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Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests

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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

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: Gun control

Initiated by GoldenRing at 15:38, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

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

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

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

Statement by GoldenRing (Gun Control)

In the course of a request at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard, I deleted User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles as an arbitration enforcement action. My reason for doing so is that WP:UP states that "Users should generally not maintain in public view negative information related to others without very good reason. Negative evidence, laundry lists of wrongs, perceived flaws, collations of diffs and criticisms related to problems, etc., should be removed, blanked, or kept privately (i.e., not on the wiki) if they will not be imminently used, and the same once no longer needed. The compilation of factual evidence (diffs) in user subpages, for purposes such as preparing for a dispute resolution process, is permitted provided it will be used in a timely manner. In my view, this page is obviously the sort of "collation of diffs and criticisms related to problems" that the policy forbids. Dlthewave has repeatedly stated (eg diff) that the purpose of the page is as background to an opinion piece in The Signpost; since I have repeatedly asked and they have given no other explanation, I have taken this as an admission that the material is not intended for dispute resolution. My justification for doing the deletion as an arbitration enforcement action is the "other reasonable measures that the enforcing administrator believes are necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project" provision of WP:AC/DS#sanctions.user. I'm aware that deletion is unusual as an enforcement action, but didn't expect it to be as controversial as it has proved.

Dlthewave appealed this at AE and in the course of the appeal, Bishonen advised them to start a request at WP:DRV, which they did. Bishonen undeleted the page so that those participating in the DRV request could see the content. I have objected to the undeletion as a unilateral overturning of an enforcement action but Bishonen has declined to self-revert this. I have no interest in wheel-warring over it.

A number of editors at DRV have objected to the deletion, for two main reasons: Firstly, that the content doesn't violate policy, and secondly that deletion is not a valid enforcement action (ie is not authorised under discretionary sanctions). Additionally, I and a couple of other editors have pointed out that DRV can't review enforcement actions, but a number of editors have objected this, too. These objections include some very experienced editors who I respect and I'm not so sure of myself as I was 24 hours ago. So I would like the committee please to answer these questions:

  1. Is deletion of a page an enforcement action that is authorised under discretionary sanctions?
  2. If the answer to 1 is "yes", was Bishonen's undeletion a violation of WP:AC/DS#sanctions.modify?
  3. If the answer to 1 is "yes", is DRV a valid venue to review deletions carried out under discretionary sanctions?
  4. If the answer to 1 is "yes", while we're here, we may as well consider the substance as well: Was deleting this page in line with policy and a reasonable exercise of administrator discretion in an area subject to DS?

I would like to be very clear that I am asking these questions for clarification and am not looking for action against anyone; in particular, I am not requesting any action against Dlthewave for starting the DRV (they were, after all, advised to do so) nor against Bishoen for giving that advice or for undeleting the page (Bishonen is an admin I hold in high regard and while we disagree on this point of DS procedures, any action against her would be a great loss to the project; I would much rather concede the point and let the undeletion stand than see action here).

  • @SilkTork: I don't know how much clearer I can make my rationale, but I will try: The policy says, "Negative evidence, laundry lists of wrongs, perceived flaws, collations of diffs and criticisms related to problems, etc., should be removed." The deleted page is a long list of quotes of edits made by other editors which Dlthewave himself thinks is "important to highlight the long-term pattern" of which their AE complaint is "a continuation" (diff). This is plainly a collection of negative evidence, and the attempt to lawyer around the language by not giving diffs by quoting the content of the diff and giving a link to where it can be found is, in my view, entirely specious. Dlthewave themselves said in the diff I have just quoted, "It is understandable that this may be viewed as polemical, howeveri feel that it is important to highlight the long-term pattern" - or, in about as many words, they know it violates policy but think their cause is more important. GoldenRing (talk) 22:59, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @SilkTork: I see what you're getting at. As far as I know, this page was not the subject of any substantive discussion prior to the deletion. Dlthewave brought an action at AE and another editor pointed out this page; I asked Dlthewave to explain how it was not a violation of POLEMIC (diff). Two and a half days later I had received no response (diff), despite Dlthewave having edited the AE complaint in that time (diff), so I went ahead and deleted it. I do not claim any of the speedy deletion criteria as justification for the deletion, but rather the authorisation of discretionary sanctions.
  • Regarding your question about blanking v deletion, I took the word "remove" in WP:UP to include deletion and it is routinely interpreted this way at MfD, where POLEMIC is generally accepted as grounds for deletion, not blanking. Although there is some controversy about where the line between keep and delete outcomes is, no-one argues that POLEMIC is not grounds for deletion. Pages with similar content are deleted at MfD, see eg 1 2 3, especially the last one which likewise claims to document whitewashing of an article; there are many others in the archives of MfD.
  • My reasoning for doing this as an arbitration enforcement action rather than through community processes was (and is) that maintaining such a page is not conducive to collaborative editing in the topic of gun control; that gun control is an area where discretionary sanctions have been authorised; and that administrators are expected to use DS "to create an acceptable collaborative editing environment for even our most contentious articles" (WP:AC/DS#admin.expect). If administrators working AE are suddenly expected to use community processes to resolve disputes, then what was the point of authorising DS?
  • To answer a couple of procedural queries I missed in my last reply, Dlthewave met the awareness requirements at the time of the enforcement action because they had started a request at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard (the deletion happened in the context of this request) and I don't see how an editnotice is relevant to this particular action as it doesn't involve a page-level editing restriction. GoldenRing (talk) 10:18, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @SilkTork: I am seriously considering other ways out of this and have been for some time. Nonetheless, I think the committee needs to clarify whether deletion is a valid enforcement action; it is clear (most particularly from the comments at DRV and also those here) that a significant portion of the community think it is not, while I can't see how deletion is different to any other administrative action done under DS and authorised by the "other reasonable measures" provision of DS. In the meantime, I am a little unsure what you mean when you say, "such a deletion should meet with policy." There are a great many administrative actions taken routinely that are not authorised by policy but are authorised by discretionary sanctions: administrators cannot normally place topic bans, interaction bans, 1RR restrictions on users or pages, consensus-required restrictions, civility restrictions or BRD restrictions and yet these have all been applied unilaterally by administrators since the beginning of this year. Ordinarily, any of these would require a community consensus process (eg a discussion at AN for a topic ban) but are valid as unilateral actions because they are authorised by discretionary sanctions. How is deletion any different? Ordinarily it requires a community consensus process at XfD (ignoring for the moment speedy deletion criteria) but here it is a valid unilateral action because discretionary sanctions are authorised. And, in the end, what is more serious? Deleting a user page? Or banning a user? If you trust admins with the latter, you should trust them with the former. GoldenRing (talk) 16:22, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @SilkTork: I appreciate your point about arbcom needing the consent of the community to function and to be a positive force in the community. At the same time (and I know this is itself somewhat controversial in the community) my understanding is that all of the powers granted to administrators in discretionary sanctions are available because the community has ratified the arbitration policy which makes arbcom the final, binding decision-maker in disputes, not because of explicit policy changes. As GMG points out, the usual forms of DS are subject to a "boiling frog" effect; and this action is likely to be controversial not because it is invalid but because it is unusual. Posting it at DRV has involved a lot of users who are not accustomed to dealing with DS.
    If I had deleted a featured article on the main page without a very good reason, I would expect the action to be overturned at AN sharpish. That is the outlet the community has for controlling unilateral enforcement action with consensus.
    The committee still need to decide whether "other reasonable measures" means what it plainly says or rather "other reasonable measures except deletion," which some here are advocating. The committee still need to decide whether "All enforcement actions are presumed valid and proper, so the provisions relating to modifying or overturning sanctions apply, until an appeal is successful" means what it plainly says or rather "All enforcement actions are presumed valid and proper unless another admin unilaterally decides the action was obviously outside the scope of DS," which some here are advocating. GoldenRing (talk) 11:45, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @BU Rob13: That is a good point and I will strike my fourth question. GoldenRing (talk) 17:07, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @RexxS: I would like to correct a few things you have said:
  • It is absolutely prohibited to unilaterally modify arbitration enforcement actions; seee WP:AC/DS#sanctions.modify. BLP and COPYVIO are not the only absolute prohibitions.
  • All enforcement actions have what you describe as "the usual immunity to reversion", whether they are valid or not because all enforcement actions are presumed valid and proper until an appeal in one of AE, AN or ARCA succeeds; see point 4 of WP:AC/DS#appeals.notes.
  • We do not prohibit collections of negative information about other editors "for reasons of BLP" (if that were so, they would never be allowed) but because it's not a civil, collegial thing to do, though sometimes necessary for use in legitimate dispute resolution processes.
  • And lastly, the elephant in the room: no careful reading is necessary, the whole page consists almost entirely of quotes of other editors statements at talk page. By what sophistry is this material not related to the editors who made those statements??? GoldenRing (talk) 23:24, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @RexxS: I hope no admins follow your interpretation of policy; it is a recipe for desysopping. The simple reality is that the community has accepted the arbitration committee as the final, binding decision-maker in conduct disputes and, short of changing the arbitration policy, the community cannot override its decisions. Some of its decisions are to authorise discretionary sanctions; to make administrator actions under DS appealable only to AE, AN and ARCA; and to give such actions a presumption of validity until they are overturned in a proper appeal. If you doubt this, you might find the level 2 desysop of Yngvadottir for a single instance of overturning a controversial AE action instructive (in fact an AE action which was only confirmed by the committee in a 6-5 vote). GoldenRing (talk) 11:36, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @BU Rob13: I struggle to articulate what such a motion would even mean in practice. Essentially, I guess it means admins can delete pages as an enforcement measure so long as the page meets one of the criteria for speedy deletion or a consensus to delete exists at the relevant XfD venue. The only difference making deletion available under DS would make is that review would be reserved to AE, AN and ARCA rather than the usual deletion review process - yet PMC has argued for option B with review carried out at DRV! If "deletion done under DS" is going to be "deletion in line with deletion policy and reviewed at DRV" then it's indistinguishable from ordinary deletion and there's no point including it in DS - just propose a motion to exclude it.
    I do still feel strongly is that the existing DS wording allows deletion as it allows any other measure, and reserves review of such deletions to the arbitration appeal venues. The only argument I can see being made to the contrary is AGK's, which essentially says that a sanction placed on a page reading "This page is subject to 1RR" is not a sanction placed on a page. I don't understand it. Unless someone can propose another construction of the DS wording that excludes deletion, the now-closed DRV was out of process.
    Whether deletion should be allowed under DS is another question and not one I feel strongly about either way. As an enforcing administrator, I would probably prefer that the committee exclude deletion altogether from DS than to add further complexity to the scope and review processes for DS. GoldenRing (talk) 11:54, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Opabinia regalis: To some extent I agree with you, and had I known what the outcome would be, I would have sent this to MfD. I saw AE deletion as a way to do this without drama, and clearly that was a mis-judgement; however, I would contend that much of the drama was not because of the AE action itself, but because it was sent to DRV out-of-process. And leaving the answer to the question "is deletion a valid AE action?" as "maybe" is not useful to AE admins who would like to know what the scope of sanctions possible under DS is. GoldenRing (talk) 10:22, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @BU Rob13: Are you sure that only deletions outside mainspace should be valid AE actions? What about actions that are also valid under one of the CSD, but which is marked as an AE action? I can easily think of cases in American politics, for instance, or indeed gun control, that should be deleted under CSD but which an admin might want to mark as an AE action to avoid a highly dramatised DRV. I do struggle to think of a valid mainspace deletion outside of the CSD, but I don't want to say it couldn't happen. GoldenRing (talk) 10:21, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @BU Rob13: I take your point about the optics of using DS to avoid scrutiny, but you also need to bear in mind that DS are authorised in areas where community processes have already broken down and are already ineffective, usually because there are large groups of otherwise-productive editors on either side of the dispute. Picking up your AP2 example, I think the likely outcome at MfD for such a page would be deletion. But I would choose to delete as an AE action every time because I know that if I send it to MfD, a crowd of fringe-supporters will emerge from the woodwork to argue against deletion; the same crowd will turn up at the inevitable DRV; and they will kick off at least three complaints at ANI in the course of proceedings and likely another two afterwards trying to contest the outcome. DS are indeed supposed to circumvent these highly-controversial community processes in highly-controversial topics. GoldenRing (talk) 11:37, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Premeditated Chaos: So why don't all TBAN requests go via AN? Why do we allow AE to circumvent the usual community process of placing bans? GoldenRing (talk) 13:38, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Dlthewave

Statement by Bishonen

@SilkTork: You have perhaps forgotten part of the process, then. Unless pages at DRV are temporarily undeleted, only admins will be able to read them, i. e. only admins will be able to discuss them in a meaningful way. It's not supposed to work like that. I followed these instructions for how to do it. Bishonen | talk 18:27, 25 February 2019 (UTC).

Statement by Simonm223

Is deletion of a page an enforcement action that is authorised under discretionary sanctions? Based on the argument by Ivanvector at DRV I would say no. It is not. Furthermore I think the argument that it constituted WP:POLEMIC in the first place is flawed. Simonm223 (talk) 16:21, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ivanvector

This response is directed to GoldenRing's bullet point #1 only, as the subsequent bullets assume a view with which I disagree.

As I stated at DRV, my view is that page deletion is not authorized by discretionary sanctions, certainly not explicitly, and neither in spirit. While the standard provisions authorize administrators to act in arbitration enforcement through the use of editing sanctions and page restrictions, and we grant significant latitude to administrators to create restrictions within the bounds of these categories and to block users who violate those restrictions in the name of arbitration enforcement, these powers do not extend to editorial and/or political control, nor wholesale removal of content. Furthermore, nothing in the gun control case appears to specifically enact these powers. And generally, it is common practice that the Arbitration Committee does not weigh in on matters of encyclopedia or userspace content, and as such it is an improper assumption that the Committee would wish to empower admins with unilateral deletion powers. But noting the disagreement at DRV, I would also like this to be explicitly clarified.

As for Bishonen's action and DRV itself in this incident: if Arbcom has explicitly declared that deleting a page is a sanction available for arbitration enforcement, then I would agree that AE would be the correct venue to review an Arbitration-enforcement deletion. However, the community's venue for deletions out-of-process is DRV, thus DRV is a logical venue for this incident. It is standard and widely-accepted practice to undelete content while its deletion is under review, and Bishonen's restoration ought to be viewed in that light unless and until someone can point to already-established Arbitration procedure in which the Committee has explicitly authorized userpage deletion as a discretionary sanction, and if and only if that process is already established, then owing to the present disagreement Bishonen should be given an acting in good faith pass on this one, or a "to satisfy the pedants" admonishment at the most severe.

Stating for the record that I believe that everyone carrying a mop has acted in good faith with respect to this incident. I also hold both GoldenRing and Bishonen in very high regard, and I appreciate GoldenRing seeking clarification on this point. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:35, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

I would think that the situation described by Black Kite, in which an editor subject to an AE restriction creates a page in violation of that restriction, would be dealt with under WP:G5, and as a result the deletion itself would not be AE enforcement and the venue to review deletion would remain DRV. But maybe we are over-generalizing. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 17:35, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Again, as others have tried to point out but are apparently falling on deaf Committee members' ears, the policy which directs the deletion of English Wikipedia content is the deletion policy; to the best of my knowledge it is the only policy which does now or has ever had community consensus for deletion of an entire page (as opposed to revision deletion, suppression/oversight, or other actions which maintain a visible history). Observant editors will note that deletions directed by the Arbitration Committee are not mentioned in that document.
Quoting from the deletion policy's companion guideline, Wikipedia:Deletion process: "The speedy deletion process applies to pages which meet at least one of the criteria for speedy deletion, which specify the only cases in which administrators have broad consensus support to, at their discretion, bypass deletion discussion and immediately delete Wikipedia pages or media." (bold in original, underline added) It's been said by several others here and elsewhere already: arbitration enforcement is not one of the criteria for speedy deletion. The deletion process document also specifies in no uncertain terms that deletions may only be performed outside the scope of the policy when ordered by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Now quoting from the arbitration policy, which under the heading "policy and precedent", reads: "The arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy by fiat. The Committee's decisions may interpret existing policy and guidelines, recognise and call attention to standards of user conduct, or create procedures through which policy and guidelines may be enforced. The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated." (emphasis added)
The Committee members now arguing that content deletion is in fact within the scope of arbitration enforcement are engaging in modifying the deletion policy by fiat. While GoldenRing and the members of the Committee may have very good reasons for wanting to allow content deletion as an arbitration power, the deletion policy does not currently permit this and the arbitration policy explicitly forbids it. If the Committee wishes to reserve these powers for itself, a community discussion is required to modify both policies. Unless and until those discussions happen, the Arbitration Committee is not authorized to delete pages, and likewise has no power to authorize administrators to unilaterally delete pages in the name of Arbitration enforcement.
Following on that argument, GoldenRing's deletion must be considered to have been performed under the auspices of speedy deletion, since arbitration enforcement cannot authorize that action, and there was no discussion. It is very clearly stated in the community's policies that the venue to dispute a deletion, speedy or otherwise, is WP:DRV. The Committee insisting that this deletion can only be appealed to the Committee is, again, modifying policy by fiat. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:16, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@Premeditated Chaos: you're inventing policy again with your latest comment. As it stands, deletion under discretionary sanctions is forbidden because it is not expressly permitted, not the other way around, because the deletion policy (the only policy directing deletions) sets out when deletion is allowed, and expressly forbids all other deletions.
@All the arbitrators: your straw poll is invalid. If you want to modify the community's deletion policy to permit deletions as arbitration enforcement, then do the work to modify that policy. That means putting it to the community in an RfC, not pretending that you can decide that that's how things are without any community input. The way this discussion is going is an alarming endorsement of admins doing any damn thing they please under a veil of arbitration enforcement, and of the Committee retroactively altering its own procedures to suit any such action. In this case, the Committee retroactively endorsed an out-of-process deletion, retroactively forbade discussion of the out-of-process deletion in the usual community forum for discussing improper deletions, retroactively endorsed (by omission) threatening with desysopping the administrator who restored the deleted page per the normal community expectation for discussing deletion challenges, and is attempting to retroactively modify the scope of standard discretionary sanctions to justify the entire affair. This entire discussion is an embarassment. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 21:57, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Just noting that the deletion review was closed five days ago now as "clear consensus is that this deletion should be overturned per the deletion policy", but the page remains blanked with the DRV notice. Presumably this discussion has had a chilling effect by which administrators are not carrying out the community's desired action out of fear of Arbcom reprisal, and for that matter, this is not only not an issue that the community cannot resolve, but it has already been resolved, other than this thread sitting open blocking anyone from doing anything. This request is close to entering its third week; to quote The Colonel, "get on with it!" Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 17:20, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Doug Weller

I agree with Ivanvector. Such a deletion is not within the scope of discretionary sanctions. Perhaps an Arbitrator with a longer memory than I have may find such a procedure but I'd be surprised. Certainly it was not authorised by us during the four years I was on the committee. I think everyone has acted in good faith with this but I believe that GoldenRing was wrong and that the page should not have been deleted. I've looked at the page and agree with those who say that the content does not violate policy. I'll also note that no editors have been named although obviously they can be identified via the links. I'll add that even if it hasn't been used it is information that has the potential to be useful. Doug Weller talk 17:10, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Black Kite

