User talk:Roger Davies/Archive 2015

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I request to be a party

I request to be added as a party in WP:ARBCOM/Wifione. Indiaresists (talk) 18:01, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Why? And who is your main account?  Roger Davies talk 18:04, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
This complaint is about at least 2 rival paid editing syndicates operating on India related articles and hundreds of sockpuppet accounts like [1], [2], [3] etc which lead to blocked users on en-wp like User:Darkness_Shines affecting at least 600 articles. The rest only by email and not publicly. Indiaresists (talk) 18:10, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Be that as it may, you don't need to be a party to give evidence: the limits are 500 words and 50 diffs. And I'd still like to know the name of your main account please ....  Roger Davies talk 18:31, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
OK. All this will be part of my uninvolved evidence. I'm stopping editing here at en-wp as of now. Indiaresists (talk) 18:55, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
  • India is a center of black hat SEO. I got so tired of all the shops there offering me cheap wholesale services that I've blocked the entire county from accessing by business website. Jehochman Talk 11:57, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Question about GamerGate Arbcom

This case is long and complicated, and looking at all the statements and evidence posts this is an unenviable possition to be in. Which makes this question that much more awkward: Though the time to submit evidence has obviously already elapsed, could evidence that *couldn't possibly* have been submitted at the time because it was only known to be applicable after the fact?

My example would be the fact that it was only this week that the NorthBySouthBaranof admitted that he was the previous Wikipedia users FCYTravis and Polarscribe, and he was previously rebuked by admins on Wikipedia for edit warring, abuse of admin tools, article ownership, uncivil bahior, and sockpuppeting, and this could give important context to his actions in this case:'_noticeboard/Archive_25#Resysopping

I don't know who is available in what timeframe, so hopefully one of you guys is available to get back to me soon.

Thank you for your time. WhatOnEar (talk) 02:54, 13 January 2015 (UTC)


Hi, Roger - I've been trying to keep up with the CAM debates, etc. but I'm still a little confused over how it would apply to a BLP re: an author who has written many books, but only one about a natural plant substance that involves a cover-up and whistleblower, (in 2014), and is now undergoing further scientific study because of its "proven" efficacy in vitro. Without going into detail, I'll simply ask if the sanctions prohibit editors from writing what the author stated in his book? Are we now prohibited from including brief mention of the author's philosophy if we also include what mainstream rejects/accepts? The author is notable for other books, but the PS-Fringe argument has crept in and became a dominant argument in this BLP. I don't want to wake-up one morning and find myself named in an ARBCOM to be TB because I misunderstood something. Thx in advance.... AtsmeConsult 22:20, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your message. I can't help with guidance on content but there is specific policy on what authors say about themselves (WP:BLPSPS and WP:BLPSELFPUB). Additionally, you need to read the general provisions about style and content of biographical-related material on the same page. In a nutshell, it needs to be neutral, conservative, and reliably sourced. As regards discretionary sanctions, so long as you stay scrupulously within the rules WP:ACDS, there is unlikely to be an issue.  Roger Davies talk 08:51, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Central Log

Comment copied as requested. However, I don't see a link on WP:AN asking where the community should comment. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:32, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! It's the blue [[Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Draft motion for establishing a central DS log|'''Discuss this''']] directly above your support at WP:AN.  Roger Davies talk 15:37, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Moved from GamerGate

  • I also have a question though it is more specific regarding the harassment assertion, which due to recent events, is also a matter pertaining to the case. An edit was made to harassment policy last year (the summary said that it was made pursuant to a private discussion on the functionaries mailing list) which probably contributes (and will continue to contribute) to the increase in the amount of off-wiki harassment AC have to handle. Why did the arbitrators last year indirectly (or directly) endorse the edit which was made on behalf of the functionaries? Or is it now being said that this was also the fault of WMF? Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:18, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I have no idea what you're raising here, but it has nothing to do with this case. If you have a query can you please raise it on my talk page?  Roger Davies talk 16:30, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
      • I'm happy for you to move this, my previous comment, and your above reply to your talk page if you prefer, but it pertains to your response to Hipocrite when he criticised that you were not dealing with this case with adequate efficiency (and a ground of appeal advanced by Ryulong when he was restricted on 2 Jan in relation to this case - while the parties waited for the PD to be posted on the original deadline of 4 Jan). In Ryulong's appeal, I recall him saying that a change was recently made to harassment policy. The codified change can reasonably suggest that at all times, if there are any accounts on any other websites which may connect with users on Wikipedia, they must be reported to AC and should never be posted on-wiki; this would naturally lead to an increase in the off-wiki harassment which AC will need to handle. On closer inspection of the edit summary when that change was made to the policy, it appears that the change was made after "discussion" with functionaries on their private mailing list (which last year's arbitrators were subscribed to). There was no community discussion about it at the time. So my question was why did the arbitrators last year indirectly endorse the edit which was made on behalf of the functionaries (when it will further adversely affect their workloads so significantly)? Or is the edit also being blamed on WMF (given that you blamed WMF for having to deal with any off-wiki harassment in the first place as it is taking time which you can spend on this case)? Ncmvocalist (talk) 17:47, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
        • Nobody endorsed anything so I really don't understand what your point is here. And what makes you think that the change directly increased workloads? Dealing with harassment/outing has been a long term time sink and I've been making long term efforts to get the WMF to take it over.  Roger Davies talk 18:13, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Such hard work

I understand that "arbitrating" is very hard work. However, it seems to me that the work you are doing has done a lot more harm than good over the years—banning good contributors, running off countless others, and contributing to a terrible, toxic culture that is constantly damaging our community.

If a prolific vandal and block evader said that all his vandalism and block evasion was very hard and time-consuming work, what would you advise him to do? Everyking (talk) 00:26, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Admins and arbs have to take nonsense posted on their talk page, but it can be challenged. There are two or three discontented editors who focus on making put-down comments about admins or arbs, but their posts are otherwise devoid of content—there is never any justification for the absurd claims, nor is there acknowledgment that the judgment expressed is that of an extreme minority. The community is generally happy with admins and arbs (otherwise there would be many more than two or three grumblers), although my guess is that most would prefer faster processes that removed trouble makers before they damaged the community. Johnuniq (talk) 00:52, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
When you post something obnoxious, the reader is entitled to ignore you. Jehochman Talk 00:57, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Would User:Everyking prefer to do away with arbitration? I am aware that there are a few editors who believe that Wikipedia should, like Usenet, be an experiment in anarchy. That was not the intention of the WMF or of Jimbo Wales. If Wikipedia is not an anarchy, what alternative to arbitration is preferred? Reliance solely on the noticeboards would be a different experiment in anarchy. The only obvious alternatives would be reliance entirely on blocking admins, which would be an experiment in oligarchy, or the use of a god-king. Do you have a different idea? Robert McClenon (talk) 15:36, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
I want greater community oversight and transparency. I want the ArbCom and the people who enforce its rulings to behave responsibly and to be meaningfully accountable to the community. I want the ArbCom to stop abusing our volunteers, to make reasonable decisions and to explain those decisions properly. Everyking (talk) 15:47, 16 January 2015 (UTC)


Please give me (again, sorry) the link about majorities in arbcom votes, explaining how 5 is a majority of 13 - 3, and perhaps how in the same clarification 15 arbs are active on one motion and 13 on the other. I feel lost. Did the arbitrators take notice of the facts that project opera came to terms with {{infobox opera}} and even Handel has one now? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 12:43, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

It should be six. It was either a typo or brain rot ;). The calculation is: 13 - 3 = 10 / 2 = 5 + 1 = 6. Thanks for pointing it out,  Roger Davies talk 12:51, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I still feel lost that a case which was requested because too many infoboxes - mostly of operas - were reverted(!), requested during the debates about the transition, is still occupying people's time after the original discussions are over. For your amusement: "best remembered as a farce" --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:41, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

"No actionable evidence"

Greetings, I hope this isn't violatiing any rules if so I apologize and you can disregard, but I noticed you said "Because there's virtually no actionable evidence" when asked why I was "ignored" by Arbs. But then you voted to topic-ban me as a SPA, when I don't really get how I can be judged as one. I was even already brought to ANI for the SPA accusation by an user who made a long list of supposed SPA, and it was ignored. I've left a more detailed response in the talk page but left a summary here if you don't have time, cheers Loganmac (talk) 06:35, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi Loganmac. Nope, it's fine to contact me here. My original comment was based on the /Evidence and /Workshop pages, which showed no actionable evidence. Since then, however, things moved on and your editing contributions came up, which I'd not previously looked at in detail. We do sometimes review stuff that has been raised on other fora so it's not remarkable. All that said, a topic-ban is a great way to put all this behind you and move on. Which I hope you do,  Roger Davies talk 23:11, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm perfectly fine with what you guys come up regarding me, I just hope that the rules are applied fairly. I've already expressed my concerns about two Arbs who have strong positions about GamerGate who have voted against me, and in favor of keeping NorthBySouth, Gamaliel, Ryulong, etc. But I don't know if I should express this further since someone doing so got someone already banned. Loganmac (talk) 00:10, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Noticed that you voted twice in a section in the recent Gamergate case

Just a passerby who's interested in the recent Gamergate Arbcom case. I noticed that you voted to ban Ryulong twice. Finally, I would like to declare that this account is a new account while I already have another relatively unused one, and I understand that this may contravene wikipedia policy on multiple accounts, but I wish to have absolutely no involvement with the direct scandal at hand, even if it's only but a slight editing mistake that has no relation or bearing to the actual scandal at hand. I understand I could use my IP or my main account, but I do not want any of my details doxxed at all. I apologize if this is not a valid reason for making a sock for the purposes of alerting you. Just a heads up for you. Don't mind me. Donotdoxme (talk) 12:00, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks!  Roger Davies talk 12:08, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Delete my section?

Good morning Roger. Would you please delete this for me, if you think it's appropriate? I'd do it but since you've commented It's probably best that you do. I wasn't really sure what you had in mind for that section. Cheers. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 07:17, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

No need, it's fine as it stands. Just not quite what I was expecting.  Roger Davies talk 10:13, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd actually prefer it went. I'd prefer the committee to impose remedies (if it decides any are warranted) based just on the tendentious editing case. I'd like to see how this committee responds to an admin based solely on that, if at all possible. I think I (and we all) know how you (pl) would deal with an admin caught socking with an undeclared COI. Leaving those suspicions out of the decision-making process will make it very clear any measures you impose are for tendentious editing, and any message sent by those measures would be much clearer. Your call, of course. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 10:57, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That's fine. I completely understand. I'll vape it shortly,  Roger Davies talk 11:03, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Roger. I just saw a post at Wikipediocracy where Andreas quoted your explanation. Sorry, I hadn't seen that before I posted my "analysis". --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 12:51, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the case

Greetings, I've been keeping an eye on the Gamergate case for a while but one thing has left me confused. The table at the bottom, the one titled "Ryulong remedy calculation" I'm not sure what it's purpose is. Would you mind explaining it please? (talk) 07:31, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, a calculation of the preferential votes. I'll ask the clerks to add something to their procedures explaining it when I/they have more time,  Roger Davies talk 08:03, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the prompt reply, this really helped. (talk) 10:02, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Even as you vote, Roger...

Gamergate's targets are being attacked in the encyclopedia. I have been part of the solution for months — the solution to the problem of repeated, seemingly-endless, vicious, insidious attacks against living people by a group of people who are here for no other reason than to use the encyclopedia as a weapon of character assassination. If you see me reverting such a blatantly-inappropriate edit as being "part of the problem," then I suggest that you need to reconsider what your conception of the "problem" is — because I see the problem as edits such as the one above, which portray real, live human beings in a false light and unfairly bring them into disrepute. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 00:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I want to see the topic handled by dispassionate, uninvolved people. That is perfectly achievable. All this talk of manning the barracades and digging the trenches runs completely counter to the ethos here.  Roger Davies talk 00:52, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I am passionate about only one thing, Roger: seeing that living people of all stripes are fairly treated by the encyclopedia and that our pages are not used by people with axes to grind as a platform for character assassination. If that is a crime, then I plead guilty. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 00:56, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That may well be the case but your rhetoric is inflammatory and more likely to wound than to heal.  Roger Davies talk 01:02, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
So are you willing to watchlist all those pages, revert all the vandalism, deal with the endless attempts to falsely portray Gamergate's targets, and then get doxxed and harassed by off-wiki anonymous mobs for your trouble? Because if you're not willing to do it, and you want to topic-ban everyone who has been willing to do it, who do you expect will? NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 01:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@Roger Davies: NorthBySouthBaranof topic-banned: Wow, I have never seen such an extraordinay misreading of a situation by good arbitrators. Are you not aware of the off-wiki coordination and limitless supply of SPAs? The thing that is different about gamergate from virtually all preceding cases is that the gamers are very civil, and they overwhelm good editors like NorthBySouthBaranof by numbers, and by never hearing anything that deflects from their mission. It is not acceptable for Arbcom to hide behind "we never look at the content" and throw Wikipedia open for any coordinated team of WP:CPUSH editors. The reason a very small number of editors like NorthBySouthBaranof have a "deep investment" is that they really care about the encyclopedia and do not want to see it become another weapon used by gamergaters to bludgeon the harassment victims. Johnuniq (talk) 05:12, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

{[od}} Hi Johnuniq Thanks for your comments. Yes, I have seen several situations exactly like this before on varying scales1, 2, 3 and am very familiar with the background to this one.

What usually happens, and what has happened here, is that the two groups of people push against each other for months. Tempers become frayed, patience wears thin, and ideas become fixed; people move to more and more polarised positions. In short, it all becomes a permanent battleground. In turn, this means that the middle ground, which is where the article should be and where good things can happen, becomes a no-man's land. Neutral people coming in are viewed with deep suspicion, and/or hostility, and move away. This is profoundly unsatisfactory and serves to perpetuate, rather than resolve, the underlying dispute/s.

