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

Page contents not supported in other languages.
Extended-protected page
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Main case page (Talk) — Evidence (Talk) & Evidence summary — Analysis & Arbitrator Questions (Talk)  — Proposed decision (Talk)

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)

A few more questions

1. Can we use (self created) graphs and tables in our evidence? There's a TON of info here and sometimes a graph is a much better presentation of evidence than writing a bunch of paragraphs. Grabowski and Klein themselves obviously use graphs and in particular I might wish to dispute them and what better way to do it than with a corrected graph?

2. Can I link outside pages, like substack in evidence or just somewhere on case page? This could offer the opportunity for more extensive discussion of issues but would not be officially "evidence" and would be "optional viewing" from point of view of committee members.

3. Who's Foo and why are people edit warring about them?

Volunteer Marek 06:08, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. Charts are often included in evidence. I can't remember seeing a graph before but I don't see any reason why a graph can't be included.
  2. I don't understand the scare quotes around evidence. If it's not evidence or analysis I don't see why Arbs would want to read it. The structure of this case gives people unlimited words if they're producing useful content, with named parties being able to add 1000 words at a time. This 1000 word limit is useful because that lets it be summarized in somewhat reasonable parts.
  3. Not sure if this is a real question or meant as a joke but if it's real see Wikitionary for an explanation of what Foo is.
Barkeep49 (talk) 14:38, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, that helps. Yes, #3 was a joke. Volunteer Marek 19:19, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another question. Since User:MJL presented evidence and was quite active in the 2019 case (we also exchanged emails) [1] that involved Icewhiz and myself shouldn't they recuse themselves from clerking here? I am not implying or accusing or insinuating anything about them by brining this up. I actually *agreed* with ... most of their proposals in that case [2] Volunteer Marek 19:28, 12 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MJL hasn't been active onwiki since February nor have they been active in anything behind the scenes. All full clerks were added as case clerks given the anticipated workload of this case (normally clerks volunteer). If MJL returns to activity during this case, I am sure they will make a decision about whether or not they need to recuse. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:23, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49 and Volunteer Marek: I don't see my judgement being clouded by anything I said or did four years ago since I never had personal stake in the conflict. I just came back to editing, so I don't plan on handling any of the more sensitive matters regarding this case. –MJLTalk 17:43, 16 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Scope questions

  1. What about editors in the topic area who are not named parties?
  2. Does the answer above change if the edits in questions are old?
  3. what about named parties in for example the current war in Ukraine? There are both good and bad things to be said about the behaviour of several of the parties there, depending on who.

Meanwhile, I am going to point to a noticeboard discussion that has evidence in the favor of a couple of the named parties and possibly against one. If the formatting is a problem please let me know Elinruby (talk) 06:18, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd like to piggy back and ask for a clarification regarding the scope ("World War II and the history of Jews in Poland"). Are we talking about the topic area where those two cases overlap (i.e. Holocaust in Poland and related topics concerning "history of Jews in Poland during World War II"), or about both topic areas separately? Ex. would articles about battle of the Bulge and Statute of Kalisz be within the scope of this case or not? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:55, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For a long time we were going to use a : in the case title to avoid this very question @Piotrus but then with the late change to what we landed on that got stripped out. Anything about Poland in World War II is in scope. Anything about the History of Jews in Poland is in scope. So no to the Battle of the Bulge, yes to the Statue of Kalisz. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:17, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49 Thank you. History of Jews in Poland makes sense as a scope/title, all things considered, but then what is the point of even mentioning World War II in the title at all? What article, even hypothetically, would be outside of the intended scope if this case as renamed to just "history of Jews in Poland"? In other words, isn't "history of Jews in Poland" the entire scope here? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:20, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Piotrus, the historiography of Poland in World War II which feels clearly included with-in the scope of Poland in World War II broadly construed doesn't feel as clearly with-in the scope of Jews in Poland, broadly construed. Essentially this concept started with the scope, and actually started based on a sanction Callanecc placed, and we worked backwards on the name. We spent a lot of time trying to get the scope right and this felt like the right balance of broad without going into all Polish topics ever (or even the broader scope that would include Ukraine). In the end it's entirely possible you're right that we should have just done "History of Jews in Poland" as a case name (WP:HJP is even available as a shortcut). Barkeep49 (talk) 16:17, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49 Would you mind linking me to the sanction in question? Maybe I am tired right now (approaching 2 am here) but I don't recall any Poland in WW2 issues being "contentious" recently outside of the Polish-Jewish history aspect. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 16:24, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It came from this comment which I guess was slightly different than the ultimate sanction imposed. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:28, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49 I see. This may be conflating some issues - we are going beyond the scope of the paper that launched this proceedings, quite significantly, in both directions (both WW2 and the entire history of Jews in Poland). I am unsure at what point zooming out doesn't start interfering with our purpose here - that said, I am still unclear what is said purpose. I looked at the FAQ again and see "This case is not about the paper; the scope (as indicated on the case header) is the 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". So... that would include stuff like my 2005-2006 (formerly) Featured Article on Władysław Sikorski, Invasion of Poland, Katyń massacre, Soviet invasion of Poland (1939), or the still-FA-as-of-today Polish culture during World War II (2008 vintage)? Up to my DYK on Detached Unit of the Polish Army from two months ago? 99.9% of this stuff is not contentious, AFAIK. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:00, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All of those are in scope for considering conduct, yes. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:17, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Noting that many of the concerns we are currently addressing in this topic area were raised back in 2009 when that FA discussion was held... Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Polish culture during World War II/archive3. Like with so many other discussions Piotrus and Nihil novi appear to have bludgeoned that consensus into existence. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:26, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you are not aware that the nominator in such discussions (similar to Good Article Nominations and like) is explicitly expected to reply to and address objections raised? Nominators must... deal with objections during the featured article candidates (FAC) process... Nominators are expected to respond... to... criticism etc. Remind us, how many Featured Article nomination discussions have you participated in? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:56, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Horse Eye's Back you are welcome to submit evidence and/or analysis. This is not the page to do either of these things. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:57, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am currently at my word limit, if the existing evidence is summarized I will be sure to submit more (repeatedly, we still have two weeks after all). Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't something have to be summarized before it can be discussed on the analysis page? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:02, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. But if you'd like an additional 500 words at evidence because we've been slower to summarize your evidence you are approved. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:15, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Elinruby #1 and #2 are both answered in the FAQ. #3 is not in scope as I answered Elinruby elsewhere (after this question). Barkeep49 (talk) 02:22, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Followup scope questions

I pretty much figured that Ukraine would be too broad, Barkeep49. I completely understand that the scope is already very large. On reflection I should have asked a narrower question, though, so I hope you don't mind a followup. I was thinking specifically about those parts of Ukraine that were Polish at the time. Galicia and perhaps some other adjacent areas. My reason for asking is that I have been told, perhaps in error, that the matter of ties between the German Nazis and Stefan Bandera, OAN, etc, and possibly some Cossacks, was within scope of the previous case.
If the answer is still no, I am fine with that, and simply won't spend words talking about such matters regardless of who is involved.
Also if the question is no, one of the parties at least should not be a party if he has correctly represented his editing on Poland per se. But I suppose that this would be a comment for analysis?
I am running late on my self-imposed deadline and will concentrate at this point on adding possible evidence even if I can't quite draw a line from A to B. So it must be Poland and must be World War 2, cool. I'd like a more precise definition of Poland - within its boundaries in 1939 for example? I will use that as a working model unless I hear otherwise and will consult one of the topic experts if unsure.
I would however, when, the committee has time (I realize that:s probably funny right now) appreciate a clarification on whether, if the above is out of scope for this case here, those topics ever were in scope for the sanctions as they existed in say 2021 and 2023. I will not be starting a separate case about this regardless; it's water under the bridge but possibly causal to some things. Thanks. I saw the comment on section and on headers and got that, thank you. Elinruby (talk) 03:05, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Elinruby I recommend you read WP:BROADLY. So, for instance, Stefan Bandera is in scope only so far as it relates to his view towards Poles. I think that explainer will also address your question about what the definition of Poland is. Analysis about the actions of parties, based on the evidence submitted, does belong at analysis, that's correct. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:09, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
K. Thanks that helps quite a bit. Elinruby (talk) 16:29, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Time to add new parties extended by 2 days

In response to a request, the time to provide evidence with the purpose of proposing new parties to the case has been extended by 2 days. The new deadline is 23 March. All subsequent deadlines have also been pushed back by 2 days. Barkeep49 (talk) 14:36, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The G&K paper that started this review states that Wikipedia's coverage of the Holocaust, especially the Holocaust in Poland, was intentionally made non-neutral by distortionists. I have written a short essay, and have included distortionist in the Wikipedia glossary, noting that the term is a personal attack because it violates the principle of Assume Good Faith. Is there anywhere in particular that I should note that the G&K paper violates the principle of Assume Good Faith. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:20, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Where are you sourcing the definition from? Particularly the "Only ever used as a pejorative" part, isn't it normally just a description not a pejorative? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 21:23, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are, of course, entitled to your personal opinion, but I don’t think that you can make a policy pronouncement on behalf of the whole Wikipedia community, without some sort of discussion. Jehochman Talk 21:16, 6 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The word "distortionist" is nothing more than an accusation of a specific type of inappropriate conduct (making Wikipedia be less NPOV). Accusations can certainly be made, with a reasonable amount of evidence, without being a personal attack. Animal lover |666| 18:18, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User:Animal lover 666 - Yes, that is my point. The term 'distortionist' was used in the G&K paper as an accusation of inappropriate conduct. It is a personal attack when it is directed against a specific user; otherwise it is an "impersonal attack". Robert McClenon (talk) 16:35, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let's not act that accusing someone of being a "Holocaust distortionist" is the same as being a "football history distortionist" for example; the former is often a career-ending accusation etc.Marcelus (talk) 18:06, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the other hand, a Holocaust distortionist is not necessarily a Holocaust denier. A person who accepts that the Holocaust occurred, and agrees with its magnitude, would still be a Holocaust distortionist if they deny the aid that the Germans got from locals in other countries, even if the claim is genuinely believed by the person who claims it. Animal lover |666| 17:30, 20 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, to distort means to deliberately present something in a different way than it actually is, to give a false or misleading account of something. It is a fundamentally pejorative term Marcelus (talk) 07:21, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


@Barkeep49: The shortcut needs to be entered as WP:HJP, not HJP. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:45, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done ~ ToBeFree (talk) 22:27, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 22:53, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This groundless implication is tantamount to defamation of character

If I have unwittingly distorted Holocaust history or behaved in a manner unbecoming to a Wikipedian, I would appreciate being given specific information so that I may correct my conduct.

Nihil novi (talk) 20:53, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Primefac Just wondering if this is the right talk page for this type of a discussion, given the hatnote at the top "The evidence talk page is for procedural questions"? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:40, 4 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I read it as "please add specific evidence about me", though I can see this as being more appropriate for the main talk page. Will consider moving it there after I've dealt with some other things that just popped up. Primefac (talk) 12:49, 4 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My contribution to this topic was limited to copyediting for English usage and to translating texts from Polish and Latin into English.

If no evidence of Holocaust distortion on my part is adduced, may I ask that the Arbitration Committee and my fellow Wikipedians clear my good name, which was libeled in the paper "Wikipedia’s Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust" (9 February 2023) by Jan Grabowski and Shira Klein (on Wikipedia aka Chapmansh) that started this investigation?

Thank you.

Nihil novi (talk) 17:09, 4 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We are looking at conduct issues in the topic area, so if you have conducted yourself in a manner befitting a Wikipedian then there will be no sanctions against you. The case is not about the paper, so if you wish to file a grievance with Grabowski and Klein you will have to contact them (or the publisher) directly. Primefac (talk) 06:53, 6 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In that case, if I am found to have "conducted [myself] in a manner befitting a Wikipedian" and if "there will be no sanctions against [me]", will the Wikipedia community, represented by the Committee, issue a statement that it has investigated the allegations against me and found them baseless? Will steps be taken to discourage future unfounded attacks on me and other members of our community?
This is effectively a judicial proceeding, as it can impose sanctions; and in judicial proceedings, it is standard practice to find the accused either guilty or not guilty.
Thank you.
Nihil novi (talk) 18:38, 6 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Historically ArbCom has only commented on people for whom some level of wrong doing is found. However, the idea of doing something more in this case has had some discussion. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:47, 6 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will also note that if no evidence is brought forth (for or against a party) then we cannot really say much at all. Primefac (talk) 07:44, 7 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My evidence+this+this+Nihil novi's evidence/argument moved here seem relevant. And this. And this. Quite a few volunteers feel attacked off-wiki by that piece, and/or find factual errors in it, as noted in the evidence. I certainly feel that by the end of this case the Committee should issue a statement on whether any of the parties investigated have been found guilty of "intentionally distorting Holocaust". This is serious stuff. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:30, 7 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One option the Committee could consider is stating that they have investigated the claims of the paper, and draw a conclusion (or conclusions, plural) about those claims. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:23, 7 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence Phase 1 extended

The first evidence phase has been extended to 23:59 (UTC) on 9 April. At this particular point in time the drafters do not expect other phases will need to be extended to accommodate this change, but if necessary we will make that announcement. This will be the last evidence phase 1 extension, so please prioritise your outstanding evidence if it is longer than the current limits. Primefac (talk) 17:12, 6 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good luck, everyone

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I am not much active here these days due to personal circumstances, but as an ArbCom "frequent flyer" I wanted to leave my $0.02.

My example for Wikipedia skeptics for years was our coverage of Israel / Palestine, where we have highly motivated editors with pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian sympathies, but also a substantial body of neutral commentary available in English to help independent editors fact-check, and a willingness, in most cases, to accept defeat or compromise, usually gracefully. The Israel / Palestine cases have proven a solid model, in my view, and can work where there's near-equality of arms on both sides of a dispute.

The Poland case is the counter-example: the most motivated editors are very much on one side, many of the contentious sources are not in English, there's limited neutral commentary in English on the right-wing revisionist agenda and its historical accuracy, which is the point at issue, and a reasonably adept use of fact-washing by the Polish right. This leads to a ratchet effect and contributes to acute stress on anybody who even tries to keep things neutral, leading in turn to some particularly uncomfortable media commentary. I have also long suspected that there is covert paid editing (at least in the sense of employing people in a communications role who then edit as part of that role) by Polish revisionists.

