated. I promise to be nice and not get frustrated with anonymous editors even when they deadname me, misgender me, and so on. I realize it just goes with the territory of using your real name. Sexuality was a small part of my edit history, but it is an area where I have extensive knowledge. Hope I did this right! Jokestress (talk) 20:29, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

  • Re Floq, my point in the example given is that my editing in human sexuality has resulted in more balanced coverage and viewpoint diversity that reflects the published literature, not just in science but in all fields of academic inquiry. I am a longtime editor in the most controversial academic subject areas like race and intelligence. That debate is very similar in that it is sometimes presented as a "scientific debate" when it is in fact a debate ABOUT science. If Wikipedians treated sex science the way we treat race science, the project would be much more reflective of the published literature. Unfortunately, editors with a medicalized POV have a death grip on the entire subject area. If Wikipedia had been around when "science" claimed gay people had a disease, a gay editor would be in my same position. Since I can't give examples of other editor behavior, just take a look at any article about the intersection of sexuality and consent. If anyone wants some specific examples, my email is open on my profile. I'm once again in a position where I can't elaborate or make my case without breaking some rule. Jokestress (talk) 21:46, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Re Thryduulf, my POV (scientific consensus) prevailed in the controversy to which you're referring off-wiki, but the other POV (fringe views on human sexuality) prevails here on Wikipedia. Jokestress (talk) 21:59, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Re Flyer22 and related accounts/IPs, use of the rhetoric "threat to the community" to describe another Wikipedian is the sort of behavior I no longer consider frustrating. I'll ignore it because I want our coverage of human sexuality to reflect the latest published work from all fields of inquiry. Jokestress (talk) 22:49, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Re Crossroads, the standard Rind bio I wrote [88] is a perfect example of how Wikipedia keeps getting worse because of the small group of editors in this subject area. I have written hundreds of similar biographies after finding a red link somewhere. Crossroads' claim that I added "unnecessary things to make its subject look good" is typical of the kind of aspersions these editors make. I'm not even allowed to respond to such accusations without threats of further action. There is no assumption of good faith for anyone who tries to include reliable sourcing with which they don't agree, no matter how scientific or reliable. No merging of the relevant content from the Rind bio after deletion. Not even a redirect. Wikipedia is demonstrably less useful because of this. Crossroads' other example is too complicated to get into here, but it is another example of a scientific and value-neutral term used by experts that distinguishes three phenomena. I made a little Venn diagram on that page to show how experts think about these topics. I know emotions run high on these topics, but the suggestions that I am "pro-" this or that have been oversighted as actionable libel in the past. It's truly outrageous that even in my absence it doesn't stop. Jokestress (talk) 00:57, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Re SMcCandlish, every reliable published source I was trying to get included on Wikipedia in 2013 still represents scientific consensus or notable criticism of that consensus. Most of it is still not here. I've sat by for 7 years hoping Wikipedia would catch up with the published literature on sexuality, but here we are, stuck in the 20th century. It seems pretty clear that things won't change until the Wikipedia community takes a hard look at its complicity in perpetuating outdated views on human sexuality. I'm happy to elaborate if I won't get in some sort of trouble for contravening my "punishment." I keep hoping I won't have to do what I did with hemovanadin to try to wake people up around here. That didn't wake anyone up, either. All I got was a lot of angry messages like the ones below, as if I am the problem. We'll see how this discussion goes. Jokestress (talk) 07:17, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • re Genericusername57, yes! Exactly! ARBpeople, this comment gets to the heart of what I consider the discriminatory practices of this community. Without specifics, I'll simply say that several editors in human sexuality have stated they have "a personal, possibly monetary [professional], conflict of interest" in the outcome of our sexuality coverage. A professional working to get favorable coverage of their fringe views about a sexual minority gets preferential treatment over a member of that minority, even if that minority member is trying to shape articles to reflect expert consensus and notable dissent. This double standard is discriminatory on its face. I was taken out of the equation in 2013, and the problem has only gotten quantifiably worse since then. There is currently a culture war within sexology and a sea change happening in the professional literature that is not reflected in our coverage (with exceptions). Anyone who tries to address this discrepancy here runs into these editors and their sympathetic proxies. As Oldperson observes, these editors are very good at getting their way through sheer numbers and Wikilawyering. They make collaboration so difficult, and the subject matter is so controversial, that even the most seasoned editors stay away by choice or force, leaving them in near-complete control of one of the most vital topics covered on the project. Jokestress (talk) 16:18, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • re JzG, the hostility and accusations you note are part of the strategy. Uninvolved editors aren't going to collaborate when they are accused of being "pro-pedophile" or worse by the handful of people who control this subject. I can't believe these people are not straight-up banned for using sex offender rhetoric like "threat to the community" to describe other editors. Nothing has changed in 7 years. Jokestress (talk) 16:35, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • re Aircorn, my 2013 topic ban is on "human sexuality, including biographies." Since most transgender editors were driven from the project during the Sexology and Manning naming dispute Arbcoms in 2013, there's no one left to monitor policy violations on transgender biographies and so on, like today's deadnaming of a trans woman who died yesterday [89]. I'm asking for my topic ban to be lifted because there's a double standard in how we treat editors based on who they are. I also want Arbcom policy clarified and applied equally to all editors. Jokestress (talk) 18:02, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • re Katie & Joe, yes, that is the problem. I am unable to edit anything in my area of expertise without being accused of this or that. How can I show diffs with evidence of collaboration if I'm not allowed to collaborate? What is my path to forgiveness? I can't even make suggestions on talk pages that uninvolved editors agree with [90] without running into drama. Was it "illegal" for me to remove policy violations at Nikki Araguz today? [91] Was it illegal for me to improve the sourcing? [92] Nikki was even more "controversial" than I am. No one else was going to do it, though. Anyone who cared was driven away in 2013 by two back-to-back Arbcom cases about systemic bias toward sex and gender minorities on this platform. Jokestress (talk) 07:38, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks for considering my request! This has all been quite elucidating. So just to confirm the answer to my earlier question above: I will be sentenced to wiki jail again if I remove transphobic vandalism from a trans activist's biography on the day she dies, the day the article will get the most views it will ever get. Just want to confirm where the community's priorities are here. PS happy Transgender Awareness Week! Jokestress (talk) 21:54, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
  • @Joe Roe: "was the idea to t-ban Jokestress from all biographies?" Sexology is not a large area of my editing. I am a generalist who happens to be a notable expert on sex and gender minorities editing under her real name. I'm also known for attempting to reform Wikipedia and problematic community conduct in relation to its profound biases about sex and gender, as well as its general hostility to women. That puts me in an unusual situation. Of the many biographies on sexologists that I created, there were about half a dozen that were related to an offsite matter that resolved to "my POV" in 2015 (scientific and legislative consensus). I believe those edits over a decade ago were generally fair, but I had acknowledged my COI and not edited any for some time prior to my 2013 "conviction" here. Here's my response from last time to a similar question. [93] As far as trans biographies, I wrote or improved many of those, none of the contents of which have been disputed to my knowledge. I have probably created a thousand biographies all told. It was my understanding that it was not all biographies, but there was additional drama involving the same topics since I was taken out of the equation, leading to additional rules. The Wikimedia Foundation trustee who wrote about my 2017 efforts to reform Wikipedia said that the rules have expanded into an encyclopedia of their own.[94] If you set aside the rhetoric of my detractors and look at the balance of my work, you'll see that the locus of dispute re biographies is quite narrow. Jokestress (talk) 23:52, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
  • @Premeditated Chaos: + @Mkdw: + @AGK: while I am sure the Amanda James article is affected by the same systemic gender bias I try to address here, I believe you mean the talk page for Andrea James. In an interesting coincidence, I was an All-American swimmer who swam the same event (100 back) as Amanda James. That does not need to be in my bio, though, as I am notable for more important things. It's tough being outstanding at everything you do-- at some point it all has to be edited down for saliency. Thank you for generously offering the chance to comment on my circa 2008 WP bio! Jokestress (talk) 12:06, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • @Joe Roe: Perhaps it's better to refer people to User:Jokestress, where I can maintain an up-to-date and well-sourced version that editors can use as source material if they wish. I believe that is clearly marked as a user page. I'm not interested in discussing my bio, as I find its quality, timeliness, and focus to be among the problems in need of reform. Retaliatory editing of a notable Wikipedian's bio during disputes is a serious matter for another day. Jokestress (talk) 13:05, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Floq

Be careful not to violate your interaction ban; there was no need to bring up the AFD created by someone you're banned from talking about. That's a separate sanction. Also, while I'm here, I don't understand how the linked edit demonstrated misgendering; are you objecting to someone refering to you using the singular they? FWIW, I'm not familiar with the details underlying the case, but this request gives off a distinct battleground-ish vibe. I'm fairly confident that is not going to be a successful way to appeal a topic ban imposed for, among other things, previous relentless battleground behavior. Perhaps it isn't too late to self-reflect and change your approach? --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:50, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

@Jokestress:, you're gaming the system; continuing to edit gender-related talk pages while this appeal of a human sexuality topic ban is going on (per @Aircorn:'s diff [95]), when it is very clear that a majority of people commenting believe that these edits violate that ban (and the few that aren't sure believe the topic ban should be expanded to include it). This is either civil disobedience, or a refusal to get the point. Unless directed not to do so by an Arbitrator, I intend to enforce the existing ArbCom human sexuality topic ban to include gender indentity. Until this ARCA request is resolved one way or the other, the next edit you make to a gender-related article or talk page will result in a 1 week block. This is a violation of an active topic ban, after several clear warnings by several involved AND uninvolved people over the last few days. I'm trying to bend over backwards to allow you to participate in this discussion, so I won't block for that edit, but this is a last warning that you cannot simply ignore an ArbCom topic ban. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:45, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
pinging @KrakatoaKatie: and @Worm That Turned: to give them an opportunity to tell me not to block next time. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:48, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Kingofaces43

Not involved in the subject at all, but I was curious and went back to the FoFs:

I have to agree with Floq that this seems to maintain an air of battleground seen back in those findings of fact. It seems like this editor is too close to the topic, so I'd be wary about removing the topic ban even though it's six years old. Focus on others and inability to address one's own problems after a ban is a good sign the sanction should remain in place. Kingofaces43 (talk) 21:00, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf (re Sexology)

I am somewhat familiar with this case, and like Floq and Kingofaces43 I am struck by just how much of a battleground vibe this request gives off. Additionally, one of the findings of fact in this case related to Jokestress' off-wiki behavior: Jokestress is a prominent party to an off-wiki controversy involving human sexuality, in which she has been sharply critical of certain individuals who disagree with her views, and has imported aspects of the controversy into the English Wikipedia to the detriment of the editing environment on sexuality-related articles. I get the distinct impression from this request that they she would do exactly the same again were the topic ban lifted. There is nothing in the case that convinces me they she understood at the time why their her actions were problematic, and I see nothing in this request that convinces me that this has changed.

Accordingly I don't think that lifting the topic ban at this time will be a net positive to the project, and encourage the committee to decline it. Thryduulf (talk) 21:28, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

For reasons I cannot comprehend, Jokestess has accused me (on my talk page) of misgendering and being uncivil by using gender neutral pronouns. Nevertheless I have changed the pronouns I used above to avoid taking focus away from the subject of this request: i.e. Jokestress' behaviour that is incompatible with NPOV articles and a collegiate editing environment. Thryduulf (talk) 10:09, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
@Jokestress: Firstly reread Wikipedia:Righting great wrongs, as I see no evidence you understand it. Secondly, if people are genuinely being inappropriately labelled paedophiles by editors who control the topic area as you allege then that is indeed a bad thing, but stressing that as your reason for wanting to return to the topic area is just further evidence you haven't left the battleground attitude behind. If there is evidence of the bad behaviour you cite then it will be easy for other editors to find and go through the appropriate dispute resolution processes. Thryduulf (talk) 16:58, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
@Joe Roe: and others re the topic ban scope. My impression from reading the original case and my memories is that the intention was to ban Jokestress from the biographies of people notable for their connection to sexology and other fields related to human sexuality, which would undoubtedly include people and groups notable for LGB activism. I think that it would be beneficial to extend and clarify that to something like Jokestress is indefinitely banned from the topics of human sexuality and gender, including LGBT+ rights and biographical articles about people notable in these topic areas.. I agree that a person simply being transgender should not mean they automatically come within the topic area, for one thing this could cause if Jokestress edits the article about a person who is transgender but does not make this public, especially if she (Jokestress) does not know they are transgender but another editor does. It might also be worth formally reminding Jokestress and others that discretionary sanctions are authorised for "All edits about, and all pages related to, (a) GamerGate, (b) any gender-related dispute or controversy, (c) people associated with (a) or (b), all broadly construed" (these originated in the Manning Name Dispute and GamerGate cases, both of which post-date this one). Thryduulf (talk) 09:35, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Note For the edits to Nikki Araguz (a transgender marriage equality campaigner) identified by Aircorn in their section, i have blocked Jokestress for 1 week. Pinging the arbs who have commented so far @Joe Roe, Krakatoa Katie, and Worm That Turned: Thryduulf (talk) 21:50, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
  • @Jokestress: regarding your latest question, read Wikipedia:Banning policy, particularly the WP:BANEX section. The first bullet point there makes it clear that you are allowed to revert " obvious vandalism (such as page content being replaced by obscenities) or obvious violations of the policy about biographies of living persons. The key word is "obvious" – that is, cases in which no reasonable person could disagree." (all emphases in original). If you find yourself doing this I strongly encourage you to mention in your edit summary that you are reverting obvious vandalism/obvious BLP violations. If the vandalism or violation is not obvious or you have any doubts whether it is obvious, and that includes cases where someone unfamiliar with the subject would not recognise it is as problematic, you can report it at WP:AIV or another appropriate venue for someone who is not topic banned to take care of. As with all things, if you abuse this in any way or if you make more than the occasional mistake about what is obvious vandalism/BLP violations then even this limited exception to your ban may be removed. Thryduulf (talk) 10:07, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Arbs: I think it would be worth making an exception to the topic ban to allow Jokestress to comment at Talk:Andrea James, but solely to highlight (perceived) inaccuracies or where updates are required. I do not think we should prevent article subjects from leaving such comments on the talk page of the article about them without evidence they have disrupted that specific page. Thryduulf (talk) 18:41, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • @Crossroads: The proposed exemption allows only for edit requests for factual inaccuracies and updates, not general changes. Any "haranguing" of editors on that talk page and the exemption can (and would) be withdrawn (maybe a note that this can be done at AE could be included). If it is necessary for it to be withdrawn then that would be very good evidence against any future appeal of the topic ban, so it would be in her interests to behave (although I admit that hasn't stopped her previously). Thryduulf (talk) 20:57, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Flyer22 Reborn

I advise everyone to look at this recent ANI thread started by Crossroads, which outlines Jokestress's problematic editing in the areas of human sexuality and gender and how the editor has not changed. Even the above initial post, as noted by two editors before me, shows the same WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior. Please do not be fooled by several years having passed. As many know, I am one of the most active editors in the pedophilia and child sexual abuse topic areas, if not the most active, and I have helped get a lot of pedophile and child sexual abuse POV-pushers indefinitely blocked. In fact, Alison and I were key in having such editors blocked or alerting WP:ArbCom to these matters, and WP:CHILDPROTECT was created to help combat the issues. Editors such as Herostratus, Legitimus and myself (just a handful of editors) have consistently kept articles, such as Rind et al. controversy, free of POV-pushing from pedophiles, child sexual abusers and others looking to challenge the medicalization of pedophilia or downplay the effects of child sexual abuse. Over the years, some have come back as WP:Socks, and I have dealt with those as well (often with the help of certain CheckUsers, including Alison and Berean Hunter). Jokestress was savvy enough to avoid getting indefinitely blocked for her behavior in these areas, but she did get topic-banned, and for reasons I and others already outlined there. This editor is very much a threat to the community. Jokestress trying to paint this as silencing a transgender person does not cut it. For those of us who were there -- who know how problematic this editor was at pedophilia and child sexual abuse topics, and other topics -- this was never about Jokestress being transgender.