I can think of situations whereby deletion would be in the purview of an AE action (for example, if a topic-banned editor was violating their TBan on a userspace page) but I agree with the two editors above that I can't see that this falls into this category. It is probably something that ArbCom could do with clarifying for future reference. Black Kite (talk) 17:28, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

  • @SilkTork: It is SOP to undelete pages whilst they are at DRV so that non-admins can assess whether the close was correct - for example, whether a CSD deletion actually met the CSD criteria, or in the case of AfD whether the discussion comments were actually valid. In this case, with no AFD or standard CSD, then assuming the DRV is valid the page would have to be visible as otherwise no non-admins could make any judgement about the deletion. Black Kite (talk) 18:24, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Levivich

If no harm would arise from having this page discussed at MfD, then it should be discussed at MfD, rather than deleted by any one person's unilateral action. Obviously both admin acted in good faith in a situation that is unclear and possibly unprecedented; any suggestion of sanctions would be over the top. Levivich 18:01, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by RexxS

If an administrator erroneously deletes a page as an Arbitration Enforcement, when the page is not eligible for deletion under that criterion, they cannot claim the usual immunity to reversion of the action that we reserve for justified AE actions. From GoldenRing's own statement, the relevant criterion upon which they are relying is:

Users should generally not maintain in public view negative information related to others without very good reason. Negative evidence, laundry lists of wrongs, perceived flaws, collations of diffs and criticisms related to problems, etc., should be removed, blanked, or kept privately ... (my emphasis)

But nobody reading Special:Permalink/881981663 carefully would conclude that information on that page is "related to others". All of the information therein is related to articles, and there is no Arbitration Enforcement available to prevent editors from gathering quotes or diffs from articles or from article talk. We prevent users from gathering negative information about others, for reasons of BLP, but that is not licence to extend the prevention to collating article text. 'Shonen's restoration of the deleted page to allow scrutiny does not breach WP:BLP or WP:COPYVIO (the only absolute prohibitions on restoration), and meets the test of COMMONSENSE.--RexxS (talk) 19:28, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Response to GoldenRing. Contrary to what you think, BLP and COPVIO are the only absolute prohibitions to undeletion of content for obvious reason, see Wikipedia:Deletion review #Temporary undeletion where this is documented. Any other prohibition is subject to IAR and 'sanctions.modify' is no exception. It is merely a procedure of the Arbitration Committee and has no status greater than WP:policies and guidelines (which actually don't even recognise 'procedure of the Arbitration Committee' as policy or guideline). ArbCom must not confer on itself greater powers than the community is pleased to grant. It is free to create its own procedures, but does not have authority to create policy: that is the prerogative of the community. In the case of a conflict between a guideline like Wikipedia:Deletion process and an ArbCom procedure, then I suggest common sense needs to be the tie-breaker. The damage done to the encyclopedia by denying undeletion of a page when requested at DRV need to be balanced against the damage done to the encyclopedia by a temporary undeletion. In this case, the balance is obviously in favour of allowing undeletion.
"All enforcement actions have what you describe as "the usual immunity to reversion", whether they are valid or not." I refute that. To misquote Jimbo, the presumption of validity is not a suicide pact. If a claimed AE action is obviously invalid , as yours was, then a reversion of that action in order to comply with a conflicting policy or guideline is perfectly reasonable. Even you recognise that 'Shonen's actions were reasonable.
I concede your point that BLP concerns are not the only reasons to disallow collections of negative information about other users; although that would be the rationale behind collections of negative information about living persons who were not editors.
I completely deny your last point. All content in the encyclopedia is provided by editors: that is undeniably not what was intended by Users should generally not maintain in public view negative information related to others, otherwise no quotes would ever be allowed. The sophistry is in trying to stretch those words to justify deleting a page that quotes hundreds of different editors, and cannot sensibly be construed to contain negative information about those editors. Any such connotation is purely in the mind of the observer, and you've made the mistake of construing talk page comments critical of an article or of statements in that article as "negative information" about the editors who made the comments.
The elephant in the room is actually your error in attempting to convert a possibly justifiable deletion of a page (by normal process) into an AE action. AE actions were granted the privilege of immunity from reversion for a particular reason (the problems of second-mover advantage), in order to solve intractable problems of civility enforcement. Admins must be careful not to abuse that privilege by claiming AE action in borderline or invalid cases, otherwise the community may lose faith in the necessity for having such an exemption to normal admin procedures (WP:WHEEL). --RexxS (talk) 00:18, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by S Marshall

  • I think this matter raises novel issues about procedure. Wikipedian culture takes deleting pages very seriously, and deleting a page out of someone's userspace feels quite violative to me. I was appalled to learn that a page that purports to describe the rules says that AE deletions can be reviewed at the AN but not at DRV. I feel that in the (probably relatively rare) situation where it's appropriate to review an AE deletion without direct scrutiny from Arbcom, then the most correct venue would be DRV. But I also feel that deleting a page as an AE action is the kind of thing that Arbcom should normally supervise directly, because an AE action should normally be about an editor's behaviour rather than a matter of content. Therefore the scrutiny should normally happen here.—S Marshall T/C 21:01, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @SilkTork: --- The deleter's position is that this could not be justified as an in-process speedy deletion and was done purely as AE (diff). I also don't fully agree with my friends RoySmith, Hobit, SmokeyJoe et. al. when they say DRV is mainly about content. I feel that what DRV is mainly about is the analysis and critique of sysop judgement calls and use of discretion. Interestingly, in the decade or so since I became heavily involved in DRV, we've never reached a consensus to ask Arbcom to desysop anyone -- which is why there's never really been any overlap between the two venues. We've found wrong calls, because sysops are only human, but we've never found serious misuse of the mop.—S Marshall T/C 12:17, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by User:SmokeyJoe

This clarification is not about Gun control, but is about whether, in general, page deletion is a reasonable measure of arbitration enforcement
Page deletion is not a reasonable measure of arbitration enforcement. Certainly not if the page is not directly subject to an ArbCom ruling. Exceptions would be considered extraordinary.
If page deletions were subject to AE admin arbitrary unilateral deletion, this would amount to a secret punishment. The user involved can't read the page deleted. The wider community can't read what was deleted.
What is going on here is a turf war over the powers and scope of ArbCom. Not by ArbCom directly, but by their delegates, which is worse.
ArbCom is supposed to stay out of content decisions. Deleting a page containing content is most definitely a content action. This page in question, while not content per se, is a page directed at content decisions. That's pretty close to content.
This issue is the same as the deletion of Universa Blockchain Protocol, discussed at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2018 July 9. That one was overtly a content page issue. I think this is resolved with agreement that deletions like this should additionally cite WP:CSD#G11, which was agreed in hindsight to have applied.
WP:Deletion policy is written in clear cut language. WP:CSD is even clearer: "The criteria for speedy deletion (CSD) specify the only cases in which administrators have broad consensus to bypass deletion discussion, at their discretion, and immediately delete Wikipedia pages or media. They cover only the cases specified in the rules here." If ArbCom AE admins also have deletion discretion, add it to CSD, for the record, and to ensure that the community is on the page. ArbCom should not be responsible for undermining the validity or respect afforded to WP:Deletion policy.
WP:DRV is a long standing very successful forum and process. It is not an enforcement process, but a continuing education exercise. A measure of its success is that lack of repeat culprits being dragged through it. DRV is the highest court for content decisions. There is no cause for carving out deletions that are not reviewable by DRV. {{Temporarily undeleted}} is an essential part of DRV if you consider nonadmins to important in the management of the project. There is already a sufficiently conservative culture at DRV for being responsible with copyright, attacks, and BLP issues.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:03, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
AE action to blank the page, protect the page, and block every user associated with the page, would not have been offensive to WP:Deletion policy. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
"Such deletions do not need to meet our deletion policy". AE deletions do not need to meet policy? Policy does not need to read at face value? What is the policy on AE deletions? ArbCom has broad monarchical reserve powers, but to use them to authorize delegated policy-exempt CSD? That's a characteristic of a police state. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:56, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
Agree with Cryptic and RoySmith that policy clarity would be a good thing. Documentation at WP:CSD#G9 pointing to WP:AC/DS would be a good thing. It would mean that Twinkle could easily link to it. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:00, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
(1) User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles deleted for violating POLEMIC. GoldenRing (talk) 12:28, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
(2) Sergio Urias deleted for reasons explained here. T. Canens (talk) 04:23, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
(3) OYCH1961 (talk · contribs) blocked one month for disruptive editing, as described at this link. He recreated a POV-fork draft of the Senkaku Islands article that had just been deleted at WP:MFD. Editor was previously notified by Qwyrxian. EdJohnston (talk) 04:29, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
(1) explicitly reviewed here. (2) and (3) explained within deletion policy.
A bigger concern are the DSGS deletions that ArbCom seems to have delegate and does not supervise or review.
Wikipedia:General_sanctions/Blockchain_and_cryptocurrencies#Log_of_notifications includes 15 mainspace deletions.
Wikipedia:General sanctions/Syrian Civil War and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant lists others, including Chemical weapon conjecture in the aftermath of the 2017 Shayrat missile strike, by User:NeilN and User:BU Rob13
With User:BU Rob13 here having personal involvement of the overreach of ArbCom in overriding deletion policy, I think he should recuse himself. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:26, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:26, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
User:BU Rob13, I accept that that deletion was part of a history merge, not a real deletion. However, there may be some problem that your log summary giving implied approval to the previous DS deletion, of a mainspace page. Have you personally ever done a DS deletion not within Deletion Policy or CSD? Have you ever explicitly encouraged or approved of another to do DS deletion not within Deletion policy or CSD? —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:21, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Hobit

The basis for deletion comes from WP:UP. That same page says "In general other users' user pages are managed by that user. Except for blatant or serious matters, it is preferable to try contacting the user before deletion (see above). However, unambiguous copyright violations, attack pages, promotional text, and privacy or BLP violations can be speedy deleted using a suitable template, such as {{db-attack}}, {{db-copyvio}} or {{db-spamuser}}; other pages likely to require deletion (or where remedial action is not taken) may be submitted to deletion discussion. Justifying a deletion by citing policy and then not following the policy for how to go about deletion seems problematic at best.

The reason for deletion is not a speedy criteria. And standard DS do not allow for deletion of a page as near as I can tell. I only see one other deletion in WP:AEL and that was justified on A7/BLP grounds. As S Marshall has indicated, AE enforcing admins very much deserve our support and I'm personally grateful to those that take on such a demanding and stressful job. But here there is overreach outside of the scope of either a single admin or AE. There was no rush and no reason WP:MfD couldn't have been used (where I suspect it would have been kept).

In any case, I agree with Roy (below)--this is about content not behavior. The discussion belongs at DRV. edited Hobit (talk) 04:45, 26 February 2019 (UTC) Hobit (talk) 01:55, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

A heavy reliance on WP:CONTENT (an essay with about 30 edits) to argue that ARBCOM has utter control of anything not in mainspace is quite the power grab. I'd urge members of the committee to be very very careful making the claim that ARBCOM can do whatever it wants outside of mainspace because it "isn't content". Hobit (talk) 14:43, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: I am not making a claim about what is and isn't content. I am instead saying that claiming ARBCOM has complete jurisdiction over everything not in mainspace is a large power grab. Are you claiming ARBCOM has been empowered by the community to delete any content that isn't in mainspace? And you are using an essay to justify that? I'd rather go with something more clearly on-point "The arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy by fiat. The Committee's decisions may interpret existing policy and guidelines, recognise and call attention to standards of user conduct, or create procedures through which policy and guidelines may be enforced." Taking deletion policy and moving it from the community to ARBCOM doesn't make sense in that context. The policy for how to deal with deletion is clear. And "The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated." is making it clear that ARBCOM doesn't get involved in content. But that doesn't mean it has jurisdiction over everything that isn't content. Hobit (talk) 04:34, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by RoySmith

I don't often get involved in ArbCom business, so forgive me if I'm not up on the nuances of policy and procedure here. But, reading what User:SmokeyJoe said above: ArbCom is supposed to stay out of content decisions, I find myself very much in agreement. The converse is certainly true; DRV deals with content, and stays out of behavioral issues. It's common in DRV debates for somebody to write, We're only here to talk about the page deletion; if you want to pursue a user's conduct, there's other fora for that. This seems like a natural and useful division of responsibilities, and why it seems odd to be talking about ArbCom getting involved in reviewing a page deletion.

I don't think it was appropriate to delete the user page. I also think it was perfectly reasonable (and SOP at DRV) to temp-undelete the page for review. I also want to echo what others have said; while there's clearly a disagreement about what the proper course of action should have been, it's also clear that everybody has acted in good faith here. There should be no thought of sanctions for anybody. -- RoySmith (talk) 03:03, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

I've done a lot more reading of the full history of this. My earlier comments notwithstanding, I agree with User:SilkTork that having two parallel discussions in different forums is a bad idea. At this point, I suggest that DRV defer to ArbCom on this one. -- RoySmith (talk) 15:29, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
User:Cryptic is exactly right. If the end result of this is to confirm that AE can include speedy deletion, then WP:CSD needs to add a category for it. My big fear (as somebody who also does a lot of temp-undeleting at DRV) is that given the current discussion, I could very easily see myself having undeleted this and then finding that I'd accidentally run afoul of a policy I didn't really understand, and put my mop at risk. If this fell under WP:G9, or a new G-whatever specifically for AE, it would have been clear that this was out of bounds. Clarity is a good thing. -- RoySmith (talk) 02:48, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sandstein

While I disagree with GoldenRing on the merits of the deletion, I agree with their submission of 16:22, 26 February 2019 in that the Committee should clarify whether deletions (other than those already allowed by ordinary deletion policy) are in principle allowed as discretionary sanctions, and whether any review of deletions labeled as discretionary sanctions must take place by way of the procedures for the appeal of AE actions. In my reading of applicable policy, the answer to both questions is clearly yes, but the opinions to the contrary that have been voiced at DRV show that this question needs clarification. Sandstein 16:36, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Cryptic

I've performed I'd guess around a quarter of the temporary undeletions at DRV over the past few years. Contra what's been stated both above and below, it's neither an absolute right (even barring copyvio and blp - there's been a number of cases where no admin's been willing to tempundelete in the cases of egregious spam, for example; I can dig out some example DRVs if it'd be helpful) nor, in particular, automatic: in practice we almost always wait until an uninvolved user requests it. I don't recall ever seeing the author of a page requesting temp undeletion for the purposes of DRV before; even had this deletion not been labeled an AE action, I'd certainly have declined, though I might have offered to email it. —Cryptic 20:57, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Dialing my wonk-o-meter up to 11, I'm not seeing anywhere in WP:Protection policy that authorizes arbcom to authorize admins to protect pages, either. (It does mention arbcom with respect to unprotections, and very indirectly for extended-confirmed protections.) So the idea that arbcom can't authorize deletions just because it's not explicitly stated in WP:Deletion policy or WP:Criteria for speedy deletion doesn't get a whole lot of sympathy from me. That said, if the committee ends up deciding this deletion was correct, I'll go through the hassle at WT:CSD to try to get this properly documented, probably as a variant of WP:G9. —Cryptic 22:07, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by GMG

If we're going to allow that ACDS is legitimate grounds for out-of-process deletion, then we're probably approaching the point where we've abandoned the pretense that ArbCom does not make policy. GMGtalk 01:18, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

To be fair, I've been saying for a while now that ACDS is also wholesale rewriting of our blocking and banning policy, but I think most people have just gotten used to it. So I don't expect most people will take this comment seriously, and if they do, it's just because the water got a little hotter than they're accustomed to yet. But them's the breaks when you allow ArbCom to rewrite policy while claiming they don't write policy. GMGtalk 01:50, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by DGG

  • I too frequently make undeletions for review at Del Rev. I approach it a little differently,so I would not suggest that either their approach or mine is authoritative, nor do I presume to say what other admins do. . I have never refused to undelete for DR, except for copyvio, or if the request is disruptive or unnecessary. I interpret the rule as not requiring it, as merely making the necessary provision to not do so as a special situation. (And if it would apparently help the discussion, I do not wait for a request-sometimes the person bringing it to DR does not know its possible--and the person bringing it often is the author of the content) Since Arb Com authority does not extend to content, neither does AE. Though community consensus cannot override AE, neither can AE override the basic principles of community editing. If I rewrote an article summary to conform to my idea of what the true meaning of an arb com decision required, I could not call it AE to prevent others from reverting my change. Just as I cannot rewrite under AE, I cannot remove it under AE. AE is dangerously inflexible even if used in the ordinary way--giving individual admins sticky discretion over content in such a direct way as to permit them to delete by AE, is not within a reasonable scope. AE is not a free pass to anarchy; because of the stickiness, it requires even more careful judgement than other admin actions. If anything, we need how to restrict the scope rather than add to it. If the scope of AE is to increase, it can only do so by a change in arbitration policy by the community. DGG ( talk ) 06:04, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
I am quite confused by the reasoning in the arb section. The basic rule of arb policy is that arb com has no direct authority over content. (its jurisdiction with respect to conduct can and sometimes does affect content, which is inevitable because the two are related, & because many conduct disputes are derived from content disputes). Since arb com has no direct authority over content, no remedy it enacts can give anyone authority over content, and no DS it enacts can allow for authority over content. Therefore, any admin acting under AE may not do so in such a way as to directly edit content. Editing content includes redirecting, or deleting, or undeleting. Arb com cannot do such actions as arbs, or authorize them as AE. They do have jurisdiction over any admin pretending to do them as AE. DGG ( talk ) 01:39, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
BU Rob13, In addition to the pages strictly speaking in content space, I really cannot see the rationale for giving arb com or AE any direct control of anything except their own pages. People employ user space for many purposes, most having to do with the preparation and discussion of content. What is on those pages is not any direct business of arbcom--or AE. They already have all the power they need by the ability to sanction editors. Unlike possible speculations for what harm might be caused that is out of reach of speedy/MfD/office, this discussion was started by a use of AE to do an action that may or may not have had consensus; there is no way in which removal of that page could be considered an emergency, so it could have been discussed in the usual way at MfD followed by DR. (or speedy followed by DR, if is was really abusive or advocacy) . If people have power, there is a temptation to use it. There are some pages in user space that I regard as harmful to the proper purpose of WP--some deal with AP or other areas where AE is available. If I nominated them under MfD, most would probably not be deleted, but if I deleted them as AE, most of them probably would not get the necessary clear consensus to restore. Most active admins I know probably have some pages in mind similarly. If there's precedent for using this power, it will be used again. Arbitrary unilateral power is dangerous; some is necessary, but we should only have what is actually necessary, not everything that might conceivably be necessary under circumstances we cannot presently specify. (Getting back to AP, there a current RW analogy). DGG ( talk ) 04:24, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Drmies

If the standard operating procedure of undeletion for DRV can be called a violation of an enforcement action authorised under discretionary sanctions, I think we've reached sort of an end point grammatically and in terms of Arb Power. Sorry, but I think this is silly and pushing the point of authoritay too far. Drmies (talk) 15:19, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Xymmax

I came upon this when I went to close the DRV. The committee's discussion thus far, in my opinion, has yet to fully grapple with the core concern that I see from those critical of permitting DS deletion, and one that I share: permitting out of process deletion under the authority of enforcement of DS is taking DS enforcement away from being a tool to enable administrators to deal with disruptive conduct, and instead making admins arbiters of disfavored content. The dichotomy is real, as several committee members appear to feel that under appropriate circumstances an administrator acting under DS enforcement authority could delete a page (or I suppose an article) and be subject to review only at ARCA. The tools ordinarily used - topic bans, blocks, and page protections - are designed to reduce disruption by modifying user conduct. Deletion, uniquely, hides the information from ordinary readers, and that is why the comprehensive deletion process governs when there is consensus that such removal is acceptable. The committee should recognize that just as the AN community has special expertise in dealing with user conduct issues, Afd/Mfd/DRV and their ilk are where editors have particular insight these content issues. It would be concerning if the community's expertise were to be deprecated in favor of an enforcement mechanism made for user conduct issues. My personal preference here would be to see the committee take deletion off the table of DS enforcement options. Functionally equivalent would be to say the deletion process must be followed - a speedy deletion criterion cited, with review at DRV. Less satisfactory would be to limit such reviews to ARCA. Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 04:52, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

I have to confess that I'm finding this conversation to be a bit frustrating. It would be helpful to me if each of the committee members would address the core issue here: under what circumstances may the committee delete (or I suppose, order deleted) a page. I'm not talking about the individual members of the committee, all of whom are trusted oversighters and admins, and have enormous discretion to act under that authority, rather I mean the committee as a group. DS are simply delegated powers, and the committee can only delegate powers that it has. So I ask, when, committee members, are you empowered to order deletion? Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 18:11, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Wnt

I happened to see mention of this discussion and am alarmed by the way it is going. Reading this user page, it is clearly a complaint about the bias of articles, which is to say, it is directly applicable to Wikipedia editing. It is not addressed at any editor (indeed, has timidly omitted usernames). It does, of course, favor a certain point of view, but editors should be allowed to favor a point of view they agree with when it is being excluded from articles. I say this even though I am pro-gun rights and suspect many of the individual edits were correct.

