Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article titles and capitalisation

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Main case page (Talk) — Evidence (Talk) — Workshop (Talk) — Proposed decision (Talk)

Case clerk: AlexandrDmitri (Talk) Drafting arbitrator: David Fuchs (Talk)

Case Opened on 14:30, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Case Closed on 22:48, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 21:30, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 03:20, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

Watchlist all case pages: 1, 2, 3, 4

Please do not edit this page directly unless you are either 1) an Arbitrator, 2) an Arbitration Clerk, or 3) adding yourself to this case. Statements on this page are original comments provided when the Committee was initially requested to Arbitrate this page (at Requests for arbitration), and serve as opening statements; as such, they should not be altered. Any evidence you wish to provide to the Arbitrators should go on the /Evidence subpage.

Arbitrators, the parties, and other editors may suggest proposed principles, findings, and remedies at /Workshop. That page may also be used for general comments on the evidence. Arbitrators will then vote on a final decision in the case at /Proposed decision.

Once the case is closed, editors may add to the #Log of blocks, bans, and restrictions as needed, but this page should not be edited otherwise. Please raise any questions at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration#Requests for clarification, and report violations of remedies at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement.

Involved parties

Statement by SarekOfVulcan

There has been long-term disruptive editing on the MOS and article naming pages. As far as I can tell, no single RFC/U or edit warring block is going to solve the problem, so I'm bringing it to Arbcom in an attempt to break the back of the problem and make working in this area of the encyclopedia less unpleasant. For examples, see the recent history of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters and Wikipedia talk:Article titles. There have been huge amounts of discussion spent on these topics, as well as related arb cases like WP:RFAR/DDL, so I'm not providing specific diffs of previous dispute resolution attempts above.

Response to AGK
Actually, I urge you not to put a temporary injunction in place, because I suspect part of the case will be figuring out its actual scope, and putting an injunction in place that doesn't cover the complete scope may lead to wikilawyering and bad feelings, instead of solving the problem at hand.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 23:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Comment on party list
I was pretty sure my list was too short, but I figured further discussion here would identify other people who needed to be added. From mostly-outside, I saw there was a godawful mess -- I didn't dive far enough into it to figure out who was "the problem", when there were some current examples of disputes to start with. (To be clear, I did figure GregL would get added at some point, because of his extensive participation in MOS/titling issues.) Remember, "involved party" does not mean "potential recipient of sanctions", it just means "involved in the dispute under discussion". I never intended this to only deal with the two cases I mentioned as examples, I figured they were good examples of the larger problem.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 08:22, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by JCScaliger

Statement made by sock of banned user
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

On the other hand, I do believe that a single couple of blocks (or better, mentorings) will solve the immediate problem. A timeline of the events behind this is at User:Born2cycle/DearElen; long, and one of you has been faced with it already, but full of diffs.

Noetica and two of his friends have a tendency to engage in "campaigns" to "improve" Wikipedia, and assert the "authority" of our manual of style; I believe some of them have come before ArbCom before. They are a close-net little community, that tends to write about gaining territory, subversion, and, again, subversion. (They behave as though they were one mind; they appear on the same pages, they make the same arguments, they use the same language. I have not seen them disagree.) They are led by Noetica, who speaks for Order, in his own vocabulary.

The three of them are engaged in two of these crusades (or should I say internal security investigations?) and happen to have encountered me at both of them. At WP:TITLE, they came up with an idea for unnecessary disambiguation, which did not get a warm reception. They decided that one of the phrases in the first section of the policy was responsible, and began to boldly edit it. There were objections, and a poll; WT:AT#RFC on Recognizability guideline wording; it seems fairly decisive, but their response was to denounce the poll, boycott the page, and edit war for the wording they prefer.

This produced a month of discussion, and continual war; the page was protected twice. A couple of alternate versions were suggested by various people, and widely approved of. Two of these three editors did not object, but they reverted the results. Eventually I was bold enough to put both on in succession (together with the text that had been there when all this began), in the hope of at least novel wording from the dissentients, on the grounds that consensus should finally prevail.

(A hitherto uninvolved editor said: that there was clear consensus and one of Noetica's wikifriends said: it appears there is quite clearly a consensus and reverted in support of the language on familiarity. It has just had another RFC, this one unanimous.)