It is beyond dispute that NSBS's primary activity within the topic has been talk page discussion. The 2300-edit count speaks to that. It is also beyond dispute that they have a particular POV about the dispute and the participants, and are vocal about it. It is also beyond dispute that they have been on the receiving end of disgraceful behaviour. My view is that we should now be encouraging the arrival of fresh neutral editors and encouraging the old guard to move away. This will calm the topic down and reduce the talk page churn. The broader issues, like the arrival of throwaway accounts, and egregious BLP violations, can be handled quickly and effectively (and mostly with little fuss) by admins under DS. Once the dispute is de-escalated, article neutrality can be achieved/preserved thouh policy and the normal editing process. Although they are sometimes perceived as punitive, topic-bans are really nothing more than an enforced encouragement to leave the topic to others and they are effective. I hope this clarifies things a bit,  Roger Davies talk 09:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

My "primary activity within the topic has been talk page discussion" because that's the alternative to edit-warring, Roger — I work to discuss issues on the talk page and, very often, to explain to people why their edits are inappropriate and why they can't slander living people in the encyclopedia based on someone's 8chan post or an anonymous blog. It seems strange to indict me for doing exactly what good-faith editors are supposed to do — engage in good-faith debate and discussion about the issues at hand and patiently explain to people our policies and standards for material about living people. Once again, I ask you who is willing to watchlist all those pages, revert all the vandalism and deal with the inevitable onslaught of on and off-wiki harassment and abuse from Gamergate supporters who will target them and who are already discussing how to target them? Your silence in response to this question is not going unnoticed, and your lack of support for the editors who have dealt with this mess for the last five months is also not going unnoticed. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 10:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I do take your point to some extent. But, the talk page discussions are not with the extreme characters that you talk so frequently about. Instead they're mostly with established editors with differing views to your own. The goal there, per policy, is to reach consensus. And consensus is not achieved by gasoline. This is not good for the topic and it's not good for you.  Roger Davies talk 19:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Neither is it good for me for you to tell me that the thanks I get for my efforts in protecting living people is a topic-ban. In fact, it tells me that this encyclopedia doesn't care about its editors nor does it care about living people — rather, it cares about sweeping issues under the rug and maintaining the illusion that banning established editors and brand-new sockpuppets alike creates "equality." My talk page discussions have been largely civil and forthright, and I have repeatedly made good-faith efforts to explain to editors why what they are doing is wrong and prohibited by policy. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 10:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

A long campaign organized off-wiki has been waged, and Arbcom is at the point of handing them the prize—unfettered access to a dozen articles. Further, Arbcom is providing a recipe for how any external group should proceed to ensure their opponents are removed—NBSB has a deep investment and so should be topic banned to bring in fresh blood. No one will be silly enough to take the time and effort after seeing what Arbcom did to the first group who defended the encyclopedia. Johnuniq (talk) 10:28, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm afraid I can't agree with everything you're saying here. There are already completely neutral editors participating, though they seem to be getting grief for not adhering to one party line or the other. The problem with this kind of dispute is that blocs form and unless everyone behaves optimally neutral voices are shouted down. (See this principle about a parallel situation a couple of years ago.)

But in terms of improving things, te case, so far, takes over all the community sanctions, imposes wider topic bans to stop the dispute escalating, and places those sanctioned under ArbCom enforcement. That applies to existing sanctions for about forty or so people, including established editors, plus another hundred or so notifications/alerts. The combination of DS and existing hard policy will make it much easier for admins to deal with BLP escalation, gross POV-pushing and on-wiki harassment, WP:IDHT-type stuff, and personal attacks. Serious harassment, if it occurs, is a matter for law enforcement,  Roger Davies talk 19:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

What incentive does any so-called "neutral" editor have to become involved, when they will inevitably be labeled as "biased" by Gamergate supporters the minute they revert attacks on Zoe Quinn, resulting in their being smeared all over 8chan and Reddit, harassed, doxxed and targeted for another ArbCom case as soon as enough "evidence" can be ginned up? You're showing them exactly what they're going to get for their trouble, Roger: an impossibly-long arbitration case and a topic-ban. You appear to believe that there is a flood of "neutral" editors waiting to sign up for this treatment right now, if only you topic-ban me. I hope for the encyclopedia's sake that you're right, because otherwise you're going to have the Seigenthaler incident all over again, only 10,000 times worse. There is a well-known, coordinated, international-media-reported campaign to slander, smear and assassinate the character of particular living people, and they're trying to use Wikipedia to do it. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 10:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I've commented substantially on this above.  Roger Davies talk 19:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I was happy plodding away at some of the more disregarded areas of Wikipedia. And I've been watching issues more than full-on editing for too long. But, this is the last straw man. I'm out. You all are killing the joy and hope I had for this project. [4] Your impossible job is not one that deserves attacks and I recognize the hard work done continually, but the need to diffuse short-term, few-issue conflicts is trading off with the long-term, overall health of the encyclopedia. Don't reassess this case, it is small in the grand scheme of things. But ArbCom has become a major problem now and is not helping the encyclopedia grow and capture a greater share of human ideas. No diva-ness: I am out. AbstractIllusions (talk) 02:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi, AbstractIllusions. I was really sorry to hear that you're unhappy with the Committee's handling of the Gamergate dispute. I do wonder though whether the bandwidth has obscured the key points of the decision as a whole. What follows will also be of interest to @Johnuniq and NorthBySouthBaranof:. The current decision includes:

  • eleven t-bans
  • endorses and places under ArbCom enforcement forty or so existing community sanctions
  • brings under ArbCom enforcement about a hundred community warnings/notifications
  • extends all community topic-bans and restrictions to include participation in any gender-related dispute
  • introduces discretionary sanctions for any gender-related dispute
  • reminds editors of the existing BLP provisions to tackle drive-by abuse
  • tackles the factionalism and editing blocs dominating the topic
  • invites neutral editors to participate
  • invites uninvolved administrators to participate
  • reminds administrator of the exemptions to 'involved' for BLP articles
  • invites review of problematic articles

As the committee has no jurisdiction whatsoever over editorial content, and has absolutely no mandate to create new policy by fiat, and has no special powers to push through changes in site direction, I'm not clear what else we can do. If you have any specific proposals that would improve the decision, I'd be very interested to hear them.  Roger Davies talk 08:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Setting the topic-banning-editors-who-worked-really-hard-to-stop-abuse issue aside because we've rehashed that enough here and we're not going to agree;
You could explicitly thank the editors (not just the admins) who have been dealing with reverting an onslaught of abuse targeting the BLP subjects in question. Nobody's asking for a pension and a gold watch, but an acknowledgement of what it has taken from a wide array of editors to prevent a widespread flood of abuse would be nice.
You could impose a one-strike-you're-out rule which would result in an immediate topic ban for any editor who inserts a significant BLP violation into an article or talk page related to Gamergate. Minor mistakes of sourcing happen, but any flagrant abuse should be an immediate sign that the editor is wholly unsuited to the topic area. This would be explicitly stated and enforceable at the discretionary sanctions page.
You could impose indefinite semi-protection of all articles related to Gamergate. There has been enough IP and throwaway abuse in this topic space that this seems like an obvious solution which would cut down on the number of rev-deletions necessary after the fact. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 08:29, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
We could do but it would also have to include gender-disputes and all related BLPs (including many that no one is yet fighting over). This would lead to vast numbers of articles being pre-emptively semi'd. Better is to authorise DS so that admins can semi as and when the need arises, which is entirely in line with policy.  Roger Davies talk 10:24, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Why would you have to include all those, Roger? There's absolutely no reason you can't distinguish a particular section of articles which are under organized attack by off-wiki trolls in furtherance of an internationally-reported harassment campaign. The arbitration is titled "GamerGate" and the specific issue is that trolls are attacking people who have been targeted by GamerGate. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 10:36, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
What else you can do is vote against any proposal to remove good editors like NBSB who are defending the encyclopedia against an ugly attack that is being organized off-wiki. This thread started with a diff showing yet another returned user changing "false allegations" (about a living person) to "unsubstantiated allegations"—a wedge strategy to water down what reliable sources say (the source is titled "#GamerGate: the misogynist movement blighting the video games industry", and includes "false accusations", and finishes "when members of the games industry are being driven from their houses and jobs, threatened, or abused, it makes GamerGate’s claim that it is engaged in an ethical campaign appear laughable". There are dozens of throw-away accounts prepared to make edits like the one in the diff, and they will use extremely civil language to wear down any normal editor. No one is asking arbs to rule on the content, but arbs should read a few sources to understand that there is no factual basis for a dispute—the allegations really are false, and the claims "it's about ethics" are nonsense. Wikipedia needs dedicated people like NBSB to monitor the area because a lot of effort is required to understand the maze of claims which extend to bizarre topics such as Cultural Marxism. Gamergate is not a typical case requiring typical remedies. Johnuniq (talk) 09:02, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There are actually two separate issues here. No one would criticise NBSB for the way they've dealt with BLP vio's etc. The FOF is entirely about relations with existing established editors and sub-optimal conduct in relation to them. The t-ban is designed to help all established editors work to find durable solutions, and not to favour one side. Roger Davies talk 10:24, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Both of which are relatively minor issues, and for which I accept responsibility and admonishment. A topic ban is clearly unnecessarily punitive and has the clear appearance of rewarding off-wiki trolls. There is no reason to prevent me from further engagement with the issue given that anything I do in the future is undoubtedly going to be subject to insane levels of scrutiny, and frankly already is. There is not a "durable solution" to the problem of vicious BLP vandalism, Roger, other than constant vigilance on the articles in question or simply full-protecting them all until Gamergate dies down. Which frankly isn't a bad idea. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 10:32, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Plus there's the issue of misusing sources (which isn't trivial) and ownership (which I deliberately raise at all). And topic-bans aren't punitive; they're preventative.  Roger Davies talk 10:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Which, as several arbs have noted, is arguable. This topic ban, obviously, is punitive, Roger, and that's clear as a bell to everyone who looks at this from outside. There is no other way to view it. There's no sense arguing this point further, because you have the power and I don't. Just don't be surprised at the consequences that will come from your choice to empower notorious Internet trolls. Unless, of course, you really like being a hero of 8chan. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 11:02, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
If topic-bans weren't punitive, the punishment for repeatedly violated them with civilized and otherwise non-rule-breaking comments wouldn't be expulsion from Wikipedia. NorthBySouthBaranof is 100% correct. It seems like the default inclination is too far in the "punishment for everyone regardless of what they personally did to put it behind everyone" direction for the sake not having to actually deal with the specifics of the controversy on Wikipedia ("My view is that we should now be encouraging the arrival of fresh neutral editors and encouraging the old guard to move away."). That doesn't exactly look like neutrality. Again, this is just how it looks like from the outside. Thanks. WhatNeverHappens (talk) 17:25, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Roger, I am lost as to whether you just don't take the time to properly appreciate the concerns being raised, whether you take the time but simply disagree (repeatedly), or whether you genuinely don't get it. AbstractIllusions already said "don't reassess this case, it is small in the grand scheme of things", so it makes no sense to me why asking that user's specific proposals for this decision is going to fix the fundamental problem. Anyway, I just thought that was obvious, but seeing you did for specific suggestions for this decision, I have one.
You could explicitly in the decision acknowledge harassment and a finding that it has occurred, couldn't you? Even though very serious harassment is left to law enforcement (if it occurs), the community has certainly not relieved the committee of its duties to deal with harassment. In this case, the proposed principle is at least a start, but you haven't yet touched it even. Actually I don't see why such a number on the committee is reluctant to spell out when harassment occurred, how it occurred, and who it occurred against (even if the evidence is ultimately private like EEML case or even if there is a reluctance to make findings against the editors who engaged in the harassment). Ncmvocalist (talk) 09:07, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Hullo, NCM. I'm not sure how mentioning harassment will help at all. The appalling off-wiki stuff is already well-documented in the articles and really doesn't have any bearing on the disputes taking place between established editors of differing views. When it takes place, we tend not to memorialise on-wiki harassment in cases because it rewards the harasser and might give others ideas. (cf. WP:DENY and WP:BEANS).  Roger Davies talk 10:24, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Greetings to you (and your colleagues), Roger. Wikipedia is not an isolated island, and it is well established that harassment contributes negatively to editor retention. It is hardly beneficial to invite editors and administrators to the area only for them to later find out that the problems are actually worse than what the committee has mentioned. Some would call it misleading. I also don't think it will inspire confidence that this project's goals, policies, and expectations are sustainable if there is no sign that harassment is actually being addressed. Administrators should not feel reluctant to make difficult calls on an issue like that because they are concerned the committee itself doesn't appear to take active steps on the issue. And given the issue was raised so many times, it does deserve mention that the concerns were justified (rather than raising the possibility that they are completely inconsequential and have no effect on editors).
We put a policy in place against harassment which warned and warns users that other than community bans or blocks, arbitration is the consequence; that is, it is the committee's responsibility to actively address that issue more than anyone else when it is occurring. If efforts are made to evade or shift this responsibility, it will not end well. Yes, I take your point about the desire not to memorialise harassment and completely agree that it should not reward the harasser, but you all have enough clue to think of a way to actively address harassment without giving other people ideas. Ncmvocalist (talk) 16:43, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Just regarding the idea that they are neutral editors waiting in the wings to take over the article responsibly as soon as the incivil ones are dragged out -- wasn't the whole reason the GGTF was created in the first place that there wasn't this horde of knowledgeable feminist editors who still had faith in wikipedia?
Also, based on a conversation earlier on this page, I'm confused -- is ArbCom allowed to suggest changes to policy to prevent or at least mitigate the obvious and self-admitted gaming of the system on the part of the SPA accounts, or are you truly limited to simply sanctioning whichever specific accounts you can catch and punting the problem up the ladder? People seem to be saying contradictory things on this. (talk) 17:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Saw your post on Jimbo's wall

I saw your rendition of the current ArbCom case, and to be honest it seems like many ArbCom admins went into this already pre-committed to a decision that is bad for everyone, regardless of the individual circumstances.