The sexology case clearly concerned transgender issues as well. And human sexuality is a broad topic, which significantly overlaps with gender (including transgender) aspects. We have various articles, including Transvestic fetishism, Gender variance and Childhood gender nonconformity that show this overlap. Childhood gender nonconformity, for example, very much aligns with an eventual gay, lesbian, or bisexual sexual orientation. Prospective studies have shown this. Furthermore, even Jokestress's first suggestion at Talk:Detransition shows overlap between sexuality and the transgender topic. But even if one thinks human sexuality doesn't cover detransition, it's still the case that making a comparison to the ex-gay movement, as Jokestress did at Talk:Detransition, is definitely on the subject of human sexuality, and therefore a topic ban violation. I do not see that, given her views (including on our policies and guidelines) and how she notoriously tries to go about getting those views implemented, this editor should be allowed to edit sexual or gender topics. This is a person who considers all medicalization a bad a thing, and has repeatedly tried to undermine Wikipedia rules such as WP:MEDRS. I especially don't see how anyone (except for pedophiles, child sexual abusers, and related POV-pushers) can be comfortable letting this person edit pedophilia and child sexual abuse topics. The "that was years ago" line of thinking does not hold up, as seen by their off-Wikipedia activity and recent behavior once finally back on Wikipedia. Jokestress has not changed in all of these years. Jokestress has simply behaved the same way off Wikipedia. Coming back to Wikipedia and acting the way she has recently acted, including ignoring two warnings about her editing in these areas, and it taking an ANI thread to get her to acknowledge that she should stop, speaks volumes. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:21, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

And regarding this, this, this and this here and at ANI, WanderingWanda, who I have a tempestuous history with, should not be touching my posts. Nowhere did I call Jokestress a pedophile. The post relates to my experience with pedophile and child sexual abuser POV-pushers, and Jokestress having edited in a similar way -- the same exact thing I stated in the ArbCorm case against her. She was problematic in those areas due to her views on pedophilia and child sexual abuse, indeed challenging the medicalization of pedophilia or downplaying the effects of child sexual abuse, which was reiterated by Crossroads in his ANI thread against her. It is the main reason she was topic-banned from sexuality articles. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:29, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Given recent commentary below, I must state the following: Any claim that our Wikipedia transgender or transgender-related articles are being overran by anti-trans editors is false. There is far more activism going on at these articles than any anti-trans activity. Certain editors want one narrative presented as valid and that's it. If you note an opposing narrative and/or that this opposing narrative should be included and why, they may consider you transphobic/anti-trans. This is despite the fact that transgender people disagree with one another on these matters as well, as seen by this and this source commenting on left-wing transgender YouTuber ContraPoints coming under fire (from those who otherwise supported her) for daring to have different opinions and for daring to include a trans man (Buck Angel) with different opinions in one of her videos. People, both cisgender and transgender, have different views on what it means to be a woman (as recent discussions at Talk:Woman have shown). Disagreeing on that doesn't automatically make one transphobic/anti-trans. It doesn't make one a bad person. And yet we have editors comparing those who disagree to Nazis at Talk:Feminist views on transgender topics and Talk:TERF. A transgender person with views that deviate from commonly held views in the transgender community may be labeled transphobic/categorized as suffering from internalized transphobia or as truscum. Even me noting that transgender YouTuber Blaire White has commented on this and linking to this YouTube video where she takes on claims of being a transphobic trans woman/a trans woman suffering from internalized transphobia can lead certain editors to deduce "Flyer is transphobic" (a claim recently rejected by the community). When I mention transgender people like White, it's me acknowledging that transgender people also have diverse views on these topics. It's just that, like White notes, certain voices within the transgender community are louder than others/are more commonly reported on (and more positively) in the media. If other transgender YouTubers or transgender public figures with White's views had Wikipedia articles, I'd mention them as well. The need to note different views on these topics and include those views in our Wikipedia articles if WP:Due is why editors should not be silenced by accusations of being transphobic/anti-trans (unless they truly are transphobic/anti-trans, although this, per what I've noted in this paragraph, can be subjective). This is why Fæ was topic-banned in August. This is why Jokestress editing transgender topics is problematic. Jokestress being transgender doesn't mean that Jokestress editing transgender topics is a good thing. Jokestress is here, like always, to push a narrative. And if anyone disagrees with that narrative, that person is Jokestress's enemy and/or, according to Jokestress, is transphobic. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 14:06, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Oldperson

I am not at all familiar with the Fae and Jokestress situation, and I do not have a cell phone much less a twitter account. I am cognizant of one thing, that the anti trans editors outnumber and are more active than the pro trans or trans neutral editors. And are quite expert at wp:wikispeak and adept at almost undectable WIKILAWYERING. Thus an opportunity to TBAN a trans advocate increases their ability to push their POV. As regards lumping everything under the topic Human Sexuality is misguided. Pedophilia may have been accepted in ancient Greece and Rome, but it has proven o have harmful/damaging psychological and social effects in the modern age. Some ancient cultures engaged in child sacrifice, but we don't today, I sanction a ban on advocates of pedophilia. But pedophilia is not akin to transsexualism or homosexuality except in the propaganda of many on the religious right. And thus oppose the lumping of transgenderism/transsexuality under the broad umbrella of Human Sexualiity, as much as it might appear to make sense. That or topic bans need to be made narrower and more well defined.Oldperson (talk) 22:32, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

I want to carefully word this, as to not cast apserions on other editors,but in truth there is a dearth of voices that can speak for the transgendered on wikipedia, especially when the most vocal like Fae and Jokestress have been banned or blocked from speaking out,leaving only a smattering of pro or neutral editors to offset very vocal and "anti-trans" or trans critical editors to dominate the articles and their talk pages, with well practiced civil POV pushing.Oldperson (talk) 23:35, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

I have read enough about Jokestress' real-world interactions with others who do not wholeheartedly share her views to be uncomfortable with a simple lifting of this ban.

I do not share the evident alarm and hostility of, say, Crossroads, but I do not think that Jokestress is a comfortable fit for the topic area of gender, and especially transgender, despite her being substantially correct in many cases. Guy (help!) 14:36, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

@Jokestress: for what it's worth, I do not factor those arguments in at all. My judgment is based solely on what you have written yourself. Guy (help!) 16:51, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Crossroads

I urge the Committee to instead reaffirm the topic ban, and clarify that it includes transgender topics. Transgender topics were an integral part of the case. The discretionary sanctions, though now rescinded as redundant to the GamerGate discretionary sanctions, were authorized for all pages dealing with transgender issues and paraphilia classification. [96]

Jokestress was topic banned for good reason, and all the evidence indicates that she has not changed since that time and will immediately resume her old behavior. Indeed, she already has.

I only started editing Wikipedia in 2018, but when looking at the history of her article Bruce Rind, which was successfully deleted at AfD, I found out about her and read the Sexology arbitration case and many of the links therein. I encourage anyone who wants to weigh in to look for themselves. The evidence page from that case contains even more info. [97] From all this, it is clear that Jokestress takes an inappropriate-for-Wikipedia, completely activist approach to sexuality and gender, one that is anti-science, anti-medical (in contradiction to WP:MEDRS), anti-reliable-sources when those sources are ones she does not like (which is often), and frankly, at times is questionable regarding WP:CHILDPROTECT.

Since she mentions she has created sexuality articles, I will point to her article Adult sexual interest in children. This was deleted at AfD for being a POV fork of Pedophilia.

Some statements made by Jokestress about pedophilia
  • Another major issue with how this is presented is the undue weight we give to the term as co-opted by psychology etc. to describe a disease/disorder. Saying "pedophilia is a disorder" is merely reification of the concept and a violation of WP:NPOV. The term paidophilia existed for centuries before being appropriated by Krafft-Ebing to describe a psychopathology. It's only since the moral panics of the 1970s that a whole cottage industry of catching and "curing" this population emerged. [98]
  • "...survey of human adult–child sexual behavior worldwide indicated it has occurred throughout history with varying degrees of acceptability and was much more prevalent in the past...."; "Intuitively it is obvious that the sexual abuse of children inflicts deep psychological harm. But there are also reasons to distrust this intuition. First of all, it could reflect an irrational taboo about the sexuality of children. The idea that children should be sexually innocent is not universal; in fact, it is relatively modern..." [99] Note: this is a quote by Herostratus of a now deleted article written by Jokestress, who never denied having written those words, and who had just recently created the article. [100]
  • Those interested in getting this policy reviewed should do so at Wikipedia_talk:Child_protection and should make no mention of their reasons for involving themselves in this topic, particularly if their sexual interests have any connection with this subject. [101]

After the Sexology case, she left Wikipedia for 6.5 years. During this time, her attitude about the Wikipedia community did not change. She still has the mentality of bending Wikipedia to a certain POV, the hostile us-against-them approach, and her attitude about WP:WINNING, as evidenced by some of her tweets just from the last few months.

Tweets
  • This @CreativeCommons infographic I made ended up in a 2018 @thamesandhudson book by @sally_hines! One of my dim bulb haters tried & failed to get the accompanying article deleted from @Wikipedia. Support my newest #dataviz - The Transphobia Project: [link] [102]
  • Deletionists continue stripping @Wikipedia of helpful disambiguation pages. Now they are even stripping away redirects that might help young visitors. Amazing to watch the site slowly gutted from within like a termite infestation. #wikipedia [103]
  • Now that @Wikipedia drove away #sex & #gender minorities, deletionists & fringe ideologues have free rein to distort coverage. They even want to delete helpful redirects, having already gutted articles, disambiguation pages, & images. I could be banned just for citing this: [image of transfan definition] [104]

Now, her recent behavior. At her return, after some userspace edits, she went straight to the lead of the article Detransition, adding in that Direct, formal research of "detransition" has shown political parallels between the ex-trans movement and the ex-gay movement. Mentioning the ex-gay movement is editing about human sexuality, hence a topic ban violation. The source for this was an activist article in a predatory journal, and she added other activist non-WP:MEDRS sources as well. On the talk page she claimed This is a classic "phenomenon vs. term" political debate. This biased article reifies a transphobic ideology akin to the ex-gay movement. She continued suggesting activist sources on the talk page, [105][106] even though she had been warned about this likely being a topic ban violation. [107][108]

Both here and at the short-lived recent ANI thread [109] she continues unremorseful with the same attitude. She just referred to "Flyer22 and related accounts/IPs", showing the same combativeness and bad faith assumptions.

Jokestress' latest ploy appears to be claiming that she has to be here to correct Wikipedia's supposedly biased treatment of this topic. This is wrong for at least 4 reasons: (1) The comparison with race issues is a false analogy. Race issues are not a "debate about science"; rather, science refutes racist ideology, and as for so-called race science, as the article linked to says, Scientific racism is a pseudoscientific belief. (2) Like other WP:FRINGE theory pushers, Jokestress is claiming Wikipedia's coverage of a topic is unbalanced and needs her to correct it. However, loading it up with her cherry-picked sources is likely to lead to WP:FALSEBALANCE. (3) There is no reason to think our coverage of sexuality and gender is biased so that she is needed to correct it. I speak from experience that these topics have editors with a wide variety of viewpoints already, including many who are openly LGBT, and the consensus building process works as it should. (4) Even if it were true that our articles were unbalanced, Jokestress is not the person to help us correct it. Her hostile approach will drive editors away. And the sources she adds are poor. [110][111] They are all activist, are opinionated partisan media pieces, and/or from a predatory journal.

We know her behavior patterns; they're documented for us in the previous case. If her topic ban is lifted, our gender and sexuality articles will be loaded up with carefully selected opinionated sources in service of an agenda. Anyone who opposes this will experience opposition until they are driven away or worn down. What do we expect? She is an activist, and activists engage in activism. And as for the articles specifically on pedophilia, with the comments from her quoted above, I'll leave as an exercise for the reader what that will end up like.

Her topic ban should stay, and it should be clarified that it does cover transgender topics. -Crossroads- (talk) 00:21, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

@KrakatoaKatie: To be clear, what is being suggested is not a widening of the topic ban, but rather clarity that it was always meant to be included. Indeed, it is being treated as included already both at ANI and here. Clarity in the topic ban description is needed because this user apparently intends to wikilawyer and edit as close to the edge of her ban as possible. (And in any case, the reasons for her original topic ban apply just as much to transgender topics as to sexuality in the narrow sense.)

I'll briefly address Jokestress' latest comments. Her statement several editors in human sexuality have stated they have "a personal, possibly monetary [professional], conflict of interest" in the outcome of our sexuality coverage. appears to be false; there is no "several" I have ever heard of, and this appears to be a thinly veiled reference just to User:James Cantor, whom she is banned from talking about. Her claims of being indispensible, of most trans editors having been driven away, of a conspiracy of editors having shut down debate, are simply untrue, indeed absurd from my experience in these topics. The issue is not just a lack of evidence of collaboration on her part; it is positive evidence that nothing has changed since last time; that she is actively uninterested in collaborating, but instead in winning, activism, and promotion of fringe views; that she is not sorry for her past behavior; that the same behavior and attitude continues off-wiki; and that it is essentially impossible for her to contribute NPOV content on this topic. As another example of this in particular, check out this enormous "enemies list" style chart on this site [112] titled "academic pathologization of transgender people". -Crossroads- (talk) 06:12, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Thryduulf; and Premeditated Chaos and the other arbitrators: My opinion on the proposed exemption is that she will end up haranguing others on that talk page to get the article changed to her liking. She already has her apparently preferred version lined up here: [113] A big part of the reason for the topic ban is her inability to edit in this topic area, including bios, in cooperation with others (and the record shows this includes talk page discussions). See also the digging up of poor sources on the Detransition talk page: [114] Her own bio will be no different. It can be handled the same as most of our bios: by uninvolved editors in accord with BLP. -Crossroads- (talk) 20:27, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish

I also ask ArbCom to reaffirm the topic ban, and to clarify that it includes transgender topics, more generally than ArbCom has said this already. While such a clarification that "human sexuality" includes "pages having to do with transgender topics and issues" appeared in the recent-ish Fæ ARCA, that user's restrictions read "human sexuality, broadly construed" and the latter two words are missing from those of Jokestress. This has (quite self-evidently) provided WP:WIKILAWYER wiggling room, and that just needs to be shut down and prevented from happening again the next time someone with a gender-issues axe to grind gets disruptive.

Beyond this, I'll just repeat what I said at Jokestress's user-talk page and the ANI thread: The Detransition edit [115] was a T-ban breach twice over, in being about both transgender and LGB politicized issues, and it severably fell under the WP:AC/DS that pertain to such topics (merged with the GamerGate sanctions).

For an editor T-banned from human sexuality to return to the no. 1 most conflict-generating human sexuality topic on Wikipedia (transgender matters), and head straight for potentially the most controversial subtopic within it (detransitioning), and then draw a comparison (in WP:NOT#FORUM- and WP:SOAPBOX-crossing ways, as a drive-by non sequitur seemingly aimed at controversy not at article improvement) using one of the most controversial subtopics of the LGB subject-space (self-declaration of being formerly homo- or bi-sexual), and to do so in an extra-provocative way by citing a brand new paper (primary source, with no impact and with no review outside the journal's own committee yet, if there really even is one) from predatory-journal outfit Science Publishing Group (a publisher whose entire website is on our URL blacklist), suggesting that detransition and ex-gay are far-right, Bible-thumper "discourses" about the "ungodly") – all supposedly without understanding it's a topic-ban breach or disruptive within an AC/DS subject?

