Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is an old revision of this page, as edited by MJL (talk | contribs) at 21:15, 4 January 2024 (→‎Amendment request: Antisemitism in Poland: enact motion). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: GiantSnowman

Initiated by GiantSnowman at 09:59, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Case or decision affected
GiantSnowman arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GiantSnowman#MassRollback.js
  2. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GiantSnowman#GiantSnowman use of rollback
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • The restrictions related to the use of rollback (and associated scripts/tools) is lifted.
  • The restrictions related to the use of rollback (and associated scripts/tools) is lifted.

Statement by GiantSnowman

At my ArbCom case I was rightly admonished for incorrectly using rollback tools, inadvertently reverting valid edits when attempting to rollback vandalism. I have spent the past nearly 5 years manually checking and reverting vandalism instead, which is an onerous task and is now impacting on my ability to deal with socks (for example I have recently been collaborating with @Malcolmxl5: in dealing with Category:Suspected Wikipedia sockpuppets of HazemGM). I would therefore request that the restrictions related to rollback are lifted. I will only use rollback for clear vandalism/socks and I will endeavour to explain the reason for rollback in my edit summary (I say 'endeavour' is because, if I recall, that is only possible when using the mass rollback tool; if rollbacking individual edits a default edit summary is displayed instead).

Eventually I would like all restrictions formally lifted, although I intend to continue to abide by them indefinitely, and so welcome any general feedback on the same.

[in response to SilkTork] For that particular editor (long-time block evader, subject to multiple range blocks), I would rollback all edits for all new IPs per WP:DENY. GiantSnowman 16:48, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to SamX] So you admit adding unsourced content to a BLP? And then I sent you a non-templated message explaining why your behaviour was not acceptable? And your response was "Fair enough [...] Upon further reflection, I realize that my actions violated the spirit, if not the letter, of WP:BLP"? I then found a source for the content myself and added it to the article? So what's the issue now? What communication issues were there? GiantSnowman 18:20, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to SamX] You're raising concerns, 9 months later, that I didn't respond to a message on your talk page in which you had adequately dealt with the issues raised by my initial message? GiantSnowman 19:06, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to Barkeep49] Difficult one - see end of paragraph. Edits I might have rollbacked include e.g. this and this as clear vandalism, although I would probably have manually reverted even those. Edits I would not have rollbacked, despite also being clear vandalism, include this and this (as the 'height vandalism' is not always as obvious to third party editors). To be honest, having spent 5 years manually reverting vandalism, I would probably still do so, only using rollback for occasions where that is not practical. GiantSnowman 19:52, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to Sdrqaz] I think it would be helpful - for everyone, but including me - for you to give specific examples of alleged breaches, rather than just exceptionally vague comments. I have not knowingly or deliberately breached any restrictions, and such 'breaches' have not been raised with me prior to this discussion. GiantSnowman 14:00, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to Barkeep49] "with the exception of obvious vandalism" - if any of the 'breach' blocks are bad, please let me know. GiantSnowman 17:11, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to Sdrqaz] Of the three blocks you mention below, the first two both have three escalating warning notices (although not all from me, on the basis that it would be ludicrous for me to send a level 1 warning when other editors have sent level 3/4 and there is ongoing disruption), and the third was a block for edit warring despite warnings from multiple editors. I view all of them as being compliant with my restrictions, or at least within the spirit of them. Ignoring my restrictions, are any of those bad blocks? Of the two discussions linked to by Extraordinary Writ, the first one is from March 2019 (so nearly 5 years ago) and the second one is from June 2022 (18 months ago) and yes it was a bad block but done with good faith. GiantSnowman 11:08, 27 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to Ser!] You did not ping me and I did not see your message on the article talk page. Accordingly, do not assume I was ignoring you or similar. WP:AGF applies. It is sorely lacking in this entire discussion. GiantSnowman 13:29, 28 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[in response to ToBeFree] to clarify what I meant by "I intend to continue to abide by them indefinitely" - I was merely attempting to reassure the community that any lifting of restrictions would not see a repeat of the conduct which saw them introduced in the first place... GiantSnowman 10:47, 31 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by SamX

I'd like to draw the committee's attention to this interaction I had with GiantSnowman in March this year. I came across this diff during recent changes patrol. I was able to verify the veracity of the information with a quick Google search and I saw a mention of the loan later in the article so I didn't bother adding a reference, instead making a quick copyedit. GiantSnowman then dropped a boilerplate warning on my talk page. It wasn't a templated warning, but it was generic and akin to {{uw-biog1}}, and GS added an identical warning to the talk page of the IP that made the original edit. When I asked for clarification, his reply was curt and dismissive. In hindsight I probably should have checked the sources more thoroughly, but GiantSnowman's comments on my talk page weren't especially helpful and left a bad taste in my mouth. I know this is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things and doesn't directly relate to rollback, but I think it indicates that the communication issues that led to his editing restrictions have not been entirely resolved. SamX [talk · contribs] 18:01, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@ToBeFree: Thanks, I meant to link to this edit. SamX [talk · contribs] 18:32, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, sorry. :) ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:34, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
No, you were right! I actually just made that mistake again. I've just fixed it. SamX [talk · contribs] 18:36, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
[reply to GiantSnomwan] As I've said, I didn't add the information about the loan to the BLP; I just made some minor copyedits. Yes, I should have checked the sources cited in the article to make sure that they supported the loan itself, not just rumors of the loan. Your initial message on my talk page was generic and didn't make this distinction, and you didn't reply to any of my subsequent good-faith inquiries except to state what was already obvious. SamX [talk · contribs] 18:56, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
My own experience on GS aside, I agree with EW that the current restrictions are onerous and unnecessary. SamX [talk · contribs] 01:04, 18 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Extraordinary Writ

The GiantSnowman restrictions were an interesting experiment, but I think it's past time to admit that they're causing much more trouble than they're worth. Interpreted literally, GS can't block anyone except a vandal without providing "three escalating messages and template warnings" including "an appropriate self-composed message". Does he need to provide three warnings to sockpuppets? AE says yes. Does he need to provide three warnings for username violations? AN says yes. In practice the most stringent restrictions on blocking have been largely ignored, and the community hasn't really cared because of how absurd the results would be if we followed them to the letter. If GiantSnowman still retains the Committee's trust to be an administrator, at some point you also have to trust that he'll use basic tools like the block button and the rollback button appropriately. Just rescind all the restrictions. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 00:26, 18 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Sdrqaz, regarding GiantSnowman

I unfortunately find "Eventually I would like all restrictions formally lifted, although I intend to continue to abide by them indefinitely" jarring, given GiantSnowman's loose adherence to their other block-related restrictions (looking through their last few blocks, adherence seems to be highly rare).

The Committee should proceed very carefully: while I believe that the Community and Committee do not have the sufficient energy and motivation to ensure that such complicated restrictions are being followed, I'm worried about the message this would send to the Community. Is it that the 2019 Committee was so wrong on this issue that the 2023 Committee will forgive GiantSnowman's restriction violations? Committee members should consider whether it would take the same course of action with a non-administrator. Sdrqaz (talk) 23:43, 25 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

  • Barkeep, as you correctly point out, I have mixed feelings on this. I think that GiantSnowman's statement makes it seem as if they have been following their restrictions carefully ("continue to abide by [the restrictions] indefinitely" above) when that has not been the case. To move forward and consider modifications to them, I would (at least) need an acknowledgement that they haven't been followed and a good explanation for it. How the restrictions should be modified would hinge on that – my two final sentences from my previous post are things to consider instead of saying that we should shackle ourselves to the 2019 decision for the sake of it. Sdrqaz (talk) 00:38, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thank you, Barkeep. To be even more specific: from GiantSnowman's last 20 blocks, even if I discard the many blocks for socking and vandalism that violate the "three escalating messages" restriction, there are ones (a, b, c) that violate it. Regarding breaches not being raised, Extraordinary Writ has linked two noticeboard discussions where the closers pointed to the active restrictions.
    I like most of GiantSnowman's appeal: it seems reflective on what they did that led to the rollback restriction and it provides a decent reason for why they want it to be lifted. But the lack of direct response to requests to provide a reason for why they violated the other restrictions and the reply of "if any of the 'breach' blocks are bad, please let me know" seems to tread near a policy debate on whether "good" actions should be allowed, even if they're in violation of a restriction. That's disappointing, unfortunately. Sdrqaz (talk) 03:04, 27 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Ser!

Similar to SamX above, I want to draw the committee's attention to an interaction I had with GiantSnowman in September this year which seems directly relevant to this request. On Louie Barry, I removed a line I felt wasn't due for inclusion. In the interim, another editor made an edit to the infobox, before GiantSnowman reverted both edits with the summary "Rv to last good version". No mention of the edit that I made, just that his version was the "last good version". Assuming that this was an error on GS's part and that the infobox edit had been vandalism, I removed the content, only to be reverted again and told "Do not remove again per BRD." WP:BRD says "BRD is never a reason for reverting", so of course I asked for clarification on the talk page. In the reply that came, I did get the clarification on why he removed the content (fair enough, glad to have gotten some explanation about it), but nothing about the BRD. So I asked again and received no reply. Much like SamX, this lack of communication left a sour taste in my mouth, and given GS's original sanction came for lack of edit summaries and usage of reverts, I feel this interaction involving insufficient edit summaries for reverts and then misapplication of WP:BRD bears noting. ser! (chat to me - see my edits) 13:14, 28 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

[in response to GiantSnowman] Sure, I didn't ping, but given you had pretty prominently and repeatedly edited the page it felt fair to assume you had it on your watchlist and had come across the original edits that way, rather than just manually patrolling it. This report contained nothing about "ignoring", just the fact that I did not get a response. I've assumed good faith throughout. The point about you not answering regarding BRD on the talk page when asked and having not explained in the edit summary in the first place still stands. ser! (chat to me - see my edits) 13:40, 28 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statment by SMcCandlish (on GiantSnowman request)

"[T]his entire restriction is too onerous to continue indefinitely absent apparent ongoing problems" seems right to me. So does the observation that the restriction was put in place in lieu of a probable desysop. It's rather weird for us to have an admin (and I'm aware there are a couple of others) allowed to retain the tools but also placed under a restriction because of misuse of them (or other admin-unbecoming behavior, in the other couple of cases I know of). It's unusual, and should not be a permanent situation, nor a precedent to keep doings things like this. Either the admin regains the trust in reasonably short order, or they have failed to do so and should no longer be an admin. WP:ROPE is a long-standing principle, and should just be applied. GS clearly would understand that it's a thin-ice situation and be extra-careful with rollbacking (rollingback?). I don't see any good rationale for a new custom restriction (especially one that seems to make some other random admin into GS's "judge", in a hypothetical situation in which that admin would be WP:INVOLVED already anyway).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:33, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Removing the extant restriction and replacing it with something like "A rough consensus of administrators at WP:AE or WP:AN may impose restrictions on (or remove permission for) GiantSnowman's use of rollback" might make more sense. No need for anything more "bespoke"; just use the extant admin-action-reviewing processes that don't re-invoke direct ArbCom involvement.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:35, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

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.