For example, I think calling LoganMac's account a "single purpose account" as a finding of fact is a huge stretch, considering all his other edits. It seems more like everyone was already pre-committed to making sure that the biggest figureheads of both sides punished similarly no matter what, so as to appear even-handed.

There is something to being a part of the "punish everyone to keep the peace and prevent disruption" crowd, but it seems a bit much. Maybe that wasn't the thinking in the deliberations, but I don't really have access to that information.

Not like my opinion matters, you and the panel of course have the final say, but I'm just telling you what it all looks like to an outside observer. WhatNeverHappens (talk) 18:55, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

No, nobody was pre-committed to any course. If you check you'll see that LM was added later. If you have a regular account. by the way, I'd appreciate it if you used it. Thanks,  Roger Davies talk 19:00, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Addendum: Does the fact that part of ArbCom itself also openly disputes the neutrality of the panel's thinkinglink lend credible support to how I said this all looks to an outside perspective? Granted, for all you know, I'm some crazed lunatic on the internet who cares too much about everything, but the fact that some in the committee itself acknowledge this perception I would think has to mean something.
You write "nobody was pre-committed to any course", and although it cannot be brought up on Wikipedia because it involves offsite conduct and comments, I think you know better than that. Also, I would argue that certain "If you check you'll see that LM was added later" doesn't necessarily run counter to the above. For example, I could say that while many of the lower-tier editors on one side were set to be punished, big names equivalent to say Ryulong were not. So it could be for the sake of appearing "fair" another big name was added for balance. It's nice to be able to say "See? we were fair. We punished the other guys the same way too!" — perhaps not even to outsiders but maybe even to appease some of the other ArbCom admins for the sake of gaining compromises or bargaining over votes. It's not like it's inherently pernicious. It's just what it looks like from my perspective on the outside. I do not wish to use a regular account for fear of reprisal. I have seen it before with other times when not-rule-breaking but critical comments were civilly made, and it's not worth the hassle. One of my goals is to get my own buddy-buddy friend network of admins so I don't have to worry about reprisal as much. An unfortunate reality, but a practical consideration. Thank you for your time. WhatNeverHappens (talk) 19:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Am I following this logic train correctly? "You're only banning the gaters, this shows you're biased", "that's not true, we proposed bans for lots of anti-gaters as well", "oh but you're only doing that so it looks even-handed" ... Roger will verify that I'm far from ArbCom's biggest fan, but by your logic it's damned whatever it does. The point of arbitration is to allow neutral voices to prevail—ie people who have no strong opinion either way—not to ban just one side and let the other have at it. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:16, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I added this to the conversation above, but part of ArbCom itself acknowledges that it's thinking does not appear to I don't think it is such a crazy position to have.
You are not following the reasoning at all. Plenty of Gaters deserved topic bans, and in my opinion, expulsion from the site entirely like TDA, who has had plenty of chances in the past to correct his behavior. (I didn't bring him up before because it is much easier to argue that punishment is unfairly exaggerated rather than unfairly moderated, and I wanted to used the stronger argument about LM). My point is that it seems like punishments are being exaggerated (like with LM) and moderated (like with TDA) out of character of their actual offenses, and it appears to look like it is for the sake of being "even-handed" rather than those were the actions fairly warranted from a genuinely neutral judgment. Merely wanting all people engaged in a controversy, no matter what their offenses warranted, gone for the sake of removing conflict *is not a neutral mentality*. Roger Davies' post on Jimbo's talk page also reads with the impression that a "balance" of punishment was sought from the start. As for ArbCom neutrality, I think you also know better than to think all the members went into this case without an agenda. Of course it encompasses offsite information, but I am certain you know *something* about those controversies. Just because it isn't mentioned on Wikipedia, doesn't mean it isn't known and influences outside perspectives about whether many of these conclusions were impartially decided. WhatNeverHappens (talk) 22:31, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I wanted to point out to you that there is no "Criticism of Feminism" page on wikipedia. There isn't a subsection for it either. Socialism, democracy, liberalism, libertarianism... all have sections or subsections devoted to criticism of the subject at hand. Criticism of Feminism links to "Antifeminism", which is rife with "expert opinions" on Antifeministm by people that are Feminists. There's virtually nothing on what Antifeminism is actually about and all about why it's terrible and no good according to these Feminists here. This is what passes as a "Criticism of Feminism" page. If you were to go to the forums of Cracked.Com and criticize Feminism you'd be banned so fast it'd make your head spin. What I'm trying to tell you, Roger, is that New Media (Places like Wikipedia, Cracked, Polygon, etc etc) have been colonized thoroughly. It's no accident that banning five guys from a website has become international news. Really let that sink in for a moment because it has to feel as weird reading it as it did writing it. It sounds like something from a half baked conspiracy theory on reddit... but you can read the wall of articles yourself. Because yes, it really is that insane. Look, I don't know where you lean on the political spectrum and frankly I don't give a shit, but I am deeply concerned about Wikipedia remaining an unbiased place to find information because the degree of abuse the general public would suffer if this fell into the wrong hands is unimaginable. I'm asking you to be vigilant concerning the colonization of this website. You don't exist to police the interwebs... but the least you can do is recognize that there are people like the "Social Justice" crowd in every age and the suffering they bring down on people... good god. Don't let them use this place as a tool to do it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:29, 26 January 2015‎ (UTC)

This is a completely different topic, I don't know who you are but you should really start post in a new section if you to discuss all of this. You should also sign your comments, since it can be easy to confuse who said what in a comment chain that way. Nevertheless, looking at the antifeminism article, it looks mostly fine in its WP:NPOV. It could probably use some work on expounding some of the details of the philosophy, but that's bound to be the case with any Wikipedia article that is somewhat skimpy. I don't think Roger Davies is involved in a dispute regarding that page, or there is an edit war necessitating admin intervention, or a controversy on feminism that Roger Davies would have expertise to resolve, so in general *this is not the page to raise these kinds of concerns*. Use the talk page of any article you are worried about WP:NPOV with. In my opinion, you don't seem to be in a good place regarding this issue, and maybe emotionally emotionally involved, so it might be better for you to raise those concerns in the talk page but leave the editing to some more impartial Wikipedians. I just saw your current post on the antifeminism talk page, and I would remind you of WP:FORUM and that meta Wikipedia discussions and discussions over the origin of an article do not belong in an article talk page. You might be a new user, so I would suggest you become more familiar with the rules if you can. WhatNeverHappens (talk) 15:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Ryulong 1RR

Please note that Salvio recently changed from Support to Abstain, which means that this remedy is no longer passing. You have not voted in it, and a Support or Abstain on your part would render it passing again. (talk) 16:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

You nabbed it, thanks! (talk) 18:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


I just visited C.H. Sommer's Wiki page, and noticed edit by Notallmen. It seemed an bad faith edit, but I checked them out. Despite the fact I've lurked around Wikipedia for years (there's rarely something which both piques my interest as well as needs editing (or in some cases there's such an edit war that I really wish to stay out of it)) I'm not familiar enough yet with the procedures. Is there a proper location I can report stuff like that - someone who seems intent on ruining Wikipedia out of spite? MicBenSte (talk) 21:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

FYI @MicBenSte: the edit was swiftly reverted and the account was permanently blocked around 36 hours ago. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I found that out later when strolling through some user pages and archives. I forgot to update/remove this. As a matter of fact, feel free to hat/archive my question MicBenSte (talk) 22:04, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

What an Interesting Event

I've been watching this whole thing unfold for a while now and I've never been more blown away in my life. Though I may not be of NPOV with regards to the contentious article, I can very much appreciate and respect your adamant neutrality. And again, it blows me away to see how people have reacted to these events. I always felt like I've been a pretty reasonable and fair person. That I've always reserved judgement about anything or anyone until I've heard both sides of the story. But apparently, either I'm just crazy, or there's a lot of not so reasonable people out there. But anyways, I was just wondering if I could get your thoughts on a few things that seem to have been coming up a lot lately.

  • First of all, I used to think I had a pretty good idea what the word "harassment" meant. But I've seen that word thrown around a lot lately, even on WP. What does it really mean now? NBSB seems to believe he's fighting against the harassment of people. I'm not sure how editing the majority of an article on WP accomplishes this. Also it would seem that some believe that WP editors are being harassed too. While I do believe there has been some inflammation going on, it would seem that some of it wasn't without direct incitement. There is some amount of high-emotion on this talk page directed at you. I wonder if you may feel harassed. I'm sure many others would feel that way. I've seen what I thought was accountability for one's actions being deflected as harassment.
  • Which brings me to my second point. The spotlight. Obviously you know what being in the spotlight is like. I assume few people can handle it well. But what this means is that there's a lot of people watching and scrutinizing people's actions. The GamerGate topic is of course one of those places. One side of the controversy has been accused of off site collusion. But there's definitely been collusion on both sides. Infact, if there was as much collusion from the accused side, then the article would look very very different right now. But regardless of the collusion, there are lots of people watching, scrutinizing everyone's actions and talking about it. It's a pretty big issue, involving a lot of people but ironically, there are only 2 places that allow open discussion for the ProGG perspective. So of course that is where the discussion is happening. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with discussing the factuality of a WP article. Unless of course, you believe that they're a group dedicated to harassing??? Pretty weird stuff.... I also think it's weird how much support a select few individual editors have backing them.
  • And my 3rd point/question. With so much interest in the topic, of course there are going to be new editors coming to WP. The term SPA gets thrown around a lot, and in derogatory fashion. But then you have to wonder why editors join Wikipedia in the first place? Is not everyone a SPA when they start out? Of course I joined because of said recent events, though I've refrained from making any article edits with the current hostile climate. And obviously I'm not that interested in other topics... Yet... But really, what compels someone to edit WP? Obviously due to WP:NOR and WP:RS it should be pretty tough to advocate. I almost feel like SPA is a form of WP:Bite.

I'd be very interested to hear your opinion on any of these items. Though I know you're pretty busy and as an official of sorts may not want to comment directly on them. Thank you. TyTyMang (talk) 07:07, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi TyTyMang. In haste (sorry!) and taking your questions in turn:
  1. My views on harassment are well known. I'm not clear what I need to add.
  2. Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. The open environment brings its own problems. Resolving these are way beyond the pay grade of the Arbitration Committee.
  3. SPA is often used derogatively but, you're right, many people start off editing with a narrow focus. I guess many of the new people drawn by the GamerGate affair will turn to other interests in due course and the sooner they do that the better.
 Roger Davies talk 15:36, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

"Misuse of sources" Question (sorry, can't edit @ Arbcom with privacy alt)

The finding of facts on NBSB establishes their "misuse of sources". You said the test is "a simple matter of comparing text A with text B and seeing if they match. They don't." But it looks like this case is made by comparing a paraphrase with a direct quote taken from a single source out of the 6 given, with the sources taken together reasonably supporting the paraphrase. NBSB has responded to that accusation on the talk page, but hasn't received a reply. I am having a hard time understanding how this paraphrase is maliciously adding "inflammatory material not supported by sources” - if it is, Wikipedia policies may be more of a minefield than I thought. I'm happy to read up on policy if you could link me to the relevant section. Thanks! GreggHamster (talk) 13:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

GreggHamster I didn't write that FOF though I do support it. I'm not sure I can constructively add much to the comments already there. The relevant policy is Wikipedia:Verifiability. Where does the 'maliciously adding "inflammatory material not supported by sources" ' come from? Not me.  Roger Davies talk 15:43, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
The ""inflammatory material..." line was how it got entered into evidence, sorry about that. I know Verifiability, I suspected there was some more specific rules about the order of sources listed, as it seems the first one was the only one that mattered at the ArbCom case. As it stands, I have trouble understanding the alleged problem. NOR? NPOV? Either way, thanks for responding, I am just going to *shrug* and ignore this. GreggHamster (talk) 17:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
As much sympathy as many Wikipedia editors feel for the arbitration committee, you've all really screwed up here. For you not to realize that most editors do not want to involve themselves in a topic that has real life consequences, much less wade through comment and claim after comment and claim in order to respond to a hoard of throw away and anon accounts. Most editors would be overwhelmed just reading the tidal waves of comments, much less checking and responding. For you at the committee to use that against the editors did take their own time to respond and protect the project from fringe blp violations, is unthinkable. What the arbitration committee just did was remove the only editors willing to take the abuse and give a blueprint to 8chan for future use. Great job. 2604:4500:0:0:0:0:0:5722 (talk) 17:12, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
And assuming you're right (and that's a big assumption) how long before the editors burn out? Or walk away? The better solution is to mobilise more admins (we have 1350) and give them powers to deal robustly with the issue. Which is what we're doing. Arguing on talk pages is not a practical solution.  Roger Davies talk 19:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I come not to bury Roger Davies....

The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
You're trying to do the right thing [| over here] and I recognize that. This was one of those decisions where you were damned if you did and damned if you didn't. Just ignore the trolls and the whiners over there, it'll get better! KoshVorlon Je Suis Charlie 21:44, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much. A little gleam of sunlight in a dark cold day,  Roger Davies talk 21:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Whatever the result is, good, bad or ugly, it's important not to waffle. Stick with whatever you decided and request specifics if anybody attacks with vague criticisms. Upon looking at the details, the decision seems more correct than incorrect. Jehochman Talk 21:53, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Jon. I will follow that advice,  Roger Davies talk 21:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


As co-editor-in-chief of the Signpost, I want to thank you for your help with our report on the GamerGate case; your comments were an invaluable addition to the article, and I appreciate your willingness to share. As an editor of Wikipedia, I want to thank you for how you and the committee handled the case, and how you especially made (and continue to make) every effort to respond to concerns on talk pages to help the community understand. Go Phightins! 03:45, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

About that decision...

