Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Manning naming dispute

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

Case clerks: Seddon (Talk) & Penwhale (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: Kirill Lokshin (Talk) & AGK (Talk)

Case opened on 20:41, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Case closed on 01:21, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 22:20, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 16:26, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 00:21, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 09:55, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

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

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Case information[edit]

Involved parties[edit]

Requests for comment[edit]

Preliminary statements[edit]

Statement by TParis[edit]

As many know, on August 22, 2013, Chelsea Manning announced that she was transgender and would like to be called Chelsea. The article, formerly and now again titled Bradley Manning, was moved and move-protected at the title Chelsea Manning and a move request ensued. The discussion had a wide range of comments, most were professional and appropriate. However, there was some anti-transgender language as well as a backlash of accusations from transgender supporters. The Arbcom case as I am filing is focused on the behaviors of the discussion and not the admin actions preceding nor the close of the uninvolved admins afterward; however, I do not pretend to limit the scope and others may chose to address either, I suspect.

Comments which can appear to be Anti-transgender

These were comments compiled by Phil Sandifer (talk · contribs) as transphobic:

Extended content
  • Wikipedia is "The Free Encyclopedia", not a site designed to protect people's "feelings".
  • This sort of activist stupidity is bringing WP into disrepute. WP:NOTSOAPBOX. WP:COMMONNAME. How it has gone this far the wrong direction is a little shocking. If there is transgender surgery and a legal name change, then the article should change
  • Bradley Manning still dresses as a man (wears the male military dress uniform,) and is still legally known (in name and otherwise) to the U.S. Army as Bradley - a male. Changing the name to Chelsea should not occur before hormone therapy has even begun (it it ever even will occur) or before a legal name change. I also support reverting all of the pronouns to "he." He is clearly mentally unstable and his latest remarks and desire to be called Chelsea should not be regarded with any merit until the words are matched by some serious and tangible action.
  • So far Manning has not underwent sex reassignment surgery, as such his personal preferences do not hold reasonable encyclopedic or common sense weight. No matter how many sources will refer to him as "she", biologically he's still a man. Accordingly, "she" should be reverted to "he" in the article for the time being.
  • Support Strongly as there is no biological or legal rationale to refer to Manning as anything but male. If that ever changes, then change the page accordingly.
  • per Rannpháirtí anaithnid, common sense, and general opposition to the use of Wikipedia as a platform for radical political advocacy (which advocacy is the sole reason Manning's article keeps being mangled to describe him as Anything-But-Male. I am aware of MOS:IDENTITY, and it is wrong. The standard a polite person might adopt for brief conversation is not the standard to use for encyclopedic coverage
  • One does not become female just by saying one wants to be. If he (not she) said he wanted to be black now, would you describe him as African-American?? Wikipedia should follow the lead of external sources and wait until the majority of the media decides he has changed his gender.
  • This move was incredibly premature, and seems to be done only to please the social justice warriors. Wikipedia is supposed to be a neutral source, not a forum to push your gender politics.
  • The subject is still male in every meaningful sense
  • As a political statement against wikipedia's identity policy and the idea that a person can demand which pronoun another person uses. I think a fair statement in society is that we'll tolerate you doing what you want in terms of body modification and unusual sexual practices, and in exchange you can tolerate our freedom to use language as we please, and not try to enforce political correctness and thought crime.
  • No matter what he says, he is still himself.
  • While I think there's nothing wrong with being transgender, the level of activism here that has nothing to do with Manning makes me want to vomit. Please take your struggle for recognition elsewhere
  • not only under NPOV, but further I think the politicization and ridiculous PC attitude on this website do a disservice to people hoping to get factual information. The fact is, this is a guy, legally and biologically, who has a male name legally. He is a woman only in his own head, and the collective imagination of the radical left.
  • If I had a Wikipedia article and then I suddenly claimed to be a dog, or a cat, would they change it to reflect such a non-sense? Biologically he is a man and will die a man (check his chromosomes XY), and legally he is a man (he even asks to be called by his male name in official stuff). It is stupid to change the wikipedia article... this deserves, at most, a brief section. Wikipedia is about FACTS not gay-lobby propaganda.
  • Wikipedia is not a soap-box for trans people to play with, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that should value quality over political correctness ten times out of ten. Coming into the page and seeing "her" and "she" all over the place while the picture is of a young soldier is laughable, and unthinkable in a Wikipedia just a short year ago.
  • "I am a girl, call me Chelsea" is the worst move rational I've heard in a while. This page is currently laughable and embarrassing. I think some people need to settle down.
  • He's still a man, and he's still named Bradley legally speaking.
  • Just because (s)he has shouted to be known by some other name does not actually mean that (s)he is actually a transgender. Had (s)he been more vocal at an opportune time, (s)he might have saved the world of some idiotic espionage in recent history.
  • Why are we wasting time and making a mockery of this article by trying to 'comfort' Bradley Manning or 'make this transition easier on him?' Where he's going, the last worry he'll have is the pronouns they use to address him. And this is just beside all of the basic logic and reasoning that says he is a male, has always been a male, and likely always will continue to be a male and the WP has just bought into one of the lamest PR stunts in recent memory. Has everybody opposed to this moved forgotten that he is a criminal???
  • this individual is morphologically, chromosomally, and most important legally still male.
  • He's still got the chromosomes, package and legal name of a guy and no ammount of critical queer/feminist/gender analysis will get around those three simple truths.
  • "Chelsea" should barely be a footnote. "Chelsea Mannning" does not exist.
Josh Gorand

Josh Gorand appears to be to be the most prolific exhibitor of battleground behavior and has propagated the most personal attacks; though he was very careful not to name specific people in his attacks.

Extended content

He's also treated the issue like a battleground and has been very hostile to others:

Baseball Bugs

Baseball bugs comments have been inflammatory and battlegroundish. At times he's spent days repeating the same insistence that the two original admins that moved the page are to blame for the whole mess. Here are some of his remarks:


Morwen (talk · contribs) made the initial moves to Chelsea manning in good faith. However, she then went on to publish a blog, then give media interviews, and eventually get named in a Wikipedia article for her efforts. There has been a content-dispute over whether to include it as I write this case, so I cannot confirm at this moment whether she is in the article or not. I wish for Arbcom to clarify if WP:COI addresses using Wikipedia to gain fame or notoriety.