Well, it just beggars disbelief, and was amazingly non-productive. If this had been reported to the correct venue (WP:AE instead of WP:ANI), I think a block would have been issued on the spot. And the sheer hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of a gender-identity tolerance activist using WP as a platform to simultaneously attack two self-identity decisions she doesn't like is just stunning, another example of political correctness turned ass-over-elbows. This hasn't been taking a long break to reflect on mistakes made and how to better integrate into a collaborative editing environment. It's just been stewing and biding one's time for years in hopes that editorial attrition, memory lapses, and forgivingness would enable a resumption of the same WP:GREATWRONGS antics.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:35, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

PS: If it's really true that "[a] few editors with very rigid medicalized views on sex and gender minorities maintain ownership of this subject area, causing our coverage to lag behind the published literature", WP just does not require Jokestress in particular to try to deal with it. We have many thousands of editors, and we have NPOV and NOR noticeboards for a reason. And they seem to better understand the difference between just "published" versus "reliable and secondary".  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:44, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
PPS: I hadn't noticed this until now, but Jokestress continued editing at Talk:Detransition for about two days after the T-ban breach was pointed out, and in a similar politicizing vein: [116], [117], [118]. The gists of these and this edit to the article itself (inserting that predatory-journal, primary-source citation) indicate that Jokestress seems to believe the article is "biased" if it doesn't recast the entire subject in terms of activists' claims about transphobes using cases of detransitioning, and the term itself, as socio-political weapons against transgender rights (which to anyone else probably sounds like maybe a subsection at most). Regardless how one feels about such matters, it's absolutely a string of Jokestress T-ban violations, and clearly an advocacy not neutrality stance. There are probably things we can use from Jokestress's preferred sources, if any of them are non-primary and from reputable publishers, but we don't need Jokestress to find them or tell us how to use them. But that's beside the point, anyway: if a T-ban couldn't apply to some particular edit just because it was decided after the fact that it wasn't entirely and certainly non-constructive, then we wouldn't have T-bans since they'd be utterly unworkable.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  07:28, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
@Jokestress: In response to your response: The gist of WP:CIR is that even if you're dead right about some fact in a content dispute (which is quite indeterminate at best in this case), being an intolerable pain in the backside to everyone around you in trying to force WP:THERIGHTVERSION (especially when you have an off-site fiduciary/professional and/or political interest in changing the wording) makes you essentially incompatible with how Wikipedia operates. If your science is so good, you should probably be writing for a different kind of publication, especially since this one is not about WP:WINNING, which is what your ARCA request focuses on. If WP were really lagging behind actual scientific consensus, on a subject covered at least in part by WP:MEDRS, it is not plausible this would not have been noticed except by you. Ergo, the reasonable conclusion is that this consensus has not shifted as far as you believe or would like. This is probably why you are citing primary-source material published this month (actually with a cover date of next month!) in a minor journal from a notoriously unreliable publisher. That's not science, it's politicking in a science costume. Halloween was more than a week ago (early Ministry notwithstanding).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:44, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
@Jokestress: Re "I am unable to edit anything in my area of expertise without being accused of this or that" – A very common experience, and why so many of us avoid spending our hobby time here getting deep into topics that relate directly to our professional lives, or which cross our socio-personal doctrine lines. Since for you this topic is both, it's a doubly poor idea to mix your advocacy business with what should be the pleasure of a pastime. Others typically are not as blind to our biases as we are, and insistence on pursuing one here robs others of their pleasure in participating. When one thinks of oneself as something like a personal reliable source who is here to set things straight, one is making a mistake.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:24, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Genericusername57

On User:Jokestress' User page she self-identifies as the activist Andrea James. Ms. James was a vocal critic of a 2018 Atlantic cover article on childhood gender dysphoria which featured several desisters and detransitioners. She said of the issue's editors: this July Atlantic cover story debacle will be a more historically significant journalistic event than nearly anything else in their careers. Everyone involved is going to be held accountable, even if it takes a decade or more.[119] In a blog post response to the article, she wrote:

The "ex-trans" movement, similar to the discredited "ex-gay" movement, can always count on axe-grinding coverage that vastly over-represents their numbers and POV. [...] The "ex-trans" movement is an anomaly, a rounding error, a tragedy to be sure, but ultimately a fringe movement embraced and amplified by bigots. [120]

One of Ms. James' recent ventures was a kickstarter for a data visualisation project she claims will identify transphobia in the media; it received US$23,302 in backing. She explicitly identified the detransition-related Atlantic article as her motivation[121] and used it in fundraising appeals[122]. (Alice Dreger, who has alleged harassment and threats from Ms. James, described the kickstarter as a page to crowdfund her work harassing me and others[123]; the author of the Atlantic piece, Jesse Singal, called it such a massive grift[124]) It appears to me that Ms. James has a personal, possibly monetary, conflict of interest with the topic detransition, and that her article edit adding ex-gay movement and an "'Ex-Trans' Activists Exposed" ref prominently to the lead[125], as well as talk page edits labelling the article biased[126][127], are inappropriate advocacy importing an off-wiki conflict. gnu57 13:04, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Aircorn

While this is open and despite being informed that she is violating her topic ban she is still contributing to the talk page at Talk:Detransition.[128] AIRcorn (talk) 17:18, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

And now at Nikki Araguz.[129][130] It doesn't matter if they are good edits or not, being topic banned from a topic means you can't edit that topic. This is especially bad since you were clearly warned by Floquenbeam above[131] and acknowledged it at their talk page.[132] AIRcorn (talk) 21:34, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by WanderingWanda

1. Jokestress's tenure was before my time and I have no strong opinion about her topic ban. I do know that if I was in her position I would've gone about things a bit differently: I wouldn't have broken the ban before asking for it to be lifted, for example, and wouldn't have gone after other editors when making the request.

2. I am taken aback by some of the quotes by Jokestress about child sexual abuse above, and this isn't just an academic but a personal issue for me. I was also, however, concerned by some of Flyer22's statements: I have helped get a lot of pedophile and child sexual abuse POV-pushers indefinitely blocked...Jokestress was savvy enough to avoid to getting indefinitely blocked for her behavior in these areas...This editor is very much a threat to the community...I especially don't see how anyone (except for pedophiles, child sexual abusers, and related POV-pushers) can be comfortable letting this person edit pedophilia and child sexual abuse topics. I understand this is a difficult topic to talk about, but these statements, to me, go beyond just commenting on content, and instead publicly brand editors with a scarlet letter. And they don't just brand Jokestress herself, but any editor who would support lifting her topic ban and giving her a second chance. With that said, I've been told that it was inappropriate for me to attempt to redact Flyer's statements myself. I fully agree and apologize. WanderingWanda (talk) 09:38, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Literaturegeek

Jokestress has failed to show she can work sensibly in this topic area. I find it bizarre that an editor specialising in transgender issues could seriously think, even for a minute, that there should be a 100 percent ‘success’ or ‘satisfaction’ ratio of people with gender dysphoria or identity issues who transition, and then conclude and POV push on Wikipedia that the small number of said people changing their mind and detransitioning represents transphobia, etc. This rigid, inflexible and extreme black and white thinking, combined with concerns raised by editors above, suggests that this editor is not WP:COMPETENT to be editing in this area. People do change over time and while it may seem unlikely at this juncture who knows perhaps Jokestress can prove us wrong, in say a year from now, by editing sensibly in other topic areas before appealing this topic ban, at a later date.--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 22:54, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Although I can see a small possibility in the future that Jokestress could find a pathway to return to editing transsexualism articles perhaps in a year from now, which is an area of her expertise, I do think she should be kept away indefinitely from the pedophilia range of articles for reasons highlighted above by other editors.--Literaturegeek | T@1k? 17:43, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

Sexology: Clerk notes

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

Sexology: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I remember this case and not fondly. Before considering any changes to Jokestress' topic ban, I would want to see evidence that she would be willing to work collaboratively in the area. However, that's not the impression I've got from this request, which is very much on the offensive. As such, I am minded to decline this request. WormTT(talk) 10:23, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
    Regarding the request to reaffirm the topic ban an add "broadly construed" or some notes about transgender issues, I'll hold off for now to see what other arbitrators think, but since I believe the scope of Jokestress' topic ban was wider than the area that discretionary sanctions were authorised for, and discretionary sanctions were specifically authorised for "paraphilia and transgender issue", I don't see myself objecting. WormTT(talk) 10:44, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Likewise, I don't see any evidence that there's a yen to collaborate with other editors here. If there is, and I missed it, we need some diffs to show it. As far as widening the topic ban, I need to hear what other arbs think before I weigh in. Katietalk 15:05, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Decline to lift the topic ban. @Jokestress: Your original comment reads as an open request to return to the battleground editing that led to the ban in the first place, and whilst I could extend the benefit of the doubt for initially poorly chosen words, you seem to be doubling down on it in subsequent replies. I'm sure you have a lot to contribute, but I don't believe that you're the only editor capable of maintaining NPOV in our coverage of human sexuality. If you want a route back to editing this topic, it's having more faith in your fellow editors and demonstrating a willingness to work with them rather than against.
Reading the original case, it seems clear that trans issues were a significant locus of the dispute, so it's reasonable to conclude that they were intended to be included in the topic ban. I'd therefore support clarifying the ban to something like ...from the topic of human sexuality and gender. I'm not sure how that works with the "including biographies" provision, though. Everyone has a sexuality and a gender, so was the idea to t-ban Jokestress from all biographies? Or just those of people notable for something related to sexuality/gender? If the latter, we should clarify whether the subject simply being trans prevents Jokestress from editing their biography (I'd say it shouldn't). – Joe (talk) 07:04, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
@Jokestress: To answer your question, I think the usual way to show an ability to work collaboratively is to do so in another topic area. For example, you said you were active in race and intelligence, which is an area always in need of unbiased but moderating voices. As it is, since you haven't edited much since the case, we have little to go on other than your comments here, which as we've said contain a number of red flags regarding your attitude towards other editors. Personally, if you came back in six months after some uncontroversial and collaborative editing elsewhere, I'd be happy to try lifting this topic ban. – Joe (talk) 08:48, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Decline to remove or reduce the TBAN. It's clear that Jokestress isn't willing to work with other editors rather than against them. I'd support Joe's proposed clarification to the wording. With regards to biographies, I think the TBAN covers the entire biography of anyone whose primary claim to notability concerns their work in the area of sexuality and gender, and/or the portions of a BLP article that deal with a subject's gender and sexuality. So she could update the filmography of an actor who happens to be transgender, but not any content that concerns their gender. ♠PMC(talk) 01:42, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Well... that escalated quickly. I had been following this request awaiting further input from the community. There's a very clear consensus the community does not want this, therefore, decline and I support Joe's proposed clarification. Mkdw talk 06:14, 10 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Decline the appeal. I am not satisfied with the quality of editing in Jokestress' editing; interpersonal conduct standards are also poor. It is perhaps telling that Jokestress is, at the time of writing this, blocked for a short time. On the amendment request relating to scope of case, Jokestress is currently banned from editing content relating to human sexuality. The committee has repeatedly ruled1 2 that transgender issues are within that scope. With the scope not in doubt, we could only clarify the nature and meaning of a Wikipedia:Topic ban. We should not need to do that every time an editor is topic banned. I endorse Joe Roe, the subject simply being trans prevents Jokestress from editing their biography (I'd say it shouldn't), but the existing language says the same. The language never supported an attempt to ban Jokestress from every biography. AGK ■ 11:55, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Sexology: Motion to amend Jokestress' topic ban

For this motion there are 8 active arbitrators, so 5 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Remedy 2.1 of Sexology ("Jokestress topic-banned from human sexuality") is amended to read:

Jokestress (talk · contribs) is indefinitely banned from the topic of human sexuality and gender, including biographies of people who are primarily notable for their work in these fields.
Support
  1. Proposed. – Joe (talk) 08:37, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  2. As I said above, I believe that the topic ban on Jokestress should be considered wider than the DS area - so as a nitpick, I see this as a clarification, rather than an amendment. Either way though, I support this motion. WormTT(talk) 09:08, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  3. AGK ■ 12:50, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  4. Katietalk 13:13, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  5. Have removed the provision about Talk:Andrea James given the discussion below. ♠PMC(talk) 15:17, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  6. Mkdw talk 16:17, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Oppose
Recuse
Comments
  1. Any thoughts about making a small exception permitting edit requests at Talk:Amanda James per Thryduulf's suggestion? I'd be on board with it. ♠PMC(talk) 19:58, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
    I would support that amendment Premeditated Chaos. Mkdw talk 00:25, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    I'd support that too WormTT(talk) 08:21, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    Added and excepting the submission of comments or edit requests to Talk:Amanda James. Could the clerks make sure that Joe Roe and KrakatoaKatie confirm they are okay with the change? AGK ■ 11:28, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  2. Wordsmithed a bit (it's Andrea James). The only objection I can think of is that Jokestress doesn't seem to have ever actually edited that page, and in that case perhaps she'd prefer not to have her real name included in an ArbCom remedy preemptively. @Jokestress: ? – Joe (talk) 12:45, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Based on Jokestress' response above I suggest we leave this out. @Premeditated Chaos, Mkdw, Worm That Turned, and AGK: ? – Joe (talk) 13:07, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Agreed, leave it out. Katietalk 14:01, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I'd rather there was something in to allow Jokestress to make edits to that talk page - however, I understand the objection of not wanting the official link to the bio in a remedy. I'm happy to leave it out, with the understanding that IAR / Common sense should mean Jokestress should absolutely not be sanctioned for making edits to that talk page. WormTT(talk) 14:41, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  Facepalm Thanks for fixing that Joe. I'm fine with leaving it out since Jokestress doesn't want it in, but I agree with WTT about the IAR/common sense enforcement of the TBAN when it comes to good faith edit requests to the subject's own bio. ♠PMC(talk) 15:16, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
In theory, the wording could be written in such a way so as to not explicitly name the article. e.g. "Comments or edit requests to any article talk page for which Jokestress is the primary topic are exempt". Mkdw talk 17:56, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Clarification request: Antisemitism in Poland

Initiated by My very best wishes at 22:12, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Antisemitism in Poland 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 My very best wishes

According to the Article sourcing expectation remedy [133], "The sourcing expectations applied to the article Collaboration in German-occupied Poland are expanded and adapted to cover all articles on the topic of Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland. Only high quality sources may be used, specifically peer-reviewed scholarly journals, academically focused books by reputable publishers, and/or articles published by reputable institutions."

The question. Does that sourcing restriction covers only content on the "Polish history during World War II (1933-45)" or it covers any other content that appear on the same page where anything related to the Polish history during World War II was mentioned? For example, there is a page Gas chamber. It includes a section about Nazi Germany that seems to be related to the Polish history during World War II [134]. However, it also includes sections about other countries, such as North Korea [135], USA and Lithuania [136]. Would these sections also be covered by such sourcing restriction? Meaning, should the section about North Korea be removed?

In other words, can content completely unrelated to Poland be removed based on this sourcing restriction, as in this edit (note edit summary)? Note that the page in question is not about Poland, but about Gas chamber. It only includes some content related to Poland.

Why. I am asking because the subjects related to other countries often have only a limited coverage in RS and were not subjects of significant scholarly studies. A lot of subjects are simply not science.

