Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Industrial agriculture

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Target dates: Opened 25 October 2023 • Evidence closes 15 November 2023 • Proposed decision to be posted by 5 December 2023

Scope: Interactions between and actions of Leyo and KoA since the closure of WP:ARBGMO with a particular emphasis on the industrial agriculture topic area, broadly construed

Case clerks: ToBeFree (Talk) & MJL (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: Guerillero (Talk) & Enterprisey (Talk)

Case opened on 00:23, 25 October 2023 (UTC)

Case closed on 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Watchlist all case (and talk) pages: Front, Ev., PD.

Case information[edit]

Involved parties[edit]

Prior dispute resolution[edit]

Preliminary statements[edit]

Preliminary statements given in the case request stage may be found at /Preliminary statements.

Preliminary decision[edit]

Clerk notes[edit]

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

The clerks are directed to open a case on 25 October with the following attributes:

  • Drafters: Guerillero and Enterprisey
  • Name: Industrial Agriculture
  • Parties: Leyo and KoA
  • Scope: Interactions between and actions of Leyo and KoA since 2021 with a particular emphasis on the Industrial agriculture topic area, broadly construed.
  • Standard time frame, but there will be no workshop.

--Guerillero Parlez Moi 18:32, 20 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Extraordinary Writ:: I am open to expanding the time horizon, but opening the gates to nearly 20 years is excessive. -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 19:32, 20 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Extraordinary Writ where that logic fails is in the person for whom the evidence is being used against. "This evidence is 8 years old do I need to explain it? This one is 10, how about that? This one is 15, surely not that one?" This is why in the discussion you linked to I would like to set a base of 10 years, but that can be changed on a per case basis - as in the case of the recent concluded Smallcats where we limited some evidence to after an arbcom case. Barkeep49 (talk) 00:31, 21 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since GMO in 2015 is fine with me -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 08:01, 21 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (8/0/0)[edit]