The consequence of (literally) arbitrarily excluding such content is to propagate the idea that Wikipedia is biased and to encourage editors to share information like this off-site. The consequence of that is that Wikipedia loses any ability to suppress deliberate cyberbullying, while the editors lured to partisan sanctuaries are more likely to fall under the influence of actual lobbyist money. In every way, the quality of discourse is degraded by deletions like this. And unless the arbitration decision specifically prohibited making any new pages about a topic, such deletions cannot possibly be valid arbitration enforcement. Wnt (talk) 20:47, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Spartaz

I just closed the DRV as overturn as the clear consensus of the discussion. Once you have completed your august deliberations could someone let me know if I can enact the clear consensus of the discussion or whether super Mario has won. Incidentally my autocorrect hates arbcom it keeps changing it to random or wrecked. Spartaz Humbug! 19:03, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Fish and karate

The arbitration process exists to impose binding solutions to Wikipedia conduct disputes (i.e., not content disputes requiring mediation) that neither community discussion nor administrators have successfully resolved. The arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy by fiat. The Committee's decisions may interpret existing policy and guidelines, recognise and call attention to standards of user conduct, or create procedures through which policy and guidelines may be enforced. The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated. (My bolding). Fish+Karate 11:16, 12 March 2019 (UTC)


Statement by Alanscottwalker

In my view "removal" in Arb/DS policy is meant in the sense it is used at WP:TALK or WP:BLP, that is an action that removes an edit or comment, it is not meant in the sense it is used in deletion policy or oversight policy. As we see from this case, it is not prudent to have the expansive construction of "removal" in Arb/DS to include deletion and oversight, which both have extensive articulated process, separate and apart. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:43, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Deryck

Wherever we draw the boundaries of arbitration enforcement, there will be fringe cases where admins may disagree on whether AE applies. ArbCom needs to decide whether it retains (or wants to retain) exclusive jurisdiction over the policing of AE boundaries. Today we're talking about page deletion, next time we may talk about the applicability of AE over protection in certain circumstances or some other admin action.

If ArbCom decides it retains exclusive jurisdiction over the boundaries, which I disagree with, then it needs to be prepared that any action that is declared by any admin as an act of arbitration enforcement will automatically escalate to ArbCom if someone disagrees with it. This seems to go against ArbCom's mantra that lower venues of dispute resolution ought to be tried first if possible (as is DRV in this case) before escalating to ArbCom in general.

As for the case at hand, I agree with RexxS and Ivanvector here. We ought to be narrow and cautious in the interpretation of AE provisions. While the ArbCom is allowed to make an (clarifying) amendment that DS covers page deletion, I don't think "removal" in the current wording includes page deletion, because as many other have pointed out, page deletion redacts the contents of the page history from public view. Deryck C. 14:40, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Atsme

Maybe, just maybe my comment will help motivate a close. Countless hours are spent/wasted trying to decipher ambiguous PAGs. The obvious solution would be to clarify the ones that create the problems. As editors are so often advised, it is not about who is right or wrong, it's about the disruption, and admins & ArbCom need to apply this to their own actions. It appears ArbCom invests a measurable amount of time and energy looking for reasons to not take a case...thus, the creation of AE...which sometimes leads to more confusion under the guise of saving time and energy. What we're doing in essence is substituting input from several admins for discretionary action and passing it over to a single admin, and if they execute the action improperly, off with their heads. Fix the ambiguities. I can't see that either admin is at fault here; therefore, trying to afix blame is not resolving the problem. Atsme Talk 📧 14:28, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish

Option C in the survey below seems to be the only valid option. Because WP:AC/DS is simply delegation of ArbCom authority to admins, and ArbCom does not make content decisions, general decisions to delete content as such are outside the remit of AC/DS, absent some other deletion rationale. However, if admins are already empowered to delete something under other policy, then doing so, within those policy limits, and as part of AC/DS action would be legitimate. For example, AC/DS is most specifically about blocks and topic bans, but admins can do other things, like impose a "move-ban" on someone mis-using manual page moves, and require them to use RM process. I don't think anyone would argue that if someone were disruptively moving pages in an AC/DS topic area that DS could not involve a move ban, despite not being mentioned at the AC/DS page. The difference here is that the deleting admin is making what amounts to an WP:IDONTLIKEIT content decision about the material in the page (I have no opinion on the allegation that this was politically motivated). That's not a rationale for DS action, and not a rationale for deletion, so no combination of DS + DP/CSD results in "I can delete this because I feel like it". In this particular case, the motivation seems genuinely WP:POLEMIC-enforcement-motivated (though I don't think I agree with the assessment that the material necessarily qualified under POLEMIC). We cannot predict the future with certainty, but can make educated guesses. Since AC/DS is applied to controversial topics, and disruption correlates strongly with controversy, it seems virtually guaranteed that unrestrained deletion under AC/DS will result in suppression by admins of material they disagree with, by translating "is opposite my or the majority view in a dispute" into "is disruptive". Content by itself is not disruptive (outside some narrowly defined classes like vandalism with butthole pictures, or OUTING with personally identifiable information); editorial actions are.

On the follow-up questions: DRV is and should remain an obvious venue for review of any deletion. It's not "WP:Deletion review except for some people". WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY and WP:GAMING are important. We don't want a decision under which any admin who seeks to avoid DRV and general community scrutiny for questionable deletions can simply claim some vague AC/DS rationale and thereby close all avenues of appeal other than AE (which is a star chamber that leans toward presumption of guilt of anyone accused by an AE admin, and is generally hostile to editors who challenge an AE admin's decision), or ArbCom (which is even scarier to most editors, though actually fairer). In both processes, there is a strong bias in favor of the admin who acted, both in the minds of those reviewing the action and usually in the admin party's knowledge of the excessively legalistic procedures surrounding ArbCom and its AE board. ArbCom is not bound by precedent, so the fact that it has historically treated all AC/DS actions as appealable only to AE or ArbCom is irrelevant. Explicitly allowing deletion as a DS action is dangerous, and removing DRV as an examination venue would be a disenfranchisement of the community without any real discussion or notice. ArbCom deciding that its clan of AE "enforcers" how has deletion impunity and near-immunity (option B in the survey, or even option C with DRV excluded) would be a poor and controversial move.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:09, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

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

Gun control: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Recuse obviously. GoldenRing (talk) 15:43, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @SportingFlyer: I've removed your comment in the survey section as that falls under the Gun control: Arbitrator views and discussion section. That section is reserved for members of the Arbitration Committee. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 21:29, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Gun control: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I'm still looking into the aspects of this, but as a general principle AE does give admins the discretion to " impose on any page or set of pages relating to the area of conflict page oprotection, 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", and if the admin considers that the "other reasonable measure" is deletion of a page, that would for me fall within the admin's discretion, so my response to point 1 is yes. That does not mean I think this current deletion is appropriate or reasonable, but that the principle of page deletion is within an AE admin's discretion. And it is important that the community adheres to ArbCom processes such that any ArbCom sanction can only be reversed by following appropriate procedures. So a) undoing an ArbCom enforcement without authority for doing so is a violation of the process, and b) appealing the enforcement in a venue other than the appropriate one is a violation of the process. As such for point 2 my response is yes in principle, and for point 3, it is no in principle. It is sometimes that an AE admin makes a mistake, and the process do allow for other users to question page restrictions, but they should follow process. As for this particular incident - were all the due processes followed? Was Dlthewave given an appropriate warning that DS applied to the page under question? And was the template Template:Ds/editnotice applied to the page in question? I am still looking at the page in question, and would like some more rationale behind why the page was considered to fall foul of "believes is necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project". What was the particular harm you saw in the page GoldenRing? My thinking at this stage, even with a convincing rationale for the page deletion, is that the unusual nature of the page restriction (deletion) and lack of clarity in this matter is such that I am not seeing any sanctionable behaviour for Bishonen's advice to take the matter to DRV. As regards undeleting the page. It's been a while since I got involved in DRV, but I don't recall it being a part of the process that pages were undeleted. And while we do give admins discretion to userfy pages on request, I don't think it should be considered that undoing an AE enforcement without first getting clear consensus at an appropriate venue is something ArbCom would be willing to overlook. That may have been a step too far, even with the confusions about the process. Bishonen, could you give us some of your thinking behind why you undeleted the page? SilkTork (talk) 18:16, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @Black Kite:, thanks for that - it's been a while since I had anything to do with DRV. Are all articles automatically undeleted for DRV, or is it just a selected few? And if it is a selected few what is the criteria for undeleting, and on average what percentage of articles are undeleted? SilkTork (talk) 19:00, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @Bishonen:, thanks for that - very useful. So articles on DRV which are requested to be undeleted are done so, and in this case you were requested. I strike my questions to Black Kite, as your response has given me the appropriate information. SilkTork (talk) 19:05, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Because of the unique nature of this AE action I'm not seeing that Bishonen has done anything sanctionable, though for the avoidance of future doubt, if my colleagues agree with me, I think we need to make it clear that nobody should undo an AE action without first getting clear consensus to do so at an appropriate venue. SilkTork (talk) 19:08, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks GoldenRing. I phrased my question awkwardly. I can see why you had concerns about the page, what I'm asking really is why you felt the need to delete the page rather than raise your concerns with Dlthewave, or blank it, or amend it in some other manner. Your deletion, albeit done under AE, was a speedy deletion. The closest justification under speedy is G10. Did you (do you still) feel that G10 was the rationale for deletion? Or was it purely based on the user page policy, which says that negative material should be removed or blanked, but doesn't say deleted. It is the decision to delete rather than use other options that I'd like to hear your thinking on. While I support in principle the notion that an AE admin have within their discretion the option to delete a page, my thinking is this should be done within policy, so I'm looking for the policy that allows deletion in this instance. At the moment I'm seeing a page that can be considered to be of concern, but it appears to me that the appropriate solution would be discussion about the page rather than deletion of the page. I've not looked closely - is there discussion about the page that you can direct us to? SilkTork (talk) 08:42, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks GoldenRing, that makes things a lot clearer. My thinking is that everyone here has acted in good faith and with a view that what they were doing was within policy and procedure. While I feel that in principle an AE admin can delete a page as part of DS, that such a deletion should meet with policy, and if the deletion is not to go through a community discussion process (ie, is a Speedy deletion), then such a deletion should meet Speedy criteria. So, as in this case the deletion was not done under Speedy, the page should instead have been blanked. As this deletion was done under AE, albeit - in my opinion - inappropriately, it should be discussed at WP:AE rather than DRV. At the moment we have discussion at both DRV and AE. Rather than create a constitutional crisis, one venue or other should give up the right to discuss it; or perhaps, GoldenRing, you could reflect on if an AE enforced blanking serves the purpose as well as a deletion, and agree on the DRV that it can be undeleted, so we can resolve that discussion there, and you can then blank the page under AE and Dlthewave can appeal the blanking at AE. SilkTork (talk) 12:10, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • GoldenRing "I am a little unsure what you mean when you say, "such a deletion should meet with policy."" What I mean is that ArbCom is a part of the community and runs with the consent of the community. All the things that we do we do with the consent of the community, and any of the things that we are allowed to do, such as topic bans, etc, have evolved out of consensus. The one big thing that ArbCom has is that any legitimate ArbCom action is binding, and can not be undone by a community discussion at, say DRV, but only be undone by an appropriate ArbCom process. But even that big thing is done by the consent of the community, and if the community don't like what ArbCom are doing they can at any point say, "Fuck this for a game of soldiers", and decide to close ArbCom. Yes, an AE admin can do what they reasonably feel is needed, but only within the consent that the community have already given us, and the community have not given us explicit consent to delete out of process. This particular deletion is actually a minor issue, and everyone here is discussing this as an interesting point of process, but if you'd deleted a featured article on the main page or Jimbo's talkpage, we'd have a serious issue on our hands. There are necessary limits to what ArbCom can do, and we must be aware of them and abide by them, and if in doubt seek consensus. SilkTork (talk) 07:07, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • My view is that deletion of a page is permitted as an enforcement action under discretionary sanctions. Indeed, there are intentionally very few limits on what sanctions an administrator can impose under discretionary sanctions. As such, I see Bishonen's undeletion as a violation of WP:AC/DS#sanctions.modify, albeit one that was carried out in good faith with the best of intentions while uncertain of whether the arbitration enforcement action was permissible. I will note that WP:AC/DS#appeals.notes (bullet point 4) indicates that any action taken under discretionary sanctions are presumed valid and proper until a successful appeal, so if there were a question over whether deletion is a permissible discretionary sanction, that should have come to ARCA initially. All AE actions can only be appealed at WP:AE or WP:AN, so this cannot be appealed at WP:DRV. Leaving a note at WP:DRV directing interested editors toward such an appeal would be appropriate in this situation. I decline to answer GoldenRing's fourth question for two reasons. Ideally, ArbCom should not be the first point of appeal of a discretionary sanction. Separately, the admin who placed a discretionary sanction may not appeal their own sanction. This is especially important for an appeal that potentially skips AE/AN, since that would deprive other editors of the ability to appeal at those venues under our procedures. ~ Rob13Talk 16:40, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    • Such deletions do not need to meet our deletion policy, as a side note. Discretionary sanctions are intended to allow administrators the discretion to handle cases not covered by our typical policies and guidelines in particularly contentious areas. Administrators should be cautioned that overzealous deletions as AE actions are likely to be overturned. In the case of repeated occurrences, this could result in a restriction from carrying out deletions as AE actions or from carrying out AE actions as a whole. ~ Rob13Talk 16:44, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @SmokeyJoe: I will not be recusing myself for multiple reasons. First, simply taking a somewhat similar action in the past does not preclude one from reviewing unrelated administrative actions. If this were not true, truly absurd arguments could emerge (e.g. "Since X arbitrator has previously voted against desysop for an administrator who did Y, they must recuse when a different administrator did Y in a different set of circumstances"). Second, and most importantly, I did not delete any pages as an AE action. After a page was deleted as an AE action, and without making any comment on the validity of the deletion, I undeleted it to perform a necessary history merge and then restored the action. My role was to undo a copy-and-paste move that was non-compliant with the licensing requirements on Wikipedia. That is the only action I took with relation to that page. I had no role in the AE action. Tangentially, I see you saying that deletion of any page must, be necessity, remove content. WP:CONTENT defines content as things in the mainspace and related navigational pages, so this deletion, which affected only a user page unrelated to any mainspace material, was not "content" under that definition. ~ Rob13Talk 17:40, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
      • @SmokeyJoe: So I've looked into that deletion more. I didn't remember it very well, since it happened in 2017. First of all, it actually wasn't an AE action. It was a general sanctions action, which is similar, but not identical. The authority there derives from the community, not ArbCom, and whether GS deletions in areas where general sanctions are approved is permitted is entirely a question for the community. This discussion/clarification has no bearing on that. Second, I actually declined to delete that page under CSD prior to NeilN's deletion, looking through the edit history. Lastly, the deletion appears to be because AssadistDEFECTOR, an editor who I recall being an extremely disruptive civil POV pusher who is now indefinitely blocked, forked off a conspiracy theory into its own article which treated the conspiracy as fact after consensus had been to take it out of the main article for that subject. While I would not have done the same action, I see why NeilN did it. The page was very clearly created purely to circumvent the settled consensus and force other editors to re-debate the removal of that content. In that sense, I think the deletion was supported by WP:CONSENSUS and WP:IAR. NeilN's deletion did clearly achieve what editors had already reached a consensus to do - remove a seriously fringe conspiracy theory from mainspace. See here for more detail. Hopefully, that provides more context to NeilN's deletion. Any further discussion on the "general sanctions" tangent should presumably go to a venue where the community can clarify whether deletion is allowed under general sanctions. ~ Rob13Talk 22:51, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @GoldenRing: I'm sure this isn't what you intend to say, but your example of a mainspace AE deletion specifically to avoid a DRV discussion comes across as an admin using AE actions to avoid scrutiny. I would not support anything like that. AE actions should never be performed with the sole intent of avoiding scrutiny of a borderline action. I don't think moving the discussion from DRV to AE or AN is likely to decrease drama over a questionable deletion, in any event. See this whole ARCA as evidence of that, honestly. ~ Rob13Talk 17:44, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The purpose of discretionary sanctions is to minimize disruption in contentious areas in order to allow Wikipedia's usual processes to proceed smoothly - they are not a replacement for them. Admin.expect backs that up by stating that admins should "allow responsible contributors maximum editing freedom with the need to keep edit-warring, battleground conduct, and disruptive behaviour to a minimum." In other words, enact the minimal necessary sanction to allow editing to proceed as usual, through typical community processes.
    Sanctions.page permits admins to enact a number of suggested measures, including "other reasonable measures that the enforcing administrator believes are necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project." There is nothing explicitly prohibiting deletion as an AE action. However, any AE enforcement must be reasonable, necessary, and proportionate, and I think it would be very rare for deletion to meet that standard. By its very nature, deletion does more to limit the editing freedom of responsible contributors than any other page-level sanction. Even fully-protected pages can be edited via edit request. For that reason, I would argue that use of deletion as an AE action should have a much higher threshold to pass before it can be considered reasonable, necessary, and proportionate.
    In my opinion, deletion as an AE action should not be used unless it can be demonstrated that there is significant disruption coming as a direct result of the page in question, and that there is no other reasonable way to mitigate or prevent that disruption. I understand that this is a fairly high standard, but that's the point - generally speaking, there are other tools available than an AE deletion, including regular community deletion processes. By analogy, you could cut your steak with a chainsaw, but it's much more sensible to go find a steak knife.
    With regards to this particular action, I don't think the high threshold I would expect to justify an AE deletion was met. There was nothing in the page that was so egregious that it necessitated immediate removal. There was no edit-warring on or about the page. There was no indication that taking the page to MfD would have caused more disruption than any other controversial XfD. In other words, I'm not convinced this use of deletion was reasonable, necessary, and proportionate. I don't think GoldenRing should be sanctioned for it, but I do think it was unnecessary, and in general, should not set a precedent for wider use of deletion as an AE action.
    In the same vein, I don't think Bishonen's temporary undeletion for DRV is a violation of sanctions.modify. It is customary to undelete pages at DRV so they can be viewed and judged by non-administrators; her intention there was clearly to allow the DRV process to proceed as normally as possible, not to simply reverse GoldenRing and walk away. I don't see that as sanctionable.
    I think we should heavily discourage the use of deletion as an AE action, but if we are not going to prohibit it, I don't think it's unreasonable to allow DRV to review AE deletions. The crowd there is going to be familiar with the deletion policy and evaluating administrators' application of it, which I think is relevant. However, the question of where to appeal these actions is not a hill I'll die on compared to the rest of my thoughts on the matter. ♠PMC(talk) 21:17, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Feeling obliged to be less brief, but I find this a simple answer. I disagree with my colleagues. Deleting is not a valid action under discretionary sanctions, GoldenRing's action did not enjoy protection under WP:AC/DS, and we can consequently dispose of the other procedural questions.
    In the procedure for Discretionary Sanctions, placing sanctions is authorised for contentious areas. The nature of a sanction is left to the judgment and discretion of administrators, though it is loosely defined as "any sanction, restriction, or other remedy". However, I find it axiomatic that sanctions are actions that apply to a person. Discretionary Sanctions are a method of regulating conduct, not content. Blocking, warning, or topic-banning Dlthewave for conduct that disrupts the area of conflict would have been a discretionary sanction. Deleting the page on which Dlthewave performed that disruptive conduct was not a discretionary sanction. Even broad, page-level actions taken by administrators (eg "all these pages are subject to 1RR") apply to users, not pages. The Discretionary Sanctions system started out of a recognition that an area of conflict can be improved if the dramatis personae can be made to behave. Deleting pages is not within that scope. AGK ■ 11:43, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
  • OK, I know I'm being annoying by dropping in on this waaaaaay late, but.... reading most of the comments here is sort of like reading a discussion about whether or not angels need a public performance permit before dancing on the head of a pin. Forgetting all the "paragraph 4 of subsection 2b of policy G" stuff, was this action useful? It seems like, on balance, it wasn't - the net effect was to attract a lot more attention to an otherwise-obscure page and occupy a lot of community time without seeming to have much effect on the person hosting this potentially-problematic material. (Am I missing something, or have they not commented on this topic?) For this specific instance, it seems like the easier route would have been the boring one - just take it to MfD. For any future hypothetical instance, the most useful answer to "can I delete stuff using DS?" is "maybe, but you're almost certainly better off doing something else". Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @GoldenRing: Yeah, but "maybe" is the answer to just about every question of the form "is XYZ against the rules?" :) I mean, within reason - obviously copyvio and poop vandalism are out. But if it's all just internal back-office stuff, "you can try, but it might not work" is IMO a better answer than having us all look at this particular set of circumstances and reach a decision that turns out not to be a good fit for the next time. Opabinia regalis (talk) 09:44, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Survey