I would also suggest an amendment. I think this sourcing restriction for Poland should be removed for the following reasons:

  1. In many cases, the "non-academic" RS, such as news or popular articles published by historians for general public, tell essentially the same story as the academic RS, but they provide a number of additional important details. I do not see why they should not be used. Excluding such sources makes the coverage of the subject less complete and contradicts the WP:NPOV because the "non-academic sources" frequently simply elaborate the "majority view", but in more detail.
  2. The inclusion of reliably sourced content on the subject is generally allowed per policy. Should individual admins and Arbcom modify the policy (WP:RS)? Is not it something for community to decide, as it was for WP:MEDRS? Also note that WP:MEDRS is only a guideline, not a policy. The decision by Arbcom (which is immediately enforceable on WP:AE) makes this an alternative policy, one where WP:NEWSORG is no longer valid. It means all claims sourced to something like The Guardian (this publication used on the page) must be removed. Personally, I do not care if the article in Guardian was about Poland, North Korea or another country. Would such removal of content improve the encyclopedia?
  3. I do not see this editing restriction to be used on any specific pages after closing the arbitration case; it was used before only on one page noted in the Arbcom decision.
  4. (added later). A contributor just was blocked for violating this restriction. According to blocking admin, [137], "Rzeczpospolita (newspaper) is, judging from its article, a leading mainstream Polish newspaper and therefore a "reputable institution" in the sense of the remedy". OK, that sounds reasonable, but completely unexpected to me. What exactly represents a "reputable institution" or an "academically focused book" is not obvious for participants. It is one thing when people are debating this on RSN or talk page, but it is quite another when they are receiving sanctions for potentially misunderstanding such things (although probably not in this case, when the participant did clearly violate the remedy).
  • The scope of this request. This is a general question and suggestion that I think need to be resolved, regardless to any specific page or a dispute, such as Gas van or discussions on RSNB. The gas chamber is only an illustration.
  • A clarification. I am not talking about Questionable and self-published sources as defined in the policy. Those are already disallowed by the policy and no clarification is required about them. I am talking about sources that clearly qualify as WP:RS, for example per WP:NEWSORG, such as the article in The Guardian about North Korea in the example above. If one looks in Perennial sources there is a consensus that The Guardian is "generally reliable".
Responses
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

@Paul Siebert Paul wants to make this removal. In this edit Paul removes everything referenced to works by historian Nikita Petrov (a publication in Novaya Gazeta), to Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, to historian Lydia Golovkova, to a book by Mikhail Schreider who was an important witness to the crimes by the Soviet NKVD, to a book by Petro Grigorenko who was one of the founders of the Soviet dissident movement, and to publications in Kommersant which is arguably an RS. These so called "non-scholarly sources" tell essentially the same as "scholarly sources" (ones that remain on the page after his edit), however they provide some additional important details and corroborate the entire story.

@JzG Who thinks it would be a bad thing if this were applied over more articles or sections? That would be any reasonable person, because we have WP:NEWSORG as a part of WP:RS for a very good reason. And that depends on which articles and sections. If subject X has been covered in a huge number of sources, including academic ones (or this is a purely scientific subject, rather than magic), then such restriction might work OK, even though excluding journalistic sources could violate the balance and work against WP:NPOV. However, consider one of sub-subjects related to Human rights in North Korea, let's say Kang Chol-hwan or Lee Soon-ok (I would like to stick to the same example). There are no sources about them beyond publications in good journalistic sources like BBC and a couple of human rights reports. Personally, I prefer good journalistic sources. Or consider a notable movie covered only in multiple journalistic sources and Rotten tomatoes.

@Assayer. Discussing "whether a particular source was reliable, whether a particular author was qualified, and whether a source is being misunderstood or misrepresented" is normal process. RSN did not "fail to settle these questions". It worked just fine, as it should, and provided some advice from the participants and uninivoled contributors.

@Worm. Enforcing WP:RS would be great, but you want it in WP:AE setting to sanction people. Therefore, you need to establish very clear rules which would be obvious for everyone. This is nearly impossible. Even something as simple as 1RR/3RR causes a lot of confusion. A more complex "consensus required" remedy caused more harm than good in AP area. But this is even a more complex restriction. A lot of sources are not inherently reliable or unreliable. Their usage should be discussed on a case to case basis and be decided per WP:Consensus. In other words, to impose such restriction you should answer the following questions:

  1. Is it required for admins to post this editing restriction on specific pages to apply sanctions to contributors, as described in Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions?
  2. Do you really exclude all WP:NEWSORG? If your answer is "yes", this will negatively affect coverage of all low-significance subjects, and quite obviously, is not an enforcement, but a change of WP:RS.
  3. In your current version, what does it mean "recognized institutions"? Please see comments by Piotrus in his request below. Yes, one should exclude all "predatory publishing" and self-publishing. Enforcing that would be fine as indeed an enforcement of WP:RS. But other than that, there is no bright line.
  4. What does it mean "recognized academics"? Someone with a PhD from Harvard? Someone who published a couple of books in history? This is all debatable. Someone can be an authority, even after graduating from a provincial College. Someone with degree in another area can be an excellent scholar in History, etc. Also note that usage of original publications in "peer-reviewed scholarly journals" is explicitly discouraged by WP:MEDRS, and for a good reason.

The bottom line (in my opinion). Arbcom and admins should not change the "five pillars". That restriction changes rather than just enforces WP:RS policy (and adversely affects the WP:NPOV by default). My very best wishes (talk) 14:39, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

@Worm. In addition, the already existing procedure tells "Any uninvolved administrator may impose on any page or set of pages relating to the area of conflict page protection, revert restrictions, prohibitions on the addition or removal of certain content (except when consensus for the edit exists), or any other reasonable measure that the enforcing administrator believes is necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project." I think "any reasonable measure" is too much, however based on that, any uninvolved admin can post a sourcing restriction on any page already (exactly as NeilN did). If that's the case, then this editing restriction by Arbcom is simply unnecessary. Saying that, I still believe this restriction should never be used because the problem is never the source(s), but always the user(s). My very best wishes (talk) 17:23, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Paul Siebert

It seems the request was inspired mostly by this.

Briefly, My Very Best Wishes' edits of the Gas van article are heavily dependent on questionable primary sources (an RSN discussion of one of key sources used by MVBW can be found here). The "Soviet Gas Van" topic is based literally on few sentences taken from one tabloid article, which were reproduced by several secondary sources, and handful of testimonies, part of them state that "Soviet gas van" was used to incapacitate victims before execution, not to kill them, and some of them say that NKVD documents the whole story is based upon cannot be trusted. For comparison, this article about Holocaust in Yugoslavia performs detailed analysis of real and perceived cases of gas van usage in Holocaust, and concludes that some witness testimonies should be treated with great cautions, and usage of gas vans to kill non-Jews is, most likely, a post-WWII myth. As compared with that article, the sources telling about Soviet gas van look like a school student essay.

A comparison of sources that tell about Nazi and Soviet gas vans demonstrates that the level of fact checking and accuracy are incomparable. In my opinion, combining poor sources telling about Soviet gas van and good sources telling about Nazi gas van is tantamount to combining articles from Physical Review Letters and popular schientific journal for kids in the article about Uncertainty principle: the level of sources should be more or less uniform in articles, otherwise we just discredit Wikipedia.

Second, I found the MVBW's rationale (the subjects related to other countries often have only a limited coverage in RS and were not subjects of significant scholarly studies) very odd, because he is literally advocating inclusion of questionable sources to support some exceptional claim (the claim that gas vans were invented and used in the USSR is exceptional) because this claim is not covered by multiple mainstream sources. In other words, the argument against inclusion of this material is used to support inclusion of poor sources.

Third, during the discussion of the Collaboration in Poland Arbitration Case I already proposed (01:17, 8 June 2019 (UTC)) sourcing restriction as an almost universal solution for conflicts in EE area. It already has had positive effect in Holocaust in Poland area, and I am 100% sure expansion of sourcing expectaions on whole EE area will quench lion's share of conflicts. At least, the long lasting conflict around the Gas van story will immediately stop is this criteria will be applied to that article. Importantly, in contrast to various topic bans or 1RRs, which are totally palliative measures, more stringent sourcing criteria really improve quality of articles and quench conflicts.

"The level of sources used in a discussion has an enormous influence on the level of the discussion. It is hard to have a low level discussion when both parties are using high quality sources. In contrast, poor sources are seeds of various conflicts. Among the features of marginally acceptable sources are wague logic, lousy facts and poor wording, so the disputs around such sources are inevitably more hot. Therefore, it would be correct if ArbCom added "sourcing expectations" clause at least to the ARBEE case as whole, because such a restriction is a very efficient quencher of many conflicts."

Comments on MVBW's comments

  1. When some reputable scholar publishes some data in non-peer-reviewed media, current sourcing restrictions do not prevent usage of that information. However, a proof should be presented that that author is reputable;
  2. Universally imposed sourcing restriction is not more ruling of content that universally imposed 1RR;
  3. No comments;
  4. This

--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:05, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

Regarding Brief reply to comment by Paul Siebert below, a comparison with my most recent proposal demonstrates MVBW's statement is FALSE: I do not propose to remove Solzhenitsyn. Other two sources are primary, and per WP:REDFLAG they cannot be used for such exceptional claims, and the newspaper article just briefly repeats what other sources say. In general, editorial style of MVBW can be characterized as manipulation with poor sources to push certain POVs. A typical example is this edit, where MVBW added one primary source and one newspaper article, each of which provide the identical text. Although the latter may formally be considered as a secondary source (more precisely, op-ed, per NEWSORG), the author does not comment on the cited memoirs, so there is no analysis, evaluation or synthesis (which are necessary traits of any secondary source). In other words, MVBW uses a primary source to advance some exceptional claim, and he duplicates the source to create a false impression of wider coverage of this topic.

I think this behaviour deserves more detailed analysis of ArbCom, and I am going to prepare and submit full scale case, because the discussions on talk pages and various noticeboards aimed to convince MVBW to abandon this type behaviour lead just to repetition of the same arguments, which MVBW ignores.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:07, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

@Assayer: RSN has failed to settle these questions, actually, as our ongoing discussion at WP:V talk page with SarahSV demonstrated, the burden of proof rests with the user who adds a source, and that includes the proof that the source is reliable. That means consensus is needed not to remove a source, but to keep it. Actually, no consensus was achieved to keep that source during the RSN discussion you refer to, so that source can be removed. That can be done even if without additional restrictions, but applying such restriction would facilitate that process dramatically.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:24, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

@François Robere: In the case of newspapers, per WP:NEWSORG, one has to discriminate news, editorials, and op-eds. If sourcing restrictions allow reliable primary sources, then editorials are ok.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:07, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by El_C

This question was already posed at WP:AE#Gas_Van_and_sourcing_requirements — I closed it with (nominal) consensus that restrictions in topical articles do cover untopical sections therein. Mind you, the question became moot with the article having been split into topical and untopical entries. El_C 01:58, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nug

This is a thorny issue. If the presence of the section Gas_chamber#Nazi_Germany requires the entire article Gas_chamber to be subject to the same strict Antisemitism-in-Poland sourcing expectation, then the section Gas_chamber#North_Korea would have to be deleted, as is it entirely sourced from newspapers and first hand witness accounts. Alternately Gas_chamber#Nazi_Germany would have to be split out into a separate article Nazi gas chambers (which currently redirects to Gas_chamber#Nazi_Germany). --Nug (talk) 05:35, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

  • The flip side to François Robere's concern is the concern over possible gaming of the sourcing restrictions intended for WP:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism_in_Poland on essentially unrelated topics. --Nug (talk) 23:13, 15 November 2019 (UTC)
  • JzG's suggested abundance of sources does not exists in all areas. A large volume of high quality sources on the Holocaust and WW2 in Poland exist due to the fact that archives of original Nazi documents have been open for decades, eye witness accounts systematically documented, war crimes investigations documented, etc, making it a rich area for academic study. That just isn't the case with the Soviet Union, archives in Russia remain restricted for many controversial aspects of that regime. And even more so with highly secretive regimes like North Korea, where most of the topics like Hoeryong concentration camp are sourced from news agencies, many of them local South Korean newspapers, as well as eye witness accounts, rather than academic sources. If we were to adopt JzG's approach, we would have to delete or gut most articles on North Korea. --Nug (talk) 21:53, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Assayer claims that having a section about a topic of the Great Purge in an article on a Holocaust topic is legitimate because of Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism. However Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism is about ideology, totalitarianism and personality cults, not execution technology. No Holocaust scholar makes reference to, let alone compares, Soviet gas vans when discussing Nazi gas vans. There is no connection, they were independently invented. This demonstrates how disruptive gaming the Poland-in-WW2 restriction is, two topics that would normally be split is being artificially kept together to take advantage of the stricter sourcing requirement introduced by one of the topics.
In fact Paul Siebert essentially admits to gaming the Poland-in-WW2 sourcing restriction, in offering a quid pro quo: "Actually, if you agree with that (the sourcing restrictions), and you agree that Nazi gas van is a primary topic, I do not insist on merging the articles." If they desire stricter sourcing requirements for all articles on the topic of the Soviet Union, using the back door of the Poland-in-WW2 case is not the right approach. --Nug (talk) 21:45, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by François Robere

I've not been involved in the particular discussion mentioned here, though I have been involved in the topic area and the ArbCom case that resulted in the sourcing restrictions subject of this ARCA request. The discussions span four articles: Gas chamber, Gas van, Nazi gas van and Soviet gas van. Two of these were split[138][139] from the main article[140][141] - splits which may or may not be justified on content grounds, but which were done during an ongoing discussion on sourcing, raising the concern that they were done to avoid the sourcing restrictions placed on the main article. I've reverted all of them while discussion is ongoing,[142][143][144] and asked for clarifications on the main TP.[145] François Robere (talk) 15:53, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

  • @Mkdw and Worm That Turned: I would like to ask for clarification on another question that arose at AE recently: ArbCom's sourcing expectations "expand and adapt"[146] NeilN's sourcing restrictions, but they only explicitly refer to the first part, on source selection. Do they also apply to the second part, on source representation? Source misrepresentation was a huge issue in the topic area, as demonstrated by case evidence, and continues to be a problem with certain editors (see for example here). I had assumed this was covered by "expand and adapt" (and you can see other editors' had assumed so as well), but it seems that's subject to interpretation. François Robere (talk) 13:02, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • One more needed clarification: can newspapers and similar contemporary sources be used for contemporary affairs? This article is concerned with events from 1998 onwards, and about 85% of the article is about the 2018 amendment, so very recent events. Nevertheless, one of several newspapers articles referenced there was removed, citing "required criteria as recentely [sic] defined on Wikipedia".[147] I have argued that the TA sourcing restrictions were enacted thinking of historical events, and so newspaper articles dealing with recent events should be usable.[148] François Robere (talk) 15:26, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

The core argument here seems to be that because something is covered only in questionable sources, we should relax the sourcing requirement to allow it to be included from those questionable sources. I think I'm reading that right.

I don't think it needs ArbCom to tell us that's a terrible idea.

What are the restrictions, you ask?

  • Only high quality sources may be used, specifically peer-reviewed scholarly journals and academically focused books by reputable publishers. English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones when available and of equal quality and relevance.
  • Anyone found to be misrepresenting a source, either in the article or on the talk page, will be subject to escalating topic bans.

Who thinks it would be a bad thing if this were applied over more articles or sections? Given the abundance of excellent sources covering these topics and this timeframe, anything that does not appear in sources of this quality is very likely to be WP:UNDUE even if it's not POV-pushing. Guy (help!) 00:14, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf (re Antisemitism in Poland)

I think the pragmatic thing to do here would be to apply the sourcing restrictions to (i) content regarding Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland; and (ii) sections of articles which relate exclusively or primarily to Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland.

This would mean that on the Gas chamber article, the restrictions would apply to the whole of the Nazi Germany section (as that section is primarily related to Polish history during WWII), but not other sections of that article. Thryduulf (talk) 13:52, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Assayer

The Antisemitism in Poland case found, that much of the evidence and thus much of the dispute, centered on disputed sourcing and use of low-quality sources, specifically, whether a particular source was reliable, whether a particular author was qualified, and whether a source is being misunderstood or misrepresented. The dispute which fuels My very best wishes’ clarification request is very much of the same kind. RSN has failed to settle these questions, in part because the sources are largely written in Russian and there are few uninvolved editors able to read them. The sourcing restrictions imposed on the article Collaboration in German-occupied Poland have been found to have had a positive effect by stabilizing the article and limiting disputes. Since the Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism is a highly controversial and a much disputed field, content on Stalinism that is raised and connected to Nazism within an article largely dealing with the Holocaust in Poland should not be exempted from these restrictions, and these restrictions should certainly not be removed altogether.