The old adage about sausage being made springs to mind, and here you must not only make the sausage in full view, but do so under off-Wiki scrutiny from a delightful mix of extreme nationalists, (mostly justifiably) outraged Jewish authors, and chaos agents. I wish you luck, and I hope you find a solution that works. Guy (help! - typo?) 19:56, 8 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If I understand the sequence of events correctly, and assuming your statements are accurate, then it seems that Arbcom felt that Wikipedia's reputation was jeopardized by problems unearthed in a scholarly assessment of a certain set of articles. In reaction, having no viable alternative, Arbcom threw the problem back to the "community" that had caused the problem in the first place, in hopes for a better outcome. Coretheapple (talk) 14:25, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are a number of key differences between the two. The Israeli/Arab dispute is - at least as far as most of the articles are concerned - about recent events which many editors have some real-time familiarity with; World War II and the Holocaust ended 70 years ago, so very few editors are old enough to have been aware of world news at the time. And now we're in a time where news gets around the world quickly. Any editor can find English-language reports of nearly anything in current news if they simply know where to look; this would probably be impossible for 1940s Europe. Both sides in the Israeli-Arab conflict are represented by entities with enough independence to have their own press unimpeeded by external entities; this is not the case with areas which were under Nazi control during World War II.
I suspect there's an other major issue in that too many users from one side "took over" the consensus on the issue before the other side started trying; this did not happen with the Israeli-Arab conflict.
I sure hope ArbCom can actually deal with the issue of determining whether or not the content on this topic follows NPOV, and make appropriate ground rules (including TBans) if not. I suspect Icewhiz was probably sanctioned inappropriately at first, and that was what drove him to his extremely bad behavior. ArbCom should also explicitly address any major accusations here, better say the evidence on some reported wrong-doing is inconclusive than ignore it in the final decision. They can even warn a user if his/her behavior comes close to the line, although anything stronger is only appropriate if they're convinced there's conclusive evidence of actual wrong-doing. Animal lover |666| 16:40, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very good points. One is a current dispute that presumably could arouse a plethora of editors on both sides. This one is historical and more prone to one side or another having a numerical advantage. What if one side decided not to even show up, or put on a token or inadequate case? What then? Would Arbcom take that into consideration? Are they even equipped to do so? Coretheapple (talk) 17:29, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not that no users take the other side; it's that one side took over before the other side did anything, and then it was too late to do anything without excessive CANVASSing. Icewhiz certainly tried, and his battle with this group gradually lead him to the point of being kicked out of the Wikimedia superproject; others have tried and gave up due to the fights with this group. When User:Beeblebrox said, in ArbCom's vote to remove VM's TBAN, that I can't really hold the more recent possible violations against Marek as the community members who saw them felt it was not egregious enough to report them, he was completely missing this point - these users knew that if they report him, other users from this group would make their Wikipedia experience much less enjoyable; the users who saw the violations simply preferred to ignore them for their own good - and that any sanction against VM would be ineffective in preventing the distortion (that is any rewriting of history - someone who agrees that the Holocaust occurred and its magnitude, but claims that it was all the Germans' fault and they did it without local cooperation from non-Germans is still committing Holocaust distortion). Animal lover |666| 04:57, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Animal lover 666 - Just to set the record straight --> Nobody was distorting anything except for Icewhiz and the removal of Icewhiz from the project was not due to his disagreements or battles with a fictional group of editors. Rather, it was a consequence of Icewhiz's unacceptable behaviour of harassing and mistreating editors in real-life. - GizzyCatBella🍁 10:53, 17 April 2023 (UTC) GizzyCatBella (talk · contribs) is a suspected sock puppet of Jacurek (talk · contribs).Reply[reply]
Icewhiz, from what I can tell, was trying to set the articles straight after several users were making them be highly inaccurate to represent the Polish version of events. When he, and only one of these users, were topic banned, and the others continued to distort these articles, his behavior went downhill to the point that he did need to be removed from Wikipedia. Animal lover |666| 12:03, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see your point (in the 04:57 reply). That relates to my fundamental concern, which is that Wikipedia processes apparently have failed, and yet Arbcom is returning to those same processes to fix the same problem. If there was gaming of the system in the past, if Arbcom was ineffective, what is being done to ensure that doesn't happen again? I qualify my statements as I haven't followed these subjects close enough to be sure. For instance, that whole Icewhiz drama you mention was not tracked by me. Coretheapple (talk) 15:38, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is too fatalistic and implies that past mistakes can't be learned from and avoided. One example would be that according to Arbs on the Committee when the last case request happened, there was just not enough arb capacity and attention (give a small committee who had to deal with WP:FRAM). To counter this we have lengthened the time of the case and are employing the summary style, in part, to make it easier for non-drafting arbs to analyze the evidence without necessarily examining a page which is already above 400kb. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:43, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49 ... it is extremely important for the Committee to allocate sufficient time now, exercise patience and refrain from rushing to ensure that their deliberations are thorough and effective in addressing the case. They should also be mindful of the potential consequences that any sanctions (even soft) may have on the real lives of editors. - GizzyCatBella🍁 17:10, 17 April 2023 (UTC) GizzyCatBella (talk · contribs) is a suspected sock puppet of Jacurek (talk · contribs).Reply[reply]
I conceptually agree, which is why deadlines have three times been pushed to allow for more time despite at least one party stating that the case itself being open is stressful and having negative consequences for them. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:13, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Animal lover 666: - I think we should remember the importance of AGF and avoid making accusations and casting aspersions. --evrik (talk) 16:49, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Distorting" refers to the result, not the intent. It can happen in good faith. Animal lover |666| 17:16, 18 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When it happens in good faith, that is subconscious bias, not distortion. Distortion is conscious and deliberate.
To accuse someone of distortion is a much more inflammatory charge than accusing them of subconscious bias. Andreas JN466 12:19, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"To accuse someone of distortion". Yes, I think this is at the heart of the case. The central thesis of the article by G&K was that participants intentionally place misinformation to WP pages. I hope that Arbs will make a FOF about it, i.e. they will either find such misinformation or they will not. If they do find it, I hope they will provide some examples in the form of "page X includes such and such misinformation [text or link] placed by contributor A". This should not be just an old discussion about not including source S to the page because it was biased (not a valid reason for exclusion), but actual misinformation/an outright lie placed in WP main space, i.e. on the page. Yes, I can see certain WP content that can be viewed as a biased presentation by biased experts, such as G&K, and poor arguments on old talk pages, but nothing that would be an outright intentional misinformation in main space placed by the currently active participants of this case, at least in this subject area. My very best wishes (talk) 12:31, 30 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jayen466: First of all, it's not an "either/or" - there are likely varying levels of intentionality in it. Second, not all bias is subconscious, and once pointed out it should be an editor's responsibility to review themselves and make the required adjustments. Third, even when a witness to an event presents a false account of it in good faith, they're still presenting a distorted version of the truth. François Robere (talk) 17:05, 30 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, someone acting in a good faith is not intentional misinformation. The bias and misinformation are very different things. Everyone has a bias, but few to none people do intentional misinformation in educational projects. Yes, fact-checking is a difficult business, but it makes a lot of sense. My very best wishes (talk) 17:57, 30 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have WP:NPOV, WP:DUE and WP:RS and then we have WP:V. When it comes to the first three it's often a judgement call - you might think something deserves two paragraphs, I think it deserves two sentences (or vice versa). Judgement call. You think source is reliable, I think it's borderline (or vice versa). Sometimes clear but often judgement call. Etc. So for these policies IF they're being violated it's hard to tell "unconscious bias" from "intentional distortion". One exception is when you have a long run pattern - for example an editor who only adds negative info or removes positive info about Country X, say, Poland, for like three years straight. Yeah, in that case it's probably intentional distortion.
But WP:V is different. That's pretty much a either IS or ISN'T situation. A source either says X or it doesn't say it. There *might* be some judgement involved but there are also clear cut cases. In that case if an editor insists on violating WP:V *after* it's been pointed out to them that it's been violated, it's probably intentional distortion. For example:
Editor X writes that "partisan editors are a cancer" and then another editor claims that editor X said "Jewish editors are a cancer". That's blatantly false, fails WP:V and straight up intentional. 100% sanction worthy.
Editor X claims that a source says "Y is Orwellian", another editor points out that the source actually says "but NOT in an Orwellian sense". Editor X keeps insisting on adding "Y is Orwellian" to article. At that point it becomes intentional distortion.
Editor X doctors a direct quote from a BLP subject to change criticism of "Polish leftists" to "American Jews" to make a BLP subject appear anti-semitic. This is pointed out. Editor X and maybe one or two others continue on insisting on the fake-quote because it doesn't matter, the BLP subject deserves it or something. At that point this is intentional distortion.
Editor X adds that a BLP's subjects statements have been called "anti-semitic and historically false". Another editor points out that none of the sources say anything like that. Editor X insists on adding it to BLP's article because... subject deserves it or something. That's intentional distortion.
Editor X claims that a subject said that "Poles did not collaborate with Germans". Another editor points out that the subject actually said opposite, that "some Poles did collaborate". Editor X continues to insist otherwise. That appears to be intentional distortion.
I presented the evidence I did for a reason. Because these were cases of more than just BIAS or POV or judgement calls. It was pretty blatant insistence that we add material to articles which clearly failed WP:V.
Volunteer Marek 20:56, 30 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Start of Evidence Phase 2 delayed

The start of Evidence Phase 2 will be delayed until 17 April to match the closing of Evidence Phase 1. Primefac (talk) 05:29, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why no Workshop?

As I see, the ArbCom decided to not have a Workshop for this case. I wonder whether explanation is needed as I've seen workshops in other cases. George Ho (talk) 18:38, 15 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suspect that, given the nature of some of the accusations in this case, ArbCom concluded that having workshop would be more disruptive than helpful. Animal lover |666| 15:01, 16 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Back in January 2021, the committee had an internal discussion about workshops. They were such an ingrained part of the case process that I had assumed they were mandated in some way, but it turns out, they were basically invented out of thin air during the early days of the committee, before the private arbwiki was established. The original purpose was for the arbs drafting the case to workshop the proposed decision. That function moved over to the arbwiki, and the workshop became a more or less a free-for-all where some users were making well-thought-out and reasoned proposals, while others were just engaging in mudslinging while they waited for the real proposed decision to come out. So, given that they have always been totally optional, it is now part of the process of opening a case to decide whether it will have a workshop or not. In some kinds of cases, the more quiet ones, they can be helpful. In a case like this one, probably more harm than good. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:56, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ArbCom policy refers to them as part of the standard structure of a case; it also permits ArbCom to change this structure as needed for a specific case. Animal lover |666| 17:41, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence Phase 2 open

The second evidence phase has opened. During the second evidence phase, only evidence that rebuts other evidence (see Rebuttals below) or which answers a question posed by an arbitrator will be allowed. Any evidence which does not meet this standard may be removed, collapsed, closed, or otherwise addressed by an Arbitrator or clerk without warning. Please read the instructions at the start of the evidence page for more information and details about how this phase works. Barkeep49 (talk) 01:19, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Elephant in the room