GiantSnowman: Clerk notes

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

GiantSnowman: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Hi GiantSnowman. Could you explain how you would use rollback on Category:Suspected Wikipedia sockpuppets of HazemGM. Is the intention to roll back all the edits done under those IP addresses, or just edits that are or may be problematic? SilkTork (talk) 16:07, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Extraordinary Writ, if I recall, a desysop was on the cards until the restrictions remedy was offered. And given, as you helpfully point out, that GS broke one of the restrictions last year, which was discovered when GS was taken to AN for what was felt to be an inappropriate block, I'm not so certain regarding the "If GiantSnowman still retains the Committee's trust..." I would rather GS remained an admin to do positive work on the project. But to allow GS to retain the tools, I think I'd prefer to keep the restrictions in place for the time being. I think it is possible that if GS made a mistake with mass rollback, and a complaint was brought to ArbCom, it might be difficult for the Committee to allow GS to retain the admin toolkit. SilkTork (talk) 01:15, 18 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • GS's response to ST makes me uneasy after reviewing the case. --Guerillero Parlez Moi 16:52, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm open to lifting at least some of the restrictions, particularly "He may not revert another editor's contribution without providing an explanation in the edit summary. This includes use of MediaWiki's rollback function, any tool or script that provides a similar function, and any manual revert without an edit summary. Default edit summaries, such as those provided by the undo function or Twinkle's rollback feature, are not sufficient for the purpose of this sanction." KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 18:41, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I think this entire restriction is too onerous to continue indefinitely absent apparent ongoing problems. I think I am open to either removing it entirely, or replacing them with something along the following: In the event that an uninvolved administrator expresses concern to GiantSnowman about his use of the rollback (including reverts without explanatory edit summary) and/or block tools, concerning either a particular instance or a pattern of actions, GiantSnowman must cease use of the rollback (including reverts without explanatory edit summary) and block tools until the concern has been discussed and resolved to the satisfaction of the uninvolved administrator. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 17:41, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • GS: can you give a few examples of some rollbacks you'd have done in a non-mass setting? Barkeep49 (talk) 19:34, 17 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I am ready to support removing the prohibition on mass rollback. I'd rather remove the regular rollback restriction at the same time as the communication remedy given that I see those two as more related than rollback is to mass rollback. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:26, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    @Sdrqaz: I am not completely sure I understand what you want to happen. Because you seem to be equally saying "I think the 2019 committee erred in passing these restrictions and it's too complicated to be enforced" and saying "But now that this mistake has been made, we're stuck with it less we send a bad message to the community." Do I have that right? As there is a reasonable chance you could be voting on the outcome of this case, and because I am uninterested as I noted above in voting for the motion under consideration, I want to make sure I understand your stance. Barkeep49 (talk) 00:13, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    @GiantSnowman I think the concern is about He may not block an editor without first using at least three escalating messages and template warnings and I think if you look at your 10 most recent blocks you will see any number of ones where there aren't three escalating messages. I can infer my own reasoning about why that is in some cases but obviously your saying why would be more helpful.
    More generally, this is why I am only supportive of allowing for mass rollback. That's what the request was for and that's what we have evidence (or in this case absence of evidence) of following the restriction (or not). Barkeep49 (talk) 17:08, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    A general comment after some discussion with the incoming arbs about this request. For all the problems that have been identified, both with the restriction itself (very complex, had to enforce) and GS's conduct with-in it, which seems to honor the spirit behind the restriction more than the intent or wording (which doesn't bother me in a IAR sense but I can understand why it might bother others), I think GiantSnowman's case is a success story of not defaulting to removing adminship when there has been substantive issues found. In the 12 months prior to the case, GiantSnowman's conduct was regularly troublesome and was taking up a real amount of the community's time to handle. In the years since that has not been the case, while GS has continued to use the administrative toolset to the advantage of the project. And that's true even if we're not entirely thrilled with how he's followed the blocking restriction. In a time of decreasing admin capacity finding ways we can hold admin accountable while still preserving some of their capacity is something I hope we find other ways of doing. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:47, 30 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • I honestly don't like this restriction to start with, per my normal dislike of large custom restrictions on individual users. I generally agree with EW's feelings here, and am open to a complete lift or something along the lines of what L235 proposed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GeneralNotability (talkcontribs) 00:02, 21 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Hm.
    • I don't like the restrictions: They shouldn't be needed, and they seem to have been proven impractical to enforce (Sdrqaz's statement).
    • I don't like the request either:
      • "I would rollback all edits for all new IPs per WP:DENY":
        When the word "all" appears in a multiple choice test, it's a red flag because exceptions will likely exist, making the answer wrong. Using the word in a manually written answer, twice, sounds unwise. HazemGM seems to favor editing biographies of living persons; many of their edits are like Special:Diff/1181717483. Such edits can be rollbacked, but they're neither vandalism nor damaging the encyclopedia, nor should one blindly rollback BLP edits en masse. The provided justification is "denying recognition"; that's a weak justification pointing to an essay. WP:BMB/WP:BE exist and primarily deny success rather than recognition. To illustrate the difference, there's a lot of recognition here on this page right now, but the success is threatened by the amount of people looking at the contributions and considering reverts.
      • "Eventually I would like all restrictions formally lifted, although I intend to continue to abide by them indefinitely...":
        Really? The justification for requesting the restrictions' removal is how "onerous" and "impacting" they are. That's understandable. Why, then, would one intend to continue to abide by them indefinitely? "I'd like to be freed from jail, but I intend to stay inside indefinitely"? I wouldn't.
    I'm unsure in which direction the current situation should be changed, but it should probably be changed. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 01:26, 31 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I wonder how happy you would be with the first draft motion. It doesn't restrict which concerns can be raised with GS, which in a sense a broadening of the current set of restrictions. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 04:36, 31 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I thought about this for a while because opposing something that is a step in the right direction isn't easy, but it's unfortunately the result of my thoughts. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:35, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    (as acknowledged to GiantSnowman by sending a "Thanks" before already, but for the record: Thanks for the clarification.) ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:36, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • These are my (Z1720) thoughts and do not represent the committee as a whole: I was content with the responses GiantSnowman gave to Barkeep49, Silktork, and a lesser extent Sdrqaz. I am not impressed with the tone of their responses to SamX, and a lesser extent Ser! For me, the self-reflective nature of GS’s responses to BK is much preferred over the tone used in their responses to SamX. I hope GS reflects on why I have this impression and makes changes to their tone when talking to others. If GS wants more clarification from me on the above, they can email me and I’m happy to give additional thoughts privately.
Concerning GS's sanctions: I agree with the statements above that they should not stay as-is. Some restrictions are complicated, impractical, and/or difficult to enforce. Others are common sense and should be adhered to by all admin regardless of sanctions or not. Others are no longer needed because of GS’s improvements since the case was decided. I will be supporting some sort of restriction(s) on GS but they should not be as strict or complicated as the ones given after the 2019 case. I think the motions proposed below are a good start but not quite what I'm looking for. I’m currently brainstorming by myself and with arbitrators about what the restrictions should be; if editors have thoughts, either about what worked/did not work with the current sanctions or what the new sanctions should be, feel free to post them. I’m also mindful that this motion has been open for a long time, and want to see this motion decided upon soon. Z1720 (talk) 00:36, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • My thoughts largely align with ToBeFree and Z1720; there has been a reasonable argument made for lifting the rollback restriction (and avoiding such a complex bespoke sanction), but I am not fully convinced that the issues will not arise in the future. The first motion below, which is not yet open for voting, at least allows for a process by which any potential recidivism can be formally evaluated. Primefac (talk) 14:20, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • See § Statement by Sdrqaz, regarding GiantSnowman above. I don't really agree with ToBeFree's prison analogy: I had viewed it as a commitment to follow the restrictions until they're lifted, not forever. Sdrqaz (talk) 03:53, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Motion: GiantSnowman (December 2023)

Remedy 1.2 of the GiantSnowman case ("GiantSnowman admonished and placed under review") is amended to read as follows:

1.2) GiantSnowman is admonished for overuse of the rollback and blocking functions, and reminded to "lead by example" and "strive to model appropriate standards of courtesy"; to "respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrative actions and to justify them when needed"; to not use admin tools in "cases in which they have been involved" including "conflicts with an editor" and "disputes on topics"; to "treat newcomers with kindness and patience"; and to apply these principles in all interactions with all editors.

In the event that an uninvolved administrator expresses concern to GiantSnowman about his use of the rollback (including reverts without explanatory edit summary) and/or block tools, concerning either a particular instance or a pattern of actions, GiantSnowman must cease use of both tools until the concern has been discussed and resolved to the satisfaction of the uninvolved administrator.

[Concerns expressed under this remedy are arbitration enforcement actions that may be requested at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard and appealed as described at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Procedures § Standard provision: appeals and modifications. However, concerns that are resolved within a relatively short period (presumptively less than two weeks) need not be logged.]

Comments by arbitrators

  • Proposing for discussion. I'll open this to a vote today if there are no suggestions. I'd like to get this wrapped up before the new year. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 18:25, 24 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    This allows an administrator to TBAN another administrator unilaterally for any infraction. Which isn't unheard of, but I think we've mostly tended toward use of AE in such a circumstance...? Izno (talk) 20:00, 24 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Would it help if AE appeals were explicitly allowed? Just put the last paragraph in, in brackets. I want the "concern" process to feel lightweight, less like a "sanction" in itself. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 20:42, 24 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm unsure of the value of it just being admins who could raise concerns, so I prefer the notion of any concerned individual raising an issue at AE. However, I am even more unsure of the benefits to either GS or the project as a whole in lifting this restriction, so I would likely oppose. SilkTork (talk) 15:58, 25 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • I will be opposing this --Guerillero Parlez Moi 05:39, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • As this is replacing a custom, user-tailored restriction with just another custom, user-tailored restriction – and I hope I'll be forgiven for calling this type of restrictions an attempt to make the community "babysit" an administrator – I'd probably oppose it. I'm particularly unhappy about the wording "resolved to the satisfaction of the uninvolved administrator" (their superior, suddenly; their mentor; I won't repeat another possible term), but it's not a wording issue; I'm not a fan of the general idea. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:30, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    This isn't that bespoke of a sanction. It essentially amounts to "any administrator may ban GiantSnowman from making rollbacks and blocks", said a bit more nicely. Which is not an uncommon structure (see e.g. WP:CTOP). KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 01:14, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Motion: GiantSnowman restrictions lifted (December 2023)

Remedy 1.2 of the GiantSnowman case ("GiantSnowman admonished and placed under review") is retitled as "GiantSnowman admonished" and amended to read as follows:

1.2) GiantSnowman is admonished for overuse of the rollback and blocking functions, and reminded to "lead by example" and "strive to model appropriate standards of courtesy"; to "respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrative actions and to justify them when needed"; to not use admin tools in "cases in which they have been involved" including "conflicts with an editor" and "disputes on topics"; to "treat newcomers with kindness and patience"; and to apply these principles in all interactions with all editors.

  1. I think the "concern" process I proposed above is distracting from the main point, which is that these restrictions seem unduly onerous and should be lifted absent evidence they should remain in effect. I'm not persuaded to retain them by what's been presented here at this ARCA. I would therefore lift the restrictions. These can be reinstated upon request here at ARCA. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 09:23, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  2. I concur with Kevin. I also remind GiantSnowman that the existence of these restrictions in the first place means that their actions will be subject to extra scrutiny, and so they should take extra care in use of rollback. If we find ourselves here again in the future because of similar issues, I will be quite unhappy. GeneralNotability (talk) 15:22, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Sdrqaz, I generally agree with your concern of this possibly sending the wrong message to the community. Your example "c", blocking AltagraciaRD after a single warning, is a clear violation of the requirement to "not block an editor without first using at least three escalating messages and template warnings" (restriction 2). Still, I can not oppose the removal of a problematic restriction just because someone has provided an example of a situation in which it has been proven to be problematic. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:50, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  4. I fall squarely here. It appears that GiantSnowman has generally kept out of trouble since the case closed, and to me that's the key part, as it would seem that an administrator under restrictions would really be under the spotlight as concerns further misuse of tools. If some actions were generally within the bounds of admin discretion, I don't think it's unreasonable to look the other way if they didn't entirely follow the letter of a complex restriction. At this point, the case closed almost five years ago, meaning that it's approaching the "ancient history" pile. It would be best to lift the restrictions outright, with an implicit or explicit understanding that if issues similar to those from the case arise, then the outcome would very possible be a desysop, and not to reimpose restrictions. Maxim (talk) 13:10, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  5. GiantSnowman has come to us with a reasonable appeal, and so I see no reason not to lift this restriction. Each user is responsible for all edits they make. Administrators are adults, and they reap the consequences of their actions. GiantSnowman says they'll follow the rules. I will take them at their word, as they remain an administrator in good standing. Should they fail to use rollback responsibly, we'll be back here, but I will not be so understanding. Whether this works is up to GiantSnowman. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 21:05, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Struck vote of former arbitrator I see no advantage to the project nor to GiantSnowman in lifting restrictions which have worked, and have benefited GiantSnowman by keeping them out of trouble. I do, however, see the potential for harm, if the restrictions are lifted and GiantSnowman then makes an error. That the appeal came with an example of wanting to perform wholesale rolling back of hundreds of beneficial albeit minor edits such as [1], has given me cause for concern. SilkTork (talk) 14:02, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  1. Per Sdrqaz. We shouldn't reward not following restrictions. --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 08:37, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  2. This motion would essentially remove all restrictions, which I oppose at this time. Some restrictions are still needed so GS can show their improvements gradually, instead of potentially making a mistake and going back to harsher sanctions; even GS implies in their statement that they are not asking for a complete removal at this time. This vote doesn't mean I support indefinite sanctions but rather hope that GS will adhere to some restrictions and apply for their complete removal at a later time. Z1720 (talk) 15:46, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Per my comments elsewhere in this discussion. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:15, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Per my comments on the other motion below. firefly ( t · c ) 22:19, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  5. I agree with Z1720's assessment, in particular regarding the information by Sdrqaz about the non-adherence to the restriction currently in place. The current restriction as worded needs adjustment in one way or another, but removing it entirely does not appear to be the best solution at this time. - Aoidh (talk) 22:34, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  6. My thoughts on this motion has not changed since December (see § Statement by Sdrqaz, regarding GiantSnowman); it should come as no surprise that I am opposing it. ToBeFree's point about not opposing "the removal of a problematic restriction just because someone has provided an example of a situation in which it has been proven to be problematic" is a reasonable one, but this motion goes too far in seemingly endorsing the mentality that because something was good, it doesn't matter whether it was done in violation of a restriction. Sdrqaz (talk) 03:53, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Per my comments above in the general discussion. Primefac (talk) 07:42, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Comments by arbitrators

Motion: GiantSnowman restrictions amended (January 2024)

Remedy 1.2 of the GiantSnowman case ("GiantSnowman admonished and placed under review") is amended to read as follows:

1.2) GiantSnowman is admonished for overuse of the rollback and blocking functions, and reminded to "lead by example" and "strive to model appropriate standards of courtesy"; to "respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrative actions and to justify them when needed"; to not use admin tools in "cases in which they have been involved" including "conflicts with an editor" and "disputes on topics"; to "treat newcomers with kindness and patience"; and to apply these principles in all interactions with all editors.

With the exception of obvious vandalism or obvious violations of the policy on biographies of living persons:

  • GiantSnowman is prohibited from reverting another editor's contribution without providing an explanation in the edit summary. Default edit summaries provided by MediaWiki or user scripts are not sufficient for the purpose of this restriction. For the avoidance of doubt, use of MediaWiki rollback with an edit summary via a user script such as this one, or via massRollback.js, is permitted.
  • GiantSnowman is prohibited from blocking an editor who has not been recently warned for the conduct in question. For the purposes of this restriction, "recently" is assumed to be within 7 days.

Violations may be reported by any editor to the Arbitration Enforcement noticeboard. GiantSnowman may appeal these restrictions directly to the Arbitration Committee at any time.