The words of Ricky Nelson come to mind (Garden party): But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well. You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself. NE Ent 15:41, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I'd like to echo that. Please find a good place to go please yourself, and leave dispute resolution to the big boys. (talk) 21:17, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

A question about sanctions

Sorry to post here, (yes I read your note at the top) but I really don't feel like involving any of the other arbitrators in this question. You seem to be the owner of a rational & well-oiled noggin, and more importantly you don't speak down to other's with a mouthful of legalese; This is why I'm approaching you. From the GGTF case, I have an indefinite topic ban. I know what "indefinite" means, but I also noticed that those who were indefinitely banned are able to request their sanction being removed after a year. Does the same timeframe apply to topic bans? Two kinds of porkMakin'Bacon 23:35, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that's about right. But unless the atmosphere around the topic changes significantly, I doubt the committee will consider relaxing topic bans that soon.  Roger Davies talk 04:49, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


I think there's a word missing in there somewhere. ("Commentary – varying from constructive criticism to ad hominin remarks – about Wifione has posted in many forums on many occasions on many years without resolution.") --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 13:43, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Oh yes, and fixed. I'm rubbish at proofreading my own stuff. Thank you for telling me,  Roger Davies talk 13:55, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


I've always wondered what people mean by rhetoric? I don't mean anything bad just asking if you can explain to me whaqt it is (not specific actions unless you wish). Hell in a Bucket (talk) 19:14, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

In this context, I guess it's reporting facts with links, rather than expressing opinions in dramatic terms based on those facts. Bit of a balancing act sometimes. I hope this helps,  Roger Davies talk 19:39, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

HIAB. As a follow up to this, no matter how strongly you feel, it's really not a good idea to bandy accusations of underhandedness and bad faith about.  Roger Davies talk 09:05, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

I think that it is a consideration of the evidence presented. I don't mean it as a personal attack but I think that her comments today show that she may not be thinking about this rationally. I can drag up the diffs as to why I am stating that, it's not meant for dramatic effect. II think in this area she may indeed have a COI. In the arbcase she told me to go to SPI when I reported the socking on the talkpage, i went then she denied saying that she said to go there or at the very least misinterperted it. Now we have her taking gender meanings to "Wail", Get wound up" and describing behaviors as "cute" of sexism. Then she starts a motino and hides it claiming that I thought the clerks would do it and didn't even have the consideration to do it herself since it was her motion. How long has she been on the committee is there a good reason to believe she wouldn't uhave a good understanding of the processes? Am I missing something here? Hell in a Bucket (talk) 09:11, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Let's face the facts, I talk about accountability a lot. Here's mine, I am argumentative, I get hot headed. I have a difficult time with dishonesty, corruption and controlling my mouth when provoked or under stress. I do however accept and encourage disagreements as long as they are backed by a valid rationale. I am far far from perfect, but when I'm being portrayed as the problem when I present a huge amount of evidence of behaviors and I'm still the issue I have a problem with that. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 09:16, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Look at it this way. Everything to do with ArbCom is surrounded by masses of very un-wiki bureaucracy, mostly because of historic attempts to do right by parties who say they're not getting a fair crack of the whip. It's inevitable that arbitrators will make small procedural slips from time to time. It doesn't mean anything and isn't really significant.  Roger Davies talk 09:28, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Who was she trying to do right by? It didn't seem like a fair shake to TKOP. I won't repeat the accusations though, once is enough. I will excuse myself for the rest of the night so I don't pop off at the mouth any more tonight. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 09:31, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Probably wise,  Roger Davies talk 09:34, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Please consider the merits of Salvio's oppose. I think it's the best idea in front of the committee now for this situation and will help vastly address both peoples complaints. Nothing say it has to be a popular result but a fair result that benefits the encyclopedia that stops disruption is the way to go. Those sanctions of admin boards removal is something that has seemed to work well with Tarc. I would ddefintely sacrifice my pride for such an equitable result. It doesn't address the off wiki issues butI don't follow people on private websites and can easily ignore the attack page. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 14:02, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

I do see the merits and support what he says. I said as much earlier when I opposed the motion in its current form. I'll raise some practical options for discussion,  Roger Davies talk 14:07, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Please, please please do. I really think it is a great great great solution. The encyclopedia wins, it's why we're here anyways so I am completely at peace with something like that, it acknowledges problems on both users. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 14:12, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Incidentally, how do you feel about a topic ban? I think it would help you (and others) move on. I have in mind the standard GGTF one.  Roger Davies talk 14:40, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd first like to point your attention to User:Jehochman's threat [[5]]. I find that innapropriate as I am not trashing anybody in my post and think it is constructive. Please address this with Jehochman who apparently not even concerned with the due diligence before handing out an ultimatum. As for the topic ban, I will explain why more when I get home in a couple hours but I am against the topic ban. An Iban amd the other restrictions should be sufficient and I will explain why. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 16:21, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Looks like spam to me. The motion page would have been the appropriate page. It's on my watchlist of course, so I don't even have to be pinged. Dougweller (talk) 16:59, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
No complaints from me about Jehochman's note at all and I agree with Doug. Frankly, HIAB. you were lucky not to be blocked. Next, I've just caught up with all your comments last night/this morning and a t-ban is likely inescapable whether you like it or not. Finally, if you can't trust yourself to respond calmly and quietly, don't respond at all.  Roger Davies talk 01:29, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Apparently it doesn't count when arbs comment. Good to know. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 01:35, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Just a word or two about the "spamming". Simply put, arbitrators are already following cases and sending them pro forma messages only adds to the clutter. It can also provoke side-disputes. Also, if everyone did it, we'd spend our days reading our talk pages. That's the rationale behind Jon Hochman's notice to you, and it is one I endorse.  Roger Davies talk 09:03, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

I think the reasoning he left on my page although not to my particular preferred vision shows enough insight to a few of the things he said that I modified my claim. I had to give him credit for a valid rationale. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 14:04, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Questions, comments

Since Hell in a Bucket is posting some questions and comments here about the ARCA proceeding, I'm going to assume it's OK for me to do the same.

I asked a question there that you haven't responded to that I can see, so I'd like to ask here:

Can you clarify? Do you propose that I would need to get permission to go to WP:BLPN, WP:NPOVN, WP:NORN, WP:RSN, and so on? As I just suggested, I am open to being banned - say for six months - from ANI, as Salvio suggested, if HIAB is banned, too (based on the evidence that he used that forum at least as often as I).[6]

It appears that we're talking about conduct disputes rather or more than content disputes. Lightbreather (talk) 20:57, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

The DR fora are basically WP:AN, WP:ANI, WP:ARCA, and WP:AE,  Roger Davies talk 02:56, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

I would also like to ask to remove the two May 2014 items listed by Karanacs yesterday,[7] as everything else is from Aug/Sept. 2014 to date.[8] Lightbreather (talk) 21:04, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Karanacs requested that I add these to your case, Lightbreather.
From Wikipedia Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement plus a long comment on an SPI
  1. Request agains Eric Corbett, initiated 24 January 2015 by Lightbreather, resulting in a 48 hour block of Eric Corbett[9]
  2. Eric Corbett (2), [10] initiated by Rationalobserver, long comment by Lightbreather on 28 January 2015[11]. Case closed and deleted shortly after.
  3. Lightbreather commented on an SPI of Darknipples. Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Darknipples/Archive EChastain (talk) 21:34, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that you added those, but those are recent, which I don't mind. It's the two from May of last year that I'm asking about, since all the other diffs are from Aug/Sept. to date. Lightbreather (talk) 21:50, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for all the data. I'll be going through these in close detail if the current draft is scuppered.  Roger Davies talk 02:56, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

question about deleted discussions that are still relevant

hello, since you commented on clerk Lixxx235's talk, I'll ask my question here about deleted pages, such as [12] ‎and [13] These discussions are still relevant to current requests. But since they are deleted, there's no way to find these motions and requests. Is there anyway that this practice can be changed, as important info is lost? EChastain (talk) 17:39, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

How are they deleted? Both those links work.  Roger Davies talk 18:18, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
No, the link to Eric Corbett 2 only works because I linked to a diff. The link to Eric Corbertt 2 doesn't work, as the request has been deleted .[14], so there's no way for someone to know it ever existed.

What will happen to [15]? I tried to put it into a arbitration category, like Liz was doing, but was reverted. EChastain (talk) 22:31, 8 February 2015 (UTC)


Lightbreather has used proxies in two cases that I've seen. One, when TParis initiated a SPI against me when Lightbreather was blocked. (Lightbreather opened a second one with the same evidence 10 days after.) See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Sue Rangell/Archive. The second is the initiation of Eric Corbett 2, (which I currently can't find). Here is the first one opened by Lightbreather,[16]. Anyway, it was initiated after a posting by Lightbreather on a mailing list naming Eric Cobertt and giving a link. It was opened by Rationalobserver.[17] Please consider this as a modus operandi of Lightbreather. Thanks, EChastain (talk) 22:33, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Since you're accusing TParis and Gamaliel of acting on my behalf or orders, they ought to know about your allegations here, ECh. Lightbreather (talk) 01:54, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know anything about Gamliel. Could you fill be in on who they are and what they did? As far as TParis, he actively proxied for you when you were blocked, supplying the same sort of poor evidence for the SPI alleging I was Sue Randell as you did when you reopened the SPI some days later. Your recent SPI against Faceless Enemy was just now closed due to unconvincing evidence. Faceless Enemy felt that your SPI against them was in bad faith.[18] I noticed you pinged TParis so undoubtedly he'll be here with something to say about me. (He reverted twice my comments on your most recent SPI, just after you pinged him.) EChastain (talk) 02:15, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
The diff you gave after "Here is the first one opened by Lightbreather" is an AE started by Gamaliel. Lightbreather (talk) 02:40, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I didnit know about that link opening another request against Eric Corbett.[19] Thanks for that link. This is the one I meant to give, the one opened by you.[20]

Wow, that makes three filings against Eric Corbett, two of which are deleted, the one I accidently gave above and this: [21] So you, Gamaliel, and Rationalobserver all opened filings against Eric Corbett recently? And this was a cooincidence? EChastain (talk)

@EChastain: I posted the AE request at my own volition after the potential violation was brought to my attention here by Ironholds. I had no contact with Lightbreather, TParis, Rationalobserver (whoever that is), or any other person regarding my decision to post there. Please withdraw your allegations regarding my participation in this conspiracy theory. Gamaliel (talk) 03:47, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
@Gamaliel: Hey :nudge: :nudge:, this is the first time we've been accused of being in the same cabal that wasn't an admin cabal. Lol.--v/r - TP 06:35, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
@TParis: Shhh! Careful, don't spill the beans! Gamaliel (talk) 16:37, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

brought here by a ping: I've had no contact with Lightbreather or Gamaliel off-wiki (to my knowledge. I mean, if it turns out Gamaliel is secretly my landlord, we haven't discussed Wikipedia, but thank you for fixing my heating so promptly before last week's nor'easter!)

The proposed draft remedies prohibiting Lightbreather from bringing arbitration motions are, to be perfectly frank, lunacy. They look a lot like an arbitration committee that has lost the plot. I have not seen any meritless enforcement request from or relating to Lightbreather; what I have seen, consistently, is admin actions or user requests for admin actions that fail to gain the blessing of ArbCom, despite the fact that they have been made in enforcement of a very clear ArbCom remedy, solely because the community or the committee lack the guts to actually enforce the principles they know they should be mandating that people adhere to.

I do not consider Lightbreather a "vexatious litigant", whatever Salvio thinks: I consider Salvio and anyone who endorses that kind of gutless shoot-the-messenger approach to dealing with basic principles of equity and equality on-wiki, and Salvio and anyone else who believes that content trumps conduct, vexatious arbitrators.

If this passes, I look forward to doing my very, very best to unseat anyone who votes in support of it at my earliest opportunity - and I look forward to quite happily bringing the class of issues Lightbreather would have brought to ArbCom, to ArbCom, and seeing exactly how committed the committee is to such a lunatic course of action. It'll be interesting to see if litigants are seen as less "uppity" when they're male. Ironholds (talk) 05:01, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Oliver. This dispute is about one editor calling another a liar. Any admin could have dealt with it. Since then, nine days ago, this has escalated out of all proportion into a wide-ranging and polarised debate with two dozen people participating. (And what's all this stuff about LB and Sue Rangell and EChastain about? That has also escalated.)