To see if we need to take this discussion further, it may be helpful to take a quick survey:

Can AE admins delete pages under "other reasonable measures" as part of the enforcement process?
A) No
B) Yes
C) Yes, but only per deletion policy
  • C SilkTork (talk) 16:16, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • B, with a strong note that deletions well outside the deletion policy will almost certainly be overturned at AE (or ARCA). ~ Rob13Talk 19:37, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • B, as per Rob. RickinBaltimore (talk) 19:43, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • B, in the sense that it's not explicitly prohibited. However as I've stated above it should be avoided unless there is absolutely no other way to mitigate some kind of serious disruption. ♠PMC(talk) 20:15, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • A. AGK ■ 23:08, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • C Katietalk 15:13, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • A/sorta C. The fundamental principle of arbitration is that it deals with conduct, not content. Deletion falls firmly in the "content" category. So even if the DS could be read as including deletion, ArbCom doesn't have the remit to authorise it. Of course as an admin GR is free to delete pages within the deletion policy as he wishes, but calling it an AE action doesn't make a difference, except to muddy the waters as to whether the community can overturn it (they can). – Joe (talk) 16:30, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Post-survey discussion

  • Assuming that everyone who supports B would support C if B would not pass, the rough consensus here appears to be for C. Should we propose a motion to that effect? ~ Rob13Talk 14:55, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I think that would be useful. Would you be able to do that Rob? SilkTork (talk) 11:41, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
My choice of "B" was based on the wording of DS as it is currently written - ie, deletion is currently permitted because it is not explicitly forbidden - not because I think it is a good idea to include. I would oppose any motion which codified deletion as an acceptable use of DS (even option C, which is a meaningless distinction in my opinion) and would much rather we explicitly forbid DS deletion. ♠PMC(talk) 20:33, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I have to say, I'm having trouble understanding other's views on this, because like AGK I think the answer is very obviously A. Could someone please explain how a motion along the lines of B or C would be compatible with WP:ARBPOL, "the Committee does not rule on content"? – Joe (talk) 22:35, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Joe Roe: I view acceptable DS deletions as falling into the category of "removal of content pages outside the mainspace that is the product of a user conduct issue". For instance, if an editor in the American politics topic area kept a user page in their userspace that compiled "coverage" of conspiracy theories surrounding some modern politicians (e.g. Murder of Seth Rich, Pizzagate conspiracy theory) from fringe sources that could never be integrated into an article, I would consider a deletion of that userpage under DS to be proper. Such a user page would serve no encyclopedic purpose and would clearly represent the product of a user conduct issue (WP:NOTHERE) while not falling within the traditional CSD criteria. (U5 could apply, but not if the editor also had substantial edits in the mainspace.) Taking such a page to MfD would clearly result in deletion, but would be undesirable because it would bring attention to the fringe sources and potentially attract a disruptive brigade from off-wiki, as such discussions often do in that topic area. I think that type of behavior is exactly what DS is intended to solve: user conduct issues in particularly contentious topic areas. Sometimes, those conduct issues permeate entire pages, in which case deletion would be appropriate. I would be highly skeptical of a DS deletion in the mainspace, to be clear. ~ Rob13Talk 01:09, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
      • I've altered my above comment, since it was pointed out to me that WP:CONTENT defines content as stuff in the mainspace (and certain navigational pages). In that sense, this user page was quite literally not content. ~ Rob13Talk 02:13, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • My thinking on this is more with regard to challenging an ArbCom enforcement action. The special aspect of ArbCom is that any decision is binding, and any enforcement of those decisions can only be challenged within prescribed process. If the community wishes to take away that aspect of ArbCom (as effectively has happened here) then that diminishes the special status of ArbCom. Now, if the community decides that ArbCom is no longer needed, and that we have reached a stage where the community can deal effectively with all disputes, then that's not a problem, but if the community wishes to retain ArbCom and its special aspect, then any action by an AE admin in the name of ArbCom can only be challenged and overturned in the appropriate venue. What we have here is an unusual situation in that an AE admin deleted a page under AE, and there is a question as to if this was allowable, and that question was resolved not by appropriate ArbCom process, but within a standard process. That for me is the part we need to clear up. But in order to clear that up we need to see if there is a consensus in the Committee for what is allowable. I can't see how deleting out of process is allowable because ArbCom has not been given that power. And I don't see that an AE admin is restricted in what they can do, so that they have less powers than any other admin. When an AE admin is allowed to do what is "reasonable" I am seeing that as "anything that any admin can do within policy" with the understanding that when an AE admin does that action it can only be challenged within the AE process. The significant difference for me between an action done by an admin under AE and an action done by an admin not under AE, is that the AE action has to be challenged under AE rules, and the non AE action has to be challenged under standard rules. A deletion under policy done by an admin not under AE can be challenged at DRV, and a deletion under policy done by an admin under AE can only be challenged under AE process. If we as a Committee can agree that an AE admin can do reasonable actions within policy then the special aspect of ArbCom and AE enforcement is retained, and any future such actions can be debated with AE process. For me, whichever venue this was discussed in, the outcome would have been the same - that the page should not have been deleted because it was out of process.
Short version: An AE admin shouldn't be restricted in what actions within policy they can do. An AE admin should not do an action not allowed by policy. Questions regarding if an AE action was within policy should only be discussed within AE process.
If we can get together a motion which says this, there can be a due process discussion at AE regarding the deletion, it can be formally overturned, and if an AE admin feels it appropriate, the page can be blanked (not deleted) under an AE action which can then be challenged at AE. SilkTork (talk) 09:35, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @DGG: Not all text on Wikipedia is content. WP:CONTENT defines "content" as things in the mainspace and related navigational pages. Removal of text or deletion of pages do not necessarily affect content if not undertaken in the mainspace (or related namespaces that generate content in the mainspace, like Category, Template, etc.) ~ Rob13Talk 04:54, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Hobit: It's worth noting that all of our core content policies also refer to articles as the content. I'm a bit surprised that editors are making the apparent claim that any writing at all on Wikipedia is "content", which is implicit in the argument that any page deletion in any namespace would necessarily be policing content. Is this discussion right now content, in your view? ~ Rob13Talk 20:43, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
      • @Hobit: I'm (of course) not saying ArbCom has jurisdiction over everything not in mainspace, just like I'm not saying ArbCom has jurisdiction over everything in mainspace merely because discretionary sanctions allow page protections there. ArbCom retains jurisdiction over past cases, including the relevant topic areas involved where we have enacted discretionary sanctions. To the extent those areas overlap with things not in the mainspace, I think deletion is one valid tool of many that admins could use when appropriate and warranted by the level of disruption inherent in a particular page. I think it should be used extremely sparingly, and ultimately, the community can determine at AE whether any particular deletion is warranted. ~ Rob13Talk 05:06, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • GoldenRing, I strongly disagree with that reasoning. AE is a tool for allowing community processes to occur smoothly. It is not a replacement for those processes, no matter how controversial they have the potential to be. If, as you have argued, there's disruption XfD or DRV or ANI, you use targeted sanctions to remove the disruption and allow the community to proceed as normal. You don't just get to decide that something might be problematic and delete it because it might cause too much of a fuss. By your logic, one could justify deleting anything that might be controversial. Too many people arguing about a BLP AfD? Just delete it. Tired of people arguing about an India-related navbox? Delete it. No. No way. I absolutely object to the use of DS as a shortcut around community processes. That is absolutely not their purpose. ♠PMC(talk) 13:10, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • GoldenRing, sanctions under AE are supposed to be deployed when there is a problem, in order to control the problem so the normal process of editing and consensus-building can resume. You issue a TBAN when someone has demonstrated an inability to edit in an area without causing problems, so that everyone else in that area can get back to editing normally (and, hopefully, so the TBANned editor can go edit constructively elsewhere). You don't issue a TBAN pre-emptively before someone causes a problem on the assumption that they might. In the same vein, I don't think it's reasonable to assume that an XfD/DRV/ANI discussion will be so problematic that preemptively deleting a page is the best solution, especially when there are lesser sanctions available to handle disruption as it comes up. ♠PMC(talk) 23:54, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Amendment request: India-Pakistan

Initiated by SheriffIsInTown at 18:37, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
India-Pakistan arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk%3ASheriffIsInTown&type=revision&diff=841345083&oldid=841015004
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Requesting the ban issued in this clause to be lifted

Statement by SheriffIsInTown

I was issued a topic ban from India-Pakistan conflict pages almost ten months ago on 15 May 2018. I am requesting this ban to be lifted now as a lot of time has passed since this ban and I have contributed in other topic areas since then. I have made a determination to change my behavior to avoid conflict when editing India-Pakistan conflict pages by engaging in discussions more and avoid the language or behavior which can make the editing more toxic which was the primary concern when the ban was issued that the participation of many editors in this topic area was making the environment toxic and the conflicts were spilling out to other areas/noticeboards.

Personally, This ban has affected me deeply as it was the first ever ban or block issued to me and I blame only myself for getting this stain on my editing. This ban has also affected my editing deeply as well, as it being a broadly construed, i could not improve those articles as well which were not conflict related, for example I was looking into splitting Nawaz Sharif into multiple articles but I could not do so as the foreign policy section contained content regarding relations with India. Similarly, I started First 100 days of Imran Khan's prime ministership and Prime Ministership of Imran Khan after Imran Khan assumed power but I could not improve those articles especially when it came to content regarding relations with India and a lot has happened regarding these relations since Khan took helms of affair in Islamabad.

Thus citing these hardships and time which has passed since the ban was issued, I will like to request the committee to repeal this ban. I promise to be more careful when editing this topic area as iterated by me above. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 18:37, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

@BU Rob13: No, as there was an amendment request in June 2018 already and I was under the impression that once there was already an appeal at ARCA, then we can only file subsequent appeals at ARCA and not any other forum as we lose the right to appeal at lower forums such as AE or AN. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 19:57, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

@BU Rob13: Thank you for the clarification, I will like to continue with my appeal if it is not too big a hassle for the committee since there is no requirement that we must appeal on other forums before appealing to the committee. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 00:54, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

This is in reply to the statement by 1990'sguy. I accept that I forgot about my first topic ban at the time I was writing this appeal. It was not a purposeful omission. That was a one month ban and by the time I was done reviewing all the relative material and policies before I could appeal the ban, the ban was already over. So, when I said that this ban has affected me deeply, I meant that.

I did not think it was necessary to mention the Judaism topic ban and interaction ban while appealing this ban. I do not think it was in the context of this appeal as these bans were already repealed.

The first topic ban violation was a misunderstanding as not just me but some other editors had this misunderstanding as well. The block which was issued was reverted after a couple of hours due to a successful appeal. The second topic ban violation was accidental in which I fixed a bare reference, the matter was brought in front of the committee and the committee opined on it with a lot of members concurring with the way the matter was handled. These violations and the AN report which they mentioned are 5 to 9 months old.

The statement by 1990'sguy seems to be giving a perception that I have been only editing using the reFill tool and that I should be editing 6 months to an year more the other topic areas without using the reFill tool. If that perception is correct then I will like to clarify that during my topic ban I have created hundreds of articles and I have also done extensive editing on the topic of Pakistani general election in 2018 in addition to fixing bare references. In fact, my editing is so diverse that I was recognized as one of the top ~ 250 medical contributors for year 2018.

They also stated that I pretend that there are no problems with my editing but rather that impression is incorrect as well, as I clearly stated in my appeal that I only blame myself for this ban.

Finally, I would like to state that I have done many wrongs and I was reprimanded for those wrongs. I have also promised in my statement above that I am determined to change my editing approach to the effect that it involves more discussion and less conflict. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 01:01, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

I will like to answer some of the points raised by Uanfala. First, another editor tried to convey the message that I have been only editing using the reFill tool when I countered that with replying that this impression is not correct and that I have created hundreds of articles since this ban was enacted. Now, Uanfala is making a point that we accept that you created the articles but those were all stub so I would like to counter with the argument that most of the politicians become notable the day they get elected as their election makes them notable. I create the articles the day they get elected or in near future after that. The only content for which the reliable sources are present at the time are the sources which discuss their election so only a stub can be created at that time but that is not all at all, all the articles which I have created were not stubs and Tahira Safdar (first women chief justice of any court in Pakistan), First 100 days of Imran Khan's prime ministership, and Humaira Bachal (an internationally renowned Pakistani philanthropist and female education activist) are just a few of those articles which were not stubs and that is simply because there was more content available which would suffice a full fledge i.e a non-stub article so here they are wrong in giving an impression that I only created stub articles. I did whatever I could do best while remaining in my interest area. I kept the candle burning even in hardships of multiple topic bans and an interaction ban. I kept contributing to and improving the encyclopedia wherever I could. I would also like to state that contributions and improvements no matter how minor they look on the surface should not be discredited but I have been seeing over and over that my attempts on fixing the bare URLs has been a source of criticism on the basis of my use of reFill tool to do that. My answer to those critics is that you can take a few minutes to fix a reference or you can use the tool and fix it in few seconds but nonetheless it's a contribution which do require someone's personal time and I have been putting a lot of it into Wikipedia whether I was using reFill or creating articles on politicians and judges or adding the 2018 election results on Pakistani constituency pages. Now, I recognize that India-Pakistan requires more scrutiny, thoroughness, and research and I think I have five years of editing experience behind me to put my efforts into that. This topic ban or the behavior which lead to this ban does not define my editing. I have edited that topic area in the past and it was not all bad if it would have been all bad then I would not have gone banless in that topic area for over four years. Yes, there were problems, yes, thing got out of control and I said or did things at times which were not worthy of my editing personality and I regret that. Those episodes of less than perfect behavior earned me the wrath of community and I did not remain unscathed. But again, that does not define me as an editor and I have done good in that topic area previously and I am willing to and offering to bring that goodness back into the topic area while changing approach which lead me to this ban. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 00:30, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

@Ivanvector and BU Rob13: I have too much going on in real life but I will like to address the concerns of BU Rob13 and AGK in a detailed statement. I need some more time for that unless if the committee wants to completely turn over the ban in the meantime which I would welcome! Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 00:44, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

@BU Rob13 and AGK: Please allow me to address your concerns. The real life event started on February 14, it reached its peak on February 27 and it has fairly died down by now so as Ivanvector and SilkTork rightly pointed out that the long term dispute between both countries is not going to go away in near future. And, it is possible that when I come back six months later for another appeal, there might be another standoff flaring up by then so there is never going to be the right or wrong time if we just go by the external political situation between these two countries. Furthermore, lifting of this restriction completely is going to allow me to edit the topic at my own leisure because it is not necessary that if you lift the restriction now then I will just start editing this topic right away but if you just allow me to edit 2-3 articles for one month then it is quite possible that I might not be able to edit those articles in that one month period. My appeal to get the TB lifted was in part to just get the clear slate so I do not have to worry about violating this ban anymore and not just to barge into the topic area and start editing as soon as the ban is lifted. With TB in place, I have to worry about the violation with every edit I make.

Not to contradict myself but just as a food for thought, let me throw another point of view in the mix here. For example, here is a thread which was recently opened at AN complaining about new editors fighting over the content on recent standoff. My point of view is that I can become a voice of sanity, in this case coming fresh off of the TB, I am going to be more careful but new editors did not taste the taste of the ban yet so they do not know how bitter it is 😉, that is why they will keep fighting but the editor who has already tasted the bitter taste of the ban would be more careful, so If allowed to edit, I can be a source of peace and sanity in that topic area. Furthermore, if you do not allow me to edit at a time when I can really contribute since there is something to contribute then what's the point of allowing it when there is nothing much left to contribute because articles about historical events in that topic area are already in a state of consensus so there is nothing much to change there.

Another food for though is that if you do not want to lift the ban in its entirety and your concern is the recent standoff then why not restrict it to the recent standoff i.e reduce the topic ban to the articles discussing 2019 India-Pakistan standoff.