A policy with this amount of support has been disturbed for a month, almost entirely by Noetica alone, with some support from his friends and the admin Kwamikagami. This has cost us User:Kotniski; who quit Wikipedia, as explained in this edit because of the "month of smoke and mirrors".

Their other campaign has been to make all articles be lower-case, based solely on a vague expression in the lead of WP:MOSCAPS. Five editors joined in disliking this, and deploring the language, only to be told that the text, which had been boldly written by Noetica two weeks before, was "long-standing consensus"; Dicklyon has now reverted to the version he himself wrote in December. This is at least progress, and why I believe that mentoring Noetica may be enough. JCScaliger (talk) 00:32, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Note. Another reason for leniency is that these three are merely exporting the poisonous environment of MOS to other pages. For example Wikipedia_talk:MOS#Species_capitalization_points is a lengthy current discussion whether MOS should "tolerate" or expunge a widespread custom used by many editors over a whole group of pages. Clearly five or six editors (none of them in this case) think their discussion in this corner is legislation, to be obeyed by all editors and left stable and unedited (unless there is consensus to change it, which is unlikely as long as the five or six decline to do so). It is unusual only in that a member of the group being discussed is actually present. If the five or six go forth to enforce their edict, there will be scattered protests, which will be ignored or brushed off (unless perhaps "consensus" can be as unmistakably shown as at WP:TITLE); changes will be revert-warred, because the protesters are tampering with the Law. This is what happened at WP:MOSCAPS too; Noetica was doing the same thing at TITLE, but was outnumbered (and Dicklyon is still arguing whether there is a consensus). If ArbCom can make a dent in this mindset, that would be most helpful. JCScaliger (talk) 04:14, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    • Dicklyon's response suggests that he still feels his series of exact reversions to a text supported only by the usual minority justified. A single exemplary sanction may not suffice.JCScaliger (talk) 19:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Amatulic

Until some articles on my watchlist (including two I created) got caught up in a mass-renaming spree by Tony1 (the vast majority of which, upon examining his move log, constituted excellent work with just a few errors), and subsequently became aware of this ArbCom request, I had not known that there was a coordinated campaign to enforce an imagined "authority" of MOS:CAPS as written by two or three editors without the involvement of a larger community.

My involvement here has to do with the naming of technical analysis indicators. The entire page Talk:True strength index contains arguments from those well-versed in the field and familiar with the mass of reliable sources (most of which are not online) against renaming to lowercase. It amazes me that a handful of editors wielding an incomplete style guideline would try to force-fit it to every article, effectively re-writing decades of standard usage by reliable sources.

The discussions on Talk:True strength index and Talk:Relative Strength Index pointing out that MOS:CAPS is a guideline that should be applied with a modicum of common sense seems to have fallen on deaf ears on the part of those who seem to want to treat it as absolute policy. The MOS:CAPS defenders, while civil, do appear to give higher priority to this guideline than to policy (such as WP:RS). In my view, their entrenched position on this matter borders on tendentiousness while not quite reaching it.

I was going to suggest a change to MOS:CAPS to include technical analysis indicators as creative works in the MOS:CT section, but then realized that this would be futile without wider community involvement, because the primary participants there are the same ones who promote the disruptive renaming of articles about technical analysis inventions in the first place.

I will note that the debate on Relative Strength Index has been closed as keeping the original uppercase version of the title, while the debate that started after Tony1 changed True strength index to lowercase is still open with no consensus. ~Amatulić (talk) 02:30, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Born2cycle

The month-long dispute at WP:TITLE is about whether the recognizability criterion should be restricted to those familiar with the article's topic, or not. This dispute is really part of a larger one about so-called "pre-emptive disambiguation" that extends to interpreting WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and many RM discussions [1] [2] [3] [4][5][6][7] [8] in which Noetica, Tony1 and Dicklyon are involved, because they hold a view contrary to long-held community consensus about titles. In particular, they want more descriptive information in titles in situations where the relevant policies, guidelines and conventions indicate otherwise, primarily because of our convention to add more descriptive information to titles only when needed to disambiguate the titles from others uses in Wikipedia.