Frankly, though, the alleged proxying is a complete red herring. Anyone can bring enforcement action against anyone else for diffs that are in plain sight. And the more uninvolved that person is, the easier the dispute is to deal with dispassionately. In this context, why you didn't just ask for DS for EC yourself rather than just telling Gamaliel about it? How does that help?  Roger Davies talk 13:59, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

I didn't ask; I said "you realise you're quoting a statement that is a sanctions violation, right?" on the talkpage, and haven't had any further interaction with Gamaliel, on- or off-wiki, about the subject (I don't think I've had any interaction with Gamaliel off-wiki at all).
But, why didn't I ask? And why didn't I ask directly? Because I had zero confidence that it was a worthwhile way to spend my time, and I was at best apprehensive about explicitly putting myself in the crosshairs of Eric and his support group - and you know that group exists, and you know the names in it, and you know that they'll incredibly loudly shout down and chase anyone who tries to mess with The Great One, just like I do. People, particularly arbitrators, need to understand that there's substantive chilling effect in that kind of behaviour and it's not being dealt with - and every time the arbitration committee sanctions people for trying to, or refuses to endorse quite clear enforcements of their own rules against people because those people are important, or content contributors, or have a loud support group, this effect is magnified.
It's interesting to see that precisely my worst expectation - that said support group would viciously attack anyone who brought a request, and that the request would be disposed of anyway to avoid awkwardness - was exactly what happened.
I agree, it's escalated unacceptably. But I'd ask you to look at the dispute in detail and ask yourself whether the escalation is because LB brought a meritless enforcement request, or because any enforcement request against this particular individual consistently, regardless of the person bringing it, leads to a tremendous backlash. I'm certain it's the latter. I'd also ask whether restricting the ability of people to bring such requests is actually the solution; it's a solution, certainly, but only in a very short-sighted way. Do the community and the committee a favour: look at Giano's reaction on Gamaliel's talkpage, and ask yourself three questions; is that reaction something that's a surprise, with a sanction request against Eric? Is it something specific to the person who brought it, or the person who is a subject? And, as a corollary to that second question, is restricting people who bring requests really the equitable solution, here? Because to me it looks like the better approach is a motion to restrict the ability of those who consistently, inappropriately respond to sanction requests to do so. Ironholds (talk) 15:27, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
@Roger Davies:, given the treatment I, a completely neutral party with no history of involvement in matters concerning Eric Corbett as far as I can recall, received for bringing this matter to AE, and given the reaction of complete indifference on the part of the Committee and its functionaries to this behavior, can you blame Ironholds for not wanting to bring this matter to AE himself? Gamaliel (talk) 16:37, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Gamaliel High profile people bringing cases about other high profile people always attracts comment, especially when the thing is a bit stale. It's a wiki, that's what people on wikis do. What there anything beyond that? And how did you draw this to the committee's and functionaries' attention, and how did they demonstrate complete indifference?  Roger Davies talk 17:57, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Do you really think this is "what people on wikis do"? Gamaliel (talk) 18:04, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, yes, and far too often. But what did you do about it and where did we express complete indifference?  Roger Davies talk 18:17, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
It was on the Committee's own page. What are you doing to do about it? Gamaliel (talk) 18:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
WP:AE is autonomous. It was set up to operate at an arm's length,  Roger Davies talk 19:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
With all due respect, if the same high-profile people are repeatedly subject to controversies, don't you think it might be time to do something about it? Please don't plead ignorance when the enforcement motion was brought to an Arbitration Committee noticeboard; either you're not paying enough attention to the boards that you legitimately missed it, or you're paying close enough attention to the boards to justify the proposed sanctions against LB, not both. In the meantime, this attempt at a socratic dialogue is beneath you, unless your intent is to indirectly signal that even you are aware of the complete impotence of the committee when it comes to dealing with the behaviour of Eric, Giano and their ilk. Ironholds (talk) 18:31, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Gmamliel has a point - this was on the committee's own page. Do you need a new case for behavior on your own pages?--v/r - TP 18:58, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
WP:AE was set up to run itself, and it's bristling with uninvolved admins. A rude remark was posted into a hatted thread, reverted, posted again into the hatted thread and reverted again. This happened 48 hours ago. What is the point you're making?  Roger Davies talk 19:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
So autonomous that they're nullifying ArbCom's sanctions? That sounds like precisely the sort of thing the Committee should be interested in. Again, Roger, this feigned ignorance is neither appreciated nor appropriate for someone in your position. Ironholds (talk) 19:26, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any sanctions being nullified though the AE admins have broad discretion about interpretation and remedy. And do try to de-personalise this.  Roger Davies talk 19:32, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
If editors are allowed to shout down requests for enforcement through displays of gross incivility and other editors refrain from submitting requests because they do not wish to be subjected to such behavior, then those sanctions are essentially nullified. Gamaliel (talk) 19:43, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
They aren't though, and they didn't. The comment you object happened after the issue had been decided. Offensive stuff gets quickly hatted and, if it continues, the editor gets blocked,  Roger Davies talk 19:49, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Do you really think that this toxic behavior does not deter requests for enforcement of ArbCom sanctions? Don't you think it is the responsibility of ArbCom to address this? Gamaliel (talk) 19:58, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
By itself? No, I don't think it does. The atmosphere is much better than at WP:ANI and, as I said, the place bristles with no-nonsense admins. But what steps are you suggesting we take, over and above those which have already been taken?  Roger Davies talk 05:29, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Come on, Oliver. You have strong feelings about this issue, and I respect that you're willing to speak out for your principles, but the whole point of AE is hat it's in the purview of both ArbCom and the community but mostly self-governing. It gives the admins there the independence to enforce arbitration decisions without being unduly influenced by ArbCom or the peanut gallery, which in turn allows us to make unpopular decisions without friends and detractors muddying the waters and without worrying about whether ArbCom will undermine us. I closed the Eric Corbett request because three uninvolved admins believed it was stale. I dealt with Giano by reverting his edit. Had Giano have restored the comment, I wouldn't have had a moment's hesitation in blocking him, but he didn't; he came to my talk page where we resolved the issue. That approach is the same approach I've always taken with any editor, regardless of who they are, regardless of race/religion/gender/colour/creed/sexual orientation or anything else, and regardless of the subject matter. So why not let's move on? The issue is only still alive because people have resurrected in this thread. If you or Gamaliel (or anyone else) have a concern about Eric violating his topic ban in future, please bring it to AE, the sooner the better, and I give you my word (and you both know me well enough to know that my integrity, as a person and as an admin, is not something I would piss away for one editor) I will evaluate it dispassionately. You can even ping me. Or email me and I'll open the AE request for you, you both have my email address. I cannot immunise you from criticism from third parties, but I can and mostly certainly will—and did in this case—remove personal attacks. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:02, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
@HJ Mitchell: Regardless of how people spell color? :D--v/r - TP 23:03, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I couldn't care less if somebody insults me on the internet. What I do care about is what it does to the encyclopedia when this behavior goes unchecked. It's not about me or Ironholds or how we two expert-level Wikipedians can seek redress. This kind of toxic behavior runs off potential editors and non-expert-level Wikipedians, it runs off women, it runs off content experts, it runs off people who don't want a casual hobby of encyclopedia editing to be like the Wild West. Gamaliel (talk) 20:08, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Not that any of this has an awful lot to do with encyclopaedia—this is strictly meta (and meta-meta) drama—but I agree with you. That's why I didn't let it go unchecked. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:30, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
HJ Mitchell, the report was stale, so I can understand why you closed it without action, but by closing the report without commenting on whether the diff actually broke the topic ban was a failure of leadership. Rationalobserver (talk) 20:46, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
That's very difficult to do in a borderline case without evaluating intent, which itself would have been unproductive because the consensus among uninvolved admins was that the matter was stale. We do a lot more at AE than just evaluate requests about Eric Corbett, and requests concerning borderline topic-ban violations often result in lengthy discussion among admins and it takes a while to reach agreement one way or the other. In this case, there was little chance of a lengthy discussion on a moot point producing a useful result. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:00, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

When there are conflicts that are unconnected to articles, it is best to just ignore them. What article was damaged? If none, ignore it. Jehochman Talk 19:04, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

(tps)Reputations are damaged, and to those whose reputations are damaged, indifference matters a lot. I can give a couple examples from two recent cases that I was involved in. Lightbreather (talk) 19:11, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Damage to articles does not just happen directly, it also happens vicariously - by promoting the existence of an environment which systemically biases our contributors towards people who indulge in or tolerate toxic behaviour. This is a massive limiting factor on not only community growth, but also the sort of person the community includes, and the range of perspectives included. Of course that has an impact on our content: how could it not? Articles are the aggregate of the perspectives of the users who write them. Or, to put it more simply, it's very hard to claim a neutral point of view and a commitment to solving systemic bias when the community puts up a big sign saying "if you have [perspective], you better be the sort of person who's okay with being compared to the Gestapo for holding that opinion". Ironholds (talk) 19:31, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Well said, Ironholds! Countless editors have left Wikipedia because the editing environment is hostile and toxic, indeed negative interactions are the number one reason for quitting. This obviously damages the project in the short and long-term. Yet, the current zeitgeist is biased towards "people who indulge in or tolerate toxic behaviour" and against those who oppose these kinds of problematic behavioral patterns. A few editors are driving this condition, and they are largely of one mind. But if nobody else would get away with what they get away with, you have to wonder why they are getting away with what our guidelines and several ArbCom decisions explicitly discourage. I.e., why have an ArbCom at all if their decisions are subject to a consensus that so easily undermines them? Basically, AE is just a glorified An/I, which is a veritable cesspool of faulty reasoning and good ole boy clubs and cliques. If ArbCom and AE cannot offer the community anything better than An/I, then what good are they? Rationalobserver (talk) 19:48, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
No, our decisions are not subject to consensus but we do operate by consent. If an administrator doesn't agree with a committee decision (or indeed with a bit of policy) or interprets it differently they cannot be compelled to do act. This is a very old principle. For civility issues, it's compounded by the lack of broad community over what constitutes incivility.  Roger Davies talk 20:00, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
The AE report that I filed was closed without action because the "consensus" was that calling an editor "filth" wasn't an insult, and that I was only filing to attack EC, i.e., the well-worn boomerang defense. So I'm really not sure what good your findings and remedies are if we need to have a debate each and every time, which, if at all possible, will be derailed by incivility warriors who will turn the tables on the report filer, thus effectively discouraging all future reports by that party. Rationalobserver (talk) 20:46, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I've just come from re-reading this. The admins put the remark in its context. Let me say here, as someone who has been at the receiving end of sexual violence, that the introduction of rape analogies into the discussion - and that was not EC - was gross and inappropriate. Enough said,  Roger Davies talk 06:10, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Roger Davies, the oft-repeated notion that there is a "lack of broad community over what constitutes incivility" is an example of one of Wikipedia's noble lies. We have a civility policy that is easy to understand, implement, and enforce. The majority of editors recognize rude behavior and the intent to harm other people. Administrators and arbitrators won't recognize incivlity because they believe the noble lie. By not enforcing civility, we cater to a small, select group of people who have difficulty interpreting social cues and metaphors. The result, however, is to alienate more and more of the community, including prospective new members, and to retain an ever growing smaller subset of entrenched editors. The continuing maintenance and perpetuation of this noble lie is destroying the community. The time has come to recognize it for what it is and to stop promoting it, and to start enforcing the civility policy. Viriditas (talk) 23:07, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
The crux of the issue is that everyone agrees that incivility is a problem but no one can define in a way that everyone agrees with. Is incivility using four-letter words? Or is it making inappropriate analogies? Is it okay to make grossly inappropriate analogies providing you do it without using four-letter words? Are a series of snide side-swipes more actionable than a single expletive? The subjective nature of all this effectively paralyses enforcement.  Roger Davies talk 06:10, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Incivility is best illustrated by disrespect and an intent to harm. I can easily use four-letter words and make inappropriate analogies without engaging in an act of incivility. Snide side-swipes and expletives directed at an individual fall under the class of unambiguous incivility. I'm not seeing anything subjective here at all. Viriditas (talk) 01:44, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
This isn't a rhetorical question. Were the civility policies put into place by the community? If so, then I would think it's up to the administrators to act upon them and not to be indifferent, or even contrary, about them, as is often the case. Lightbreather (talk) 23:12, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I rather get the opinion - from the whining that goes on at Jimbo Wales' talk page and other places - that one night, while the old guard was sleeping, Jimbo himself and WMF commandos dropped in and carried off a civility policy coups. Lightbreather (talk) 23:17, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
The problem is not so much with the concept of civility (most everyone values civility, even if they define it differently), but with the concept and means of "enforcing" it. Civility can't be "enforced" with blocks and punitive sanctions. That's not how it works. What we're witnessing here is the final common pathway of "civility parole"—an arrangement which we should long ago have realized is utterly counterproductive when it comes to improving the general level of civility. We've done this experiment enough times that we should know better. While I can't say for certain what approaches will improve civility, I can say with absolute certainty that this current approach will not. (In fact, I did say as much). I feel sorry for the people (like Lightbreather) who took this civility parole at face value and expected something different from it, and I also feel sorry for the people (like Eric Corbett) subjected to having their words picked apart in repeated WP:AE filings. I'm disappointed in the people who should have known better. It's just not a useful approach. MastCell Talk 23:27, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
By reductio ad absurdum a possible solution might be to suspend the civility guideline indefinitely, and see if we get better results, but I think that's currently the de facto atmosphere anyway, so it's difficult for me to understand how a civility guideline that's largely ignored can be to blame for the toxic editing environment. The civility guideline isn't nearly as nebulous and impossible to enforce as some would like us to believe. If you want to apply a consistent and objective civility requirement you have to be brave enough to let go of those who refuse to abide. A good coach would never allow his star player to abuse the benchwarmers, and a good grocer would never let one apple spoil a bunch. Rationalobserver (talk) 00:02, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:38, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Civility, Charlie Hebdo and the pope

@MastCell, Rationalobserver, and Knowledgekid87: and any one else following this. The civility "guideline" is actually policy and has broad and longstanding consensus. The lack of consensus over its day-to-day operation is a major concern. Especially when kinds of remarks, and the reactions to them, are part of a dispute's escalation, using weaponised words or weaponised policy. This is exacerbated by enforcement options that are a binary choice: is something uncivil or not? As enforcement remedies are limited, they invariably create a clear winner and a clear loser (and it depends entirely on your perspective who is which). This is how the wiki works and it needs to be seen in the overall context of institutionalised confrontation. Every significant discussion - from RFA to AFD - is "support" or "oppose". This draws lines in the sand, drives people into make polarised choices, and creates winners and losers. It going without saying (which is why I'll say it) that the encyclopedia would be paralysed without these discussions but there have to be better ways of problem solving.