WP:BLP as a trump card

This dispute seems to have spawned because of a belief that WP:BLP is a trump card. While I can understand how the original move was motivated based on WP:BLP, some editors have made comments that the close of the RFC did not matter because WP:BLP trumped the "local consensus." My impression is that WP:CONSENSUS is used to determine the implementation of WP:BLP. If the opposite were true than any single editors interpretation of WP:BLP could overrule community consensus. Such an interpretation essentially destabilizes Wikipedia so I ask that the Arbitrators clarify exactly how the two policies interact.

A change in Wikipedia's culture to raise the bar of argument. We can look to User:David Gerard for a great example of how to approach others when you're uncomfortable with their comments.

While there is clear evidence of some hate speech in the discussion, any discussion of a controversial issue is bound to invite bigoted remarks. They should be dealt with individually. According to the closer, there were 314 participants and 169 were in support of the change. The scale of the remarks against the supporters is disproportionate to the number of those actually making the remarks. The broad statements that were made against "supports" who wished to return back to Bradley Manning were beyond reasonable. The accusations of misconduct - which took little regard for good faith, ignorance, or actual hatred - devestate the ability of the encyclopedia to communicate, discuss, and reach WP:CONSENSUS. Jimbo said it best:

I think that in general better decisions are made in a spirit of open and thoughtful dialogue rather than top-down decree. I think it worthwhile to separate two issues - the issue of a community decision by consensus (which requires discussion and poll-taking) and hate speech that may emerge as a part of that process. We wouldn't actually improve things if we shut down open discussion, just to stop a few people from being obnoxious. Better to simply stop the few people from being obnoxious by banning them from the discussion, refactoring their comments, or other such measures as appropriate.

— Jimmy Wlaes

I could continue laying out this dispute, name more names, and what have you. But the result would become too long and so I'll leave it to the storm of comments that shall ensue to fill in the holes I've left.

Statement by Josh Gorand[edit]

Responses to claims made by TParis

I think any reasonable person examining my comments that User:TParis cites above will find that almost all of those comments are misrepresented and cited out of context, and that they are reasonable responses to, inter alia, an array of comments on Talk:Chelsea Manning comparing transgendered people to dogs, calling the subject of a BLP psychotic, ridiculing and mocking transgendered people, and otherwise being completely unnacceptable. And there were not just a few of these comments, as multiple editors have pointed out on Talk:Chelsea Manning and elsewhere. They were also not dealt with, hardly any of them removed (despite violating BLP) and none of those making them sanctioned to my knowledge.

I've explained in more detail why my and other editors' usage of the term transphobia was certainly not a personal attack here, and I find it very puzzling that TParis chooses to single me out in the way he does, and it derails the important issues that need to be addressed in this case in regard to hate speech on the talk page of a BLP, and how transgendered people are treated more generally.

On the broader issue

I think the way we allowed the talk page of a BLP to be filled with commentary that many editors have called hate speech (many examples provided by PhilSandifer[1]), without doing anything about that situation, needs to be addressed. There were dozens of editors whose comments were extremely degrading to transgendered people and the BLP subject. I do not think there have been unreasonable comments made by editors calling this out and despairing seeing such blatant BLP violations being given a free pass, especially not in light of that situation.

I entirely agree with Sue Gardner that the current title is not in compliance with BLP, and I'd like to note that there is no consensus in favour of it. Even so, subjecting transgendered people to a de facto vote over whether to recognise their gender identity is in itself degrading and unusual; BLP and more specific policies need to dictate the solution in such cases. I've raised the issue of the overall treatment of transgendered people's biographies on Jimbo's talk page,[2] eg. in light of feedback like this[3] (the author is a digital media ethics scholar). Josh Gorand (talk) 00:22, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Responding to Newyorkbrad's comment below, I agree with other editors who mentioned things have calmed down in the last couple of days, and that we are currently working constructively eg. on the assessment of sources and forthcoming 2nd RM. The most important issue that will have to be resolved is a clarification of policies and guidelines in regard to transgendered people to avoid this happening again. Josh Gorand (talk) 20:32, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement and by David Gerard[edit]

Morwen wrote up a detailed explanation of our original rationale for the move to "Chelsea Manning", which I checked over and co-signed. It's too long to include here directly, but I ask you to read it. (The only thing it lacks is something on BLP and immediacy, which I noted below it.) Our original action was a BLP action concerning a high-profile article; there was no path of action that would not have been controversial, but that's what the BLP rule is for. I also maintain that everything therein is still a relevant consideration.

Controversy, or potential controversy, should not overrule BLP. Many editors have demanded sanctions against us both on the basis that BLP actions should not be taken if there might be controversy or if consensus would eventually come to a different result (as if an appeals court reversal would automatically lead to a disciplinary hearing for the lower-court judge); if this were accepted, BLP would be dead, as no admin would dare enter into a controversial situation.

Morwen and I explained our actions on the article talk page at the time of the move. There have been repeated claims we did not; these are false. Many editors claim we did not answer, when what they mean is they did not agree. I ask that any claims to this effect be checked closely against our edit histories over the past week.

I urge the Committee not to punt on the naming of the article. While the admins who took on the job of the RM should be commended for taking on a difficult task that lots of people would be unhappy with either result of, I feel that their result was disastrously wrong. Given no clear consensus, they eventually decided that counting votes overcame BLP considerations. We now have a biography of a living person whose title is a deliberate and procedurally calculated misnaming and misgendering of its subject, directly against the undisputed wishes of its subject, in a situation where readers would have no problem finding it under the subject's chosen name, because of the votes of editors who literally don't see there's a problem, don't think there's a reason for guidelines on the topic that have stood and been applied for years, and are offended when someone points out they may not know all there is to know on the topic. And it'll stay there, marking Wikipedia to the world as a trans-hostile venue, for at least the next thirty days.

There is also the wider issue of what this says about Wikipedia to trans and trans-friendly readers and editors: we will tell you what your name is. I despair of explaining to skeptics how profoundly offensive this is - not just to Manning, but to all trans and trans-friendly readers and editors, as offensive as egregious racism or homophobia in Wikipedia policy would be, and in the same way - and of finding a source sufficient to convince editors who literally question the existence of trans issues as something to be taken seriously of the towering importance of this issue; editors opposed to "Chelsea Manning" have so far refused to accept the almost-complete move of the British press within hours, the substantial move of the US press over the past week, the AP style guide and the GLAAD Media Reference Guide.