  1. Second choice. Less bespoke than the original sanction, which is an improvement, but still tiresome to navigate. At nearly five years out from the case, it would be simpler to remove the restrictions, unless GiantSnowman expresses that they wish for some sanctions to remain. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 21:12, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  2. A reasonable retooling --Guerillero Parlez Moi 21:19, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Per my comments below. firefly ( t · c ) 22:18, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think this addresses most of my concerns with the (December) motion. I will revisit this if necessary based on other arb feedback to my question below. Barkeep49 (talk) 22:32, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Striking, at least temporarily, my support (which given the 2nd choice votes means I think this is currently not passing). Sdqraz has questions about how this handles sockpuppetry and since this motion doesn't actually solve the issues of people with concerns before I'm not yet ready to support it. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:46, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  4. This is a more clear and concise reworking of the original restriction that makes it easier for GiantSnowman to work within. - Aoidh (talk) 22:39, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Second choice.
    I'd like to make a general comment about bespoke sanctions like here, which is that they take much more work to maintain, revisit, revise, and enforce than standardized sanctions. In this case, it's probably worth it. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 23:21, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  6. First choice. Z1720 (talk) 02:23, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Second choice. Maxim (talk) 15:30, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  8. This strikes a good balance between total removal and doing nothing, simplifying the existing restriction to make it easily remembered and easily enforced. Primefac (talk) 07:41, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Comments by arbitrators
  • Proposed for discussion after some chat on the list. Arbs - please feel free to copyedit the motion as you see fit. I am very torn on this ARCA - on the one hand the restrictions in GiantSnowman admonished and placed under review are extremely complex and difficult to enforce. On the other hand, they do seem to have had a positive impact as Barkeep49 notes above. I also feel that if restrictions are felt to be "absurd" or otherwise overbearing (Extraordinary Writ's submission, and for clarity I don't necessarily disagree with EW's sentiment) that the proper resolution is to file a request to have them amended, not for them to be partially ignored, as doing so sets a poor example to the community. Like Sdrqaz and Guerillero, I find it very hard to 'reward' ignoring ArbCom restrictions.
  • This motion is a half-way point between the status quo and removing the restrictions entirely, by removing all but the core restrictions. It hinges in part on the idea that you can have the convenience of Rollback while providing an explanation in your edit summary via various user scripts. They pop up a message box when the [rollback] link is clicked, and if you fill the box in, that is used as the edit summary. firefly ( t · c ) 09:59, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm broadly supportive of this, but do want to note that the "standard exceptions" piece has been troubling for some arbs. Had this motion been in place would it have addressed the concerns those arbs had about GS past actions? Because if not I don't think we're setting anyone up for success. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:57, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    FWIW if it is felt that the restrictions should apply without exception I would probably support that version of the motion as well. firefly ( t · c ) 17:21, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I'd support this as a second choice, but would appreciate removing the "obvious exceptions" language and instead saying something like "with the exception of obvious vandalism or obvious violations of the policy on biographies of living persons". To be especially clear, BANEX permits reverting obvious vandalism; I would also permit blocking over obvious vandalism. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 18:44, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That's a reasonable tweak, essentially copying the BANEX language and ensuring it applies to both actions as you say. I've made the amendment - pinging Guerillero and CaptainEek as they have already voted. firefly ( t · c ) 22:18, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Fine by moi. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 22:19, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • What are people's thoughts on blocks for sockpuppetry? We don't tend to give warnings for socking, and GiantSnowman has carried out such blocks without the warning system, as I highlighted above. I've also added a link to this place in the last sentence of the motion to clarify where an appeal should be made. Hopefully that's uncontroversial. Sdrqaz (talk) 03:53, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I would support excepting sockpuppetry from the restriction, but I would also support repealing the restriction entirely, so I suppose my willingness to except sockpuppetry doesn't help much. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 08:08, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Sdrqaz I agree that we don't tend to give warnings for socking - it's not something that warnings resolve. We could amend the exceptions to With the exception of obvious vandalism, or obvious violations of the policies on sockpuppetry or the biographies of living people: but at that point are we moving too far toward the "bespoke and complex" situation that is part of the reason we are here. Thoughts, anyone? :)
    It may also be worth clarifying the potential consequences for violation of the restriction, given that AE doesn't typically handle cases of this type. For instance, do we want to add wording clarifying that a rough consensus of administrators at AE can impose restrictions on GiantSnowman's use of rollback? firefly ( t · c ) 12:15, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Regarding carve-outs for sock-blocks: This was talked about in the case's PD; it was noted that GS did not frequent SPI and, if they discovered sockpuppetry during anti-vandal patrolling, they could report it at SPI or AVI for another admin to handle. Five years later, I don't think GS is working at SPI and I would prefer that they avoid sock-blocks until and unless they start frequenting that area. I also note that GS's statement only requests lifting rollback restrictions, not blocking restrictions for socking. I think this motion should not carve an exemption for blocks concerning sockpuppeting or other obvious violations. Instead, GS can ask for help from other admin. GS could file a new request in a couple months if they realise that the blocking restriction is preventing positive contributions. After saying all that, a socking exception would not be a deal-breaker for me for approving sanctions. Z1720 (talk) 16:10, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Regarding other carve-outs: the case's PD also talked about other carve-outs for obvious vandalism: arbs in 2018/19 were worried that GS was unable to distinguish between obvious vandalism and good-faith efforts, and that too many carve-outs would make the sanctions meaningless. Several years later, I think we can allow GS to show their knowledge of the distinction and allow an obvious-vandalism carve-out. However, when I say "obvious", I mean the extreme cases (like blanking a page and replacing it with a swear word). If there is any ambiguity or doubt, even the smallest amount, GS should seek out additional input from admin colleagues or just return to the three-warning system. The definition of "obvious" should be stricter for GS than the typical admin. Z1720 (talk) 16:10, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Regarding AE: I think AE is the proper place for concerns with GS's use of rollback can be expressed. Specific instructions for admin can be given in a motion; I am brainstorming some wording and hope to post it soon. Perhaps the consequences of violating the sanctions can be proposed as a new motion below, to not mess up the counts of the previous motions. Z1720 (talk) 16:10, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I am convinced enough by your analysis that I would probably recommend against a carve-out for sockpuppetry. As for the other carve outs, we could add some language around "narrowly construed", but I wonder whether our commentary here would be enough guidance to GiantSnowman to interpret "obvious vandalism" strictly.
    Happy with a follow-on motion to avoid (further) complicating counts here, personally. firefly ( t · c ) 16:46, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Amendment request: Antisemitism in Poland

Initiated by SMcCandlish at 03:08, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Case or decision affected
Antisemitism in Poland arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland#Article sourcing expectations
  2. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland#Extended confirmed restriction
List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request

Information about amendment request
  • Change "Polish" and "Poland" to "Polish or Lituanian" and "Poland or Lithuania", respectively.
  • Change both ocurrences of "Poland" to "Poland or Lithuania"

Statement by SMcCandlish (on Antisemitism in Poland → Lithuania)

Alternatively, change the scope more broadly to "Eastern Europe" and "Eastern European" so we don't have to do this again for another country in a month or a year.

Rather than name specific parties and pile up a bunch of diffs of individual naughtiness, it is more instructive for ArbCom to simply skim this ongoing ANI thread (permanlink).

The short version is that all of the disruptive behavior types that swirled around the subject area of Nazis in Poland, Polish Nazi collaboration, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust in Poland, and Poland's roles in WWII have simply jumped ship one country over, to Lithuania. (Indeed, one of the regular participants in the LT disruption is especially noted for their intense interest in the now-WP:CTOP PL subject area). While the ANI thread is focused on two individual editors, the underlying issues, including difficulty in establishing which sources are reliable (many of them not being in English), adhere also to the Lithuanian branch of this, well, contentious set of subjects. Even if both of the parties alluded to were topic-banned or blocked, it is clear that others would simply take their place.

I suggested in the middle of that ANI thread that an ARCA to just extend the scope of the existing WP:ARBAPL case to cover LT would be the best solution, since ANI was clearly not equipped to deal with it, but all the "machinery" is already in place for PL and easily extended for LT (or even Eastern Europe generally). This idea was met with a lot of support, but no one wanted to open the ARCA request, so I got "volunteeered". :-)

I think this amendment is the best outcome, because ANI's not going to fix this, the disruption level is high and intractable, the nature of problems within the dispute are essentially identical, and a new "WP:ARBALT" RfArb case would be time-consuming and redundant when this can be resolved by motion. Any continuing disruption in the topic area would be quickly soluble by admins with CTOP at their disposal, as it has been working for the Polish variants of these editorial conflicts.

PS: If I'm required to name some specific parties and go diff-farming, I can do so, but it would be a depressing slog, and what's already diffed in the ANI is probably sufficient, as to the two most-disputatious present editors in the subject. I think it would be more long-term useful to CTOP the subject than to pillory two particular disruptors who would not be able to continue being disruptive for long under CTOP. PPS: I have no involvement in the topic area at all.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:08, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

  • Barkeep49's user-talk thread is interesting. I hadn't really considered an amendment to the WP:ARBEE case instead, just because this all seemed so bound up in Nazis and the Holocaust in particular. That said, given the nature of the subject matter, the more stringent sourcing requirements of WP:ARBAPL are probably worth imposing for LT anyway for the same reasons as for PL. As for ArbCom acting as AE, I don't spend a lot of time in these haunts, but trust that the issues in the subject area will get dealt with one way or another. Aside: A couple of folks at ANI have also suggested just having anti-Semitism in general be the scope of ARBAPL, or being its own CTOP.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:13, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Re, I'm reluctant for us to start naming parties and collecting diffs without a specific ask from a community member: In that case, I'm making the ask. I'd hoped to just get a quick scope-expansion motion and let AE or other CTOP admins deal with disruptive persons, but if two Arbs are already wanting to examine "as AE" those most-involved editors' behavior in particular, in lieu of or aside from the scope change, then I guess that's where we're going. Do I need to manually add parties and drop user-talk notices?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  04:25, 19 December 2023 (UTC); rev'd. 08:56, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Can't speak for specific other individuals of course, but I think the rough answer to the restriction becomes meaningless if editors are disinclined to seek enforcement .... puzzled as why Marcelus went to ANI rather than returning to AE, is that the overlapping scopes of various CTOP things and other cases are not always clear to everyone. E.g., I've been here 18 years but didn't think to propose this as an ARBEE amendment or consider that EE in general might be inclusive enough of this already, because a more specific PL case was particularly about Nazis and anti-Semitism. I.e., it seemed like the Nazi stuff had to be in Poland to be covered by CTOP. Anyway, if more stringent sourcing restrictions are ported from PL to LT, the regulars in the latter topic are likely to figure it out.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:42, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    "I was thinking of adding [RS consensus required] just for EE" makes sense to me, and should resolve the "they'll just move one more country over" problem.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:45, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    @City of Silver:: I tend to agree with your take on Pofka's input here (though I am not a subject-matter expert, abusing ARCA to advance a PoV like this is clearly wrongheadeded). Part of my goal in opening this ARCA with a scope-expansion or other remedy-applicabilty change request, without naming specific parties and diff-digging into per-editor specifics to seek topic bans or other such remedies regarding specific persons, is that AE itself would be able to routinely handle any future problems of this sort, as long as it's clear that the subject is under one or more scopes to which AE remedies are applicable. That would be more efficient than ArbCom cases about individuals' behavior.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:42, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Extraordinary Writ

ArbCom taking this up as an AE matter would probably be a good idea. It attracted very little admin attention when it last came up at AE (HJ Mitchell and I were the only sysops to comment in detail over the three weeks the request was open), no doubt because slogging through all this is not anyone's idea of fun. We issued a logged warning for some fairly clear-cut overpersonalization, but I can't help but think we only scratched the surface, and the dispute continues to fester. A full case might be useful in getting to the bottom of all this, as it was in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Armenia-Azerbaijan 3 earlier this year; to be honest, though, I'm increasingly wondering if it wouldn't be better to just topic-ban all the leading disputants for consistent WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior that's wasted an inordinate amount of the community's time. I don't believe heightening the sourcing requirements or imposing an ECR would resolve what is at bottom an interpersonal disagreement among a handful of editors. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 04:18, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Ostalgia