Finally, and I'll raise this because it's still topical, I see many user pages saying "Je suis Charlie". I'm pleased that so many people express disgust and revulsion about the killings and the barbaric assault on free speech. But I wonder if they are aware that, throughout its long history, Charlie Hebdo has stood for the right to offend. An unlikely commentator, the pope, even went so far as to say (my summary) if you insult my mother, I'll punch you. And The Guardian had strong words to say about that. So, where is this leading? That the debate on civility on Wikipedia is part of a ongoing global debate and one that is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. Proposals for short term solutions welcomed,  Roger Davies talk 13:57, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

One short-term solution is to stop doing things that we know don't work. Roger, I mostly agree with you about the problem (and it reminds me of a similar discussion I had with another Arb almost eight years ago, which says something about inertia around here). Everything here is viewed in terms of "rules" which are "enforced" with blocks or bans. We don't really make an effort to promote or develop any other tools to deal with conflict. I support the concept of civility, but I'm not willing to "enforce" it with blocks or bans—not because I don't believe in it, but because those are clearly ineffective tools. By creating additional "civility paroles" and referring these issues to WP:AE, we are basically guaranteed to perpetuate this counterproductive approach. MastCell Talk 17:47, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
My take-away from this comment is that admins can individually determine which policies they will enforce and which they will ignore because they judge the tools as ineffective. But why then are blocks an effective way to manage vandals but not verbally abusive users? If we are being honest we might admit that the unwillingness to "enforce" civility with blocks only extends to established users, as a new account with no friends that came in swearing and calling editors cunts and idiots would be indeffed within days, if not hours. So why are civility blocks effective against new users but not established ones? Rationalobserver (talk) 18:07, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with what Roger has said in this thread but will pick up just on the last note above from Rationalobserver: blocks are not necessarily effective in managing vandals. They are usually easily circumvented and thus it all depends on the vandal. Same applies for malicious pov-pushers etc. Why else does SPI exist? I really would urge everyone who is campaigning for some more stringent application of the civility policy just to get back to editing content: no-one is ever going to succeed in sanitising this place. - Sitush (talk) 18:29, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
But vandals are regularly blocked and banned, and the relative effectiveness of those blocks or bans are not determining factors regarding what to do with the vandals. I.e., obvious vandals are blocked without the need for long-winded discussions about how effective that block actually is in deterring vandalism. So why is the effectiveness of blocks for abusive editors debatable? If the argument is that prohibition will never completely eliminate any given behavior, that logic can be easily applied to virtually everything we do around here. E.g., why block socks when all they have to do is make another account? Rationalobserver (talk) 18:39, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
The missing point here is that the short and long-term effectiveness of any given block is determined by the blocked editor, not the blocking admin or the policy that supports the block. If Editor A truly doesn't mind getting blocked, then blocks will have no effect on them, expect to stop them from editing for a given period, but that's equally true for all blocks for all reasons; it's not an exclusive element of civility blocks, as you seem to imply above. Rationalobserver (talk) 18:48, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
The way you've framed this discussion is a perfect example of the problem. You've once again brought us back to arguing about blocks—how often, how long, under what circumstances, and so on. That's a dead end. Arguing about the criteria for incivility blocks is like arguing about the best way to use a hammer to change a light bulb. Worse, you seem to believe that if blocks are effective against vandalism, then they must by definition be equally effective in dealing with incivility from otherwise constructive contributors. That attitude is at the root of the problem. Surely you understand that different tools might be necessary to deal with such different situations? We can't block our way to a more civil environment. MastCell Talk 19:13, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I understand that, but our admins are not counselors or psychologists, so it's highly unlikely that any other tools, should they become available, would be significantly more effective than blocks and/or bans. My above point, which you seem to have missed, is that blocks are only effective when they deter the blocked editor from repeating the offensive behavior that got them blocked in the first place; however, the relative effectiveness of any block is determined by the blocked editor, not the blocking admin. So to say, "I don't give civility blocks because they are ineffective" is to say that in the face of incivility you do nothing and hope for the best, but this approach would not garner support if applied to almost any other issue we deal with, so why is the relative ineffectiveness of a civility block an acceptable catch-all excuse to look the other way when incivility occurs? Rationalobserver (talk) 19:23, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
We can't block our way to a more civil environment. Then how can we block our way to a less vandalized environment? If we consistently blocked editors for incivility two things could happen: 1) they stop being uncivil, and 2) they do not stop being uncivil. For editors that do not stop, extended blocks and bans become an increasingly attractive option, and a banned editor cannot be uncivil to anyone, so I'm not sure the assertion is logically sound. Rationalobserver (talk) 19:27, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
@Rationalobserver: We don't. Or at least we don't block vandals for the deterrent effect. The deterrent effect of the banhammer on a throwaway account created to write "Joe Bloggs is gay" is nil. We block them—permanently—to prevent them from causing more disruption once it becomes clear that they have no intention of doing anything useful. For unregistered vandals, we block their IP address; we start with short durations until it becomes clear the IP is static and then we block it for months or years. We also block for other sorts of disruption when there's no other practical way to stop it—including things like edit-warring, personal attacks, or BLP violations, but the purpose of the block is to put an end to the immediate problem, not to punish the editor or to deter future misconduct. And yes, blocks are easy to evade for anyone with a little technical aptitude and sufficient determination—I've had regular visits since 2010 from a long-banned editor who calls me an ant-Semite, a paedophile, threatens to kill me, and leaves me all sorts of other charming messages; by now it's just background noise—so we block the new accounts or IP addresses, we make rangeblocks, we protect the affected pages. Essentially we revert, block, ignore until they get bored. Most only keep it up for a few hours, but some go on for years. How we create a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere I don't know, but I just wanted to correct the notion that blocking is a miracle cure—and I should know: only 20 admins have made more blocks than me, and two of those are bots! HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:17, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for that clarification, HJ, I think I understand what you're saying, but why wouldn't a civility block "put an end to the immediate problem" if the immediate problem is an editor who refuses to behave civilly? Further, if I get blocked for incivility, it deters me from being uncivil because I don't want to get blocked again. Admittedly, editors who don't care about blocks will continue undeterred until those blocks escalate into longer ones or bans, which might not technically deter incivility, but they would prevent it, at least from the blocked account, which is the same with vandals and socks.Rationalobserver (talk) 21:26, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
It would. If the immediate problem is a series of personal attacks that show no sign of stopping, a short block would be an effective means of putting an end to it (and I've blocked people in precisely that sort of scenario before), but it wouldn't prevent it happening again. In the same vein, a short block for edit-warring will put the kibosh on the edit war, but it won't stop the same editor getting into another edit war a day or a week or a month after the block expires. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:38, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
See, that's kinda my point here. Admins block for all kinds of reasons without the explicit requirement that the block will effectively deter all future similar offenses, so why would civility blocks be generally discouraged because they won't permanently solve incivility? Maybe we agree more than I realize, so I apologize if this seems tedious. I agree that incivility is not really preventable, but that's not a valid reason to do nothing. I think the vast majority of editors would stop being uncivil if they were consistently blocked when they were, but yes, some people are incorrigible, and nothing would deter them from repeatedly acting out, not even paid psychologists. Our system should focus on developing editors that are willing to voluntarily comply with our expectations and, for the sake of those people, letting go of editors that aren't. Either way, blocks and bans could deter and reduce, if not prevent, incivility. Rationalobserver (talk) 21:54, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Look at it this way, when you block a sock or a vandal you are not preventing socking or vandalism in general, nor are you preventing the blocked individual from socking or vandalizing in the future. They are blocked for breaking policy, and the relative level of deterrence or prevention is not a determining factor in the block. I fail to see why this logic cannot be applied to civility. Rationalobserver (talk) 22:19, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood me slightly. You're still talking in terms of punishment and deterrent; I'm saying that's not what blocks are about. I'm not advocating for or against "civility blocks" per se, just explaining the process because one has to understand what the process is before one can change it (and maybe giving the pot a bit of a stir in the interests of an informed discussion). We don't block because somebody violated policy, we block because we need to put an end to disruption. It's possible to be disruptive without violating the letter of any policy, and possible (albeit rarely) to violate policy without being disruptive. If somebody is uncivil to the point that it's disruptive (that is, as with any other disruption, it's not an isolated incident but something that's likely to continue unless it's forcibly stopped), and other options won't or haven't worked, they should be blocked. Edit-warring is a better comparison than vandalism, as it tends to be perpetrated by long-standing and otherwise good editors whereas vandals are usually bored schoolchildren or throwaway accounts (there's also much less stigma associated with it). The difficulty we have with civility is that there is no bright line on how uncivil something has to be before it's disruptive, and everyone has a different standard for what they find offensive—as you can imagine for an admin who's made >13k blocks, I've been called every name under the sun; I couldn't be an effective admin if I took offence every time so I have a very thick skin. Egregiously uncivil comments (like personal attacks) everyone can normally agree on, and those are usually dealt with, though arbitration pages and to a lesser extent noticeboards seem to be a free-fire zone. But even then, blocking is the last resort, not the first; just as we encourage edit-warriors to stop reverting and take the issue to the talk page, we should encourage angry editors to take a deep breath and step away from the discussion of they can't contribute without losing their temper. Only when that fails or is obviously impractical should we start blocking people, because blocking established editors (no matter what for) never reduces the amount of anger on the wiki. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:28, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
That's an excellent explanation of your process, thanks, but I think you may have misunderstood me as well, since I haven't used the word "punish" in this thread. By deter, I mean almost the same thing you mean by stopping the behavior so it does not continue unabated, but I also think that blocking an editor should deter them from repeating the behavior in the future, which ought to be a goal of any behavioral management system. As far as, blocking established editors ... never reduces the amount of anger on the wiki, I can only say that I find the notion that there should be a lower threshold for blocking unestablished editors unsavory. Rationalobserver (talk) 23:38, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not so much that there's a lower threshold for new editors (it might even be higher, as an established editor should know better), but that I can block a hundred vandals or trolls and nobody bats an eyelid, but if I block a good-faith editor for whatever reason, we end up with appeals, noticeboard threads, and hurt feelings. Anyway, the issue with deterrence is that blocking isn't a behaviour-management system, it's a project-protection system, just like page protection. Yes, blocks sometimes do have a deterrent effect, but it's mostly accidental. When I block an edit-warrior for (say) 24 hours, I do it to put an end to the edit war, because edit-warring is damaging to the project, and warnings or other measures have gone unheeded or are impractical; when I block somebody for incivility, it's to prevent the thread spiralling out of control with tit-for-tat responses, because the way they're expressing themselves is damaging to the discussion. What they're going to do tomorrow, next week, or next month might enter the equation but it's not a deciding factor, because blocks tend not to have much effect beyond their duration. If the editor causes disruption again at a later date, they can be blocked again to put an end to that disruption, but short blocks are not the best tools for addressing a long-term behavioural pattern. They're not even the best tool for preventing further disruption—sometimes words of advice or a bollocking which sounds very uncivil, I suppose, but is a Britishism for a "robust verbal chastisement" can achieve that much better, but deciding which approach will have the best results is a judgement call, one I like to think I've got quite good at with experience, but which I don't always get right. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 00:20, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
We certainly can block our way to a more civil environment, and that's what's done in the real world with workplace and school policies. In the real world, you'll lose your job, get thrown out of school, or lose money. It's only on Wikipedia where we are told "sorry" there's no civility enforcement because [invent reason here]. Comparing this place to a satirical newspaper or to the Pope misses the point by a parsec. Viriditas (talk) 19:33, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
A substantial +1 to Viriditas and Rationalobserver. As for comparing Wikipedia's debate over free speech to the debates following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, let me take advantage of my right to free speech to say that I've never heard anything as ludicrous in my life. Frankly, it's not just ludicrous, it's contemptible. Even were it an accurate comparison, and it is most certainly not, it serves little purpose but to implicitly absolve the community from having to do anything by letting us wave our hands and go "what do we do? Nobody knows the answer here, just ask the Pope!"
What we're talking about is not the debate over free speech versus necessary restrictions in the global sphere of debate, or the fundamental, philosophical nature of satire. What we are talking about is how to optimise the dynamics of a community to produce the most bacon for the smallest amount of squeal. We are not special, and any attempts to argue that we have the right to waive agency in working this out - either by claiming that we're some special snowflake, or that we're waiting on the world as a whole to decide what's A-OK, is laughable. This is a problem that many online communities face and have faced; the Linux community, with Linus's legendary abrasiveness, is a good example. One closer to my heart, the community of programmers around the R language, is facing similar problems. We are neither in a unique position nor an impossible one.
One of my favourite papers from my field is Towards a Feminist HCI Methodology - I would encourage everyone to find the PDF and read it, not for the subject matter (feminist theory as it applies to human-computer interaction) but for the argument that it makes. It discusses a situation very similar to this one, where everyone agreed it would be nice if a community did [thing] but nobody really knew how to go about it, and it makes the argument that this is a dumb approach, because the problem they were trying to solve was not unique: it had been solved already, by anthropology, by ethnography, by a variety of fields. All it took was someone to go to those fields, take the applications they'd come up with, and transfer it to this new domain.
We are not in a unique position. A new position, sure - a couple of decades ago, online peer-production communities were not a thing - but certainly not a unique one. We too have fields that have solved this problem, or are solving this problem, to draw from, whether it's meatspace (Viriditas's comments about expectations in a professional, or even a volunteer, environment in the real world are good ones) or other online communities. All it takes is for us to listen to what they're saying, and what they're saying is that excluding individuals who fail to stay behind a line drawn in the sand has made the environments healthier, more accepting of newcomers, and better environments. Which, I'd hope, is what we want here. To make an argument that this is hard and new and unique and we're special and we don't have anywhere we could draw on for solutions is at best ignorance, and at worst reveals a rank cowardice in having to make difficult decisions. Ironholds (talk) 19:52, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Viriditas et al, please define "more civil environment" and explain why it is your definition is of greater weight than that which someone else might hold. That is and always will be the crux of the problem. And please do not trot out the workplace meme: over here, for example, plenty of people eff-and-blind in the workplace, including at the highest levels. One person's civility is another person's censorship and much of the civility debate on WP is centred around a very small group of very shouty people who really should spend more time doing more constructive things. - Sitush (talk) 19:56, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
@Ironholds: I've made similar points in the past—that we are not the first project to grapple with this problem—and been similarly frustrated by the insularity of the Wikipedia community and its refusal to consider and learn from others' experience. I work in a field where disruptive and uncivil behavior is increasingly recognized as a significant problem, and there is a substantive literature on the proper identification and management of disruptive physicians (hey, we even have a Wikipedia article on the subject, although it seems mostly to be an excuse to insinuate that doctors are all budding tyrannical dictators, and to put up a picture of Dr. House).

