Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II and the history of Jews in Poland

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Frequently asked questions (including details about the summary page)

Target dates: Opened • Evidence phase 1 closes 09 April 2023 • Evidence phase 2: 17 April 2023 - 27 April 2023 • Analysis closes 27 April 2023 • Proposed decision to be posted by 11 May 2023

Scope: Conduct of named parties in the topic areas of World War II history of Poland and the history of the Jews in Poland, broadly construed

Case clerks: Dreamy Jazz (Talk), Firefly (Talk), MJL (Talk), ToBeFree (Talk); Drafting arbitrators: Barkeep49 (Talk), Primefac (Talk), Wugapodes (Talk)

Case opened on 23:35, 13 March 2023 (UTC)

Case closed on 17:21, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

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

Case information

Involved parties

Proceedings being revisited, in part or in whole

Preliminary statements

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

Preliminary decision

Clerk notes

Clerking notes from the case request
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
  • re:Ealdgyth I think this is fair. In response, I'd ask you to consider what might make sense to wait until a case is actually opened - where there is likely to be a statement of scope for instance to help you know what to focus on - and what should be written about here at the case request stage. With that said what kind of extension of the word count do you need now? As for what we're looking for I have, speaking only for myself, attempted to give some sense of that but other arbs will have different opinions. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:43, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have informed Xx236 that despite their topic ban, they are welcome participate in this case if they wish (I believe that this falls under case 2, "legitimate and necessary dispute resolution"). GeneralNotability (talk) 00:22, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The extended-confirmed restriction described at WP:APL50030 does apply to this case request. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:02, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Chess: Regarding non-extended-confirmed users whose participation may be desirable despite the restriction: The arbitrators can exempt all parties from the restriction and add parties to the case, for example. There are multiple possible solutions. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:08, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Red-tailed hawk is granted a word limit extension to 750 words. GeneralNotability (talk) 15:06, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (9/1/0)

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse)