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

  • I am inclined to accept. I am, however, reluctant to resolve this matter by motion. One of the functions of holding a full ArbCom case, despite their typical unpleasantness, is to offer an opportunity of a week or two for parties to reflect upon their own behavior within the context of a serious inquiry. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 22:21, 14 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Accept. I am not in the camp of arbitrators who believe that any proper sanction against an administrator must also lead to a desysop. However, I do believe that any formal sanction against an administrator rises to the level of ArbCom review. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 17:37, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I am also inclined to accept, though I would like to hear from Leyo.
    I would also like to make this request to the community: if you have nothing substantial to offer, please do not post here. The case request itself and the handful of comments we have already received have made it fairly clear that this is an admin conduct issue; we do not need a dozen people simply saying "yes, this looks like a big issue, I have no history or background with this admin but I am concerned". ArbCom has been discussing this internally over the last few cases and we are making an attempt to cut down on the overload of unnecessary comments at ARC to make reading and responding easier. In other words, if you have a point (or counter-point) to make accepting/declining this case easier, please post, otherwise consider how useful your comment will really be. Primefac (talk) 08:29, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Philosophically as a part of a (small d) democratic community like Wikipedia, I think ArbCom needs to listen to community feedback. Practically, comments that just offer opinions without substantive information added can make reading these pages somewhat of a slog and can often increase the volatility of an already fraught situation. Despite that I think this is definitely a case where 0+0+0+0=4 because the totality of community feedback is often useful as it should and does inform the actions ArbCom takes. What I think needs to stop are two things:
    1. Editors exceeding their word limits
    2. The back and forth of editors directing conversation towards each other, and especially parties to the case, rather than Arbitrators
    And so it's those things I'd ask the clerks to really hold the line on personally. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:15, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Agreed, and it is difficult to put into words the complexity of "we want useful feedback, but not too much, especially when it is a clear case request, but recognising that it can be helpful when it is a contentious issue." I do agree that we can and should do better at enforcing our written rules. Primefac (talk) 16:19, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Accept. Primefac (talk) 08:27, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept as an admin conduct case --Guerillero Parlez Moi 09:00, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Reluctant Accept. The community have been looking into this and have noted that there is a need for intervention, with sanctions such as an iban and a logged warning being considered. There have been comments that this admin has been generally problem free, doing a number of appropriate blocks, and that the issues here are mainly low level. We don't expect our volunteers to be perfect, and to demand such would perhaps put an undue strain on individuals, as well as send a negative image to potential admins that it's not worth the grief and hassle and pressure. There is consideration that perhaps the community could have decided this without ArbCom. However, now that the decision has been made to bring the request here, I don't think we should be playing ping pong, and should formally examine Leyo's admin conduct. In the last AE discussion there was evidence brought forward that Leyo is behaving inappropriately toward several users, and has been for some time. Also, that being sanctioned via a partial block has not stopped them from behaving inappropriately. That is grounds enough for a case. I would need more evidence and rationale to consider dealing with this by a motion, I feel a case is more appropriate. SilkTork (talk) 11:09, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for that, User:Leyo. I have amended my comment. SilkTork (talk) 10:42, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept, WP:ADMINCOND & AE escalation. Cabayi (talk) 11:31, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I've been hoping to hear from Leyo before voting (most likely an accept) but certainly understand why my colleagues are already accepting. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:08, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Deepfriedokra Thanks. I didn't know that. My plan had been to give Leyo the weekend and part of Monday as a reasonable amount of time to reply. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:40, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I have spent no where near enough time to know what I think about this case but if I think someone should resign their adminship I would also be ready to vote to just remove it and so my desire to hear from Leyo is real and not a pressure tactic to get them to resign. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:53, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The recent block came after a clear warning at AE to cut it out. Unless we find that the block was unjustified or was punitive as Leyo is suggesting, the most likely result of a case is a desysop. The arbitrators all know this, but sometimes I think admins arriving here maybe do not know this, so for me it is more about making sure they understand the odds before we proceed than it is about applying pressure. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:29, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I am not so confident in this assessment as you seem to be. A desysop is certainly on the table but is not the predetermined outcome. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 23:32, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I almost made the point in my original response that a block for bad behavior is one way the community can regularize admin behavior without invoking ArbCom review, especially partial blocks and TBANs (which this institution has used with at least one administrator). That's why I made a note that I think the allegations of previous misdeeds are more interesting. Izno (talk) 00:00, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Beeblebrox then I suggest you rephrase your comment to be informative in the way you just were in the future. In both this case and the previous one, the way I read it - and at least in the last case we know the way it was received - is that you are pressuring the person to resign because otherwise they will be desysopped. I should also note I don't begrudge you or any arb who does feel that way, but I do find it unfair to effectively hold a gun to someone's head, especially as the rest of the committee may, or may not, be in agreement with that action. Barkeep49 (talk) 01:15, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I admit in that last case that was more my intent, because I couldn't see even the slightest chance of it ending any other way. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:19, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'm also interested in giving Leyo time to respond, but only because I hope that, while doing this reflecting on their actions here, they consider resigning as an admin, which would obviate the need for a full arbcom case. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:49, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @GhostOfDanGurney: what you are describing would require a change in the admin policy, which is not somethign this committee is empowered to do. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:13, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Accept. There appears to be an admin conduct case here. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:22, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Chess: I'm assuming you are referring to my remarks, in which I said a desysop was the most likely result. That is simply a statement of fact, not a statement about this admin or the strength of the case. The majority of admin conduct cases end with the admin being removed. That's not my opinion, that's just how it is. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:06, 21 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm guessing it's at least partially a reference to @Primefac's comments. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:15, 21 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. I am actually rather more interested in the prior history alleged rather than the recent behavior. Izno (talk) 23:13, 15 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Chess, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Guide to arbitration#Responding to requests more or less lays out the expectation. I've also previously summarized it roughly as "tell us something new, make sure it's directly relevant to the request, and address it to us, not anyone else making a statement". Izno (talk) 05:59, 21 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept I really appreciate the comments Leyo has made here and it suggests to me that this case wouldn't be appropriate to handle by motion. Given that this case definitely is a yes to my guiding question for ADMIN cases of "Are the allegations, if proven true, enough to merit a sanction?" I also feel an accept is appropriate. Barkeep49 (talk) 01:19, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Update: the committee is working out a procedural element to the case behind the scenes, and once that's resolved I would expect the case to be opened in short order. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:03, 17 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Temporary injunction (none)[edit]

Final decision[edit]


Purpose of Wikipedia[edit]

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content online encyclopedia. This is best achieved in an atmosphere of collegiality, camaraderie, and mutual respect among contributors.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)


2) Administrators are trusted members of the community and are expected to follow Wikipedia policies. Their conduct is held to a high standard as a result of this trust. Occasional mistakes are entirely compatible with this; administrators are not expected to be perfect. However, consistently or egregiously poor judgement may result in the removal of administrator status.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Administrator involvement[edit]

3) Editors are expected to not act as administrators in cases where, to a neutral observer, they could reasonably appear involved. Involvement is generally construed very broadly by the community, to include current or past conflicts with an editor (or editors), and disputes on topics, regardless of the nature, age, or outcome of the dispute; however, involvement does not include prior interactions in a purely administrative role or in making minor edits that do not show bias. The sole listed exception to this prohibition is for straightforward cases, such as blatant vandalism, within which involved editors may take "obvious" administrative actions if "any reasonable administrator would have probably come to the same conclusion".