  • Dec 20, 2011 22:35 Tony1's edit alerts me that familiarity clause of the Recognizability criterion at WP:CRITERIA is gone.
  • I researched history of wording.
    • Aug 17, 2010 Originally inserted [9]
    • May 20, 2011 Discussion about simplifying recognizability wording [10]
    • May 21, 2011 Familiarity phrase removed inadvertently [11]
  • Knowing some might oppose re-inserting the phrase despite it reflecting usage and consensus, I simultaneously fixed the policy page and added explanation to talk per BRD:
  • I was prepared to discuss it. I wasn't prepared for a discussion about why there needed to be a discussion.

This stonewalling insistence to discuss the change, while simultaneously not discussing the change, has been continued by Tony, Dicklyon and Noetica for over a month (see WP:AT); not one of them has said anything substantive about the edit.

Every editor who has spoken substantively about this edit has supported it. Consensus support for the change was established in the early discussions [21] [22] [23] [24] (which Noetica et al denied), but was confirmed again just this week in a poll in which re-inserting the phrase was supported unanimously.

Yet any time anyone tries to insert the change clearly supported by consensus[25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33], they revert[34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46], or manage to get an admin to revert to their preferred version[47] [48] [49], or even protect the page at their version[50] [51] [52] [53]

Their behavior is way beyond disruptive. It's so exasperating, Kotniski left on a break because of it[54].

I urge ARBCOM to find that Noetica, Dicklyon and Tony1 must adjust their behavior:

  1. They must acknowledge that the community consensus is to disfavor additional precision in titles that is not needed to disambiguate from other uses of that title on WP.
  2. If they revert an edit, they must address any good faith substantive argument in favor of making the edit. --Born2cycle (talk) 07:52, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Response to Statement by Kwami

Kwami continues to ignore that when the community looks at the two wordings, there is no question that unanimous consensus supports the wording with the familiarity wording. This was demonstrated clearly in the discussions in December where all substantive comments about the edit favored the version with the familiarity restriction[55] [56] [57] [58], and even more clearly recently in Greg's poll. Kwami's claim that following this consensus-supported wording would lead to "overly conventionalized titles that are unrecognizable to anyone who needs to read the article in the first place" is bereft of foundation (i.e., actual examples). Besides, anyone who knows he "needs to read the article" must be familiar with the topic to some degree (or how could he know he needs to read it?) - and so this wording indicates that the title should be recognizable to such a person.

Most importantly, Kwami demonstrated his contrary-to-consensus bias regarding pre-emptive disambiguation on this issue back on Dec 15[59], so he should have known better than to involve himself as an admin on this issue in the first place, especially in making subjective decisions like deciding which version to lock, and engaging in an edit war. Kwami's involvement in this matter as a biased admin who refused to see the consensus that was plainly there made it impossible for this situation to be resolved by following that consensus, and is probably the main reason it has even gotten to Arbcom. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Tony1

I'm unsure why the filer believes there's an intractible situation that warrants an ArbCom case, rather than community action if necessary. While there are disagreements at both wp:title and wp:moscaps (not wp:mos, as in the heading), this is hardly unusual in the evolution of policies and guidelines. The community needs to work through the issues calmly and gradually; there should be no hurry, since complexities are involved.

I don't understand why I've been named as a party, since my input has been only to participate with civility and in good faith in talk-page debate, and then only sporadically (I did revert a change I thought was premature and unwarranted, but that is hardly a behavioural transgression requiring arbitration; please examine my contributions). I don't have a solution for the scoping of article titles—I'm still trying to come to grips with the issues—and while the issues are interesting, I don't care enough about them to get worked up.

I've skimmed through the long posts above, and note that I'm being closely associated with Dicklyon (who upbraids me on technical and procedural matters) and Noetica; there is much I don't agree on with these editors, and I am my own person on these matters.

I hope this will be the only post necessary on this page. I ask that an arb or clerk ping me if a further response is required. Thanks. Tony (talk) 11:54, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Dick Lyon

It's unclear what behavior this AC proposal is intended to address. A few comments:

Born2cycle has pledged at AN to improve his contentious behavior; I don't see huge progress yet, but suggest we wait and see how that goes.

JCScaliger seems to have learned that his campaign to change the guidelines on capitalization was disruptive and elicited a lockdown at CAPS; I expect he'll pursue it still on the talk page, which is as it should be.