  • Normally I post an initial impression and (except for obvious declines) want to hear from the community before posting an official vote. This is not normal and so I am ready to accept. In fact one of the reasons I'm ready to accept now is because I think the decision to not accept last year has proven to be ArbCom's biggest mistake since FRAM. Since then we have had multiple private requests to do something in this topic area (TA) and now we have a peer reviewed article saying that there is a large issue with editor conduct and the resulting content in this TA. I have some problems with the article and I think Elmidae's comment at AN is the best summary of it I've seen It's essentially a really long talk page rant with outing, published as a peer-reviewed research article in a reputable journal. The content ultimately does not meet the OUTING threshold for me because outing is a behavioral policy that does not trump content policy and guidelines. Though I admit this article comes closer than most situations where I invoke the behavior policy point to actually being a conduct issue. But while close it remains that this article was written in the authors' roles as academics and I do not think Wikipedia should be sanctioning an academic for writing in a reputable journal on a topic of their study.
    So we're left with a talk page rant that has been peer-reviewed in a reputable journal alleging major conduct issues. As a Wikipedian I feel an obligation to follow what reliable sources say rather than what I wish them to say and given the numerous ways they allege our administrative processes have failed I think ArbCom has to step in and step-in in this rather unusual manner. As an Arbitrator, I think their claims need to be carefully examined, as I am not sure all of them will hold up to scrutiny, and I acknowledge, beyond their criticism of Icewhiz, that there are issues on the "other side" which also need examination. I would be remiss if I didn't note my continued feeling that Icewhiz has caused Wikipedians the most harm of any non-govenrment actor in the last 5 years. But I also wonder if the specter of Icewhiz hasn't obfuscated misconduct by a number of parties, including those who agree with Icewhiz on much of the content.
    All of this, and more, is why it is clear to me that ArbCom has failed the community in its obligation to solve this serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve and so an examination, on a fairly large scale, of editor conduct is now needed. Because this was an unusual situation I supported using an objective standard in noting potential parties, but it is my feeling that not all of these people need the same level of examination of their conduct. I am, for instance, starting from the bias that the administrators named who were acting in their role as administrators have not violated any policies or guidelines and should be thanked rather than made an involuntary party to the case. If this is not correct I would appreciate evidence offered. And if there are people not listed above who should be made a party I would appreciate that evidence as well. To those that got all the way here, thank you for reasing this rather long accept comment. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:38, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @GizzyCatBella: truthfully I'd have put Jacinda01 in the "why bother making them a party" category before but your suggestion about them being IW makes me more inclined to want to keep them. That said they haven't edited since 2021 and so the odds of them turning up here feel small. Barkeep49 (talk) 23:28, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I had already seen the comment before it was pointed out here and I was trying to figure out how to say something productive to you about it. Having read your comments here, I'm wondering if there would be a way to change your emotional outburst (as you put it) so it's still emotional without being an outburst so that I (and potentially other arbs/admins) don't need to figure out which side of the border the borderline comment falls on? Put another way, can you find a version that expresses the strength of your opinions without veering into PA territory? Barkeep49 (talk) 23:58, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Piotr the idea of supporting victims by declaring them innocent is interesting. My one concern on first thought is that no one deserves the kind of harassment certain LTAs dish out including victims who may have violated policies and guidelines themselves. But it really is an interesting idea and so I want to keep thinking about it. Thanks for the thought. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:52, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @Chess: I anticipate the committee discussing, if this case is accepted, the parties including potentially adding Chapmansh. If you have concerns about current classes I'd encourage you to use the Education Noticeboard as that is likely to get the appropriate eyes on it and perhaps have faster/better resolution than what ArbCom can offer. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:36, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @Buffs: editors banned by the Wikimedia Foundation are excluded from any and all particiaption in anything around Wikipedia. It is not unseemly to speak ill of someone whose harassment has been proven to the satiisfaction of English Wikipedia, the global community, and the Wikimedia Foundation. It is instead a statement of fact in the same way that we note people who've been convicted of terrible crimes in our articles about them. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:38, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • For people who are saying that we need to add Chapmansh as a party, what Wikipedia Policies and/or Guidelines have they potentially violated and what is the evidence (diff) to support that? From what I'm reading here the issues are: improper association with Icewhiz, doxxing, and poor scholarship. But none of those have happened on wiki and all of them are beyond the jurisidiction of the committee. If the idea is simply that they be allowed to be heard on these matters, all English Wikipedia editors are given the opportunity to be heard. If Chapmansh would like the benefits of being a party (which formally include more words and diffs and informally a bit more tolerance of borderline behavior during a case) and were to request that then sure we should add them. But in general outside of requests to be a party, I believe in only adding a party where there is some expectation that evidence of misconduct can be shown, which is why the committee has sometimes chosen not to have the filer of a case as parties in the last couple of years and why I am skeptical that Chapmansh should be added here. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:47, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      @Tryptofish it is a fact that they are conducting a class. I have seen no allegations, let alone allegations supported by evidence (diff), that they are violationg policies or guidelines with the class that they are conducting. My expectation, which I noted in my acceptance, is that we will have fewer parties when opening this case than we have listed here today. If we're going to add a party - which isn't inconceivable to me - I want it to be because their conduct with-in the jurisdiction of the committee needs exploring. So my question here is a sincere one for those advocating the additional person be added because, as I noted already, it's not inconceivable to me that we subtract and add parties if a case is opened. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:07, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      A couple of editors have asked, in one form or another, if the same standard I'm suggesting for Chapmansh be applied to other editors. And my answer is yes, I only will support parties, if a case is opened, who I think there is some expectation that evidence of misconduct can be shown. This is why I have, from my original comment here, stated Because this was an unusual situation I supported using an objective standard in noting potential parties, but it is my feeling that not all of these people need the same level of examination of their conduct. This is why I have advocated in several cases during my tenure that not all parties at the case request including the filer of the case on at least 2 occasions (I believe) be included as a party when the case opens. This standard of consideration isn't one that I've just made up for this case. Of course I am only one arb and so my preferences don't always happen. So now that we (hopefully) have this implicit suggestion of uneven treatment out of the way I would like to reiterate my question of for people who are saying that we need to add Chapmansh as a party, what Wikipedia Policies and/or Guidelines have they potentially violated and what is the evidence (diff) to support that? Barkeep49 (talk) 05:07, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I will personally be considering not just the evidence offered in the paper and this case request when looking to determine parties but also the 2021/22 case request. I approach these matters in two stages: is there enough to suggest someone is party to the dispute (a real but somewhat low standard) and if yes is there evidence of misconduct (a real and more stringent standard). We are at stage one and I don't know what the evidence in this case will ultimately end up showing for people who I think should be parties. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:44, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      So Levivich, I'm not sure you need to say anything new because there might not be anything new to respond to that you haven't already. But at least for me the threshold for including you as a party to this case has been met and I want to say so now so that if the rest of the committee agrees you aren't taken by surprise. Since you mention it, I think the Kurds case is actually instructive in that you were a party to the dispute in a way that a detailed examination of your conduct was appropriate. In the end there was no inappropriate conduct by you so nothing came of it. Crucially, though, and somewhat contrary to the narrative you present above, it wasn't incorrect from my point of view to have included you as a party given the evidence at play. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:44, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      Levivich I'd refer you to case request where I note at least one thing in a motion which I offered as I found the evidence clear and compelling even in the absence of a full case. However there were other things mentioned at that time which are there for you to review. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:51, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @GRuban: I don't think there is any mistake here. Instead it's a demonstration of how having a large committee with diverse perspectives plays out. Different arbs have different standards and act according. So you're seeing that Eek uses one standard and I use another. Neither is right or wrong, it's just different ways of applying our judgement. We might reach the same conclusion or a different one but will have each given transparency to the community about our thinking. Barkeep49 (talk) 19:23, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @Volunteer Marek: and others who've written that the committee needs to be clear about scope, let me say that I agree with you (and this is why I worked to get scope added to the box that appears at the top of all case pages), that the committee has been actively working on those kinds of questions which is why this case hasn't yet been opened (the result of one of those discussions is the Champmansh motion below), and no matter how hard we try people are always going to feel we should have been clearer about scope because it's only after the evidence has been submitted that the true scope of disruption can be determined so there will almost always end up being evidence submitted that, in the end, feels out of scope. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:45, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept Per my opposition to the previous motion to decline and echoing Barkeep's statement above, our inaction has led to now a second instance of public censure and the continued potential for off-wiki harassment of our community members. Unacceptable then, and unacceptable now.