So as to not leave OP in the lurch after several of us expressed support for opening this case (we sort-of coaxed him into it), I'll drop my 2 cents here. The ANI thread is tainted by a history of problems between two users and by the constant casting of aspersions, but this should not obscure the fact that issues with editing topics relating to WWII, collaborationism, antisemitism and the Holocaust are not limited to Poland (nor is it limited to Lithuania either - I do not remember the exact details but earlier this year we had a RM that would have removed references to the SS from the title of an article on one of the "national" SS divisions, which is problematic). I do not mean to imply that the user reported at ANI was actively engaged in the intentional whitewashing of figures with a checkered past, but it is undeniable that many national historiographies in the region have engaged in revisionism, and this eventually trickles down to Wikipedia, with or without ill intent on the part of individual editors. This is especially true of the more "niche" areas, where knowledge of less popular languages is required and only a minority of users work. Having source restrictions and more community/administrative oversight over the area would be welcome. Cheers. Ostalgia (talk) 09:57, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Just mentioning that I, too, would be more satisfied with a wider net being cast, covering all of EE. I am not hinting at the possibility of country-hopping so much as to the possibility of new actors "organically" popping up in EE countries pushing some revisionist positions. Ostalgia (talk) 06:16, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
...and the recent intervention by Pofka shows exactly why this amendment is needed. Ostalgia (talk) 19:01, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Since I was pinged, I will respond. This is not a noticeboard so I have no intention of engaging in a discussion with Pofka, but I feel some things have to be clarified. The basic premise of his message is off. The (pre-war) Norwegian government did not collaborate with the Germans, but Vidkun Quisling's government did, and we have (understandably, I'd say) written about it, and even have an individual article documenting this collaboration. I feel like Pofka's entire post is, again, an exercise in excluding from history those episodes in the Lithuanian past that can be considered distasteful. The allegation of such behaviour (on the part of another user) is quite literally what started this entire mess (NB: once again, this is not something exclusive to Lithuania).
While this is not a content dispute, I feel I also have to address the overall portrayal of the period painted by Pofka. I do not think anyone claims interwar Lithuania was an officially antisemitic state, but the very fact that Smetona's opponents nicknamed him the "King of the Jews" in an attempt to tarnish his reputation only shows that a) his rivals were more openly antisemitic and b) there was a societal stigma tied to associating with the Jews that they sought to exploit. But it was not only an issue with opponents of the ruling regime. Allow me to add a few excerpts from a recent (2019) UCLA dissertation that illustrate how the situation of the Jews before the war was far from being as rosy as portrayed by Pofka:
Excerpts from "Strangers and Sojourners: The Politics of Jewish Belonging in Lithuania, 1914-1940"
  • "Smetona disbanded the parliament, filled the government with members of his own ethnic nationalist party (and members of his own family), oversaw the production of two new constitutions that concentrated power in his hands and cultivated an autocratic position that asked Jews to trust in him alone. Concomitantly, institutions from the police to the university became increasingly corrupt and nepotistic, often at the expense of Jewish inclusion. [...] The 1930s saw an increase in nationwide strikes, the rise of a state-sanctioned anti-Jewish business association and the right-wing radicalization of institutions such as the army and sporting clubs." (p. 13)
  • "Smetona, and his party, the Nationalist Union, developed a relationship with the Jewish community based around the desire for political stability but also demands for loyalty that evoked a medieval dynamic. [...] Smetona’s government replaced the rhetoric about Jewish inclusion in a multiethnic national project – which was frequently made with reference to the medieval charter that legalized Jewish settlement in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania – with a rhetoric that emphasized the conditional nature of the Jewish place in Lithuania." (p.122)
  • "For Smetona, Poles were still assimilable to Lithuanianness, while Jews’ national trajectory was parallel." (p. 179)
  • "Many observers were especially disturbed by Smetona’s dismissal of the Paris Declaration. The Paris Declaration of 1919, as a result of the diplomatic efforts of Augustinas Voldemaras and Shimshon Rosenbaum, stated that Lithuanian Jews would have full political and national rights, rights of citizenship, rights to participate in governmental institutions, a Ministry of Jewish Affairs, proportional representation, rights to use their language in the public sphere, protection from not working on Saturdays, and cultural autonomy, all to be outlined in the Constitution." (p. 180)
  • "Violence did break out on the streets of Slobodka in the wake of the anti-fascist protests. Several historians have noted the pogroms in passing, and details of the August 2 [1929] events vary. According to police depositions, three young Jews walking home from a movie theater, close to midnight, were harassed in the street by some unknown, armed Lithuanians, instigating a brawl, and bystanders’ phone calls to the police couldn’t get through. Jewish volunteer firefighters came out in uniform to keep order, but the unrest spread until twenty-seven Jews were injured, including some women and an elderly functionary of the Slobodka chevra kadisha. Jews contended that when police finally arrived, they did not stop the attacks." (pp. 196-197)
  • "Denials from the police and other government officials were swift. [...] Trimitas, for its part, mounted a spirited defense, claiming that 'such excesses, from the Lithuanian side, against Jews, were not done.' [...] But it was [prime minister Augustinas] Voldemaras’s denial of a pogrom, in both the international and local press, that was the greatest blow to Jews’ confidence in the regime to protect them. Voldemaras told the Jewish representatives who came to him, 'Attacks occurred, in truth, but not in the form of a pogrom.' [...] The Lithuanian Legation at Paris, headed by Voldemaras, later claimed that Jewish Communists broke their own windows." (pp. 197-198) [NB: Voldemaras had grown apart from Smetona and was eventually removed from office]
  • "[I]n the 1930s, newspapers, academics, and institutions of power in Lithuania began to articulate 'discrimination against Jews along clearly racial lines.' Notions of Lithuanians’ racial purity were propagated by local eugenicists. This new racialization of Jewish otherness dovetailed with an uptick in economic anti-Semitism." (pp. 208-209)
  • "The government abetted the marginalization of Jewish businesses by enacting laws, in 1932, that prohibited the use of all languages besides Lithuanian in business dealings, among other measures targeted at Jewish cooperatives. President Smetona’s tendency to prevaricate on the topic of anti-Semitism gave room for these anti-social ideas to thrive. In 1934, for example, Smetona said, 'After all, Jews since ancient times have avoided mixing in among themselves foreign blood, however we do not call them racists. Germans, who for a long time happily assimilated Jews, suddenly shut them out and strongly try to get rid of the influence of Semites, like in various times: they are racists.'" (p. 231)
  • "In October [of 1936], the leaders of the army, Generals Stasys Raštikis and Jonas Černius, submitted a report to Smetona warning that Jews were overrepresented in local Communist organizations, adding, 'Something is wrong with the Jewish community.'" (p. 251)
I had not previously expressed myself in favour of sanctions for any users here or at ANI, but at this point I cannot help but concur with @City of Silver in regards to Pofka's capacity to edit in and around this topic area. Whether through ill will or WP:CIR I believe he is pushing a sanitised view of his country's history that does a disservice to the encyclopedia. I also think I have probably trampled over any word limits with this message, but I hope some leeway can be (retroactively) granted seeing as I was pinged and I was asked for "receipts". One way or the other, I think this concludes my participation here unless an arb wants to ask me something. For other stuff, my TP is open. Cheers. Ostalgia (talk) 21:30, 25 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Marcelus

In principle, I support the amendment. In my opinion, the main difference between the topics of anti-Semitism/collaboration in Lithuania and other countries with a similar situation (Poland, Ukraine, etc.) is that the number of users involved is very small. Thus, often any content dispute inevitably comes down to 1v1 or 1v2. If extending the clauses to Lithuania will help attract more users and thus make it more efficient to find consensus, then by all means it's a good idea. I think the case of Talk:258th Lithuanian Police Battalion is a good example here, where a fairly simple change proposition ([2]) was blocked by two users, but thanks to ANI an uninvolved user appeared and with his contribution ([3]) allowed a fairly simple and essentially uncontroversial change to be made.Marcelus (talk) 11:29, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@Barkeep49: I treated the first report as a comprehensive summary of the problem I had been observing for some time, the second as an "incident" related to the first, for this I decided that ANI was enough. Marcelus (talk) 08:12, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
In my opinion, if this were to be extended beyond Poland and Lithuania, we should certainly cover all of EE (including Russia). But another approach should also be considered: should we impose these restrictions preventatively? I have edited the issues of collaboration and WWII crimes also in the context of Estonia, Belarus and Ukraine, and while there have been some problems, controversies, attempts at covering up, they have generally been managed with the regular tools (usually a discussion on t/p). Therefore, I believe that the mere potential controversiality of topics should not be the basis for preemptive solutions. One should believe in the established process of resolving conflicts and problems. Marcelus (talk) 10:16, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Callanecc

@Barkeep49: This might take this specific request off course a bit and is probably better done at WP:A/R/M but I wonder if your idea of including restrictions like this at WP:AC/PR might work as part of a wider approach. That is, rather than the consensus required and enforced BRD restirction being defined at WP:CTOP they have their own section at WP:AC/PR#Enforcement. The standard set list can just link to them at WP:AC/PR#Enforcement (as a delegation to enforcing admins) rather than needing to define them. This would also mean that ArbCom could apply them directly (per Barkeep's suggestion for reliable source consensus required) rather than needing to replicate the wording in a case remedy. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 23:41, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I suppose there is also a separate question of whether reliable source consensus required should be part of the standard set given its similarity to normal consensus required which is part of the standard set. This is probably a question for another time but will likely come up if my suggestion above is taken up. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 23:44, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

This all makes sense to me and feels worth exploring in the new year. Given that it's off topic here I'd ask that move it to a place like WT:Arbitration Committee or hold off for now. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:44, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Barkeep, I'll hold off until next year and create a section at WT:AC, if I remember. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 05:43, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@Thryduulf: Yes that's what I was going for in my second paragraph. I've adjusted the wording in my first paragraph to clear it up a bit. Currently the menu exists at WP:CTOP#Standard set for single admins acting alone and a consensus of admins can do pretty much anything. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:14, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@GeneralNotability: Another option is to make part of the standard set so admins can impose it on articles with issues wherever CTOPS is authorised. That is, the Committee can extend it to the current area of conflict (Lithuania) but it also becomes one of the standard tools admins can use. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:25, 21 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@GeneralNotability: It's not really that hefty when compared with ordinary consensus required which applies to everything all the time (including sources). Reliable sources consensus required is a limited-down version of ordinary consensus required that only applies to sources and only to sources that aren't peer reviewed. I agree that it would only work in some topic areas but the same applies to the other restictions that admins have discretion to choose between. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:47, 22 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Thryduulf (re Poland/Lithuania)

After reading Callanecc's comments (which I admit to not fully understanding so this may be duplication) I'm wondering whether it would be worth ArbCom defining somewhere a menu (for want of better terms) of sanctions that are not included in CTOP areas by default but can be added (individually or in combination) in situations where they are required. Thryduulf (talk) 00:04, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Piotrus

I think SMcCandlish's idea of expanding this to Eastern Europe makes sense. This (by "this" I mean issues related to Lithuanian historiography, Lithuanian collaboration with Nazi Germany (both missing articles, sigh, we just have Category:Lithuanian collaboration with Nazi Germany), discussed in academic works and media ex. [4], Slate, NYT), is a recurring issue with long history on Wikipedia, with ArbCom dimensions traceable to 2000s (Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Eastern European disputes etc.). Some folks try to minimize this, some folks try to (unduly?) stress it. Same old, same old... Similar issues can be found for other countries (Poland, of course, as well as Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and well, all other countries in the region too), and we know how that ends (in painful improvement, measured in accounts banned, admin board threads in hundreds and arbcom cases in dozens :( ). Telling folks to use high quality sourcing for research in such controversial topics is a good practice that should be enforced for all controversial topics. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:28, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I just read Pofka's statement and I am flabbergasted. I can only echo what City of Silver and Ostalgia wrote about his comment(s) already in their statements and hope the committee notices this issue and takes appropriate action. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:11, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Barkeep49 Since the Committee topic banned MVBW for comments in the February-May case, the precedence seems relevant here, and as for the diffs, the statements here should do (not that I recall any diffs being cited for MVBW's tb). Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:17, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Barkeep49 It's just a minor quibble, but didn't the two others editors I named mentioned the same specific editor with the same specific evidence? I thought I was just summarizing/endorsing what they said. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 03:42, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by City of Silver

SMcCandlish says they were "volunteered" for this task and that's putting it lightly; I don't think anybody badgered on this as shamelessly as I did. (I said, I'm going to do the thing where, since I don't have a clue how to make an amendment request at ARCA, I quietly wait in the hopes one of you does it before I give it a shot. Yikes.) I'm really grateful SMcCandlish did this since this request would have been a joke had I tried to go it alone. Obviously I fully support extending the CTOP designation to antisemitism in Poland and Lithuania. I said at ANI and still say that I'd also support extending the scope to antisemitism in Eastern Europe and to antisemitism, full stop.

@Barkeep49: I'm also requesting clarity regarding what needs to happen to put AE-style sanctions on the table. I have a message where I explicitly nam[e] specific editors and giv[e] an example of misconduct saved off-wiki and ready to go although I'd certainly defer to SMcCandlish or pretty much any other participant here. City of Silver 04:18, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I'm not seeing how, as User:Barkeep49 said, to make an AE-style sanction request because as of now, antisemitism in Lithuania is not a contentious topic. Granted, if it were, I'd just go to AE so does that mean I should formulate a request based on the fact that a scope increase is likely to happen? For that matter, I'm looking at the message I have saved and since almost every diff I link goes to that ANI thread User:Barkeep49 has already read, I'm not sure why certain editors can't be dealt with there by an uninvolved administrator. It wouldn't be the first gigantic ANI thread to be closed with a long, detailed explanation accompanied by a ream of penalties. City of Silver 21:05, 21 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Also! If, per User:In actu, this matter can be adjudicated under WP:Requests for arbitration/Eastern Europe, wouldn't such a decision render the CTOP designation of antisemitism in Poland (and any future such designations of antisemitism in Lithuania and/or antisemitism in Eastern Europe) redundant? City of Silver 21:11, 21 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@L235: Regarding "the (un)willingness of community members to present an "AE-style" ARCA for us," please see two messages up from this one, the one that starts "I'm not seeing how..." I asked for a bit of help regarding an AE-style request and questioned whether such a request is necessary for anyone who's read the ANI thread and I haven't gotten much guidance on either. I apologize that I'm asking questions more-experienced editors wouldn't have but I really am ready to fulfill that request the best I can. City of Silver 19:56, 31 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Explicitly: two of Lithuania's most notable leaders during World War II, Juozas Ambrazevičius and Petras Polekauskas, were Nazi collaborators who took strong, deliberate efforts to kill massive numbers of Jews in accordance with the wishes of Hitler's Germany. Because User:Pofka knows that, they also know their message here is entirely, or almost entirely, a lie. (They've been on Wikipedia for a long time so they also know what they said blatantly violates the ARCA rule against content disputes.) By blatantly, disgracefully lying out of some misguided attempt to whitewash the history of extensive collaborations by Lithuanian leaders with Nazi butchers, lying in a way that practically begged other users to call them out, Pofka was kind enough to inform the committee that they cannot be trusted to edit literally anything related to Lithuania and should be topic banned from it as soon as possible. City of Silver 00:54, 25 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Szmenderowiecki

I have no opinion on the underlying dispute other than that is a mess. I'd have to look in the allegations thoroughly to make any conclusion of misconduct one way or another. But the committee should by all means expand the scope to include neighbouring countries. The situation in Lithuania is easily very similar in other Baltic states, at the very least because they were under Reichskommissariat Ostland. The same goes for Belarus and Ukraine, as historiographical disputes are pretty clear and there is evidence of at least some degree of collaboration and antisemitic attitudes in the day. The real debate is about the degree this happened. For nationalist historians in the area, it barely happened with their nation or these people were not really "true members" of their nation; but it certainly happened to other nations to a much greater degree and also they oppressed our nation. It's heated, it's part of politics (look at all the institutes of national remembrance), it provokes chronic low-intensity interethnic tensions, and then there are the Jews, and as we know, the Holocaust and interplay between the locals and the Nazis is a very sensitive subject in Eastern Europe.