I may note that not only is the article gas chamber, which should provide some sort of overview, an ill-conceived example for the urgent need of detailed information. The way My very best wishes expanded [149] the article basically by copying huge chunks of text including notes from the stand-alone article - all the while knowing that the “invention” of gas vans was disputed[150] - is quite revealing as is the way they put the sections “in a chronological order”[151], effectively ignoring the Nevada gas chamber of 1924. Nevertheless, quick research turns up better sources for Lithuania and North Korea, sources which would meet the high-quality sourcing restrictions. Thus, the use of better sources would improve the encyclopedia.--Assayer (talk) 18:28, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

The contradictory comments by My very best wishes and Paul Siebert on the power of RSN illustrate my point. I agree that restrictions would facilitate the process. Otherwise I do not see a good reason, why My very best wishes would bother to request a clarification, if their sources were vetted as being as perfect as they claim.--Assayer (talk) 21:06, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
@Nug One of the contentions during the Historikerstreit was the notion that the Soviet terror and the Gulag preceded the concentration camps and was even “more original” (E. Nolte). One of the main arguments against this notion was that in the Gulag there were no gas chambers, i.e. the Gulag was not about extermination. Thus, to speak of Nazi and Soviet gas vans as being essentially the same and to conceive of Soviet gas vans as "mobile gas chambers" for mass killings, is an exceptional claim. Scholars like Stephen Wheatcroft and Robert Gellately, who mentioned Soviet gas vans in their comparisons of Soviet and Nazi policies, both called for further investigations and Gellately specified that the Soviets had no gas chambers. Authors like local historian Dmitry Sokolov, whose article in a Crimean newspaper is central to some of MvbW's editing, argue much less restrained. Sokolov, for instance, claims that the first death camps were operated in the Soviet Union. An article introduced by Nug himself, namely on “The genocide of the Polish people in the USSR in the years 1937–1938” by Marek Halaburda, published in a journal by Halaburda’s employer, the Pontifical University of John Paul II, links the Soviet use of gas vans directly to Polish history.
I do not see that the sourcing restrictions specify that only publications based upon full access to historical archives can be used. Academic research published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and so forth, must and will deal with the available sources just as well. I would think that Wikipedia should be even more strict on sourcing, the more difficult documentation of facts is, and not the other way around. It would be interesting to learn, though, what kind of “advantage” I might gain from the stricter sourcing requirements.--Assayer (talk) 03:47, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
@Mkdw: The definition of the scope of the "topic area" is crucial and should be clarified. As I explained above, North Korea is not the problem here, but rather comparisons of Nazism and Stalinism. Is a section on Soviet history, e.g. Stalinism, inside the topic of Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland, if comparisons to Nazi policies, in particular the Holocaust, are drawn or when claims are made which contradict the findings of high quality scholarly literature on the Holocaust in Poland? --Assayer (talk) 21:09, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Francis Schonken

@Mkdw: I think what you write would work fine, except that I would add (for completeness) that whatever is summarized from the WWII/Poland related sections elsewhere in the broad article (e.g. in the article's introductory paragraphs, in a table grouping data from several sections of the article, etc), irrespective of whether such summaries carry their own references or rely on references elsewhere in the article, would also be subject to the strict sourcing requirements of the "Antisemitism in Poland" ArbCom case. Similar for Standard appendices and footers, e.g. a "Further reading" section should not list literature of a lesser quality on WWII/Poland topics. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:18, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nick-D

I've been active on Wikipedia since 2005 with a focus on World War II, and for as long as I can remember our coverage of Poland, and especially 1920s-1940s era Poland, has been a deeply troubled topic area. I think it's entirely sensible to require a strict adherence to WP:RS as an attempt to ease these problems. I don't see any reason for good faith editors to struggle with this remedy: it might slow them down, but they should be pleased that it will result in better quality articles. As I have noted at WT:MILHIST#Implications of recent ArbCom case for content creation on WWII Polish topics I wouldn't support this kind of restriction being rolled out more broadly, but in unusual circumstances like this it's a worthwhile experiment. Nick-D (talk) 09:20, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Slatersteven

I am wary of any topic specific polices at the best of times. But when it is loaded with subjective criteria (As this is) I start to get very alarmed as to intent. I have no issue with "peer-reviewed scholarly journals", but what is an "academically focused book"? As to "reputable institutions", who decides this, what is reputable (and why is a newspaper not a reputable institution?)? This is all too fuzzy and ill defined for me. I find it odd that it did not just read ""peer-reviewed scholarly journals or works by recognized academics".Slatersteven (talk) 10:08, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Unsure about "recognized institutions", it would be best if we stuck to as narrow a definition as possible. One answer may be "academic institutions", but may still be open to abuse.Slatersteven (talk) 11:45, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ermenrich

Worm That Turned, I do not think that adding works by recognized academics is a good idea. Take this source. It is a set of lecture notes, yet an editor is arguing that he should not have been sanctioned for adding it (and some worse sources) because the scholar is well known. Such sources are not reliable and should not be used, but this change would open the door to using them. This would make the sourcing restrictions effectively meaningless. I also think that the phrasing or published by recognized institutions needs to be tightened, as at the moment that same user is using it to argue in favor of using a newspaper, and it was indeed understood to include them by Sandstein. This was not the intention and the wording needs to be changed to "reputable historical/scholarly institutions" or something like that.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:10, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by DGG

The wording was too rigid. Making a sharp division between academic and no academic sources is not necessarily helpful--there are multiple works in any field that defy easy classification, and also many works not strictly academic that are of equal standing and reliability. Nor is being academic a guarantee of reliability--I mention for example Soviet Lysenkoism and Nazi racial science, both with high national academic standing, and, in the case of Nazi science, considerable international recognition. I'd suggest a much more flexible wording Only high quality sources may be used, specifically peer-reviewed scholarly journals, academically focused books by reputable publishers, and/or articles published by reputable institutions. and works of similar quality and responsibility". Considering the examples given in the request, I think that this would deal with much of it. Newspapers, however, are a more difficult problem, and the responsibility of content of serious topics published is newspapers is variable. Depending on the topic covered, I think there is no reason not to use them, if they are used with caution, and for some related topics, they may be essential. I'd would perhaps say Newspapers andmagazines can be used ,but with caution and agreement, and in context..

I understand the felling of the arbs who have commented that this is too early to make the change, but I think the original conception was overly simplistic, and would impair rational consideration of sourcing. DGG ( talk ) 22:14, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Peacemaker67

I've been following this and the original case with interest. I have plenty of experience with disputed sourcing in ARBEE from my work on Yugoslavia in WWII articles and have never once thought this level of ArbCom intervention was needed. I am fundamentally opposed to this remedy because it enters into content areas, and the arbitration process exists to impose binding solutions to Wikipedia conduct disputes, not content ones. If ArbCom wants to get involved in content matters, then it should ask the community for the scope of ArbCom to be expanded and receive that imprimatur before sticking its oar into content areas. We have a perfectly serviceable reliable sources policy, and questions about whether a particular source is reliable are determined by consensus, supplemented by outside opinions via RSN and dispute resolution mechanisms like RfC if a consensus cannot be arrived at between the regular editors of the article in question. As has been noted above, if the editor that wants to use a source cannot get a consensus that a source is reliable, it cannot be used. The Article sourcing expectations remedy should be voided as it was made outside the scope of ArbCom's remit. If article sourcing guidance beyond WP:RS is needed for a particular contentious area, it should be developed by the content creators who actually know the subject area, not by ArbCom. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:37, 20 November 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.

Antisemitism in Poland: Clerk notes

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

Antisemitism in Poland: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • The expanded article sourcing expectations apply to all articles on the topic of Polish history during World War II (1933-45), including the Holocaust in Poland. When a broad article has sections that relate to these topics, the restriction applies to only the relevant sections. Other sections outside of the topic area would not be subject to the expanded article sourcing expectations. For example, in the article Gas chamber, the section about North Korea would not be subject to these restrictions (and the standard Wikipedia requirements for sourcing and verifiability would still apply); whereas the Nazi Germany section would need to comply with the expanded article sourcing expectations. Mkdw talk 02:56, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
  • On the clarification of the scope, I absolutely agree with Mkdw - all articles on Polish history during World War II, including Holocaust in Poland. Outside those articles, it applies only to relevant sections of the articles. WormTT(talk) 11:19, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    On the suggested amendment to the types of sources used, I'm not willing to expand to news sources at present - my hope was to start with a extra strict adherence to WP:RS, which could be relaxed in the future. I will accept that there are improvements that can be made, which I'm still pondering on. I do like Slatersteven's suggestion for "peer-reviewed scholarly journals or works by recognized academics" as an alternative - however it does The issue that was raised in the case was allowing works from institutions such as United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As this already needs one tweak (World War 2 did not start in 1933), I'm considering updating it to "peer-reviewed scholarly journals, works by recognized academics or published by recognized institutions" Comments would be appreciated. WormTT(talk) 11:39, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    Thank you for your comments so far. I will note, My very best wishes‎ that sanctioning the reliable sources is something that needs more thought - and I see there is a different ARCA lower down on the page on exactly that issue. WormTT(talk) 15:55, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Amendment request: American politics 2

Initiated by Atsme at 23:53, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
American politics 2 arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Indef t-ban from Anti-fascism broadly construed
  2. Wikipedia:Administrators#Involved admins
  3. Wikipedia:Administrators#Accountability
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Removal of the t-ban, and redaction from the log
  • Admins should not be permitted to create their own DS, or micromanage a topic area by imposing unilateral actions against editors for violations of DS that are not specifically defined in ArbCom Remedies

Statement by Atsme

I believe Awilley is a good admin trying to accomplish good things but is going about it the wrong way. He has inadvertently misused the tools and created more disruption than he's resolved. His bias is sometimes obvious but not consistently so. He takes unilateral actions based on his customized DS which has lead to POV creep and specific DS for specific editors as he sees fit. He is micromanaging AP2 and controlling the narrative by lording over editors. His experimental undertakings and ominous presence have a chilling effect. The following diffs will demonstrate the depth of his involvement and why ArbCom needs to modify/amend AE, particularly with reference to the issues mentioned herein. Note: I pinged only the few admins mentioned in the diffs below, but do not consider them or any of the editors named to be involved parties.

The day after I sought Awilley's help, he exercised a unilateral action and imposed an indef t-ban based on his misinterpretation of WP:GASLIGHTING
Involved, enforces homemade DS in anticipation of disruption, not because of it
Hounding, attempts to manipulate & control what others say and think
  • 2/21/2019 - I respond to misrepresentations
  • 2/22/2019 - hounding during 1st appeal
  • 2/25/2019 - ignores consensus & goes with rope to maintain control
  • 2/27/2019 - another admin responds
  • 3/1/2019 - labels constructive criticism Strawman
  • 4/9/2019 - preconceived notions
  • 11/15/2019 - manipulative - Anybody with one eye can see that I pressured Snoogans into making those commitments..."
Displays of favoritism wherein he allows normal processes to work without his interference
  • 7/7/2019 - allows editors to work things out, a courtesy I was denied
  • 7/11/ 2019 gives editor a chance to self-correct
  • 7/23/2019 - simply redacts racial slur & helps involved editor with no warnings
  • 8/1/2019 - acts on an afterthought he should have engaged in before t-ban *RfC supported my position but again, his interference derailed my participation in a community process
  • 8/8/2019 - he's too busy to sanction, & tells editor to take a week off
  • 10/31/2019 - removes offensive comment, adds a friendly warning
  • 11/3/2019 - IP criticism over his friendly warnings and courtesy removals
  • 11/15/2019 - negotiates a side deal, rescinds DS

Statement by Awilley

  • Just a note to say that I have seen this and that I won't be able to make a full response tonight. If this is about getting the topic ban rescinded I am ready to do that at any time if/when Atsme makes an appeal. She asked me a couple of times via email to rescind the ban, but I informed her that I don't do appeals by email. After that she approached me on my talk page asking how to appeal and I responded with my criteria. The exchange is here. The only other on-wiki discussion I can remember that remotely resembled an appeal was on my talk page here. I haven't had times to review the diffs above but if there are things people find concerning please let me know so I can respond specifically to the concerns. ~Awilley (talk) 02:19, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I've had some more time to review this, and I'm still a bit unclear on what proportion of this is a request to lift the Antifa topic ban I placed on Atsme vs. a request for arbitrator intervention against myself vs. a request to modify the nature of discretionary sanctions. Looking at the diffs above I feel a few points might need some clarification:
  1. Above it is stated that I imposed the topic ban based on my misinterpretation of WP:GASLIGHTING. In fact the use of the word "gaslighting" was only part of the rationale, and the link to WP:GASLIGHTING seems retroactive. Usually when someone is referencing a WP policy or guideline that is indicated via formatting (the inclusion of a link, a "WP:" on the front of the word, or ALLCAPS). The first time I saw Atsme use such formatting was on July 25 on my talk page, 3 days after the topic ban had been placed. Prior to that the only special formatting for the word "gaslighting" had been 🔥to put it between flame emojis🔥
  1. Above it is stated that I tried to redirect/delete the WP:GASLIGHTING redirect to "quietly cover up" something. What actually happened was that the link was pointing to the wrong target. When it was placed on my talk page I clicked on it to see what it said, and what I found didn't even mention gaslighting. I searched around to see if there was a better target...direct mention in an essay or policy or something, and when I couldn't find anything I put it up for discussion. I think my intentions should be pretty obvious to anybody who reads the two comments I made at Wikipedia:Redirects_for_discussion/Log/2019_August_11#Wikipedia:GASLIGHTING. I fixed the redirect here.
  2. Re: involvement, as far as I can recall my interactions with Atsme and other editors in the topic area have been in an administrative role and the occasional edit or wording suggestion is aimed at helping editors in disagreement find common ground. Many disputes on Wikipedia can be resolved with creative compromise wordings that satisfy the objections of both sides. I've put a lot of effort into trying to get people out of the all-or-nothing mindset that seems to frequently dominate American Politics discussions. A recent example of that is here. I feel that is in line with the second paragraph of WP:INVOLVED which states that "an administrator whose prior involvements are minor or obvious edits which do not show bias, is not involved and is not prevented from acting in an administrative capacity in relation to that editor or topic area. Warnings, calm and reasonable discussion and explanation of those warnings, advice about community norms, and suggestions on possible wordings and approaches do not make an administrator 'involved'."

Statement by {other-editor}

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

American politics 2: Clerk notes

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

American politics 2: Arbitrator views and discussion


Clarification request: Antisemitism in Poland (2)

Initiated by Piotrus at 04:44, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Antisemitism in Poland 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 Piotrus

The Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism_in_Poland#Article_sourcing_expectations remedy from the recent case seemed like a good idea at a time. When I thought about the restriction passed, I thought it would reinforce WP:BRD: someone (re)adds a problematic reference, they get reverted, their source is discussed on talk or at WP:RSN, and they are warned that they should not re-add it or such until a consensus is reached. A sort of 1RR for problematic sources, particularly in case of WP:REDFLAGs.

However, this recent AE ruling, where an editor (User:MyMoloboaccount) was blocked for a week in about an hour after the request was made, for restoring a problematic source or two, with no discussion on talk anywhere, just a straight report and near insta block, gave me a major pause. It is good to require editors to use quality sources; there is a ton of bad sources to be weeded out, and adding more low quality ones needs to be discouraged (I habitually remove low quality refs and there's a lot of garbage in this topic area: ex. [152], [153]). But discouragement should not be achieved by a wiki equivalent of nuking people for small infractions. Now, I have personally written hundreds of articles related to this topic area, and I am speaking with my content creator hat now: the above AE ruling has made me scared of creating any new topics in this area, expanding them or even of reverting problematic edits by likely socks/SPIs. Because if one can get a week long block for a first infraction with no need for an explicit warning, this is an invitation to create a battleground populated by said socks/SPIs, and in a short while we will have nobody else editing this topic area.

If one can get blocked for a week+ in an hour after adding a borderline source, this opens a major can of worms. Sure, we can all agree that some sources like personal webpages, blogs or forums are unacceptable, but there are plenty that fall in a gray area, and I find it scary that a single admin is now not only apparently empowered to decide what is reliable or not, bypassing prior talk consensuses, RSN and such, but per DS could even impose year blocks and topic bans of up to a year at a whim. Let me illustrate this with some practical example of what has been used in this topic area.