One point that's fairly consistent in the literature is that purely punitive measures, such as temporary suspensions, loss of privileges, or termination, are last resorts and are an implicit admission that the system has failed. Ideally, there are structures in place to provide effective feedback and support, and most importantly to recognize the systemic shortcomings and frustrations which lead to incivility. We don't do any of that stuff. We don't even pretend that it's important. Instead, we skip right to the last step and spend all our time talking about whom to block, or whom wasn't blocked, or why, or for how long. (If you're interested, this article from JAMA is a decent entry point to the literature). MastCell Talk 20:17, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

I'll read it! It looks interesting. I'd love to brainstorm about what intermediary steps we could come up with - I remember a time when user RfCs were only mostly a shitshow and not entirely a shitshow (do they even exist any more?). Ironholds (talk) 20:19, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
User RfCs appeared to be designed to be as structurally useless as possible to reach compromise and instead encourage and facilitate folks loudly proclaiming and talking past one another. Restructuring AfD would be a help, and anything else to make pages less polarising. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:51, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
It would be nice if, along with the drive for superficial politeness, we could agree that lying, two-facedness, and smarmy faux-civility are just as corrosive. But I fear that's as likely as my winning Powerball and having the cheque presented by Vladimir Putin in the nude. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:47, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd add Ukranian to that...Vlad delivers Russian powerball winnings in the nude to a Ukrainian.--MONGO 05:34, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
@Casliber: agreed; in fact, I think they're an extension of precisely the model that isn't working (a weird, hybrid, inquisitorial/adversarial system where whichever side of it you're faced with, it's a game of offence and defence). My point was more that we've steadily chipped away at even the crappy interstitials between "we have no problem with your contributions or attitude" and "we block nao". Ironholds (talk) 06:04, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Arbcom has become more sophisticated in sanctions and remedies between zero and permabanning though over the past 7-8 years. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:08, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I have posted a comment that you made on Jimbos Talk page

In response to a question by Jimbo, I have referred to a comment [22] that you made. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:55, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Here. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 14:27, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

NorthBySouthBaranof, TRPOD and MarkBernstein

Unless my memory is complete faulty (it's an possibility), I thought NSBF was punished for his GamerGate-page behaviour - yet I'm seeing him indirect insulting others again on the talk pages (last archive, 10 february)? What's up with this? And TRPoD is also back? And about everyone else... WTF? MicBenSte (talk) 22:57, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Hell, even MarkBernstein is involving himself again... MicBenSte (talk) 23:12, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
If you have any concerns about editor conduct, arising out of the case, they may be raised at WP:ACDS,  Roger Davies talk 23:17, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
WP:AE I think you mean, Rodge! MBS: TRPoD was only admonished, so is perfectly at liberty to continue editing in the topic area; there was a recent AE requests against NBSB where it was decided that he was removing BLP violations, which is exempt from topic bans. I don't think MarkBernstein was a party to the case. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:27, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Crap, didn't read that in time - shot an mail to the ArbCom mailing list... Sorry :/ MicBenSte (talk) 23:41, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

DS re: men's rights movement

Hello Roger, ArbCom has authorized discretionary sanctions for "any gender-related dispute or controversy" (ARBGG) and it looks like the page men's rights movement is under DS now. I believe that an editor has misrepresented sources, i.e., violated the WP:OR and WP:Synth policies, on the MRM page and I would like to request administrative action but I'm uncertain where those issues should be raised. The point accuracy of sources is a principle, not a remedy. WP:AE is for violations of a remedy. Or should I take this to WP:AE on the grounds that adding OR and Synth is also covered by DS? --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 19:11, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi Sonicyouth86. I don't know the facts here (and don't need to know) but this is probably best handled at WP:AE. The reason is that any misconduct of any description on any page about or in any edit relating to the topic is potentially covered by discretionary sanctions. Misdescribing what a source says is usually a breach of the Verifiability policy.  Roger Davies talk 08:36, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply, Roger. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 14:11, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Oversighter request

Howdy Roger Davies. I accidently made an edit signed out at Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island on March 2. Would you oversight it for me? GoodDay (talk) 15:45, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

It's already been done,  Roger Davies talk 15:50, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Ya mean it's hidden from administrators too? GoodDay (talk) 15:51, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I've just done it,  Roger Davies talk 16:06, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks :) GoodDay (talk) 16:08, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Accuracy, if you please.

Ah! It's been on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.

Vagaries aside, let's get more to the point:

Actually, first, allow me to introduce myself: Hello. I am Berke Stavoy--your #1 purveyor of tumescent orations, lengthy pontifications, errant alliterations, and dubitable informations.

Oh, and a gratingly gratuitous amount of polysyllables. Erratic eccentricities abound, of that, I assure you.

Now, let's dive in to the salient viscera of this little enjoining, shall we?

There is this 'article'--if you feel comfortable calling it that, after reading it--which, speaking as a nascent HEMA practitionar/weapon collector, offends me quite deeply.

What is this article, you ask? Peruse to your pleasure--or lack thereof:

Yes, yes, I could just use the brackets, but I already had it copied.

Oh, and if you were looking for a non-contrived corroboration for my self-alleged 'tumescent orations', look no further than the talk page of that aforementioned 'article'. Don't worry--that one was actually rather aberrantly poetic for me. Facetiously, of course, but nonetheless, that isn't my typical....modus operandi, I suppose.

But I digress.

Speaking as someone who has manipulated a functional longsword by utilizing various blade-hand contact techniques, this article, simply put, does not do the subject justice. Being able to grasp the blade--even with just one hand--opens up a veritable bevy of additional fighting techniques for the swordsman. And, even the opponent, if you want to discuss the counter-play facets of the subject--although, I'm fairly certain you don't.

So, in a word, 'help'. I have drawn your attention to this article so that I might enlist the help of some fellow task-force members--or, if nothing else, have them give me their advice. It doesn't have to be you, specifically--or anyone, specifically, for that matter--but even the help of one additional editor would facilitate the rectification of this malady quite estimably.

I'm not of the opinion that I'm possessed of enough editing experience to reforge this pile of pabulum into a meritorious article all on my lonesome, so any form of assistance would be very much appreciated. Thank you for your time. Ghost Lourde (talk) 02:42, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

DS scope

When an editor violates a DS sanction on WP:ARCA should I report it there or at WP:AE? NE Ent 23:55, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

AE is best. We don't usually enforce our own remedies,  Roger Davies talk 00:28, 13 March 2015 (UTC)


Terribly sorry for my lack of proper filing or other transgressions herein, but I am not sure how else to get a message across to you. I was simply 'surfing' through the mechanics of how Wikipedia manages to self-govern so well and I stumbled upon your page. It would be a bit of an understatement to say that you seem to be quite accomplished. I know it is perhaps silly to ask but I would really like to know how you (words fail me) ... how you 'do what you do'? More specifically, how it is that you contribute in so many languages, are singled out for several acts of random kindness, creating peace, ... and on and on it goes? As if that wasn't incredible enough; the lute? My goodness!

I should assume you are busy so I'll try not to waste your time here and get to the point. I am kind of starting out with lots of education and an addiction to knowledge but stigmatized with the badge of *no experience*. I am sincerely concerned that I don't know how to make a path that leads towards 'life', not money or fast cars, but friends and community and endless zeal for 'what's next?'. I am on route to becoming what I dread most - a cog in the giant machine.

Sorry if this is nonsense, please just ignore and delete it if you think so, Regards, Dan DmacG (talk) 12:02, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't really recognise myself in that description but thank you anyway for writing. As regards gaining experience, the easiest way is to join (and then perhaps throw yourself into) one of the the many Wikiprojects on the English Wikipedia. You'll develop all sorts of new skills in no time.  Roger Davies talk 11:17, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

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Newsweek article

Hi Roger, just to let you know I've added a paragraph to Wikipedia Zero#Reception and impact that references the Newsweek article you're quoted in. If my addition is innacurate please fix it.

Thanks. -- Aronzak (talk) 20:12, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

The article doesn't say that Wifione was employed (though it is implied). So it might be better rendered as "while a Wikipedia Administrator whitewashed information from the school's Wikipedia page".  Roger Davies talk 07:57, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Also, given you're on ArbCom, can you look at the list of SOCKS of the banned user (wifione) and see if the deletion of Careers360 (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) was one of his socks? -- Aronzak (talk) 20:21, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

I've had a quick look but can't see any obvious connection.  Roger Davies talk 07:57, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I-ban question

I asked a question of one of the newer arbs I know better, and was asked to ask one of the more experienced arbs. I figured you might qualify. Considering that the question is being asked by me, of course, and my command of English language is only slightly worse than my x-ray vision and telepathy, there is I suppose a real chance the question might be incomprehensible to someone not acquainted with my particular style of abuse of English. Anyway, the question is here. Any ideas? John Carter (talk) 15:43, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi John. I suppose what you suggest is possible but that brings us perilously close to civility paroles, which don't have a good track record. The drawbacks are: (a) the community is far from unanimous about what constitutes actionable misconduct so every enforcement attempt tends to be contentious; (b) it's difficult to define the triggering misconduct in a way that isn't capable of being gamed; (c) people have been known to goad the parolee into saying things which arguably breach the parole. Best thing is probably a warning (though warnings are generally regarded as unenforceable by anyone except ArbCom) and some sort of ArbCom motion to implement (though the committee itself is often similarly divided about what's actionable). I hope this helps. Pinging Doug for info,  Roger Davies talk 10:17, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

"Community sanctions"

Your change to Wikipedia:General sanctions was incorrect. "Community sanctions" is a broad category, and can include page revert restrictions and discretionary sanctions. Community discretionary sanctions are a specific type of community general sanction. They are at the "discretion" of the administrator, and mimic ArbCom DS, other than the appeal and enforcement procedures. RGloucester 13:30, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

This is not helpful. ArbCom DS were called discretionary sanctions to distinguish them from community sanctions. All sanctions are discretionary in that the enforcement of every single sanction is at the discretion of the imposing admin. No administrator is required to enforce anything. And no, community sanctions don't mimic ArbCom DS at all. Firstly, they vary from topic to topic; ArbCom ones are standard. The notification process is completely different, as are the enforcement and appeal processes.  Roger Davies talk 13:41, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
No, they were called "discretionary" because they are "discretionary". ArbCom can impose restrictions that are not discretionary sanctions, notably page revert restrictions and probation. If 1RR is imposed on a page, there is no discretion involved. If one goes over 1RR, one is blocked. DS have no bright line. Community DS do mimic ArbCom DS procedure. They have notification procedures, logging procedures, &c. They always have done. They differ only in appeals and enforcement.
  • General sanctions
    • Community-authorised
      • CDS
      • C page revert restriction
      • C article probation
    • ArbCom-authorised
      • AC DS
      • AC revert restriction
      • AC article probation
Does that make it clear? RGloucester 13:47, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
The only documentation on community sanctions seems to be at Wikipedia:General sanctions#Community sanctions, and says
User:RGloucester The community may also impose general sanctions (known as "Community sanctions") on all editors working in a particular area, usually after a discussion at the administrators' noticeboard. Administrators employing these sanctions must issue appropriate notifications, and log all sanctions imposed, as specified in each case. The issuing of notifications is an informal process whereby an editor that edits a topic area that is subject to general sanctions is made aware that the general sanctions exist. Administrators may not impose sanctions unless an editor has previously been made aware of the existence of these sanctions. Any editor may make another editor aware of the sanctions, and then log the notification, as specified in each case. This notification is not a warning about editor behaviour, and may not be revoked. It is purely informational. Full procedures for issuing notifications mirror those of Arbitration Committee sanctions, as described here. Editors or administrators that wish to overturn an action carried out under the auspices of community-established sanctions must either appeal to the imposing administrator, or gain consensus for an overturning at the administrators' noticeboard. If general sanctions are no longer needed in a topic area, they may be revoked through discussion at the administrators' noticeboard. Likewise, editors wishing to report possible violations of community sanctions should do so at the administrators' noticeboard. Dougweller (talk) 13:57, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
That text was modified by Mr Davies, and made the whole system incomprehensible. Please read the existing page wording, which I've restored. There are many kinds of community-authorised GS (community sanctions), just as there are many kinds of ArbCom-authorised GS. In recent years, ArbCom has focused on solely on DS, but this was not always the case. RGloucester 14:00, 14 April 2015 (UTC)