I respectfully submit that the scope of the motion (at least the reliable source restriction and AE enforcement, but probably more) be expanded to include history of WWII in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland and Ukraine (EDIT: and Russia to some extent, thinking about articles like Andrey Vlasov, his Russian Liberation Army or the Lokot Autonomy under Nazi occupation. Can't say about Romania, Bulgaria or Yugoslavia because I'm not intimately aware about their history, but I think anything related to the Independent State of Croatia or Ante Pavelić should be covered, if it isn't already). This is because it is very likely that doing it country-by-country would be a game of whack-a-mole and a drain on our resources. This should include any combination of ethnic relations between each of these nations, the Germans (Nazis), the Jews and the Romani (see Romani Holocaust).

EDIT: A full case is unnecessary, you can do that by motion. I think AE should be able to handle this for now. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 04:41, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Andrevan

As a point of historical fact, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a single political entity at one point, so the extension to Lithuania is a no-brainer. I suspect nobody would much object to including Russia, Germany, and other similar locations from WWII, both of which have very identifiable antisemitism, and both have examples of people taking revisionist views of those events. I suggest the infinite regress problem created by extending this topic could be solved by creating an extension towards Antisemitism, period. It's not Eastern or Western Europe; the Spanish Inquisition or the Expulsion from England and other topics are equally CTOPic and happened in Western Europe, and there are similarly either Jewish-national or nouveau revisionist historians arguing about whether antisemitism was antisemitic or how bad was it in England or Spain. Just take my word for it that this is the case, though I can provide more on this later, but I'll have to do some research to provide the sources suitable for an article, and it's harder to research the 1200s and the 1400s than it is to research the 1840s or the 1940s. There was antisemitism that is debated in North Africa, as well as the Ottoman Empire. There are people who debate the relative impact, cost, the extent to which people were involved. In fact, I have a pertinent example that happened relatively recently at Talk:Maghrebi Jews#Algeria section where there was a heated disagreement about the extent of antisemitism in Algeria. Therefore, I propose broadening the CTOPic to Antisemitism broadly construed. Andre🚐 06:21, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Pofka

I strictly oppose the equating of Poland and Lithuania in this case about Lithuania's alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany and antisemitism. The allegations of "Antisemitism in Lithuania" are not possible in Lithuania's case because the Republic of Lithuania (when Lithuania's statehood was restored with the Act of Independence of Lithuania in 1918) NEVER acted in an antisemitic way and was very tolerant towards Jewish people (there were Jewish military units, etc.), and NEVER collaborated with Nazi Germany. Actually, the Republic of Lithuania refused to collaborate with the Nazi Germany and was only blackmailed by Nazi Germany (e.g. 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania) and the Republic of Lithuania also refused to attack Poland together with Nazi Germany to recapture its historical capital Vilnius (which was previously occupied by Poland). So there was absolutely no collaboration of Lithuania (as a state) with the Nazi Germany and there was no antisemitism when the Republic of Lithuania was a functioning state (before its destruction by the Soviets and later Nazis). In comparison, Poland is totally different in this case regarding collaboration and antisemitism because part of the interwar high-ranking Polish officials (e.g. Roman Dmowski, a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland) were openly antisemites (well-known facts and verified with WP:RS). Moreover, Poland annexed Czechoslovak territories following the Munich Agreement in 1938 (also see: Polish–Czechoslovak border conflicts). -- Pofka (talk) 15:52, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@City of Silver: Nor Juozas Ambrazevičius, nor Petras Polekauskas were official leaders of Lithuania. Antanas Merkys is the last officially recognized leader of Lithuania (15 June 1940 – 17 June 1940). Anything that happened after Merkys resignation and until the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania (1990) are not connected with the State of Lithuania (legally even the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic is not the State of Lithuania, same with the non-sovereign German occupied Lithuania because in 1990 the State of Lithuania was reestablished as a continuation of the interwar State of Lithuania, not Lithuanian SSR, etc.). The occupied State of Lithuania is not guilty for crimes which were committed by occupants and their collaborators in Lithuania's territory because it had absolutely no power to change anything, so many of the interwar State of Lithuania residents, including Litvaks, badly suffered from Holocaust, Soviet deportations to Siberia, etc. By the way, I'm not trying to deny that the Provisional Government of Lithuania and Lithuanian Activist Front collaborated with Nazi Germany (and some members of LAF indeed committed horrific crimes), but these are not officially recognized representatives of the State of Lithuania. So saying that the State of Lithuania (ruled by Merkys and earlier rulers) collaborated with Nazi Germany is in fact not correct, but there definitely were Lithuanian collaborators with Nazis who acted not as official representatives of the State of Lithuania. Do you have any WP:RS with evidence about Antanas Smetona/Antanas Merkys acts of collaboration with Nazis? Smetona was even nicknamed by his opponents as Jewish King due to his tolerant stance towards Jewish people, see: HERE. -- Pofka (talk) 16:08, 25 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Ostalgia: Hi, could you please clarify what was wrong with my statement here? Do you personally separate the State of Lithuania (official policies of the state and its leaders and its laws) from the Lithuanian Nazi collaborators (a few thousands of World War 2 criminals) or simply put a joint guilt on both? The official position of pre-occupation State of Lithuania towards Jews was: "Smetoninėje Lietuvoje nebuvo išleistas nė vienas antižydiškas įstatymas, nė vienas ministras ar kitas aukštas pareigūnas neištarė, bent jau viešai, antižydiškos frazės." (English: In Smetona's Lithuania, not a single anti-Jewish law was passed, not a single minister or other high official uttered, at least publicly, an anti-Jewish phrase; scientific source, p. 69). Do you want to put guilt on the State of Lithuania for war criminals (e.g. Petras Polekauskas) who served NOT for the State of Lithuania, but for the Nazi Germany when sovereign State of Lithuania no longer existed? Such accusations would not comply with WP:NPOV. Such war criminal as Polekauskas is obviously already covered by restrictions per Nazi Germany (as its collaborator). So unless @City of Silver:, @Ostalgia or any other user provides evidence with WP:RS how pre-occupation State of Lithuania (ruled by Presidents Antanas Smetona, Aleksandras Stulginskis, Kazys Grinius) acted in an anti-Jewish way by collaborating with Nazi Germany, we cannot proceed with conclusions that Lithuania collaborated with Nazi Germany and to put restrictions on all Lithuanian topics. -- Pofka (talk) 20:10, 25 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Elinruby

Uncertain of protocol or the status of the motion.

For consideration on whether the restriction should apply to EE: Talk:Russian Volunteer Corps. The current discussion at Talk:Azov Brigade may also be instructive, as well as the whole ugly page history there. I also agree with the mention of anything related to the Independent State of Croatia or Ante Pavelić As for Lithuania, as I see it WP:ONUS should have been sufficient but was never enforced.

To those afraid the problem will just move elsewhere: depending on how we define "the problem" it already is and has always been widespread in post-Soviet régimes. I can source that if need be.

I have been working the past few days on the Holocaust in Lithuania articles generally and will gladly answer any questions. More work remains to be done there however. Elinruby (talk) 23:25, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

PS-Antisemitism is also a good idea (separately) but it wasn't antisemitism that got us here in this case, but unsourced ethnic aspersions. Elinruby (talk) 23:34, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Re articles about pogroms in Lithuania, I am finding that some apparently reliable sources contradict one another, although not consistently on every event. I am just now coming to grips with the details but two examples would be 1) whether the Provisional Government of Lithuania and its sister organization Lithuanian Activist Front dissolved themselves or were dissolved, and 2) which specific units carried out the pogroms at Ninth Fort. There will likely be more, but it is slow going since a majority of the sources are dead links at the Internet Archive in other languages, that I can't access on some of my hardware. In hopes of resolving some of this, I request clarification about the RS status of the Polish and Lithuanian national archives and also about apparently unavailable books that are not online, and theoretically meet RS except that they source what may be extraordinary claims. And btw, I am only here in hopes of helping to put a lengthy dispute to rest, so if the committee would like me to buzz off back to Vichy I would be delighted to do so if I am not helping. Elinruby (talk) 05:22, 30 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I planned to close up shop on Wikipedia for the new year. I am not going to meet my deadline but I am drawing a line under my recent very deep dive into Lithuania. I will try to write up something more coherent as I wind up and close all these tabs, but some thoughts in no particular order in case they are helpful:
  • First, our Holocaust articles have almost no coverage of Jewish partisans, daily life in the ghettos, or the massive losses in the area of Talmudic scholarship.
  • Our articles on the Holocaust in Poland are heavily sourced to travel and genealogy sites.
  • It is important to realize that there are AT LEAST five separate ethnic narratives about World War II in the Baltics, and at least three of them consider it a sign of bigotry to disagree with them.
  • Any effective discussion of actual issues will require a discussion of the historicity of anti-semitic tropes. I call one two three not it.
  • RSN has opined that the archivist of Lithuania is an unreliable source.
  • If I am not mistaken, the Holocaust in Poland case discussed a similar conclusion about the archives of Poland.
  • Much of the information in the area comes from KGB archives of interrogations under torture.
  • The history of calling Jews Bolshevists dates back to the Russian Revolution and the history of the Soviets calling their opponents fascists is just as long.
  • Both Pofka and City of Silver are both right and wrong.
  • I do not want to file an AE complaint over the ANI thread because the editors I feel are badly mistaken are sincere in their beliefs and this is a systemic problem, although behaviour has compounded it.
  • There has unquestionably been editing based on ethnic beliefs. The editor whose name was dragged through the mud at ANI wasn't particularly responsible. He has changed his name now and who could blame him.
  • That that case could go on for six weeks based on zero evidence certainly convinced me that Wikipedia governance is completely broken.
  • I'm just glad I haven't yet had to chose between two murderous totalitarian regimes

I think that is enough to chew on for now. The short answer to the question City of Silver asked me at ANI: There is no question that at least some Lithuanians gleefully carried out pogroms. He's vastly oversimplifying the history, though.

There is also no question that the whole history is partially obscured by Soviet propaganda, which is true of all of Eastern Europe btw. " Limiting the case to Antisemitism in Lithuania will probably lead to random and ineffective sanctions again.

I still think the scope should be Eastern Europe and anything less will give disinformation an even freer rein than it already has now. I respect a desire to be conservative about unintended effects but Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have very similar histories in this period and are in general grouped together in sources, and Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine are inextricably part of the historiography in question.

If not Eastern Europe, my recommended scope would be then be the territory of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which would still include some of the most pertinent areas such as Kiev. I seem to currently be the only editor in the topic area, so there is no fire that needs to be put out. I recommend that Committee members take their time and take a good look at the regional history before doing anything Elinruby (talk) 23:00, 31 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

It does not appear that anyone has directly answered me so I cleaned up some typos in the above statement. Eyesight is getting worse, sorry. If I were someone reading my statement and it contradicted my long-held beliefs about the topic and could not or did not want to look into it myself, I would probably want to see sources. But that doesn't seem appropriate for the venue. Perhaps I should consult with Piotrus and sketch out that historiography article. Elinruby (talk) 04:05, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by BilledMammal

Can the arbitrators clarify what an article published by a reputable institution would mean?

For example, some editors would argue that on transgender topics, the BBC and The Guardian (UK) are not reputable institutions. Similarly, some editors would argue that on Arab–Israeli conflict topics, Al Jazeera is not a reputable institution.

None of these will be immediately relevant to the restriction but they may be in the future, and there are likely to be others that are of immediate relevance to the restriction. 05:11, 1 January 2024 (UTC)

Statement by North8000

IMO this type of restriction has lots of downsides but this is a rare case it is a good idea. The down side is that unreliable sources often meet the wp:RS criteria and vice versa, doubly so in context. But despite this I think that RSN does a pretty good job at determining actual reliability in context. What makes this area a better candidate than a typical contentious topic article is that it is a historical topic where there is higher hope for resolution by objective expert sources. Also being a rare special case means it won't deluge RSN. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:33, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

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.