But, if despite all the explanations, assurances and points discussed above, you still must restrict me to 2-3 articles then I will suggest First 100 days of Imran Khan's prime ministership (not much to contribute there regarding the conflict between two countries but sparing that article would at least allow me to not "test the edges of the ban" when I work on the foreign policy section), Prime Ministership of Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif (I want to split the article in three and will touching the section related to relations with India), Prime Ministership of Nawaz Sharif (new article will be created where edges of the ban will be tested when foreign policy will be discussed although summarily), and Foreign Policy of Nawaz Sharif (new article which will discuss the relations with India).

The Judaism topic ban and relative interaction ban are over four months old and I think four months are good enough to test an editor. During those four months I have contributed constructively in different topic areas on English Wikipedia. I request you to consider those four months of constructive editing as a measurement of good behavior (without disruptive editing) which should help you to rest your fears of me wreaking havoc in ARBIPA topic area thus helping you to make the decision of lifting this ban in its entirety. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 21:45, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Floq

No opinion on this request, but for those (like me) who vaguely remember SIIT's request for a topic ban removal a week or so ago, it was for a different subject, and is found here: [1]. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:50, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by GoldenRing (SIIT)

I am the banning administrator. I have not kept a check on the contributions of SheriffIsInTown and, for various reasons, don't have the capacity to go digging. But, absent any evidence of poor behaviour in other areas, I support lifting this restriction. I think the recent lifting of an unrelated restriction by the community speaks well to this appeal also. GoldenRing (talk) 10:12, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by 1990'sguy

I would recommend declining this appeal for the following reasons:

SheriffIsInTown's claim that "This ban has affected me deeply as it was the first ever ban or block issued to me" is false, as SIIT was earlier topic banned from "Muhammad" in 2016.[2]

Similarly, he has failed to mention his multiple topic ban violations and topic ban from Judaism and one-way interaction ban.

It was barely 8 days after the decline of a previous WP:ARCA appeal,[3] that SIIT was subject to a report on WP:AN for his disruptive editing: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive300#Vandalism.

The first topic ban violation occurred when SheriffIsInTown was misrepresenting sock puppetry by one of the sanctioned user in this area who was getting site banned for his socking.[4] Once SIIT saw he is not getting his way, then he went ahead to derail a sensible site-ban proposal against that editor by disrupting WP:AN and seeking sanction against others.[5] SIIT was blocked and later unblocked for this topic ban violation.

The second topic ban violation was obvious since SheriffIsInTown edited Siachen Glacier.[6] Soon this issue was brought to WP:ARCA for clarification.[7] Per SIIT's statement on that ARCA, we can see that SIIT assumed bad-faith towards other editor instead of being thankful that the editor didn't reported SIIT, and SIIT asked for leeway towards topic banned editors like himself instead of promising to be more careful.

I am also surprised that SIIT confirms right above that he still doesn't understand the very basic procedure that he could appeal on WP:AN or WP:AE before appealing here.

In light of these incidents, I find it very unfair of SIIT to pretend that no problems with his editing existed before or after this topic ban.

The very fact that SIIT has continued to engage in same WP:BATTLE and WP:DE that originally resulted in sanctions and caused more problems, it seems that encyclopedia won't benefit from removing topic ban from this editor. I would instead recommend SheriffIsInTown to edit (which is more than just using the refill tool) for another 6 months -- 1 year without violating a topic ban or being subjected to more sanctions before appealing this topic ban again. --1990'sguy (talk) 13:27, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ivanvector (SIIT)

Note that of the incidents described above by 1990'sguy, the most recent occurred five months ago. Though 1990'sguy misrepresents that it was an "obvious" violation, see the full discussion where there was not a consensus that the specific edit nor the page in its entirety were off-limits under the restriction. Furthermore most participants agreed that SIIT's edit to that page (which I had taken flak for restoring) was constructive. The arbs mostly declined to comment as SIIT had already self-reverted. It should also be noted that the dispute between SIIT and the editor who advised them of the violation was already resolved by the time I stuck my ignorant nose into it and escalated it here.

Everyone here I'm sure knows that ARBIPA is a very contentious topic where no editor can expect to operate free of thorough scrutiny of their edits. If this handful of minor incidents is all that SIIT's opponents can come up with, then Sheriff has done a very good job of generally abiding by the restrictions. In addition, SheriffIsInTown's response to various unrelated minor incidents over the past year have shown a willingness to accept criticism and to improve as an editor. I'm confident there will be no further problems and I support unconditionally lifting the restriction. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:33, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

@BU Rob13 and AGK: echoing SilkTork's comment: if not now then when? How long is long enough? Shall we wait until India and Pakistan have fully resolved their border dispute, and give it even more time as a buffer so that the topic on Wikipedia is less contentious? I don't think that date is coming any time soon, to be honest. Is it fair to continue restricting an editor based entirely on external geopolitical events when they've made an honest effort to demonstrate improvement? Sure there have been some bumps in the road, but in the fallout from those incidents there is only evidence that SheriffIsInTown has learned from their mistakes (note for example that the Judaism topic ban imposed in November 2018 was successfully appealed only three months later, in the one other topic that is as contentious as this one). As of this edit you've got the banning administrator and four other editors who frequent the topic endorsing lifting the restriction, against one mostly neutral comment and one obviously ideological oppose.
If recognition of the problem, demonstrated effort to improve, and broad endorsement by exposed parties are not good enough for the Committee, perhaps the objecting members can come up with a satisfactory rehabilitation plan for SheriffIsInTown to follow, so that if we have to revisit this in six months at least he can have some idea of what to expect. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:11, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: the restrictions not being removed from the log is obviously an oversight which I have now corrected. It's hard to argue with your view about the "asterisk" implied in the appeal conditions; for what it's worth I'll offer my opinion again that time-restricted appeals are inherently punitive. Regarding loosening the restriction: I've typed something out a few times now but I can't get my head around how to carve out an exemption from India-Pakistan conflicts that will suit an editor wanting to contribute to articles on Pakistani public figures - there's going to be a lot of grey area, and it's difficult to enforce restrictions in this topic area already due to gaming and brigading and "pragmatic interpretations" on both sides without the restrictions themselves being unclear. The only way to fairly loosen this restriction is to remove it completely, and if the Committee is not comfortable going all the way there then imposing a period of probation seems fair. But if that's the way this goes, I strongly suggest the Committee direct that any further incidents should be brought to WP:AE for review; if it's left to the community it won't be long before we have another AN trainwreck like the NadirAli site ban from not really that long ago, which individual admins are ill-equipped to handle. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 13:55, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: we should chat about time-based appeal restrictions some other time, probably. Your proposal seems workable to me. Maybe SheriffIsInTown can suggest a few articles they intend to work on. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:56, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Uanfala

I really didn't want to comment here as I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I don't feel like enough of substance has been said so far. On the one hand, it's great to see that after the massive ANI thread that resulted in the topic ban from Judaism, SIIT has managed to stay out of trouble whilst continuing to edit at a good pace. He's created a large number of stubs about politicians, both from the US and Pakistan, and he certainly deserves praise for this work. But on the other hand, there is huge gap between creating articles consisting entirely in content like "So-and-so is a politician from such-and-such party who won that many votes in the election of year N", and navigating the enormous body of literature and the cacophony of contradictory sources about one of the world's most intractable conflicts.

I don't think there's anything in his recent experience that is comparable to what he might face in the India–Pakistan area. His very strong views on these matters, and the severity of the past problems (some distant echoes of which can be seen in two more recently raised issues [8] [9], minor though they are), make it seem to me that starting to edit there again might be risky. And I really don't see a way to tell whether SIIT has indeed fundamentally changed his ways, or he simply recognises that being contrite is the only way he can get rid of an editing restriction which he sees as a stain on his honour.

And one minor point: being recognised as one of the top medical contributors is based on an automatic process that counts edits to medicine-related articles; I should be corrected if I'm wrong, but all, or almost all, medicine-related edits that SIIT has made consist in expanding bare urls using the semiatomated tool reFill().

In case the topic ban stays in place, I think it will be perfectly alright to add an exception covering the Imran Khan articles if SIIT is interested in working on them. – Uanfala (talk) 04:06, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Vanamonde93

There has been an interesting variety of responses to last year's mass topic ban. Some editors, from both "sides", have drastically reduced their participation on Wikipedia; others have focused almost exclusively on anti-vandalism patrol and AfD; still others have continued to contribute content, including in contentious areas. SIIT is one of those; he has also engaged in considerable self-reflection. If the appeal is granted, he will also obviously be on a tight leash, because there's a very large number of people watching him. Uanfala makes a good point, but I think it's a little too much to ask that an editor dive into a different but equally contentious area before an appeal; work in Pakistani politics is good enough. Vanamonde (Talk) 01:09, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

@RickinBaltimore: You mean ARBIPA, surely? Vanamonde (Talk) 19:51, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by WBG

I concur with Vanamonde and will urge the committee to grant the appeal. He knows that his editorial activities will be immensely scrutinized and shall he return to his previous ways; the ban would be re-instated in a jiffy.WBGconverse 09:58, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by RegentsPark

I concur with Vanamonde above. One of the purposes of a topic ban is to allow an editor to demonstrate that they aren't narrowly focused on one area and that they do have the broader interests of Wikipedia at heart. Sheriff has more than adequately shown that and we should grant this appeal. It would be wrong, given their history of aggressive editing, to say I'm not concerned, but I'm sure that they know they're on a tight leash, so let's see if something positive can come out of a topic ban. --regentspark (comment) 01:23, 11 March 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.

India-Pakistan: Clerk notes

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

India-Pakistan: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Have you appealed at WP:AE? ~ Rob13Talk 19:38, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @SheriffIsInTown: Sorry for any confusion. Once a sanction is appealed at ARCA, you lose the ability for further appeal on the substance of the block (e.g. its validity) at other venues. Per WP:AC/DS#appeals.notes, such an editor "may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed" at AE/AN. ~ Rob13Talk 03:19, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm very hesitant to lift topic bans in this area right now, given the real-world events currently surrounding India and Pakistan. The conflict is heating up, and this area is today more contentious than it was when the appealing editor was topic banned. This seems like a profoundly bad time for an experiment in whether editors have sufficiently changed their editing habits to edit productively in this area. It's almost setting them up for failure. At the same time, I recognize it may not be fair to hit the pause button on all sanctions in a topic area based on real-world events. I do think SheriffIsInTown's editing in Pakistani politics shows growth. I'm decidedly conflicted and will await thoughts from other arbitrators. ~ Rob13Talk 02:34, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Decline from me. I'm pushed over the line to decline by the topic ban from Judaism imposed in November 2018. As the community felt strongly that SIIT was editing disruptively in another contentious topic area fairly recently, I don't feel now is the right time to lift restrictions. ~ Rob13Talk 14:47, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Ivanvector: Those restrictions are still logged at WP:RESTRICT, which led me to think they were active at the moment. I'll need to rethink a bit if they aren't. My general thoughts are that "appeal in six months" has a big asterisk next to it implying "appeal after six months without disruptive activity". There was disruptive activity here warranting a topic ban and interaction ban. Add that to the original conduct and the extremely heated nature of this topic area at the moment and I'm not at the point of accepting. I wonder if there isn't some alternative loosening of restrictions here. For instance, perhaps we should specifically allow SIIT to edit the articles related to Imran Khan as an exception to the TBAN and see how that goes. ~ Rob13Talk 16:37, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
      • @Ivanvector: I was thinking carve out a narrow exception to 2-3 articles about Imran Khan, set a very small (one month, probably) timer for the next appeal, mostly just to ensure there's enough time for the community to scrutinize the edits as needed, and see how that goes. I don't see time-restricted appeals as punitive, but rather as time-saving. If we know that we want at least X months of good conduct before we would seriously entertain the idea of lifting a sanction, it saves both the sanctioned editor and us the time of submitting and declining an appeal that is too soon for us to feel there has been sufficient time for growth to occur. ~ Rob13Talk 14:22, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
      • The Judaism topic ban was lifted three days before this request was filed. We've seen that you are able to edit constructively in non-contentious areas when you are topic banned from the areas you have difficulty in over the last four months, sure. We have not seen that, once a topic ban is lifted, you can return to a contentious area where you editing had previously been disruptive and edit constructively. I'd like to see that in either the Judaism topic area or in a small portion of the IPA topic area (via the type of compromise loosening of the topic ban I alluded to above) before giving you free reign. (And if you can't get to those 2-3 articles in the next month, that's fine. You can edit them when you're able to, wait a couple weeks to see if anyone takes issue with your edits, then appeal. No deadlines, etc.) ~ Rob13Talk 22:38, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I've read over the comments here, and SIIT's most importantly, and feel that lifting the TBAN may be fruitful. I would support lifting the ban, with a time period of "probation", that is extra scrutiny on SIIT's edits, to ensure they will not violation the terms of ARBIPA. If they are able to do that for say a 90 day period, then I'm confident no further scrutiny would be needed. RickinBaltimore (talk) 22:26, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Sigh. I think I NEED an IPA now, thanks for that. RickinBaltimore (talk) 22:27, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I would decline the request. Coming hot off another appeal, I would prefer to see more time productively contributing and dealing with points of contention before restoring appellant's access. I am also sensitive to the real-life dimension raised by Rob. AGK ■ 23:00, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The timing of the appeal given the heightened tension in the topic area is unfortunate, but the reality is that there has been tension since Partition, so there is unlikely to be a right time in the near future. Given SheriffIsInTown's good works on Wikipedia since the TB was imposed (not just using reFill, but creating articles such as Humaira Bachal), and an appeal which shows reflection, I feel the TB should be lifted. Indeed, if we're not going to lift it now, when and for what other reason would we lift it? The TB has served its purpose, and SheriffIsInTown is now less likely to indulge in the behaviour that led to the TB in the first place. SilkTork (talk) 01:02, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • It is a little close to the lifting of the other restriction - these things usually go more smoothly if you appeal one thing at a time, and at a sedate pace that leaves enough time to judge the effects of each change. But these topics and the circumstances of the bans are different enough that it might not be very informative anyway. I think probation is a reasonable next step. Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:37, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd be alright with lifting the ban and going to probation. GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:55, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Amendment request: Conduct of Mister Wiki editors

Remedy 2.1 of the Conduct of Mister Wiki editors (Salvidrim's prohibition from reviewing articles for creation drafts) is rescinded by motion of the Arbitration Committee --Cameron11598 (Talk) 20:32, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Initiated by Salvidrim! at 19:06, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Conduct of Mister Wiki editors arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Conduct of Mister Wiki editors#Salvidrim! prohibited (II)


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



Information about amendment request
  • Restriction lifting


Statement by Salvidrim!

In late 2017 I colluded with a friend and fellow WPVG editor, Soetermans, to pass an AfC draft, for which he had declared being paid by MisterWiki, without thoroughly assessing or reviewing the draft itself, and shortly after I myself entered into a paid editing relationship with MisterWiki. For this corruption of the purpose of AfC, I was restricted from approving AfC drafts indefinitely, appealable after 12 months. I only occasionally reviewed AfC Drafts before and will probably continue occasionally, at best, helping with the backlog (if the restriction is lifted). As there were no problems otherwise with any other AfC Draft I've approved (or article I've created myself) I'm not sure what "other work" I could present to support this request, and similarly more months/years are unlikely (IMHO) to change much, I think I can safely say "lesson learned" (moreso thanks to the desysop obviously); the problems weren't so much with my ability to properly review AfC drafts and moreso with the collusion overall. If you'd like examples of small articles I've created in the past year, you can check out Terreur 404, Dark Seal or Hwages. I'm happy to accept any trial period or rate-limit or review log, etc. if the Committee would like to be able to review the quality of my near-future AfC approvals before lifting the restriction entirely. Thanks in advance and apologies for once again taking up valuable Arbtime with this mess. :) Ben · Salvidrim!  19:06, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

  • re BU Rob: If the Committee would rather leave the restriction in force until/unless there is a community discussion supporting its removal (such as at AN or RfA, not that I'm even considering the latter yet) I think that would be a reasonable stance considering "community trust" was really the whole reason the restriction was even put in place. Ben · Salvidrim!  21:56, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • re AGK and anyone else: if it helps I'm happy to reiterate that of course I will not engage in paid editing again on Wikipedia. I'm not sure if that hadn't been made clear for some after the desysop case but I've displayed as much on my own userpage, in bold and twice-large letters. Ben · Salvidrim!  23:18, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • re SilkTork: I've mentioned not even considering RfA2 for 2019 at this point, if ever. I just happened upon a Draft I would've liked to mainspace last week, mulled it over for a few days, and thought to myself maybe it might be helpful if I wasn't limited from mainspacing drafts anymore and perhaps the Committee would be amenable to lifting the restriction to allow me to chip in with the eternal AfC backlog. Ben · Salvidrim!  01:47, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • About the signature, it seems to be more of a rendering/display issue than a policy disagreement (it looks reasonable to me and Ivan but way too big to Iri and Floq, etc.), we'll dig into that, discussion is happening here for now User talk:Floquenbeam#re: Signature; sorry to highjack your TP for that Floq, feel free to move the thread to mine altogether:) Ben · Salvidrim!  15:52, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Uninvolved MJL

As a newbie who has never heard of this user before until just now, my views should not be weighed very heavily in this matter. However, the current topic ban is rather narrow in my opinion. I would possibly recomenned subbing it for a more broad ban on paid editing and a permanent restriction from moving AfCs to the mainspace. –MJLTalk 22:10, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Also, the note about paid editing should stay up on the userpage. Transparency always helps with this sort of thing. –MJLTalk 22:13, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
@Salvidrim!: I am rather partial to that note in bold letters if I do say so myself. –MJLTalk 01:01, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by TonyBallioni (MW)

I see no issue with lifting these restrictions. Salv self-reported the only violations (search AE somewhere for it), and he follows the radical transparency lifestyle, so I find it highly unlikely he's lying here about doing paid-editing again. To SilkTork's point: I'm not sure I'd support a new RfA (also not sure I'd oppose), but I don't really see that as particularly relevant here. The odds of Salv being disruptive in this area if the sanctions are lifted are about zero, in my view, so there doesn't seem to be a reason to keep this particular sanction. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:53, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Also noting that I agree with Joe Roe that this should just be viewed as ArbCom allowing him to apply for the script, not ArbCom circumventing the normal process for being added to the full-protected AFCH checklist. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:24, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by DannyS712

After reading TonyBallioni's note above about self-reporting, I got curious. The only AE log of a violation I could find was Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive231#Salvidrim!. Reading through it was amusing (My face has been notified by my palm.), and after having reviewed that and reading through the case, I believe that this restriction should be lifted. I saw that ArbCom noted in the case that In contrast with some of the above conduct, Salvidrim! acted with commendable transparency during the case including providing supporting evidence and detail even where it may not have suited their interests to do so. They appear to have continued to act transparently, and I would like to believe that they would continue to do so. In short, I support lifting this restriction. --DannyS712 (talk) 04:08, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf (re MisterWiki editors)

Given Salvidrim!'s comments here, his conduct during the case and afterwards I think the best way to move forwards here is to lift the restriction with the rationale "lesson learned". Thryduulf (talk) 14:31, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

@Floquenbeam: That's not something that is really within arbcom's remit. If you have a problem with a user's signature you should discuss it with them on their talk page. If you cannot reach a satisfactory conclusion and there has been no previous discussion that led to a consensus (I have not looked) then you should engage in dispute resolution. It's unclear to me whether WT:SIG or WP:AN is the more appropriate venue for such discussions though. Thryduulf (talk) 15:07, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
After looking through some archives of WT:SIG it seems that WP:AN would be the appropriate venue. Thryduulf (talk) 15:12, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Floq (re:Salv)

While I wasn't kidding, I also didn't intend it to be a whole thing. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:51, 12 March 2019 (UTC) Also, with hindsight, I should have known it would become a whole thing, and apologize for the diversion. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:28, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Perhaps ArbCom could make this transactional; accept the request if Salvadrim agrees to reduce the font size in his signature to be less obnoxious, otherwise leave it in place. --Floquenbeam (talk) 14:43, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

p.s. I'm not kidding.