Since no one else has had the courage to ask - what is going to be done with GizzyCatBella's evidence now that they have been blocked as a sockpuppet of User:Jacurek? (Yes, I find it incredibly ironic that much of their activity on WP lately had been fighting sockpuppets of Icewhiz but it turns out that they were a sockpuppet themselves..) I'm ... concerned that nothing has been done about this - at least some sort of statement about it's under consideration. We (rightly) don't give much credence to Icewhiz's opinions - in fact, much of the evidence by others seems to be implying that all the troubles are caused by Icewhiz socks - so I'd think that other sockpuppeting would also be considered a problem, right? Ealdgyth (talk) 12:56, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You've got to be kidding me... I hadn't even noticed that happened. You are right, incredibly ironic. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:01, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49: will clerks be striking the sock comments? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:57, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me start by addressing what I see as an implicit question in Ealdgyth's post: why hasn't there been a statement of some kind? As I noted on my user talk when asked about this, ArbCom does not normally give any statement behind ArbCom blocks and so the tag was itself more of an explanation than normal. In this post I'm going to write further yet, but I think (and htis would be a debate for another place/time) that the practice of not announcing/pre-emptively explaining ArbCom blocks is the right one for the project.
As to the actual questions asked here, there hasn't been discussion about striking GCB's participation in this case (though under policy, because Jacurek is 3X banned by the commmunity there is a policy basis for doing so). I will bring this thread to the other drafter's attentions (though I presume they'd have seen it anyway) for consideration.
One natural question not asked here that I would like to address: why now? At the simplest level, the answer is because now is when a majority of arbs voted to do it. However, there were discussions about timing and I suggested now was a good time to do it for a number of reasons, one of which I will share here. The malignant influence of socks in this topic area is present directly and indirectly in the evidence. One tricky aspect has been strong feelings about editors who agree with Icewhiz (or his socks). There are legitimate concerns about intentionally or unintentionally advancing the agenda of a rightfully banned harasser (and harassment fails to do justice to the harm caused). There are also legitimate concerns about those who feel that they are being penalized with guilt by association or by being unfairly accusing of themselves being a sock. By making the block now, it is my hope that we don't see a spread of this with a new sock.
It is my expectation that those who feel that there was inappropriate conduct by parties based on collaboration with a sock provide evidence of that misconduct (some of which has already been entered into evidence for consideration). And if that evidence doesn't materialize or there isn't sufficient evidence to find that there has been actual misconduct with a sock, it is my expectation that there not be unfounded criticisms of those parties at this case or in the future based on the actions of a sock. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:27, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I hope you're right, but the conduct of people (including GCB/Jacurek, I'll admit) in this case has been a lot of guilt-by-association accusations that are not the type of thing that would make me feel like getting back into the topic area is worth my time. Frankly, this case has gone much as I expected and I'm reminding myself that there's a reason I'm a pessimist mostly. I would hope that there isn't a spate of "so-and-so agreed with GCB so they are a problem" accusations coming forth... that's not helpful to a collaborative enviroment. I will go on the record here as NOT being of the opinion that VM or Piotrus should have known that GCB was socking - folks don't always see these things (and since I'm notoriously bad at finding socks, I can hardly expect others to be better than myself!) and they shouldn't be blamed for GCB/Jacurek's bad behavior nor tarred with guilt by association. I asked my question because just as I do not give much credence to evidence by Icewhiz (I've had several unsolicited emails that I deleted without reading) I don't think we should give much credence to GCB's evidence when it's not corroborated by other evidence from non-sockpuppets. That's all. (I should also apologize if this is more rambling/disjointed than usual - we've had almost 4 inches of precipitation in the last week plus the spring snowmelt and my sump pump ... gave up the ghost last night so I had to get up every couple of hours and run the backup pump throughout the night and I'm severely lacking sleep... ah, the joys of living in the northwoods...) Ealdgyth (talk) 16:42, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just a note that we are discussing this issue, but I will say that my initial thought is to leave the summarised evidence; one of the primary reasons to have a summary-style evidence page is to avoid the necessity of asking who provided which evidence. This may change but I thought it was worth noting while we deliberate. Primefac (talk) 18:25, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm going to go on record as saying I don't think that's a good idea - that just rewards sockpuppetry. I mean, if we're going to allow a banned user to submit evidence ... the whole argument from many submissions that the G&K paper just repeats Icewhiz's accusations and thus the paper should be discounted is ... not really based on any strong footing because evidence from another banned user is allowed to stand. (I'm just pointing out the argument ... I haven't based any of my evidence on anything from G&K, I dug into the articles myself to find what I submitted... and I do not think we should be giving credence to Icewhiz OR other banned users) Ealdgyth (talk) 18:51, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would allowing a banned user to post evidence not outright defeat the purpose of banning said user? ― "Ghost of Dan Gurney" (talk)  00:44, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that leaving summarized evidence but striking their actual comments (particularly on analysis and talk) would be a good compromise. While I sympathize with Ealdgyth and GhostOfDanGurney's fruit of the poisonous tree argument I don't think we should be throwing out evidence after the period to submit evidence has been closed (I find it likely that if GCB had not submitted the evidence someone else would have). Horse Eye's Back (talk) 00:56, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the other hand, I feel that if it were one of Jacurek/GCB's opponents that had been banned as a sock instead of them, they'd be the first one here to demand their evidence be struck. ― "Ghost of Dan Gurney" (talk)  15:06, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Where Ealdgyth said "I would hope that there isn't a spate of "so-and-so agreed with GCB so they are a problem" accusations coming forth", it sure didn't take long: [3]. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:24, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you're probably right, TBH I would not be surprised if we discover an Icewhiz sock as we proceed and I think this would set a solid precedent for that eventuality. Full disclosure I had pegged GCB as a likely sock but I was actually operating under the theory that they were an Icewhiz poison pill/chaos agent which was a case I couldn't put together to because obviously in hindsight it was completely wrong. What I'm surprised by is that there is a sockmaster involved who wasn't on my (our? they don't appear to be mentioned previously) radar not that there was sockmaster involvement. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:50, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How long has arbcom known that GCB was a sock? (Disclosure: I initially emailed BK and he said to feel free to ask onwiki for an answer.) Levivich (talk) 18:13, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Checkusers were emailed the allegations with evidence in Dec 2021 and the discussion indicated that group found the evidence inconclusive. When the case was opened, ArbCom was reminded (or for Arbs who weren't CUs at the time told) about that allegation. Some further investigation was completed but no conclusion was reached. After the end of the first evidence phase, further investigation was done and eventually enough arbs were convinced that the block got majority support and was implemented. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:18, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We (rightly) don't give much credence to Icewhiz's opinions I mean, good portions of evidence from FR are repetitions of Icewhiz's previous opinions. As is good chunk of the G&K paper overall. Also Gitz's, though at least rephrased. Volunteer Marek 16:22, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isn't it extraordinary that I'm rephrasing Icewhiz's evidence without even having read their evidence? Icewhiz must have superhuman psychic powers if they're able to manipulate me so subtly. Gitz (talk) (contribs) 01:26, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed! I submit that it is time that we conducted a thorough investigation into who really composed Grabowski & Klein's essay, and whether Robere, Benjakob and Groceryheist have opinions of their own. If ran properly, I have no doubt we will discover that HaeB, of the Signpost, is none other than Chris Marlowe. François Robere (talk) 10:48, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What? Volunteer Marek 18:19, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly! François Robere (talk) 20:12, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yup. Pretty much the same text. Thanks for reminding everyone. Now, what does Chris Marlowe or any of the others - other than you - have to do with anything? Volunteer Marek 20:14, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Finally we begin to get to the meat of the matter. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Whoever sent the initial evidence, thank you. Jehochman Talk 00:43, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Also, strike anything posted by a banned user. If that leaves a gap in the evidence give users the opportunity to post replacement evidence independently of the banned user. Jehochman Talk 01:06, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The problem with that is that if a different user (possibly not knowing about the sockpuppetry) was going to post it, but didn't because GCB already had, they have the right to have this evidence posted. This means we must ensure that this user - who may be on a one-month WikiBreak - has the right that this evidence be in. I would say the same for any ArbCom case, for any side: once the evidence is in, it should either be reverted quickly and immediately or accepted regardless of sockpuppetry. Animal lover |666| 05:42, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    GCB's evidence was almost entirely about FR and who was or was not a sock. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have anything I didn't say because GCB had already submitted it. I would have spent less time talking about GCB though if I had known sooner, but oh well. Elinruby (talk) 22:49, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Thinking initially about the existence of socks on two "sides", but then thinking more globally about the case, it occurs to me to give ArbCom a pointer to WP:USTHEM. That's where you can find a description of the kind of conduct that, potentially, is more important to this case. There's an awful lot of noise on case pages about Editor X agreed with Editor Y, which demonstrates that Editor X is a problem. I suggest to ArbCom that agreeing on a content dispute is not, in itself, particularly illuminating of anything. On the other hand, the manner of agreeing or disagreeing is very much what ArbCom should be looking at – the presence, if any, of conduct in which agreeing or disagreeing is treated as being a WP:BATTLEGROUND. I hope that's a useful distinction. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:38, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • FWIW: [4] Don't know, don't care. If the content is valid and the user isn't disruptive, then it's not my concern who or what they are. - Francois Robere January 24 2020 laying out their position on material added by socks, or at least Icewhiz socks. Volunteer Marek 20:51, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Indeed, in a content discussion with an editor who wasn't disruptive. François Robere (talk) 21:07, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • You still believe that Icewhiz socking wasn’t disruptive??? Ymmv I guess. Volunteer Marek 22:24, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • At the time you were edit-warring on mainspace with three accounts that had no disciplinary history, and were introducing what looked like sourced content (albeit of varying quality). Instead of insta-reverting based on intuition, you should've taken your case to SPI/AE. That's all there is to it. François Robere (talk) 00:01, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • Mmmm, no. Completely false. There were two accounts which were both obvious socks [5] and [6]. They "had no disciplinary history" for the very simple reason ... they had NO history AT ALL or barely any. It was "ShooBeeDoo"'s first edit! And there were other uninvolved editors who also reverted them (1) {2} (3), because it was pretty obvious what was going on. You were the only non-sock in that dispute restoring the sock's versions. So trying to describe that situation as "you were edit warring (no, there were 4 people reverting socks, I was one of the 4) with three (no, two) accounts that had no disciplinary history (because they had no history at all being brand new sock puppets)" is pretty disingenuous. Volunteer Marek 01:11, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • And here is what really bothers me about the whole "take it to SPI" argument - it completely ignores the sheer volume of socking here. There are like more than 50 Icewhiz (or closely related) socks registered, there are actually more. All within fairly short period of time (end of 2019 to mid 2021). I mean, in one RSN discussion already mentioned (in Horse's evidence) there were SEVEN socks all participating (voting same way as you) simultaneously. And filing SPIs takes time. Lots of time. Last time I did it it took me 6 hours (I timed it) to compose one. There is absolutely no way that anyone could file SPIs on this many socks. Were I to file SPIs on all these socks I would do nothing but write SPIs with no time... not just for Wikipedia but for regular activities as well. And that means that when someone says "take it to SPI" it's one of two things: either a) they're clueless about the scope of the socking because they're unfamiliar with the topic area or b) they're deflecting for the socks because, being familiar with the topic area, they know very well that they're asking the impossible and it's a WP:GAME thing. I believe you're not in category a) here.
And in fact that's the whole point of the kind of high-volume socking that we were dealing with here - to overwhelm the system and make it impossible to stop the tsunami of socks. And what happens if SPI is filed and successful? Well, sock master just creates more socks. That's it. Filer wasted a ton of time, sock master just moves on with almost no cost. This is why the 500/30 restriction was so needed. And it's not like this is specific to this topic area. Same strategy was/is employed by multiple sock masters in the I-P area. Volunteer Marek 01:47, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not true. At the time that I opened the thread[7] it was only you and NorthBySouthBaranof;[8] Piotrus arrived later, made another revert,[9] and only then did I join the kerfuffle instead of sitting on the sidelines asking everyone to discuss.[10] The other reverters all arrived later, and none of them - except for GCB/Jacurek and yourself - accused either account of "sockpuppetry" until after Reaper Eternal, who's a CU, made that determination. And so my question to you is: by what authority did you make it? Where is the rule that allows one to substitute their intuition for the community process, because the community process "takes time"? François Robere (talk) 21:10, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree with Ealdgyth's comment above: we should avoid "guilt by association". Like Ealdgyth, I too am not good at finding socks and I don't expect others to be better than me. However, since the title of this thread is "Elephant in the room", I would like @Volunteer Marek, Piotrus, and My very best wishes: to tell us if they knew that GizzyCatBella was an ex-EEML and a SP of Jacurek. Maybe I missed it, but I don't know if and where they have already publicly stated that they never realized GCB was an SP. If they haven't already done so, I wish they would do so now or explain why they didn't feel this circumstance prevented them from collaborating with GCB. Gitz (talk) (contribs) 19:43, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I still believe that GCB and Jacurek are probably two different people. That was very long time ago, but I think Jacurek mostly did edits of the kind described in this AE request. GCB had a different editing style. Also, GCB aggressively reverted my edits, even very minor ones, e.g. [11],[12]. Jacurek never did it. Sure, both Jacurek and GCB had a high propensity to revert (just as many other contributors), but it matters what and whom they wanted to revert. I would say that GCB had a modest anti-Ukrainian bias related to Polish-Ukrainian conflicts, similar to that for Molobo, not Jacurek. To be objective, I remember very little about Jacurek. With regard to his previously detected secondary accounts, all of them were very different from GCB, yet another indication they are different persons. I can see certain similarities between editing by GCB and Jacurek, but not nearly enough to convince me they are the same person. My very best wishes (talk) 20:32, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Further evidence has come up since the block that suggests ArbCom did not get this wrong. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:49, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK then. This is good to know. My very best wishes (talk) 21:59, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would like Volunteer Marek (...) to tell us if they knew that GizzyCatBella was (...) a SP of Jacurek Nope. I first encountered GCB in 2018 which was like 2 or 3 years into their editing history so at that point they were an “established” account. I hadn’t thought of a “Jacurek” account probably since 2011, 12 years ago. Or, if you’d like, there were 7 years between Jacurek’s ban and my first interaction with the sock. Now contrast this with... hold up, I’ll write more in detail later (because I think it’s actually quite illustrative) after i cook dinner, walk dog, preparaty some work for tomorrow and play some dnd... Volunteer Marek 22:36, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the record, I can just second what VM said above, plus link to my essay on anonymity and why I am not fond of it. (Hey, VM, you play dnd? I never knew... cool). Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 00:43, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I used to think that. Threats to a family member (not related to this case) changed my mind. I've been thinking though -- a whole lot of this sort of drama could be avoided simply by setting up two-factor authentication. And maybe some transparency about security, so people trust it. It wouldn't work to require 2FA as some will simply not accept it, but editors who work on corruption or human rights may want to reduce the drama in their lives. It could be set up to merely authenticate the account without the need to provide identifiers like a phone number. RSA tokens may be virtual now, for example. Realistically though, anyone who is upsetting Israel or Putin or the Iranians or the NSA should really not rely on anything but extreme care in what they say. Elinruby (talk) 01:23, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Elinruby I think I might have mis-summarized my mini-essay. I concur that anonymity is necessary for this project to function. My point is that we don't do enough to protect - or empower - those who chose not to be anonymous, and who put their real life identity on the line, contributing to Wikipedia's reputation ("yes, we have real experts contributing here too") yet risking very serious harassment. Which, when it it happens off wiki, we, as a community, seem to do very, very little to mitigate. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:32, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do agree that off-wiki harassment seems to meet with a sort of libertarian assumption that through sheer force of character and indomptibility the average user will be able to overcome all such, bearing the truth before them as their sword. Or whatever. The authentication question is just something I've wondered about. It's possible that the committed identities that some users have may amount to the same thing; I haven't looked into that. But doesn't it seem like better authentication could get us away from sniff tests and their attendant drama? If individual users don't want to go this route, fine. Editing is one thing and governance is another; we already have distinct permission sets in governance. So maybe require 2fA for AfDs and RfAs and policy discussions, but leave the editing area as the status quo? Just floating the possibility, shrug. Details TBD? Elinruby (talk) 02:01, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Im with Ealdgyth, WP:BMB and WP:BRV mean something or they dont. It is used to strike Icewhiz socks contributions whenever discovered. Dont see why it should be different here. nableezy - 22:23, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe that many contributions by Icewhiz were actually good/OK and probably still remain on pages. My very best wishes (talk) 22:28, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
His sock's edits were routinely stricken. The original account was not a sock of a banned editor, and edits he made prior to being banned were not in violation of any ban and so would not be stricken. nableezy - 22:30, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, his socks were a lot more disruptive than his original account. I would say extremely disruptive. Their comments are rightly stricken. I believe this needs to be decided on a case to case basis - with regard to main space edits. As about comments on talk pages, AfD, etc. - yes, strike them if anyone cares. My very best wishes (talk) 22:36, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, but this is ArbCom case vs article talk or ANI. The ArbCom case has a very precise and specific procedure laid out. And as Horse and Animallover pointed out if GCB hadn’t presented some evidence then it’s very likely that someone else would have presented the same evidence. And Phase 1 evidence is over. So... reboot? Leave it alone? Strike? I mean, that’s why they have mistrials in real world but ArbCom isn’t a court etc etc etc and I kind of get the sense that folks are realizing that nobody really wants to have this case (a few very specific issues - like COI aside) anyway since the area has been quiet anyway. Volunteer Marek 22:41, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could say that about any RFC or RSN discussion, which have been overturned for IW socking and have been re-adjudicated without those socks prescence, eg Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_337#Jewish Chronicle. If somebody wants to take responsibility for GCB's evidence as a user in good standing they should do that now, but that means taking complete responsibility for it. Otherwise, tough (imo obvs, Nableezy for ACE2024 tho). nableezy - 23:43, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Huh, different topic area, different rules I guess, because I'm not aware of any HiP discussion that was overturned due to IW socking. Failed to be closed, yes, but not overturned. Volunteer Marek 23:50, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It used to irk me when she did that, but I think the hypocrisy counts for something. A sock calling people socks. I will accept whatever the arbs do, because I don't know enough about the FR aspect of the case to evaluate her evidence about it. My general impression of 2019, however, is that much of the ensuing drama could have been avoided if she had been less dismissive. But this too is not my call. Elinruby (talk) 22:58, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Imagine that you were sanctioned because of evidence and arguments made by a banned user. Would you feel that you had been treated fairly? It’s important not to engage in a solipsism. If something would bother you, please don’t let it happen to somebody else. Jehochman Talk 23:37, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So this gets at something I have been thinking about and which recently crystallized for me so it's convenient to have this to reply to. The evidence GCB introduced was translated to facts. Those aren't the facts of a banned user, they're facts summarised by three uninvolved arbitrators. This is distinct from GCB's other contributions (what Jeh calls "arguments") in the case. I will be discussing about whether we need to handle these two pieces differently. Barkeep49 (talk) 23:44, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jehochman, um, uh,... sigh. Nevermind. Volunteer Marek 23:52, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, thats already happened a bunch, with admins declining to lift their sanctions that came from IW complaints. nableezy - 23:53, 23 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jehochman: To me the fundamental question is whether the evidence is true. I haven't read it carefully because I didn't know either party at the time, and still don't really know FR, so... I'm not shrugging because I don't care, I'm shrugging because I don't know. I have had my own issues with GCB but with the exception of her attempted obstruction at Collaboration with the Axis powers almost all of it was about her unshakeable belief in the Nazi-ness of Ukrainians, and this has been ruled out of scope. It is true however that she did at several points attempt to reason with some of the more hallucinatory statements being made about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think we have ever interacted. if we had, you would know that apathy is not among my faults. Otoh I think that the contributions of someone blocked for deceitful behaviour (such as socking) do warrant scrutiny, if not universal striking, so I actually kind of support your position on this, sir, to the extent I understand it. Elinruby (talk) 00:28, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for all the above replies. Thinking this over… So long as arbitrators provided independent judgement in reviewing GCB evidence before summarizing, the posts by arbitrators (summaries) should remain. I think they should check them again to be sure there aren’t subtle misrepresentations. Any talk page comments, analysis, or lobbying by GCB should be deleted, stricken, or collapsed to enforce the ban. Jehochman Talk 03:29, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Obviously, in the analysis and discussion, any "last word" he had on a topic needs to be removed or stricken from the record. However, if be said something and it initiated a long discussion, would you remove the original statement in a normal discussion? And in every case, ArbCom must examine the evidence and not take anyone's word for anything. Unlike a court case, ArbCom is dealing with logged information here. (And no one is banned because of a banned user's statement, only because of logged facts which he had pointed out and we're verified.) Animal lover |666| 04:41, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments struck

After discussion, the drafters agreed that GCB's comments in the case should be struck and with help from one of our clerks (ToBeFree) GCB's comments at this case should now have been struck and labeled as that of someone socking. Barkeep49 (talk) 14:37, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Points I hope are part of the final decision here

Collapsing what are essentially Workshop-like proposals. Barkeep49 (talk) 14:41, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I sure hope the following points are all handled with this case:

  1. All significant claims against currently active users should be addressed. A negative or inconclusive finding should be explicitly stated, not left out.
  2. The above includes claims of insertion of non-NPOV material into articles, the existence of a group of users who effectively enforce such content (even if in good faith) and BLP violations about authors of sources in discussions. Yes, this borders on content issues, but is a major conduct issue in this case.
  3. Warnings can be given to users who got close to crossing the line, even if they did not quite violate any policy or where the evidence is not quite conclusive; anything stronger can only be the consequence of conclusive evidence of policy violation.
  4. A finding of fact along the lines of "During the case, the Committee got evidence that User:GizzyCatBella, who had collaborated with users in the area of conflict, is a sockpuppet of User:Jacurek - an account which got banned from the Eastern Europe topic and got indef-blocked for repeated violation of that ban using sockpuppets. There is no reason to think other parties to this case knew, or even suspected, this fact."
  5. Review of all bans and restrictions imposed by members of the community, including ArbCom, imposed on Icewhiz, given his behavior up to the point of said restrictions. (Of course, his behavior eventually reached the point of no return, so this won't be his way back in.) If any mistakes were made in this area, stating them is necessary on order to avoid making these same mistakes in the future.

Animal lover |666| 13:32, 27 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another publication

I agree, it's time to be done. Izno (talk) 21:50, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I want to begin by saying that I sincerely think that ArbCom ought to be aware of this, but I will also understand and have no objection if you decide to revert or hat this as being after the end of evidence.

Chapmansh has published the abstract of an address she is going to give, referring in it to this ArbCom case (and thus, having written it while aware that the case had started). In my opinion, it presents a very strong opinion of other editors who are parties in this case, to put it mildly (without referring to them by name). Link. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:50, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Even if we set aside the deadline piece (which is no small thing) I view this the same way I viewed El C's evidence. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:59, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No problem, and that's an interesting comparison. At the risk of being argumentative, I see an intriguing conundrum in saying, on the one hand, that speaking ill of other editors is the same, whether in an academic setting or on a Wikipedia criticism site, because ArbCom won't get in the middle of editors arguing with each other offsite – while on the other hand making the case that some other things, that would be considered outing when posted on a Wikipedia criticism site, are OK in an academic paper. Of course, your mileage may differ. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:45, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So now you've confused me. You're right that I don't think WPO and the description of a conference keynote are the same but I read your comment it presents a very strong opinion of other editors who are parties in this case, to put it mildly (without referring to them by name) in light of your past comments to suggest that you don't hold that distinction and rather than challenge that (and re-tread ground we've both thoroughly covered) I decided to make a brief comparison to other strong opinions expressed. This was almost my reply so maybe I'll try it now: it feels like you're hinting at something with this comment and I don't understand what hint I'm supposed to be considering. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:53, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I initially posted this because I feel that ArbCom should be aware of it, regardless of whether ArbCom feels any need to react to it. After all, it seems to be making a demand on ArbCom as to what the decision will be. Put another way, I would feel bad about ArbCom being in the dark about it. My comment about the very strong opinion reflects the reaction that I had when reading it: that it goes beyond the G&K paper in tone, to what we would call battleground if it were posted onsite. Other people might react to it differently than I did, but that was my reaction to it. (Maybe, on further reflection, it's just what happens when one condenses the tone of the G&K paper into a single paragraph.) What I suggest ArbCom might consider (and that's ArbCom as a whole, not you individually) is whether that tone is something ArbCom should be interested in, and yes, that grows out of my past comments. But I'm also making clear that that's entirely up to ArbCom, and I have no problem with ArbCom declining to do anything with it (beyond just reading it).
I agree with you that we should not re-tread the same stuff, and I'm fine with stopping here. But you are now confusing me, because you started by saying "I view this the same way I viewed El C's evidence", but then you say "You're right that I don't think WPO and the description of a conference keynote are the same". I would have expected the second of those, that you don't think they are the same. So I was taken a bit by surprise when you equated this to El C's evidence. All I was hinting at was that. It was a comparison that took me by surprise.
But, in the interest of deescalation, I'll attempt to answer my own question. I think that what you meant was that, just as you won't regard editors taking shots at one another at WPO as evidence to be used by ArbCom, you don't regard the abstract as that, either. And that's actually a very good point. I don't have a problem with that. And I'm fine with leaving it at that, and waiting to see what the result of the case is. I just didn't want ArbCom to be unaware of the abstract. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:26, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is a trap. If Arbcom will sanction contributors, then the external parties will celebrate their victory and consider the Arbom decision a proof that they were right all along about the intentional misinformation and antisemitic tropes in WP. If Arbcom will not harshly sanction contributors, they will say this is a proof that WP was corrupted. Regardless, they will publish more and more articles with outrageous claims because WP has reacted to their first article so strongly, instead of just following WP:DENY as it usually does with regard to claims by external parties. My very best wishes (talk) 00:28, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@My very best wishes DENY doesn't say to ignore external parties. It says to ignore trolls. I'm not aware of any policy or guideline that says we ignore external parties and am aware of some (i.e. WP:RS) that says we should base decisions on what they say. Can you point me to any policy, guidline, or widely cited essay (DENY falls in this category) which says we should ignore claims by external parties? Or are you instead saying that the G&K is itself trolling? Barkeep49 (talk) 00:32, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is clearly a situation where a party does something (publishing an article in a journal in this case) to achieve a desired, sometimes a disproportional response from their target that will enforce their cause, which they will use later to their advantage. Obviously, they have published the article and complained to WMF to influence WP, and that is what they are successfully doing right now. Obviously, they have a personal interest here because there are WP articles about them, their books, and in general about the field of their research (they objected to the coverage of this subject area in WP). No, this is not trolling, but a very common and general strategy, especially in politics. One can easily provide some examples. My very best wishes (talk) 00:53, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. So what I'm taking from this is that there is no policy, guideline, or widely cited essay which says we should ignore criticisms like this but that My very best wishes' opinion is that the authors publishing an article in a journal shows that they have a personal interest in the way Wikipedia covers their articles and books and in general their field of research, and are advancing this personal interest by trying to have Wikipedia engage in a disproportional response like what happens in politics. Did I misunderstand any of this? Barkeep49 (talk) 01:00, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, of course not. No one should ever ignore criticisms, including WP. I never said this. What I said above was my overall understanding of the situation, specifically in this case, based on the information I have after looking at the multiple publications by these authors and this case. If they just have published a single typical academic paper in a journal, that would be an entirely different story. But this is not a typical academic paper, and they did (and continue doing) something that reminds me a political campaign, even in the publication linked in this thread. I maybe wrong, sure, this is just my personal assessment. My very best wishes (talk) 01:12, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is likely to be the case. Professor Grabowski has already announced in a radio interview that if "Wikipedia doesn't do the right thing," it will mean that Wikipedia is beyond repair and fundamentally broken, and the only way out will be the creation of an alternative. Classic example of moral blackmail. Marcelus (talk) 07:47, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How is this not a typical academic paper? Papers in the social sciences are frequently critiques with calls for specific real-world action. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 01:17, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is the link by Tryptofish an academic paper? Speaking about their main article, no, I believe this is not a typical academic paper, even in social sciences. I think it had to be rejected by the journal. However, Arbcom decided that discussion of this paper should be effectively off limits for this case, which is not unreasonable. Therefore, nobody provides the critique of this article beyond the rebuttals by VM and Piotrus. My very best wishes (talk) 01:31, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What makes you think Arbcom decided that discussion of this paper should be effectively off limits for this case? Barkeep49 (talk) 01:39, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps I need to rephrase. I mean that the subject of the case is the behavior by the listed parties on-wiki. Therefore, arguing that the paper by G&K belongs to "junk science", for example, would be off topic. My very best wishes (talk) 01:46, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to be very brief, there is a big difference between just studying your "human subjects" and going after your human subjects. G&K do the latter, with help from Arbcom. That's why this is not an academic affair. That's why I think G&K misled their "human subjects" about their goals when asking them to sign an agreement to participate [13], which is potentially a scientific misconduct. My very best wishes (talk) 09:20, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"junk science", [[science|studying]], [[scientific misconduct]]. It makes no claim to be "science". - Rotary Engine talk 11:18, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@User:CaptainEek I respectfully disagree. This is NOT a “typical academic paper”, neither this abstract nor the original G&K paper. Are most academic papers written on the basis of information provided by an individual banned for harassment from multiple platforms (Wikipedia, Twitter, Reddit)? Are most academic papers written outside of authors’ area of expertise (in this case how Wikipedia functions)? You have had several academics (off the top of my head User:Zero0000 among others) on here state outright that this is NOT a typical article, that’s it’s shoddy at best and as someone - i think User:Barkeep49 in fact - described it, it’s essentially a “Wikipedia talk page rant”. But yeah they’re trying to milk it for publicity which is where I think Tryptofish’s and others concerns come from - that the authors might be seeking to influence and manipulate the committee and the outcome of this case and well, the somewhat cynical view is that ... they might be successful .
More generally it’s not true at all that social science papers are “frequently” written with calls to action. Maybe it’s a different social science we’re thinking of, but in fact usually this is not the case at all. The word “science” in “social science” means something, and it means that the purpose of this kind of scholarly research is understanding through the scientific method, not activism. In opinion pieces based on social science research? Sure. But, just like in quality journalism, there’s a fairly clear demarcation between “opinion and calls to action” and actual research.
I think it’s a disservice and somewhat naive to pretend that what we’re dealing with here is “just another scholarly paper”. Volunteer Marek 05:05, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And speaking of social science it always amazes me how convinced social scientists are that their own social science findings such as these here don’t apply to them, only to everyone else. Volunteer Marek 05:12, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Volunteer Marek I think I replied to your earlier post on similar issue; I am not sure if you saw it. TL;DR I don't see any problems with calls to action in academic papers (to what degree they are typical likely varies from field to field, in my field of sociology I'd say it is fairly common). On a sidenote, there are some pretty suprising fields of science, producing works that do not appear scientific at first or even a second glance: ethnofiction, for example.
More relevant, however, I agree that valid points have been raised about the need to estabilish best practices when it comes to outside publications trying to influence Wikipedia. In particular, I believe that such publications, particularly scholarly, should respect relavant ethical guidelines: ex. APA's statement on ethics code Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming... research participants..., Royal Historical Society's Statement on Good Practice: taking particular care when research concerns those still living and when the anonymity of individuals is required or ASA's ethical code: Sociologists take all reasonable steps to implement protections for the rights and welfare of research participants as well as other persons and groups that might be affected due to the research... In their research, sociologists do not behave in ways that increase risk, or are threatening to the health or life of research participants or others. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:37, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think her use of present tense may amount to a reckless disregard of tne truth. For instance, she says "and wildly inflating the scope of Jewish collaboration with the Nazis." Yet that section was completely rewritten by Marcelus before the AC case even opened, and explicitly distinguished Jews trying to survive from other collaborators. Even that rewritten section was removed completely by another in a bold move, and it was not restored. I myself thought it should be its own article, but this is a discussion we should have on the talk page and haven't yet.
My point is that as I write this, not only do we not wildly inflate the scope of Jewish collaboration, afaik we don't discuss it at all. No doubt I am naive to think this, but I generally expect an academic paper to have at least some relationship to reality. In hopes that is helpful to this discussion.Elinruby (talk) 05:57, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
actually, on second glance there is a date on this of March 10. Is that the date she made the presentation, or is this the abstract of a talk she was going to give? This matters because Marcelus' version went live March 15 and the section was removed April 4. On March 10, if that is the day she said these things, the Jewish collaboration was the original version, heavily tagged by me. Just making sure that the facts I put into this conversation are accurate. Elinruby (talk) 07:04, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Based on the wikihistories web page it looks like she is planning to say this June 7 and June 9 Elinruby (talk) 07:34, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just FYI, on May 2 the article Jewish collaboration with Nazi Germany was restored by @LegalSmeagolian with the old controversial content, so I replaced it with the text I've written myself for the Collaboration with the Axis powers article. Marcelus (talk) 07:53, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good. Thank you. I had thought Levivich did something to make that not possible. But maybe he just thought he had. For the record, though, I don't think that text inflates anything. I thought it was a very balanced bit of writing. Elinruby (talk) 08:04, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, your text reads way better than the original LegalSmeagolian (talk) 15:48, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Piotrus If there are concerns with the ethics of an article, redress, if any, should be sought from the editorial board of the publication in which it appears. Noting that the article in question is not a psychological study, nor sociological, and ought not, necessarily, be subject to the standards of those fields. - Rotary Engine talk 11:36, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • An academic paper is different from other writing (such as disparaging fellow editors on WPO) because the authors use their real names and stake their reputations on what they write. Moreover, there is editorial review. This does not mean everything you read in such papers is accurate. You still have to check the facts. The authors have to stand behind their work. Inaccuracies can be challenged, and when errors are found they are corrected, or a paper may be retracted or supplanted by a newer paper. We should not blindly believe a paper like G&K, but we should pay attention to it (as ArbCom have). If you think the paper is unfair, you may publish a response. Free speech. Jehochman Talk 09:47, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oh no, this is not about a paper being fair or unfair. This is about going after your "human subjects" at a borderline of harassment and misleading them while asking to participate in so called "research" [14]. This is potentially a scientific misconduct, in my opinion. That is what we are talking about. Yes, the editorial review and publishing makes the journal responsible for the publication. My very best wishes (talk) 09:57, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not science. Not an experiment. And the persons named are not "human subjects". - Rotary Engine talk 11:23, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree, but certain standards apply nonetheless and this along with the failure to publish the full set of interviews, including those with Icewhiz, Francois Robere, Levivich as well as Piotrus raises very serious concerns. Volunteer Marek 12:54, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then raise those "very serious concerns" with the editors of the publication. - Rotary Engine talk 13:09, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure. But here we can note them and emphasize the relevant fact that this is not a "typical academic paper". Volunteer Marek 18:28, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You haven't established that as a fact, you've only stated your opinion. Please don't make misleading statements like that. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:08, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have not made any "misleading statements" so I'd appreciate it if you laid off the personal accusations, even if you disagree with other editors' assessment of the paper. And yes, I - and others - did establish that this isn't a "typical academic paper". These reasons are already enumerated above and I don't see a point in repeating them to you again. Volunteer Marek 06:03, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nothing personal about it I'd just really appreciate it if the things you wrote were accurate representations of reality, I think it would help us all come to a consensus. I think you're missing something, nobody has been able to establish that this isn't a typical academic paper. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:49, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When you write stuff like " I'd just really appreciate it if the things you wrote were accurate representations of reality" (they are) that IS personal whether you acknowledge it or not, and it is actually NOT the way to help people achieve consensus. Quite the opposite. Show me another academic paper that consists mostly of rehashing of battleground disputes of an indef banned Wikipedia user, banned for some really vile harassment. Volunteer Marek 15:35, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is what I mean by accurate representations of reality, its not possible to show you "another" paper that "mostly of rehashing of battleground disputes of an indef banned Wikipedia user" because this one isn't that even with a reading that is incredibly favorable to your position. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:45, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Paragraphs 30-60 are *exactly* that. The paper literally goes through all of Icewhiz WP:AE disputes from the topic area one by one. It even references them. It then goes through Icewhiz's evidence from 2019 case one by one. It even references some of it. Anyway, obviously there's no further point to this conversation. Again. Volunteer Marek 15:47, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Paragraphs 30-60 are not most of the paper even if we don't dig any deeper into your claim of what is in them. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:49, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which would be a severe breach of confidentiality and (potentially) of informed consent..? François Robere (talk) 15:16, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not our business to decide what is and isn't regulated human subject research. If MVBW wants to complain about G&K's work, there is a grievance procedure. [15] Jehochman Talk 12:45, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If another editor, above, implies that their mention in the article in question makes them a regulated human research subject, then it is entirely cromulent for others to opine that the article, and the mention of the editor, is not even remotely reasonably covered by that definition, nor the processes associated. But, should an editor named in the article wish to complain, they should feel free to render unto Caesar; over there. - Rotary Engine talk 13:09, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • G&K asked several contributors they interviewed to sign a paper saying they agree to participate in a scientific research. According to their aricle, they conducted a scientific research of WP and described editing by an alleged group of several contributors as essentially their case study. Therefore, yes, I think these contributors are subjects of their study. Furthermore, G&K are researchers who work in scientific institutions. All standards apply. I could not care less about them, but arbitrators have included me as a party to this case. Therefore, I am saying this. But I am not an ethics expert. This is merely my understanding of such matters. My very best wishes (talk) 13:14, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to their article, they conducted a scientific research; [16]; ctrl-F "scien" not found (notes & quotes excepted); so that seems "unsupported" ... at best. According to the article, Grabowski works in the "Department of History, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada"; Klein in the "Department of History, Chapman University, Orange, CA, USA". Neither of those departments are scientific institutions. Though surely some "science" occurs at both universities, not all work is "science"; and not all work is subject to "scientific ethics". (Someone has to sweep the floors; or study the humanities; or the economics; or the ethics & whatnot). I am not an ethics expert; Aye. Some of us are. One might claim that the G&K article was unethical (according to some as yet undefined ethical standard; opinions will surely vary); but one cannot logically claim that the G&K article was unethical because it did not meet "scientific ethics" standards; it's not "science"; and it doesn't claim to be. - Rotary Engine talk 13:51, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The field of history, regardless of whether we qualify it as scientific or not, has ethical standards too. See Royal Historical Society's Statement on Good Practice I quote above for an example. I said before and I still believe we should stress such things in Wikipedia:Ethically researching Wikipedia and ask researchers to not cause harm to the volunteers (whether such harm is understood as harassment or even as "waste of time", the latter being a concept in the linked page). Effectlively, researchers are welcome to discuss content but should respect our policies such as NPA and avoid discussing individual editors, as the RHS's Good Practices recommend when they say encourage respecting anonymity of living people. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:48, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The field of history ... has ethical standards too. Agreed. Academics & researchers should be judged according to the ethical standards of their field; as any other profession is judged according to the standards of that profession. They should not be judged according to the standards of other fields. The RHS' Statement seems a very suitable standard for historians engaged in history. Academics & researchers should be judged by the professional bodies of their field; as any other profession is judged by the body relating to that profession.
We should stress such things in Wikipedia:Ethically researching Wikipedia and ask researchers to not cause harm to the volunteers (...). Agreed (excepting the parenthesis).
Researchers are welcome to discuss content but should respect our policies such as NPA and avoid discussing individual editors, as the RHS's Good Practices recommend when they say encourage respecting anonymity of living people Not convinced of this. Discussing individual editors is not in itself inappropriate; there is a plethora of discussion of individual editors above, below, in much of WP:A* & WT:*, and in various places offsite. Additionally, "avoid discussing individual editors" does not follow from "respecting anonymity of living people"; we are more than capable of discussing each other in our anonymised forms. Nor convinced that extra-territorialising NPA is appropriate. While I don't believe people should make personal attacks in any forum; that belief is not based on a Wikipedia policy. Rotary Engine talk 02:37, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like to make a personal observation here. As an American historian, I've often been surprised by statements by Europeans that historical writings/monographs/books/works are "scientific" or "science". Most American scholars/non-scholars consider scientific research to be confined to either the hard sciences such as chemistry or physics or at the broadest, to include MAYBE some of the social sciences such as sociology or anthropology. History or literature or similars studies are considered humanities and are not lumped into or referred to as "science". From my understanding, European scholarship is much more ... elastic... when calling something science and often historical research is called "scientific research" by Europeans. So when Americans refer to something like G&K's paper, they would not label it "science" nor would they consider it to be "scientific research". It might help this discussion if folks would keep in mind this dichotomy/difference in language and try to see the "other side". Ealdgyth (talk) 13:59, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I am also puzzled by the repeated references to History as a "social science". Aside from a few specialized sub-fields like Economic History, it's one of the Humanities. Volunteer Marek 18:35, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
regardless of whether it is science or history, the abstract makes untrue statements. Elinruby (talk) 14:04, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you mean that the abstract makes statements which you do not believe to be true but are incapable of proving aren't true? We seem to have a lot of people pretending that their opinion about G&K's opinion is a fact not an opinion... Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:27, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have spent most of the past three months on this. I could of course be wrong about many things indeed. However, it was the article I was working on where GCB acted out, and even she was acting on her prejudices and preconceptions not an "intentional distortion".
I am specifically taking issue with the statement about the collaboration of Jews. That section of Collaboration with the Axis powers was appallingly referenced and notably lacked page numbers almost everywhere, and, if one is to believe G&K, contained several errors of fact. (see Jewish collaboration section in this version) It was replaced by an entirely different text however, which was at least carefully referenced. It was then removed anyway in its entirety by an editor who objected to Jews being singled out for a separate section even to address the anti-Semitic tropes that do exist whether we like them or not. If, as Marcelus is telling us, that text has replaced the original, which had been made into its own article minus the tagging -- and which I thought had been subsequently deleted -- then I think any reasonable person would agree that progress has been made. I also maintain that it does not inflate the extent of collaboration.
Conceivably I could be wrong about that, but if it does do this, it does so much less than the text it replaced. I understand why you would ask the question, but one thing I don't do is refuse to examine my beliefs, sir. Can you say the same? I get a little tired of people making assumptions about my beliefs. Elinruby (talk) 17:38, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the same criticism is due of G&K as well, I think they jump the shark in going from distorted (as an end state), to distortion (as a process), to intentional distortion (as an intentional process). The problem with both going to intentional (as they do) or just a natural result of preexisting prejudices and preconceptions (as you do) is that unless someone comes up with a reliable way to read someones mind its just not possible to know. Sure it could be the one, sure it could be the other... Neither premise is falsifiable but at the same time neither premise can really be proven. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 22:49, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
speaking of distortion: you have taken my statement that even GCB, who made some unquestionably bigoted statements, nonetheless appears to have believed them, to say that the whole situation was a result of unconscious bias. That was a limiting statement to my overall belief that G&K called everything they didn't agree with "distortion" and found it in the HiP topic area because that is where they looked. And they looked there because that was their field of study. You've taken as a given that there was in fact distortion, and misquoted me below as saying that it was the result of preconceptions by in particular VM. On the contrary. I haven't talked about him much because I only have worked with him recently, in Ukraine. But his discourse there was narrowly based on verification of sources used by another editor who was misrepresenting them. That is what editing the war in Ukraine with VM was like. Meanwhile I have submitted evidence, which was accepted and summarized, showing Piotrus going from "the reference looks fine" to "aha, maybe it isn't." So he is capable of reality-checking his beliefs. You, I am not so sure of, since you don't seem to have clicked the links I dug up for you. I have myself questioned the nature of truth while working in this area, but I am pretty damn sure that a text that says that Jewish collaboration may not have existed does not inflate its scope. Elinruby (talk) 02:30, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Eh, there's plenty of statements in the paper that have indeed been proven to be false over the last few weeks. Stubborn refusal to change one's mind when confronted with evidence that goes against ones' priors is rather a reflection on the person engaged in this obstinate endeavor rather than any such evidence. Volunteer Marek 18:35, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And here of course I will have to defer to you because I can't read your mind, I'm not going to try and figure out whether the distortion was intentional or as Elinruby says a result of prejudices and preconceptions. The best solution it seems is not to make up one's mind and just to deal with whatever text and sources appear before us. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 22:49, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The answer is C, "neither A or B", but nice try at framing the question that way. Anyway, yes, dealing with text and sources is the right thing to focus on. Unfortunately that is actually not what the paper (or the arbcomcase, since it's not about content) focuses on. Volunteer Marek 23:15, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We all have prejudices and preconceptions, you and I no less than anyone else. Nishidani has an interesting point below about the limits of "truth" in these sorts of circumstances. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 23:26, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ealdgyth Appreciate the insight into cultural differences. For the record I am not American, and do not approach the question of ethics (nor the definition of "science") from that cultural viewpoint. The "science" ethical standards invoked above (and on other Case pages) relate only to the empirical sciences; and would not reasonably be considered to cover history or historiography in any continent. - Rotary Engine talk 14:30, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even under European standards those interviewed or featured are not "research subjects," there isn't a cultural excuse for that line of attack. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:54, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is not a case when researchers criticized scientific studies by others in their paper (which is very common). In their main paper, G&K describe actions by a significant number of WP participants, not only the alleged "distortionists", but also people allegedly "on the other side", admins, etc. Most, of them appear as anonymous participants and, yes, as subjects/objects whose behavior was described in the paper, correctly or not. Moreover, conducting interviews is a legitimate part of human subject research in psychology, sociology and even history. That is why G&K asked some participants to sign the forms. There is nothing wrong with this - for as long as certain rules are observed, such as (a) respecting privacy of the subjects, (b) properly informing them about the purpose of the interviews, and most importantly (c) actually doing a scientific research, rather than political campaigning, complaining to various organizations, such as WMF, or bringing down WP contributors they do not like. My very best wishes (talk) 17:53, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I note that the words 'scientific' and 'academic' are being thrown about as if a minor scholarly venue for a polemical essay confers some high status, ipso facto by it being there, on the essay in question, which undercuts itself by the declaratively eye-catching distortion of its title,Wikipedia’s Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust. It is no such thing as is clear from its contents, which focus on a particular case, the Holocaust in Poland, and secondly attributes to 'Wikipedia' an institutionalized intention which, per Gilbert Ryle's The Concept of Mind, turns out to be a haunting ghost category, the object of the exorcism (It is very medieval in its inquisitorial methodology, in my view, but the metaphor was suggested by Stanislav Andreski's 1972 classic The Social Sciences as Sorcery). Academia, as anyone knows from experience, from reading novels like Small World or Lucky Jim or, indeed, academic studies of these failings, can be as bitchy, partisan, mediocre, erratic, politicized and unscientific as wikipedia itself. What we are engaged on in constructing wikipedia is a very curious experiment in an anonymous collective endeavour to write a global encyclopedia, ramshackle, chaotic as you will, but governed by an internal system of rules and consensus building to thresh the wheat from the chaff of human knowledge. It is inherently flawed in pure academic terms: it nonetheless, day by day, produces minor miracles in what W. H. Auden called the process whereby 'Fresh addenda are published every day/To the encyclopedia of the Way.' In short, a little more serene confidence in this place's slow, self-regulating, unpaid, untenured, unpraised achievements. On many topics, we do somehow often manage to give a more reliable, precise overview than most rushed mainstream press articles or what print-or-perish academics manage to give in their rapidly cobbled lectures.Nishidani (talk) 15:22, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excessive name dropping aside (it's ok, sometimes I do that too), this is exactly correct. "minor scholarly venue for a polemical essay" is a pretty mild way of decribing it. Volunteer Marek 18:38, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I read the "Wikipedia" in Wikipedia's Intentional Distortion of the History of the Holocaust as a locus, not an actor; in which case, there's no institutionalised intention attributed. - Rotary Engine talk 22:47, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That was my reading as well, I've been puzzled by some of these other readings. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 22:52, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If there's no "actor", who's doing the intentionin'? "Intentional" implies concious choice and that means someBODY is making that choice. Or the claim could be, you know, nonsense. Volunteer Marek 23:17, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia ... as a locus; not an actorthere's no "actor". Rotary Engine talk 23:29, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This - "Wikipedia" being the place which contains the "distortion" - is how I read it as well, which probably explains why I've been so confused reading this discussion ThadeusOfNazereth(he/him)Talk to Me! 00:03, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, coming back here a day later, I can certainly see that what I posted has generated a lot of interest! And I'm glad that it did. To some extent, it isn't really relevant to what ArbCom has been tasked with, to determine the extent to which the abstract is or is not a mainstream academic publication. But I do want to clarify one thing, based on my own academic publishing experience (in neuroscience, which I trust is undeniably a science!). Abstracts for conference presentations are pretty much never peer reviewed in the ways that journal papers are. The peer review, such as it is, comes from the organizers deciding to invite someone to be a presenter: they make an editorial-like decision that this is someone who is significant enough that they want that person to speak. Once Klein was selected, it was up to her what to say in her abstract, and it wasn't vetted by anyone else. I think that there is an important discussion for the community to have, about how we regard advocacy in academic or journalistic settings in terms of editor conduct, when the academic or journalist is also an editor here. But that's a complex discussion, and one that should happen only after the ArbCom case is closed.
Thinking more about why I reacted so strongly when I first read the abstract, and I did react strongly, I realize that it's because it treats the content dispute on Wikipedia almost like a battle between GoodTM and EvilTM. On the one hand, I personally find antisemitism, and the whitewashing of antisemitism that has occurred in some parts of Polish society, abhorrent. On the other hand, I recoil at the way Klein presents some of the editors here as operating outside of reason (they slowly but relentlessly hack away at reason and accuracy). It feels to me like when someone, even an academic scholar, starts to feel so strongly about something being about right versus wrong, it approaches a situation where that person may start to feel like the end justifies the means. I can't help speculating that Icewhiz probably did what they did in such a belief, too. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:08, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I appreciate you unpacking your strong reaction Trypto and I think there's some insights here worth considering. I'm also sure you didn't mean to equate participating in formal academic spheres (a journal article, a keynote address at a conference) with vile harassment in people's lives as two equal actions driven by people who think the ends justify the means. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:14, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm glad you found it useful. No, I certainly did not intend to imply that Klein is engaging in vile harassment, and yes, these are two entirely different things. But where I see a potential and, as yet, hypothetical issue in this regard is in relation to the discussion at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II and the history of Jews in Poland/Analysis#WP:COI questions by Wugapodes. I noted there that there is currently a WikiEd course happening, about "the distortions of German, Italian, and French Holocaust memory". Improving content concerning that topic area is certainly a good thing, but I'm sure none of us would want to see student editors being encouraged to approach it as WP:RGW. Again, that is as yet, hypothetical. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:24, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's easy when discussing RGW to come up with hypotheticals that would lead to policy and guideline violations. For instance in this case, beyond this hypothetical, we've also had editors hypothesize that there is off-wiki coordination occurring. Ultimately one of the things I like about our Arbitration Process is that it is driven by what a panel of experienced Wikipedians feel the facts actually show rather than what hypothetically has or could happen. Barkeep49 (talk) 20:33, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wasn't, of course, asking ArbCom to treat that as facts, because I clearly said it was hypothetical. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:54, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WikiEd course happening, about "the distortions of German, Italian, and French Holocaust memory".

What on earth does that mean, practically? This statement seems to confuse two distinct subjects. Historiography consists of (a) mastery of facts (b) mastery of the available critical literature regarding those facts (c) and then interpretation (d) which is never final, but approximative. All we are obliged to do is take the measure of the RS and précis per WP:Due.
Memory is completely beside the point, labile and subjective, and definitely another country to pure historical research. The way communities conserve,revive, selectively highlight or underplay aspects of the past is invariably 'distortive', as any neurologist per Oliver Sacks knew/knows from the way individuals recall their pasts, because the past cannot be recalled in its totality, and, to drop another name, Renan, national identity is formed by a combination of remembrance and forgetting, depending on what the politics, pure or cultural decide in any one period. To approach an historical or sociological topic with an assumption of distortion (rather than training students in methodologies of reading scholarship) eerily implies that there is an established truth about a topic, a (politically) 'correct' or 'truthful' memory. Is wikipedia now disregarding the rule, through such courses, that we deal with verifiability, not truth? Are we teaching that there is an orthodoxy about how the past must be interpreted, which students must impose against the systematic 'distortions' of our collective editing processes or our constantly changing public prioritization of this or that memory? Nishidani (talk) 21:06, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, for anyone interested, here is a link to the course page: [17]. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:19, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, thank you! So, she says to her students: "Explain why this secondary source is reliable. That means ... or (in case of journal article) a peer-reviewed journal.". But she is badly mistaken: an original publication in a peer reviewed journal (such as the article by Dr. Klein herself) is not a secondary source and not necessarily a good/trusted source. This is the reason such sources have been explicitly excluded in WP:MEDRS. My very best wishes (talk) 01:41, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The advice to the students on the course page seems fairly well aligned to our guidance on Identifying Reliable Sources at WP:RS#WP:SCHOLARSHIP. The course activities themselves take a very cautious approach.
The broad topic Jewish Life from Napoleon to Hitler is not covered by WP:MEDRS. Rotary Engine talk 02:43, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the humanities we would generally consider the G&K article to be a secondary source, wikipedia would be the primary source in that context. If this were a piece in the natural sciences I would agree thats its a primary source, but this is not the natural sciences (such as those MEDRS talks about). Horse Eye's Back (talk) 03:25, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When I read the keynote description I am struck most by how far it is from the letter and spirit of WP:Comment on content, not on the contributor. (See how many bullet points in the top section of WP:NPA you can tick off while reading through this and the essay itself ...)
Klein actually told a journalist: I don’t think we need to do away with Wikipedia. However, we do need to stop those who abuse it.
It's not like threatening someone's children, but if the goal is to dissuade someone from participating, then that is something the two approaches have in common. In soccer this is called playing the man rather than playing the ball. In cricket it used to be called bodyline bowling before people decided that, well, it was not cricket. Andreas JN466 00:46, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Committee has not generally been in the business of enforcing off-wiki civility, except in extreme cases. If that were the case, many of the individuals with WPO accounts might suddenly find themselves in the lobster pot. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 01:45, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have, of course, commented on this before, but "except in extreme cases" is doing a lot of work there. Basically, I think we agree that ArbCom should not be in the business of spanking editors for saying something obnoxious to one another off-site. Instead, it is appropriate to examine whether off-site conflicts have or have not gotten in the way of collaborative editing onsite. But the very fact of the Icewhiz global ban falls directly in the area of "extreme cases", where it absolutely is ArbCom's (and WMF's) business. And yet, there are things that are less than "vile harassment" that, nonetheless, can rise to the level where they cause harm onsite, and we shouldn't pretend that saying bad things about fellow editors can never cause onsite disruption. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:08, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
She says in her abstract [18] Its [WP] articles ... bolster stereotypes about Jews, spinning fantastical tales about Jews’ involvement in large-scale crimes against Poles, and wildly inflating the scope of Jewish collaboration with the Nazis. I do not see it at all, but maybe Dr. Klein is right? If so, why would not she fix herself these problems in the small set of WP pages on this subject? She edited these pages in a past. I am sure she would enjoy special status around here, with other contributors not daring to touch her changes. Then she will see that no one is "fighting tooth and nail to maintain their narrative", and her next report on a meeting would hopefully be a lot more positive. Well, unfortunately, her special status would probably be a violation of WP:Consensus. My very best wishes (talk) 05:26, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why would she enjoy special status around here? VM and Piotrus are both academics and they don't enjoy any special status beyond those informally extended to veteran editors. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:05, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, she would not - per existing policies. But who would dare to object her edits and appear as yet another alleged "distortionist" in her publications? My very best wishes (talk) 16:07, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The same could be said about VM and Piotrus and nobody seems to be fazed by them. Personally I would object to her edits strenuously if such objection was necessary, I've clearly already done the same with VM and Piotrus who share the exact same academic status. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:13, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Touché. Face-smile.svg Mind you, things said on WO by and large do not have the sort of reach and visibility that this paper has enjoyed. WO threads typically have a few dozen unique readers. If G&K had said all the things they've been saying on WO rather than in newspapers, on radio and at academic conferences (they're in Lund University today), I doubt we'd be here having this conversation. Andreas JN466 13:20, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, exactly. They found excellent strategy to influence WP content and specific contributors they do not like. They and potentially other external parties will continue doing this instead of fixing any potential problems with WP content. But such strategy only works because we react to it. We should not. We should deny recognition - in terms of making arbitrations and sanctions. Just reading their papers, using them for sourcing if proper and discussing them on noticeboards, such as NPOVNB and RSNB, - yes, sure. This way we wold properly react to their criticisms if there are any valid criticisms. My very best wishes (talk) 13:55, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"We should allow policies and guidelines to be broken because we were made aware of it by an outside source" is just not a philosophy I can get behind. And if there are sanctions in this case it would hardly be the first time the Committee reacted to reporting done in a reliable source, for instance there's Tenebrae. Of course the trick is to determine if policies and guidelines were broken. That's what we're doing here and doing it through a Wikipedia process - not outsourcing our judgement to someone else. Barkeep49 (talk) 14:50, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The concern by an outside party was troubling enough to start an arbitration - yes, I understand it. It is just that the behavior and publications by that specific external party, including them repeating the claims by the banned user, look very problematic to me. In this regard, I agree that you making a fair determination in this case is the key. For example, if you can provide several strong and clear-cut examples of specific misinformation and antisemitic tropes intentionally placed to WP articles by the alleged "distortionists" who are the parties to this case, that would convince me. I did not see this in the Evidence so far beyond very old discussions on article talk pages which I think belong to "dead horse" and several more recent content disputes. My very best wishes (talk) 15:42, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are at this very moment repeating the claims of a banned user (GCB's claims about G&K's behavior and publications), I wouldn't consider that problematic but its a little ironic that you do. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:48, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Publishing views of a banned WP user in an academic article? No, even in my worst nightmares I would not be doing it. Authors must be desperate for doing this. My very best wishes (talk) 16:47, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would expect you to take more care with the BLP comments you make on WP than you do off of it. Would the authors you are referring to be G&K, two living people or just authors in general? If its the two living people you need to provide a source which supports "Authors must be desperate for doing this." Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:55, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am saying in general, but speaking about the source under discussion (linked at the top of this thread), it starts from "For the past few years, a group of Wikipedia editors have been spreading disinformation on the history of the Holocaust. With no obvious ties to any government, they slowly but relentlessly hack away at reason and accuracy to promote ideological zeal, prejudice, and bias." and so on. Disinformation. OK, I am waiting if Arbcom will find any real evidence of that for the parties of this case. My very best wishes (talk) 17:23, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is their expert opinion, the key here is that they did not write that on a wikipedia talk page. They are perfectly entitled to publish in the academic literature things which they could not say here (as we all are and its not limited to the academic literature its pretty much everywhere that isn't wikipedia, on my Facebook page I can say that "Political Figure De Jure is a corrupt kleptocrat" but I sure as hell can't say that on wikipedia without some damn fine supporting sources). Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:30, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. That is why any notable external party has a big advantage if they decide to go after WP content and contributors. They do not even need to prove anything, just say their views on any big public forum. This is in general. Speaking on this specific case, they have published an original peer reviewed paper, which does add certain weight and credibility to their claims, but not a proof of anything. Any notable researcher can publish almost anything he wants in one of peer reviewed journals. My very best wishes (talk) 18:02, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A big advantage in what? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:46, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In her book Klein, as early as 2018, (Italy's Jews from Emancipation to Fascism, Cambridge University Press 2018 ISBN 978-1-108-42410-3 explicitly singles out wikipedia, citing the article on Italian racial laws in this April 2017 version- She comments:

Wikipedia, the most frequently accessed encyclopedia in the world and one edited by the general public, reflects the popularity of the idea of the good Italian. The English-language article “Italian Racial Laws “ stated (as of April 2017) that “the Italian racial laws were unpopular with most ordinary Italians,” and provided De Felice as a reference. . . These articles, with a readership far greater than any revisionist historian might hope to have, not only mirror public opinion about Italian benevolence, they also strengthen it.’p.5

So wikipedia on that date was, and continues to be, complicit in reinforcing a stereotype, what she calls ‘the myth of Italian benevolence’ towards Jews, and the danger she imagines is that wikipedia is acting more persuasively than revisionist books on WW2, which unlike wiki have a small audience, to strengthen a stereotype about Jews under fascism, that they were comparatively well treated. Her book itself, ironically, argues that Italian Jews themselves played an important role in creating this 'myth' of being well-treated by their compatriots.

The statement, like a good number of things in an otherwise solid piece of work, is incoherent. see this balanced review of its merits and shortcomings by Roberet Gordon)., In so far as it mounts a challenge against a standard historical reading of Italian Jews under Fascism still in force until the 1990s, her book is itself a work of ‘revisionism’. So she is using the term confusedly. It made this reader think that she might be taking the word as synonymous with Holocaust negationism

Secondly, she found the use of Renzo De Felice to source this claim (actually it is not sourced to him, but two others) apparently problematical. Well, read the wikipage on him. He was the doyen of historians of fascism, and in wiki terms, an impeccable RS. And of course, like all major RS, a critical literature arose contesting his interpretations of many historical issues. But his arguments are thoroughly rooted in archival sources.

Anyone who contributes to wiki, coming from a background of specialized knowledge of a topic, could have partially remedied any lacunae by taking 5 minutes to make adjustments to the page. I.e., for example, taking from their shelf Renzo De Felice, Mussolini il duce:11. Lo Stato totalitario 1936-1940, Einaudi ISBN 88-06-52209-4. All it would have taken was a quarter of an hour to write a brief synopsis of pp.247-253 for that specific statement. Six years later, what have we in lieu of a quick fix? A polemic about how inadeguate and anti-Jewish wikipedia is. The most effective way for a teacher to train students in using and improving wikipedia is to lead by example. It’s unpaid work, and carries no curricular badge of achievement, of course, but anyone, however busy, with a mastery of a topic, can fix a sentence or a paragraph between one cup of tea/coffee and another. Informed users of wikipedia with an academic background should, when they catch themselves reading with raised eyebrows, just philanthropically roll up their sleeves. Talk page waffle and time-consumingly researched academic diatribes are no substitute for banausic bricolage, which, if one has the topic at the tip of one's fingertips, gets the real work done. Don’t whinge, fix it, I was told once as a youth. Nishidani (talk) 14:49, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that these articles should have been fixed a long time ago. There’s just one thing that’s puzzling me. If a consensus of editors recognized that these articles had serious problems, why weren’t they fixed? Why did this can get kicked down the road so many times? Jehochman Talk 20:06, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a very good question, and one I've wondered about, too. And I've been having a hard time figuring it out from the evidence that has been posted in this case. And in my reading of the G&K paper, there seem to be a lot of examples where they say that something bad got into the pages a long time ago (maybe via Poeticbent or Hallibutt), and then the BadTM named parties in this case prevented it from being fixed, until they agreed to fix it and it got fixed. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:16, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, of course "a consensus of editors" did not "recognize that these articles had serious problems", that's the thing. To the contrary, having the content unchanged during a long period of time means by default that we had WP:Consensus about stable versions of these pages. This is all per policy. Of course it does not mean these pages were great. Any version is wrong version. It also well could be that the current versions were not in line with our main policies, such as WP:NPOV. But this is a very general phenomenon. I have seen many times how WP:Consensus, for example during an RfC, overrides WP:NPOV, which should not be the case, but happening all the time in all subject areas. This is usually happening because most people who came to comment on an RfC are actually not familiar with the subject; perhaps they read something in newspapers. My very best wishes (talk) 21:10, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have seen statements on case pages about editors saying that they wanted to fix things, but were driven away. That would be something very serious, and appropriate for ArbCom to examine. But I've been having a hard time finding evidence posted of who did the driving away. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:17, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. My operating theory is that parties on one sides, or more likely both sides, of a longstanding content dispute made editing so miserable with WP:BATTLEing, sealioning, and WP:SOCKing that many editors became disgusted. After all, we are volunteers. Who needs this? It was a highly complex dispute over poorly understood history (perhaps an evolving understanding of history), which made it very difficult for administrators at WP:AE to craft appropriate remedies. I'm heartened by the involvement of new editors at this page. It gives me hope that fresh editors will try to improve things (or confirm that things are fine the way they are). Jehochman Talk 21:36, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well in my experience articles mostly aren't 'fixed' because there are millions of them, and most edits consist of tweaks, format readjustments and the like. To fix, i.e. bring a stub like Italian racial laws up to snuff, by my calculation, at least seven books, (and perhaps a dozen academic articles) would have to be introduced, and harvested to duly cover research over the last two decades. How many editors who check out that article know Italian, have some background in both Italian history, a good familiarity with the scholarship on Fascism from De Felice onwards and the history of Jews in Italy? Very very few. Klein is a wikipedian, notes some, not problems, but glaring inadequacies, but apparently doesn't care to fix them, preferring to complain via academic venues that other editors, who don't have her qualifications, do so. I'll be buggered if I, for one, feel obliged when this sort of complaint is made because I happen to be someone who could 'fix' articles in that areas as well. I've too much on my own plate to drop everything and cook for someone dissatisfied by other dishes on the menu. If an editor can see a lacuna, defect, disproportion -things invisible to most general editors, they should either fix it themselves or yawn and move on. Nishidani (talk) 22:09, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To second Nishidani, let me give you a concrete example from a different topic area: economics. I was reading up on early history of WP:AE (a kind of an archeology on how it evolved into what it is today) and one of the first cases was a referral from ArbCom, an ArbCom which had User:Charles Matthews on it. I clicked their user page, saw something about an "economics editathon", looked through it and found this statement from him: "Behavioural economics - There are some statements that are just wrong. E.g. "Further, prospect theory has been used to explain phenomena that existing decision theories have great difficulty in explaining. These include backward bending labor supply curves, asymmetric price elasticities, tax evasion and co-movement of stock prices and consumption." (he's exactly right about this being complete nonsense). This was posted in 2018. So I clicked on Behavioral economics and... found that this nonsensical claim that Charles highlighted back then ago was *still* in the article. FIVE years later. I removed it [19] along with a whole bunch of other junk.
So how did this false claim survive in a Wikipedia article for five years, even after it was highlighted by well established Wikipedia editor who was in fact organizing sessions to correct precisely such mistakes? Is there some "distortionists" running around the topic of behavioral economics preventing people from fixing it? Are well meaning editors being driven away from that topic? ... No. Nobody fixed it for the very simple reason pointed out by Nishidani. There are millions of Wikipedia articles and simply, nobody bothered with this particular one.
Let's be perfectly honest here. A LOT of articles across Wikipedia have errors in them. Many are in fact complete garbage. Even in fairly high profile, academic, topics like economics (have you looked at articles related to American foreign policy? It's like conspiracy-theory central over there). So yes, to the extent there really are true, outright errors in the Holocaust in Poland topic (rather than genuine merit based disagreements and judgement calls), they're probably there because someone put them in long ago and nobody has yet bothered to fix them. The ones that do get noticed DO get fixed with no opposition. When K.e.coffman (not Icewhiz, though he's tried taking credit for it) fixed the Warsaw Concentration Camp article, nobody objected. When Ealdgyth drew up a list of problems with the Holocaust in Poland article, nobody objected - in fact that episode also shows that articles don't get fixed mostly due to laziness or lack of attention (I was the only editor who tried to fix the problems pointed out by Ealdgyth) rather than some conspiracy theory. Volunteer Marek 06:27, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My only real comment is on the volume of work to be done. Everyone working here will have some kind of fix-as-find prioritisation. There is no reason to think that the triage of content improvements that results will deal with all problems, but it is what we have. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:12, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me disagree. Every content dispute or an RfC closed in a certain way will drive some people away from editing certain pages. I think this is normal: someone decides that he would rather fix another page instead of arguing on a talk page about something. I was driven away from a lot of pages (not in this subject area). But I do not complain about it to get someone else banned. My very best wishes (talk) 21:43, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Um, yeah, so Klein writes with a straight face: "The distortionist editors misrepresent sources, use unreliable fringe sources, or cite no sources at all. They discredit established scholars and promote dubious authors until the very notion of reliability is turned on its head." The ironic thing is that these are the exactly the things that *Icewhiz* got topic banned for (misrepresenting source, attacking BLPs) by ArbCom. The guy they claim was a "defender of historical accuracy". So yeah, projection to the max. Volunteer Marek 06:08, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What page is that quote from, I'm having a hard time finding it. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 14:49, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's quoted from the Klein abstract I linked to at the beginning of this talk section. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:54, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Huh, it isn't in the linked abstract now. Nor is there anything about Icewhiz being a "defender of historical accuracy" in the paper (that language is there, but there is nothing about Icewhiz being "The guy"). Perhaps its been edited? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:46, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe we misunderstand each other. I'm talking about this: [20]. "The distortionist editors misrepresent sources, use unreliable fringe sources, or cite no sources at all. They discredit established scholars and promote dubious authors until the very notion of reliability is turned on its head." I don't know offhand where the "defender of historical accuracy" is from. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:56, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thats there, but the other language appears to misrepresent the paper (ironically in the service of attacking a BLP...) Now I understand why VM would feel that way as the other side of that case but its not ok to settle a grudge against Icewhiz by going after Grabaowski and Klein. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 20:01, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The part of that, that I know about, is that Klein's abstract does say "The distortionist editors... reliability is turned on its head." It does not seem to have been edited out. And if someone said that about me, I'd probably be offended, too. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:13, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've been doing some further reading at the website where the abstract is posted, and some things stand out to me. I want to begin by saying that I am not arguing that these are things that ArbCom ought to act upon. Repeat: not. Rather, they are things that the community should take note of, and start to think about, going forward, after the case ends. The talk is going to be given at a conference organized by a group that calls themselves Wikihistories. Here is their "about us" page: [21]. So it's not a general academic conference in a field like history or sociology, but rather, a group specifically devoted to examining, well, us. I've looked to see who the people behind it are (in a few cases, I think I recognize names of present or former editors here). Here is their "team": [22]. There are three "investigators" with academic credentials, joined by two assisting researchers. They also call upon an "expert advisory group": [23]. And one member of that group is Shira Klein.

I think that's interesting in itself, as an example of scholarly interest in Wikipedia. But I also want to point out what it tells us about what it takes to have oneself present an "academic" keynote address. I'm not going to comment on Klein/Chapmansh here. But I want editors to see how little it could take someone, in the future, to wrap themselves in the mantle of academic respectability. I have a PhD, and I'm a retired tenured university professor. It would be pretty easy to call together some of my academic friends and constitute ourselves as being a study group looking at some aspect or another of Wikipedia. And we know that there are multiple named parties in this case who, likewise, have real-life academic credentials. So I'm not spilling any WP:BEANS when I say that some hypothetical user would not have that much difficulty in figuring out how they could concoct an academic-sounding group that invites them to give a presentation, even a keynote, and publish an abstract about it. Again, I'm not saying this about Klein/Chapmansh, or about the other named parties in this case. So don't anybody claim that I am. But someone could use it to go... how far? Doxing? Stirring up harassment? Setting up an unfair advantage in a content dispute here? And it wouldn't look like WPO. Right now, Wikipedia, or at least ArbCom, look to me like they are comfortable with putting doxing sites in one bucket and anything "academic" in another. That won't continue to work for long. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:47, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That seems like a big leap from "could" to "would". Are you planning to do this? Do you know of anyone who is? Please, stop tilting at windmills and look at reality. When doxxing sites and academic publications/colloquia become even remotely comparable, I will give your point here more weight. Until WPO starts an annual doxing conference where a bunch of institutionally affiliated academics give talks on the private information of Wikipedia editors (which requires a series of events so absurd that I won't even lay them out), I am quite content with making a division between an academic colloquium and an online forum site; that we need to make this painfully obvious point so many times is honestly concerning.
Because it seems implicit in your theory, I want to be clear: Arbitrators are, in fact, not idiots. If a motley crew of academics get together to host a "colloquium" where they're just doxing people under the guise of "academics", we will see it for what it is because we are intelligent people who consider the reliability of sources and the context of their creation constantly as part of our encyclopedi work (some of us even as part of our academic training). But that's not what happened here, and to me it seems that you're also not alleging that it's what happened here either. So what's your point? A bunch of well respected academics might one day decide to go rogue, put together a colloquium, run a coordinated doxxing campaign of Wikipedia editors, that ArbCom and the WMF are unable to tell the difference between that and an actual academic conference, and that all of this is trivial to accomplish? Have you ever tried to run an academic meeting? It's like herding cats even when people want to be there. Having run one last October, the contention that putting together a whole conference just to harass some people on Wikipedia is absurd to me. The situation you're making up requires so many malicious actors, such profound incompetence from benevolent actors, and a series of events so niche that even if it is theoretically possible, I don't see the point in entertaining it.
You're free to keep posting about this on the talk page if you wish (speaking for myself, at least, the clerks and other arbitrators may feel differently), but I want to be absolutely, painfully clear that the reason it's not being taken seriously isn't because we don't care, it's because what you are describing is a farce and not even remotely probable. I believe that it is disingenuous to compare the fiction you've created with the facts in front of us, and I will not accept your invitation to do so. Wug·a·po·des 21:39, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have I ever tried to run an academic meeting? Yes. Am I describing an actual academic meeting (as opposed to something that isn't an academic meeting but superficially presents itself as one)? No.
As I said, I want to begin by saying that I am not arguing that these are things that ArbCom ought to act upon. Repeat: not. Rather, they are things that the community should take note of, and start to think about, going forward, after the case ends. And, Again, I'm not saying this about Klein/Chapmansh, or about the other named parties in this case. So don't anybody claim that I am. I think you should reconsider the tone in which you addressed me here. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:04, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then you should understand, as well as I do, why I'm skeptical of your claim regarding how little it could take someone to put such a meeting together in such a way that 15 people and a non-profit wouldn't be able to spot an obvious sham. Secondly, if this is not something for the committee to consider, then why are you posting it on the talk page of a case? If you didn't want my thoughts, why post here? This isn't even the first time that I, personally, have pointed out issues with your use of the case talk pages, and have been extremely lenient with letting you continue. We've indulged your arguments for weeks now despite you not being party to the case, and at this point you're not even posting things you want us to consider. What's left then, are you using this as a forum to assume bad faith about unnamed actors? If you think I misread you, then what's your point? You seem to have gone to great pains to make sure that your post isn't related to the case. Why should I entertain this? Wug·a·po·des 22:30, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not looking to get into a fight with you. I take your point that it's questionable to put something for the community to think about after the case is over, on a case page. I welcome your thoughts, and anyone else's, and I would hope that they could be expressed in a respectful way. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:41, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a gesture of goodwill, I did this: [24], but was reverted. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:37, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't find this scenario unrealistic at all. For example, OpIndia, a site very widely read in India, has, according to WP:RSP, doxed Wikipedians. Would an OpIndia journalist who had engaged in such doxing be welcome to edit Wikipedia? If not, why not? Similarly, I could easily imagine an academic conference of conservative, BJP-affiliated scholars in India looking at Wikipedia editors who they feel are anti-Hindu. Russian academics identifying anti-Russian editors. Pro-PRC researchers targeting anti-PRC editors. Etc. (Even actual Polish nationalist scholars doxing people here and making edits as well.) What will you do then?
Of course you can pick and choose when to apply the UCoC or outing rules: Russian, Indian and Iranian academics or journalists who publish personal attacks and dox people get instabanned; Canadians and Israelis not so much.
But then your "Code" or policy loses all credibility. The whole idea of a level playing field, of everyone being equal before the "law", of having rules emphatically declared to be binding on all and applying them impartially, without fear or favour, all that goes out the window, and you arrive at the equivalent of a failed state. Andreas JN466 23:28, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course it's not unrealistic. And I'm genuinely sorry if my saying it, well, touched a nerve. But neither of us, I think, are saying that it happened here. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:42, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No worries; I was really addressing Wugapodes. The UCoC is not perfect, but it was set up for a reason, and circumventing it weakens it. Andreas JN466 23:47, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand. And my "sorry" was really addressed to them, too. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:49, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And to preemptively channel what I think the Arbs are thinking, they feel that they have already addressed the issue of the UCoC. I hope I don't get yelled at for saying that. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:54, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Face-smile.svg Andreas JN466 00:21, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First line of the article you link: OpIndia is an Indian right-wing news website that frequently publishes misinformation. I think it's patently obvious how that differs from an academic journal or academic conference. Please be serious. Wug·a·po·des 02:09, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ignoring for the moment that you only seem to have read the first sentence of my post, you'll find that these differences can be blurred pretty quickly. Here for example is Madhu Kishwar, of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, giving a 2.5-hour interview to OpIndia editor-in-chief Nupur J Sharma. Do I have to spell this out? I guess so. They are ideologically aligned. Now assume Kishwar, or one of her associates, publishes a critical paper about Wikipedia in an Indian academic journal, doxing several Wikipedians just like this essay did. A Wikipedian writes a gleeful, celebratory piece about the paper for OpIndia. Now what? (Note that the WMF has just been taken to court in India over this article: India: The Modi Question. You can't exactly argue that there couldn't possibly be any academic interest in Wikipedia in India.)
All I see is that you want to reserve the right to pick and choose when to apply harassment rules that are expressly defined as applying to all without exception. And in my eyes that robs the entire thing of all legitimacy. You might as well reformulate it as: "We'll sanction who we like." That is not appropriate for a global website like Wikipedia. As the European Commission put it the other day: Very Large Online Platforms like Wikipedia "need to have clear terms and conditions and enforce them diligently and non-arbitrarily".
The UCoC is clear. The gap between us seems to be in how we understand the word "non-arbitrarily". Andreas JN466 11:15, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All I see is that you want to reserve the right to pick and choose when to apply harassment rules that are expressly defined as applying to all without exception. You may recall that just a few days ago the board of trustees told you, specifically, that it actually is our job to determine when and how to interpret the UCOC, so this isn't the gotcha you seem to think it is. I also find it ironic that you try to criticize me for allegedly only seem[ing] to have read the first sentence of my post when you are cherry picking lines from the UCOC without regard for context.
In your rush to selectively quote the document, you seem to have skipped over the preamble to the section which outlines the principles by which we should interpret the part you quote our of context: [Harassment] includes any behaviour intended primarily to intimidate, outrage or upset a person, or any behaviour where this would reasonably be considered the most likely main outcome. Behaviour can be considered harassment if it is beyond what a reasonable person would be expected to tolerate in a global, intercultural environment. You have made no attempt--none, zero, zilch--to demonstrate that the authors had the primary intent to intimidate, outrage or upset, or that given the context in which the information was provided, such an outcome would be the most likely main outcome. Now, why might you do that? Is that because that's obviously not what happened here? Why would you choose a reading of the text which renders that preamble useless? If you care so much about the integrity of the text (I doubt, but AGF) why are you so insistent on an interpretation that completely guts the meaning of the preamble?
Even just on your interpretation alone, we get clearly absurd results. In the line you want us to take absurdly literally, we have the line sharing information concerning their Wikimedia activity outside the projects. Well, under your interpretation, looks like half my friends and family are harassing me. Let me call over my partner, "Yes, hi honey, remember when you told your friends that I'm a Wikipedia arbitrator? Well, unfortunately, I did not give you explicit permission to do so and you have therefore harassed me. I have reported you to the Foundation. Your ban is incoming. I'm sorry, but there is no other way, Andreas said anything less robs the whole thing of legitimacy." Absurd. It's almost like that phrase is meant to be understood in context? If only there was some document that contained some general definition of harassment by which we could understand when this clause is at its strongest; a preamble perhaps? Ah, well, good news: there is one, see the previous paragraph.
The gap between us isn't how we understand the word "non-arbitrarily" particularly because it's not in the UCOC and you pulled it out of some source written by a body with no jurisdiction over me talking about something unrelated. Strangely, you chose to quote the European Commission before the actual preamble. The gap between us is that I've read the whole UCOC and am trying to understand what harassment is from first principles given by the text using listed examples as a guide while you seem to be advancing a cherry-picked literalist reading that renders other parts of the document useless.
So just to wrap this up, because I well and truly intend for this to be the last word I say on this until the decision comes out: you're obviously not arguing in good faith. The OP I replied to was about putting together a sham conference, you chime in with a tangent about a right-wing fake news site and something about the EU. You're just saying whatever you want and then getting mad when no one takes you seriously. If you want to be taken seriously, be serious. Stop doing the gish gallop, stop forum shopping, stop selectively quoting documents. This isn't debate club. If you actually truly care, like I do, about limiting the harm of state-sponsored harassment, stop tilting at windmills and look at reality. We have state-sponsored misinformation all the time. We have governments attempting to infiltrate the CheckUser corps to exert control over editors and their families. We have editors doxxing others in far easier ways than publishing a paper. The point that academics could get together and publish papers or host a conference doxxing people is myopic and unhinged from the actual threat surface. Is it possible? Sure, and so is the possibility that a dirty bomb goes off in my city, but I'm not packing a bug-out bag on the off chance that some bad actors get a hold of some fissile material, get it past various security screenings targeted specifically at those materials, choose my city in particular, and that all of that occurs in the near future. Not everything you can imagine is real. As you point out, it's far easier for academics to get a newspaper article written--you don't even need to be an academic. Why would someone choose to host a conference or submit a paper for peer review when they can just get some news medium to do it? Nonsense. And, to top it all off, in order to see this threat I need to agree with you that what was published was doxxing. You're imagining monsters and asking me to fight them. I've seen actual monsters. "publicly available name and publicly available institutional affiliation" of an academic mentioned in passing in a peer reviewed journal article is not conduct primarily intended to intimidate, outrage, or upset a person, not is it the most likely main outcome. It is not unreasonable to expect an academic, in a global and intercultural movement, to tolerate being mentioned by their name and affiliation in an academic context because it is par for the course in nearly every other academic setting and not beyond the pale here. Could it be possible for this to be done in a way that is inappropriate, with an intent to intimidate (etc), or in a way that is unreasonable? Yeah, and when we see it we'll deal with it when that time comes, but for now, the monsters in your imagination are not what's before us. Wug·a·po·des 19:45, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also find it realistic that OpIndia would name an editor and Andres is right that we would likely consider this doxxing and take action. I also find it realistic that Breitbart would name someone and that we would consider it doxxing and we would take action if that happened. Because OpIndia and Breitbart are well recognized by the community for their lack of reliability. If, on the otherhand, The Indian Express were to name an editor I suspect we would treat it very differently, in the same way that we treated it very differently when the Daily Dot (in an article written by a WPO contributor even) named an editor. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:10, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see the Universal Code of Conduct (or WP:OUTING) authorising ArbCom or WMF staffers to make such distinctions.
I am totally open to the idea that they should – that the texts should be revised, and exceptions carved out for quality journalism, special academic contexts etc., but that is a different conversation. Right now we only have what these policies say today.
(Personally, I don't think this specific case is one of those that should have been exempt. To my mind, even under an "ideal" UCoC it would merit a finding of fact and at the very least a "reminder", but YMMV.) Andreas JN466 14:16, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for conceding that Russian, Indian and Iranian academics or journalists who publish personal attacks and dox people get instabanned; Canadians and Israelis not so much isn't true. Unlike that comment I don't expect you to change your mind that a single line of the UCOC is how to interpret the policy and likewise I believe you don't expect me to change my mind that one must read the entirety of the document and specifically the entirety of the Harrassment section to interpret the policy. Hopefully after Mike Peel's statement we both agree now that Arbcom is the one that gets to make the decision in this case. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:21, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the way that Barkeep49 set up a spectrum, from OpIndia and Breitbart, to Indian Express and Daily Dot. I'm not familiar with all of those, so I don't know whether or not I agree with the specifics, but I like the way that it gets more granular than what I've seen before. In other words, it fills in some of the spaces in the vast cavern between a university conference of distinguished scholars, and Wikipedia Sucks! I absolutely think that people who want to do bad things online are always learning what works and what doesn't, and evolving their methods to acheive what they want. Wikipedia needs to keep up with that. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:25, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@User:Wugapodes - I know I sound like a broken record here, but: 1) the "respected academics" here, in the case we are considering, DID dox people, so this isn't just a hypothetical (yes I know, 15 year old diff which people keep pretending said things it didn't actually say justifies it or something) and 2) the other elephant in the room, Icewhiz. If this was two scholars coming to these conclusions completely independently and on their own initiative it would be one thing. But we know this isn't how this happened. Icewhiz contacted Grabowski. He also knew *already in April 2020*, almost three years before this article came out, about a "upcoming English-language academic publication - describing promotion of militant nationalism and Holocaust distortion" (sic) (there seems to have been a couple other editors with such advance knowledge). At least half of the G&K article consists of re-hashing Icewhiz's disputes, right down to using the same non-Wiki sources he used and repeating his old arguments. The authors also really downplay what Icewhiz was actually banned for, pretend he was unfairly banned and only acknowledge his sockpuppetry (which they try to portray as well intentioned but misguided). Icewhiz's connection to the article means that this isn't just a "standard academic paper" and makes the whole situation a bit more inline with what some editors hereare desribing above.
I think the point that folks like Tryptofish are making is that what you are seeing here is (at least) *a step* from the idealized "bunch of academics focusing on Wikipedia would never do that" scenario you describe, to the "bunch of academics unscrupulously organize to manipulate Wikipedia and harass editors" scenario that Tryptofish posits as a hypothetical. Maybe it's not going all the way to that, but it is a step in that direction and it seems kind of naïve not to acknowledge that context. Volunteer Marek 05:59, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(for the record I'm well aware that the Committee seems to have made up its mind regarding the doxing the issue and I have no wish to beat that dead horse, but I am irked by folks pretending that a paper which does exactly that is "just typical academic paper") Volunteer Marek 06:29, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know I sound like a broken record here...[2 paragraphs]...I have no wish to beat that dead horse And yet you, baton in hand, summon me here; lying before us: the same dead horse, freshly beaten.
To be clear, I understand the point, different variations on the theme have been repeated across a dozen pages and a public email list at this point (I question the propriety of running a publicity tour for alleged doxxing material). It's not that I don't understand, it's that I don't agree, and people seem to be taking that as a lack of understanding. As for this latest theme, I'll be honest, a slippery slope argument that hinges on a conspiracy theory where two academics engage in professional misconduct by plagiarizing a banned editor (who they're in cahoots with) in a journal publication for the primary purpose of harassing someone they've presumably never interacted with is...not the most convincing argument. You may wish to consider the possibility that we're not "pretending" and that in fact we simply don't agree with you. Different people, sometimes, come to different conclusions.
I appreciate you sharing what irks you; I guess that's what this page is for now. Sadly I don't have so much liberty. No, I'm resigned to sitting here stoically, my eyes held open, forced to read the same arguments over and over again for two months, unflinching. Anything less and I get called insanely biased or told to watch my tone. I should watch A Clockwork Orange. I've never actually seen it, surprisingly. Wug·a·po·des 07:55, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You should definitely read the book first, if you haven't already.  Tewdar  08:16, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Book is indeed better. And while I do empathize Wugapodes (I mean that sincerely), please keep in mind that it's usually better to be the one doing the arbitratin' than to be the one getting arbitrated upon. Sleepless nights, stoically biting one's tongue, and constant re-checking for latest comments and flinching at all the tangents and opinions and all that. I in turn appreciate the picturesque imagery in your comments (again, sincerely). Volunteer Marek 08:30, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think part of what is happening here is that the community, including me, is accustomed to using talk pages to... talk. ArbCom has made new rules about talk pages being for procedural stuff only, but it's unrealistic to expect the community to adapt right away. When I posted about the hypothetical scenario, I was... talking. I didn't expect it to transform into a conflict over what is or is not permitted to post here. And I certainly didn't intend it to insult anyone on ArbCom. VM is correct that it's very difficult to be a named party, and I'll add that Arbs sign up for this whereas named parties do not. And by the way, I noticed the same thing that that VM did, about the G&K paper portraying Icewhiz as having been guilty only of socking, and not also of harassment. That's a huge omission. I'm not going from there, to a conspiracy theory. But the fact that experienced editors can notice that, and see it as a fault in the paper, does not mean that we do not understand what Arbs are saying to us. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:49, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
G&K: "Icewhiz was indefinitely site-banned (prevented from editing any article, talk page,or noticeboard) on the charge of off-Wiki harassment of other editors." Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:46, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I went back and checked, and you're right. I was incorrect, and I've struck part of what I wrote. I had missed that, and instead was struck by the paragraph a bit later, about the socking. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:04, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I think is still true, is that G&K focus on the socking as the reason that Icewhiz was not successful at what G&K would like to have seen changed in the content. The reality is more like the socks were discounted because they were socks, but the reason that the situation had become one in which the socks were suspect in the first place was because of the harassment – and it remains fair to regard that as a significant fault in the analysis. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:38, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If we find longstanding errors in an article the ordinary explanation, that Wikipedia has a lot of articles and many are waiting to be fixed, is probably correct. On the other hand, if we have additional information, such as the history of multiple past arbitration cases and multiple arbitration enforcement actions, long-term sock masters on both sides of the dispute, and high profile articles criticizing Wikipedia, then the persistent article errors could very well be due to extraordinary reasons, such as tendentious editing, misrepresentation of sources, socking, collusion, etc., misbehaviors that ArbCom can address. By starting a case ArbCom has already found it likely that misbehavior is a colorable explanation, which should be carefully investigated to confirm or refute suspicions. In fact, ArbCom found and blocked a long term sock who has been extensively involved in the topic area. As for the complaints about the G&K article constituting doxing, why don't we (including at least Tryptofish and Jayen466) address this question to WMF in a separate discussion? By happenstance, my academic research focuses on the balance between privacy and the need for accountability. I would like to be involved in a discussion with WMF about this topic. Jehochman Talk 13:46, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Jehochman, there is an ongoing Wikimedia-l mailing list thread about this topic here. Why don't you chime in there? User:Mike Peel has commented in the thread, so the board (who wrote the UCoC) is aware of the issue. Andreas JN466 14:01, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Actually the board approved the UCOC. There were no board members on the committee which drafted it. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:25, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Jayen466: I suggest you read Mike's comment as ex cathedra statement of policy rather than a fun comment to invite discussion. -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 19:07, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, there was one sock blocked on one "side". There were like FIFTY socks blocked on the other. Volunteer Marek 14:15, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Icewhiz has 31 confirmed or suspected socks, and Jacurek has 74 confirmed or suspected socks. I am not following how you get 50:1 from those numbers. Jehochman Talk 14:37, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Recent history (post 2019 2011), that spans the timeframe of this dispute. Volunteer Marek 15:31, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    About the suggestion that I be one of the people to discuss it with WMF, I'm coming from a somewhat different perspective than Andreas is. I'm actually willing to accept ArbCom's determination that the UCoC does not require ArbCom to find that a violation of the harassment policy happened here. (I don't have to agree with it to be willing to accept it and move on.) So I see this less as being about discussing it with the WMF, than about the community needing to discuss it. (After this case is over.) If Arbs understand existing policy this way, we are at the point where it no longer makes sense to tell the Arbs that they don't understand policy. Instead, the ball is in the community's court to find out whether or not the community is still satisfied with the way that the existing policy is written. And if – if – the community ends up deciding that we want to update the policy, then we can do that, and ArbCom will have an updated policy to work from, going forward. And after all, if the community adopts a policy that is (arguably) stricter than the UCoC, then the community policy is what determines the rules. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:13, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • After looking at the discussion above, I would like to clarify two things. (1) The co-authorship. If the idea of the publication by G&K belongs to I. (I do not know, but this is likely), then authors had to acknowledge this in their paper. They did not. (2) Harassment. I did not read WMF policy, but this depends on perception. For example, consider a boy making a compliment to a girl on campus. If she likes it, that's OK. But if she does not, that's harassment. If someoene truly feels harassed by another person, this is almost certainly a harassment. My very best wishes (talk) 20:09, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Could somebody close this conversation? Please. Jehochman Talk 20:38, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree that this might as well be closed. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:44, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes please. The descriptions of G&K as an external influence campaign, or as harassment, were absurd from the outset. By now, the horse isn't just dead, it's putrid. DFlhb (talk) 21:36, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I do think we have reached the point of diminishing returns, but that statement is an extreme exaggeration. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:42, 5 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed decision available

For those who do not watch all the subpages for whatever reason, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II and the history of Jews in Poland/Proposed decision is now available for comment. Izno (talk) 01:59, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Phab task for Remedy 1

See phab:T337883. I would suggest adding {{tracked|T337883}} to the remedy itself. * Pppery * it has begun... 21:26, 31 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done. Primefac (talk) 09:21, 1 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]