    I believe a significant portion of blame rests on the shoulders of the Arbitration Committee for failing to adequately attend to the needs of the community across the multiple times our attention was requested, and it is this plain error which justifies our unusual resumption of proceeding on our own motion. Icewhiz has been a scourge these last five years, and our inability to adequately handle his disruption has led to the breakdown of our editorial community, general decorum, and article quality. These effects are diffuse, leading to fatigue of our volunteers, and a battleground where only those willing to put up with the potential for harassment---from many "sides"---can edit. This is not how a high-quality encyclopedia is written. We were asked in 2019 to review conduct in this area, but the Committee was small and attention diverted. The number of arbitrators participating in the 2019 case (6!) would not even constitute a majority of this body. In fact, more arbitrators were in the minority to accept the 2021 request than participated in the 2019 case. We did not give our full attention in 2019, and when that error led to continued problems, we were asked in 2021 to revisit the issue. We narrowly declined, asking the community to use our existing procedures contrary to the statements of our community members who explained why these procedures have failed them so far. Our failure to respond has led to editors feeling more comfortable speaking about these issues to external academic than to the Committee tasked with resolving them, and as a result, we once again have a public article impugning our encyclopedia, administrative procedures, and editors. We cannot sit by, once again, and hope that the editors we sent away last time take time away from their other tasks while they check a procedural box for us. The community already gave us the right to revisit previous proceedings; let's not waste more of their time with the procedural game of having them ask us to remedy our own contribution to the problem.
    This will not be an easy issue to resolve, but the Committee was not convened to solve easy issues. We have the opportunity to give this topic the diligence and care necessary to properly resolve it. We have the attention of academics and scholars who believe our content is important. We have editors on-record laying out where our procedures have failed and with ideas on how to improve them. We have a large and active committee with few parallel obligations and the capacity to share the workload. We can leverage these resources now or wait for this decade-long problem to get still worse. The committee waited last time, and I hope we do not make the same mistake again. Wug·a·po·des 22:02, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Floquenbeam: Speaking for myself regarding your questions:
    • Maybe the very large potential parties list is intended to get a lot of opinions on whether to actually have a case or not? Editors mentioned generally had some level of participation in the topic area and may have statements or evidence of interest. It also means they get notified immediately, so this means they don't find out from someone else that they're included in this article or that we're considering it. Parties can be added or removed at the Committee's discretion, so starting with a more objective metric and removing as necessary is exactly to avoid the issue of a party list being a "you've done something wrong and sanctions are coming" list.
    • Are potential parties expected to comment here, at this stage, even if there is no reason to believe they did anything wrong? Parties are invited to make a statement, but participation is voluntary. Usually, being a "party" pretty strongly implies you'd better comment at the case request or you'll regret it later... is that true here? Personally, I don't think there should be that reading. In fact, if someone feels they don't have much to contribute, a statement of "I only commented once and have nothing to really add, can I be removed" is a valid response and a request that I would take seriously.
    • Not sure what the rationale is for omitting past or current Arbs from the potential parties list, but on the surface it sure seems like a bad the problem that almost all the current Arbs are mentioned? The Committee as an institution was criticized generally, and while a few quotes were pulled from motion votes, the focus was on the committee. And in any case, why would former Arbs not have to deal with this, while mere mortals have to? We already have their private correspondence related to these cases in our archives, and unless they've been active in this topic area (if my memory serves me, the one or two not currently on the committee haven't been) then they wouldn't even have access to the evidence we would be seeking.
    • This is outsourcing the selection of potential parties to non-Wikipedians. That just seems wrong. Will you do the same the next time Wikipediocracy has a blog post? Firstly, I think there's an obvious difference between an article written by academics published in a peer-reviewed journal on the topic and a blog post. Secondly, we selected that as the metric after considering other possibilities, so it's not like there's some automatic pipeline devoid of discretion. I would argue that being clear about where and how parties were selected is better than publishing substantially the same list and pretending we just made it up ourselves.
    • Are we sure it was "peer reviewed" in the normal sense of the term? My understanding is that it is peer-reviewed, the submission instructions mentions only one kind of submission which goes through double-blind peer-review. Journals with multiple sections list the editorial policies separately, for example Language lists each section with separate editorial policies. Wug·a·po·des 23:11, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Moved from Ealdgyth's section Speaking for myself, statements addressing the following would be most helpful (1) what if any conduct issues still exist which have not been resolved by previous cases or administrative action? (2) how effective are existing procedures in this area, and if you believe they are ineffective, what is the apparent cause of the ineffectiveness? (3) would arbitration be effective in this instance or have existing dispute resolution processes been sufficient? Wug·a·po·des 20:44, 13 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'd like to set some expectations here, quoting directly from a clerk comment Guerillero made in a past case request: I would like to preemptively warn everyone above (and those who have yet to comment) that I am going to take a dim view to incivility, well poisoning, gratuitous mud slinging, and general nastiness. I'm well aware that this is a fraught topic area, but that just means we all need to be on our best behavior. Clerks and arbs have the power to delete or refactor problematic comments (it's in the editnotice), and we will be making use of this if needed. GeneralNotability (talk) 01:29, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Some initial thoughts from me:
    • The article that we're all talking about has a POV. It might be the "right" POV, it might not, but it is a POV, and it's part of our responsibility as Wikipedians to be able to critically evaluate a source and recognize that.
    • Following up on the question of the "right" POV: the members of the Arbitration Committee, and most of the community, are not historigraphers of the Holocaust in Poland, and I for one do not speak Polish. We aren't going to be able to tell you which side is "right" here, and since this appears to be an area of significant ongoing research I expect that the "truth" will continue to change as more facts are unearthed.
    • I do not care one bit for people suggesting the article was heavily influenced (or worse, ghostwritten) by Icewhiz. I certainly believe the authors downplayed the reasons for Icewhiz's ban, but I would attribute that to shared POV rather than direct influence.
    • Editors who are familiar with academic research in a field will always have an advantage in source discussions over those who do not, and that's probably never going to change.
    GeneralNotability (talk) 03:26, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I have to disagree with my colleagues on the topic of Chapmansh - I believe they should be added as a party. I do not think that "named as party" should imply "we plan to sanction you," rather it should just mean that someone is a significant player in the dispute (and I believe that if we're going to examine their paper's claims, I think that implies that they are a major player). GeneralNotability (talk) 17:40, 18 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Couple other thoughts:
    • I like Chess's suggestion of bringing in the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
    • I like Tryptofish's suggested scope(s).
    • I like HJ Mitchell's framing of inquisitorial proceedings
    • I do not intend to say whether any particular academic viewpoint is "right". My concerns are primarily about where Wikipedia processes are breaking down (and, as usual for me, why existing tools like ARBEE are not sufficient)
    We're currently heading toward an accept, but folks here should expect some time as we internally hash out exactly what form this case will take. GeneralNotability (talk) 00:07, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Zero0000, I'm not suggesting they do know anything about Wikipedia processes, and I'm not suggesting that they decide anything. I simply think that their input as neutral outsiders would provide helpful background information to us. GeneralNotability (talk) 02:31, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I anticipate accepting, but am waiting for the community to catch up. I am currently thinking about how best to structure the case. I expect a significant amount of bytes will be spent on the context of the statements the paper makes, but I am not sure the typical case structure will accommodate that smartly. Perhaps an atypical subpage akin to a workshop where editors can discuss the specific statements made on a given page and/or the other edits that would give context to each of the footnotes, maybe with relaxed word requirements.