In the linked AE thread, for example, a newspaper was among the sources reported as 'bad', through the closing admin judged it acceptable. That was for Rzeczpospolita (newspaper). But which other newspaper will make the cut and which will be seen as not reliable? If someone uses a more controversial paper like Sieci or Do Rzeczy as a source, will they get a week long block? A year long topic ban? For the first infraction? What about an article from a news portal like Onet.pl? Can a city portal be used to reference information about unveiling of a local monument or celebration of a remembrance event? Or a March of the Living coverage? Yes, newspapers and such are not the best sources, but are they now a gamble with a potential block or ban? Is an average admin that does probably does not speak Polish empowered to make such calls based on what they see in an English Wikipedia article on a Polish newspaper, magazine or portal (if one event exists)? If it mentions words like controversial, right-wing, left-wing, or whatever is it that they see as a red flag, it's ban hammer time?

More examples. In my talk post at Talk:Home Army where I reviewed some sources recently challenged on that talk page (and that were shortly after discussed in that AE thread) I noted that I think course notes by a reliable academic are probably ok. Apparently, they are not, since lecture notes are not peer reviewed. Ok. How about [154], a source used in recently created Warsaw Ghetto Hunger Study (by the same editor who made the complain about said course notes...)? That appears to be a non-peer reviewed lecture delivered at an unspecified place (I have attended such events as a grad student and later, they can be very informal and address a room of <10 people). Ban editor for using such a source or not? What if someone cites a popular history magazine such as Histmag? Reliable or not? Toss a coin? How about a source published by Institute of National Remembrance? That institution has been criticized for some recent politicization (as described in the article body), what if the reviewing admin decides that an editor using this source, until now generally seen as acceptable, merits a ban because they find the criticism section in the IPN article convincing and feel that IPN is no longer a reliable source? How about articles from a a museum website? How about an educational website maintained by IPN, like [155] or [156]? How is it better than the course notes that were ruled 'not good enough'? Did I mention popular history magazines? IPN publishes several (pl:Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, pl:Biuletyn IPN „pamięć.pl”). What about a portal like [157], which contains information on Polish Righteous Among the Nations, co-financed by by Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also by a controversial NGO associated with unreliable Radio Maryja? Is that portal unreliable because it received financing from a problematic NGO? Even if it is unreliable, an average editor using it may not even be aware of the connection. Block people because they didn't investigate who funds a website sufficiently? I am an academic and an editor experienced in this topic area and in finding reliable sources myself, yet I didn't even realize some of those sources were problematic until someone else pointed it out (that a magazine I assumed was peer reviewed might not be, or that this website received some financing from a shady NGO). Can a website about local tourist attractions be used a source to note that some World War II fortifications survive as said tourist attractions ([158])? How about websites on shipwrecks? I recently became aware of articles like List of shipwrecks in August 1941 that use many substandard sources ([159]). If someone adds a source like this about a Polish WWII shipwreck, how many weeks of a block are they looking at? Shortly after the ArbCom case closed I asked one of our milhist ship experts to create an article on a minor ship SMS M85, and he replied that "I think that the recent Arbcom ruling on articles associated with Poland in WW2 makes writing an article impossible." He created it nonetheless, but if he used a less then impeccable source (perhaps [160] that I see in German minesweeper M18 (1939)), would he be looking a ta block? Is using a site like [161] to reference some non-WP:REDFLAG technical details about a ship or another minor detail a major offense now? How about if the article I created on Japanese pilot Naoshi Kanno was Poland-related? I referenced his appearance in an anime series to a source or two that another editor objected to ([162]). If it was a Polish pilot, would I be blocked now? Topic banned for a year, perhaps, if it was my second or third infraction?

I hope that the above illustrate clearly that the entire Poland WWII topic has become a minefield now that very few editors will dare to edit until this issue is clarified. In particular, we need to know the answers to:

  • per [163], is this indeed correct that "the remedy does not require any particular notification or proof of awareness...and therefore [is] enforceable whether or not an editor was aware of it". And if this is not correct, how to make new editors aware of this? Would {{Ds/alert}} for "topic=b" be sufficient?
  • is it the intent that AE can now be used to bypass WP:RSN and such, and any admin can now speedily rule on what sources are reliable or not and impose DS-level blocks and bans (up to a year, including topic bans) for a single infraction without a specific warning?
  • for this topic area, should RNS be bypassed and questions about reliability of sources directed to AE? Since the admin reviewing a complain is empowered to ignore RSN/talk consensus/etc. and make their own calls, why bother discussing sources anywhere else? Making a complain at AE seems to be the best way to get anything done in this topic area now (preferably by reporting one's opponents to AE until something sticks).

My constructive suggestion is to revise this remedy to make sure that this applies only to editors who have been warned and who engage in edit warring restoring bad sources. In other words, I think that editors should be allowed to add or readd any sources they wish, but once they have been made aware that there is an issue with a source they added through a talk page message, then a 0RR rule should apply pending an outcome of a RSN discussion that the editor who challenged the source should start. If, after made aware that a source is under review, they restore it, then they can be reported to AE. This should be done on a source basis, not editor, i.e. if an editor adds one problematic source, and few weeks later, a different one, it should be treated as separate case, not as a repeat violation (unless it is the same source). Further, an AE ruling in such a case should be not to block an editor for a first infraction, but to add the problematic source to a dedicated blacklist for this topic area. Only editors who re-add a source from said blacklist, after being made aware of its existence through a DS-like warning, should be eligible to being blocked (in practice, one should get warning "you added a source from this blacklist, if you do it again or add any other source from it you may be subject to escalating blocks and bans). To block editors for a first violation, when a source's reliability is often unclear and can merit further discussion, seems like a major battleground escalation, ignoring BDR, and encouraging editors to report their 'opponents' to AE in hope of a quick block. And yes, given the borderline and difficult to investigate nature of many sources, we need a blacklist that specifically states "this website/book/author are bad", because otherwise people will be blocked for plain ignorance or a simple mistake ("you reverted a likely sock that among other edits removed a problematic source. One year topic ban for you. Sock wins. Move on".

I end this with a reminder that I am a content creator and a professional writer, familiar with RS on and off wiki, and in my professional opinion anything more restrictive than the proposal above will create a chilling effect and a major battleground, with editors reporting one another for innocent borderline sources, until no-one is willing to touch this content area with a 10-foot long pole. Remember the adage about good intentions, please. It's enough to look at recent history for Home Army. I am a long standing, experienced contributor, and right now I am abandoning this article, and all related, to likely socks/SPI who have nothing to lose. And I am not going to revert anyone, I will just consider reporting them to AE, since any other course of action is an invitation to get myself blocked. Maybe they will gut this and other articles, removing bad sources, good sources, and whatever else they want, but I am frankly scared or restoring anything, if it is up to a semi-random admin to decide that maybe I merit a year-long topic ban because I added or restored a single borderline source. Is this the type of editing environment this remedy was meant to foster? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:45, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

PS. Molobo cannot make a statement as he is currently blocked, unreviewed appeal pending.

PPS. There is also a simple date error with this finding that I raised here (date 1933 should be 1939). I don't think that merits a separate thread.

-->

Statement by Sandstein

I was not notified of this request, even though I am listed as involved. This is an appeal of an enforcement action couched in the terms of a clarification request. It should be dismissed because, per applicable policy, only the sanctioned editor may appeal an enforcement action.

In fact, MyMoloboaccount is trying to make an appeal on their talk page, but hasn't said in which forum they want to make the appeal. Maybe an admin can help them out with that. The question of whether I was right to block MyMoloboaccount should then properly be discussed in the course of that appeal.

As to the broader point raised by Piotrus that it is not a good idea to make individual admins decide which sources are inadequate and therefore blockable, I don't really have a view. It's for ArbCom to decide whether such a measure is necessary in this topic area. I assume they chose to do so after careful consideration because the normal method of determining the appropriateness of sources through consensus has failed. But the authority given to admins here isn't really any broader than under discretionary sanctions, which already apply to the topic area. Sandstein 16:18, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

The proper appeal has now been copied to AE: WP:AE#Arbitration enforcement action appeal by MyMoloboaccount. I have commented there. Sandstein 18:55, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by MyMoloboaccount

Statement by JzG

Mymoloboaccount has been here long enough to know better. [164] is a flagrant misrepresentation of the source. Mymoloboaccount is lucky to have received only a one week block for this. Guy (help!) 11:50, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ermenrich

Molobo is well aware that their editing is seen as problematic, see here. Their current arguing over the block only demonstrates either a lack of understanding of what a reliable source is, in which case competence issues seem present, or else willful disregard for it. There is no reason to hollow out these requirements because you're "scared". Molobo's block is, if anything, a sign that they are effective. He is fully aware of the remedy and the block, having participated in the case, and he's been here for years and years, so he ought to have a better sense of sourcing anyway.

If you have concerns about other editors' edits, you are also free to report them. The hope was this would clean up the area. Relaxing the restrictions would undermine this goal.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:17, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Nug, Paul Siebert is right - there are plenty of ways to get to good academic sources. There is no reason why these restrictions should stop anyone editing with good faith from editing.--Ermenrich (talk) 22:55, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by François Robere

In general, users who are new to Wikipedia or to a topic area aren't blocked immediately upon infringing on a rule - they're notified and asked to participate in the TP, as it should be. Molobo isn't either - he's familiar with the topic area, took part in the ArbCom case,[165] and later used as justification for an edit.[166] He's well aware that his edits are problematic - I can count at least six editors and two admins who expressed their concerns about him, in his presence, in several fora.

Editors who regularly discuss their edits, and who do not engage in source misrepresentation or needless edit wars - and I count Piotrus and myself as two - should not feel threatened by these DS. While we in theory we could be served with DS without prior warning, in practice it doesn't happen often.

As for the "chilling effect" of the sanctions: the ArbCom case subject of this amendment request had two editors T-banned, who after the case were blocked (one indef). ANI and AE cases resulted in another editor T-banned, and two more blocked. Another editor, who was already T-banned, postponed her appeal. Five editors were "left standing", but they are joined by a handful of editors who frequent the TA less often, and an unknown number of editors who edit in specific articles or on specific issues. All in all, anywhere from 5-15 editors are active in the topic area at any one time (not counting copy editors, reference fixers and bots), some of which have only become active in the TA after the ArbCom case. In short, there's no evidence of a "chilling effect" on the regular editing activities within the TA. François Robere (talk) 15:14, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

  • @Nigel Ish: I can tell you from experience neither is required to edit on this, or any other TA. Are there any particular sources you're worried you'll not be allowed to use? François Robere (talk) 19:56, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    • @Nigel Ish: I see what you mean. It can be argued that Conway Maritime Press (or Jane's, or Lloyd's) are "reputable institutions" per the language of the ruling, but perhaps it would be clearer to add an exception for widely accepted reference works. François Robere (talk) 20:29, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
      • @Nigel Ish: I entirely agree, and have argued many times that persistent editor bias is a "conduct" issue (eg. here: [167][168]). Unfortunately, it's impossible to get admins convinced of that,[169] so we need a bureaucratic solution to help them move along. François Robere (talk) 22:14, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nigel Ish

As written, this sanction is incredibly vague - it could be argued to apply to almost any subject associated with either the Western or Eastern front in World War II - any area where Polish forces fought, any ship that served with the Polish Navy or with the German navy at the start of the war, any piece of military equipment in service during the German invasion of Poland or the Soviet campaign - and demands that only academic sources be used - a standard that is well in excess of anywhere else on Wikipedia, and if applied strictly will make it impossible to edit in many areas, including most of Military History, as someone can always argue that a source isn't academic enough and demand that the content it supports must be removed on pain of an Arbcom block. Statements by Arbcom members on the case above make it clear that the ruling is expected to be applied widely. This has a clear chilling effect and makes a mockery of Wikipedia being the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, as it means that only someone with access to a high quality university library and with the backing of a large bunch of supporters who can support them at Arbcom. Nigel Ish (talk) 18:43, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

  • @François Robere: ::Since we are only allowed to use academic sources it effectively limits the user to using journal articles or books by academic presses, which effectively eliminates any sources that present detailed technical data. While the sources used in SMS M85 for example are reliable - it can be argued that they are not academic (and one source is in German, when an English language edition is available (although I don't have access to it), so I can be punished for writing this article if anyone with a grudge takes me to Arbcom.Nigel Ish (talk) 20:12, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • The solution is for people in authority (i.e. admins and Arbcom) to actually deal with behaviour issues (including things like Civil POV pushing) as behaviour issues using their existing powers, which are entirely adequate if they are prepared to use them properly, and not to invent ever more arcane discretionary sanctions regimes (which in this case can lead to someone being blocked without any warning whatsoever) which are capable of abuse as weapons in content disputes - if a sanction can be abused, it will be abused.Nigel Ish (talk) 20:41, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Nug

I agree with Nigel Ish. This remedy does have a chilling effect and is an impediment to those who don’t have access to a university library.

Articles published in academic journals necessarily present new and/or novel perspectives on some topic, the dissemination of these new viewpoints to other academics is the raison d'être of these journals. As such a particular article doesn’t reflect the main stream view, but the viewpoint of the author, by definition a minority viewpoint at the point of publication. It is only when that article is cited by other articles and books that we can get a measure of the acceptance of that viewpoint. It must be noted that the peer review process in history journals isn’t intended to provide a measure of acceptance or endorsement of the view, but, as Anthony Grafton from Princeton University puts it, to assure the authors are not out “wearing their magenta socks”, i.e. to assure themselves their article doesn’t contain glaring mistakes in presentation.

Arbcom has always been about conduct, not content, and proscribing the sourcing of an article is surely not what Arbcom should be doing. Wikipedia already has mechanisms in place to deal with sourcing, and whether to impose stricter content source rules on a particular topic area should really be the decision of the wider community via a RFC.

A way forward in this case would be for Arbcom to suspend this content related remedy pending an outcome to a RFC to the wider community. --Nug (talk) 21:15, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

  • I challenge Paul Siebert to add something to any Poland-in-WW2 article from this general book The Polish Army 1939–45 by non-academic Steven Zaloga, let's see if he will earn a one week block under the present remedy. --Nug (talk) 22:40, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Paul Siebert

It seems Nigel Ish and Nug are talking about totally different subjects. Indeed, I concede what Nigel Ish's arguments are partially reasonable: it may be problematic to find, for example, some technical characteristics of some concrete WWII time battleship in peer-reviewed publications. However, it is equally hard to expect a hot dispute about that. In contrast, the Holocaust in Poland topic is an area of incessant conflict between two POVs, both of them are strongly politically motivated and, they seriously affect some national feelings. Obviously, the worst POV-pusher is using the worst sources, and the best way to stop an edit war is not 1RR or "Consensus required", and not even topic bans. The best way to fight against POV-pushers is to deprive them of their main weapon - their sources. Which sources national POV-pushers are using the most frequently? Some obscure books, local newspapers, questionable web sites. If such sources are not allowed - the conflict ends.