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)


4) Wikipedia users are expected to behave reasonably, calmly, and courteously in their interactions with other users. Unseemly conduct, such as personal attacks, incivility, assumptions of bad faith, harassment, disruptive point-making, and gaming the system, is prohibited. Making unsupported accusations of such misconduct by other editors, particularly where this is done repeatedly or in a bad-faith attempt to gain an advantage in a content dispute, is also unacceptable.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Being right isn't enough[edit]

5) Violations of Wikipedia's behavioral expectations are not excused on the grounds that the editor who violated those expectations has the correct position on an underlying substantive dispute or the interpretation of policies and guidelines within those disputes. Those expectations apply universally to all editors, and violations of those expectations are harmful to the functioning of the project, irrespective of the merits of an underlying substantive dispute.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Tendentious editing[edit]

6) Users who disrupt the editing of articles by engaging in sustained aggressive point-of-view editing may be banned from editing these articles. In extreme cases, they may be banned from the site.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Casting aspersions[edit]

7) An editor should not make accusations, such as that another group of editors is biased or habitually violate site policies or norms, without evidence. A persistent pattern of false or unsupported accusations is particularly damaging to the collaborative editing environment. Significant concerns, if they cannot be resolved directly with the other users concerned, should be addressed through the appropriate dispute resolution procedures.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Building consensus[edit]

8) Wikipedia relies on a consensus model. Finding common ground is essential when editors disagree, and editors should be willing and able to actively do so. Editors' participation in discussions should not simply be reiterating their own positions. Editors' own positions should be represented concisely to allow room in the discussion for consensus to develop.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Findings of fact[edit]

Locus of the dispute[edit]

1) Since the 2015 Genetically modified organisms (GMO) arbitration case, KoA (talk · contribs), formerly Kingofaces43, and Leyo (talk · contribs) have engaged in a series of ongoing disputes centered around industrial agriculture, agrochemicals, and the resulting effects of both. The topic area mostly overlaps with the contentious topic designation in GMO.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Battleground behavior by KoA[edit]

3.1) KoA has engaged in battleground behavior in the the area of dispute (e.g., in 2019 regarding Decline in insect populations; in 2023 regarding Dominion (2018 film); and in 2023 regarding Environmental Working Group).

Passed 9 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Threat to block JzG by Leyo and later interaction between KoA and Leyo[edit]

4.1) In January 2019, Leyo threatened to block JzG (talk · contribs) even though Leyo and JzG were involved in a dispute at the time. In the discussion at ANI about the comments, KoA, then Kingofaces43, claimed that Leyo was "WP:INVOLVED in the pesticide topic" and Leyo responded that they "think it's better if we try to avoid each other". (Thread on JzG's talk page; resulting ANI discussion; RSN discussion)

Passed 9 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

INVOLVED block of KoA by Leyo[edit]

5) On 3 August 2023, Leyo blocked KoA for edit warring at Dominion (2018 film) after KoA made a series of edits between 24 July to 3 August. (Block notice; edits in question [1][2][3][4]) Community review of the block found that Leyo was INVOLVED when they blocked KoA. The committee agrees with this assessment. (Administrative action review discussion)

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

AE threads[edit]

6) On 21 August 2023, KoA opened a thread at AE about Leyo mostly covering the events of #INVOLVED block of KoA by Leyo which was closed without action. On 6 October 2023, KoA opened a second AE thread about Leyo due to the actions covered in #Personal attacks by Leyo at Pesticide Action Network. The thread resulted in the case request for the current case, as well as HJ Mitchell (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) partially blocking Leyo from the articles for deletion discussion.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Personal attacks by Leyo at Pesticide Action Network[edit]

7) On 27 September 2023, an IP editor started a deletion discussion for Pesticide Action Network. Leyo attempted to discredit several participants who voted for deletion, including KoA, with personal comments. ([5] [6])

Passed 7 to 3 with 1 abstention at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (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.

Interaction ban[edit]

1) Leyo and KoA are prohibited from interacting with, or commenting on, each other anywhere on Wikipedia (subject to the ordinary exceptions). This restriction may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 7 to 3 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

Leyo admonished and restricted[edit]

3c) Leyo is admonished for battleground behavior, personal attacks, and use of administrator tools while INVOLVED. Leyo is INVOLVED in the topic area of genetically modified organisms, industrial agriculture, commercially produced agricultural chemicals, the effects of all three, and organizations or companies involved, broadly construed. Future instances of this kind of conduct may result in sanction, including removal of adminship, without warning, especially if it is INVOLVED tool use.

Passed 8 to 2 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (UTC)

KoA warned[edit]

4b.1) KoA is warned for edit warring and is reminded to engage in good faith when resolving their disputes.

Passed 9 to 0 at 16:00, 17 December 2023 (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.

Enforcement log[edit]

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.