People will, and should, talk about this in blogs and to the press when asked, because we are a top 10 website of profound social importance run by a charity funded by public donations, this is an issue that reaches far beyond a single article subject, and as such we do actually owe the world explanations, and they will be demanding them. This is a huge issue, but that's why it's at your door.

- David Gerard (talk) 10:40, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Addendum: despite (again) repeated claims by many editors, it is important to note that Morwen has taken no admin actions whatsoever on this article at any time; her actions were those of any ordinary editor with move powers, seeing a BLP concern - David Gerard (talk) 12:04, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Tariqabjotu[edit]

I feel everyone else has already done an excellent job explaining why this case needs the attention of the Arbitration Committee. While I understand NW's desire not to prolong a fiery episode, leaving this to the community's devices would just result in more acrimonious discussion with no substantive outcome. With that in mind, I would like to kindly request that the clerks do something about statements that are more presentation of evidence than suggestions about what should be considered in this case, as we're in a forum where it is not (yet) appropriate to provide defense.

That being said, I want to clarify the behavior with David Gerard that I, at least, feel should be examined. It's is a misunderstanding to believe the primary issue with him is an accusation of wheel-warring. To some extent, that's tangential; as I said more than a week ago, while one of our interpretations of BLP would achieve consensus, there was no basis to argue that either of them was wrong. We both felt our decisions were right, given our interpretations, at the time. Despite suggestions to the contrary, there is no effort to punish David Gerard for failing to achieve consensus in his interpretation of BLP. There is no malice (except from a very small number of editors) toward him for having a position on that policy that some, including myself, disagree with. Instead, the issue I, and it seems several other editors have, is with David's unwillingness for days to explain why he felt the title "Bradley Manning" constituted a BLP violation. (I see David has repeated here the assertion that he did, in fact, explain that early on in the discussion, but it doesn't seem like the appropriate time for me to suggest why that doesn't appear to be so.) This, often brash, unwillingness, combined with the suggestion that he didn't feel he needed to explain for others to understand and yield to his vague invocation, was what caused concern among editors, and, ultimately, cast aspersions on David's administrative actions.

Morwen seems more understanding about the missteps she may have taken early on, so the concern with her actions is not as great. She never used her administrative tools and just made a bold, albeit hasty, decision. However, without getting too much into evidence, her off-wiki activities and quickness to make accusations of transphobia very early in the discussion suggest a conflict of interest that, at the very least, should be considered. There also exist concerns surrounding Morwen and David Gerard's interactions, especially off-wiki (in public view), but it remains to be seen whether those will be considered reprehensible or just eyebrow-raising.

I share much of the concerns others have with the tenor of comments on the talk page, but I'm not sure what the Committee could do about that other than make a broad, and already generally understood, statement regarding civility and personal attacks. That being said, I think certain editors (Baseball Bugs and Josh Gorand spring to mind immediately) fanned the flames in various discussions and probably warrant at least some personal admonishment. -- tariqabjotu 17:48, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From seeing certain disputes on the article and some remarks here, I feel something needs to be said regarding accepting community consensus. Despite the three-admin panel determining, after weighing the input of hundreds of participants, that the name "Bradley Manning" did not constitute a violation of the BLP policy, some people want to continue to hold on to the idea that it definitely is one. At what point does refusing to accept community consensus become disruptive? -- tariqabjotu 23:20, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Rannpháirtí anaithnid[edit]

I'm very disappointed that this has ended up here. I had hoped that the community would be able to work through these issues in consensus. I've no issue with being named as a party. I took an active role in the discussion. As an administrator, people look to me for leadership of sorts. And, I raised concerns with the conduct of others during and after the RM discussion.


Several comments made during the discussion were very offensive and deeply provocative. In this, I'm referring to anti-trans* comments. People both need to take more care when crafting comments on sensitive issues and avoid making overtly antagonistic comments.

Alongside this, people with strong views on issues need to be able to respect that others may not share those views. That doesn't make them wrong, or evil, or intolerant. And having a particular insight into the The Truth also doesn't make you right. From that perspective, accusations of "transphobia" throughout the discussion needs to be looked at.

Administrator conduct

In the case of David Gerard, I think there are very serious questions of admin conduct and accountability. I'll present these in more detail if the case is accepted. I believe they are substantial enough to warrant de-sysoping. I don't necessary advocate that but, having seen his conduct up close and personal, I do want to underline the seriousness of the case (in my view anyway) that can be presented against him and I believe it merits examining by the Committee, even if nothing comes of it.


The question of whether BLP can be used as a "power card" to push through an administrative action (or any other change) on tenuous rationale - or with no rationale - is deserving of community consideration. I think this is the most substantial issue to come our from from this incident and affects the community as a whole. This alone is deserving of an ArbCom ruling (although I would have preferred it to emerge from the community as a whole).


The incident has brought up questions of wiki-activism that needs to be examined. In this, I don't mean comments expressing their moral outrage for-or-against the title Chelsea Manning. All contributors are entitled to express their view on what ought to be Wikipedia policies or guidelines- or taking positions contrary to current policy or guidelines because of what they believe is right.

My concerns over activism relate to:

(a) actions by administrators that forced the issue to be discussed in terms it was, and
(b) the use of social media or other networks to canvass for support or present discussion as a call-to-arms.

A practical example that the latter occurred (but which came to nothing) can be seen in the swarming of this straw poll on the Manual of Style with streams of IP !votes. However, deeper questions of how activism affected the discussion should be examined by the community or in this ArbCom.

Off-site comments

I also believe consideration needs to be given to the use of social media and to the wisdom of press comments by administrator(s) that framed discussion in a particular manner.

Whilst I believe them to be in good faith (and I don't advocate the need to take any action beyond a trouting), we need to consider what affect comments like these have on on-going discussions. I believe the use of off-site comments, including those in those that framed the contribution of opponents negatively in press interviews, fed a battleground or "just cause" atmosphere, however innocently they were made.

Whether comments like these are covered by NPA policy also needs to be examined. Whilst they were not made on wiki, they were heard by the community and affect relationships.

--RA () 19:29, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by LudicrousTripe[edit]

Do I post here? If I have messed it up, apologies! I don't know what Arbitration is about, I've not done one of these before. If it is to get me to bow out from the Chelsea Manning article, then I accept. I do not object to the characterisation of at least one of my comments quoted above as overly combative, probably offensive. I can only try to learn to be more civil in future. It is simply so frustrating—I'm tempted to say revealing—to see people who are obviously transphobic being allowed to run amok in the way that someone who is antisemitic would never be permitted to on an article pertaining to Judaism, Jews, or Israel. How such ignorance is allowed to count when judging the balance of support/object in the context of move requests for the article is likewise... frustrating. That is all. I am happy to stay away from the article or whatever is required as a result of this arbitration business. LudicrousTripe (talk) 23:00, 31 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One quick thing:

Morwen made the initial moves to Chelsea manning in good faith. However, she then went on to publish a blog, then give media interviews, and eventually get named in a Wikipedia article for her efforts. There has been a content-dispute over whether to include it as I write this case, so I cannot confirm at this moment whether she is in the article or not.

Morwen made the initial moves to Chelsea manning in good faith. However, …" However what? What is the issue here? She's not allowed to write a blog about her Wikipedia editing? Where is the WP for that? Talk to the media? Ditto. Named in a Wikipedia article for her efforts! Efforts for what? With the absence of WPs in which to bag her other "offences", this named-in-the-article business, in all honesty, makes her inclusion here in Arbitration seem nothing more than a case of jealousy over her five mins of fame. Apologies if I've misread or am missing something. LudicrousTripe (talk) 23:19, 31 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Philip Sandifer[edit]

I am unclear as to what, if anything, I am being accused of in this case.

In the interest of disclosure, I am in the midst of a blog post about the events regarding this article and how the decision making got made, because I believe it to be in the public interest to explain how the seventh largest website in the world came to make a decision of this magnitude. I intend to continue covering this topic until it is resolved, and will cover any arbitration proceedings as well.

In light of this, I do not feel it is appropriate for me to participate in the arbitration case. Should my conduct come under active review, I will accept whatever decision the committee makes and will not appeal any sanctions. Phil Sandifer (talk) 22:47, 31 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Morwen[edit]

I don't even know what to say. I am very disappointed that it has come to this.

I stand by my original move. I stand by my invocation of WP:BLP, as my second or third edit on the talk page. I didn't see anything wrong with User:David Gerard's actions at the time. I don't see anything sanctionable in my blogging or (very limited) contact with the press.

I think the move debate went the wrong way, but let's remember, it was a "no consensus", not a positive choice to put it where it is now. And even if you were to agree that the page location is correct, the the idea that User:David Gerard should be sanctioned simply because the community ends up failing to agree with his BLP action is just bizarre. I'm sure many of us have revdelled and had oversighted stuff that we wouldn't be able to explain on talk pages for fear of repeating the libel. In this new environment, I don't think I'd dare do that any more. I think we need to have a clear statement from the ArbCom that what David did was OK. (I'd also like to see something done about the level of anti-trans sentiment on the talk pages. Some of this stuff was so bad that if it had been against any other group, any admin would have removed it on sight. I think this set the tenor of the debate, and if it had been moderated properly the RM might have gone the other way.)

(By the way, elsewhere I had been claiming that User:Cls14's agreement that I could revert their move came before I did that revert. Clearly, from the timeline presented by User:Thryduulf, I was in error: that message came the minute after. It's not how I remember it, but it's there in black and white- unless there has been some kind of glitch with the timestamps, which seems unlikely from my limited knowledge of MediaWiki?)

Morwen (talk) 17:30, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by NorthBySouthBaranof[edit]

I urge ArbCom to accept this issue, in part because the close of the requested move is now being used as a pretext to repeatedly reject any number of policies regarding Chelsea Manning's self-expressed gender identity. Repeated attempts are being made to excise from her biography any mention of Manning as a woman- even to the point of actually removing her name from the lede of the article. Whether it be categories, pronouns, article titles - there is a clear and vocal group of editors whom apparently wish to reject Manning's transgenderism entirely. Either this represents an unacceptable attack on a living person, or this encyclopedia's policies toward its biographical treatment of transgender people are deeply flawed to the point of failure. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:05, 2 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by thehistorian10[edit]

I am only involved since I contributed heavily to the original debate that lead to this case. Whilst I'mm not going to comment on allegations of transphobia, I will say this: I concur in the opinions that Josh Gorand is being incredibly combative. Indeed, there is a second move request on the article talkpage, and already his combative side seems to be rearing its ugly head again. HHoowever, I would ask the ArbCom to rule on this: When debating issues such as this, which iis more importannt - WP:CCOMMONNAME or WP::BLP, or MOS:IDENTITY? My argument is that Commonname trumps everything else, since it is a policy, and they are all guidelines. --The Historian (talk) 17:19, 2 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Preliminary decision[edit]

Clerk notes[edit]

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
Further Notes
@Newyorkbrad: This case currently has votes to accept from absolute majority of active & non-recused arbitrators, as well as a net-four vote (I'm considering SilkTork to be essentially recusing based on his Abstain vote). - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 22:36, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Sceptre: The arbitrators suggested that because the editing restriction you are under occurred long before the current issue at hand, it would not be appropriate for you to participate further in this case. You also would have to file a clarification request separate from this ArbCom case request.- Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 07:32, 5 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Chelsea Manning: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <6/2/1/2>[edit]

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse/other)

Earlier comments. Carcharoth (talk) 01:33, 3 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Request noted. Awaiting further statements, though please let's keep things focused, calm and succinct. Carcharoth (talk) 00:08, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Please don't use this page to argue with each other or repeat debates from elsewhere or make excessively long statements. What is needed here are short statements either for acceptance of a case (and what scope it should have) or rejection of a case (e.g. if more attempts at dispute resolution are needed). Carcharoth (talk) 00:35, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Having read thorough the statements posted so far (up to but not including Sue Gardner's statement), I'm not seeing a clear set of reasons for why a case should be accepted, or what the scope of such a case should be. Before any case like this is accepted, it needs to be clear what the scope is, otherwise the case will be unmanageable. If those who posted excessively long statements mostly consisting of evidence (premature at this stage), could refocus their statements to say why a case is needed and what they want ArbCom to actually do here, that would help. Otherwise we will end up with a case (as Salvio puts it) 'to examine everyone's conduct', and that could take a very long time (and leave many people very unhappy). Carcharoth (talk) 19:53, 1 September 2013 (UTC) The preceding was written as Sue Gardner posted her statement above - that statement is a model of what an arbitration request statement should be, clear and to the point. Carcharoth (talk) 19:59, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Some further thoughts:
    • In principle, I'm not against accepting a case, but I'd want the scope of the case to be relatively narrow and not overly broad. I don't want to see the committee drafting new aspects to BLP policy (this is properly the role of the editorial community, though the WMF should take a lead as well).
    • I don't want to see a massive sprawling case (that will be closely scrutinised both on and off Wikipedia) that tries (and would most likely fail) to fairly examine the conduct of all concerned (that would take a very long time).
    • One of the things I'm concerned about is whether an active arbitration case would impede any move discussion that takes place after the 30-day period set by the administrators who closed the recent move discussion. In theory, the two should be able to occur in parallel, but in practice if another move discussion takes place during a case, then there will be calls for motions regarding conduct at such a move discussion, and expansion of the evidence to include conduct at such a move discussion, and so on.
    Overall, I am not sure whether arbitration will help or not. A narrowly focused case now or in a month's time, maybe. A sprawling, lengthy case now, almost certainly not. Carcharoth(talk) 22:01, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Decline. Having considered the arguments advanced for opening a case, I am not convinced that a case will help resolve the disputes here. Kirill, in his comments below, mentions the Jerusalem RFC. The request that prompted that led to a motion mandating a structured discussion on the issue (there was no case that led to the Jerusalem RfC). I think the same could be done here, and that a full arbitration case has the potential to prolong matters needlessly. If a case does open, there may be calls (from arbitrators and case participants) for motions from the committee stating that any future renaming discussion is to be delayed until the case has ended - I am not convinced ArbCom has the authority to do this. Any ArbCom case that does open needs to be limited in scope, aimed at laying the groundwork for a calm and rational discussion of the issues by the community. But there is no need for a full case to do this. I would prefer to see a motion passed now to endorse the principles underpinning conduct in such discussions, and to hold off on a full case until after any subsequent naming discussion (if things don't improve). As for the calls and suggestions for a wider case to update/revisit BLP matters, that should be done only if this sort of incident becomes a recurring problem and the community are consistently unable to resolve such matters themselves. I don't think that point has been reached yet. Carcharoth (talk) 01:33, 3 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • (edit conflict) Comment Frankly, I am disgusted with the comments with many of our editors and administrators on that page. But I also see little room for ArbCom to get involved. The Committee is simply not designed for dealing with a situation like this. We would take a month at best to come up with a ruling, and the existence of the case in the meantime would not help calm matters down.Now, if we made myself or someone else an unreviewable dictator on this, that would probably take care of the matter. But I doubt that would make many people happy. Anyway, I am leaning towards declining this case for that reason. But a couple of subpoints:
  • @TParis: No I don't think that Morwen has a conflict of interest here, any more than User:Dominic does when he works on Smithsonian-related articles (e.g. slight, not enough to prohibit editing either the article or the talk page [though there may be some COI with respect to that one sentence).
  • @TParis:: I agree with your interpretation of BLP/consensus here. Every editor who reasonably is taking BLP into account (e.g. the people who are not calling trans folks "it") deserves to have their opinion heard.
  • Generally, but at Josh Gorand especially: The use of transphobic to describe some editors' behaviors was perfectly apt. Not everyone who wishes that Chelsea Manning's page should be located at Bradley Manning instead of Chelsea Manning is transphobic though. By no means. Yes, some people were and are. But it is reasonable to think that Manning's long-term historical notability is going to come from the period in life where she was known to the general public as a man, and that Wikipedia should wait to change this until we start getting feedback from the published scholarly community in a few years' time. So my advice is to tone it down. Yes some people are being transphobic, but you won't win anyone over by calling them out on it. And not everyone is.
  • My two cents. As I said, I'm leaning towards declining but I wouldn't mind seeing more statements.NW (Talk) 01:07, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Decline. I have plenty that I could say about the appropriateness of certain editors' actions and comments, but regardless, I am firmly convinced that the dispute would only be made worse with our involvement. NW (Talk) 04:26, 2 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Against (perhaps) my better judgment, I am switching my vote to accept primarily because this is a dispute which an exceptionally large number of community members have asked us to examine. I still don't see this as turning out exceptionally well, but hopefully I will be proven wrong. NW (Talk) 14:11, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept to examine both the allegations of hate speech (and, conversely, the allegations of improper labeling of statements as hate speech) and the allegations that editors have acted in contravention of the BLP policy, particularly vis-à-vis the precedents described in the Badlydrawnjeff case; both are potentially actionable violations, and deserve a full investigation.

    With regard to NuclearWarfare's comment just above, while he is correct that the case will likely be lengthy, I do not think that our accepting it will prevent a natural calming of matters; rather, given the acrimony that has already been shown in these debate and the recent media coverage of this very dispute—which I expect will only increase given these latest events—I think it is unrealistic to expect the dispute to calm down on its own at all. I suspect the only choice we have is whether to accept a case now or in a month when the inevitable next move request takes place, and I see nothing to be gained by waiting. Kirill [talk]01:25, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Accept to examine everyone's conduct, including that of the administrators who moved the page in the first place. Salvio Let's talk about it! 11:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I don't think the three initial admins involved conducted themselves in any way poorly enough we need an arbitration case over their actions alone. I don't see anything that would incline me to vote to sanction any of the three of Morwen, Tariqabjotu, or David Gerard. Accept a more general case, in order to refine and give clarification to the five-plus year old Footnoted quotes and Badlydrawnjeff cases. There also strikes me to be other conduct issues to examine outside of the three initial admins, but that can be handled in the later portions of the case. Courcelles 16:25, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Decline. While I see the merits of this case as suggested by Kirill and Courcelles, the issue people really want solved here, that is what the wording and nomenclature for the Manning page should be, is not something that's going to get solved with this case. A RfC seems like a better and potentially more productive step than ArbCom. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 20:06, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @David Fuchs: You're probably correct that an RFC will be needed to resolve some of the underlying questions. However, given the nature and tone of the debate so far, I think it's far more likely that such an RFC would be successful if it's conducted in a structured manner (similar to the Jerusalem RFC, for example) and after we have dealt with some of the more egregiously disruptive individuals involved than if we simply leave the community to its own devices. Even if we cannot directly answer the fundamental question being asked, we can certainly help to create an environment where it may be answered with considerably less acrimony than we saw during the recent debates. Kirill [talk] 20:14, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • When the community cannot rely on its foremost noticeboard and other processes to subdue a dispute, I consider that to clearly indicate that something has gone rather badly wrong and arbitration is the only resort. This dispute simply will not be resolved if discussion is taking place in such a divisive and disruptive setting. Accept to examine the conduct of all involved, rexamine the advice we gave in Manipulation of BLPs et al., and allow this dispute to move towards a meaningful resolution. AGK [•] 21:26, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept: mostly per Kirill.  Roger Davies talk 04:15, 2 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Abstain purely on a time-available level. SilkTork ✔Tea time 15:39, 3 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: Six years of experience on this Committee have taught me that arbitration is sometimes (clearly not always!) useful in resolving chronic and protracted disputes within the community, but often has the unfortunate effect of prolonging isolated disputes that were otherwise in the process of resolving themselves. In this instance, I'm torn, because clearly this has been a very divisive issue within the community, but now that a couple of weeks have passed since it first flared up, I believe that tempers are calming. I'm not averse to the Committee's taking another of its periodic looks at BLP issues, about which I feel very strongly, and a Manning case could present us with a platform for doing that—but while BLP indisputably applies to article titles as it does everywhere else on the project, this is not a typical BLP dispute (it is not even a typical article-name dispute) and I'm not sure it can be treated exactly like that, either. The bottom line is that I'm minded to accept the case if problems relating to the Manning article name are ongoing (either in terms of inappropriate user behavior and comments, or lack of a structure for resolving the naming issue going forward), and to decline it if the problems are being worked out through other means. I'd welcome brief input in the next 24-36 hours from editors who posted several days ago, opining on this point. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:15, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • The case was (properly) opened while I was still reviewing rhe input here and considering the pros and cons of accepting it. I therefore record no vote on acceptance, but I will be fully active on the case. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:32, 5 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Temporary injunction[edit]

Temporary discretionary sanctions[edit]

1) The articles "Bradley Manning", "United States v. Manning", and "Chelsea Manning gender identity media coverage" are placed under standard discretionary sanctions for the duration of the case. Unless otherwise provided for in the final decision, any sanction imposed pursuant to this injunction will automatically lapse upon the closure of the case.

Enacted on 23:04, 6 September 2013 (UTC) with a vote of 8-0

Final decision[edit]

All tallies are based the votes at /Proposed decision, where comments and discussion from the voting phase is also available.


Scope of policy on biographies of living persons[edit]

1) The policy on biographies of living persons requires that all material concerning living persons in Wikipedia adhere strictly to Wikipedia's three core content policies (verifiability, neutrality, and avoidance of original research).

The policy is written in a deliberately broad fashion, and its application is not limited to unsourced or poorly sourced material. Any material about a living person that fails any of the three core content policies is non-compliant with the policy and is subject to removal as described therein.

Passed 10 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Sensitivity towards living persons[edit]

2) The policy on biographies of living persons requires that editors act with a high degree of sensitivity and consider the possibility of harm to the subject when adding information about a living person to any Wikipedia page. This requirement is consistent with the Wikimedia Foundation's guidance that human dignity be taken into account when adding information about living persons to Wikimedia projects.

Passed 10 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Removal of material about living persons[edit]

3) The policy on biographies of living persons requires that non-compliant material be removed if the non-compliance cannot readily be rectified. The policy does not impose any limitations on the nature of the material to be removed, provided that the material concerns a living person, and provided that the editor removing it is prepared to explain their rationale for doing so.

Once material about a living person has been removed on the basis of a good-faith assertion that such material is non-compliant, the policy requires that consensus be obtained prior to restoring the material.

Passed 10 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Equality and respect[edit]

5.2) Wikipedia editors and readers come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including with respect to their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex or gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. Comments that demean fellow editors, an article subject, or any other person, on the basis of any of these characteristics are offensive and damage the editing environment for everyone. Such comments, particularly when extreme or repeated after a warning, are grounds for blocking or other sanctions.

Passed 7 to 3, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Casting aspersions[edit]

7) An editor must not accuse another of misbehavior without evidence, especially when the accusations are repeated or severe. If accusations must be made, they should be raised, with evidence, on the user-talk page of the editor they concern or in the appropriate forums.

Passed 10 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


8) Wikipedia should not be used to advocate any particular position. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to state neutrally what is currently found in reliable, secondary sources, not to put forward arguments to promote or deride any particular view.

Passed 10 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Applicability of the BLP policy[edit]

10) All living people who are subjects of Wikipedia content are entitled to the protections of the biographies of living persons policy. An editor's personal dislike of the subject or their actions does not abrogate in any way the usual protections of the policy.

Passed 9 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

The BLP policy and article titles[edit]

11) The biographies of living persons policy applies to all references to living persons throughout Wikipedia, including the titles of articles and pages and all other portions of any page.

Passed 10 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

The BLP policy and individuals' names[edit]

12.1) The biographies of living persons policy does not expressly address whether, when an individual has changed his or her name (for reasons of gender identity or any other reason), the article should be titled under the name by which the subject currently self-identifies or under the former or repudiated version of the individual's name. It may be desirable for the community to clarify the BLP policy or the article title policy to expressly address this issue, such as by identifying factors relevant to making this decision. In the interim, such issues are subject to resolution through ordinary Wikipedia processes, taking into account all relevant considerations.

Passed 8 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Standards of conduct for administrators[edit]

13) Wikipedia:Administrators is the policy enumerating the rules that administrators ought to follow when using their tools. Among these are the following:

  1. Accountability, under which administrators are expected to respond promptly and civilly to queries about their Wikipedia-related conduct and administrator actions and to justify them when needed.
  2. Wheel war, under which administrators are expected not to repeat a reversed administrative action when they know that another administrator opposes it, unless a clear community consensus decision has subsequently overruled the other administrator's opposition.
  3. Involved administrators, under which editors should not act as administrators in cases in which they have been involved.
Passed 8 to 1, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Conduct on arbitration pages[edit]

14) The pages associated with arbitration cases are primarily intended to assist the Arbitration Committee in arriving at a fair, well-informed, and expeditious resolution of each case. Participation by editors who present good-faith statements, evidence, and workshop proposals is appreciated. While allowance is made for the fact that parties and other interested editors may have strong feelings about the subject-matters of their dispute, appropriate decorum should be maintained on these pages. Incivility, personal attacks, and strident rhetoric should be avoided in arbitration as in all other areas of Wikipedia.

Passed 9 to 0, 00:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Findings of fact[edit]

Nature of underlying dispute[edit]

1) The underlying dispute in this case concerns the choice of title for the article which when the case was accepted was titled "Bradley Manning". The dispute was directly precipitated by a public statement made by the subject of the article on August 22, 2013, in which the subject self-identified as "Chelsea Manning".

Passed 10 to 0, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Initial changes of article title[edit]

2) Following the announcement by the subject of the article, several editors made a series of changes to the title of the article:

  1. Morwen (talk · contribs) changed the title from "Bradley Manning" to "Chelsea Manning", directly citing the announcement ([4]);
  2. Cls14 (talk · contribs) changed the title from "Chelsea Manning" back to "Bradley Manning" ([5]);
  3. Morwen (talk · contribs) again changed the title from "Bradley Manning" to "Chelsea Manning", once again citing the announcement ([6]);
  4. Tariqabjotu (talk · contribs) changed the title from "Chelsea Manning" back to "Bradley Manning", citing a move request filed by StAnselm (talk · contribs) ([7]).

None of the editors involved in making these changes cited the biography of living persons policy as the basis for doing so, and there is no evidence that any of the changes were performed in bad faith or in violation of Wikipedia policy.

Passed 7 to 1, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Change of article title by David Gerard[edit]

3) Following the conclusion of the initial series of changes to the title of the article, David Gerard (talk · contribs) changed the title from "Bradley Manning" to "Chelsea Manning", citing the biographies of living persons policy ([8]).

Passed 9 to 0, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Rationale for change of article title by David Gerard[edit]

4) David Gerard initially did not provide a detailed explanation of why the title "Bradley Manning" was non-compliant with the biographies of living persons policy at the time he changed the title. However, David Gerard made a number of explanatory statements regarding his actions to the page ([9], [10], [11]), and ultimately provided an extensive explanation of his rationale on August 27, five days after he had made the change in question ([12]).

Passed 8 to 2, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Requested move discussion[edit]

6) Following the change made by David Gerard to the title of the article, CaseyPenk (talk · contribs) [subsequently renamed to Resoru (talk · contribs)] opened a requested move discussion and proposed changing the title of the article back to "Bradley Manning" ([13]). This discussion continued for nine days.

Passed 8 to 0 with 1 abstention, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Evaluation of consensus[edit]

7.1) On August 31, three administrators — BD2412 (talk · contribs), Kww (talk · contribs), and BOZ (talk · contribs) — evaluated the requested move discussion and determined that it had not reached a consensus ([14]) as to the name, but that it is not a BLP violation to maintain the title at "Bradley Manning". Furthermore, they found that BLP is not a basis to move the article in the clear absence of a consensus in favor of titling the article, "Chelsea Manning".

Passed 7 to 1 with 1 abstention, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Change of article title by closing administrators[edit]

8) Having evaluated the requested move discussion and determined that no consensus had been reached, BD2412, Kww, and BOZ closed the discussion ([15]) and BD2412, acting on behalf of all three administrators, changed the title of the article from "Chelsea Manning" to "Bradley Manning" ([16]).

Passed 9 to 0, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Conduct during discussions[edit]

9 3/4) While a majority of the participating editors expressed their views reasonably and appropriately during the community discussion on the "Bradley/Chelsea Manning" page title, a number did not. Poor commentary included disparaging references to transgendered persons' life choices or anatomical changes. These comments, along with excessively generalized or blanket statements concerning motivations for wishing the page title to be "Bradley Manning", significantly degraded good-faith attempts to establish a consensus on the issue.

Passed 8 to 0, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Discriminatory speech by Hitmonchan[edit]

15) During the course of the dispute, Hitmonchan (talk · contribs) engaged in discriminatory speech on the basis of gender identity (Special:Diff/569868543).

Passed 10 to 0, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 09:55, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

Discriminatory speech by IFreedom1212[edit]

16) During the course of the dispute, IFreedom1212 (talk · contribs) engaged in discriminatory speech on the basis of gender identity (Special:Diff/569743465, Special:Diff/571340462).

Passed 9 to 1, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 09:55, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

Disruptive participation by Tarc[edit]

18.1) During the course of the dispute, Tarc (talk · contribs) intentionally engaged in inflammatory and offensive speech (Special:Diff/569805115, Special:Diff/570344903) in a self-admitted attempt to disrupt Wikipedia to make a point.

Passed 8 to 0, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Amended by motion at 09:55, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

Josh Gorand[edit]

19) User:Josh Gorand has adopted a problematic battleground approach to the discussion ([17][18][19][20]).

Passed 8 to 2, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Phil Sandifer[edit]

20) User:Phil Sandifer has exhibited signs of having a battleground mentality, feeling that all who oppose his position are transphobic. [21], [22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27]

Passed 7 to 3, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Baseball Bugs[edit]

22) During the course of the dispute, Baseball Bugs (talk · contribs) frequently accused other participants in the dispute of misconduct [28], [29] [30]; engaged in soapboxing based on his personal view of the article subject's actions [31] [32] [33] [34]; and needlessly personalised the dispute [35].

Passed 10 to 0, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Amended 6 to 0 by motion on 22:17, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

David Gerard's use of tools[edit]

23) During the course of the dispute, David Gerard used his tools to protect the article from being moved back to "Bradley Manning", mentioning "MOS:IDENTITY, WP:BLP" and, after another administrator moved the article back to its original title, he reversed that administrator's action. Finally, after getting involved in the content dispute on the article's talk page, he reversed the full edit protection imposed by another administrator.

After acting in his capacity as an administrator, at first, David Gerard failed to provide a detailed explanation of why he thought the title "Bradley Manning" would have violated the biographies of living persons policy and, when questioned, replied in an uncivil manner, accusing his interlocutors of disruptive behaviour. [36], [37], [38], [39]

David's actions violated the administrator policy sections on accountability, wheel war and involved administrators.

Passed 7 to 2, 01:11, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


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

Hitmonchan topic-banned[edit]

7) Hitmonchan (talk · contribs) is indefinitely topic-banned from all pages relating to any transgender topic or individual, broadly construed.

Passed 9 to 1, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

IFreedom1212 topic-banned[edit]

8) IFreedom1212 (talk · contribs) is indefinitely topic-banned from all pages relating to any transgender topic or individual, broadly construed.

Passed 8 to 2, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Tarc topic-banned[edit]

10) Tarc (talk · contribs) is indefinitely topic-banned from all pages relating to any transgender topic or individual, broadly construed.

Passed 7 to 3, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Josh Gorand topic-banned[edit]

11) Josh Gorand (talk · contribs) is indefinitely topic-banned from all pages relating to any transgender topic or individual, broadly construed.

Passed 7 to 3, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Baseball Bugs topic-banned[edit]

13) Baseball Bugs (talk · contribs) is indefinitely topic-banned from all pages relating to any transgender topic or individual, broadly construed. He is also topic banned from all pages (including biographies) related to leaks of classified information, broadly construed.

Passed 7 to 2, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

David Gerard admonished[edit]

14.1) David Gerard (talk · contribs) is admonished for acting in a manner incompatible with the community's expectations of administrators (see #David Gerard's use of tools).

Passed 8 to 0, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

David Gerard restricted in use of tools[edit]

14.2) David Gerard (talk · contribs) is indefinitely prohibited from using his administrator permissions (i) on pages relating to transgender people or issues and (ii) in situations involving such pages. This restriction may be first appealed after six months have elapsed, and every six months thereafter.

Passed 7 to 3, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Discretionary sanctions applicable[edit]

Amended by motion.

15) The standard discretionary sanctions adopted in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Sexology for (among other things) "all articles dealing with transgender issues" remain in force. For the avoidance of doubt, these discretionary sanctions apply to any dispute regarding the proper article title, pronoun usage, or other manner of referring to any individual known to be or self-identifying as transgender, including but not limited to Chelsea/Bradley Manning. Any sanctions imposed should be logged at the Sexology case, not this one.

Passed 9 to 0, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

15) The standard discretionary sanctions adopted in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Sexology Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GamerGate for (among other things) "all articles dealing with transgender issues" "all edits about, and all pages related to ... any gender-related dispute or controversy" and associated persons remain in force. For the avoidance of doubt, these discretionary sanctions apply to any dispute regarding the proper article title, pronoun usage, or other manner of referring to any individual known to be or self-identifying as transgender, including but not limited to Chelsea/Bradley Manning. Any sanctions imposed should be logged at the Sexology GamerGate case, not this one.

Passed 5 to 1 with 1 abstention by motion at 16:35, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Rescinded by motion at 00:21, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Editors reminded[edit]

16) All editors, especially those whose behavior was subject to a finding in this case, are reminded to maintain decorum and civility when engaged in discussions on Wikipedia, and to avoid commentary that demeans any other person, intentionally or not.

Passed 7 to 0, 01:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


Motion: Manning naming dispute (February 2019)[edit]

To consolidate and clarify gender-related discretionary sanctions, the Arbitration Committee resolves that:

  1. Remedy 15 of the Manning naming dispute case is amended to read:
    The standard discretionary sanctions adopted in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Sexology Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GamerGate for (among other things) "all articles dealing with transgender issues" "all edits about, and all pages related to ... any gender-related dispute or controversy" and associated persons remain in force. For the avoidance of doubt, these discretionary sanctions apply to any dispute regarding the proper article title, pronoun usage, or other manner of referring to any individual known to be or self-identifying as transgender, including but not limited to Chelsea/Bradley Manning. Any sanctions imposed should be logged at the Sexology GamerGate case, not this one.
  2. Clause 2 of the February 2015 motion at the Interactions at GGTF case is struck and rescinded. Nothing in this motion provides grounds for appeal of remedies or restrictions imposed while discretionary sanctions were in force. Such appeals or requests to lift or modify such sanctions may be made under the same terms as any other appeal.
  3. The following amendment is added to the Interactions at GGTF case:
    The standard discretionary sanctions adopted in Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/GamerGate for (among other things) "all edits about, and all pages related to ... any gender-related dispute or controversy" remain in force. For the avoidance of doubt, these discretionary sanctions apply to any discussion regarding systemic bias faced by female editors or article subjects on Wikipedia, including any discussion involving the Gender Gap Task Force. Any sanctions imposed should be logged at the GamerGate case, not this one.
Passed 5 to 1 with 1 abstention by motion at 16:35, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Final clause of this motion is rescinded by motion at 00:28, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Motion: Remedy transfer to Gender and sexuality shell case (February 2021)[edit]

In order to promote consistency and reduce confusion, the arbitration clerks are directed to create a new arbitration case page under the name Gender and sexuality, with the following sole remedy: "Standard discretionary sanctions are authorized for all edits about, and all pages related to, any gender-related dispute or controversy and associated people." For the avoidance of doubt, GamerGate is considered a gender-related dispute or controversy for the purposes of this remedy.

Clause (i) of Remedy 1.1 of the GamerGate case ("Discretionary sanctions") is rescinded. Sanctions previously issued in accordance with Remedy 1.1 of the GamerGate case will from this time on be considered Gender and sexuality sanctions. This motion does not invalidate any action previously taken under the GamerGate discretionary sanctions authorization.

In order to preserve previous clarifications about the scope of these discretionary sanctions:

  1. Gender and sexuality discretionary sanctions apply to any dispute regarding the proper article title, pronoun usage, or other manner of referring to any individual known to be or self-identifying as transgender.
  2. Gender and sexuality discretionary sanctions apply to any discussion regarding systemic bias faced by female editors or article subjects on Wikipedia, including any discussion involving the Gender Gap Task Force.
  3. Remedy 15 of the Manning naming dispute case ("Discretionary sanctions applicable"), as amended, is rescinded.
  4. The final clause of the February 2019 Manning naming dispute motion (adding an amendment to the Interactions at GGTF case) is rescinded.

The index of topics with an active discretionary sanctions provision will be updated with the new title, but previous references to GamerGate need not be updated. The arbitration enforcement log, however, should be updated for the current year. For prior years, the new name should be noted along with the old one. The arbitration clerks are also directed to update templates and documentation pages with the new name as appropriate. This motion should be recorded on the case pages of the GamerGate case, the new Gender and sexuality case, the Manning naming dispute case, and the Interactions at GGTF case.

Passed 11 to 0 by motion at 23:36, 22 February 2021 (UTC)

Motion: Verbatim quotes trimmed (June 2023)[edit]

The direct quotes linked in Findings of Fact 15, 16, and 18.1 of the Manning naming dispute are replaced by their respective Special:Diff link.

Passed 7 to 0 with 1 abstentions by motion at 09:55, 17 June 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.

Log of blocks, bans, and restrictions[edit]

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged in this section. Note: discretionary sanctions were not authorized in this decision, so any sanctions using them should be logged in the case in which they authorized. Please specify the administrator, date and time, nature of sanction, and basis or context. Unless otherwise specified, the standardised enforcement provision applies to this case.


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.