Regarding Nug's "This remedy does have a chilling effect and is an impediment to those who don’t have access to a university library." Exactly. If you want to write about such a sensitive topic as Holocaust - go to a local library, find good sources - and write. Jstor provides a free subscription (several articles per month), some journals are free, google scholar provides citations - those who want to write good content have a lot of tools. If, instead of that, they prefer to collect various rumors at the very dark recesses of Internet, then WP:NOTHERE is the only option.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:40, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

@DGG: I got a much better idea: if some source has been cited by peers, and the references can be found via google.scholar (or some other scientific/scholarly search engine), such a source can be used. This is the approach I myself use (I very rarely use sources that cannot be found by gscholar or jstor search), and this approach was recognized as good in this peer-reviewed publication, which is specifically devoted to the analysis of content disputes in Wikipedia. With regard to newspapers, there is currently a discussion about a modification of that part of the policy, and it seems a consensus is that only very reputable newspapers are "mainstream newspapers" (good sources per WP:V), and even for them WP:NEWSORG should work, which means editorial and op-ed materials are primary sources about author's opinion.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:43, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Re Zaloga, this author is being widely used in WWII related articles, this concrete book was cited by many peer-reviewed publications, and at least one generally positive review on Zaloga's earlier book with the same title was published in The Polish Review, Vol. 28, No. 3 (1983), pp. 103-105. If some admin will try to block me for using that source, I will successfully contest this block, and will request that admin to be banned from reviewing cases that relate to WWII history per WP:CIR. Most likely, that my request will be implemented. However, that is a purely hypothetical case. If you want, you may directly ask admins who are active on this page if any of them is going to block me for Zaloga.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:23, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statment by DGG

With respect ot the specific request here, I agree with Piotrus that the wording was too rigid. Making a sharp division between academic and no academic sources is not necessarily helpful--there are multiple works in any field that defy easy classification, and also many works not strictly academic that are of equal standing and reliability. Nor is being academic a guarantee of reliability--I mention for example Soviet Lysenkoism and Nazi racial science, both with high national academic standing, and, in the case of Nazi science, considerable international recognition. I'd suggest a much more flexible wording Only high quality sources may be used, specifically peer-reviewed scholarly journals, academically focused books by reputable publishers, and/or articles published by reputable institutions. and works of similar quality and responsibility". Considering the examples given in the request, I think that this would deal with much of it. Newspapers, however, are a more difficult problem, and the responsibility of content of serious topics published is newspapers is variable. I wouldn't rule them out entirely, but I don't know quite how to word it. {Possibly '"and other responsible sources bywide general agreement . ) DGG ( talk ) 22:14, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

@Paul Siebert:, It's not whether something is cited, but what is aid about it. The most cited sources are sometimes the ones that are obviously wrong, because everyone refutes them. As for newspapers, in the soviet era, Pravda was a mainstream newspaper, and, in fact, the national paper of record. Peoples Daily is a mainstream newspaper. They can both be cited, but they can not be used to give a honest view of reality. There is no shortcut to a detailed consideration of how sources are used in context. There is no shortcut to NPOV. Perhaps shortcuts here are all arb com has to work with for affecting content, but they won't by themselves do it. DGG ( talk ) 05:37, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by ThoughtIdRetired

What of the "casual" editor of one of the articles to which these restrictions apply - by that I mean someone who is not deeply involved within the narrow confines of the subject, but adds what they believe to be helpful content from a source that would be OK elsewhere in Wikipedia? How would such an editor know that these restriction apply or, even, how to comply with them. If the casual editor is going to be sanctioned, how does this fit with WP:GOODFAITH? Surely a central principle of Wikipedia is being subverted in order to control a few rogue editors. Feel free to point out to me if you think I have misunderstood (but me saying this emphasises the apparent complexity of rules with draconian penalties).ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 23:13, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

So these restrictions should only apply to persistent and knowing offenders who ignore warnings.ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 23:46, 19 November 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.

Antisemitism in Poland: Clerk notes

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

Antisemitism in Poland: Arbitrator views and discussion


Motions

Requests for enforcement


Actionjackson09

No action taken on initial report. Filer was given a non-AE block for disruptive editing and personal attacks. Lord Roem ~ (talk) 16:25, 18 November 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 Actionjackson09

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Harshil169 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 05:56, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Actionjackson09 (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:ARBIPA :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 

Don't worry, this is clear cut process and shows user has too much positive views about Indian religion i.e. Swaminarayan.

Actionjackson09 is removing criticism of Swaminarayan, the sect BAPS and related articles without trying to reach on consensus and doing disruptive editing. This is sign of BATTLE GROUND behaviour. User has removed sourced content several times and continuously contributing in related articles without any type of helpful or tractable behavior.

  1. This is their one of the first edit in which they removed criticism and paradox of person who is believed to be religious head by Swaminarayan sect. They just gave summary that removed paradox section.
  2. In this edit, user has removed the sourced criticism from Swami Dayananda Saraswati on Swaminarayan calling it fringe and undue. They referred the talk page discussion but it was related to article Criticism of Swaminarayan sect and came on this page after merge.
  3. This edit is reversal of criticism by Morari Bapu to Swaminarayan, supreme figure in this sect, they refered talk page discussion but third opinion was that content should be placed. See this discussion. (The content was removed from Criticism of Swaminarayan Sect because it was not quaifying criticism but this user is saying that if this was removed from that article, so, it shouldn't be here.)
  4. In most of the discussions, they directly come and say that there is consensus to do so without pinging the person who added it. Check this aggressive revert in which they refer to consensus that content should be removed but the consensus was completely opposite and users who objected never came back to sell their arguments after issue was solved. They said they can't understand the language and thus, it should be removed.
  5. Again, in this edit, user has removed the Mahatma Gandhi's criticism on Swaminarayan by saying that removing poorly sourced section while it was clearly sourced. Point to be noted is praise has not been removed, only criticism.
  6. In this edit, user removed the explanation from other temples which was written in WP:DUE way to encounter claims. This directly implied that Akshardham Delhi (this sect's temple) is largest temple without explaining sides and claims of other temples.

-- Harshil want to talk? 05:56, 17 November 2019 (UTC)


Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. Date Explanation
  2. Date Explanation
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Gave an alert about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on 17 November 2019
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Their most of the edits are related to sect, their temples, their religious heads and their Gods. It clearly shows user has COI with BAPS organisation and their temples. They never engaged in meaningful discussion and removing negative information and adding superfluous claims about the sect. User is intractable for meaningful discussions and removing content without consensus by citing consensus, when we reinstate content then they label us as disruptive editing but not following BRD cycle. User is definitely WP:NOTHERE to built encyclopedia but to promote one religious ideology.

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

[170]


Discussion concerning Actionjackson09

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 Actionjackson09

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Actionjackson09

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • It looks like they were only given a notice after these edits occurred, and several of the diffs linked are a year or more old. There's nothing actionable here. Lord Roem ~ (talk) 06:50, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
  • The first, fifth and sixth diffs are all well over a year old. Meanwhile, for the second diff, there was a discussion on the talk page, and the filer of this report has today re-inserted the section [171] despite the fact that there is clear consensus not to include it. For the third and fourth diffs, there was a small consensus (3v2) to do so. The filer has reverted this removal by two different editors three times in the last two days, including once after posting here. I would suggest that the subject of this report is perhaps not the major issue here. Black Kite (talk) 13:52, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Harshil169

No diffs or other information. Will inform the filer. Black Kite (talk) 14:38, 17 November 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 Harshil169

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Edward Zigma (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 14:18, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Harshil169 (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/CASENAME#SECTION :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. Date Explanation
  2. Date Explanation
  3. Date Explanation
  4. Date Explanation
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. Date Explanation
  2. Date Explanation
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Mentioned by name in the Arbitration Committee's Final Decision linked to above.
  • Previously blocked as a discretionary sanction for conduct in the area of conflict, see the block log linked to above.
  • Previously given a discretionary sanction for conduct in the area of conflict on Date by Username (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA).
  • Alerted about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, see the system log linked to above.
  • Gave an alert about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on Date
  • Participated in an arbitration request or enforcement procedure about the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on Date.
  • Successfully appealed all their own sanctions relating to the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on Date.
  • Placed a {{Ds/aware}} template for the area of conflict on their own talk page.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

Discussion concerning Harshil169

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 Harshil169

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Harshil169

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

MyMoloboaccount

MyMoloboaccount is blocked for a week. Sandstein 23:09, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Request concerning MyMoloboaccount

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
François Robere (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 22:08, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
MyMoloboaccount (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/Antisemitism in Poland#Article sourcing expectations
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 03:31, 17 November 2019 The restored sources are: a) course notes from UT Austin ("Cienciala notes 2006"); b) an unknown website ("pw25"); c) a popular newspaper ("Rzecz").
  2. 18:21, 17 November 2019 Interpreting a source in a way that suggests a false equivalence ("false", as it isn't in the source)
  3. 18:53, 17 November 2019 Misrepresenting a source by highlighting what the source explicitly states are exceptions.
  4. 23:05, 17 November 2019 In the source: "several Jewish accounts that describe positive encounters"; in the text: "numerous positive records of Jewish survivors praising [the] Home Army".
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Took part in the relevant ArbCom case and PD discussion.[172]
  • Referred to the decision in an edit summary.[173]
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 
  • Note that the sourcing restrictions expanded upon by ArbCom apply to source representation as well as to source choice.
  • Molobo's editing practices have been discussed extensively,[174] before he decided to take a "long Wikibreak".[175][176][177] He is well aware of the issues with his editing.
  • DS do not require TP discussion. That said, discussion did take place.[178]
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

[179]

Discussion concerning MyMoloboaccount

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 MyMoloboaccount

I note that François Robere didn't even attempt to discuss with me at all his opposition to the edits or possible improvements. This seems a bit battleground behavior in my view.

  • Rzeczpospolita is a mainstream reliable publication, neverthless I didn't contest FR second removal.I still believe the infromation it supports isn't controversial and it can be used as source-but I will not reintroduce it if this isn't supported.
  • Anna_M._Cienciala is a high quality source:
  • was a Polish-American historian and author. She specialized in modern Polish and Russian history. Graduating with a history doctorate in 1962, she taught at two Canadian universities for a few years before joining the history faculty at the University of Kansas in 1965. She retired in 2002.
  • sentence ""several Jewish accounts that describe positive encounters" and "numerous positive records of Jewish survivors praising [the] Home Army" mean the same basically and further text states that Home Army was praised in these witness reports ie ""the Home Army is openly praised in the testimony of Salomon Liberman". I find hard to see anything controversial here-again FR didn't even discuss anything, and I would be open to any discussion how to praise it differently-however, again it is bit difficult to see controversy here.
  • Misrepresenting a source by highlighting what the source explicitly states are exceptions. Wrong. The article is about Radzilow, and Radzilow is the exception mentioned by author. I don't believe it is necessary to mention that in other locations it was different, but this could be added. Again no discussion was made to phrase it differently and edit war took place. FR didn't engage in any discussion on talk page.
  • Interpreting a source in a way that suggests a false equivalence ("false", as it isn't in the source)That's wrong-Zimmerman mentions at least two examples of protecting communities by AK-Hanaczow and Lviv where numerous Jews were saved by Wladyslawa Choms who was an AK officer in charge of the operation. And that is just at brief glance.

Ongoing harassment

This unfortunately follows a strain of personal attacks and wikistalking FR has been engaging in for a while now:

  • When I mentioned that I have nothing against mentioning that Nazis targetted Jews as victims of genocide, FR responded "that's a lie" despite me actually entering following sentence in the article with Jews targeted for immediate extermination [180]

In response FR stated you're perfectly content pushing Jews out because "this isn't about the Holocaust".' [181]

  • When I quoted Nuremberg Trials that state Nazis committed genocide against Poles as well FR responded

[182] This is all damaging to Wikipedia, and the nice façade you're putting up for our fellow editors [183] I'm sorry, but this is just a load of dishonesty and ignorance. Molobo brings a legal definition; I say we can't use it (it'll be OR)

[184] It's lies, obfuscation, and inability to admit a mistake

Going even as far as carrying out accusations of "WP:TROLLING" which is a very serious personal attack That's WP:TROLLING right there(FR was unaware that Prussia also refers to a region that belonged to Poland in 18th century and when I mentioned this stated And then he preaches, in a most condescending manner, something completely wrong: that Prussia - 18th century Prussia - was part of Poland)

After that he started contacting admins asking for sanctions about me but was rebuked several times [185] rebuked [186] asked to use proper venue [187]


Long story short:I mentioned Poles were victims of Nazi genocide, quoted reliable scholars and Nuremberg Trials. FR went ballistic after this and started using personal attacks, gunning for sanctions and wikistalking me-this has been ongoing since August--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 22:54, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Response to My very best wishes

I note source restrictions do not mention history notes published on University pages. Anna Cienciala was a professor and her history lectures are published on website of University of Kansas; this seems a reliable source and high quality ones.Again-there is no mention about history lectures not being allowed;this should be clarified.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 23:04, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Comments by My very best wishes

  1. Yes, this looks to me like a violation. Diff #1. This seems to be a self-published source by Anna M. Cienciala. Is not it?
  2. There is no doubts that MyMoloboaccount knew about this editing restriction. However, was not it necessary to place a notice on the page per Arbcom instructions to sanction someone? My very best wishes (talk) 22:57, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning MyMoloboaccount

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • The request is actionable in part. MyMoloboaccount is blocked for a week.

    (A) Only the first diff is actionable. As to the remaining diffs, it is neither explained nor apparent how they might violate Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland#Article sourcing expectations. I therefore disregard them. (B) As to the second diff, it is also actionable only in part. (B.1) Rzeczpospolita (newspaper) is, judging from its article, a leading mainstream Polish newspaper and therefore a "reputable institution" in the sense of the remedy. Using it as a source does not violate the remedy. (B.2) The use of the lecture notes by Anna M. Cienciala violates the remedy. These notes are neither a "peer-reviewed scholarly journal", an "academically focused book by reputable publishers" or an "article published by reputable institutions". The reputation of the author is irrelevant. What matters is that this is not one of the types of publications allowed by the remedy. (B.3) The same applies even more clearly to the use of the source http://www.dws.xip.pl/PW/bron/pw25.html (the "pw25" reference). This site looks like some kind of military blog, it is not in English and the link does not even work. This is the worst kind of sourcing imaginable.

    As to the sanction to be imposed, MyMoloboaccount does not seem to have been sanctioned previously. The remedy states that "Editors repeatedly failing to meet this standard may be topic-banned as an arbitration enforcement action." This means we cannot impose a topic ban for the first violation. But the decision also provides: "Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked, initially for up to one month." This means that a block is the only allowed, and therefore mandatory, enforcement action. For violating the ArbCom decison, MyMoloboaccount is blocked for a week. Sandstein 23:09, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Actually #3 is also actionable: it is a serious misrepresentation of a source in a contentious area. That's edging towards final warning territory IMO. FR is correct ion characterising this edit as removing the vital context that this is a minority view, albeit a significant minority (as the source says, "Several opinions comprise an exception"). I'm as fed up with these guys scrapping as anyone else is, but that is not kosher. Guy (help!) 00:01, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Kazemita1

Wrong forum — this is not a discretionary sanction. Please submit a report at AN/I. El_C 03:21, 18 November 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 Kazemita1

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Ypatch (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 03:19, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Kazemita1 (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:General sanctions/Post-1978 Iranian politics


Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 


  1. 30 October 2019 Uses the article's GS policy to revert content out of the article. Kazemita1's edit summary says "Removing undue content. There is enough explanation about MEK related matter just prior to this", but this is false; the information he removed has not been discussed anywhere else in the article.
  1. 31 October 2019 Uses the article's GS policy to revert content out of the article. Kazemita1's edit summary says "See talk page about the reasons why it is undue" and in the talk page discussion, says You added this piece which is not related to MEK, i.e. the topic of this article., but this is false; the information he removed describes the group behind an attempted attack on the MEK on European soil.
  1. 1 November 2019 Uses the article's GS policy to revert content back in the article that's not verified by source. Kazemita1's edit summary says “There is no need to combine the two sentences. It is already long enough.”, but does not explain how the text he added is supported by sources.
  1. 31 October 2019 Uses the article's GS policy to revert content back in the article that's not verified by source. Kazemita1's edit summary says "per Admin's comment (copyvio)", but he does not explain how the text he added is supported by sources.
  1. 3 November 2019 Uses the article's GS policy to revert content out of the article. Kazemita1 removes reliable sources from the article, but doesn't give a reason why.
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 


  1. 5 May 2019 Kazemita1 warned for edit warring on the People's Mujahedin of Iran article.
  1. 14 May 2019 Kazemita1 blocked for edit warring on the People's Mujahedin of Iran article.
  1. 3 July 2019 Kazemita1 final warning for edit warring on the People's Mujahedin of Iran article.
  1. 16 September 2019 Kazemita1 restricted from making any edits to the People's Mujahedin of Iran for 2 weeks for edit warring.
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 


Kazemita1 has edited the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (and a couple related pages) exclusively since April this year, a page that forms part of the Post 1978 Iranian politics General Sanctions. Kazemita1 has a history of edit warring on the People’s Mujahedin of Iran page, and was previously warned, blocked, and sanctioned for edit warring there.