    For evidence not directly pertaining to the specific words and footnotes in the paper, I think the usual structure and location would be reasonable.

    We are also entertaining the best scope. While the paper has focused on the Holocaust in Poland, many of the parties are also active in the rest of the topic area defined in the case request (Eastern Europe). Do the issues of conduct not-specific to the topic matter of the Holocaust in Poland presented by the paper extend there also? Izno (talk) 05:00, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Levivich, to be blunt: You are likely to have evidence submitted against you as part of this case, even ignoring your presence in the article at hand. I think you will want to be a party accordingly. While I do not speak for the full committee, I think they will agree that you will be one.
    To answer a specific point about parties (Hammersoft, Tryptofish, et al), Barkeep argues based on personal preference that the party list should be a certain set of people - those most likely to have issues with their conduct brought forth. (Without ascribing words to him specifically, it is usually about saving time and energy for the people involved in the case, including the arbitrators, from dealing with evidence that doesn't ultimately matter to the core issues.) Whereas Eek attempts to explain that being included as a party does not require that expectation, and has historically been about whether the editor knew about the core issues. These two views are allowed to be contradictory. I happen to agree with Eek's interpretation and basic expectation of that role. I also believe that Barkeep's position on the point is reasonable in many cases, and it is certainly one that I will use even in this case to help me decide who should be a party. However, I do not think it necessarily a good default position in this case, and for me, starting a case like this, it made sense to be broader rather than narrower an initial list of parties, not least for the benefits of mandatory notification to people we had reasonable belief would know something about the core issues.
    (I would not be opposed to these two mostly-reasonable views of the role being described in the procedures or perhaps the guide to arbitration.)
    It is regardless a decision of the committee taking the case who are to be named parties, and we have already begun giving the question due consideration as part of the case's setup. If you believe there should be other parties, or that specific parties should be removed, you are free to provide those, as some of you already have, particularly the co-author of the paper. Izno (talk) 22:20, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I am inclined to accept, but I am waiting to read statements. --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 07:42, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Accept I will post a detailed rational this evening --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 14:10, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Poland has been a problem area on Wikipedia since before Piotrus in 2007. Over the past 16 years the community, AE admins, and the arbitration committee have all failed to control the disruption within the topic area. While I don't have incredibly high hopes that we will do any better than past committees, that doesn't excuse passing the buck. The 2021 committee did it and the results have been a disaster. -- In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 08:42, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Jayen466: I was on the committee for the last time we talked to the press in a formal capacity, Gamergate, and that experience made it clear that it isn't worth the time and effort -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 14:02, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Before I vote I want to see statements from listed parties who have not yet commented. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 01:10, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I am planning on voting to accept this pending some further figuring-out-of-things-behind-the-scenes. KrakatoaKatie summed up my feelings on this issue when she voted to ban Jytdog, where she said "I do not want to find out what the next more outrageous thing is, so with regret, this is where I come down." I am shocked that Eostrix, an Icewhiz sock that Arbcom had to block by motion to prevent from passing a request for adminship, has not been mentioned by anyone. That socking damaged RfA's reputation and the community's confidence in candidates, and cast a shadow over 2022 RfAs. Really, it damaged the community at large. Icewhiz was likely planning on using the Eostrix admin account to continue with battles with other editors in this topic area-- that whole episode is part of this. I do not want another Eostrix situation. The behind the scenes is not just Icewhiz doxing and harassment. I do not want to see that escalate. I do not want another monstrous case request like the Warsaw Concentration Camp one. I do not another monster ANI/AN thread that no one aside from involved parties touches that stays open for a month. I do not want to see another stalled out AE. I do not want to see another academic journal article. Frankly, this has reached the point where either T&S or some sort of UCoC enforcement system is going to step in-- and I am convinced they will do something that no one likes. I do not want another issue on the level of Framban. No one wants that. I am not going to wait to see what happens next-- No One wants to see what happens next. I legitimately believe a case is the least painful option here. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 01:46, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Accept because a case is the best of several bad choices and per my above comment, specifically the behind-the-scenes issues in 2022. I'm not sure how important it is to other Arbs in accepting the case but it's one of the deciding factors for me. To @Black Kite and any others I have particular appreciation for who do not understand the thought process behind these votes-- honestly I think anyone in my position, knowing what I know, would vote to accept. The behind-the-scenes stuff really does flip the narrative towards accepting a case in order to prevent further harassment and harm to the community at large and I seriously cannot see anyone here saying otherwise if they saw what I saw. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 00:40, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm glad my comment has gotten some attention. Let me elaborate-- there is an art to "speculation". A functionary cannot tell you about something because they signed an NDA among other reasons, so they have to choose their words carefully when discussing something that isn't public. You won't be able to find out what they're talking about, but that's ok-- you can still get meaning out of what they say without knowing what is exactly being referred to.
    1. Cross reference what they're saying with what they've previously said. In this case, my two statements at this case.
    2. Critically read a sentence at a time, and ask questions for each sentence-- word choice is deliberate, ask "why would they say this"?
    3. Think about what is not being said.
    Apply that to my acceptance statement:
    - "...a case is the best of several bad choices..." what are those bad choices, in a "what can happen on Wikipedia" sense?
    - "...behind-the-scenes issues in 2022..." in his previous statement, Moneytrees makes a distinction between the behind-the-scenes and the Warsaw case request, and also says "The behind the scenes is not just Icewhiz doxing and harassment" -- so they probably aren't the same thing.
    - " order to prevent further harassment and harm to the community at large..." He uses the wording "Really, it damaged the community at large" when talking about the Eostrix RfA in his previous statement, referring to how it caused issues outside of the topic area. So at large implies he thinks there is something that will be an issue outside of the topic area.
    From what I see, this is forth time we are "at the brink" with issues in the topic area since the 2019 Arbcase. I think about it like this: if the 2019 Arbcom knew about the Framban and what the ensuring consequences and fallout would be, if they had a chance to take a case to potentially prevent it, would they? Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 18:15, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Just noting this because I've seen the issue of the links in the article being "broken": the diffs are correctly formatted but it seems like the Taylor and Francis site is breaking them, it looks like because of some character rendering issue. Here's a random citation that shows what I'm talking about: reference 194, “Wikipedia: Biographies of Living Persons,” Wikipedia, revision from 14:04, July 19, 2022," If you highlight that link and paste it into your search bar, it'll take you to the corresponding edit. However, if you click on the link as cited in the article, you go to , which is a broken link. The difference between the two is that the "&" (ampersand) in "&oldid" is replaced with "%26", which breaks the link. This happens to all Wikipedia links in the article. I'm assuming this is because the Taylor and Francis has difficulty rendering the ampersand and isn't some mistake/ignorance on the author's part. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 22:37, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept I believe our failure to open the Warsaw Concentration Camp request was a major mistake. Well, now we've received scholarly rebuke for our actions, and it is apparent that the entire Holocaust in Poland topic area is broken. I agree that the paper is problematic. But we cannot simply ignore it. The paper has identified a problem. That does not mean we accept its conclusions. The point of this case will be to determine what the actual scope of the problem is, and how to fix it. I wish we had a better vessel than this paper to open this case, but that sort of thinking burned us on the Warsaw request: we wanted the "perfect" request, and thus ignored the imperfect, but pressing, issue that was before us. ArbCom must fix its mistake.
    The Holocaust in Poland is a sensitive and important topic area. But it has fallen by the wayside in the wake of Icewhiz's banning. Icewhiz is one of our worst harassers of all time, and I'm very glad he's been blocked. I fear however that some folks have interpreted our ban of Icewhiz as 1) an implicit rebuke of his content position, and 2) an indication that the conduct issues in the topic area had been solved. Re: 1) That is not true. We were not endorsing a content position by banning him, and the goal here is not to decide which side is right. ArbCom is not, and should not, be in the business of refereeing how many proponents from each "side" of the issue there are. That is false balance, gets into issues of !VOTE, and assumes all editors are unrepentant POV pushers. 2) I think our fear of Icewhiz has clouded our judgement. We must be mindful of his socks, and his attempts to influence us. But we cannot let our fear of Icewhiz stop us from actually doing the hard work of building the encyclopedia. Otherwise, Icewhiz has already won.
    Overall, our goal here must be to disentangle ourselves from old paradigms and rehabilitate the topic area. As much as there is disagreement on how to handle the HiP topic area, I'm seeing general agreement that the topic area is broken. A lot of editors are expressing that they want nothing to do with HiP, which is the clearest sign that the topic is toxic. When all other processes have failed, it is ArbCom's role to step in and provide a sort of environmental remediation.
    I understand this is a monster case to take on, but I see it as necessary to do justice. The large party list here is to help us identify the scope of the problem. I understand the sinking feeling that Floquenbeam mentions. I realize it is unpleasant to be named as a party, but I want to stress that being named as a party is not a sign of wrongdoing. It is a sign of knowledge about the issue. Certainly, parties can be sanctioned, and I understand that is frightening. I want to thank folks for their patience and understanding, and I imagine we'll be doing some party tweaking based on y'alls feedback. Ultimately, the HiP topic area remains broken, and this is our chance to fix it before things get out of hand. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 07:32, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @GRuban: The Committee is not a monolith, nor should it be. Barkeep and I are coming at this from slightly different angles, and that is a good thing; I think Izno's thoughts capture that idea well. Our reasoning may be different, but the outcome is the same: we're both for accepting this case. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 19:45, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • As a clarification, I don't think Chapmansh should be a party. They have less than 500 edits, less than 50 mainspace edits, and are mostly just doing WikiEd stuff. They haven't actually edited in the topic area, so I don't see how they have first hand knowledge of the dispute; they are a secondary source so to speak. Including them as a party because they researched the topic is a bad precedent. It would discourage authors from writing about Wikipedia if they were to be possibly drawn into ArbCases just for writing about Wikipedia. Nor do I see the benefit of including them as a party. They've said their thoughts, in a peer reviewed paper. I'm not looking to elevate their voice further, and I don't think we have the authority to sanction them for having not edited in the topic area. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 22:11, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'm a Decline for reasons I've already given internally to the Committee. I will explain my reasons more fully later today when I have more time, though are essentially that I feel that the nature of this problem is one that is best resolved bottom up rather than top down, and that work has already started on examining and improving the articles which a case would serve to distract, and that if and when conduct problems occur in resolving any issues in the articles the community can then ask the Committee to step in to assist. I feel that the Committee should stand ready to assist the community in this matter, but not to get involved too soon as that is taking initiative, responsibility, ownership, motivation, etc, away from the community. It can be dispiriting when an authority organisation declines to give assistance when asked, but it is equally dispiriting when an authority organisation takes away the right to conduct one's own affairs too soon. It can be difficult to get the balance right, and the Committee have been criticised for sometimes declining to get involved, so it is understandable why some in the Committee are proposing this. But I feel it would be better to wait until asked. And that such a request would be more relevant than this one which is based on older rather than recent incidents. I'd prefer we look into dealing with today's ongoing concerns rather than raking over yesterday's alleged Committee failings. SilkTork (talk) 13:31, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • User:Buffs, if you open a case request regarding users who are engaged in current or recent misconduct I would certainly be inclined to listen carefully. A large part of my reasoning behind not accepting this case request is that it is based on seemingly random (and inaccurate) allegations by two academics of misconduct from sometimes over nearly twenty years ago - such as the assertion that a user, Halibutt, inserted the claim that "the Germans annihilated 200,000 non-Jewish Poles in a giant gas chamber" into Warsaw concentration camp when they created that article in 2004; when it was in fact another user in 2005 who inserted the note that it was non-Jews: [1].
  • User:El C, if you have some evidence that those individuals you name, VM, GCB, and Piotrus, have recently been disrupting Wikipedia, I would find that useful. If there is no evidence, then I don't feel that you need be sorry for giving them another chance. That is what we tend to do on Wikipedia. We rarely say "never", because we do assume that people can improve.
  • For those, such as User:Chess, User:Tryptofish, User:Szmenderowiecki, User:Drmies, who are suggesting that User:Chapmansh be named, I am inclined to agree. As a Wikipedian, Chapmansh is aware that the appropriate way to resolve problems on Wikipedia is to use our dispute resolution procedures, including ArbCom. But they have ignored our procedures, and instead have made public accusations against other Wikipedians, some of which appear to be inaccurate, and much of which is raking over old coals for no clear positive reason other than to cause trouble. This is disruptive and inappropriate behaviour. If they were added to this request I would still be inclined to decline as I feel this case request is not focused on recent misconduct. However, if a separate case request were opened naming Chapmansh, I would be inclined to accept. SilkTork (talk) 05:18, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The previous request became basically an unworkable vague mess, and we kicked the can down the road. So it is not surprising to find ourselves here again, the problem was not resolved then and clearly it has not gone away. I think it is fairly clear that a full case, one that is not being stage-managed by a banned troll, is needed, so I vote to accept. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:51, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    For the benefit of any outside observers who may not be familiar with how this committee operates: I think it is a good idea for us to be clear from the outset that we absolutely will not be dictating what Wikipedia does or does not say about any aspect of the Holocaust. That is not our role. Our task here is to ferret out who is causing problems in these topic areas, and to remedy those behavioral issues using the tools at our disposal. Some of the tools that could be deployed here include anything from partial blocking and page protection to topic banning or full site banning, among other things. We will not simply be taking this outside paper at face value and banning anyone they identify as a problem.
    This is also not a fast process, if and when a case is accepted, it will be at least a full month before there are any decisions made. We are a committee, not a cop car. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:46, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. I did not find the previous case request to be satisfactory and found myself bouncing back and forth a few times, but now I do not think we should kick this can further down the road. Primefac (talk) 11:44, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. I'm not necessarily taking the article's claims at face value, but from the statements here and the prior history of the topic area... where there's smoke, there's fire. I'm also not opposed to looking into the possibility of outside help/auditing. Enterprisey (talk!) 21:06, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept with trepidation. Agree with GN that Chapmansh should be added as a party, without an assumption that sanctions are being considered, but also without an assumption that an academic paper puts the conduct beyond sanctions, WP:NOTLAB. Agree with Beeblebrox that we should reiterate that ArbCom adjudicates conduct, not content. Also that this is not a fast process. I believe the paper was under preparation for something like a year, and any expectation that the case or its underlying issues will resolve quickly is wishful thinking. Cabayi (talk) 10:11, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment, while remaining nominally inactive. I'm annoyed the personal circumstances have meant I've missed much of this. I have said before that Icewhiz off-wiki behaviour was dreadful, and I'm saddened that we're still dealing with the same issues. Equally, I was persuaded that we should accept the last case even though we didn't. So, I really ought to be happy that there's a case going on here. But I can't get behind this way of working (and it might be simply that I haven't managed to read everything said above here and by email). Firstly, Arbcom just "creating" a case is something that is fraught with problems and secondly, I'm just not seeing what outcomes might help here. We have CT on the area, we have banned those who were causing issues and from the massive list of parties it looks like it's not clear who is the problem. I agree there's an issue with the journal article, and I empathise with those affected - though a public case won't solve that either.
    As I say, I'm inactive, I haven't read everything and I might be missing something - but I don't like it.This whole case smacks of doing something for the sake of doing something combined with throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks. Neither are things we should be doing as a committee. WormTT(talk) 16:51, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Chapmansh motion