Noetica has made only 4 edits at MOS:CAPS in the last month, and has started a good discussion of the capitalization guidelines. His suggestion has a lot of support, and also a lot of opposition (including some from me), but it seems like a good discussion. His bold change, however, I have rolled back along with JCScaliger's bold change, after the unlock, since neither has yet gained consensus in the ongoing discussion. That seems stable.

Tony and I have been active in fixing over-capitalization, though not always in agreement with each other. These are mostly uncontroversial moves, unopposed RMs, and successful RMs, but there has been some pushback from editors in specific areas like the technical market indicators. Amatulic seems to be asking for an area exception in CAPS, but I don't see any behavior issues there.

I have been active on both the CAPS and TITLE talk pages. On the corresponding guideline/policy pages, I have made 2 reverts on each, and no other edits in the last month or so.

If anyone has an issue with my behavior, I'd like to hear about it first on my talk page, not at ArbCom. I'm open to input from anyone there (with the exception of Born2cycle, who I have asked to stay away from my talk page).

Dicklyon (talk) 18:58, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Noetica

[I'll make a full statement soon. The scope of the projected case seems uncertain; but it's clear that WP:MOS has been implicated (with recent protracted discussion of capitalisation for specialised naming), and certain RMs. I've added certain involved editors as parties, who may be able to help ArbCom in its deliberations. The actions of some may be relevant also. NoeticaTea? 05:48, 28 January 2012 (UTC)][reply]

Statement by Kauffner

I haven't been following the great MOS debate, so I guess I am here because I voted in some related RMs. I supported many of Tony1's excellent proposals to lower case titles that are improperly upper cased. (I regret only that I don't have time to vote for them all.) My votes are not based the MOS clause Tony1 cites, but rather on WP:CAPS, which states: "For page titles, always use lowercase after the first word, and do not capitalize second and subsequent words, unless the title is a proper noun." I have opposed various efforts by Noetica, Dicklyon, and others to include parenthetical descriptors that were merely explanatory in character. As I see it, WP:PRECISION stipulates that such descriptors be used only when necessary to disambiguate among existing Wiki articles. See, for example, French Quarter, Catholic Memorial School (West Roxbury, Massachusetts), The Artist (film), or Fry (Futurama). Kauffner (talk) 08:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Kwami

I protected the AT page in Dec. at the last stable version during an edit war among several of the named parties, asking that they find another admin who could see the alleged consensus, which I failed to see, to resolve the issue. No such other admin came forward, despite B2C's requests at AN, so when the protection ended, the edit war started up again and I protected it again. There have been repeated recriminations over which version I should have protected it at, the one stable for the last six months, or the one which had been stable prior to that. The issue appears to be over how to best word AT to encourage professional-sounding titles without sanctioning jargon; I'm not sure there can be a correct answer, as I suspect either wording would be used to wikilawyer for ridiculous titles. (On one side, overly long titles that summarize the topic like 19th-century chapter headings; on the other, overly conventionalized titles that are unrecognizable to anyone who needs to read the article in the first place: Should we be immediately accessible to all, approach the topic like an introductory textbook, or write to the professional audience of the specialized journals we use as sources?) Perhaps the dispute could be remedied by giving examples of bad titles from both extremes, so that the intent of AT is clear? I have not been following much of the debate and don't expect to follow this one unless requested to return. — kwami (talk) 22:34, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Jojalozzo

MOS pages are tagged: "... Please ensure that any edits to this page reflect consensus." I am a copy-editing gnome with no FAs or major contributions and a continually developing understanding of the project, who had until recently considered the MOS as a relatively stable, foundational framework to guide editors in producing a relatively consistent work. This illusion dissolved in the last couple of months with a flare up in MOSCAPS, especially in the lead ( [60], [61], [62], [63], [64], [65], [66], [67], [68], [69], [70]), but eventually throughout the article. Multiple, significant, conflicting edits made by several editors, including wide sweeps that are difficult to track with inadequate edit summaries, sometimes BRD and sometimes under the guise of a couple of day's unannounced discussion and subsequent consensus among two or three participants, liquified MOSCAPS' once stable ground. I think arbitration to limit such instability and guide the MOS development process would be very helpful. Jojalozzo 00:39, 29 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Comment by uninvolved Greg L

My original post was too long. If anyone cares to, they can look at this perma-link for my original, overly-long post. The original post embodies not only my validation that I think there is merit to resolving the disfunction at WT:AT via ArbCom, but also proposes a remedy if this petition is accepted and the case is adjudicated. Johnuniq’s below post unfortunately endorses something that can only be viewed at the link.

I’ve pretty much stated all I intend to about this fiasco, which I think is disgusting. I’ve received absolutely appalling emails from editors with whom I’ve long had cordial relationships. Wikipedia is supposed to be a fun hobby for those who elect to civilly work in a collaborative manner. I was pleased to help resolve what the real community consensus was on WT:AT. But how much time I devote to the project and the manner in which I do it will not be determined by others.

I’ll be having nothing more to do with these proceedings. Greg L (talk) 09:00, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

P.S. BTW, the animation on the Main page right now is one I made.

Comment by involved? Vegaswikian

I also have concerns about the editors included as involved. I was added since I do a ton of closes. I'm probably more of a victim in that sense. So I guess to some extent I agree with Greg L and his comments above. If this case is accepted, and there may be good reason to do so, then one of the first steps should be deciding how wide of a net needs to be cast. Let me know if I need to pay attention to this discussion. Vegaswikian (talk) 06:20, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by David Levy

According to the explanation posted on my talk page, Noetica has "no issue with [me] at all"; I've been named as an involved party because I was a major participant in discussions about organism names at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style. I didn't perform relevant edits to the actual guideline pages or to articles, despite my disagreement with some of the edits made by others.
Like Dicklyon, I'm unclear on what behavior is to be addressed. I'm more than willing to provide whatever helpful input I can, but I'm not entirely comfortable being deemed "involved" in a case in which I'm neither accused of misconduct nor implicating anyone else.
SarekOfVulcan notes that "'involved party' does not mean 'potential recipient of sanctions', it just means 'involved in the dispute under discussion'", but I always have understood it to mean more than "person who participated in discussions related to the dispute" (i.e. what the community is encouraged to do, in the hope of preventing its escalation to an ArbCom case). Such a definition stands to have a chilling effect, with editors shying away from good-faith discussion of contentious matters for fear of being "hauled before ArbCom" (instead of merely being informed of the case and invited to comment). —David Levy 02:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Preliminary decisions

Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter (5/0/0/0)

  • Awaiting statements. The statements so far are concerning, but there are two sides to every story... Jclemens (talk) 00:45, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    • Accept as it looks like this is indeed as much a mess as it appears. Jclemens (talk) 05:50, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Accept. This is an obvious mess and no other means of dispute resolution appears likely to resolve it. Our task in addressing the situation will be to help solve the problems, rather than to compound them; if accepted, suggestions on how we best can do so will be at a premium at the workshop stage. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Accept. I disagree with the statements that this dispute could be solved by community-based discussion, and I agree with the assessment that this is a protracted, messy dispute. If this case is accepted, we might give thought to a temporary injunction that prohibits the continuation of this dispute during arbitration proceedings. AGK [•] 23:45, 27 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Accept I have to agree with NYB, I see little hope anyhting short of arbitration will o anything but create more drama and strife while not leading to a solution. Courcelles 04:29, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    • Party list was likely made too long by Noetica's additions, but I'm far too tired to figure out who should not have been added. To reply to Vegaswikian, if you are listed as a party to the case if/when opened, a clerk will post on your talk page to that end. Courcelles 06:34, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Accept - similar to deletionism/inclusionism, and NFCC debates, the extent to which we adhere to an MOS is another area with strongly differing opinions not likely to be solved here. We'd review conduct. My question is, would an RfC with broad input from the editing community at large provide a foundation for settling these disputes? Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:57, 28 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Temporary injunction (none)

Final decision


Editorial process

1) Wikipedia works by building consensus. This is done through the use of polite discussion—involving the wider community, if necessary—and dispute resolution, rather than through disruptive editing. Editors are each responsible for noticing when a debate is escalating into an edit war, and for helping the debate move to better approaches by discussing their differences rationally. Edit-warring, whether by reversion or otherwise, is prohibited; this is so even when the disputed content is clearly problematic, with only a few exceptions. Revert rules should not be construed as an entitlement or inalienable right to revert, nor do they endorse reverts as an editing technique.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

The Manual of Style

2) Style guides are used as a means of creating a consistent end result. They do not affect content, but rather how that content is presented. The English Wikipedia's Manual of Style (MoS) is a guideline, or a set of "best practices" supported by consensus. The MoS is not a collection of hard rules.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Policy and guidelines

3) A higher standard for participation and consensus exists for changes to policies and guidelines, as stated in Wikipedia:Consensus#Level of consensus.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Good faith and disruption

4) Behavior that violates Wikipedia's policies, even if driven by good intentions, is still inappropriate. Editors acting in good faith may still be sanctioned when their actions are disruptive.