You IBAN me, I'm gone. Lightbreather is using the system to remove people she perceives as being "opponents", which is basically anyone who ever disagrees with her. This has been discussed at ANI, I'm sure, and is a consistent feature of her communications. I've seen it happening at a swathe of articles that I've had no involvement in, and one recent example where I have had involvement (I generally try to ignore her). I suggest you do some digging around, Roger. - Sitush (talk) 17:45, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm already aware of the background (and of the tactic). However, I don't have the evidence to justify making it unilateral.  Roger Davies talk 18:00, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
You do not have to make it unilateral. Do nothing and she will either reform or hang herself. She is fine with me as long as I agree with her, which says it all really. How many more IBANs, topic bans etc it will take is anyone's guess but there is some serious collateral damage going to happen if I am subjected to it, and the project will gain not a lot in return.
Did you see this or the recent accusations of socking being thrown around at Talk:Nazi gun control theory? Talk about leaving no stone unturned to get one's way ... - Sitush (talk) 18:11, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I did see it. The only way the committee can act here though is if someone brings a well-researched and well-documented request for a case. Otherwise, it has to be handled piecemeal at WP:AE or WP:AN.  Roger Davies talk 18:16, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Can a case be brought on the basis of a pattern of misconduct, or does there need to be a catalyst action as the basis for the complaint? Karanacs (talk) 18:35, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
A triggering recent action, representative of an established pattern is a common route.  Roger Davies talk 18:40, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm not the person to bring a case. In fact, I can't because there is some mingling with another ill-considered IBAN that was put in place during the GGTF case. However, doing things piecemeal is not the answer, especially when it causes collateral damage way beyond the very limited scope of interaction. I'm not indispensable, of course, but when the laws are allowed to trample over morals then it is time to call it a day.
Despite the numerous contributors from India and Pakistan who have been frustrated by me, you'll find far more regulars here who appreciate what I do than you will find contributors who appreciate what LB does. I don't comment on her talk page, I don't comment at every AN/ANI thread etc that pops up, nor every thread at DR or RSN or whatever other centralised discussions she visits. Of late, I've been involved in, I think, one article where she has been a contributor and you only have to look at the history of that to see that I'm not the problem there. You want to use a hammer to crack a nut? Find a different nut. - Sitush (talk) 18:36, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
In your situation, an iBan would probably be protective,  Roger Davies talk 18:40, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
What makes you think I cannot protect myself? Why do you think I've not been involved in a lot of stuff, as noted above? (And probably a lot more that I haven't seen - I only have some centralised discussions watchlisted.) I'm not being turned into some sort of scapegoat just because the community can't get a grip on the real problem. - Sitush (talk) 18:47, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Did you know ... that a church's 1510 spiral of justice declares: "Justice suffered in great need. Truth is slain dead. Faith has lost the battle"?
The poem ends with "Praise the right thing (decency, integrity)".
I am known for seemingly unrelated comments. Sitush: scapegoats seem to be needed, you are in good company, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:48, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
ps: Sitush, I don't know how you feel about me as company. I have not been guilty of 3RR ever, but am restricted as a "warrior" (more severely at present than anybody else in the infoboxes case), restricted to not add an infobox to Ray Barra (link off the Main page) because I didn't create the article, only wrote 90+% of its content. Kafkaesque. The restriction relies on an ownership concept (or call it "Main editor" or whatever euphemism seems sweeter) and should therefore simply be invalid. I dream of a day when the readers may decide, not the elite FA editors, if they want to see an infobox or not. The means to opt it out are there. - Yes, I am a warrior: I fight the notion that "live editing of featured article may not be such a good idea". I wrote some. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:21, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
ps: Ray Barry solved, - sad about the death of another legend, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 16:26, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

question unanswered.

Can the committee release what the actual scope of the case is? Hell in a Bucket (talk) 13:25, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

It's primarily about Lightbreather's interpersonal conduct with others.  Roger Davies talk 13:52, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Since I've just uploaded this--

Dogs at Halloween
Our dogs last Halloween
Waiting for their Halloween treats! Dougweller (talk) 14:52, 12 May 2015 (UTC))

The dog in the middle looks particularly scary.

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Hi, can you restore this in my user space? Should never have got deleted, one of the notable Greenlandic films I believe. I will try to source.♦ Dr. Blofeld 06:23, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Blofeld Done. Restored and moved to User:Dr. Blofeld/Heart of Light, via User:User:Dr. Blofeld/Heart of Light - It's been a while since I did one of these :)  Roger Davies talk 06:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Roger!♦ Dr. Blofeld 07:52, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

May I suggest

I certainly don't envy the task you guys are doing to sort through this. I was thinking [[23]] might need to be revdeleted. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 21:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia email

This is to confirm I have sent you an email.  Roger Davies talk 17:02, 25 May 2015 (UTC)


Can the committee explain the TKoP indef block which is a de facto ban? Hell in a Bucket (talk) 22:00, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it is a ban, by consensus of the committee, relating to events which are not in dispute.  Roger Davies talk 05:28, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Hello... I'm back

Hi Roger... Not sure if you'd remember me. I used to be active on the MILHIST Taskforce around 2008-2010. Anyway, I just logged back in after a 5 year sabbatical from WP, and thought i'd say hi, and cheers! Hoping to get back to editing MILHIST stuff, as and when my work allows me to. Cheers! Sniperz11@CS 02:30, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Sniperz11! I certainly do remember you and it's very good indeed to hear from you again. I'm so pleased you've found your way back and I do hope you'll find some time to edit. Best,  Roger Davies talk 04:20, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Great to hear that Roger Davies! Hope to be able to start editing more actively, especially on pages relating to my research areas. First, I need to remember all the syntax that I seem to have forgotten. Are you still active in MILHIST? Sniperz11@CS 04:30, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Apart from the syntax, there've been plenty of other changes in the meantime. Notifications, for examples, as I expect you've discovered ... No, I'm not so active with Milhist these days - my focus has been more on literature and literary figures lately - but I expect that will change soon with the upcoming centenaries of Gallipoli and Verdun. If you get stuck, or need some input, just shout!  Roger Davies talk 04:52, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
Haha... I did notice that. Its almost halfway to becoming a Social Network. And definitely will seek your help... I have a feeling I'll need a fair bit of it. Sniperz11@CS 00:33, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Per Molly and Yunshui

Pardon? William M. Connolley (talk) 16:44, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Molly = User:GorillaWarfare,  Roger Davies talk 04:56, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
But perhaps its better not to use these not-widely-understood names in the formal environment of Arbcomm. It might give the impression that Arbcomm is just a friends club William M. Connolley (talk) 06:13, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Arbitrator needed for Bulgars/Dulo clan articles


My name is Pavel Staykov and I am relatively new Wikipedia editor. Since 12/03/2015 I have constant arguments with the editor Croata about Bulgars/Dulo clan articles. We cannot reach an agreement about the final versions of the articles and we even got involved in editing war. I need someone to arbitrate between our versions of the aforementioned articles. Should you need more information on this case, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.

Pavel Staykov PavelStaykov (talk) 21:29, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Considering your account was created around December 2014 and you've made over 600 edits since you started, that's not exactly new. And User:Crovata hasn't been the only one to revert your edits. Just sayin'. --Ebyabe talk - General Health ‖ 02:19, 20 June 2015 (UTC)


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Gaijin42 (talk) 18:05, 21 June 2015 (UTC)


Roger, could I ask you please not to hat sections and to unhat the ones you've closed already? This is an important discussion and it has sprung up spontaneously there because of Djembayz's posts.

There are indications of systemic bias within the committtee, and it's having far-reaching effects, wider than the cases it handles. By the time women reach the committee, you're dealing with flawed people at the end of their tether after months of trying to defend themselves, so there are plenty of diffs showing poor behaviour. But to focus on the women's failure to be perfect victims is to miss the elephant in the room. We wouldn't allow black editors to be pursued in this way, even if they behaved poorly. We'd look to see to what extent racism had made their behaviour worse. Sarah (talk) 21:58, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Shouldn't that discussion have taken place during the evidence phase? I think a lot of assumptions have been made about whether harassment took place in July 2014 (there's no question it is taking place now). That was not my interpretation in reading back over what went on then (when I was retired), and certainly not the impression given by many of the accusations that LB has presented in the past about harassers (including that I was doing something wrong by putting a templated notice of a deletion discussion). The Committee may very well disagree with me (which was why I chose to bring the case). For a broader discussion of how to handle the very real off-wiki harassment that occurs to men and women, wouldn't it be better to do so at the Village Pump, at the main Arbcom page, or even at GGTF? Karanacs (talk) 22:29, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
Karanacs, I didn't present evidence during the GGTF case, because I felt it ought not to have been accepted. In fact no one presented evidence for several days after the evidence phase opened, and at one point it looked as though there could be no case, because no one wanted to participate. I believe it was Lightbreather (writing from memory) who broke the spell by posting evidence, then others followed. A lesson there.
If I had presented evidence, I would have shown that several women were subjected to baiting and harassment, some of it severe, from mid-2014 onwards. That included Lightbreather. It was very clear re: the editor who followed her to GGTF and who is accused of posting the images elsewhere. It's a worry when you find yourself being followed by an editor who focuses on porn. LB responded by becoming feistier, because that's her personality. It was also her mistake, but who can say that she's wrong? Is it better to ignore it, as I would have done, or retire, as many would have? Wikipedia will only be changed by the feisty, even if they end up paying for it.
As for where the discussion should take place, it is taking place there now, so please allow it to continue naturally. The committee closing discussions about bias within the committee is really not good. Sarah (talk) 22:56, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
It needs to be discussed somewhere with a much bigger natural audience, not on the PD talk page (which besides being obscure compared to say the village pump doesn't allow threaded discussions, which I think this needs). Doug Weller (talk) 14:06, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Name of involved

Hi, note my comments been removed on the arb page where do you want this list, its quite lengthy. Amortias (T)(C) 22:08, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. : On the case talk page is best. I presume it covers the whole thing, including the sub-threads, down to the close? Is my assumtpion correct?  Roger Davies talk 22:11, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Have all names form AN working on the names from Cases then will go hit up AE. Do you want me to ping everyone. Amortias (T)(C) 22:17, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again for your help. It's best if the clerks handle the notifications; they'll do this once the motion passes.  Roger Davies talk 22:20, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
No problems am a Government employee bureaucracy and form filling is my speciality. Amortias (T)(C) 22:21, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Also I cant seem to find the case talk page just a project talk page. I'm assuming one will open up once case is accepted. Amortias (T)(C) 22:27, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Here's good for now. It'll get moved to the case pages once it's opened (as you say). If you like this stuff, you should think about becoming a clerk :)  Roger Davies talk 22:30, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Am thinking of running for admin sometime soon so one hurdle at a time prehaps.Amortias (T)(C) 22:31, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, good luck! And thanks again,  Roger Davies talk 22:44, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

word count question

Hi Roger - I know 649 is a bit above 500, but do you view it as an acceptable length for my section, particularly given that I'm a party in the case? (For some reason I had stuck in my memory that parties got 1000.) Kevin Gorman (talk) 20:45, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

I'll leave that to the clerks to decide ... Thanks for responding so promptly.  Roger Davies talk 20:51, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
A clerk has since said that this needs to be explicitly an arb decision. Since we're so close to starting a case anyway, and the 50 words I would delete would likely be those recognizing Adjwiley's fortitude in being willing to even attempt the initial close, could you just make explicitly it clear that my statement as is is fine? Especially since we're talking about literally 49 words (since the clerk on my page said up to 600 was fine.) Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:31, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Okay,  Roger Davies talk 22:44, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. It seems like it would've been a shame in this case since practically I would've wanted to keep the most relevant info, but I also do really want to recognize Adj in my statement (and have done so elsewhere too) for even being wiling to attempt the close. Kevin Gorman (talk) 22:53, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Header on Arbitration Enforcement Requests page

I have started a discussion about your recent edit to the header on the Arbitration Enforcement Requests page. Feedback from the arbitration committee would be helpful; thanks! isaacl (talk) 02:10, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! Replied there,  Roger Davies talk 05:16, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Mentioned at VPP

Just in case the ping doesn't work, I've mentioned you at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Adoption_of_a_non-discrimination_policy. - Sitush (talk) 14:23, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

Replied, Sitush. For what it's worth, I brought the WMF NDP onto the en-wiki a couple of weeks ago. It's here.  Roger Davies talk 06:54, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks both for your reply and for pointing my to the import. - Sitush (talk) 09:11, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
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Hi Roger. A summary of a Featured Article you nominated at WP:FAC will appear on the Main Page soon. It mostly follows the lead section; how does it look? - Dank (push to talk) 02:23, 14 July 2015 (UTC)


Thanks to you and SGGH for Operation Camargue, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


Hello, at the ArbCom page, it says you are inactive, but I see you've made recent edits. Are you still inactive? МандичкаYO 😜 06:11, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes, Wikimandia, mostly inactive (though not completely so) probably until mid-September. Long-made plans just keep getting changed!  Roger Davies talk 10:53, 23 August 2015 (UTC)


Please unblock my main line adress, I've been mistaken for another user. -- 2602:306:37EB:47E0:0:0:0:0/64 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:45, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Just in case you want to rebut this


Just in case you want to rebut | this garbage I'm posting the link to it. I disagree with what they've said, from what I've seen you and Worm that Turned are the most fair arbs in this place. KoshVorlon We are all Kosh 13:40, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

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Wikimedia MA User Group


Bonjour Roger Davies !

Merci pour vos contributions sur les articles relatifs au Maroc.

Toute l'équipe du Wikimedia MA User Group vous invite à vous inscrire pour nous rejoindre, afin de prendre part aux discussions et de coopérer avec d'autres personnes qui sont, elles aussi, intéressées par le Maroc et sa culture.

Cordialement. --Reda benkhadra (talk) 22:29, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

@Reda benkhadra: merci de m'avoir contacté. Je ne peux pas m'engager pour l'instant parce que je m'occupe avec d'autres projets tous azimut. Peut-être au printemps …  Roger Davies talk 22:25, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Merci pour votre réponse Roger. La porte est toujours ouverte quand vous voulez, à bientôt --Reda benkhadra (talk) 17:51, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

A cup of tea for you!


I wanted to come by and thank you, very much, for not "opposing" my Appeal request to work on Quality improvement for an article I'd previously brought to WP:GA quality, Typewriter in the Sky.

I'm sorry you didn't have time to switch from "Abstain" after your reply to my mentor, before the matter was archived.

I'll continue to strive to better Wikipedia by engaging in the Quality improvement process, and bring articles to WP:GA and WP:FA quality.

I'll work with my mentor The Rambling Man and do my best to learn from his example and guidance.

Thank you, — Cirt (talk) 03:03, 30 October 2015 (UTC)


I tried pinging you on the PD Talk page and was wondering if you received notice? There are several questions that have been presented. Thank you in advance... Atsme📞📧 18:00, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I did but as I'm not one of the drafters of this case I'm not really in a position to respond to questions about the drafting of it.  Roger Davies talk 18:24, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Please read your email

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Minor4th 02:57, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Dwelt with now, thanks.  Roger Davies talk 03:10, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Queries About Assessment of articles

I am Interested to join South Asian task force of Wikiproject Military History.Please tell me how the assessment of importance level and quality of articles is done. how can I formally join. If I create an article related to indian military, so how can I add that article to the wikiproject.--Abhisheks 91 (talk) 18:45, 21 December 2015 (UTC)