The Arbitration Committee adds Chapmansh as a party to the case, with the following provisions:

  1. Chapmansh is granted the extended confirmed user group for the exclusive purpose of participating in this case;
  2. Evidence submitted about Chapmansh must show what policy or guideline has been violated; and,
  3. The Committee does not consider statements made in the journal article as having violated the outing policy.

Other parties will be determined through the typical procedure and will be announced when the case is opened.

  1. Frankly my first choice would be not to include Klein for the reasons I've stated here and in an extended discussion on arbwiki. However, rather than have a plurality of Arbs make the call (as the issue is complex enough that several active arbs have indicated they'd abstain) I support this as I think this motion can garner consensus support among arbs. As several editors and arbs have pointed out, there's no denying that Chapmansh is a party to the incident that spurred the case and being a party to the case does not mean that they are a party to misconduct. If Chapmansh has violated policies or guidelines as an editor we should absolutely take action on it. However, what Klein did in authoring this paper did not violate OUTING and we can and should say that now. I hope points two and three are sufficient a safeguard against this being a precedent for chilling the speech of academics studying Wikipedia or journalists writing about it. Barkeep49 (talk) 01:28, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Per Barkeep. I agree completely that Chapmansh is a party to the incident that spurred the case. While I understand where the concerns about a chilling effect are coming from, I don't think it would be a significant issue. Enterprisey (talk!) 06:09, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. My starting point is an AGF assumption that a professor who teaches Wikipedia, and is a Wikipedian, has an anti-COI, a perfect alignment of interest with the community in our continual improvement. Enabling, even encouraging, them to participate in the case is (imo) the opposite of a chilling effect. While there is no "immunity" for reporters, from what we've seen so far we don't anticipate sanctions toward Chapmansh. As Barkeep pointed out, being a party to the case does not mean that they are a party to misconduct. Cabayi (talk) 09:00, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. I have a very many conflicting thoughts on this matter, but rather than ramble and repeat large portions of what has already been said, I will simply support. Primefac (talk) 09:12, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. What a writer, journalist, or academic, such as Klein, does and writes about is their affair, and nothing to do with the Committee. However, when a Wikipedian is thought to have attacked and disparaged other Wikipedians, either on Wikipedia or on external sites, then we look into it. It will be worthwhile to look into if Chapmansh did inappropriately target certain individuals and cause them unnecessary harm. SilkTork (talk) 09:19, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Per Cabayi and SilkTork. Wug·a·po·des 20:11, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. This motion (and particularly the 3rd bullet) should not be treated as precedential by either committees or community members in the future. Essentially the whole committee that discussed this motion and which is now voting on it agreed with the set of pros and cons associated with including or excluding chapmansh as a party (many of which were drawn from the community's statements). We came (and had come) to the agreement already that we did not consider this specific paper to be OUTING, so this motion makes it clear that we will not be taking further evidence on the point. It was a compromise to join the two internal camps on the point of whether to include her. Izno (talk) 23:08, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Tryptofish, "personal attack"? No. But to me at least, it would still be removed as out of scope as established by this motion. Izno (talk) 20:29, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. I think this provides an imperfect, but workable, middle path that tries to minimize the chilling effect on Wikipedia criticism created by dragging someone to arbcom who is not an active Wikipedia. --In actu (Guerillero) Parlez Moi 08:15, 22 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. I think its a bad idea for its long term implications but I won't stand in the way of the Committee and Community's wishes here. Edit for clarification: the "bad idea" here is the inclusion of a user who hasn't edited the topic area, who has less than 500 edits, and who seems to have an account almost solely for Wiki-ed. Including them creates a chilling effect that this motion I just don't think fixes. Further, we aren't including the other author, because they don't happen to have an account. The only thing this is doing is telling academics "don't make an account if you wanna write here". CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 17:26, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Arbitrator discussion

Temporary injunction (none)

Final decision

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


Purpose of Wikipedia

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect among contributors. Use of the site for other purposes, such as advocacy or propaganda or furtherance of outside conflicts is prohibited. Contributors whose actions are detrimental to that goal may be asked to refrain from them, even when these actions are undertaken in good faith.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Role of the Arbitration Committee

2) The role of the committee is to act as a final binding decision-maker primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve (§ Arbitration Policy). From time to time the committee may revisit previous cases to review new allegations of editor misconduct and to examine the effectiveness of enforcement systems. It is not the purpose of the Arbitration Committee to settle good-faith content disputes nor to adjudicate outside criticism.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Limitations of arbitration

3) Despite employing more formal procedures than other aspects of Wikipedia, Wikipedia Arbitration is not and does not purport to be a legal system comparable to courts or regulatory agencies. The Arbitration Committee strives for fairness in every case. However, the evidence is generally limited to what can be located and presented online, safeguards such as mandatory disclosure of information and cross-examination of witnesses are not available, and only issues directly affecting Wikipedia and with-in the scope of the case are considered and resolved. Arbitration decisions should be read with these limitations in mind and should not be taken out of context or misused by any side in connection with any off-wiki controversy, dispute, allegation, or proceeding.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Healthy and unhealthy conflict

4) Conflict is unavoidable and an inherent part of processes like the bold, revert, discuss cycle and deletion discussions. These processes work effectively when editors engage in healthy conflict by debating ideas, openly providing information, and seeking mutual understanding of an issue. Sniping criticism, ad hominem arguments, and incivility are harmful to other editors and the proper functioning of the encyclopedia. While healthy conflict is essential to building an encyclopedia, editors who engage in unhealthy conflict may be sanctioned.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Battleground conduct

5) Wikipedia is a reference work, not a battleground. Each and every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Borderline personal attacks and edit-warring are incompatible with this spirit. Use of the site to pursue feuds and quarrels is extremely disruptive, flies directly in the face of our key policies and goals, and is prohibited. Editors who are unable to resolve their personal or ideological differences are expected to keep mutual contact to a minimum. If battling editors fail to disengage, they may be compelled to do so through the imposition of restrictions.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Topic area burnout

6) Repeatedly encountering bludgeoning, battleground tactics, and a lack of support from dispute resolution processes can lead to editors leaving the topic area or ceasing to productively engage in the consensus-building process, such as by adopting battleground tactics themselves or ceasing to file misconduct reports.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Verifiability of foreign language texts

7) Claims on the English Wikipedia must verifiably come from a reliable source, and the ability for editors to verify claims is important for resolving factual disputes. Citations to non-English reliable sources are allowed on the English Wikipedia. However, because this project is in English, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones when they are available and of equal quality and relevance. The use of foreign language sources should be done with care, especially in contentious topics, because it can significantly reduce the number of editors able to verify or help resolve disputes.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Accessibility of sources

8) Many citations on the English Wikipedia are to online resources, and this is unsurprising for an online encyclopedia. Online sources are easier to access and easier for editors to verify. Still, many reliable sources are not readily available to everyone online, so reliable sources should not be rejected merely because they are difficult or costly to access. Special care should be taken when using difficult-to-access sources, especially when used to support contentious claims. Editors should take care to provide full bibliographic information, such as the source's reference number or an in-source quotation, to help editors and readers find and verify the claims in the sources.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Source manipulation is a conduct issue

9) By quoting from or citing to a source, an editor represents that the material referenced to that source fairly and accurately reflects the intent of the original source. Failure to accurately reflect sources, whether by accident or design, is a serious matter as it undermines the integrity of the encyclopedia. An editor who repeatedly or intentionally fails to cite sources, cites unencyclopedic sources, misrepresents reliable sources, or manufactures original research may be sanctioned. Merely because disruption involves sources does not make said disruption a "content issue" outside of administrative reach.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Fair criticism

10) Editors are encouraged to engage in frank discussion of matters affecting the project, and are encouraged to share even those facts and opinions which demonstrate the shortcomings of the project, its policies, its decision making structure, and its leaders. Such discourse is limited by the expectation that even difficult situations will be resolved in a dignified fashion, with evidence and without resorting to personal attacks. Editors who have genuine grievances against others are expected to avail themselves of the most appropriate dispute resolution mechanism.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

On-wiki and off-wiki behaviour

11) Behaviour of editors on-wiki and off-wiki are not subject to the same standards. Conduct which may be considered acceptable in the open and transparent atmosphere of Wikipedia (i.e., on-wiki) may be controversial and even unacceptable if made off wiki, due to the lack of transparency. In a similar vein, off-wiki disclosure of personal information does not allow, or excuse, a third party to post it on-wiki.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Responding to harassment

12) An editor who is harassed and attacked by others, or who genuinely perceives themself to have been harassed or attacked—whether on Wikipedia or off—should not see that harassment as an excuse for violating Wikipedia policy. Editors should report on-wiki harassment to administrators and off-wiki harassment by email to the Arbitration Committee and/or to the Wikimedia Foundation Office. Administrators should be sensitive in dealing with harassed editors who have themselves breached acceptable standards, especially where the harassment has been protracted or severe.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Age of evidence

13) The arbitration policy does not place strict limits on the age of evidence that may be submitted in an arbitration case, although the Arbitration Committee will sometimes preemptively limit the scope of a case to a specific period of time. The Committee may choose to disregard or give less weight to evidence that is not recent.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Participation on arbitration pages

14) Policy states: "All editors are required to act reasonably, civilly, and with decorum on arbitration case pages, and may face sanctions if they fail to do so." 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. While grievances must often be aired during such a case, it is expected that editors will do so without being unnecessarily rude or hostile, and will respond calmly to allegations against them. Accusations of misbehaviour must be backed with clear evidence or not made at all. Editors who conduct themselves inappropriately during a case may be sanctioned by arbitrators or clerks including by warnings, blocks, or bans from further participation in the case. Behaviour during a case may be considered as part of an editor's overall conduct in the matter at hand.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)


15) Editors sanctioned for disruptive behavior are expected to improve their behavior, should they continue to participate in the project. Sanctioned editors should be afforded assistance and reasonable time to improve (especially if they demonstrate the ability to engage positively with the community), but if their conduct does not improve they may be subject to increasingly severe sanctions.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Universal Code of Conduct

16) The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) defines a minimum set of guidelines of expected and unacceptable behaviour. The English Wikipedia has developed policies and guidelines (PAG) that add to this minimum that take account of local and cultural context, maintaining the UCoC criteria as a minimum standard and, in many PAGs, going beyond those minimums. Therefore, the Arbitration Committee, as an identified high-level decision making body under the UCoC enforcement guidelines, may choose to evaluate compliance with English Wikipedia PAG, while still respecting the UCoC.

Passed 7 to 1 with 2 abstentions at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Findings of fact

Previous Arbitration Committee interventions in the topic area

1) Since 2007, the Arbitration Committee has attempted to resolve disputes in the topic area, starting with a general amnesty in 2007 for editors previously in disputes related to Eastern Europe. Later that year, an additional case titled Eastern Europe was opened, and a special set of administrative policies were authorized for the designated contentious topic. Following the 2009 discovery of a mailing list used to coordinate editing in the Eastern European topic area, then-Arbitrator Newyorkbrad moved to open a case on the Committee's own initiative. The Committee opened the case as Eastern European mailing list and, following its investigation, 10 editors were banned from the Eastern European topic area, 3 of whom are parties to the present case. In the 10 years following that case, many of these restrictions were lifted on the belief that past problems would not occur in the future.

In 2019 a request was made that the Arbitration Committee again review conduct in the area. The Committee accepted and opened the case as Antisemitism in Poland. Two editors were topic banned as a result of the 2019 case: Icewhiz and Volunteer Marek (topic ban rescinded in December 2020). In addition to the contentious topic designation from Eastern Europe (2007), Antisemitism in Poland (2019) prohibited editors who did not have at least 30 days tenure and 500 edits from editing in the topic area and placed a sourcing restriction on articles about Polish history during World War II. The Arbitration Committee in 2019 and the Wikimedia Foundation's Trust and Safety department in 2020 each banned Icewhiz, following his severe and sustained harassment of other editors.

In December 2021 a case request entitled "Warsaw Concentration Camp" was filed, which was resolved in January 2022 with a motion, that among other things, allowed editors to request enforcement of the sourcing requirement at WP:ARCA and allowed a consensus of administrators at Arbitration Enforcement to request a new case be opened.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

"Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust" background and use in the case

2.1) "Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust", authored by Jan Grabowski and Shira Klein, was published on February 9, 2023. In response, the Arbitration Committee, invoking its jurisdiction over all matters previously heard and exercising its authority to revisit any proceeding at any time at its sole discretion filed a case request on February 13. The case was accepted by the committee and formally opened March 13.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

2.2) While the case was opened in response to "Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust", the Arbitration Committee did not consider or evaluate all the claims made in the journal article. Instead, the Arbitration Committee, in accordance with its policy and procedure, evaluated the conduct of editors through the evidence submitted during the proceedings, including some claims from the article, and the behavior of editors during the case.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Editors and administrators have left the topic area

3) Several editors, including some who are party to the case, have noted that they have left the topic area owing to what they found as an unpleasant and unrewarding editing environment. Two uninvolved administrators also noted their reluctance to issue sanctions in the topic area following previous unpleasant experiences when doing so. (Preliminary statements)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

2022-23 activity in the topic area

4) Between January 2022 and the publication of "Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust" there was only 1 Arbitration Enforcement request and minimal reports at other noticeboards. The Arbitration Committee and Trust and Safety each received a report about an editor in this topic area during that time. (Disruption in the topic area over time evidence summary) In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine and many editors interested in this topic area focused their editing on that. (Preliminary statements of Elinruby, Ealdgyth, Paul Siebert, Volunteer Marek)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Source manipulation complaints are difficult but necessary

5) Of the over 100 sources referenced in evidence (Bibliography), approximately 25 were in a language other than English and approximately 33 were freely available online for review. The remaining sources required access to library resources either in-person or online, and even then some sources were not accessible. Adequately responding to even a simple complaint of source manipulation may require a significant expenditure of time or money just to evaluate whether an editor is lying. Not everyone has the time or resources to resolve this, and so issues go unresolved due to lack of resources which harms the editorial environment, encyclopedic quality and ultimately public information. (Mariusz Bechta, History of the Jews in Poland)

Passed 10 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Disputes over non-English-language sources

Difficulties evaluating reliability and due weight

6.1) In March 2020 a dispute occurred over whether a source (in Polish) was appropriate. The arguments for its inclusion relied heavily on sources also in Polish which English speaking editors were not able to read, exacerbating the dispute. (Paradisus Judaeorum summary)

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Difficulties in verifying claims due to differences in translation

6.2) In February 2023 another dispute occurred regarding the verifiability of a claim sourced to Polish sources, and the claim's verifiability hinged on how to interpret a Polish text. (k.e.coffman's evidence) From April to June 2021 a dispute occurred regarding potential BLP violations. The contentious claims were sourced exclusively to references in Polish, and whether the sources corroborated the contentious claims in the article depended on whether and how well an editor could translate from Polish. (BLP-related dispute at Jan Zaryn summary)

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Identifying source misuse made harder by non-English-language sources

6.3) In 2020 an article was created sourced entirely to three Russian-language sources. Two of the three sources were on topics unrelated to the article subject, but this was not immediately noticed because editors could not read the Russian titles and no translation was provided. (2020 AE statement cited in k.e.coffman's evidence)

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Failures of the content dispute resolution process

7) A Request for Comment (RfC) is an important method of dispute resolution during content disputes. However, Requests for Comment did not prove effective when used in this topic area, with RfCs failing to be closed at all, even after reasonable participation from involved and uninvolved editors (e.g. June 2021, July 2021, Sep 2021) or only closed after long delays (Jan 2021-Jan 22). While not every RfC needs a formal close, the lack of formal closes in this topic area meant that the consensus of editors would not actually be implemented and the related dispute was never resolved.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

2021 AE Sourcing Report

Filing and closure

8.1) In February 2021, Buidhe filed an Arbitration Enforcement request alleging Volunteer Marek had violated the sourcing requirement present in the topic area. Uninvolved administrators expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of communication from Buidhe prior to filing an Arbitration Enforcement request. The close included a formal warning of Buidhe that communication is mandatory, especially regarding disagreements about content and sourcing, and that the additional sourcing requirements applied to this topic area do not change this. They are further warned that AE must not be used to "win" content disputes.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Sourcing requirement discussion

8.2) Among administrators who evaluated Volunteer Marek's use of sources there was agreement that some of those sources failed to live up to the standard of sourcing requirement, but this was not noted in the close. There was also minimal discussion among uninvolved administrators of the wording of the sourcing requirement which places the burden of justifying inclusion of sources on the person wishing to include them. Some administrators expressed a feeling that ArbCom needed to handle some of the thornier aspects of the sourcing restriction and its implementation itself, which was also noted in the close.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Incomplete enforcement

8.3) Buidhe was correctly warned for the lack of communication; discussion is still expected, even in a contentious topic, when considering whether a source is suitable for inclusion. The consensus of administrators failed to consider Volunteer Marek's culpability with improper sourcing, especially in light of several previous topic bans nor did they consider any potential battleground behavior by him, including during the enforcement request. In retrospect the focus exclusively on Buidhe's conduct, for which they had never been previously sanctioned, and concerns about the restriction itself had a negative impact on the topic area. The Committee is sensitive to the fact that, given the length of time the thread was open and the number of comments made by editors and uninvolved administrators, the situation was difficult to manage and adequately summarize. This can explain why the close focused on the two parts that were easy to summarize and find consensus about rather than coming to consensus on the merits of the filing itself.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

"Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust" and outing

9) The authors of "Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust" listed the names and occupations of several Wikipedia editors who had disclosed their real-life identities at some point on Wikipedia. As stated in our policy regarding outing and harassment, The fact that an editor has posted personal information or edits under their own name, making them easily identifiable through online searches, is not an excuse to post the results of "opposition research". While multiple editors have indicated that Grabowski and Klein revealed more information than was stated on Wikipedia and one of the disclosures happened over ten years ago, the Committee does not feel that this constitutes a violation of the policy on off-wiki harassment. Posting information in a peer reviewed academic journal is not inappropriate communication, following, or any form of hounding. Nor is authoring such a paper behaviour intended primarily to intimidate, outrage or upset a person or any behaviour where this would reasonably be considered the most likely main outcome or beyond what a reasonable person would be expected to tolerate in a global, intercultural environment.

Passed 11 to 0 with 1 abstention at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

François Robere editing

10) François Robere (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has repeatedly been sanctioned for edit warring, personal attacks, violating an interaction ban with GizzyCatBella, and hounding other editors. (Sanctions history) François Robere has at times shown a failure to get the point. (e.g. Jan Żaryn evidence summary)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

François Robere and Volunteer Marek

11) François Robere and Volunteer Marek have repeatedly come into conflict with each other. Each has displayed uncivil behavior towards the other editor and engaged in battleground behavior about the other's edits and comments. (e.g. François Robere and Volunteer Marek edit summary)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

GizzyCatBella editing

12) The Arbitration Committee determined that the accounts GizzyCatBella (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) and Jacurek (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) were operated by the same person based on a prior report to the checkusers and subsequent investigation by the Arbitration Committee during this case. GizzyCatBella was blocked by the committee during this case. (private evidence)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Levivich and Volunteer Marek

13) Levivich (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) and Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) have a history of disagreement with each other. In March 2023, ScottishFinnishRadish placed them under a 2-way interaction ban because The entire dynamic between you two is doing nothing but raising the temperature in the topic area. (Levivich and Volunteer Marek edit summary)

Passed 11 to 0 with 1 abstention at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

My very best wishes' conduct during the case

14) During the case, My very best wishes (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) (MVBW) participation was extensive, often strongly stated, not always backed by evidence, was sometimes contradicted by policies and guidelines, and often appeared to be motivated by a desire to defend the actions of Piotrus and Volunteer Marek (e.g. March 25, March 26, April 18, April 18, April 23, April 27, May 3). The cumulative impact of this participation was itself disruptive and normally failed to add anything that Piotrus and Volunteer Marek did not themselves defend better.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Piotrus editing

15) Since a February 2021 1 month topic ban for canvassing, Piotrus (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has created over 20 new articles and his contributions to the topic area have followed appropriate editor expectations. Piotrus has frequently helped to find consensus when there have been content disputes. (Summary of evidence involving Piotrus)

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek editing

16.1) Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has repeatedly been restricted for edit warring, violations of topic bans, and incivility in the topic area. (Previous sanctions of Volunteer Marek)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

16.2) Volunteer Marek uses inaccurate or unhelpful edit summaries which make it difficult for other editors to evaluate the changes. (Accuracy of edit summaries)

Passed 11 to 1 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

16.3) Volunteer Marek has a history of using reverts and edit wars to win content disputes. (Holocaust in Poland edits (Volunteer Marek); History of the Jews in Dęblin and Irena during World War II; BLP-related dispute at Jan Zaryn; Editing of Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance; Dispute at History policy of the Law and Justice party)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

16.4) Volunteer Marek has shown a pattern of battleground behavior in talk page discussions and edits. (e.g. BLP-related dispute at Jan Zaryn, History of the Jews in Dęblin and Irena during World War II, History of the Jews in Poland edit summaries)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

16.5) Volunteer Marek has been harassed on and off-wiki by Icewhiz and Icewhiz socks. Volunteer Marek has often correctly identified editors as socks of Icewhiz. Volunteer Marek has also accused Levivich and François Robere of being Icewhiz's "friends" and twice called Icewhiz a co-author of "Wikipedia’s Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust". (Volunteer Marek accusations towards others about Icewhiz edit summary, private evidence)

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 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.

Formal request to the Wikimedia Foundation for a white paper on research best practices

1) The Arbitration Committee formally requests that the Wikimedia Foundation develop and promulgate a white paper on the best practices for researchers and authors when writing about Wikipedians. The Committee requests that the white paper convey to researchers the principles of our movement and give specific recommendation for researchers on how to study and write about Wikipedians and their personal information in a way that respects our principles. Upon completion, we request that the white paper be distributed through the Foundation's research networks including email newsletters, social media accounts, and web publications such as the Diff blog.

This request will be sent by the Arbitration Committee to Maggie Dennis, Vice President of Community Resilience & Sustainability with the understanding that the task may be delegated as appropriate.

Passed 11 to 0 with 1 abstention at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Reliable sourcing restriction

Reliable sourcing restriction (clarification)

2) Remedy 5 of Antisemitism in Poland is superseded by the following restriction:

All articles and edits in the topic area of Polish history during World War II (1933-1945) and the history of Jews in Poland are subject to a "reliable source consensus-required" contentious topic restriction. When a source that is not an article in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, an academically focused book by a reputable publisher, and/or an article published by a reputable institution is removed from an article, no editor may reinstate the source without first obtaining consensus on the talk page of the article in question or consensus about the reliability of the source in a discussion at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard. Administrators may enforce this restriction with page protections, topic bans, or blocks; enforcement decisions should consider not merely the severity of the violation but the general disciplinary record of the editor in violation.

Passed 7 to 2 with 3 abstentions at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

François Robere topic banned

4) François Robere is topic banned from the areas of World War II in Poland and the History of Jews in Poland, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

My very best wishes bans

5.1) My very best wishes is topic banned from the areas of World War II in Poland and the History of Jews in Poland, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 10 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

5.2) Based on their disruptive attempts to defend Piotrus and Volunteer Marek, My very best wishes is subject to a 1-way interaction ban with Piotrus and a 1-way interaction ban with Volunteer Marek, subject to the usual exceptions. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek bans

Volunteer Marek topic banned

6) Volunteer Marek is topic banned from the areas of World War II in Poland and the History of Jews in Poland, broadly construed. This ban may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek 1 revert restriction and consensus required

6.3) Volunteer Marek is limited to 1 revert per page and may not revert a second time with-out a consensus for the revert, except for edits in his userspace or obvious vandalism. This restriction may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 8 to 4 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Interaction ban (François Robere and Volunteer Marek)

7) François Robere and Volunteer Marek are prohibited from interacting with, or commenting on, posts and comments made by each other, subject to the normal exceptions. This restriction may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 12 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Interaction ban (Levivich and Volunteer Marek)

8) The Arbitration Committee assumes and makes indefinite the temporary interaction ban between Levivich and Volunteer Marek. This restriction may be appealed twelve months after the enactment of this remedy, and every twelve months thereafter.

Passed 9 to 2 with 1 abstention at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Piotrus reminded

9) Piotrus is reminded that while off-wiki communication is allowed in most circumstances, he has previously used off-wiki communication disruptively. He is reminded to be cautious about how and when to use off-wiki contact in the future, and to avoid future conflict, he should prioritize on-wiki communication.

Passed 9 to 2 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Impact on the Eastern Europe topic area (I) (alt)

11a) The Arbitration Committee affirms its January 2022 motion[A] allowing editors to file for Arbitration enforcement at ARCA or Arbitration enforcement noticeboards. In recognition of the overlap of editor interest and activity between this topic area and Eastern Europe, the committee extends this provision to that topic area. It does so by adding the following text in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Eastern Europe:

As an alternative to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement, editors may make enforcement requests directly to the Arbitration Committee at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment.

The Arbitration Committee separately rescinds the part of the January 2022 motion[A] allowing transfer of a case from Arbitration Enforcement to ARCA, in recognition of the now-standard provision in Wikipedia:Contentious topics § Referrals from Arbitration Enforcement noticeboard to the full Committee. It does so by striking the following text in its entirety in item number 7:

In addition to the usual processes, a consensus of administrators at AE may refer complex or intractable issues to the Arbitration Committee for resolution at ARCA, at which point the committee may resolve the request by motion or open a case to examine the issue.

Passed 10 to 1 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

[A] Clerk note: "January 2022 motion" refers to the motion archived at WT:A/R archive 17 §1 and logged at WP:A/I/M § Warsaw concentration camp motion.

Impact on the Eastern Europe topic area (II)

12) When considering sanctions against editors in the Eastern Europe topic area, uninvolved administrators should consider past sanctions and the findings of fact and remedies issued in this case.

Passed 11 to 0 at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)


Enforcement of restrictions

1) Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked for up to 1 year. Administrators placing blocks should take into account an editor's overall conduct and Arbitration history and seriously consider increasing the duration of blocks. Any block 3 months or longer should be reported for automatic review either (1) at ARCA or (2) to an arbitrator or clerk who will open a review at ARCA. The committee will consider presented evidence and statements before deciding by motion what, if any, actions are necessary, up to and including a site ban.

Passed 6 to 3 with 1 abstention at 16:30, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications
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 discretionary sanctions 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.
Per the procedure for the standard appeals and modifications provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Enforcement log

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