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

So, back on topic, I actually do think we can safely remove this restriction. I'm not sure how I will feel if/when RFA#2 comes along, but I'm at least comfortable that Salvadrim is not going to come within 100 yards of anything improper at AFC. --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:28, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Iridescent

I second Floquenbeam above. Salvidrim, if you want to be taken seriously a garish giant signature like that is really not helping. ‑ Iridescent 15:14, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Ivanvector (MisterWiki)

Support lifting the restriction. Salvidrim! has been nothing if not honest, transparent, and self-reflective throughout this entire ordeal, which a year and a bit in retrospect I continue to believe was an overconfident (?) lapse in judgement. This restriction was weakly supported by the Committee in the first place, and only on a third draft of proposals for article creation restrictions. I see no preventive reason to keep this in place.

Regarding the comments about Ben's signature, there's a discussion on Floq's talk page about it if anyone really wants to chime in. It's pretty far off-topic for this thread. (comment modified by request) Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:16, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Samee

I also support lifting t-ban on Salvidrim! He's a trustworthy person.  samee  converse  17:41, 17 March 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.

Conduct of Mister Wiki editors: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Please constrain discussion here to the scope of the appeal. The clerks may remove unrelated material. GoldenRing (talk) 16:03, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Conduct of Mister Wiki editors: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Awaiting community comment. The most unfortunate aspect of the original conduct was the breach of community trust. In my view, the pertinent question here is whether that community trust has been rebuilt such that the community will tolerate Salvidrim!'s participation at AfC. ~ Rob13Talk 21:47, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Floquenbeam and Iridescent: While I am sympathetic to the substance of your complaints, Salvidrim!'s signature is not relevant to this appeal. It is well outside our jurisdiction, given the original scope of this case. If you disagree with it, please take Thryduulf's suggestions on how to proceed. ~ Rob13Talk 15:27, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Accept. (I know we'll need a motion for this, just noting my position.) ~ Rob13Talk 12:59, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Fully agree with Joe that any motion should explicitly say something to the effect of "Nothing in this motion overrides community processes for granting or removing access to the AFC Helper Script or related user rights." (where the related user rights refers mostly to new page reviewer). ~ Rob13Talk 17:02, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I should like to know whether appellant continues to engage in paid editing of any form. An answer may be submitted privately. AGK ■ 22:54, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    • I assume the answer to be no, but just as a note, an answer to this question can't really be private if the answer is "yes". ~ Rob13Talk 01:12, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
      • That seems like an unhelpful amendment. You should avoid giving the impression that we will not handle private emails in an appropriate spirit, particularly as there may have been points of nuance or detail (eg UPE happened after the case, but has stopped). Nobody suggested we would seek to subvert the disclosure requirements of UPE, so why give the impression that in this case an answer can't be private? As a phrase it sounds slightly sinister, it doesn’t seem helpful, and it certainly doesn't speak for my mind. AGK ■ 08:05, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
        • The disclosure requirements for paid editing is that every instance of paid editing must be accompanied by a disclosure that identifies the employer, client, and affiliation permanently in an edit summary, a talk page, or the user page. If an editor were to privately tell us that they were violating these requirements, we wouldn't violate that confidentiality, of course, but presumably we would block the account quietly for failing to abide by the Terms of Use and disclosure policy. The requirement to disclose does not end when the paid editing ends. ~ Rob13Talk 15:27, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • While technically this appeal is allowable - you've served just over the 12 months minimum of the ban - I'm wondering why you want to request the ban lifted, especially as it wasn't an area in which you were that active, don't intend to be that active in going forward, and it's stirring a settled pot. Are you looking to clear your account of restrictions so you can ask for the admin tools back? SilkTork (talk) 01:26, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks User:Salvidrim!, that makes sense. I became an admin because I wanted to do the occasional page move that required the deletion tool, and didn't like asking others to do it for me, but I was not intending to focus on doing page moves, so I understand your motivation. You were open and honest during the case, even when it wasn't in your best interest, and such behaviour encourages trust. It appears to me you made some errors of judgement, for which you have paid. I'm comfortable with allowing this. SilkTork (talk) 10:02, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • A possible complicating factor is that AfC reviewing is currently a quasi-permission enforced by restricting access to the AfC helper script (with more or less the same requirements as the NPP right). Across several discussions, there has been a strong consensus that paid editors should not have access to AfC/NPP, because these are the two areas that are most subject to abuse by UPEs. But I don't believe the question of whether a "paid editor" is just someone who currently engages in paid editing, or has ever done it, has ever really come up. If we agree to lift Salvidrim's topic ban, I don't think that should be construed as an ArbCom motion that he then must be allowed to review AfC drafts. His being added to the list of participants should be subject to the consensus of the AfC project. – Joe (talk) 13:18, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I would be fine lifting the restriction for Salvidrim! to pursue approving and moving drafts in consideration for a ban on paid editing and that any drafts where Salvidrim! has a COI would be avoided entirely. Mkdw talk 01:15, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd be fine with lifting this at this point. I don't think the question of the AfC script matters much - it's trivial to just move stuff from draftspace yourself, so the extra hoop there has always seemed a bit performative. Opabinia regalis (talk) 08:16, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    The current consensus is actually that only qualified participants in the AfC project should review drafts (WP:AFCR); restricting the script is just the best way we have of enforcing that. Where the line between "reviewing drafts" and "moving a draft to mainspace" lays is a little unclear, but since the original remedy specifically used the phrase "reviewing articles for creation drafts", and Salvidrim has asked to "review AfC drafts", I think it's appropriate that we defer to the consensus of editors involved in the AfC/NPP project. They bear the brunt of abusive paid editing and tend to have stronger feelings on it than the community at large. – Joe (talk) 12:40, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Recuse GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:17, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Motion: Conduct of Mister Wiki editors

Remedy 2.1 of the Conduct of Mister Wiki editors arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t) (Salvidrim's prohibition from reviewing articles for creation drafts) is rescinded. He may apply for use of the AfC helper script as usual at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Articles for creation/Participants.

Enacted - --Cameron11598 (Talk) 20:27, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Support
  1. Let's get the ball rolling. Feel free to reword. ♠PMC(talk) 15:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  2. Didn't see the point at the time, happy to remove now. WormTT(talk) 15:25, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  3. SilkTork (talk) 17:37, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  4. Per my comments above. Mkdw talk 19:06, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  5. @Premeditated Chaos, Worm That Turned, SilkTork, and Mkdw: I did a copy-edit of the above to better match the language of past motions. No meaning was changed. ~ Rob13Talk 19:31, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  6. RickinBaltimore (talk) 21:53, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  7. Late support. Opabinia regalis (talk) 18:22, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  8. AGK ■ 21:04, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Oppose
Abstain
  1. Recuse GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:17, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Comments by arbitrators
  • The slight change in wording is fine by me. Mkdw talk 19:41, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Much better, cheers Rob. ♠PMC(talk) 19:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Motions

Proposed amendment to the arbitration policy

Version 1

Pursuant to the arbitration policy's section on "Ratification and amendment", the Arbitration Committee resolves that the following change to the arbitration policy will be submitted for formal ratification by community referendum:

The "Conduct of arbitrators" section of the arbitration policy is amended to add the following underlined text:
Any arbitrator who repeatedly or grossly fails to meet the expectations outlined above may be suspended or removed by Committee resolution supported by two-thirds of arbitrators, not counting the arbitrator in question and any arbitrators who have been inactive for a period of at least 30 days.

This amendment to the arbitration policy will enter into force once it receives majority support, with at least one hundred editors voting in favour of adopting it. Until this amendment is ratified, the existing arbitration policy remains in effect.

For this motion there are 10 active arbitrators, not counting 3 who are inactive, so 6 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Support
  1. ~ Rob13Talk 03:11, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Joe Roe: Would you support if we added to the end "provided attempts have been made to contact them through all known communication mediums"? My intent is, of course, not to speed things through while ignoring as many arbs as possible. In practice, we've had several arbitrators who were quite literally uncontactable for long periods of time last year. Ks0stm was the main one. ~ Rob13Talk 16:32, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
    Now second choice. ~ Rob13Talk 02:34, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  2. This is an improvement, and gets us nearer to a level playing field. It should not be harder to remove an arbitrator than an admin. SilkTork (talk) 11:11, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  3. RickinBaltimore (talk) 13:46, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  4. With preference for the addition of a contact clause like the one Rob mentions above. ♠PMC(talk) 16:03, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Per below. This is such a rare event that extraordinary efforts should be made to get all serving arbitrators to vote. – Joe (talk) 06:55, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  2. Per comments and discussion below. After a long process of redrafting and consultation a few years ago, this bar was intentionally set at two-thirds. I think the member removal provision has passed the few tests thrown at it since then. AGK ■ 20:20, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Abstain/Recuse

Version 2

Pursuant to the arbitration policy's section on "Ratification and amendment", the Arbitration Committee resolves that the following change to the arbitration policy will be submitted for formal ratification by community referendum:

The final paragraph of the "Conduct of arbitrators" section of the arbitration policy is amended as follows:
Any arbitrator who repeatedly or grossly fails to meet the expectations outlined above may be suspended or removed by Committee resolution supported by two-thirds of all arbitrators excluding:
  1. The arbitrator facing suspension or removal, and;
  2. Any inactive arbitrator who does not respond within 30 days to attempts to solicit their feedback on the resolution through all known mediums of communication.

This amendment to the arbitration policy will enter into force once it receives majority support, with at least one hundred editors voting in favour of adopting it. Until this amendment is ratified, the existing arbitration policy remains in effect.

For this motion there are 10 active arbitrators, not counting 3 who are inactive, so 6 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Support
  1. I'm proposing this slightly altered version based on the discussions below and conversations with individual arbitrators. The intent of this proposal has always been to discount the votes only of those arbitrators we are entirely unable to reach. This alternative proposal moves the text closer to that intent by starting the "clock" not when an arbitrator goes inactive (but may be lurking around, able to contribute to an important discussion), but rather when we attempt to reach out to them to solicit their feedback using every possible medium of communication. If we're wholly unable to even get an "I've seen this" back from them after 30 days, we move on without them, one way or another. To be clear, even such a small comment would stop an arbitrator's vote from being discounted, giving them every possible opportunity to vote on a motion to suspend or remove an arbitrator. ~ Rob13Talk 02:34, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  2. Second choice. SilkTork (talk) 09:04, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  3. Second choice RickinBaltimore (talk) 15:09, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Oppose
Abstain/Recuse
Arbitrator comments/discussion
  • I think this proposal is essentially common sense. Two-thirds of arbitrators agreeing on anything is already difficult, but two-thirds agreeing on removal of an arbitrator when we have to count even the arbitrator being voted out and long-term inactive arbitrators (e.g. Ks0stm and DeltaQuad last year) is borderline impossible. This is especially true after the reduction in Committee size this year. This year, it would take 9/12 arbitrators to remove an arbitrator from the Committee, if we assume the arbitrator in question won't vote for their own removal. If we had two inactive arbitrators as well, it would take 9/10. That is an impossible task to achieve in a timely manner. This proposal would effectively reduce those numbers to 8/12 and 7/10, respectively, which is doable in the case of severe issues. I've proposed a month of inactivity instead of any inactivity to avoid decisions being made by a small subset of arbitrators in the event that a large number of arbitrators go inactive for short periods of time, which is common around holidays and the like. This proposal only excludes the votes of those unlikely to be reachable for an extended period of time. ~ Rob13Talk 03:11, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Joe Roe: It has never happened, but that's because the current policy is terrible. That is despite an arb leaking information from arbcom-l and now an arb violating the access to nonpublic information policy repeatedly. If Alex had not resigned, I honestly do not know that we could have removed him, despite the Ombudsman Commission report. We may simply not have had the votes, given that we can't expect an arb to vote against themselves and we had several long-term inactive arbs that would be counted as de facto opposing if they didn't place a vote at all. "Just nine votes" sounds like a small number until you have a few inactive arbs. In the situation I detailed above, if we had two long-term inactive arbs and a similar situation came before this Committee, we would need an astonishing 90% of votes of active arbitrators to remove someone. That is not workable. ~ Rob13Talk 16:26, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I think it is appropriate to bring this up, though my feeling is that the Committee should not give fellow members a privileged position. We can desysop an admin on majority decision, so we should suspend an arbiter also on majority decision. Level playing field. So for me the "two-thirds" needs changing along with the automatic recusing of the arbiter under question. Desysopping an admin is more significant than suspending an arbiter. SilkTork (talk) 10:09, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm really not sure this is appropriate. Removing an arbitrator involves substituting the community's judgment ("We elect this person") with the committee's ("We think this person is unfit") or, more worryingly, a clique's ("The committee has listened to this set of users, who say the arbitrator should be removed"). I rather think that removing an arbitrator should be so obvious, gathering up the required Yes votes is easy. Even inactive arbitrators can usually be contacted for once-in-a-year votes like for removing an arbitrator. This feels like the thin end of a wedge, and like concentrating the power of a (hypothetical) set of arbitrators.
    Having a high bar also avoids arbitrators contemplating the removal of colleagues for lesser disagreements; it simply isn't open as a choice except in egregious cases. This change will alter the committee's dynamics, and therefore the role it plays in our project. While this proposal seems like a practical, procedural change (why should inactive arbitrators be counted?), it may unintentionally encroach on plurality. I am uncomfortable. If we think the community failed to consider this issue when they recently reduced the committee's size, perhaps we should first refer it to the 2019 ACE RFC – even asking for that be brought forward. Holding for comments. AGK ■ 10:50, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
  • How many times has an arb been removed by vote, not counting "jumped before they were pushed" situations? If it's not very many, I'm inclined to say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I also think AGK's point is a good one. If you have a situation where the arb in question refuses to resign, and those in favour of removing them are struggling to get just nine votes, chances are it's an issue that should be referred back to the community that elects us. – Joe (talk) 12:25, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
  • @BU Rob13: No, and to be honest I would have hoped that was already implied by the current wording and common courtesy. My core concern is the mathematics. Let's say four arbs are inactive (as they are on this motion). That makes the threshold for removing an arb just six votes – less than half of the full committee. Recusals it would make that even less, as would reductions any further reductions to the size of the committee. I'm concerned that this could lead to unpopular views within the committee being stifled. – Joe (talk) 07:04, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Joe Roe: Of course. I was just offering to put it in writing if that satisfied you. As a side note, this proposal would not lead to four arbs being inactive right now for the purposes of removal of an arb. Only Callanecc has been inactive for 30 days. We would have 12 of 13 arbs who are not long-term inactive under this proposal. If one of those 12 was the arb facing removal, eight votes would be required. ~ Rob13Talk 12:44, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

Discussion and comments

  • This unfortunate episode from 2012 may be worth reviewing. --Rschen7754 03:16, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
    • I also had that in mind, yes. When I've discussed this change privately with a few editors, it was brought up several times and only further convinced me of proposing this amendment. The massive hole in this clause turned that situation into a larger dumpster fire than it might have been. ~ Rob13Talk 03:39, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
      • Though I supported Elen in that motion I was the only one, and five Committee members voted for her to be suspended. That's a clear majority, and she should have been suspended, but enough Committee members remained silent for the motion to fail under the 2/3s rule. Even with the proposed changes, the motion would have failed. Under standard simple majority rules, with the abstain, five votes would have seen her suspended. SilkTork (talk) 11:18, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
  • You might (or might not) wish to add that any recused arbitrators not be counted. Newyorkbrad (talk) 03:30, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
    • Probably should have explained this from the get-go: I have intentionally not omitted recused arbitrators in this proposed amendment, because I believe there should be no recusals when adjudicating the potential removal of an arbitrator. In jurisprudence, judicial disqualification carries with it a concept apparently called the "rule of necessity", based on that article. If the normal rules of disqualification would result in no judge being able to hear a case, then no judge is required to recuse so as to allow a case to be heard to the best of the court's abilities. Given that all arbitrators necessarily work extremely closely with each other for an extended period of time behind closed doors, requiring any one of us to recuse makes little sense when we all have a substantial appearance of potential conflict. I believe a similar "rule of necessity" applies in this situation; because all arbitrators would need to conventionally recuse themselves from ruling on a sitting arbitrator, none should. (You know all of this, of course, Brad. I'm saying it for the benefit of other editors.) ~ Rob13Talk 03:39, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
      • [10] :) Newyorkbrad (talk) 03:45, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
      • In the Elen motion those who recused did so because there was an election in which they and Elen were standing, so there was a conflict of interest, and the recusals were appropriate. There are other circumstances in which recusal is appropriate. Simply not wishing to make a decision on a colleague is not one of them; so using that inappropriate reason for recusal as a reason to over-ride legitimate reasons for recusal wouldn't be workable. SilkTork (talk) 11:32, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
        And note that in the elections she still got above 56% votes and was close to being re-elected, which, at least at the first glance, invalidates the theory she lost all the community support (I opposed her candidacy then FWIW).--Ymblanter (talk) 11:50, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
        Every arbitrator has a potential conflict with every other arbitrator. We work too closely not to develop opinions about each other, camaraderie, etc. Often, we will be directly involved in the events related to potentially removing an arbitrator, if such a situation comes up again. Sure, the extent of those rationales for recusal may vary, but nevertheless, we could all be legitimately considered involved. ~ Rob13Talk 16:29, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
        I'm no lawyer, but this 'necessity' argument isn't working for me either. There's a huge difference between the mild inherent conflict in making decisions about a colleague, which would apply equally to the whole committee, and the more significant reasons that might prompt individual arbitrators to recuse - being candidates in the same election as the arb potentially being removed is about as pure an example as I can think of of an irresolvable individual conflict. (Assuming of course that no one is going to withdraw from the election just to participate in the removal vote.) I'm not explicitly arguing for allowing recusals - I haven't thought in enough depth about this yet, but I'm concerned that counting both inactivity and recusal would result in a group that is too small to be practical for a decision of this magnitude. For a group that normally does everything pretty slowly, I can think of a number of cases both during and before my time when I thought it was clear that people were rushing too much. However, I am explicitly arguing that this 'rule of necessity' stuff is insufficient justification for not permitting recusals in this context. Opabinia regalis (talk) 20:37, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
  • My thoughts generally align with AGK's. While I can see the logic in not counting the vote of the arbitrator being voted about, I do think every effort should be made to get in contact with inactive arbitrators for their opinions to be counted. I assume that arbitrators still share contact information with each other on the arbwiki? When I was on the Committee, had the need arisen, I could have contacted I think every other arbitrator by phone and/or an email address in addition to the one they used on the mailing list. If there is a breach of the privacy policy then the WMF are empowered to remove access to the tools and arbcom definitely has the means to contact them in an emergency. I think (but am happy to be corrected) that Jimbo still has the power to dismiss an arbitrator in extremis. If that really isn't enough then what you should be creating is a recall petition mechanism whereby the community can decide whether the arb in question still holds their trust - abuse of this could be prevented by requiring a petition to be authorised by at least N (non-recused and/or active) arbs (or N%) (who would be under no obligation to vote to remove their fellow arb) and removal to happen if >2/3rds of those voting vote for removal. Thryduulf (talk) 16:54, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Isaacl: There is (or at least was) a provision for arbcom to hold a special election at any time should the number of arbitrators fall below what they feel is required to discharge their duties. I can't immediately find where this is though, so cannot say whether it applies to total arbs, active arbs, or is completely at the committee's discretion, however I don't think the Committee could increase the total number of arbs beyond the maximum authorised by the community (currently 13). Thryduulf (talk) 17:39, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
      • The relevant provision of WP:ARBPOL is "In exceptional circumstances, the Committee may call interim elections, in a format similar to that of the regular annual elections, if it determines that arbitrator resignations or inactivity have created an immediate need for additional arbitrators." I believe the "format similar to that of the regular annual elections" would mean that such an interim election would be preceded by an abridged election RfC, which would allow the community to select how many arbitrators they wish to elect. The Arbitration Committee could theoretically ask that the community allow additional arbitrators to be elected over the current total, but the community could also theoretically choose to elect none at all, effectively rebuking the Arbitration Committee for calling unnecessary interim elections. ~ Rob13Talk 19:29, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
      • Since the relevant clause specifies inactivity as a reason to need additional arbitrators, I don't see any barrier to electing more. The number of arbitrators isn't fixed in the policy but is just a consequence of the rules established by the community in the annual elections. I agree though that it would be counter to community desires to increase the number of active arbitrators beyond the community's wishes. To that end, I think it would be best for the terms of the interim arbitrators to end once the previously inactive arbitrators return. isaacl (talk) 06:21, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
  • A couple of times it is mentioned that the percentage of active arbitrators required to remove an arbitrator increases as the number of inactive arbitrators goes up. I don't think it matters, because in the end, nine arbitrators have to be convinced, and I don't think it gets easier to convince one of them if there are more active arbitrators. I think it is practical to look at scenarios where there are fewer than ten arbitrators active, and so meeting the threshold becomes impossible, but I also think it should be determined if there ought to be a minimum quorum for any vote in support of removing an arbitrator. Should the number of active arbitrators drop below this quorum value plus one, then a contingency procedure can be brought into effect. For example, a special election could be held for substitute arbitrators, or for an oversight group whose sole purpose would be to participate in votes to remove arbitrators. isaacl (talk) 17:07, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
    • I suggest that an amendment along these lines should be accompanied with one that sets a threshold at which interim elections will be held to elect interim arbitrators. As each regularly-elected arbitrator returns, the term of the interim arbitrator who had garnered the least support would end. For example, say a threshold of three-quarters of the size of the full arbitration committee is specified: this would mean that interim elections would be held if the number of arbitrators required to remove an arbitrator drops to one-half of the full committee. isaacl (talk) 15:30, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
      • @Joe Roe: Your concern about the absolute number of arbitrators required to remove one is the reason for my suggestion of an accompanying amendment. @BU Rob13: I'm not clear what you offered to put in writing; can you clarify? isaacl (talk) 16:34, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
        • @Isaacl: See my comment below my vote. ~ Rob13Talk 16:36, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Joe Roe: No arbitrator has ever been removed by committee vote for misconduct. One was removed for long-term inactivity; that was in 2011. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:39, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
    • I would be interested in your take on whether that's because the provision isn't needed or because it's too strict. I take the view of the latter. ~ Rob13Talk 18:57, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
      • I don’t believe the difficulty of removing an arbitrator has been a major issue. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:28, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
        • I've always thought that this provision has made it unreasonably hard to remove an arbitrator. As I recall, it was added to prevent the possibility of a coup at one particular time. Doug Weller talk 16:03, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I have a minor qualm with the grammar of the proposed sentence and might suggest it would be read more clearly as Any arbitrator who repeatedly or grossly fails to meet the expectations outlined above may be suspended or removed by Committee resolution supported by two-thirds of active arbitrators, not counting the arbitrator in question. Active is defined as activity within the past 30 days. --Izno (talk) 16:46, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I think a change might be warranted but I'm not sure this is it. 30 days is too short, in my opinion - that can happen quite frequently. However, severely inactive arbitrators should not be counted in the 2/3 calculations (and neither should the arbitrator in question). Another way this could be solved is automatic removal or suspension of an arbitrator after 6 months. This would have the benefit of increased data protection as well. --Rschen7754 07:34, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @Rschen7754: automatic removal is a good idea, although I'd set it at 3 months of no participation in arbitration matters. "Participation" would be defined as commenting on any active request, discussion, motion, etc. on a page in the Wikipedia:Arbitration or Wikipedia talk:Arbitration hierarchy or the arb mailing list, excluding discussions related to their inactivity. If there was a reasonable explanation for the inactivity, then automatic removal could be deferred once for up to 3 months by a motion supported by 2/3 of active arbs (i.e. it takes a motion to keep an inactive arb not a motion to remove one). After 6 months of this complete inactivity they are removed without exception. Thryduulf (talk) 14:26, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
      • @Rschen7754 and Thryduulf: Automatic removal gets very tricky for multiple reasons. First, we do need to respect that these arbitrators were voted onto the Committee by hundreds of voters. Kicking them off in cases other than a massive breach of trust is a bit iffy. Second, keep in mind that many arbitrators become inactive for reasons beyond their control that are nevertheless temporary – health, temporary situations at work, etc. We would lose perfectly good arbitrators permanently who might have come back to assist with Committee work if we kicked those individuals off. Additionally, arbitrators often go inactive on the activity list but remain active on individual matters because they do not have the time to handle the full workload of the Committee. This was the case for me for several months from December to February as I dealt with a variety of health issues. I stayed as active as I could, but I didn't want my lack of vote to hold up ban appeals, for instance, so I set myself to be presumed inactive until/unless I showed up to participate. Finally, the number of arbitrators who go completely inactive for six months is extraordinarily low (recently, only Ks0stm), but long-term inactivity from many different arbs for periods of 1-2 months could leave us with no quorum to remove an arb at any one point in time if they overlap. In that sense, this wouldn't fix the issue of an arbitrator being unable to be removed in a timely fashion upon gross breach of trust.

        Having said all that, I definitely am committed to reworking this proposal as needed so we wind up with the right solution rather than just a solution. This was intended as a starting point to solicit community feedback and put this issue on our radar. I'm currently toying with several possibilities and plan to propose an alternative soon-ish. ~ Rob13Talk 19:40, 6 March 2019 (UTC)

        • @BU Rob13: Temporary inactivity of the sort you describe would not result in automatic removal - all that is required of an arbitrator is a single comment on a single arb-related happening, on the wiki or on the mailing list, every 3 months. If they haven't managed that low bar but their colleagues still feel they should be kept around, then a majority of active arbs can pass a motion to keep them for another 3 months. If an arb has not managed to make a single contribution to arbitration matters in 6 months then they really are not doing the job they were elected to do and shouldn't be on the committee - and should be removed but removed in good standing. This is a much lower standard than required of oversighters who have to make 5 logged actions every three months. Thryduulf (talk) 19:49, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
          • Looking back at the mailing list, not even Ks0stm would meet that definition of inactivity (going with the six months, because I don't see why ArbCom would ever not retain a member after three months). The potential automatic removal proposal would have no effect. ~ Rob13Talk 19:52, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
            • I certainly would vote against retaining someone as an arbitrator who had not had any interaction with arbitration matters for 3 months absent truly exceptional circumstances and don't understand why you wouldn't. Arbitrators are elected to do a job, and if they aren't doing it they shouldn't be treated as if they are. Thryduulf (talk) 20:42, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
              • I'm not about to overrule the results of a community election because someone fell sick. I think it would be patently absurd to do so. ~ Rob13Talk 20:51, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
                • I disagree. It's always unfortunate when this happens, and our best wishes should always go to that person. But at the end of the day, it would be better to have someone who is able to be active in the role. (I can think of one arb who would have met that definition from this decade). For reference, stewards can be removed outside of confirmations if they fall below a certain activity level, although the last time this happened was 2015. --Rschen7754 21:16, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
                  • It's highly unlikely a removed arbitrator would be replaced, however. That would involve holding a special election, which seems extremely unlikely outside of some catastrophic scenario where a third or more of the arbitrators resigned or fell ill. ~ Rob13Talk 21:18, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
                    • Yes, the two need to go together: any special treatment of inactive arbitrators, whether it is removing them from the post, or taking them out of the quorum required for specific votes, should be accompanied with a willingness to hold interim elections to replace the inactive arbitrators. isaacl (talk) 23:01, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
                      • I agree with Isaacl and Rschen. If someone is so ill they cannot even make a single contribution in three months then they're too ill to do the job, and we should wish them all the best but the good of the project must come first and we should let them focus on their health. Arbs removed for inactivity would, just like administrators desysopped for inactivity, remain in good standing and would be free to, if they want to, regain their CU and/or OS privs, their functionaries mailing list access and even stand for the Committee again in the future. This is not overruling the results of the election - they were elected to do a job, they are not doing the job so the wishes of the community are already not happening. If the number of arbitrators actually arbitrating falls below a certain level, for any reason, there should be interrim elections to bring the committee back up to strength. This would reduce the chance of a small group of arbitrators taking over. Thryduulf (talk) 02:10, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
                        • To be clear, I didn't say most of that; I too have misgivings about permanently removing someone who has been selected by the community. isaacl (talk) 04:20, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
                  • Considering an arbitrator who has gone incommunicado to be inactive is reasonable, to facilitate the ongoing operations of the committee. However I'm not sure it is necessary to remove the arbitrator permanently, particularly in the absence of an interim election to replace the arbitrator. isaacl (talk) 16:31, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
                      • In most circumstances in the RW, people can take leaves of absence without losing their status. Considering that the period of service of an admin is 2 years, if someone could not act for 6 months or even somewhat more in that period for medical or family or personal reasons, there's no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to act the other 18 months. There's no need to make a rule in the matter, as nobody that I can recall has ever abused this. DGG ( talk ) 04:02, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @BU Rob13: Regarding your second proposal, I would remove the word "inactive." Activity / inactivity is a slightly squishy concept; you know as well as I do that it is usually based on an informal email to the clerks' list requesting that someone be listed as active or inactive. So if an arb just disappears, it could be argued they are still "active" as they never requested to be listed as inactive - and then their vote would be required to unseat another arb.
    Regarding the discussion immediately above, I don't see a lot of value in removing arbs for inactivity, because in almost every matter the committee considers, inactive arbs are not counted anyway. GoldenRing (talk) 13:58, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
    • @GoldenRing: That's somewhat intended. Per WP:AC/P, "Any arbitrator who has not given prior notice of absence and who fails to post to the usual venues for seven consecutive days is deemed inactive in all matters with, where practical, retrospective effect to the date of the last known post." The idea is that we don't wish to discount the vote of an arbitrator who is around, but for some reason not participating in that one specific discussion. That carries a presumption that they do not support the motion to suspend/remove. If someone is genuinely not around, we can move them to inactive based on that provision of our procedures. ~ Rob13Talk 14:40, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Regarding the version 2 proposal, I suggest a minor wording change from "except" to "excluding". isaacl (talk) 15:00, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Requests for enforcement


Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Dlthewave

Procedural notes: The rules governing arbitration enforcement appeals are found here. According to the procedures, a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors" 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 
Dlthewave (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) – –dlthewave 17:33, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
Sanctions being appealed 
DiscussionLog
Administrators imposing the sanctions 

Sandstein (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
GoldenRing (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)

Notification of those administrators 

Sandstein

Goldenring

Statement by Dlthewave

  • I feel that the closing statement "Springee, Trekphiler, RAF910 and Dlthewave are warned not to misuse Wikipedia as a forum for polemic statements unrelated to Wikipedia, or attacking or vilifying groups of editors, persons, or other entities.", which appears to be copy-and-pasted from WP:POLEMIC, is not an accurate assessment of consensus among the admins who participated in the discussion. Among other things, it implies that all four editors are equally at fault, which does not appear to be what the admins intended in their support for a logged warning. Although Goldenring did delete a page in my userspace under WP:POLEMIC, there was no discussion of my "attacking" or "vilifying" anyone and one admin even stated "Dlthewave is in fact engaged in appropriate editing and discussion." There was no proposal to issue a logged warning to Dlthewave. (As a sidenote, I also feel that issuing a polemic warning to the other three involved editors instead of a warning related to talk page conduct was entirely out of left field, but that is something for them to address in their own appeals if they choose to pursue them.)
  • I feel that Goldenring's deletion of a page in my userspace, User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing_of_firearms_articles, has a chilling effect on my ability to document and share what I view as a long-term pattern in the gun control/gun crime topic area. This documentation plays an essential role in addressing current problems that are, in my opinion, a continuation of that pattern. My intention is to demonstrate a pattern and not to attack the individual editors who have been involved in that pattern. This removal is especially concerning when the "opposing" attacks and accusations which I documented are allowed to remain in full view at WP:Firearms and other talk pages. I would be open to discussing ways to do this that would not be viewed as an attack page, since similar pages maintained by other editors have passed MfD.
Although this deletion may have been within Goldenring's editorial discretion, I would like it to be reviewed by other admins and preferably discussed by the community at Miscellany for Deletion. –dlthewave 17:33, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I've opened a Deletion Review here as suggested. –dlthewave 21:53, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Sandstein

After rereading User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles, I agree with the appellant that the page was not (quite) a violation of WP:POLEMIC because it did not name editors and did not make allegations of misconduct, except as implied in the title ("whitewashing"), but that alone probably doesn't merit a warning. Because that page was the reason for my warning, I am striking it and recommend that GoldenRing (talk · contribs) undelete the page. A case can perhaps be made for its deletion on grounds of copyright / attribution, but that's a matter for the deletion process. Sandstein 18:37, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Per my comment here, I've also withdrawn the warning with respect to Springee. Clearly I should have read the enforcement request more carefully; sorry for that. I think that we should be more careful in the future as to whether or not to entertain enforcement requests directed at multiple editors. Sandstein 22:59, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
In response to Bishonen, GoldenRing is correct that an action that has been labeled as an AE action may only be reviewed by way of the process described at WP:AC/DS#Appeals, that is, here at AE, or at AN or ARCA – but not at DRV. Bishonen, I recommend that you undo your temporary restoration of the page for the purpose of the DRV, or you may be desysopped for undoing an AE action out of process, as described at WP:AC/DS#Modifications by administrators. Any admin who acts on the currently ongoing DRV by overturning the deletion may likewise be desysopped. Sandstein 15:26, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Springee

I'm clearly an involved editor. As I said before I think Dlthewave has a very strong POV on this topic and I frequently disagree with them. However, when push comes to shove, I don't think on good faith they viewed the page as a POLMIC. For what it's worth, I would support reverting Dlthewave's warning. Springee (talk) 19:12, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by GoldenRing

I disagree with Sandstein above and stand by this action. Dlthewave has stated right here that the purpose of this page is to document long-term problematic editing and policy is clear that such material is allowed only for dispute resolution and when used in a timely manner. I don't see the practical difference between, "so-and-so said this" (which the appellant seems to admit would be disallowed) and "someone said this and here's a link showing who it was" which is what they've actually done. GoldenRing (talk) 21:01, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

@Bishonen: I'm not sure why you've suggested deletion review here. AE actions cannot be overturned at deletion review, only at AE, AN or ARCA. Have you also not just unilaterally undone an AE action? GoldenRing (talk) 10:19, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
@Dlthewave: I will reiterate here what I've said on the deletion review: if you wish to use this material for valid dispute resolution (probably either an ANI or arbitration case request) and can outline a reasonable timeline for doing so (either on-wiki or privately by email), then I will self-revert my enforcement action. GoldenRing (talk) 10:32, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
I would like to add, for what it's worth at this point, that I agree a formal warning to Dlthewave was not warranted. GoldenRing (talk) 12:07, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
Please note that I have requested clarification from the arbitration committee regarding my deletion at WP:ARCA. GoldenRing (talk) 16:02, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Simonm223

Marginally involved. I just found out about the removal of DLThewave's excellent summary of the challenges faced to bring firearms into compliance with WP:N including the way that a wikiproject has tried to present their MOS suggestions as policy. I've said as much at another venue, but this is definitely not a violation of WP:POLEMIC and should be undeleted for the valuable resource it is. Simonm223 (talk) 15:03, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (involved editor 2)

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by Dlthewave

Result of the appeal by Dlthewave

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I commented in the initial thread, so I'm not sure whether my response should appear in this section, or above with GoldenRing's and Sandstein's. The deletion of Dlthewave's userspace subpage was arguably appropriate under WP:POLEMIC, and within reasonable admin discretion on GoldenRing's part. While I'm not sure I would have done the same, I'm comfortable leaving the page deleted. That said, I don't think a formal warning to Dlthewave is warranted; there wasn't really any support for such a warning amongst uninvolved admins in the previous thread, and it seems like overkill. The proper response to a potentially polemical userspace subpage is to delete it, which has been done. There wasn't any convincing evidence of a pattern of behavior warranting a logged warning on Dlthewave's part, at least not that I saw.

    Regarding the logged warnings, I do take Springee's point that they perhaps paint the remaining 3 editors with an overly broad brush. There are clearly gradations of concerning behavior, with Springee on the mild end and Trekphiler/RAF910 showing a much more sustained and problematic battleground attitude. I'll leave it up to other admins whether we should modify the warning to exclude Springee, but it is worth considering while we're here. MastCell Talk 21:19, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

  • Hmm. This is definitely a confusing situation. Reading the deleted page, it does seem borderline WP:POLEMIC so, perhaps, GoldenRing was right in deleting it. But, Dlthewave brings up a good point. If they do plan on making a future case then how else can they keep a record of the edits they see as forming a pattern? They could do it off-wiki of course, but isn't it better to be open about one's activities? While the deletion was within admin discretion perhaps, in cases of this nature, it is better to leave them as is with a note to the editor that they can't leave it sticking around for too long. Imo, the warning should be withdrawn. --regentspark (comment) 00:22, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure about deleting the whitewashing essay; I can't seem to make up my mind. Suggest dlthewave take it to Wikipedia:Deletion review. An admin should be asked to temporarily undelete the page for purposes of discussion as soon as the DR is opened. But I don't have any trouble agreeing with Sandstein, Springee, MastCell, and Regentspark that dlthewave's warning should be withdrawn and struck from the log, and Sandstein has already done so. Bishonen | talk 01:11, 24 February 2019 (UTC).
  • @Dlthewave:, I've temporarily undeleted your page for the deletion review. Bishonen | talk 22:01, 24 February 2019 (UTC).
  • Your deletion can't be overturned at Deletion review, GoldenRing? Are you sure? In that case, obviously I suggested it because I didn't know any better. A bit of bad luck that apparently nobody who did know saw my suggestion for Deletion review here at AE, some 20 hours before Dlthewave actually opened the deletion review. I'm not sure what should be the next step, considering there is quite a lot of discussion at the review already, and some disagreement about how to proceed. But whatever action is taken, rest assured I won't feel "undermined" by it, as somebody suggested there. I'm personally fine with whatever, although I want to apologize to Dlthewave for potentially complicating his situation. As for "Have you also not just unilaterally undone an AE action?", no, I haven't. If you're referring to my temporary undeletion of the page, for the deletion review only and with the front page covered by a template, per the instructions here, I can only ask you not to be so silly. If you're talking about my giving Dlthewave bad advice, well, I've explained how that came about (=ignorance on my part). Bishonen | talk 12:54, 25 February 2019 (UTC).
  • What an absolute joy you are to work with, Sandstein. It's a wonder more admins don't flock to help out at AE, where honest mistakes get met with immediate threats of desysopping. I do want to point out that there's a pretty clear consensus at DRV that the page doesn't violate WP:POLEMIC. @GoldenRing:, do I understand correctly that you are not going to recognize that consensus because it is being discussed on the Wrong Page(TM)? If this is the case, then I suppose we should tell everyone at DRV their opinions are not wanted there, re-delete the page, and then have the exact same discussion here. Or alternately, GR could rescind the deletion.... --Floquenbeam (talk) 15:59, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I not only agree that restoring the page for deletion review is not an abuse of process, but that deleting the page via AE would be an abuse of process. The way to remove userspace essays that are contrary to policy is MfD., and review of decisions there is at Deletion Review. DGG ( talk ) 06:53, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
GoldenRing, do you intend to delete under AE every page in an area subject to DS (such as AP or PIA) that you think might arguably be the result of an action that violation an arb ruling,? DGG ( talk ) 17:16, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
And I have just noticed, Sandstein, that your closing at the AE Discussion used the wording of the arb case "for polemic statements unrelated to Wikipedia, " but the entire discussion above about whether it violated POLEMIC is irrelevant, because the page is obviously related to WP. And the arb com wording continued " attacking or vilifying groups of editors, persons, or other entities. " I do not see any editors named on the page in question. It was discussing edits. (Of course the editors were implied, because the statements wee linked, but nothing about the editors is question is said on the page, only about the edits. DGG ( talk ) 17:16, 5 March 2019 (UTC)


FeydHuxtable

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 FeydHuxtable

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Kingofaces43 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 19:47, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
FeydHuxtable (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
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Genetically_modified_organisms#Casting_aspersions : An editor must not accuse another of misbehavior without evidence, especially when the accusations are repeated or severe. This especially applies to accusations of being paid by a company to promote a point of view (i.e., a shill) or similar associations and using that to attack or cast doubt over the editor in content disputes. . .
  2. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Genetically_modified_organisms#Discretionary_Sanctions: Standard discretionary sanctions are authorised for all pages relating to genetically modified organisms, commercially produced agricultural chemicals and the companies that produce them, broadly construed.
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. March 14 2019 GMO aspersions principle violation (more in comment)
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 
  1. Jan 29 2019 Warned for violating GMO aspersions principle and uncivil behavior.
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Alerted about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, see the system log linked to above.[11]
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Background

In the last AE concerning FeydHuxtable, they cast WP:ASPERSIONS in violation of the GMO/pesticide behavioral DS. Because disruptive editors frequently used things like shill gambits to cast doubt over editors in content disputes or further battleground behavior, a principle was passed in the GMO/pesticide case. Admins, please be sure to read that in the listed sanctions above. ArbCom specifically said this is a problem in this topic area and cannot be dismissed as non-sanctionable behavior when it continues. That especially goes for when editors have been notified of the DS, including trying to game the principle by not "exactly" calling someone a shill, etc.

There was also confusion in that last AE, so let me be clear that the talk page content did involve pesticides, and these were the types of edits that do involve pesticides as main cause for insect declines, the center of the underlying content dispute, being worked on at multiple articles. More on application of the DS here.

Current issues

After that, I'd been trying to work with that same battleground behavior I reported that absolutely did not let up. Feyd filed a declined ArbCom case request against me accusing me of pro-corporate POV editing and linking that to pesticides with absolutely no evidence. Arbs pointed out that it was largely meritless and that a motion for sanctions against Feyd could be considered. Feyd also said there, I'm not suggesting he's a shill. But one doesn't need CoI to make overly pro-corporate edits., and accused me of "weaponizing" the DS which is also clear gaming of the GMO/pesticide aspersions principle. Editors who bristle at the DS in this topic like that has usually are the ones that need to be removed in some fashion. Ironically, I was saying in the underlying dispute that pesticides were actually a cause of insect declines, but it seems like their battleground mentality kept leading to Feyd repeatedly painting me as some pro-pesticide or pro-corporate editor and encourages others.

I could go into more on gaming the 1RR restriction and dealing with a litany of WP:TENDENTIOUS behavior from them. For brevity unless asked, I'm going to stick to the blatant violation of the aspersions principle since that establishes the continued battleground mentality most succinctly. Due to being warned in the last AE and continuing it yet again in an ArbCom request of all places, I'm formally requesting either a topic-ban from topics where pesticides and insects are involved or else a one-way interaction ban in order to prevent future disruption and harassment. I have never run into Feyd before this, and I don't expect to see them outside this topic either, so either might work without future issues.

Feyd has made a very clear battleground mentality known here for this subject, so some sort of sanctions are needed to prevent additional disruption from them so the rest of us can actually get back to work on content since these issues above scuttle attempts at doing that. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:47, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Procedural comments

  • Sandstein, admins cannot override Arbcom and call a direct violation of the aspersions principle "frivolous". The case was declined, and arbs said to take to to the admin boards. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:14, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Just a note that Joe Roe did say it was fine to file this at AE too. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:08, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Vanamonde, the aspersions principle was crafted to be very strict to prevent comments exactly like yours because some people would always waffle on it. Arbs at the declined case also mentioned that the evidence was lacking to justify the claims, violating the principle. The original GMO/pesticide case was started in part because ANI does not handle these violations well. It was meant to be explicit that such behavior is not tolerated anywhere where pesticides/GMOs come up because not removing it makes the environment toxic and disrupts content discussion (or dispute resolution), but instead encourages the battleground behavior I've been receiving here trying to paint me as also disruptive for following the DS and getting battleground behavior removed. We're reaching a point if admins keep ignoring that and contradicting ArbCom, this will become an ArbCom matter to discuss ways to further prevent what's happening in this discussion (including what it does to editors who report the violations). It shouldn't need to be though since this is supposed to be a cut and dry violation as we hammered out at the original case, so I'm only asking for the standard protection editors who are following the DS are supposed to get from that principle, which has so far failed. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:08, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Vanamonde, my position is quite clear the the DS and related principles are supposed to be enforced with some things that are not really debatable here without ArbCom changing certain motions (that discussions on pesticides are covered by the DS, and no aspersions, especially of the nature mentioned here). Arbcom's wheelhouse is defining the scope and what behavior is severely disruptive to the subject, and this discussion is running directly into issues with some of that. There is nothing battleground about that (don't shoot the messenger afterall), and I've made it clear in my comments at Goldenring's talk page that I despise any sort of cry WP:INVOLVED tactic. As for the declined case, arbs did not consider the aspersions principle as that was not the focus of what Feyd filed. That's why we are here as recommended since AN is not particularly for DS requests.
My comments to Goldenring are about direct misrepresentations accusing me of trying to drag a DS topic into an unrelated conversation in order to win a content dispute. I have to call that out since it is accusing me of something blatantly false with any reasonable understanding of the topic (and already mentioned as a good faith mistake that can be fixed). Pesticides came up almost right away in edits that had to be proposed because reviews covered, and Feyd mentioned, environmental stressors causing insect decline. The page already had plenty mentions of insecticides too prior. Feyd had been calling it "Fringe POV pushing" at the time, but once we started discussing what reviews actually said, then they switched to a you're editing from a Fringe pro pesticide POV. That's when I knew I had to stick to the DS strictly, and Feyd has been egging on these misrepresentations I mostly try to ignore up to this day.
I'm the last person to say I'm immune to criticism, but there's been too much directed at me that's also way out of line in this admin discussion. In addition to the sniping I've been subject to by Feyd, both those create an illusion of battleground behavior when one simply sticks to the DS and related principles. If the tables were turned and I as a long-term editor in this topic was the one casting aspersions about a "pro-corporate editor", I would be quickly sanctioned not only for that, but also for trying to game the DS by claiming things mentioned here like the DS not applying, especially if I did it at an admin or ArbCom board, a related page not having pesticide in the title, etc. Please be mindful of that double standard I'm currently being placed in because I've been following the DS carefully, so while I have very reasonable frustration over the current situation, calling that battleground, frivolous, or otherwise is not appropriate here. All I can do here is be extremely clear on what we worked on at the original ArbCom case so I can get back to working on the topic without these disruptions. Kingofaces43 (talk) 00:32, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • GoldenRing, I never called you WP:INVOLVED by acting at AE even before I fixed my typo that you would have seen before your post. I was saying an uninvolved admin should not be directly misrepresenting an editor as I explicitly told you that you were doing, and that it was fixable. Continuing down that path is what causes problems. We're at a point though that so many aspersions (shill-type or more general) have been cast about me and not been tamped down per the principle that I cannot address them with the current word limit outside of these procedural comments. I'm just asking the principle be enforced due to the explicit violations so I can go back to editing those articles again and work on fixing some of the underlying issues there (including some of Feyd's edits) without having to deal with the toxic behavior Feyd has been following me around with there and here already outlined at the declined case Feyd made. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:08, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

[12]


Discussion concerning FeydHuxtable

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 FeydHuxtable

I see King's just made an excellent talk page post concerning the subject of our dispute. IMO it's a different class to anything I've seen him post before. King had telegraphed he was going to launch this AE, so I already have diffs ready that hopefully demonstrates much of the above is not entirely accurate. (And possibly to make a case that King's the one who warrants a topic ban. In fairness Im unsure about this, my own conduct hasn't been perfect, it's hard to be objective when you're personally involved.) FeydHuxtable (talk) 21:30, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

@Golden Ring
FWIW, IMO DS is now applicable to Insect Decline. I've no objection to a 2-way iban, though I agree with Sandstein it may not be needed. Other editors have started to weigh in strongly for the mainstream view. and I doubt even King will try to edit war against the emerging consensus. I don't think there's been much personal animosity in the dispute. That said, Im also not impressed with yesterdays edit to your talk. If this goes to round 4 I'd switch to supporting sanctions for King. Considering his past conduct, I can't see a trip to ANI ending well for him. That said, King also has many fine qualities, and IMO he doesn't quite yet warrant a sanction. ( I can post a more detailed diff rich expansion if you're interested in my take on this.) FeydHuxtable (talk) 13:55, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Tryptofish

I have a general concern, as opposed to a specific comment about this filing. @Sandstein: as a long-time watcher of AE complaints in the GMO area, it seems to me that you have a blind spot when it comes to GMOs. I'm not questioning your good faith by any means, but I think that this has become a problem in the way that you have been responding to these kinds of requests. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:44, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

@Sandstein, thank you, yes, I'll go to your talk page soon. @All admins, if you have questions about whether or not insecticides fall within the scope of the GMO DS, perhaps the best way to resolve that would be for me to file a request for clarification to ArbCom. I was thinking about doing that, and will if you would like me to do so. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:31, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
@GoldenRing: Thank you for clarifying that, as well as for saving me the trouble of filing a request for clarification, which I can see is now no longer useful. I was going from where you had just said here that I am still dubious that the content at the base of all this actually falls under the scope of GMO DS. I do understand your point that the content did not include explicit mention of pesticides. However, that content was summarizing source material that attributes a large percentage of the decline in insect populations to the agricultural use of pesticides (which are obviously "agricultural chemicals" as the words are used in "genetically modified organisms, agricultural chemicals, and the companies that produce them, broadly construed"). And in fact, there are GM crops that have been designed specifically for the purpose of changing how insecticides are used on those crops. Consequently, it is inescapably true that any dispute between editors about how to summarize that source material must necessarily get into what the sources say about agricultural chemicals. And therefore, it is inaccurate to claim that an editor who points that fact out is somehow "weaponizing" the GMO DS to be used outside of their intended scope. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:20, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning FeydHuxtable

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • This is a frivolous request. The alleged misconduct consists of filing an arbitration case request. If arbitrators find the request problematic, they or their clerks will take appropriate action. We should close this without action. Sandstein 20:57, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Tryptofish: Your comment surprises me. I'm not aware of treating GMO issues that come to AE (which is not often the case) different from any other issues. Please contact me at my talk page to explain your concerns. Sandstein 10:46, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Editors are generally given more latitude with their language when filing requests for arbitration, because such requests necessarily involve allegations of misconduct. If every allegation was accurate, ARBCOM could be dissolved, because there would be nothing for them to examine. I do not see FeyHuxtable's comments straying beyond what is acceptable for an ARBCOM request. Furthermore, ARBCOM is able to impose sanctions (via motions) on editors filing vexatious requests. Only one arbitrator suggested such an action, and a motion was not even proposed. Even if I found merit to this request, I would hesitate to second-guess ARBCOM. Kingofaces: the request was not declined as "meritless". It was largely declined because other forms of dispute resolution had not been tried yet. AE is not a form of dispute resolution; nor have you brought evidence here from the original dispute. In conclusion, I see no basis for action here. Vanamonde (Talk) 02:17, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Kingofaces, your last comment is concerning, because your language suggests that any admin who disagrees with your interpretation of what happened is neglecting their duty, which itself smacks of a battleground mentality. You've also initiated or participated in discussions with six editors involved in the arbitration request or this one, essentially asking them why they didn't support your position in its entirety. We are not ignoring the evidence you've presented; we're judging it differently from you. Additionally, your comment is missing the point of what most of the arbs said. Most of them did not comment on the evidence at all; they recommended that other attempts at dispute resolution be attempted first. This isn't such an attempt, because you haven't brought forward any evidence from the initial dispute. Finally, since you ignored this point above; AE is not meant for policing the arbitration pages. The arbs and the clerks are more than capable of acting on any violations there themselves, and have done so in the past. This dispute needs to be examined in its entirety. I recommend that that happen at AN, but if you wish to present additional evidence here instead, please feel free. Vanamonde (Talk) 22:05, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with Sandstein and Vanamonde93 above - there is no basis for action in this particular request and the clerk team is capable of maintaining order at A/R/C without needing requests at AE. I'm also not particularly impressed with the claim that somehow having acted at AE makes me involved. However, stepping back a bit, there is clearly a dispute between these two that needs resolving. An interaction ban seems a good outcome to try; my only query is whether it can be done under GMO DS or whether we should send this back to the community at AN. I am still dubious that the content at the base of all this actually falls under the scope of GMO DS. @Sandstein and Vanamonde93: what say you? GoldenRing (talk) 10:05, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • An interaction ban is perhaps within scope of the DS, but I'm not seeing clear evidence that it is required - i.e., that the conflict between these two is disruptive to the work of other users. Sandstein 10:46, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @GoldenRing: I would hesitate to impose an interaction-ban here, because I do not think the behavioral issues have been explored in enough detail. Furthermore, behavioral and content-related issues tend to run together in some topics where reliable sources are not unanimous; this is one such situation. As such I think the community is better equipped to deal with this at the moment, and I think kicking this to AN would be the better option. Vanamonde (Talk) 17:15, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Tryptofish: I don't see any question over whether insecticides fall under GMO DS; they unquestionably do. My hesitation here is that the content that kicked all this off was a strict, quantitative description of insect population decline without any mention of pesticides. Since both parties now accept that DS covers the discussion, it's a moot point. GoldenRing (talk) 09:25, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Mountain157

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 Mountain157

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
MrClog (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 17:59, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Mountain157 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/India-Pakistan#Standard_discretionary_sanctions :
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 3 March 2019 After someone originally removed the content, which was then reverted, Mountain157 reverts it again without any explenation (not on the talk page, nor in the edit summary), violating WP:TALKDONTREVERT. This issue had been raised by another user on the talk page on 26 Feb already. Mountian157 also removes Pakistan as opponent of ISIL, whilst that edit had been sourced (including an article of The Indendent).
  2. 6 March 2019 Here a user removed Pakistan as ally, but got reverted by Mountain157 again. Whilst the user that originally removed Pakistan as ISIL ally didn't provide a good reason to do it (but at least attempted to), Mountain157 provides no information, whilst the listing of Pakistan as alledged ally was backed up by 3 articles of 1 Afghani news site (and Mountain157 also removed Afghani as the country that alledged Pakistan of supporting ISIL in diff 1) and seems pretty WP:UNDUE to mention as alledged ally in the infobox, whilst actively removing many other countries as alledged ally (see diff 3).
  3. 28 February 2019 Here the user removes India, Afghanistan and the US as alledges allies, keeping Pakistan in the infobox, whilst at least the US's allegation was backed up by the Washington Post and Al Jazeera.
  4. 26 February 2019 Here, the user that is being reverted by Mountain157 explained there edit on the page's talk page, whilst Mountain157 reverts the edit and doesn't respond to that talk page message.
  5. 13 December 2018 Here, the user removes sourced information regarding possible human right violations against Pakistani citizens, falsly claiming there is no evidence and calling the alledged killing of 2,000 citizens "neglectible".
  6. 2 January 2019 Here, the user tries to keep Pakistan as a confirmed ally of Al-Qaeda, reverting other people's sourced edits based on a false accusation of being a sockpuppet.
  7. 18 December 2018 Here, the user adds Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as confirmed allies of ISIL, citing questionable sources for at least Pakistan and Turkey allegations.
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 23 February 2019
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

I, as a West-European, really had no opinion on the India-Pakistan(-Afghanistan) conflict and didn't touch the issue until I saw a dispute on WP:DRN about it. This issue has been closed because it is premature (no discussion, as Mountain157 refused to discuss it) and because it seemed like the user wasn't interested in participating, as they removed the message informing them of the dispute from their talk page ([13]). Whilst no mediation work was necessary from me as a result, I did decide to dive into the issue and it became apparent to me that the user I am filing an enforcement request for had been editing disruptively, whilst WP:AC/DS are active on the page. The user has been blocked for editing disruptively before, for 48h at Dec 25 2018 by Black Kite.

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

[14] (- The user has removed the notice from their talk page. It is unclear if Mountain157 wishing to make a statement. 08:20, 19 March 2019 (UTC))


Discussion concerning Mountain157

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 Mountain157

Statement by Legacypac

Based on Mountain157's general conduct against other users (mainly I've seen issues at ANi) it ie time to do something. Legacypac (talk) 16:43, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Wikiemirati

Reported user has multiple occurrences of abusing infoboxes, which is itself a sanctioned action. Diffs:

  • [15] 5 February 2019 - Removing Pakistan as opponent of Haqqani Network
  • [16] 24 January 2019 - Adding Pakistan as allied to Taliban
  • [17] 17 December 2018 - Adding Pakistan as allied to Al Qaeda

I discussed OR changes extensively with reported user, he has demonstrated to be able to cease edit warring behavior. However, user clearly demonstrates battle ground behavior User_talk:SharabSalam/Archive_1#Wikiemirati and I was reported by him at both ANI and AN3 but reports were taken down with no action. Wikiemirati (talk) 00:28, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (username)

Result concerning Mountain157

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • These diffs are quite concerning. Adding the claim that Pakistan supports ISIL, based on statements from within the Afghan government, is already questionable: contentious claims require exceptional sourcing. Removing similar claims about other governments based on similar sources is unacceptable after having added such material about one government smacks of editing with an agenda. I would like to hear from Mountain157 before proposing any specific course of action. I will note that this editor has been a regular at the admin noticeboards, and that their editing there has frequently demonstrated a battleground attitude. Vanamonde (Talk) 18:38, 18 March 2019 (UTC)