Passed 8 to 1, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Findings of fact

Manual of Style as unique style guide

1) The English Wikipedia Manual of Style has been built from a number of pre-existing Manuals from numerous fields. The best practices from these have been combined to create a single, unique MOS that applies to articles on the English Wikipedia.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Locus of dispute

2) This dispute concerns contentious edits to the MoS and article naming pages that have been occurring sporadically for years. The incident that precipitated this arbitration case was a rapid series of edits at WP:TITLE.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


3) Pmanderson (talk · contribs) disrupted MoS-related discussions through JCScaliger (talk · contribs), a sockpuppet and named party to this case.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

3.1) Pmanderson (talk · contribs) is currently under a one-year ban from the MOS placed by the Community, which the JCScaliger account was used to circumvent.

Passed 8 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

3.2) Pmanderson (talk · contribs) has an extensive block log, with blocks for issues including edit warring, move warring, violations of topic bans, disruptive editing, and personal attacks.

Passed 8 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


4) Born2cycle (talk · contribs)'s editing on the disputed pages and related subjects has hampered efforts at resolution, specifically by excessive responses and not following the spirit of WP:BRD.

Passed 7 to 1, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

All parties reminded

1.2) All parties are reminded to avoid personalizing disputes concerning the Manual of Style, the article titles policy ('WP:TITLE'), and similar policy and guideline pages, and to work collegially towards a workable consensus. In particular, a rapid cycle of editing these pages to reflect one's viewpoint, then discussing the changes is disruptive and should be avoided. Instead, parties are encouraged to establish consensus on the talk page first, and then make the changes.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Pmanderson restricted

2.2) Pmanderson is indefinitely prohibited from engaging in discussions and edits relating to the Manual of Style or policy about article titles.

Passed 8 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Contentious topic designation

Superseded version

4.2) Standard discretionary sanctions are authorized for all pages related to the English Wikipedia Manual of Style and article titles policy, broadly construed. The scope of this remedy refers to discussions about the policies and guidelines mentioned, and does not extend to individual move requests, move reviews, article talk pages, or other venues at which individual article names may be discussed. Disruption in those areas should be handled by normal administrative means.

Passed 9 to 0, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Clarified by motion at 03:20, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Superseded by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

4.2) Contentious topic restrictions are authorized for all pages related to the English Wikipedia Manual of Style and article titles policy, broadly construed. The scope of this remedy refers to discussions about the policies and guidelines mentioned, and does not extend to individual move requests, move reviews, article talk pages, or other venues at which individual article names may be discussed. Disruption in those areas should be handled by normal administrative means.

Amended by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

Born2cycle warned

5) Born2cycle is warned that his contributions to discussion must reflect a better receptiveness to compromise and a higher tolerance for the views of other editors.

Passed 6 to 1, 22:47, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


Enforcement of restrictions

0) Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked, initially for up to one month, and then with blocks increasing in duration to a maximum of one year.

In accordance with the procedure for the standard enforcement provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications

This procedure applies to appeals related to, and modifications of, actions taken by administrators to enforce the Committee's remedies. It does not apply to appeals related to the remedies directly enacted by the Committee.

Appeals by sanctioned editors

Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. Requests for modification of page restrictions may be made by any editor. The process has three possible stages (see "Important notes" below). The editor may:

  1. ask the enforcing administrator to reconsider their original decision;
  2. request review at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard ("AE") or at the administrators’ noticeboard ("AN"); and
  3. submit a request for amendment at "ARCA". If the editor is blocked, the appeal may be made by email through Special:EmailUser/Arbitration Committee (or, if email access is revoked, to
Modifications by administrators

No administrator may modify or remove a sanction placed by another administrator without:

  1. the explicit prior affirmative consent of the enforcing administrator; or
  2. prior affirmative agreement for the modification at (a) AE or (b) AN or (c) ARCA (see "Important notes" below).

Administrators modifying sanctions out of process may at the discretion of the committee be desysopped.

Nothing in this section prevents an administrator from replacing an existing sanction issued by another administrator with a new sanction if fresh misconduct has taken place after the existing sanction was applied.

Administrators are free to modify sanctions placed by former administrators – that is, editors who do not have the administrator permission enabled (due to a temporary or permanent relinquishment or desysop) – without regard to the requirements of this section. If an administrator modifies a sanction placed by a former administrator, the administrator who made the modification becomes the "enforcing administrator". If a former administrator regains the tools, the provisions of this section again apply to their unmodified enforcement actions.

Important notes:

  1. For a request to succeed, either
(i) the clear and substantial consensus of (a) uninvolved administrators at AE or (b) uninvolved editors at AN or
(ii) a passing motion of arbitrators at ARCA
is required. If consensus at AE or AN is unclear, the status quo prevails.
  1. While asking the enforcing administrator and seeking reviews at AN or AE are not mandatory prior to seeking a decision from the committee, once the committee has reviewed a request, further substantive review at any forum is barred. The sole exception is editors under an active sanction who may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed, but such requests may only be made once every six months, or whatever longer period the committee may specify.
  2. These provisions apply only to contentious topics placed by administrators and to blocks placed by administrators to enforce arbitration case decisions. They do not apply to sanctions directly authorised by the committee, and enacted either by arbitrators or by arbitration clerks, or to special functionary blocks of whatever nature.
  3. All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.
In accordance with the procedure for the standard appeals and modifications provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.


December 2016

In the past year, Darkfrog24 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has been subject to a series of Arbitration Enforcement actions under the discretionary sanctions authorized in the Article Titles and Capitalisation case. In January 2016, Darkfrog24 was topic-banned from from articles, discussions, and guidelines, explicitly including the manual of style, related to quotation marks and quotation styles, broadly interpreted, following an AE request. In February this topic ban was broadened to encompass the Manual of Style and related topics following another AE request. Later that month, they were blocked indefinitely "until they either understand the terms of the tban or agree to stop disruptively relitigating it" after a third AE request. They were unblocked to participate in an appeal to ARCA in April 2016, which was declined by the Arbitration Committee. The block was lifted again in November 2016 to permit the present ARCA appeal.

The Committee notes that Darkfrog24 disputes some elements of the original AE filings. We emphasize that imposing an AE sanction requires only that a reviewing admin finds sufficient disruption to warrant action and is not an endorsement of every individual claim that may be made by the filer. After review of the current appeal, we find that there is no evidence in favor of lifting or modifying the topic ban, and the disruptive behavior, in the form of repeated relitigation of the circumstances of the topic ban, has continued. The appeal is declined and the block will be reinstated. They may appeal again in three months (one year from the original indefinite block). They are very strongly advised to focus that appeal on their future editing interests in topics well separated from the subjects of their topic ban, and to appeal the topic ban itself only after establishing a successful record of productive contributions in other areas.

Passed 10 to 0 by motion at 21:40, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Motion: Article titles and capitalization (February 2017)

In remedy 4.2 of the 2012 Article titles and capitalisation case, standard discretionary sanctions were authorized for all pages related to the English Wikipedia Manual of Style and article titles policy, broadly construed. By way of clarification, the scope of this remedy refers to discussions about the policies and guidelines mentioned, and does not extend to individual move requests, move reviews, article talk pages, or other venues at which individual article names may be discussed. Disruption in those areas should be handled by normal administrative means.

Passed 9 to 1 by motion at 03:20, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Motion: contentious topic designation (December 2022)

21) Each reference to the prior discretionary sanctions procedure shall be treated as a reference to the contentious topics procedure. The arbitration clerks are directed to amend all existing remedies authorizing discretionary sanctions to instead designate contentious topics.

Passed 10 to 0 with 1 abstention by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

Enforcement log

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log, not here.


The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

On 3 May 2014 Arbcom established a new method of notifying for discretionary sanctions which is explained at WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts. All notices given prior to the May 2014 cutover date will expire on 3 May 2015. New notices are to be given using {{Ds/alert}} and they expire one year after they are given. No new notices should be logged here.