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

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Frequently asked questions (including details about the summary page)

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

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

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

Comments by Valereee

Given that Levivich is mentioned only in connection with Volunteer Marek and VM is mentioned in connection with a lot of issues, I'd urge the committee not to make permanent the two-way iban. I'm not really sure the temporary one was a helpful move at the time, even. I get that these two have a difficult time with each other, but ibans are really hard on editors, and I don't think they should be placed on otherwise useful editors unless really necessary. I don't think this one is. Valereee (talk) 19:33, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We had evidence from an uninvolved administrator saying it was necessary at least at the moment it was levied. We had evidence of sniping between them even before this - see the COI discussion about the Haaretz article that named VM and Piotr. We had evidence from one of the parties (VM) saying it was and is useful. And we have silence from Levivich. Levivich decided not to participate, which is a choice editors can make. What it does mean is that perspective is lost. Per my comments at MVBW I think it's entirely possible if Levivich had participated this would have been a difficult rather than easy remedy to support. But that's a hypothetical and one I don't find compelling to overrule the evidence we have. Barkeep49 (talk) 19:44, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What actually was SFR even using as evidence for the original iban? SFR and VM both mention it, and their evidence is mentioned in the evidence and summaries and here, etc., I missing the diffs? Again, I get it, the two have sniped at one another, but (and apologies if I'm being stupid) where are we shown the reason for the original iban that the committee assumed?
Re: VM saying an iban is useful. I do believe VM is a well-intentioned editor, but wouldn't an iban from every person who disagrees with me be kind of a helpful thing for a person who disagrees with many, many people?
I appreciate the committee and their work, and I hope I'm not making life harder for you. Valereee (talk) 18:54, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Volunteer Marek

  • Regarding Volunteer Marek uses inaccurate or unhelpful edit summaries which make it difficult for other editors to evaluate the changes. (evidence) I would like to point out that these are THREE edit summaries out of THOUSANDS I made during time period. I think it is extremely unreasonable to expect that every single summary out of thousands will be perfectly accurate and I seriously doubt that anyone who is involved in this case - admin, arb or regular editor - can boast a 100% record in such a situation. So it's hard to avoid the impression that this is bit of a "gotcha" thing. Additionally:
    • In the Norman Davies edit [1] the sources were in the wrong place and the inline citations were not at the end of the text that was supposed to be cited. As a result I might have missed them and thought the sources were for other material (I don't know, it was two+ years ago). The other text removed was indeed redundant. Part of the fault here is with whoever placed the sources in the wrong place.
    • In the "Justice for..." article, my edit did indeed remove a statement from a Neo-Nazi. True it removed another piece of text but when FR restored only that part, I didn't object. Again, one edit summary, which while truthful was also incomplete, out of literally thousands of edit summaries.
    • The "lol" edit summary [2]. I mean, yeah, it could have been more descriptive, like "rephrasing extremely clumsy Kremlin propaganda" but come on, the edit itself was not in the least bit controversial and there was no expectation that it would be. Sometimes edits are self explanatory and this was the case here. Also, this is really outside the scope of the case.
  • I wish the drafting arbs had asked about these during the Analysis phase. Volunteer Marek 19:37, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@User:Barkeep49 I think you meant to link to this diff [3] in this comment. Volunteer Marek 19:52, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I did, thanks. Barkeep49 (talk) 19:58, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is extremely hard for me to reply to Wugapodes' comment calmly, as in that comment Wugapodes blatantly accuses me of "intellectual dishonesty", something that if it was posted by a non-Arb in any other setting would most likely result in the poster getting sanctioned. But this charge is so serious that I feel I do have to address it. Piece by piece if necessary:

  • The clearest example of this issue is likely the 2021 dispute at Zygmunt Krasiński. Amidst a content dispute (featuring conduct interesting in its own right) another editor raises concern that VM's edits have "removed all mention of antisemitism". This is verifiably true. I searched the page for the substring "semit" which would match phrases like "antisemitic", "antisemitism", "antisemite", and similar. This substring does not exist on the page after VM's edits. 30 minutes after that comment, VM starts editing again to, among other things, add back in mention of the subject's antisemitic views. This would be fine, of course, we make mistakes and making changes in response to talk page feedback is what we ought to do. After this, VM replies I didn't "remove all mention". It was still there. I re-add an extra sentence just to make you happy. Please stop misrepresenting my edits which blatantly misrepresents the state of the article. Perhaps he was mistaken and thought there were mentions when there weren't?
The relevant version [4] has the text: Stephen Bronner argues that the Comedy is probably "the first work in which a Jewish conspiracy against a Christian society figured as the prominent theme".[15] According to Agata Adamiecka-Sitek, this aspect of the piece is still a sensitive topic in Poland, as the piece is "both canonical and profoundly embarrassing for Polish culture, on par perhaps with The Merchant of Venice in the western theatre canon." This is clearly a mention of anti-semitism in Krasinski's work which I did not remove. One can argue that this isn't sufficient or that the word "anti-semitism" should be used explicitly or whatever, but to call me "intellectually dishonest" over this is extremist and unfounded. BTW, here is Encyclopedia Britannica which makes no mention of the authors' anti-semitism at all. Volunteer Marek 21:10, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"You're right we're not using the phrase antisemitism but I think the Bronner text gets the idea across without using the word" feels like it would play very differently than what you actually wrote. I didn't "remove all mention". It was still there. I re-added an extra sentence just to make you happy. Please stop misrepresenting my edits. Very literally before your edit it had the phrase and after your edits it didn't and your response doesn't actually tell someone where (in your mind) it was still there. And admitting someone else is right is a great way, in my experience, of helping find consensus. Barkeep49 (talk) 22:22, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the hypothetical statement you propose would've been more descriptive. However, at the point where I made MY statement I had *already* restored [5] the *explicit* mention of anti-semitism that FR wanted, so at that point the question of whether Bronner text was sufficient or not was really pedantic since "anti-semitism" (the word that you can CTRL-F search for since that appears to be the standard) was back in. Also, even if my statement was insufficiently clear, how is this evidence of me purposefully and intentionally "lying" or being "intellectually dishonest"? That's the part that has me worked up. Volunteer Marek 22:36, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't say that you were lying or intellectually dishonest so that's not really a question I feel the need to engage with you about. As for the rest of it, I get that you are quite upset about what's been written at the moment and I'm not sure my giving a more substantive reply is going to help either of us. So let me make you this offer: I'm happy to continue in this discussion with you but want to let you make that choice when you're maybe not "seeing red". And if you decide you don't want to continue that's fine too from my perspective. Barkeep49 (talk) 23:02, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • His analysis section on the claim went into great detail in order to support his claim that the area has improved, and a hallmark of this argument was that there were exactly zero AE reports [bolding in original] in 2022. So confident was VM in this claim that, when asked for data, he gave us his data for every year except 2022. To be completely above board, I took issue with VM's methodology for how it counted data and the potential to miss things; VM did not take kindly to this, going to other sites to complain about me, but to his credit he did improve his methodology somewhat. I bring this up to juxtapose his reaction to my methodological challenge with the fact that, as we later found out from evidence, there was an AE report in this topic area in 2022 and VM had participated in it. This was, partly, my concern as I pointed out in my comment that Marek did not count an AE report from 2023 in which he had participated. Why would VM not know about this 2022 report? If his methodology was sound, he should have seen it. I can't know what he thought of it because, unlike every other year, he didn't give us his data---strangely, the data he withheld is for the exact year where his claims didn't line up with his data. Given the totality of evidence I have seen during this case, I do not believe this is a coincidence; I believe it is part of a pattern of intellectual dishonesty.
I did not "provide evidence for 2022" because I thought there were 0 AE cases for 2022. I'm not clear on what I should have provided. An empty list? A list of every single AE report in 2022? I spent hours compiling this data and I did it with 100% honesty and diligence. If there was a Poland related report in 2022 that I missed, it's because there were approximately 100 AE reports in that year (this is an approximation) spread across 14 different archives. All Wugapodes, or any one else, had to do was say "you missed this one" and that would've been that. And having "1 report in 2022" does not change the main point at all, which is that this topic area went from a high of 14 per year to just one. Why in the world would I lie about that? Whether it's 1 or 0 it actually doesn't matter. I honestly can't believe I'm being accused of this. Volunteer Marek 21:19, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A list of every single AE report in 2022? Yes because that's precisely what you did for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 but now you are incredulous that I wanted you to do what you did for every other year? This goes precisely to the point you're trying to rebut. You act is if I'm being unreasonable for asking you to do what you did for every other year of data because it is wildly suspicious that an academic decided to not report the data he reported for every other year when that data contradicts his claims. Wug·a·po·des 21:26, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because for a year where I thought there was 0 cases I could've just as easily provided a link to the archive? Do you seriously think I would LIE about ONE vs ZERO AE reports, when the point was to compare them to the 14 that were there in 2019? Volunteer Marek 21:33, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you seriously think I would LIE about ONE vs ZERO AE reports Yes, I was very clear about that point. Wug·a·po·des 21:35, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are accusing me of intentionally lying. On the basis of no evidence but just your own bias. Anyone else, anywhere else does this THEY'D get blocked. Can you explain what the supposed rationale is for lying that "AE reports in 2022 were zero" rather than ONE, since the basic point remains completely the same? IF I was to lie about something - and I don't lie - I would certainly pick something better to lie about. Volunteer Marek 21:44, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the basis of no evidence I provided multiple paragraphs of evidence. Once again, evidence of my point. Wug·a·po·des 21:46, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think you did, not "evidence". At best your multiple paragraphs show that in tens of thousands of edits and comments I have made over the years, I said something that was wrong here or there. Again, why in the world would I lie about this? It would be a ridiculous thing to lie about, if nothing else. Volunteer Marek 21:52, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think you did, not "evidence". At best your multiple paragraphs show that [...] I said something that was wrong here or there So you mean evidence? Wug·a·po·des 21:57, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Evidence that someone said something that was wrong (a few times out of tens of thousands of comments) is NOT evidence that they were lying. This is elementary and why we have WP:ASPERSIONS and WP:NPA. BTW, the reason I missed that one report is very simple: the word "Poland" does not appear in it. And I was using the search feature. <-- That is "evidence". Of me NOT lying. Volunteer Marek 22:00, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • but at the very least either VM or a confederate was engaged in logged out socking And now I'm being accused of sock puppetry! I have NEVER sock puppeted. Never ever ever ever. I don't have any "confederates". The person socking in that episode was this account, indef banned for LTA and that was who I was reverting. There was also this IP but for all we know that could've been Icewhiz just stirring things up. In case Wugapodes is confused and believes that simply a Polish IP address indicates that this was me, let CUs assure him that I don't live in Poland. To take someone else's socking and try to blame me for it is... I'm not even going to say it. Volunteer Marek 21:31, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • sock, or get a confederate to swoop in and continue the edit war. Another completely unfounded, false, and extreme accusation based on...nothing. Nothing in evidence. Nothing anywhere. Let me repeat: in my 17 years of Wikipedia editing, I have NEVER sock puppeted. Not once. Not twice. Never. I can't believe I am being accused of this and the fact that this accusation is even being made by Wugapodes speaks volumes. Never mind the fact that this is the very dispute where a DIFFERENT user was supporting an actual, real to life, veryobvious,later confirmed, sock puppet of a long-term-abusive editor that I was reverting, and Wugapodes somehow chooses to ignore that part completely. Volunteer Marek 21:41, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • In 2010, VM authored the essay Volunteer Marek/Edit warring is good for you. Whether he still subscribes to that belief is, for the moment, immaterial. The reason I lead with this is to point out just how far back this behavior goes. Here is the essay, written over twelve years ago. The very first sentence of the essay is Ok, I don’t mean that literally – I just wanted a heretical headline. The essay is obviously tongue in cheek (though it makes serious points as well). Wugapodes' presentation of it here speaks for itself. Volunteer Marek 21:49, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Conveniently, you leave out the rest of the paragraph despite showing above that you are quite willing to provide extended quotations when it fits your argument. If you continue reading, I say For context, this essay was written less than two months after his topic ban from Eastern European Mailing List was rescinded by this committee. Read that essay with that context in mind. Does it read like an essay from an editor who, fresh off a restriction, has learned to abide by our policies? That it was tongue-in-cheek is not lost on me and precisely why I suggest reading it in the context of you being fresh off a restriction. Of course, this wouldn't let you paint me as unreasonable and selective. Wug·a·po·des 21:55, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Conveniently you left out the Ok, I don’t mean that literally – I just wanted a heretical headline part. See how this works? Volunteer Marek 22:02, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So I'm being manipulative and selective because I linked to your essay in full and then told everyone to go read it? I didn't quote any of it because I wanted people to go read it and not trust me taking parts out of context. So much so that I literally said to go read it where, as you note, it will be the first thing they read. You do see the difference here yeah? Wug·a·po·des 22:05, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are being manipulative and selective by pretending the essay says something that it doesn't say (quote: "Volunteer Marek does not care about our behavioral policies."), based on just the title, which is explicitly clarified to NOT be the case by the very first sentence of the essay. And you know that anyone and everyone can also read "the rest of the paragraph " that you accuse me of purposefully leaving out, right? Just like they can read the essay. Volunteer Marek 22:14, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You say: pretending the essay says something that it doesn't say [...] based on just the title and yet I said Read that essay with that context in mind. I think it's plainly obvious that I was considering more than the title. Once again, my point. Wug·a·po·des 22:18, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What you actually say is that the essay is proof that "Volunteer Marek does not care about our behavioral policies". Of course it's not anything like that. The "context" here is that the essay was written tongue-in-cheek. But that is NOT the context you are emphasizing, in fact it's the actual context which you are hiding from anyone who doesn't click on the essay itself. Volunteer Marek 22:22, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I mean is that some edit warring is good.[...] Some of the best articles on Wikipedia have gone through some serious edit wars. And they are better for it. An edit war – having somebody revert, challenge and fight you every inch, every word of an article – forces you to go to the sources.[...] Content creating editors are supposed to find reliable sources for every single piece of text they write. And edit warring is exactly the competitive process which makes sure that they do that. So these lines, where you say explicitly "what I mean is", are in fact jokes and not what you mean? The portions where you lay out the benefits of edit warring, an argument that follows from that thesis, is a joke? Your conclusion, where you say that edit warring is the process by which one can achieve the benefits you describe in the essay, that's just a joke? The whole things a joke and has no meaning at all? You wrote that whole things because you actually believed edit warring was bad (and then continued to do it for multiple years anyway)? I should, given all of that, conclude that you actually do care about the behavioral policy on edit warring because this essay is just one big joke? Wug·a·po·des 22:35, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please stop pretending I said things I didn't say or believe things I didn't say I believe. This kind of behavior only exemplifies what you believe about me, rather than what I actually believe myself. The essay is a joke but jokes can be used to make a serious point, as I *already* stated above. That's what "tongue-in-cheek" means. Yes, I do think highly contentious articles which tend to see a lot of edit warring ultimately end up as a result with better sourcing. I wasn't aware that having this opinion is something that merits an indef ban, or that it's some kind of evidence of "intellectual dishonesty" or "not respecting our core policies". The fact that you are so insistent on misrepresenting this essay in such an obvious way really illustrates the basic underlying problem with how you approached this case in general and myself in particular. But at least this isn't as bad as your completely off-the-wall accusations of sock puppetry. Volunteer Marek 22:45, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I do think highly contentious articles which tend to see a lot of edit warring ultimately end up as a result with better sourcing. Is this belief why we have in evidence multiple instances of you edit warring in the years since then? Would that not exemplify my point exactly? Wug·a·po·des 22:46, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. You are asking a "have you stopped beating your wife" question here. Par for the course. Volunteer Marek 22:50, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I also want to note, in general and addressing all arbs and commentators, that by writing that super long massive piece of text - something I’ve *never* seen done in an ArbCase before - in which they accuse me of “intellectual dishonesty” and of sock puppetry (still can’t believe this is actually an accusation!), accusations none of which are or were actually made during either the “Evidence” or “Analysis” phase of the case, Wugapodes put me in an impossible position.

Either I respond to these very extreme accusations in which case it looks like I’m being argumentative, or I leave them alone, giving credence to them by silence. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

I have never sock puppeted, contrary to Wugapodes evidence free claims, and if I did make errors or said something that wasn’t correct or imprecise, it wasn’t because I was lying. Volunteer Marek 23:07, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In interest of full disclosure: I have emailed User:Newyorkbrad because I regard the above accusation to be so extreme, unfair and unfounded. I have asked them to comment here after seeing that they made a placeholder section. Whether they choose to say anything or what they say, is obviously up to them. Reason I asked them in particular is because they already made a placeholder section and because they have been here for a very long time and because they are an editor I have utmost respect for. Volunteer Marek 23:37, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Arbs - I have no issue with a 1RR restriction or the "consensus required" provision. Volunteer Marek 20:54, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@User:Izno & User:GeneralNotability re 6.4, just make it “1 comment per talk page per 24 hours” rather than “per level 2”. That will make it simpler to follow and harder to game. And honestly, I can’t think of a situation which would absolutely require more than 1 comment per day. Volunteer Marek 02:57, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@User:Izno, User:Enterprisey and User:SilkTork – since you folks haven’t voted on the indef proposal. Izno has commented and expressed concern with "multiple partial bans and restrictions" and so I wanted to address these.

  • Regarding the IBANS – I asked for these. I welcome them and support them. If I expected not to be able to follow these I wouldn't have been asking for them (even before the case). These are not a burden but rather will make it easier for me to avoid controversy, not harder.
  • Topic ban – I haven’t edited this topic area for more than a year prior to the publication of this paper, for all intents and purposes (approximately 2% of my edits in the year prior to the G&K paper). If I can stay away from a topic area on my own, voluntarily, for more than a year, I am pretty sure I can stay away from it with the threat of sanction hanging over me.
  • Civility restriction and 1RR – As I said in my response to User:Barkeep49, I welcome this as I think it will help me become a better editor. I think they are entirely reasonable.

Taken together I don’t see these restrictions as being challenging to follow, especially since I plan on very much limiting my Wikipedia activity in the foreseeable future. I believe that their imposition makes an indefinite ban unnecessary and hope you will agree with me in that regard. Thanks. Volunteer Marek 12:59, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would also ask you to give very serious consideration to the comments below by User:Newyorkbrad [6], who has been here, including as a former arbitrator multiple times, for quite awhile and who as a result has a "meta", or long term, view of the situation. Volunteer Marek 13:03, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just noting that SilkTork is inactive in this case so it's just Enterprisey and Izno left to vote on that. Barkeep49 (talk) 13:58, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Drmies

The results are slowly coming in; I suppose I was glad to see Barkeep49 not very determined to ban Marek. I could have participated in this case but have been way too preoccupied at work, though I had a few things to say about an article that also implicated me by partially quoting and misquoting me. At any rate, I urge the arbs not to vote on a project ban for Marek, whom I've known for a while; I blocked him once for refusing to listen, but I also know him as a conscientious editor who takes his academic responsibilities seriously when it comes to sourcing and representing sources. I can feel that this is leaning already toward a topic ban for him, which I think is very strong but perhaps understandable, but I hope that we are not going to reward a banned editor, and another who, IMO, clearly misrepresented what was going in some of the processes in a contentious area. Thank you. Drmies (talk) 20:25, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I was reminded of Jew with a coin: what are the odds, you think, that Icewhiz, Robere, Marek, Piotrus, and me all worked on that article, which got 13,000 views on the front page? Drmies (talk) 20:33, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by My very best wishes

Please accept my sincere apologies for commenting during this case. That was my misunderstanding. From the very beginning of the case I was wondering why I was included as a party, given that I do not really edit in this subject area. I thought this is because I knew some other participants of this case for a long time - as contributors on-wiki, not in "real life". Hence, I did honestly express my views and supported them by diffs and references to policies. I realize that arbitrators may disagree with me, but I commented exactly what I think. I also thought that arbitrators are looking for diverse participation, for people who would appear as their "opponents". Please note that I never made any impolite or offensive comments with regard to participants to this case. Now, if my participation was unhelpful (and I am sorry for that!), why no one asked me to stop commenting during the case? I would stop immediately. I did not have a slightest idea that my comments were viewed in such way. To the contrary, I sincerely thought that arbitrators requested my comments by including me as a party to the case, and I always respect such requests. My very best wishes (talk) 20:30, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I checked diffs provided as an evidence of my misbehavior during this case [7] (I striked through one of them later, after a clarification by Barkeep49 [8]). It came to me as a great surprise that such comments can be a reason for interaction and topic bans, even though I have commented a lot at WP:AE and during previous arbitrations. For example, I did say that Speaking about Piotrus and VM, I know them as highly experienced and dedicated contributors. Yes, I believe this is true (if they were not dedicated to the project, they would stopped editing long time ago). But even if I am wrong, how such opinion can justify the topic and interaction bans? Is it a proof of my "battleground behavior" as one of arbitrators suggested? In fact, I behaved very differently during this case by not blaming anyone of anything and not providing any evidence against anyone. I thought that would be seen as an improvement, and certainly not as a WP:BATTLE. After having such admonishment, I would be happy never comment again on any administrative noticeboards, if that is what arbitrators want. But interaction and topic bans? I hardly interacted a lot lately with P. and VM - before this case. And I hardly edited in this subject area. My very best wishes (talk) 02:39, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think Now, if my participation was unhelpful (and I am sorry for that!), why no one asked me to stop commenting during the case? is a fair question and deserves a response. For me, it wasn't an individual comment that was the problem. It was all of the participation put together; this is why the diffs in your section are listed as e.g. or examples given because they don't represent diffs showing all the issues. So there wasn't some behavior to tell you to knock off. If someone crosses a line with a comment I will say something. Otherwise I believe parties get a fair amount of leeway to conduct themselves as they want. So in thinking about this conduct, my concern is that at ArbCom we could see evidence of this behavior thanks to the close examination of conduct at the case (and in discussions) over time and in a deliberate manner. But that's not possible in other contexts, so I'm left considering options about how to ensure that doesn't happen. And I see that my thinking and concern is shared by other arbs. Barkeep49 (talk) 03:16, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Tryptofish

About the first Proposed Remedy, the request for a WMF white paper, ArbCom might want to consider using language that refers more specifically to the issue of writing about the personal information of Wikipedians, rather than the more general "writing about Wikipedians". At least, I assume that this is the intention of the proposed remedy. I don't mean to imply that the white paper should be narrow-focused on that, but rather, that it should be made clear that this is something that needs to be addressed within the white paper. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:31, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with Izno about doing it as a simple copyedit. Please let me suggest putting it, instead, in the second sentence, as "write about Wikipedians and their personal information in a way that respects our principles...". That way, by putting it alongside "our principles", it makes clearer the connection between the writing about editors, and the outing policy. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:57, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm following the discussion between VM and Wugapodes, and particularly the part about VM (or a confederate) having allegedly socked by editing while logged out. I've looked at the evidence summary, and the IPs geolocate to Poland. I recognize that the checkuser policy tends not to support public comments on IPs in relation to named accounts, but I think it might be possible to give a yes/no answer to how likely or unlikely it is that there was close geolocation between VM and the alleged confederate. If, as I think may be possible, VM was not anywhere near Poland at the time of those edits, then it would have had to have been VM in one part of the world, and the alleged confederate in Poland. Given the entire subject matter of the case, it seems a lot simpler to me that there could have been people in Poland who made those IP edits, but who did so without any communication or coordination with VM. In multiple other parts of the case, Arbs are correctly taking the approach that people agreeing about content is not, by itself, evidence of sockpuppetry. It would be a good idea to apply the same reasoning here. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:28, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, to the extent that there is a concern about edit warring (which I think is supported by the evidence), one option ArbCom could consider is to put VM under a 1RR restriction site-wide. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:04, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because they are Principles, they don't attract as much comment, but I want to say that I like Principles 2 (Role of Committee) and 3 (Limitations), as well as 9 (Source manipulation), the way that they are written. As CaptainEek correctly points out, they are important in explaining the case to the general public.

I want, however, to point something out about Principle 11 (On and off-wiki behavior). Although it's true, as written, it seems to me to get things backwards, in a way that has been bothering me throughout the case. As I read the dispute, the problem isn't that acceptable on-wiki behavior became a problem off-site, unless one is talking about canvassing, which I'm guessing is not what this is about. Instead, I think that ArbCom is trying to set up the idea giving rise to FoF 9, about it not being outing if it's part of an academic journal article. Given that you want to argue that, you should be precise in your use of language. Thus, this is about material that should not be posted on-wiki, being nonetheless OK if it's posted in an academic paper.

I'm glad that you found my suggested wording for Remedy 1 helpful.

Having suggested 1RR, I want to note that I find reasonable the counter-arguments that multiple specific restrictions begin to look more like the need for a site-ban. That's a point well-taken. On the other hand, I'm having a hard time reconciling Barkeep49's very reasonable comment under the Motion to Close, with the accusation of VM and the IP being socks. It should be obvious that Arbs should model the good conduct they expect of the community. In weighing a site-ban for VM, I urge the Arbs to consider recent conduct, more so than everything over time, and to put in context how an editor reacts when feeling attacked. Honestly, I think my gut feelings may very well be wrong, but my gut feelings are very similar to those of Newyorkbrad. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:36, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I want to add that I think that Ealdgyth's comments below hit the nail on the head, as to why it is inaccurate to call VM dishonest. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:48, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Principle 11, which comes from GSoW, is indeed referencing canvassing (at least for me) in this case. Barkeep49 (talk) 22:33, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, that leaves me wondering about a couple of things. As far as I can tell, the only findings or remedies that grow out of cavassing is the reminder to Piotrus, which, overall, is a pretty small aspect of the decision. If that's all that is intended here, it would be far better to use clear language, that will not be misconstrued by those of us reading the decision. Just say that on-site communication between editors that is acceptable here, can violate the canvassing guideline when conducted off-site.
And, as written, it is being misconstrued. By me, because I was pretty sure you were talking about something completely different, even after following this case so slowly, and by at least one other editor below. And I've been telling ArbCom again and again, that what you put in the final decision is going to be put under a microscope by people interested in the outing claim. As written, this Principle is destined to get outside criticism, apparently over something that it wasn't even intended to be about (because it looks like it contradicts FoF 9, when read as a general statement of on and off-site conduct, without specifying what it's really about). If something in the PD can only be understood after someone explains what it was really about, it's not working as intended. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:58, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After being told that I was tilting at windmills, I feel the need to say after [9] that I'm personally not "eager to misconstrue", but I have no doubt that there will be people out there who are. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:15, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I certainly agree that if it isn't understood by good faith editors it's not working as intended. Barkeep49 (talk) 21:21, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, I appreciate that. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:32, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I want to thank Enterprisey for his abstain comment in FoF 9, which is an astute way of explaining the concerns that some of us have had. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:36, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seeing various other comments about whether the VM-Levivich IBAN should be made one-way, I'd like the Arbs to carefully consider something first. VM has consistently accepted that an IBAN is appropriate, which indicates some significant self-awareness. Levivich has consistently taken the position that he is not at fault. It's for the Arbs to determine whether that's because Levivich is, in fact, faultless. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:22, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps the Arbs already know about this, but I think this is interesting as information (no, I am not asking for action on it): [10]. No need for other editors to discuss it here, just information about views of the PD that are useful to be aware of. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:49, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not that I regret anything about it, but I just struck through my comment above, because Andreas/Jayen covers it so much better than I did. I think it's essential for anyone interested to read the reaction by Richard C. Lukas alongside the commentary of Shira Klein, to see both perspectives. And I'll say that if ArbCom has pissed off both "sides" of the scholarly debate this much, then ArbCom has done a pretty good job. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:33, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Jayen466

The unabridged WP:OWH wording is Inappropriate or unwanted public or private communication, following, or any form of hounding, when directed at another editor, violates the harassment policy. Couldn't posting a person's name and place of employment in an academic paper – while accusing them of spreading antisemitic canards – be viewed as "Inappropriate or unwanted public or private communication, following", or a "form of hounding"? Who would want this? And what purpose does the mention of a Wikipedian's personal details in an academic paper serve, if it is not intended primarily to intimidate, outrage or upset that Wikipedian? As I mentioned before, this would be very different if the editor(s) concerned were Grabowski's and Klein's peers – Holocaust scholars also publishing academically in this topic area, guaranteed a right to reply in the same venue. But they are not. The outed editors are, as far as this topic area is concerned, laypeople, like the rest of us. And that means that this is not a fair fight between academic peers.

Also kindly note that the relevant passages in the Universal Code of Conduct's "Unacceptable behaviour" and "Harassment" preambles and the sentence preceding the bullet points all expressly state that unacceptable behaviour and harassment includes everything that follows:

The following behaviours are considered unacceptable within the Wikimedia movement ...

Harassment: This 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 ...

Harassment includes but is not limited to: Insults [...] Sexual harassment [...] Threats [...] Encouraging harm to others [...] Disclosure of personal data (Doxing): sharing other contributors' private information, such as name, place of employment, physical or email address without their explicit consent either on the Wikimedia projects or elsewhere, or sharing information concerning their Wikimedia activity outside the projects.

I'm all in favour of asking the Board to revise the document or provide a clarification. But guessing what the document maybe "ought" to have said doesn't strike me as a very good idea. At worst, doing so is indistinguishable from ignoring what the document actually does say.

This said, I am glad to see the Committee addressing this issue in the Proposed decision, and I applaud the request for a white paper. --Andreas JN466 22:18, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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

This seems like an explicit – and unanimous – rejection by the Committee of the UCoC "Doxing" paragraph, which makes no distinction between on-wiki and off-wiki disclosure of personal information and considers both equally unacceptable: Disclosure of personal data (Doxing): sharing other contributors' private information, such as name, place of employment, physical or email address without their explicit consent either on the Wikimedia projects or elsewhere, or sharing information concerning their Wikimedia activity outside the projects.

@Mike Peel: I trust the board will in due course take the appropriate action – either to overrule ArbCom and enforce the UCoC as written, or, accepting that the quoted passage is unenforceable, to revise it at its earliest opportunity. --Andreas JN466 23:09, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@BilledMammal and Guerillero: I assume the Foundation would consider the recent community endorsement of the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines (see Signpost coverage) a sufficient "Enabling Act". The community actually voted twice to endorse the Enforcement Guidelines. The most recent poll resulted in a 76% "Yes" vote (2,290 Yes, 722 No). Even if you allow for the fact that this was a Wikimedia-wide poll rather than an English Wikipedia poll, I dare say that it's almost a mathematical impossibility that the English Wikipedia vote, taken by itself, would result in a different outcome. Moreover, the Universal Code of Conduct will shortly be explicitly enshrined in the Terms of Use as well (the revised ToU will contain three explicit mentions of the UCoC) – and you know that we agree to be bound by the ToU with every edit we make here. Arguably of course this makes resolving any discrepancies between the UCoC and English Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines an even more urgent matter. But I am not sure whether an RfC on ArbCom Enforcement in English Wikipedia now can still deliver a meaningful result, given that the previous community-wide vote had a level of participation (3,000+ users) at least an order of magnitude greater than any on-wiki RfC on this question is likely to achieve. --Andreas JN466 15:45, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dear Arbitrators: If I look at the Findings of Fact related to François Robere and Volunteer Marek, all I see is a list of things they have done wrong. Now I know it's your job to "find fault", but you managed to say something nice about Piotrus' editing. Couldn't you perhaps find a few kind words to say about these editors' contributions to the topic area as well? Unless you really think that they did not contribute in good faith, and never wrote anything of value, it doesn't seem quite right to summarise a volunteers' efforts, which included significant investments in time, even money (for book purchases etc.), simply by listing that over the course of more than a decade they edit-warred at some point, or wrote something that qualified as a "personal attack" or "hounding" according to Wikipedia's rules, or used "unhelpful edit summaries".

I think this is particularly important in this case, given the way it came about, the public accusations made in the essay (which you are at least partly disagreeing with), and the resulting public and scholarly attention the final decision might conceivably attract, but it's something that would be generally nice to see and might help to alleviate the somewhat torturous and inhumane nature ArbCom proceedings frequently assume for parties to a case. --Andreas JN466 12:35, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Scholars from both sides of the scholarly debate are unhappy with Wikipedia this week:

--Andreas JN466 18:30, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by isaacl

A minor copyediting comment regarding proposed remedy 8: I suggest revising the wording to The Arbitration Committee assumes responsibility for the temporary interaction ban between Levivich and Volunteer Marek, and makes it an indefinite ban. isaacl (talk) 22:47, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding proposed remedy 1: I agree with copyediting changes being done with minimal fuss. In my view, the remedy does not have to contain an exhaustive list of the details to be discussed with the WMF regarding the proposal, and the two sides can talk to each other for clarification, so precise wordsmithing is not needed at this time as long as the general scope is understood. isaacl (talk) 23:11, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding the proposed source language restriction remedy: I fear the takeaway will be the portion of CaptainEek's rationale stating that non-English sources are too easily manipulated. I think this is overly reductionist as quality of scholarship issues can arise in English-language sources as well. I appreciate the difficulties in verifying hard-to-obtain sources, and the risks of relying on sources that contradict generally accepted academic consensus views. I think it would be better to address this in a language-independent manner, though. isaacl (talk) 20:56, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Nosebagbear

VM has been the source of significant disruption, both recently and further back. I would encourage @Guerillero: to create an EE TBAN as a separate remedy proposal, as I concur with their thinking that the narrower TBAN would be insufficient. However, I think that the indications of a viable behaviour set go along with their known competences, to advise against a full ban.

On the topic of principle 16, that of the UCOC, it probably is wise for ARBCOM to create a principle on the matter. The first sentence is accurate, even if I dispute its mandate to do so, given not merely the lack of a community vote but a set of flaws in the phase 1 proceedings entirely. Sentence 2 The English Wikipedia has developed policies and guidelines (PAG) that add to this minimum that take account of local and cultural context, maintaining the UCoC criteria as a minimum standard and, in many PAGs, going beyond those minimums. I would say don't align with the actual historical truth. We didn't get the UCOC and then create some PAGs - our conduct PAGs haven't changed significantly since the UCOC was created. Instead something more like "The English Wikipedia has developed, prior to the UCOC, policies and guidelines (PAGs) that meet all minimum requirements of the UCOC and, in many PAGs, significantly exceed those minimums. By following and enforcing our conduct PAGs, we will inherently ensure that the UCOC is also complied with. Therefore, the Arbitration Committee, as an identified high-level decision making body under the UCoC enforcement guidelines, may choose to evaluate compliance with English Wikipedia PAGs"

I get Barkeep49's concerns on this matter, so a principle that lays out the reasoning that "complying with our own rules is sufficient because doing so means we have met the UCOC" while avoiding giving the UCOC a nature that it doesn't possess feels like a possible way through. Nosebagbear (talk) 23:42, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a good start to the adjustment I would want to make. However, I question whether The English Wikipedia has developed [...] policies and guidelines (PAGs) that meet all minimum requirements of the UCOC is actual fact. Has anyone reviewed the documents of interest to ensure that is so? I think there has been a reasonable point that the UCOC's "thou shalt not dox" is not enshrined anywhere in Wikipedia policy, even if WP:HARASS and the line of interest are very near in sense to each other.
Are you sure the arbitrator you wanted to reference was Barkeep? Izno (talk) 23:48, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Izno:, in this case I was referencing Barkeep, as while I feel (I think) even more strongly than BK49 about the issues of the BOT opting to exclude the community from ratifying the most important global conduct policy in Wikimedia's existence (on the basis that WP:5P4 isn't a policy) I do understand the issues of basically having arbcom formally state we won't enforce it vis a vis someone making a case saying it's not being upheld. Even though I have stated that I would never issue a purely UCOC-reasoned block on en-wiki. So a Gordian knot resolution is needed to try and avoid those valid concerns while agreeing with Guerillero's position (and yours).
As to the "is it true" - during one of the EG processes I actually proposed that a binding judgement should be requestable as to whether a community's current rules met the UCOC minimum (if actually enforced). But the benefits and cons of that missed route aside; I think a reasonable reading can be done that we meet the "incoming doxxing" (outside information posted on-wiki) requirements. I actually think it's the "outwards doxxing" (covering someone's wiki activity elsewhere) that is much more questionably covered.
But the upshot of which is - since we are unlikely to have a dedicated UCOC interpretation case in the near future, perhaps the arbs should either review and say we do, or note to the community areas that we don't. (At least, the mandatory bits of the UCOC, rather than the aspirational bits). Nosebagbear (talk) 00:23, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your clarification about whose concerns you were reflecting on. Yes, I think separating those two categories of doxxing does highlight the particular issue that has had time spent on it that I most interested in.
I think I'd really rather prefer the community discuss the deltas between our body of PAGs and the UCOC, but having us make an FOF and likely note to the community-remedy would probably be ok for me in the context of this decision (at least for where it is pertinent here). I just don't know if enough of the committee agrees that the particular issue is indeed a delta, which is the other reason I'd prefer community investigation. Izno (talk) 00:40, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Cabayi: - is "It's incumbent on every admin, functionary, and the ArbCom to ensure it's applied." really the case? It's incumbent on us (and every editor) not to breach it, and arbs may reasonably view themselves as having taken on duties like these by dint of running - but WP:VOLUNTEER holds to all. Generally, I wouldn't say the vast majority of those outside a few committees have a positive duty to act in almost any aspect (ADMINACCT is a notable exception here). We might have our own personal moral obligations, too - I'd hope that there are situations none of us would just scroll past, but obviously not everything under the UCOC's non-community-ratified umbrella has that. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:30, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nosebagbear - Do administrators not run? I agree that WP:VOLUNTEER holds to all. I agree we don't all see the same issues in every situation. However, UCoC is just as much part of policy as if it was passed as an enwiki policy. No-one can argue not invented here and deny it's in their toolbox when evaluating a situation. To that extent, it's incumbent on all. Cabayi (talk) 12:26, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by George Ho

Curiously, I find the majority votes table, the voting results table, and the closing-the-case voting section missing up to date. George Ho (talk) 00:02, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because the clerks tend to give a proposal a day or two to settle down before working on tracking. Izno (talk) 00:03, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Newyorkbrad

As we all know, the Committee opened this case on its own initiative to examine the claims in an academic publication, which asserted that our articles in an important and sensitive topic-area were being intentionally distorted and manipulated by a group of nationalist editors. I understand why the arbitrators may have felt compelled to weigh in, and I do not criticize their decision to open the case. However, it is far from obvious that an ArbCom case was the best way to address the issue.

A takeaway: Wikipedia probably needs a procedure for evaluating allegations that sensitive and important articles are pervasively untrustworthy. I am not sure what that procedure should be, but I am confident that an arbitration case is not it. Brainstorming about how this type of situation should be handled in the future could be at least as important as the "white paper" the Committee proposes to solicit in remedy 1.

I'm not going to comment on everything, or even many things, in the proposed decision. The arbitrators, particularly the drafters, have obviously put massive time and effort into it, and I commend them for that. I certainly haven't read all the evidence, or the diffs cited in the decision, and it would ill-behoove me to second-guess those who have without retracing their steps, which I have no intention of doing.

My attention is caught, though, by the ban proposals against Volunteer Marek ("VM"). I'm not going to opine on what sanction, if any, is warranted against him, though I will say I was surprised to see a site-ban proposed. I suspect others will have been surprised as well, and that arbitrator Wugapodes has presented his unusually lengthy and emphatic justification for a siteban against VM at least partly in anticipation of that reaction.

As I said, I haven't read all the diffs, but at least two of Wugapodes' specifications against VM give me pause on their face. The first is his reliance on this essay as evidence that VM is contemptuous of policy and that his approach is incompatible with proper editing. This decade-old essay is an interesting piece of wiki-philosophy, which people might take or leave. Reading it with more attention to detail than it might deserve, I don't believe that WM was defending "edit-warring" in its most problematic "revert back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth" form. He was saying that controversial articles may benefit from having multiple contributors with different views, even if the cost of that is some short-term back-and-forth and contentiousness and even reverting as the editors work toward a version of the article that they can all accept. And I understand at least the gist of where VM's essay is coming from; "horrors! reverts! must block!" can be a very superficial way of looking at a content dispute between serious editors who are want to leave a well-written, accurate article behind them when the process is over. One can walk away from VM's essay thinking it underrates the need to avoid edit-warring (however exactly that is defined); but one can also read it as stressing the value of careful research and meticulous sourcing, especially when it comes to challenged claims. I wouldn't sign my name to this essay, but it is not so far beyond the pale as to be useful evidence in an arbitration case.

My other concern relates to Wugapodes' conclusion that VM was dishonest when he wrote, as background information about the state of the topic-area, that there were no AE reports in the topic-area in 2022, where it turns out that apparently there was one such report. Above, Wugapodes categorically rejects VM's claim that this was an understandable, or at least an unintentional, mistake, and tells VM "to his (wiki-)face" that he is certain VM was deliberately lying, about a patently minor and peripheral issue. Here I think Wugapdes may have become so disposed to disbelieve everything VM says—whether justifiably or otherwise others will judge—that he has become more jaded than is desirable. In this instance at least, VM's rejoinder above is a sensible one, and a minor and inadvertent mistake is indeed by far the most likely explanation.

These two points don't mean that there necessarily isn't merit to Wugapodes' myriad other allegations against Volunteer Marek, but for myself, each of them is akin to a proverbial thirteenth chime of the clock: it not only adds no useful information in itself, but it demands a reevaluation of all that has come before. I respect the strength of Wugapodes' feeling that he must make one of the most difficult decisions an arbitrator can make, which is that it is necessary to separate a long-time, hard-working, dedicated editor from our project. Suffice it to say that the it might be best for him to step aside from the dialog at this point and allow the other arbitrators to take the question forward from here. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:17, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Note: Before hitting "publish" I scrolled up the page to see whether anything relevant had happened since I started typing, and I see VM's note that he has e-mailed me. Having written the above, I am deliberately posting it before reading the e-mail. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:17, 12 May 2023 (UTC))Reply[reply]

(Added Friday morning) I just took another look at the proposed decision page and this talkpage. I'm pressed for time today, and will simply repeat that I hope the arbitrators will give careful scrutiny to the proposed findings and remedies against Volunteer Marek. At least some of the allegations and diffs still strike me as thin or explainable, and indeed some of them he has explained above, although it appears he has stopped explaining after being told that arguing with an arbitrator was not helping him. He has been an imperfect editor to be sure, but I have never found him to be "dishonest" as he is being accused of, and I've found him attentive to facts and detail, including in contentious areas. I may (or may not) comment on some other aspects of the PD later when I have more time later in the day. Newyorkbrad (talk) 12:33, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And I would hope that any arb is not just looking at the example diffs in the PD when evaluating Volunteer Marek's behavior. I wouldn't have called him dishonest myself and fortunately none of the FoF I have voted to support do some either. Barkeep49 (talk) 12:45, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(update Sunday evening) I've spent a little more time reviewing the proposals about Volunteer Marek. There are four findings against him. The first details the record of prior sanctions against VM, and it's not a trivial list, but it bears noting how many of the prior blocks or other sanctions were overturned on review, sometimes by the admin who imposed them and sometimes on a noticeboard. The second finding relating to edit summaries is the subject of VM's first paragraph above on this talkpage, where he provides explanations that I think draw much of the force from the finding. The third and fourth findings cite more evidence than the first two; they reflect a more confrontational editing style than might be desirable, albeit sometimes under provocation, but the substantive points VM is making in these discussions usually have at least some justification.

I think any analysis of VM's editing in this topic-area ought to consider the point he made in his evidence at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II and the history of Jews in Poland/Evidence#Ealdgyth's 2022 attempt to improve Holocaust in Poland article, which is mentioned in the summary Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II and the history of Jews in Poland/Evidence/Summary#Positive contributions in the topic area. To me that is strong evidence of good faith. Good faith, even on Wikipedia, is not a get-out-of-jail-free card; but neither is it irrelevant, especially given the nature of the allegations that caused the case to be opened.

For anyone to ask for a second look at the topic-ban that is passing unanimously would be tilting at windmills, but I'm surprised by the support so far for banning VM from Wikipedia entirely, which I would consider an overbroad and overharsh sanction.

Concerning a possibly less weighty matter, the one-way interaction ban between My Very Best Wishes and Piotrus and Volunteer Marek (remedy 5.2) might be limited, without impairing its value, to interactions either in the context of this topic-area or in dispute-resolution processes. I do not see why MVBW should be prevented from, for example, collaborating with Piotrus or VM on an article in an unrelated topic-area. And on a typographical note, in FOF #1, the title of the earlier case that was resolved by motion was "Warsaw Concentration Camp" (singular; the issue, at least when that case was first proposed, related to one specific place).

As always, I hope this helps. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:04, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Gitz

I should only be grateful for having been spared by ArbCom (if that's what happened) and be quiet, but I feel the need to comment on the proposed site-ban for VM.

Honestly, I think it would be too harsh and not necessary. Please note, I've suffered a lot in the recent past because of VM's approach to editing, which is very harmful and toxic, and I do understand Wugapodes when they explain why VM is "a net negative to the project": he's undoubtedly a burden. However, he's also a resource for the encyclopaedia – because he's experienced, he's passionate about the project, very dedicated to it, has a good eye for sources and other stuff editors need to know, etc. So it's a question of weighing costs and benefits: is the net result positive or negative?

Based on my experience in the RU area and the little I know about the HiP area, I would answer in no uncertain terms that it is negative, and by a lot. However, I have often thought (and sometimes said) that 50% of the blame for this lies with VM and 50% with the admins, who for some reason seem to be almost afraid of him and fail to sanction blatant misconduct. It's as if around VM there was a kind of awe and respect to the point of pusillanimity, and I've always wondered why. Why don't you stop him? Not by blocking him indefinitely, for goodness sake, but by applying increasingly longer blocks and other appropriate sanctions (0RR or 1RR) to de-escalate or prevent conflicts, establish boundaries, mitigate and educate. I'm almost a newcomer to this community and I must be missing something very basic, but common sense suggests to me that VM doesn't need to be indeff'ed: he needs to be bullied (so to speak) by admins, i.e., to be contained and repeatedly sanctioned, until he understands that mistreating people just because they are behind the screen is unacceptable, that deceiving and escalating conflicts to push a POV is not okay, and that POV-pushing, if inevitable, is only acceptable if done with a very light touch, abiding by policies and seeking consensus.

So instead of the site-ban I would urge Arbs to consider other sanctions that are more targeted, equally effective and less harsh, sanctions that IMHO need to be applicable not only to the HiP topic area, but to all VM's contributions. In fact, for the reasons I explained here (final paragraph), I believe that the other proposed sanction, "Volunteer Marek topic banned", would be not only ineffective, but actually harmful. Gitz (talk) (contribs) 00:43, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Adoring nanny

The VM "lol" edit summary obviously had room for improvement. But the revert itself was a positive contribution to the project, and a lot of such reverting was needed on that type of article during that time, for obvious reasons. Furthermore, if one were to look at edit summaries by User:Adoring nanny, one could surely find fault there as well. Adoring nanny (talk) 01:05, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The proposed 1RR for VM does not specify one revert per what unit of time. Adoring nanny (talk) 12:20, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are correct, I will seek to rectify that. Primefac (talk) 14:05, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I interpreted @Adoring nanny's comment differently. Normally it's 1RR with-in x days. This was intentionally left as indefinite to account for some of the repeated edit wars we have evidence for in this case, but I am open to a long time frame (i.e. months) if that helps convince other arbs to support it. Barkeep49 (talk) 14:49, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My two comments above have different purposes. The first one was saying that in the Russia-Ukraine area, I think a lot of VM's reverts have value. But the second one was a result of an apparently incorrect assumption by me that a duration was intended. Regardless, I do think it should be crystal clear to everyone what they are voting on. Adoring nanny (talk) 15:45, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Elinruby comment

  • Thank you for FoF #7, as someone who has seen RSN and NPOVN posts languish and/or simply ignored. I may have more to say later about some of the other sections.

@Izno: I would like to +1 to BilledMammal's concern. While yes, this is the current wording, there are still way many arguments at RSN about this and if it is in the realm of possibility I'd prefer a wording that made it clearer that there is nothing wrong with foreign-language text per se. It is often the case, for example, that all of the references in a translated article are initially in the original language.

  • Also, I agree that if GCB is unbanned at some point that she should be banned from more than Poland. Definitely at least Ukraine as well given her beliefs about the Naziness of the place. While I am on editors and Ukraine: If I am reading this correctly, VM, MVBW, P and FR are subject to additional penalties if they do anything remotely out of line anywhere in Eastern Europe, yet the Committee has steadfastly declined to hear any evidence related to Ukraine, where VM and MVBW had been editing, not Poland. I don't know their feelings about this but it seems...eyebrow-raising, and is it really necessary to topic-ban someone who doesn't edit a given topic in the first place? I also have questions about the what whole extending-to-EEML thing would look like. MVBW just made a very cogent remark about Donetsk and Lugansk at Puppet state, and VM and Piotrus both answered a question about Duchy of Warsaw there as well. Elinruby (talk) 08:01, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I struck the above because my concern about the "extend to EEML" language stemmed from confusion on my part. However, I still have concerns about the various proposed bans which are not theoretical. Piotrus, MVBW and VM have all made substantive and helpful comments to Puppet state, a long-term project of mine, very recently, and I would very much like to have their help at Collaboration with the Axis powers, another long-term project where two other parties have also participated. Interaction bans would instantly be a problem for the work on these articles, which they objectively do need. I do have some specific comments about remedies regarding VM and MVBW, but will making them constitute "repeating the behaviour"? Hmm. Meanwhile, a couple of more meta comments. The summary style is useful to participants as well, as it allows us some insight into what the case is even about, but if adopted in future I would say that great weight needs to be given to the drafters' conclusion, or what is even the point? I assured MVBW that it was ok to participate, and now regret doing so. His original opinion that this would be a struggle session now seems quite well-founded, since some votes on the page seem to have been predetermined. Barkeep in my opinion did a superb job of actually listening to the people and should in turn be carefully listened to. Second meta remark: The issues around sourcing are far from trivial and are probably the most important part of the case, with apologies to my fellow parties in the clustercase. Such sourcing requirements are fine for historical topics I suppose - others seem to like them - but they can also be used to cover up incendiary truths in topics like the war in Ukraine. As I have been a journalist, perhaps I am biased, but the fact is that the journalists in Ukraine got it right and that article is important, as was Operation Car Wash, and Panama Papers. Would not exist if we were limited to peer-reviews sources. Elinruby (talk) 01:00, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Re Remedy 2: I personally dislike the sourcing restrictions, since I have seen them used to exclude very fine explainers in solid RS like The Guardian or Le Monde, although that may have been GCB, and therefore no longer a problem, I am not sure. Other people favor the restrictions though, and maybe they do more good than harm. For the above reason however, I personally prefer the first version to the second, because I think it addresses that. I have similarly seen questions about whether Yad Vashem or the US Holocaust Museum are good enough sources on the Holocaust, since their online materials are not an "academic journal". (These discussions can get *really* literal.) Apparently these museums are RS for the Holocaust in Latvia, or France, or Yugoslavia, but not Poland. If I am understanding this correctly, this would seem to be an unintended consequence, although I am uncertain how to address it, and I am also uncertain of the exact language defining a "threshold". If I am misunderstanding this I would appreciate it if someone would educate me, either here or on my talk page if that is more appropriate.
  • Coming back to editors: I think the committee has done itself a disservice by not allowing evidence about Volunteer Marek's recent editing. I've certainly seen some things in this case that I can't defend. Old things. I *have* seen VM change his mind, since this seems to be in question. One of the people calling for his head here apparently had his feelings hurt in Russia, which is unfortunate, and yes, the reason for the civility restriction. Yet. I speak from experience when I say that in articles about the war in Ukraine you have to repeatedly affirm that shipping children to a totalitarian country is no, not good for them, that yes, there was a massacre in Bucha, yes, Russian soldiers have committed rape, and no Mariupol is not part of Russia. Sure, this consistent denial of horrific crimes should be calmly refuted, or escalated, but right around when tenth or eleventh wikiproceeding has been dismissed as a content dispute, stalled by walls of text, or creatively misunderstood, I submit that the circumstances become something of an edge case.
  • And thank you by the way for the findings about behaviour that involves content manipulation, as I strongly feel that this has been much of the problem with Russia at least, and the finding may help to address the disinformation that is at work there.Elinruby (talk) 18:25, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Buffs comments

I pointed out in the process of Evidence presentations that VM's analysis of AE cases was not so clear...Wugapodes summarized and expounded upon that distinction very well. Thank you. Given that he clearly omitted data in such a serious proceeding, I think "intentionally misleading" is an appropriate summary

However, by the exact same token, more examples of misleading edit summaries should be included if he's going to be cited for that under a FoF. At least two certainly are. Could they have been errors? Though it seems unlikely, it is possible. Therefore, I concur that three examples is too few to support the conclusion. Such examples should just be incorporated into a FoF regarding battleground behavior.

I also find it weak that VM says he isn't supporting edit warring with his essay. To paraphrase: "We should edit war. j/k I just wrote that to get attention; don't do that. But here are some reasons edit warring is good..." No. Just No. We should be able to have a collegial discussion about any contentious points, not an edit war. "Some articles are better because of edit wars" I suppose that's possible, but even if the articles themselves are better, the cost of such "battles" are too high in terms of human capital. They clearly drive away editors. WP:IDONTGETIT applies in spades here. Buffs (talk) 04:16, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • @Newyorkbrad: I pointed out that, without the data being clearly defined + search results + etc, VM's claim that there's been no problems was a very high bar to support such a claim. He doubled down on that. Definitively saying "there are no instances of _____" is extremely difficult to prove. It is much easier to say "I was unable to find _____" and open the door to contrary proof. Instead, he doubled down on it. This is a key point when we are talking about academic dishonesty/misleading edit summaries/conclusions. He seems unwilling to admit any fault until pages and pages of data are brought up + lengthy combative responses are addressed only to have the ultimate response be "it's just one in thousands" that you're dwelling on. No. it's much more than that. I genuinely look forward to your reply. Buffs (talk) 04:29, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Zero0000: "doubled down on it" sounds like he stuck to "no cases in 2022" even after being informed that there was a case. If that's not what you mean, please clarify. I concurred with Wugapodes's assessment and pointed out the flaw in his logic. He stuck by his comments and never altered them/responded with a correction (unlike others...listen, we all make mistakes. I've stuck comments and everyone should be given some grace when they make mistakes and admit it). Buffs (talk) 16:37, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Zero0000: My point remains that he shouldn't have made such a definitive claim (and he all-too-often does). Whether it was one or dozens or hundreds, the fact is that his research is sketchy and incomplete. It is often closed to outside observers (as Wugapodes noted) and he does not admit mistakes. If he'd said "Ah, point taken" or "here is all of my data" and given it all, then I would have been more forgiving. Instead, he seems to have noticed his mistake and then omitted the data so he "looks better". This is academically dishonest and he's doubled down on it. Buffs (talk) 21:54, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @ArbCom, there should be a principle that more succinctly states "You cannot justify bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior."
    Levivich had only one interaction that was really under review. It seems completely inappropriate to enforce an indefinite IBAN based on a single talk page's interaction with no warning or IBAN prior to the day before this case started. Buffs (talk) 04:43, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Levivich: appears correct. There is only one recorded instance of Levivich's behavior in the evidence that I can see. Clarification would be appreciated! Buffs (talk) 21:56, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @CaptainEek, I concur with Levivich. This seems like an extremely heavy-handed approach for someone with no prior interactions in record and an IBAN that only took effect the day before this case was opened. In effect, there is no evidence one way or the other that a temporary IBAN would/wouldn't have worked because it wasn't allowed to even start before heavier sanctions were put into play. Throughout this entire case, Levivich has refrained from any contact with VM despite ample opportunity to do so as part of the case. There is a common denominator here in disruption and it isn't Levivich. I would request that a one-way IBAN for VM toward Levivich at least be put on the table. Arbs can voice that "This is a primary choice and a two-way IBAN is their second choice should this fail". I think that's at least a reasonable consideration.
    If not, would you be so kind as to detail what prior actions with Levivich predated this case? I'm not seeing it (and I don't think Levivich is either). Buffs (talk) 15:15, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Tryptofish: VM has consistently accepted that an IBAN is appropriate, which indicates some significant self-awareness. Levivich has consistently taken the position that he is not at fault. It's for the Arbs to determine whether that's because Levivich is, in fact, faultless. I would argue that VM has merely accepted it as inevitable. The fact that so many people are being considered from banned contact with VM shows just how abrasive he can be. Levivich has not stated he is "faultless". If you'd care to link to a statement otherwise, I'll be happy to strike. But more to the point that many of us are making is that it's highly disproportionate to the alleged offense (TBH, I'm not seeing the alleged long string of inappropriate behavior that is being claimed here; it's not in the evidence that was presented unless I'm missing it). If anything the existing IBAN seems to have done its job. VM has been given chance after chance after chance for almost a decade and proven himself to be an irritant....about half of the Arbs seem to agree that it's worth removing him from WP. No one is alleging anything close to that with Levivich. Yet they are both facing the same punishment for the same infraction. I think IBAN with "time served" is sufficient. Buffs (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A suggestion for ArbCom

There clearly seems to be support for a VM TBan but many Arbs have voiced support for "more than just this". However support for an indefinite ban, but no less than a year seems split. While it may pass or may not (that's really up to ArbCom), might I suggest a 1-3 month block/"enforced wikibreak" rather than the infamous banhammer as a reasonable compromise that could be offered as an alternative? Buffs (talk) 21:48, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Euryalus

The Committee was right to establish this case, and several of the arbitrators have been tireless in their responses to participants and efforts to tease out the issues. Thank you to all of you for that. But (and there's always a but in PD-talk): if Committee members believe Volunteer Marek is sockpuppeting they should propose this as a FoF, act on it privately as a Committee, or open an SPI. It would be pretty rough if this allegation was first raised in a PD comment without being discussed in evidence or (apparently) being raised with the editor concerned. Doubly so as the PD recommends a site ban against that editor with sock- or meatpuppetry being presented as partial justification.

Please note this is not meant as a personal criticism: just a personal view that allegations on PD pages should be formally made, or not made at all.-- Euryalus (talk) 04:54, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Further to the VM remedies: a tongue-in-cheek essay edit from 13 years ago is not reasonable justification for a site ban today. I appreciate that other rationales are also being advanced. But as others have noted in this page, the dubious qualities of some aspects (eg the apparently untested socking allegation and this ancient essay) do weaken the case as a whole. The committee wouldn't accept incredibly old or unsupported material if lodged in a case request; it probably shouldn't accept them as the basis for a PD.
And as above, no personal criticism intended and a general thanks to committee members for putting time and thought into resolving this case. -- Euryalus (talk) 22:24, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Zero0000

  • @Buffs: "doubled down on it" sounds like he stuck to "no cases in 2022" even after being informed that there was a case. If that's not what you mean, please clarify. If it is what you mean, please give a diff. Zerotalk 05:54, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So Buffs responded with a diff of his own from one week before Barkeep49 pointed out that there was a 2022 AE case. VM's graph of AE cases per year looks hardly any different if the count for 2022 is changed from 0 to 1, so I can't see any motive for lying, much less any actual evidence for it. Zerotalk 03:27, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The problem with foreign-language sources is not just the difficulty of reading them but also the difficulty of obtaining them. I think that editors invoking such sources should have to provide, on the talk page on request, enough verbatim quotation to support their proposed edit. Would the committee consider working this requirement into one of the remedies? Zerotalk 07:02, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by BilledMammal

I am concerned by Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II and the history of Jews in Poland/Proposed decision#Verifiability of foreign language texts. While the underlying principle of using an English source over a non-English source makes sense we should base the article, particularly when it comes to determining WP:DUEWEIGHT, on all reliable sources.

Not doing this is already an issue and a cause of WP:SYSTEMATICBIAS, and I worry that the text of this principle will exacerbate this. BilledMammal (talk) 06:15, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two of the sentences of interest to this comment are nearly verbatim from WP:NONENG:

Citations to non-English reliable sources are allowed on the English Wikipedia. However, because this project is in English, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones when they are available and of equal quality and relevance.

Is your concern to do with the following sentence? I think that sentence reasonably expresses how editing in contentious topics should be done in the context of the use of such sources. Izno (talk) 06:28, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is; when it comes to issues such as determining due weight there shouldn't be any considerations related to the language of the sources and I worry that the following sentence recommends such considerations.
I think a better solution, and one more aligned with the requirements of NPOV and the principles of SYSTEMATICBIAS, would be to encourage editors to make it easier for other editors to verify their claims. To do this I would instead suggest encouraging editors who rely on foreign language sources in contentious areas to proactively provide translations of key paragraphs, rather than waiting on editors to request the translation. BilledMammal (talk) 06:49, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just saw Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/World War II and the history of Jews in Poland/Proposed decision#Source language restriction; I have the same concerns about this remedy, amplified by it placing explicit additional barriers on the use of non-English language sources that do not apply to English language sources.
We already have an Anglocentric bias due to various external barriers around the use of foreign sources. We shouldn't amplify that bias by adding internal barriers. BilledMammal (talk) 07:02, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Cabayi: I disagree with However, UCoC is just as much part of policy as if it was passed as an enwiki policy. My reading of WP:CONEXCEPT suggests that while the Foundation has the power to themselves enforce the UCoC, through office actions and similar, they don't have the authority to grant local admins the power to enforce it or otherwise require it be treated as policy on enwiki. Thus, if ARBCOM wishes to rely on it in their cases, or if they believe admins should rely on it generally, I strongly encourage them to open an RfC as an enabling act for it. BilledMammal (talk) 12:59, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding the Levivich-VM IBAN proposal, I am surprised to see a sanction based on a single example of "wrestling in the mud"; that would seem to be an excessive response. At most I think that would warrant a warning to stay out of the mud. BilledMammal (talk) 06:56, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Narky Blert

A pedant writes:

  1. In the section Limitations of arbitration 3, change "with-in" to "within"
  2. In the section Incomplete enforcement 8.3, insert a comma between "topic bans" and "nor"

Narky Blert (talk) 08:16, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Jehochman

I do not like the currently mooted proposals for Volunteer Marek. First, we should not make excessively complicated sanctions regimes that burden other editors and administrators with constant enforcement nitpicking. If an editor cannot be trusted to edit properly after multiple warnings and sanctions spanning decades, why should we think that more of the same would have effect? Second, we should be especially considerate of long term contributors and give them a face saving way to get out of trouble. I think a nice wikibreak might do Volunteer Marek a world of good. Volunteer Marek has had the opportunity to propose a constructive path forward. Instead, they have posted extensive denials on this page. Regretfully, a wikibreak may need to be organized by ArbCom if Volunteer Marek does not recognize the problems they have caused and explain how they will do better. Jehochman Talk 12:44, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And yes, I recognize per Newyorkbrad, that some of the accusations may be overstated, but there remain serious concerns that are well-founded. Arguing. "I didn't do these 3 things," where there's proof of 7 other things is not the best approach. Jehochman Talk 12:50, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You've voted for 4 distinct sanctions on Volunteer Marek, who has a long list of prior sanctions. This is unwise.

Just ban him for a moderate length of time, until he agrees to change his style. In this case, one side is more wrong than the other. If you ban VM, you don't need to sanction FR and Levivich. Those guys didn't behaved perfectly, but you should excuse them for getting upset about nationalistic distortion of Holocaust history. In general, you should bend over backwards for people who were trying to protect the encyclopedia content from a disinformation attack.

I know you don't like to change your minds under pressure because it invites more pressure, often improper. Yes, I get that. But this error is worth correcting. Jehochman Talk 12:54, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A time limited sanction is a penalty. We're not trying to punish VM. We're trying to stop disruption now and in the future. Barkeep49 (talk) 14:25, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What about all the time limited blocks administrators place on a daily basis? The approach generally works because virtually all of those disputes resolve without coming to arbitration. KISS principle. Jehochman Talk 14:56, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly. The tools that work for disputes normally don't work for disputes that reach ArbCom because if those normal tools worked they wouldn't get to ArbCom. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:34, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nishidani, I understand that the Poles involvement in the Holocaust was complex. We need a scholarly and careful approach to the topic. Jehochman Talk 15:02, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by FeydHuxtable

Trying to express concerns tentatively as probably even Solomon wouldn't be able to rule to the satisfaction of all in a case like this. Mostly looks a sensible PD. Yet while accepting the need for a decisive resolution, some of the findings & remedies relating to Levivich, MvBW & VM seem a little heavy. Esp. for VM re 16.2 & the suggestion he 'behaves dishonestly'. It's not humanly possible to make > 90,000 non minor edits without a few honest mistakes. I hope Wugs considers removing that part of his rationale. It only seems to detract from his otherwise strong justification for a site ban. And it seems a gross injustice towards VM, who whatever his possible faults, appears to be a man of honour & exceptional integrity.

Irrelevant WP:FORUM violation. Primefac (talk) 20:38, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As Barkeep has just expressed a strong desire to see an end to folk insinuating new editors might be IceWhiz socks, it might be helpful to mention some recent developments in the broader picture, as this may allay concerns.

Back in late 2017, Icewhiz was first drawn into the TA due to concern about the Polish government. Specifically with the then forthcoming 2018 Polish legislation. In the G&K paper , it states said legislation "instilled an atmosphere of fear" among scholars & educators working in the TA. The paper also quotes the Polish PM's adviser who suggested Wikipedia entries could be corrected if they were "super discreet" and able to allocate a "larger budget". But G&K's very act of publishing their paper may have changed those allocation priorities. It may have caused the Polish Foreign Office to see they might be a little out of their depth trying to square up against someone like Ice in this particular digital theatre. Every time it had looked like Ice had been beaten, he proved he was able to escalate things to a whole new level. Hence perhaps the Polish Government wanting to ensure they are less reliant on allies, & so less exposed to bad publicity. It's a bigger concern to Poland to be portrayed as anti-semitic than it would be for some other nations, due to their unique history & security situation. But there's more than one way to feel secure. Poland begun increasing defence spending immediately after Russia invaded, but it was only after the G&K paper that they seem to have gone into overdrive. Here's a FT article published a few weeks back expressing concern that Poland is now spending so much they risk severe economic issues. They're aiming to raise an army of 300,000 men. Their spending about $30 billion to support said troops with the best possible heavy hardware, like Patriots, Abrahams & Apache attack helicopters. They're wanting such quantities even US may not come through on the whole list. But that's not going to stop Andrzejczak gaining one of the world's most powerful land armies - Poland's home building all sorts of kit, spending billions with South Korea, more from sources not yet public domain, and here's a £2 Billion deal announced with UK on the same day the analyses phase closed. Someone with Ice's contacts can't be unaware of all of this, nor of the desperate fear that is driving such defence spending. AFAIK Ice never bore any malice towards Poland, he just sought to counter goverment actions he saw as worsening anti-semiticism. Given his knowledge of external events as well the remedies here, it seems likely Ice will be magnanimous in victory, similar to Gitz with his impressive plea for leniency. Obviously any absurd mentions of Jewish collaboration with the Nazis can now be removed from our articles (if any still remain, couldn't find any myself, though I didnt check the whole TA). But it seems unlikely Ice would want to exploit the opportunity the PD presents to portray Poles in an excessively -ve light. He probably wouldnt even want such a crushing defeat of Team Poland as would be the case if the honourable VM was unfairly branded as dishonest. FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:57, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mariusz Bechta and General Comments by TB

  • As the sole author of the page, I am interested in knowing the concerns of the arbitrators. GCB's passive-aggressive comments were intended as baiting and I reject, outright, that he/she/they, despite being a Pole (see Jacurek's u/p), did not have access to Poland's leading newspaper-of-record. To treat the episode as a "source manipulation complaint" is ridiculous at the first place but the Committee appears to go a step further in approving his/her/their intervention as "necessary". If I am misreading things, please do tell me. TrangaBellam (talk) 19:05, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think you are misreading things because my interpretation of events matches yours. Barkeep49 (talk) 19:19, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ah, thanks. TrangaBellam (talk) 20:14, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • On the overall, I think this to be a good PD. I appreciate that the arbitrators didn't buy into Jayen's weird arguments about Klein violating CoC. I like the heightened source restrictions, the most, and am also happy to see that Piotrus is not being sanctioned in any manner. But while I support an enforced break for VM from the topic-area, I do think that VM's site-ban is a massive overkill. His contributions in AMPOL are quite helpful. TrangaBellam (talk) 19:07, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • And, I find the two-way-IBan between VM and Levi fundamentally unfair to the latter, for reasons laid out by him. TrangaBellam (talk) 19:59, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question from Beyond My Ken

Perhaps I've missed it, but what is the number of votes needed for passage on this case? Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:07, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are currently 12 arbitrators active on the case, so barring abstentions, 7 is a majority. Clerks should have the notes up sometime in the next day or two. Izno (talk) 23:20, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:01, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Thebiguglyalien

My participation in this case has been minimal as a non-party, but I've been following it as an observer. Overall, I think the proposed remedies are reasonable. Some might be more appropriate than others, but there are none that I strongly object to. I especially like the white paper of remedy one. Offsite participants in Wikipedia disputes have the potential to create significant disruption and even real life harm, whether intentionally or not, and any measure that gets ahead of that is a positive. I agree that its relation to personal information should be made explicit, but it should also provide some form of guidance on how to avoid unduly influencing Wikipedia's processes if possible. I'm hoping that the community will be able to provide input on its content, either on enwiki or meta-wiki. We should do everything in our power as a community to prevent anything that constitutes—or could be reasonably construed as—harassment, intimidation, canvassing, or otherwise targeting specific editors or discussions with the effect of changing on-wiki behavior. At the very least, we can ask that external parties make a good faith effort to avoid these things.

For the same reason, I regret to see FOF 9 being considered. Regardless of whether the paper meets the technical definition of off-wiki harassment, there is no denying that real editors were identified by name (both username and real life name) for their actions on Wikipedia, and the authors directly caused a change in on-wiki activity. Even if Grabowski and Klein are not specifically censured for the paper (as I initially supported), I would at least hope that Arbcom's findings acknowledge that, regardless of this paper, off-site content can be written in a way that changes behavior on-wiki or targets a specific editor, no matter where it's published or by whom. This won't be the last time that Wikipedia editors and disputes are identified offsite, and it's too important not to address directly. