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Case clerk: Dreamy Jazz (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: Primefac (Talk) & Beeblebrox (Talk) & Wugapodes (Talk)

Case opened on 18:24, 17 November 2022 (UTC)

Case closed on 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

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

Case information[edit]

Involved parties[edit]

Preliminary decision[edit]

Motion: Stephen (case request)[edit]

Consistent with the Arbitration Committee's procedure on return of permissions following expedited removal, Stephen (talk · contribs) has requested that the Committee open normal arbitration proceedings to examine the removal of permissions and surrounding circumstances. Stephen has additionally requested that the case be heard privately, and the Committee agrees that there are significant privacy issues constituting extraordinary circumstances. Accordingly, the Committee directs its clerks to open an in camera arbitration case titled "Stephen", with no public evidence or workshop phase. Instead, relevant evidence may be submitted to the Arbitration Committee by email (

Passed by motion at 18:24, 17 November 2022 (UTC)

Final decision[edit]

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



1) Administrators are trusted members of the community. They are expected to lead by example and follow Wikipedia policies to the best of their abilities. Occasional mistakes are entirely compatible with adminship; administrators are not expected to be perfect. However, sustained poor judgment or multiple violations of policy (in the use of administrator tools, or otherwise) may result in the removal of administrator status.

Passed 11 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Leading by example[edit]

2) Administrators are expected to lead by example and to behave in a respectful, civil manner in their interactions with others. While such an ideal applies to interactions with all editors, it is particularly relevant to interactions with newer and inexperienced users, as in those cases, administrators provide a public face to both the broader administrative corps and to Wikipedia as a whole.

Passed 11 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)


3) 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.

Passed 13 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Limitations of CheckUser[edit]

4) CheckUser is a technical tool that displays details about the edits or other logged actions made recently by an account, IP address, or IP address range. Although the tool can reveal information about the accounts and computers a person is using to edit, it is beyond the capability of CheckUser to determine with certainty what person is operating an account.

Passed 13 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Private evidence[edit]

5) The Arbitration Committee is sensitive to the serious concerns created when private matters are brought to its attention. Such concerns exist for ethical and privacy reasons, and also for practical ones, such as how to ensure that an alleged communication is authentic, complete, and presented in its full context. The arbitration policy allows people to submit evidence privately in an arbitration case when there are compelling reasons for it not to be submitted publicly.

Passed 13 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Editors and the Arbitration Committee[edit]

6) Editors are expected to be truthful and accurate in statements and evidence presented to the Arbitration Committee.

Passed 13 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Findings of fact[edit]

CU discovers unregistered editing[edit]

1) During the investigation of an unregistered user harassing another user, a CheckUser determined that the IP address associated with the harassment had previously been used by Stephen (talk · contribs), an administrator. Stephen had been in disputes with the harassed editor in the past, and was the only registered account using that IP. According to CheckUser data, the harassing edits were made using a device that Stephen had not previously used. The Arbitration Committee reviewed these findings and determined that they were well founded.

Passed 13 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Initial contact with Stephen and desysop[edit]

2) Stephen was asked to contact the Arbitration Committee about a concern of logged out editing. Stephen denied editing while logged out and denied that he had been in any recent disputes with other editors. The Arbitration Committee concluded that Stephen's response to its inquiry was insufficient to explain or offer an alternative reason for the IP edits, and removed his administrative privileges under the Level II removal procedures.

Passed 13 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Post-desysop response[edit]

3) Upon receiving notification of the Level II desysop, Stephen responded to the Arbitration Committee with an explanation for the unregistered editing. Under the Level II procedures he asked for a private case to be opened regarding the inciting incidents. During the Evidence phase of this case, Stephen was asked questions to further explain and clarify some of his initial statements, which he later answered.

Passed 13 to 0 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

Stephen's explanations sufficient[edit]

4a) The explanations provided by Stephen are sufficient to indicate that it was not him performing the unregistered editing and harassment.

Passed 6 to 4 with 3 abstentions at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (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.

Restoration of administrative permissions[edit]

1) The administrative permissions of Stephen are restored.

Passed 8 to 4 at 22:59, 7 December 2022 (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.