The Diffs of edits provided show that despite past sanctions, he is still engaging in edit warring. Kazemita1 uses the article’s revert restrictions to add and remove contested content while failing to provide relevant explanations for his edits. He has been successful at imposing his edits this way, even though his reasons are often misleading or irrelevant.

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Pinging @Kazemita1: Notifying that there is an AE report concerning your edits.


Discussion concerning Kazemita1

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 Kazemita1

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Kazemita1

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

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by MyMoloboaccount

Procedural notes: The rules governing arbitration enforcement appeals are found here. According to the procedures, a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved administrators" is required to overturn an arbitration enforcement action.

To help determine any such consensus, involved editors may make brief statements in separate sections but should not edit the section for discussion among uninvolved editors. Editors are normally considered involved if they are in a current dispute with the sanctioning or sanctioned editor, or have taken part in disputes (if any) related to the contested enforcement action. Administrators having taken administrative actions are not normally considered involved for this reason alone (see WP:UNINVOLVED).

Appealing user 
MyMoloboaccount (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)SQLQuery me! 18:23, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Sanction being appealed 
Block applied here
Administrator imposing the sanction 
Sandstein (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator 
[188]

Statement by MyMoloboaccount

I am appealing my block on the following reasons.

  • A-the page I was editing lacked the appropriate notice about editing restrictions on it as per [189] There was an editnotice ds/editnotice on the restricted page which specified the page restriction. No such notice was on the page.
  • B-Sandstein didn't allow any discussion to take place and it took around 50 minutes to block me for a week.No other admin was able to comment in such time nor any other editor.The amount of time between user asking to sanction me and reaction by Sandstein is questionably short.
  • C-Sandstein himself stated that there is little reason for block(A) Only the first diff is actionable. As to the remaining diffs, it is neither explained nor apparent how they might violate Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland#Article sourcing expectations. I therefore disregard them.Yet the block is quite extensive-a week.
  • D-I note ARBCOM source restrictions do not mention history notes published on University pages. Anna Cienciala was a professor and her history lectures are published on website of University of Kansas; this seems a reliable source and high quality one.Again-there is no mention about history lectures published on University not being allowed;this should be clarified.
  • E-I also note that unlike Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek I never received a notice about the restrictions like this one[190],[191].
  • In conclusion-in view of the fact that the page lacked necessary warning about sanctions, that I never received appropriate notice, that the alleged violation seems questionable and relatively very minor, and that no discussion was allowed on the subject. I find the block excessively long and appeal it.It should be either removed alltogether or shortened significantly

--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 02:26, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

  • Dear Newyorkbrad, you asked me to comment during my appeal, but I am simply unable to due block, so I am sending you my response, a part of which is my statement posted earlier on my discussion page, which wasn't copied.
  • I admit what I did wrong was not checking for the link to a blog in the revert-however my main concern was removal of Rzeczpospolita references which have now been determined to be reliable by admin blocking me.I wouldn't restore the link to blog, or revert its deletion-it was simply hidden away in numerous references to Rzeczpospolita, and to be honest I missed it.If somebody would point this to me I would actually be ok with deleting it myself.But again-there was no discussion, no chance given to discuss changes. As to course notes by respected scholars as source need to be verified-but it is clear they aren't mentioned as something not to be used, and I believe them to be a respectable, high quality source. To repeat-I would check for blog sources in any future edit and avoid putting them in the text, but to be frank I simply didn't notice this one link among dozens of removed references to what I fairly consider high quality sources-the block for such a small omission is highly disproportionate in my view. I also admit that my impression was that the source restriction was mainly for Jewish-Polish topics in World War 2-not about everything uncontroversial about Poland in WW2, a lot if not all information by Rzeczpospolita was relatively uncontroversial and not related to anisemitism.

We know how Wikipedia works, and Sandstein is already stating what seems to look like insinuation about a topic block for me in his statement-I have rather lenghty log clear of blocks for some time now, and blocking me for accidentely restoring a link to blog among which I missed among other sources in good faith considered reliable and quality ones-I consider this very harsh, and worry it will be used to block me even further. With the current state of vogue source restrictions this is a real threat if I were to edit further.

  • Lastly the insinuation that I misinterpeted the source on Radzilow-this is really stretching good faith and quite frankly wrong. Why would I put the quote in the first place if I wanted to mislead anyone? The sentence about witness statement speaks about Radzilow only-the exception mentioned refer to other towns not to Radzilow. I will quote the full sentence

"I would like to to emphasize` that in the two main source groups, on which I base my thesis and which include accounts of the rescued Jews as well as trial records there is very little reference to cooperation of the Jewish population with the Soviet regime though frequently a sense of relief is expressed that a locality has not fallen to German occupation.Several opinions comprise an exception. Chaja Finkelsztejn wrote that some Jews in Radzilow abused their privileged position in relationships with Poles. Other Jews perceived and condemned this, fearing later retaliation from the Polish side.In addition Menachem Turek, relating events in Tykocin emphasized the relative advance of the Jewish population during the Soviet period." As you can see this sentence doesn't say exceptions are in regards to Radzilow, but that Radzilow is exception in witness statements in other towns. Since the article was about Radzilow-there was no reason for me to include other towns. But I won't mind including the full description that in Radzilow there was an exception in relation to witness statement. FR took the sentence completely out of context. Again, no discussion was made which would allow me to modify the sentence if others felt it needed to be modified. If it is believed it should be stressed that Radzilow was exception compared to other towns-I am happy to modify it accordingly. --MyMoloboaccount (talk) 23:13, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sandstein

This appeal should be declined.

MyMoloboaccount barely contests the substantive reasons for which they were blocked. In particular, they do not contest that they introduced a very unreliable source - a blog - into an article, in violation of an ArbCom decision (Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland#Article sourcing expectations, "the decision"). Their objections are mainly procedural. They are meritless:

  • A: No notice or warning was needed. These may be needed for discretionary sanctions imposed by administrators. But the decision enforced here was made by ArbCom. It is binding on all editors. Because it does not provide for any prior notice or warning, it is directly enforceable.
  • B: Arbitration enforcement actions require neither discussion nor consensus. Moreover, any further discussion might have been to MyMoloboaccount's disadvantage, as JzG's comment indicates.
  • C: The applicable enforcement provision allows first blocks for up to a month. A week is little in comparison. The block may even need to be extended, as MyMoloboaccount does not seem to understand how their editing was problematic, and is therefore likely to reoffend.
  • D: It is precisely because the decision does not mention lecture notes that they are prohibited. Only the types of sources mentioned in the decision are allowed.
  • E: These editors were presumably notified because they were parties to the case. But the decision is binding on all other editors regardless. Sandstein 18:54, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
As concerns the issue of awareness: I agree that it raises questions of fairness that the remedy provides sanctions for users who are unaware of the restriction. But whether a remedy is fair or not is is for ArbCom to decide, not for the admins who enforce it. I myself would deal with this, as I wrote on my talk page, as follows: If an editor credibly argues that they were not in fact aware of the restriction, that they understand what they did wrong and that they will henceforth observe the restriction, I would probably apply only a warning instead of a block. But no such assertion was and is made here. As others note, MyMoloboaccount must be assumed to be very well aware of the restriction, which makes their procedural complaints here look disingenuous. Sandstein 20:50, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
@Newyorkbrad: I agree that source misrepresentation can be a reason for discretionary sanctions. But the enforcement request made no mention of discretionary sanctions, did not establish that the notification requirements for them were met, and did not substantiate the respective allegations well. In short, as submitted, the request was an insufficient basis for discretionary sanctions. I therefore chose to focus on the clearly actionable aspect of the matter. Of course, any other admin remains free to more closely investigate these allegations and impose sanctions if deemed necessary. Sandstein 20:59, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Statement by My very best wishes

As someone involved in previous discussions on WP:AE about this editing restriction, I was 100% sure than no one can be sanctioned for this violation without previously placing a notice on the affected page per this notice by Arbcom. I am certain that Molobo thought the same. This is the reason his appeal I think should be granted. My very best wishes (talk) 00:56, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by MyMoloboaccount

  • Be aware of two WP:ARCA discussions touching on this appeal: WP:ARCA#Clarification request: Antisemitism in Poland and WP:ARCA#Clarification request: Antisemitism in Poland (2). François Robere (talk) 18:30, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure why there would need to be additional notice or discussion in the case of Molobo, who posted evidence, posted analysis of evidence, made workshop proposals, and commented on the proposed decision of the Antisemitism in Poland case. After the case closed, there was even more extensive discussion about Molobo's editing on their talk page and on my talk page (here, here, and here). After that, Molobo took a month-long wikibreak, and in their first edits back, they violated the sourcing restriction, misrepresented a source, and look at these other edit summaries: "restore to last version before edits by now indef banned user", "removed cherry picked source added by indef banned editor ...", "restored deleted information removed by now indef banned editor", and "restore content deleted by indef banned editor". Molobo and that editor had many content disputes. Removing content solely because the editor who added the content later got indef'd is not something we do on Wikipedia (we would lose a whole lot of FAs if we did, eh?). Molobo has been here long enough to know that. Worse, the content he removed wasn't even all content added by an indef'd editor – it was added by multiple editors in good standing. Molobo's return post-wikibreak shows (a) their extreme battleground mentality, and (b) that they will completely ignore any and all concerns from other editors, and even Arbcom rulings. Sandstein saved us a lot of time, and prevented a lot of disruption, with his swift and correct action. Levivich 19:36, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Thryduulf, Molobo was 100% aware of the sanctions. He even mentions them himself in an edit [192]. Not only that but he was directly involved in the case that led to them.--Ermenrich (talk) 19:59, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I think Sandstein correctly interpreted the letter of the decision by Arbcom (his point A): that was not a "discretionary sanction" (this whole area was under DS already), but a direct ruling by Arbcom that affects all articles in the subject area and a lot of other pages where Poland in WWII was mentioned. That means any unsuspecting contributor who does not know about this specific restriction or simply thinks that his source was fine can be blocked at any time by any individual administrator when someone else complains here or even without such complaint. This needs to be fixed by Arbcom ASAP. My very best wishes (talk) 20:05, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    • MVBW, I agree with you, it would very unfair if a week-long block was imposed on an unsuspecting contributor. And, indeed, Sandstein agrees, too: he said on his talk page that if it were an unsuspecting contributor, he would have issued a warning instead. But me, you, FR, Piotr, Ermenrich, and Mymolobo, are not "unsuspecting contributors". It's a small group of editors who were very involved in discussing that proposed Arbcom decision, and you, me, and Mymolobo are among that small group. No way any of us can argue that we didn't know about the case or the restriction. Levivich 20:17, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Of course we are not unsuspecting contributors, and Molobo should know better and do not use self-published sources. I am telling about this situation in general. It needs to be fixed. Even I, for example, could easily use a source somewhere (not a self-published of course) thinking it was fine and be suddenly blocked. Thanks to God, I am not interested in editing these Polish subjects. But even so, see this and this AE requests. And this is not at all about Poland. This sourcing restriction poisons everything around. My very best wishes (talk) 21:13, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Newyorkbrad The third diff int he AE complaint, [193], is a flagrant misreperesentation of a source in an area that Molobo could hardly fail to be aware was under scrutiny. A block was 100% warranted based ont he evidence. The only real question is whether the length of the block was excessive. Despite Molobo's long history of tendentious editing he has few previous blocks, so that is a matter where reasonable people may differ. Guy (help!) 22:40, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • My concerns here are as follows 1) yes, Molobo was aware of the ArbCom case in general, but per AGF it is plausible he wasn't aware of the implications of particular remedy passed, particularly since as FR pointed in the first comment here, those implication are unclear and subject to two current clarifications requests at ARBCA. 2) I find it very worrisome that AE has now become a speedy RSN with power to block editors for the first infraction for 'up to a month'. I am an experienced editor and academic, and I thought lecture notes were ok, because 'in professional setting' they are extremely unlikely to have been challenged if I were to use them for a reference in a peer reviewed journal. IN FACT for this particular source, those notes by Anna M. Cienciala ARE used as references for academic works ([194]), and are well reviewed. Ex. I was pleased that she mentioned Sarmatian Review in her excellent compendium of works on the history of Poland and Eastern Europe available online (http://acienciala.faculty.ku.edu/hist557/bibpt1rev.htm). T So a source is good enough for numerous other academics, but is sufficient to warrant a block for an editor that uses it? This should not be disallowed without a RSN discussion or RfC. To say that am admin can now summarily block people for a week because in their opinion a source like this is unreliable is extremely worrisome, which is why I proposed at ARBCA that no editor should be blocked for a first violation, which should only result in a discussion of a particular source and adding it to a blacklist that should be linked from relevant warnings about this remedy. 3) Overall, I want to thank User:Newyorkbrad for being a voice of reason here. PS. Just to be clear, I agree that the source "pw25" was unacceptable, but it should merit a warning and addition to a blacklist. If it was to be shown that Molobo repeatedly uses this or similar quality sources after having been warned not do so, I'd support a block. But those steps (warning, etc.) need to happen first. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 03:04, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Result of the appeal by MyMoloboaccount

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • @Sandstein: regarding A., my preference is actually for there being a notice on the article talk page along the lines of what I've added to Gas van (diff). I'm not sure what other admins think about that — be it as a requirement, or failing that, merely a preferred course of action. No definitive comment about the appeal otherwise (except to say that I lean toward declining it), but I'll try to find the time to review it properly soon. (Sorry, I'm literally out the door right now.) El_C 19:07, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm with El C. If non-standard rules are in force on a particular article (for whatever reason) and there is no mention of this on the article talk page, how are editors meant to know about it? I haven't reviewed any of the other aspects of the appeal, but if MyMoloboaccount was genuinely unaware of the requirements and the source they used would likely be accepted had this rule not been in place, then I believe the appeal should be granted. Thryduulf (talk) 19:32, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    • Ok, it seems that MyMoloboaccount was aware of the restrictions, so my comments above do not apply on this occasion but are still relevant for editors who are not aware. I still have not looked at other aspects of this. Thryduulf (talk) 20:38, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Sandstein's comment that no notice of a restriction is required before an editor may be blocked for violating them does not seem reasonable. While the recent ArbCom decision does not set up formal (and overly complicated) "awareness criteria" as exist for discretionary sanctions, nonetheless, if an editor plausibly claims in good faith that he or she was unaware that a certain restriction exists or that it applies to the article he or she edited, it would be unfair to block rather than advise for a first offense of violating that restriction. Much less would it be fair to block for this reason for a full week. Moreover, even assuming that MyMoloboaccount knew of the restriction, I do not believe that using a respected scholar's lecture notes as a source would warrant a block for a first offense. Use of the "pw25" blog as a source is more troublesome, and I ask MyMoloboaccount to briefly explain why he used this source and whether he agrees it should not be used in the future. Separately, and on the other side of things, I am surprised that in the original AE thread, Sandstein opined that allegations that sources were cited inaccurately or misleadingly were not actionable even if true. The intentional or repeated misuse of sources is serious misconduct, which in this topic-area can be addressed at AE under either the recent case or the more general Eastern Europe DS (though the latter were admittedly not cited in the AE thread). I have not investigated the accuracy of these specific allegations against MyMoloboaccount, as an appeal by the blocked user is not a fair forum in which to inquire whether he should have been sanctioned on different grounds. However, to clarify this issue going forward, I ask Sandstein to comment on this aspect of the matter. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:28, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
    • MyMoloboaccount commented on the proposed decision ABOUT the sourcing restrictions with this comment, so it's probably stretching it a bit to say he wasn't aware of them. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:39, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
      • I agree that MyMoloboaccount was aware of the restrictions in general, though he may or may not have realized they applied to this article, and was commenting on Sandstein's broader suggestion that it wouldn't matter whether an editor knew or not. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:41, 19 November 2019 (UTC)