Antisemitism in Poland: Clerk notes

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

Antisemitism in Poland: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Having been asked about this request previously I have skimmed the ANI thread (as SMcCandlish suggests arbs do). I find it a mess and think we should seriously consider serving as as an AE body, per Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World_War_II_and_the_history_of_Jews_in_Poland#Impact_on_the_Eastern_Europe_topic_area_(I)_(alt) should there be a request about any specific editors which this request goes to some length to not do. Since this request just asks us to change the scope of some restrictions, to which I am also open, I'm going to have to really read not just skim to see if there is enough evidence there to suggest it appropriate to widen these pretty severe and unusual restrictions rather than deal with editor misconduct. Barkeep49 (talk) 03:23, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    @SMcCandlish: normally ARCA will only consider editor conduct sanctions in limited circumstances, with the expectation that most behavior is handled at AE and then ArbCom listens to appeals from AE. For this topic area, however, we have said editors can come direct to us instead of AE. And while I am very open to doing that in resposne to that ANI thread, I'm reluctant for us to start naming parties and collecting diffs without a specific ask from a community member. Barkeep49 (talk) 04:17, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I definitely get that @SMcCandlish filed this with the hope to just get a scope change. And that's fine. Absent someone (SMcCandlish, @Extraordinary Writ, @Ostalgia, or someone else) naming specific editors and giving an example of misconduct, along the lines of what we expect when filing an AE case, that's all I'm prepared to consider. Based on my skim of the ANI thread, I am in agreement with Guerillero that acting as AE for a couple of editors and possibly a contentious topic restriction scope change rather than a case, or mini-case, feels appropriate. I hope to be able to fully read the ANI thread today, tomorrow at the latest, and assuming there is enough evidence there for some kind of restriction expansion (rather than just misconduct of 2 or 3 editors) offer a motion to do that. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:03, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    @City of Silver: to ask for sanctions against another editor I'd want to see evidence of the kind that someone gives when filing an AE report. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:38, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    @Piotrus what do you mean by hope the committee notices this issue and takes appropriate action? Because I've been really upfront that I'm open to dealing with user conduct at this moment. But I've been met by collective unwillingness of anyone to actually say "I think this user should be sanctioned because of XYZ and here is proof of that (diff 1, diff 2)". If no one is willing to do more that step it says to me that maybe the conduct isn't as bad as I think it is because outside of extraordinary circumstances, which I don't think this is, I don't believe ArbCom should be the one producing that kind of evidence ourselves. You, in general, are someone who doesn't like to see users sanctioned so I'm genuinely curious what notice and appropriate action you're thinking of. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:54, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm open to ArbCom acting as AE in this case. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 03:48, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • It would take some creative reading of the request, but I am also open to having the committee act as AE to enforce WP:ARBEE. I am much less open to opening Eastern Europe 8[1] when there are 12 days left before new arbs come on. --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 16:47, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ The 7 canonical cases of the topic area area are, in order: Piotrus (2007), Eastern Europe née Digwuren (2007), Eastern European disputes née Piotrus 2 (2008), Eastern European mailing list (2009), Russavia-Biophys (2010), Antisemitism in Poland (2019), and World War II and the history of Jews in Poland (2023)
  • I have now finished reading the ANI thread. I am reasonably convinced that the sorts of issues that caused the Article Sourcing expectations for Poland also exist for Lithuania. So I will go ahead and propose, below, a motion to do just that. However, I just don't understand the multiple editors who think that this solves the problems from that ANI thread. The truth is that evaluating misconduct of the type alleged in that ANI thread is hard, something ArbCom also said at at the HJP case this year. So I worry that we're in a situation where people are going "There's a problem here and we must do something. Extending an existing restriction is something". Is extending this justified? Obviously I think yes, else I wouldn't be proposing an amendment.
    But the restriction becomes meaningless if editors are disinclined to seek enforcement and ArbCom has done what we can think of to help with the problems people have identified with that. Perhaps more needs to be done. What's that more? I have no clue. But I do admit to being puzzled as why Marcelus went to ANI rather than returning to AE where the editor they had complaints about, Cukrakalnis had already received a final warning (and I think the two uninvolved admin did a reasonable job of addressing the complaint they had before them). Perhaps the answer to that would give some clue as to an answer. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:59, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Marcelus so essentially you went to ANI because you thought it would be simpler? If that's the case, I will speak bluntly and say that I hope you've learned otherwise from how this went. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:30, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Piotrus, @Szmenderowiecki, and @City of Silver I appreciate the consistency with which you are saying "this should be about all of Eastern Europe not just Poland and Lithuania". I'm having to weigh that against the fact that changing our normal editing process is an extraordinary measure and extraordinary measure generally means I want more than editor assertions to know doing so is justified. I'm curious what other Arbs have to say about this. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:36, 20 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@BilledMammal academically focused is just as important as reputable publisher. So major universities' presses are examples of what passes. Beyond that I think it unhelpful to clarify in the abstract. Barkeep49 (talk) 08:32, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Piotrus MVBW was a party to the case, so it should not have been a surprise that their conduct was being looked at and there were 7 diffs presented of the conduct in question. Until your post no one had named a specific editor with specific evidence at this request and as I noted HJP was an extraordinary situation which should not, in my opinion, become regular practice. Since you have now done so, we can certainly examine that conduct and I have just opened a request here on your behalf. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:59, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Motion: Reliable source consensus-required restriction

Clerks are instructed to add a new section, entitled "Reliable source consensus-required restriction" to the Enforcement section of the Arbitration Procedures with the following text:

The Committee may apply the "Reliable source consensus-required restriction" to specified topic areas. For topic areas with this restriction, when a source that is not an article in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, an academically focused book by a reputable publisher, and/or an article published by a reputable institution is removed from an article, no editor may reinstate the source without first obtaining consensus on the talk page of the article in question or consensus about the reliability of the source in a discussion at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard. Administrators may enforce this restriction with page protections, topic bans, or blocks; enforcement decisions should consider not merely the severity of the violation but the general disciplinary record of the editor in violation.

Remedy 5 of Antisemitism in Poland is superseded by the following restriction:

All articles and edits in the topic area of Polish history during World War II (1933-1945) and the history of Jews in Poland are subject to a "reliable source consensus-required restriction".

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Eastern Europe is amended to include the following restriction:

All articles and edits in the topic area of Lithuania history during World War II (1933-1945) and the history of Jews in Lithuania are subject to a "reliable source consensus-required restriction."

Clerks are instructed to link to the Arbitration Procedures in the two restrictions above and are empowered to make other changes necessary to implement this new enforcement procedure.

Enacted - –MJLTalk 21:15, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Support (Reliable source consensus-required restriction)
  1. For the reasons I give above and below. I am choosing not to include EE as a place where admin can add it as an individual enforcement action because some arbs have indicated opposition to that and I don't want that to get in the way of what I see as strong evidence for including Lithuania. That could obviously be done as a seperate motion, building on the structure of this one. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:28, 31 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Bearing in mind my thoughts around how this may not solve the full problem below. However I think this is worth doing regardless as the situation in Lithuania-related articles does seem to warrant it. firefly ( t · c ) 12:06, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Per the above statements. Primefac (talk) 14:33, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  4. As everyone said above and below - solves the problem for this situation and let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Still leaning toward expanding it further. GeneralNotability (talk) 15:16, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  5. With a decent amount of reluctance per Barkeep's initial comments on the subject. I feel like I have more (frustrated) things to say on this, but they all just lead me back to supporting it. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 05:18, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  6. A reasonable solution. Maxim (talk) 13:12, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  7. I also think it would be reasonable to topic ban Pofka from Lithuania from 1939 to 1946. I am tempted to do it myself --Guerillero Parlez Moi 21:25, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  8. This is a reasonable way to address many of the issues presented, and while it may or may not be enough to address them all, it is a reasonable step either way. - Aoidh (talk) 14:21, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Oppose (Reliable source consensus-required restriction)
Abstain (Reliable source consensus-required restriction)
  1. Recuse I have been involved in the topic area of Poland and the Holocaust, so I will not be participating in business associated with that. Z1720 (talk) 00:23, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Per below. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 23:22, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Arbitration discussion (Motion:Reliable source consensus-required restriction)
  • Not putting up a voting section to allow for refinement of this motion first. It made no sense to me to add Lithuania to Poland at a case called Antisemitism in Poland and thus incorporating it instead into procedures and modifying EE. But I am open to other approaches that have the same outcome. Barkeep49 (talk) 22:18, 19 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    My concern is whether this will be enough, or whether it will just make people move over to another country once more. As several people alluded to above, there is a lot of World War 2 history involving collaboration with Nazi Germany and complicity in the Holocaust that the countries involved would really rather everyone forgot about. I'm still mulling over the precise scope, but I'm seriously considering the possibility of the reliable-source restrictions applying to the topic of the Holocaust in the entirety of the ARBEE scope. GeneralNotability (talk) 00:17, 21 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I think Callanecc's solution is a reasonable middle ground. -- In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 15:17, 21 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm not ready to expand it to all CTOPS at this point; it's a pretty hefty tool and I want more information on how it gets used before considering rolling it out to other topic areas. In particular, I don't think the focus on peer-reviewed academic studies and the like would be suitable in topic areas where new things keep happening (AMPOL comes to mind); they'd only really work in topic areas where the contentious stuff is in the past. GeneralNotability (talk) 00:03, 22 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I agree with GN. I think this changes our normal editing process in a way that other standard restrictions, such as consensus required, do not namely instead of detailing how to resolve disputes it details how to create the article. Barkeep49 (talk) 01:31, 22 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I was thinking of adding it just for EE -- In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 09:12, 22 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I am OK adding it as part of the enforcement options for admin with-in the topic area given the feedback here. In other words it doesn't automatically apply as in Poland (and Lithuania proposed) but could be added as appropriate. Barkeep49 (talk) 19:06, 23 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I would be leery of allowing unilateral use by an admin given what we already generally think about the restriction (both its necessity and how some quantity of the community sees it as edging into content matters). You could maybe sell me on a consensus (probably not rough) of admins at AE, but at that point I think ARCA is as appropriate. Izno (talk) 20:04, 24 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think I more or less support the above proposed change. Not sure why we're calling it a '"reliable source consensus-required" contentious topic restriction.' when it is not obviously the case to me that you/we intend this to be a contentious topic restriction solely? (I anticipate it would not be applied outside some subset of our known CTopics, but if we want it to be a restriction solely in that context it should probably live in the CTopics procedure. ECR also is not worded this way.)— Preceding unsigned comment added by Izno (talkcontribs) 20:09, December 24, 2023 (UTC)
    Because I was trying to adhere to existing wording as much as possible. I'm fine with our without that wording. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:18, 24 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • It seems like there's general agreement that the appropriate way to resolve this ARCA, considering the (un)willingness of community members to present an "AE-style" ARCA for us, is to add the "reliable source consensus-required" restriction to the standard set available for ARBEE only. It would also be beneficial to adopt @Callanecc's suggestions. If another arb doesn't beat me to it, I intend to propose the ARBEE standard set motion this term and a new procedure section defining the terms (per Callanecc) next term. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 09:36, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I am not sure at all there is agreement among Arbs for EE. Leaving that aside, could the general changes Callanecc proposes to CTOP be done separately perhaps at ARM (where this would need to go anyway because of the change to procedures)? Barkeep49 (talk) 10:32, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes. That's what I meant. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 10:32, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Here's where I'm at:
    • I think the mechanics of Barkeep49's motion around adding the reliable sourcing restriction to ARBPROC are sound.
    • I am less convinced that expanding to only Lithuania will solve the problem. I am happy to support it as we must not let perfect get in the way of progress, and I am sympathetic to the views of community members and Arb colleagues that the RS restriction is a significant change to standard editing practice. I fear however that given the immense complexity of the historical situation here trying to draw neat lines around the issue is going to be hard.
    • I think it would be good to propose an "add the RS restriction to the standard set for ARBEE" motion for voting as L235 mentions. firefly ( t · c ) 12:03, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      I'm probably an abstain on the current motion. I will propose two motions: one to add the standard set to ARBEE and one to more fully flesh out the set of restrictions at ARBPROC, both at A/R/M after this ARCA concludes. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 18:45, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      It feels like adding it to the standard set at ARBEE could (should?) be done now at least in the interest of saving community attention. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:52, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      I would agree that we should do it now if possible. firefly ( t · c ) 18:59, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      I also agree -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 21:20, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Arbitration Enforcement Request (Pofka)

User who is submitting this request for enforcement
Piotrus (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log)
User against whom enforcement is requested
Pofka (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log)

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

Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy

ARCA diff 1, ARCA diff 2

Statement by Piotrus

Copied from above
I just read Pofka's statement and I am flabbergasted. I can only echo what City of Silver and Ostalgia wrote about his comment(s) already in their statements and hope the committee notices this issue and takes appropriate action. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:11, 2 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Pofka

Statement by Extraordinary Writ (Pofka)

You all may already already be aware of this, but just in case: Pofka was previously topic-banned from Poland and Lithuania, and the successful appeal (which I remember because I closed it) was largely on a WP:ROPE basis. It should only take a small amount of disruption to warrant reïnstating that topic ban, and when you add the conduct that led to a recent i-ban to the concerns here at ARCA, I suspect we're well above that threshold. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 03:59, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

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.

Arbitrator Discussion concerning Pofka

  • I'm open to a topic ban, but would prefer a narrower Lithuania one rather than all of EE based on the evidence before us. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:04, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Primefac given the evidence presented by EW about the ROPE unban, I'd prefer not to so narrowly tailor it. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:21, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I am open to either a topic ban from Lithuania or a topic ban from Lithuania during World War II --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 10:51, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Unless the greater Lithuania topic area is shown to be a problem, a World-War-II-centred topic ban as Guerillero suggests is likely best. Primefac (talk) 18:07, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I stand corrected, thank you; the topic ban on Lithuania should be reinstated. Primefac (talk) 18:23, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Reinstate the TBAN on Lithuania per EW. firefly ( t · c ) 18:27, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Amendment request: suspension of Beeblebrox

Initiated by Just Step Sideways (formerly User:Beeblebrox) at 20:34, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Case or decision affected
The Arbitration Committee has determined that Beeblebrox (talk · contribs) has repeatedly failed to preserve in appropriate confidence the contents of private correspondence sent to the Committee and the Committee's internal discussions and deliberations by making disclosures on off-wiki forums. These failures followed a previous formal warning issued to Beeblebrox in September 2021 by the Arbitration Committee concerning his conduct in off-wiki forums. Therefore, in accordance with Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy § Conduct of arbitrators, Beeblebrox is suspended from Arbitration Committee membership for a period of six months from this date. During this period, Beeblebrox's CheckUser and Oversight permissions and his access to applicable mailing lists (including the functionaries' mailing list) are revoked. Following this period, Beeblebrox may request reinstatement of his permissions or mailing list access by applying to the Arbitration Committee. Beeblebrox may also regain access via election to the committee.
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Beeblebrox's CheckUser and Oversight permissions and his access to applicable mailing lists (including the functionaries' mailing list) are revoked. Following this period, Beeblebrox may request reinstatement of his permissions or mailing list access by applying to the Arbitration Committee.

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

Information about amendment request
  • Beeblebrox's CheckUser and Oversight permissions and his access to applicable mailing lists (including the functionaries' mailing list) are revoked. Following this period, Beeblebrox may request reinstatement of his permissions or mailing list access by applying to the Arbitration Committee.
  • I would like this clause stricken from the decision and my oversight and VRT permissions returned.

Statement by Just Step Sideways

This not an appeal or an application, this is a request that the decision be ammended.

I am requesting this decision be ammended to strike out the part about revocation of my oversight rights for the following reasons:

  • The 2023 committee suspended me as an arbitrator for six months even though my term was up in one month.That's fine. I totally did exactly what they say I did.
  • They also stripped me of my functionary tools, without even telling me they were even considering that. I had no idea whatsoever that was even on the table.
  • I am not asking for CU permisssions back as I did initially get that access as a result of my previous stint on the committee and I was never very active with it and don't really have any interest in sock hunting.
  • Oversight is another matter. I have been a memeber of that team, indepentently of being an arbitrator, for thirteen years. To have the right stripped away without even being told revocation was being discussed seems unfair, arbitrary, and punitive rather than preventative.
  • I have no idea if this distinction was known and considered in any way during the arbitrator discussion, but I feel it should have been.
  • Revocation of an advanced permisssion should have a clear cause behind it, either inactivity or abuse. I don't think it should just be tacked on to a decision related to status as an arbitrator.
  • I am not aware of any circumstance except for extreme abuse of the tool or extreme reveals of information covered by the access to nonpublic personal data policy which would result in revocation without even discussing the matter with the oversighter in question first, yet this is what happened in my case.
  • I am not aware of what arguments were made in favor of revoking the permission, as, again, I was not even told this was being considered, so I can't even attempt to refute or even appeal in six months because I was not made aware of the existence of the possibilty of such a sanction, let alone the specific arguments in favor of it. The case presented to me that I was asked to respond to was entirely about me saying things off-wiki that I knew about because I was on ArbCom's mailing list. I was not asked anything about my tool access as a functionary.
  • I don't think loose talk off-wiki about some ArbCom business is the same thing as violating the access to nonpublic personal data policy, which I am still (under my old username) a signatory to [5] and have respected. If there have ever been any serious accusations of misuse of this tool or actual violations of that policy, I am unaware of them.

So it is my position that this unexpected ancillary revocation of a user right without any stated cause or prior notice is patently unfair and unjustified. I therefore ask that it be stricken from the decison and my oversight rights and VRT permisssions returned to me. Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 20:34, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Barkeep, I really appreciate how open and communicative you have generally been throughout this whole thing, both on and off-wiki, but that ends at "why was I not told this was even an option?" You guys knew I couldn't read your discussion, was I just supposed to intuit that you were going to go way further than I was actually told? Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 22:15, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Ivanvector:Beeblebrox has breached that legal document directly, by their own admission:That is not an accurate description of anything I said. In fact it is the exact opposite of what I said, as anyone can plainly see. The access to nonpublic data agreement covers personal information a user finds while using these tools, such as information that needs to be supressed, or checkuser data. It doesn't say anything about email lists. This distinction was also initially lost on some of the arbs, but they seem to have come to the same conclusion as the notice of the suspension does not mention the document you refer to, instead only mentioning ARBPOL. This is a fairly important distinction, so unless you can show me where it says in that document that it covers the ArbCom mailing list, I would ask that you strike this false accusation. Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 01:53, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure how much more clear I can make this point, but yes, not being told revocation of my oversight rights was even being discussed seems pretty unfair. I don't think this is a case of "in an ideal world we would have" it is more a case of being decent and just. I was ready to be told I was kicked off the committee. I wasn't sure you all would actually go through with it but I accepted it was a possibility. Then I check my email and find I've been removed from everything,not just the arbcoim list but OS, CU, and VRT, all areas where I never breached any confidentiality. It's not the same thing and I do take it seriously.
I was told this was about my fitness to be on the committee, nobody gave me the slightest hint it was going anywhere beyond that. Its starting to feel like the committee didn't even think about telling me and assumed I would expect additional revocations, which I find ridiculous.
And it's not just that I have hurt feelings over it, I find it manifestly unjust. My sense of fairness and blunt approach to situations I feel are unjust are what got me elected to the committee in the first place, and I feel like if the coin had been flipped I would have made sure the commnittee at least told the person about to be sanctioned what the arguments were to justify further revocations, and would allow them a chance to reply. Instead this was rushed through much faster than most other arbcom proceedings and I was kept totally ignorant of an important aspect of it. Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 02:12, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm rather shocked by Kevin's revelation that the Ombuds, possibly for the first time ever, have approved a public statement about an ongoing investigation that has not reached any conclusions. I cannot recall a time when anyone not on the commission knew what they were doing before they actually made a reccomendation to the office. I seem to be the subject of an ever-increasing number of exceptions to the normal rules, in every regard except for the rules I broke. Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 02:53, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Having slept on it, let me clarify: I may have overstated my case in saying tool use has to be involved for the ANPDP to apply. It would obviosuly apply to any sort of personal information that was shared on a mailing list as well. I would not and have not shared any such information. In addition, no actual quotes from eny emails were shared. No names of other participants in weither discussion were shared. Nothing that actually needed to be secret was shared.
You may ask who I think I am to just be deciding what to share and what not to share. I was trying to be a different kind of arbitrator, in fact I ran on that principle, and was elected, twice. People seem to think I was reckless but I was actually very careful on the very rare occassions when I gave out certain details. No personal information that was non-public was ever invovled. Just Step Sideways from this world ..... today 19:47, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Ivanvector (Beeblebrox suspension)

The arbitration policy, under the subheading "Transparency and privacy", says that "[t]he Committee treats as private all communications sent to it, or sent by a Committee member in the performance of their duties." My understanding of what has been revealed about the decision is that Beeblebrox was suspended from the Committee as a result of publicly sharing information that is explicitly non-public. If that's not correct then ignore the rest of my comment.

Just Step Sideways attempts to pass off their advanced permissions as mere "userrights" as though their granting and revocation is equivalent to, say, pagemover or even administrator, but they are not the same. The holders of these advanced permissions are trusted editors charged with handling confidential and often highly-sensitive non-public information; that's why access to and use of it is governed by a formal legal document. Beeblebrox has breached that legal document directly, by their own admission: they have stated plainly (above) that they publicly shared information from a non-public mailing list. The fact that they don't believe that losing access to the tools is a fair consequence of this serious breach of trust only further demonstrates their unsuitability to hold these advanced permissions.

The oversight policy says that oversight access is "generally" only revoked for cause, not "exclusively", and says in plain English that permission may be revoked at any time. There clearly was cause for its removal in this case. Just Step Sideways can't be trusted with and should not have access to non-public information, not just for six months but ever again. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 22:20, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Responding to Szmenderowiecki's point about due process: functionary appointments are at the sole discretion of Arbcom, not the community. The procedural policy which you yourself quoted says "Oversighter status may be revoked by the Arbitration Committee at any time." That is a complete sentence: the entire procedure for Arbcom revoking access is the Committee's decision to do so. In fact the Committee can "do whatever it wants" with these permissions, and ought to when privacy is at stake.
@Just Step Sideways: as you said, the notice of suspension refers only to ARBPOL, and ARBPOL gives the Committee full and universal discretion to assign or revoke functionary permissions, and that is really the end of the story here. But to expand anyway: the access to non-public personal data policy requires agreement to the confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information, which describes nonpublic personal data as "private information, including private user information, which you receive either through the use of tools provided to you as an authorized Wikimedia community member or from other such members." The access policy also includes agreement to the WMF Privacy Policy, which under "Examples of What This Privacy Policy Covers" includes "Emails, SMS, and notifications from [the Foundation] or sent to [the Foundation] from [users]." Since the Arbcom mailing lists are WMF email lists and are defined as private by ARBPOL, all information available from that mailing list is private information covered by these policies. The access policy defines a complete list of the five ways that we are permitted to disclose information covered by the policy (under "Disclosure of nonpublic information"), and "posting on a public forum" is not one of those five definitions. The fact that you did obtain information from a private mailing list covered by these policies in your capacity as a privileged user and disclosed this information in a way not permitted by the policies is a breach of those policies, and so I will not retract anything in my statement. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:53, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement from The ed17

I fully endorse Ivanvector's statement above. Even if you ignore the legal aspects here, two of oversight's fundamental purposes are things like protecting people's privacy and ensuring they aren't defamed. Given the gravity of those issues, we as a community put trust in oversighters to hold the information they view in strict confidence. If this incident means that there is even a sliver of a doubt that Just Step Sideways/Beeblebrox cannot be completely trusted with private information, they should not and cannot have access to the oversight tools. Full stop. Ed [talk] [OMT] 23:13, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement from Bradv

The access to nonpublic data agreement covers personal information a user finds while using these tools, such as information that needs to be supressed, or checkuser data. It doesn't say anything about email lists. This argument is beyond disingenuous. If someone emails the oversighters to ask that their real name be deleted from a page, the contents of the email are obviously to be treated with the same secrecy as the contents of the edits that need to be oversighted. Claiming that email lists aren't protected information would fly in the face of years of precedent, and would completely undermine all of our arbitration, checkuser, and oversight processes. Moreover, anyone who argues this point should absolutely not be allowed access to the oversight tools, as the proper functioning of this system relies on community trust that information sent to oversighters will be treated as confidential.

I urge the committee to reject this request now, and not to wait for the ombuddies to reach a decision. – bradv 02:37, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Szmenderowiecki (Beeblebrox/JSS appeal)

I understand the case is on hold, but I still want to register my dissatisfaction with the whole process. This reeks of judicial misconduct.

  1. Beeblebrox, in their capacity as an arb, drops a hint at an adjacent forum to an editor (here) by using non-public knowledge from the ArbCom mailing list. OP is suspended for six months from ArbCom, and apparently the hint (even if it was "the last straw") was worse than the obvious violation of basic due process that caused the user to be glocked without really knowing why (the appeal succeeded). He's not removed for procedural reasons.
  2. In a private hearing, ArbCom removes CU, oversight and VRT allegedly without making clear this was on the table. WP:ARBPOL guarantees that parties will be notified of [a] private hearing and be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to what is said about them before a decision is made. But not only does ArbCom not deny that allegation, it doubles down on the (dubious) validity of its approach. I wonder how this squares with your statements back in 2022 that due process applies to sitting arbs.
  3. WP:OVERSIGHT says that ArbCom may revoke the oversight permission at any time [but generally] only "for cause", such as abuse of suppression to remove items that do not qualify under the stated policy, or for unauthorized release of suppressed information (emphasis mine). The issue is misuse of private ArbCom communications. The connection to suppress tool misuse/abuse is at best tenuous.
ArbCom says they had no input into VRT removal - collapsing this point
ArbCom exceeds its authority when revoking VRT access because, as WP:VRT notes, membership in the volunteer response team is [...] purely determined by the VRTS administrators, not by ArbCom or the community. There's no indication ArbCom asked VRTS admins to remove access to VRT.
  1. L235 on behalf of ArbCom strikes OP's username from ArbCom list in late November but a month later conveniently leaves out the suspended ArbCom member even though the distinction between "removed" and "suspended" had been discussed.

To be clear, the argument OP uses is a bit WP:WIKILAWYERy. Private communications should remain confidential. The breach was justifiable ethics-wise, though (see point 1). (We don't know about other breaches, it's OK, but because ArbCom didn't suspend Beeblebrox back then I don't assume they were severe).

I'd want to assume good faith and say these are innocent mistakes, but there's too much of them.

To all editors who say that "if a person is untrustworthy, we can remove them from all positions requiring trust, good that ArbCom just did it", I get your point and I would've normally supported it but procedural policies are there for a reason. "The ends justify the means" is not what ARBPOL says, and the community will also disagree with that notion. Just because ArbCom has full control over closed proceedings doesn't mean you can do whatever you want on the theory no one will know. Good the Ombuds Commission are investigating.

I ask the Committee to grant the OP's request and apologise to him. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 03:53, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Ivanvector, "at any time" means there are no fixed terms for oversighters, not that ArbCom can dismiss anyone arbitrarily, on a caprice, without explanation and/or at least the minimal due process. I guess that's where our interpretations differ.
Barkeep49, thank you for the courtesy, and sorry for the frequent changes, I just wanted to make sure my statement did not have logical inconsistencies or incomprehensible shorthands. I have nothing more of substance to say. Again, I appreciate your accomodation. If you notice what I said is factually incorrect, let me know. Szmenderowiecki (talk) 19:39, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by SMcCandlish (on JSS/Beeblebrox request)

All this focus on "I should have been told", looking into the past and what might have been a better process, is a lot of noise about water that has long since passed under the bridge. It is unlikely that the actual results would have been any different in any way had Beeblebrox been notified in advance of all the pending revocations and even been given a whole month to prepare an objection. He's had much longer than that to prepare the objection presented here now, and it appears unconvincing to much of anyone. I'm reminded of a certain MoS disruptor's years-long pursuit of "vindication" in the name of "justice" with a long string of revisit-the-past appeals which were all rejected and sometimes resulted in even more restrictions for failing to drop the stick. These sorts of "I must defend my personal honor and sense of fairness at all costs" antics tend to backfire badly in this environment, because our disciplinary processes are never about who is technically right about some nit-pick, but about protecting the project as a whole. In particular, the "fruit of the poisonous tree" principle of US jurisdrudence (i.e. that a regulatory action taken must be invalidated if the procedure used to reach that result was improper in any way, regardless of overwhelming evidence that the result was justified) does not operate on Wikipedia. ArbCom routinely reaches sanctioning conclusions that were not entirely what the sanctioned party was previously alerted might be part of the outcome; this is not evidence of any procedural impropriety in the first place.

I agree with the gist of others' comments here that a serious breach of confidentiality rules about one set of sensitive data automatically necessitates preclusion of that party having access to tools which require confidentiality about other sensitive data. This is a no-brainer, and ArbCom should reject this request immediately, regardless of any WMF-level examination of such a question from the corporate perspective. Which I think is also virtually guaranteed to come to the same conclusion anyway. But even if it didn't, it is already crystal clear that the en.WP community isn't going to buy an argument like "I broke confidentiality in this particular box, but can be trusted not to in these other boxes over here." ArbCom has no reason to wait for, or even care about the outcome of, a WMF Ombuds Commission discussion.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:35, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Thryduulf (re Beeblebrox/JSS)

I find myself largely in agreement with SMcCandlish. The only relevant question is: Would the outcome have been any different if JSS had been explicitly told that their OS/CU tools were being considered for removal? As the answer is "no", that should be the end of the matter. The Committee has already noted that making it explicit is something that could be done better in future, and apologised for not doing so this time, so there truly is nothing more to do here. Thryduulf (talk) 12:40, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

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.

suspension of Beeblebrox: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • @Szmenderowiecki: you need to stop substantively changing your remarks at this point. In fact, other than striking something, you needed to have done that once someone substantively replied to you. If you have new comments to make I'm granting you a 250 word extension to make new comments, including (if you'd like) your most recent change, which I'm reverting. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:38, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Suspension of Beeblebrox: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I very much intended to say Beeblebrox/Just Step Sidweways should not have access to any confidential information for six months. That this was an appropriate response to the conduct in question because my loss of trust was a general one rather than a tool misuse. So for me how he got Checkuser and Oversight and access to the functionaries list is irrelevant. What's not irrelevant for me is that we have a bunch of new arbitrators. So while I am of the opinion that it should be all his permissions back or nothing, I am eager to hear from my new colleagues - and I've already privately expressed this to some of them so it shouldn't be a shock - if we got our sanction wrong in the first place. And so despite JSS saying it's not appeal, I'm willing given these unusual circumstances, to entertain one. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:58, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Just Step Sideways just so I'm clear, your issue is with not being told what was an option? Barkeep49 (talk) 22:18, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks for clarifying JSS. I will take some time to think about what you've written here. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:16, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    So after having given this some thought, reading the comments from others (arbs and other editors), and sleeping on it, here are my thoughts, which largely echo what several others have said.
    1. ArbCom should have done better at presenting what was being considered to JSS and JSS should have known removal of CUOS and/or functionary was a possibility because they understood removal as an Arb was a possibility (we've also been accused by one editor of taking away VRT, but that action was done by the people responsible for VRT and we did not direct it to happen publicly or privately). JSS has been the lead proponent of the concept of "admonish or remove sysop, but don't partially sanction" and taking away all the functionary bits is the equivalent action for this case (if people want to argue that suspension is a partial sanction, have at it, but that doesn't change my belief that based on his experience and beliefs towards others that JSS should have known this was a possibility, just as ArbCom should have done better at presenting what was being considered).
    2. However, JSS is still entitled to appeal any/all of the outcome. In fact I worked hard to make sure the outcome would allow that to happen right away in January because it was important to me as a matter of fairness, with a group of new arbs coming in, that he would have that chance. So regardless of how we end up here, I take serious any new information that we have gained during this appeal that we didn't have at the time of our original discussions with JSS.
    3. The oversight specific information and related thinking was not shared with us and is the new information I am considering here. I would summarize the information not previously presented as "JSS feels his use of oversight is independent from anything that he did as an arb, there is no evidence of misuse of the Oversight tool, so he can still be trusted to be an oversighter even if there are concerns about him as an Arbitrator." I do not find that compelling. My vote was primarily about preventing future occurrences of the kinds that had already happened. Future issues could just as easily happen from information gained as an Oversighter or from being present on the functionary's list. To quote JSS from the TNT case where he wrote, in voting to remove TNT's Oversight bit despite the lack of misconduct with that tool, Being a functionary is a position of the utmost trust, and I simply do not trust their judgement anymore. The only part of that I'd change is "anymore" to "at this time".
    I'm therefore a decline on this appeal absent some movement from my colleagues saying the decision itself was wrong (which I don't expect to be forthcoming at this time). JSS has a lot of hurt at what happened and it pains me to know that I could have done better to stop some of that hurt. I like JSS as a person and think, outside of this one flaw, he is an excellent arbitrator and thoughtful functionary. I hope JSS takes the time away he's said he was going to take and comes back in May/June with an appeal that addresses the core issues which led to my vote and which I wrote to JSS about and I produce below. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:09, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Excerpt from an email from Barkeep49 to Just Step Sideways (then named Beeblebrox)

I've been thinking about the largeness of the breaches and what I consider your overall very good to excellent record as an arb. But also part of that thinking was the presumption you would be able to course correct when presented with this direct feedback from the rest of your colleagues. The fact that in these emails you're [text removed because it's not been said publicly that I recall by JSS and so it is not mine to share] in general not sounding contrite is making me rethink that presumption. The only reason I'm not reconsidering my vote is because I do get the sense in that last paragraph that you're getting there. And it's in that spirit and with that hope I'm writing you this direct email in the hopes that it helps push you further.

  • @Just Step Sideways: What I'm hearing is that you think we should have told you we were considering revoking CUOS, in addition to our telling you that removal from the committee was on the table. In an ideal world, I think you're right: we should try to be as communicative about the possible range of options as possible. But in this case "not ideal" is as far as it gets — I don't think it slipped to the level of "unfair". Removal (or suspension) from the committee in this case would necessarily have involved a decision that you're not currently suitable to access sensitive information, and I don't think it should have been a surprise that such removal (or suspension) would also involve removal of functionary-level access to sensitive information.
    Like Barkeep49, I'm more than willing to take the time to reexamine the decision so that the new arbitrators are able to review the decision and decide whether we were wrong on the substance. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 22:28, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    In response to our email (after JSS submitted this ARCA), the Ombuds Commission informed us that we may publicly inform the community that yesterday, the Ombuds Commission told ArbCom that it intends to make a decision in its own case on Just Step Sideways (Beeblebrox) soon, subject to Legal review. "Soon" is a relative statement when it comes to global governance processes with complex cases, but in any event it may make sense to hold off on this ARCA request until the Ombuds Commission completes its review. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 23:10, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Just to be clear this is a summary, not a direct quote from anyone on the Ombuds. Barkeep49 (talk) 23:33, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Edited to make this more clear. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 23:35, 3 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Just Step Sideways: regarding I cannot recall a time when anyone not on the commission knew what they were doing before they actually made a reccomendation to the office. – I don't think this is true. I have found at least one time during your most recent term on ArbCom that ArbCom was informed about the status of a case before the Ombuds Commission before legal review was concluded. And, as my colleagues have noted, neither ArbCom as a body nor any arbitrator acting individually directed or requested the VRTS account closure (other than, implicitly, the removal of the "arbcom-en-wp" group on VRTS).
    On the merits, like my colleagues, I would decline this request. I would also be open to a compelling request on the substance after the suspension period has elapsed. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 17:53, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Note that Szmenderowiecki did some retooling of their statement --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 10:45, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • The warnings JSS has received in the past included both arb confidentiality issues and functionary confidentiality issues, though as I've said both privately and publicly, I do not believe there were any bright line ANPDP violations (and so I would consider removal of ANPDP to be excessive). For me at least, removal of functionary status was always going to accompany suspension as an arb. JSS, I say this as someone who has argued against an ANPDP yank: I do not trust you with functionary access right now, neither tool access nor list access. Maybe that will change in the future, I genuinely hope you'll give us a good appeal someday. But right now, I cannot and will not support restoration of any funct status. GeneralNotability (talk) 14:22, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I have a few comments to make—some general and some specific to this incident. I'll start with the general ones.
    I've gotten the impression from similar situations involving a functionary and ArbCom, that the functionary at one point or another appeared blindsided by the result. There may be multiple explanations for this occurrence. The less-charitable explanation from the functionary's perspective is that when ArbCom is considering sanctioning, or has sanctioned a functionary, there is already wide gap between ArbCom and said functionary. Such a result comes as a surprise directly because of this wide gap in mutual understanding. The less-charitable explanation from ArbCom's perspective is that we're collectively not good at handling such cases. With a normal arbitration case, there's at least some evidence phase, followed by a public proposed decision; thus, the subject of a remedy is aware of what is under consideration, and can make comments on the proposed decision talk to attempt to sway the decision. Something that involves functionary conduct doesn't lend itself to such a format. One solution is to circulate the actual proposed motion with the affected party prior to voting on it, which I don't think is presently done.
    As far as this specific case goes, having reviewing the discussions and evidence that led to the suspension, I don't find the outcome to be unreasonable. Considering the principle on functionary status passed in 2022, I think that removing functionary status in light of a suspension or removal from ArbCom is a logical step as well. In hindsight, the potential outcome could have been better communicated, but the end-result of loss of functionary status is not unreasonable.
    I agree with GN that there do not appear to be any bright-line ANPDP issues. In the context of regaining oversight access, there is nothing to me that suggests that there may be a risk of release of, for example, suppressed material. That's all to say I'm not a "never" on restoring oversight access, but I could entertain it at a later point, no earlier than when the suspension runs out. Maxim (talk) 14:33, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • JSS, the ArbCom had some information, we consulted with the functionaries on that information. Your argument appears to be that you leaked that information as an Arb but did not do so as a functionary. That is complete nonsense.
    At present I'm not comfortable sharing confidential information with you under either role.
    As for the revelation that the Ombuds are conducting their own case, what is your preference, that we tell you why we're not moving forward on this, or that we prevaricate for weeks or months until they reach an end? Cabayi (talk) 15:58, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • User rights were badly named because they are not rights: they are privileges given to editors. No one has to have these tools and it is up to the community and Wikimedia organisation to determine who is given this access. Beebs/JSS states they did not know that removal of Oversight (OS) access was a possibility while the case was being discussed. ArbCom could have informed Beebs/JSS of this possibility, but I am not convinced it was necessary as sanctions can always involve removing user rights and, to emphasise, no one has the right to any tools. Regardless, this lack of knowledge does not stop Beebs/JSS from appealing that decision, which is what is happening here (even if in their statement they are calling their appeal an amendment, I still consider this an appeal).
For functionary roles like OS, the community and Wikimedia organisation decided that ArbCom could determine this access. One of the criteria for OS is trust: ArbCom and the community have to trust that all functionaries will not disclose non-public information. I believe this trust has been broken multiple times. Therefore, I am not willing to return the privilege of OS tools to Beebs/JSS at this time, regardless of the Ombud's results in this case. There are many areas of Wikipedia that Beebs/JSS can contribute to without the OS tools; I encourage them to pick some of these areas and start working to rebuild ArbCom’s trust, and by extension the community’s trust, for OS access at a later date. Z1720 (talk) 17:17, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • For clarity's sake, decline per my comments above. Z1720 (talk) 17:53, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I have taken the time to review the private evidence and process around this, and broadly agree with my colleagues' comments above. The Committee could've done better at ensuring that JSS knew about and understood what was being considered, and the underlying reasoning. However, that doesn't in any way change the fact that there has been a critical loss of trust around private information. Precisely where that private information came from does not seem particularly relevant, merely that it is indeed private to roughly the same degree, and I believe here that it was. I am also not a "never" on restoring Oversight access, but any appeal would have to substantively address the issues that led to revocation for me to be swayed. As such, I would decline this amendment request. firefly ( t · c ) 17:20, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Much has been said above, so I will try to be brief. As mentioned by my colleagues, suspension of CUOS access is a natural result of suspension from the Committee, and I do not see any way around that connection. I see no issue with Just Step Sideways re-requesting VRTS access, specifically for the info-en and related queues, as those queues as mentioned are not strictly governed by enWiki or ArbCom. Primefac (talk) 18:48, 4 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]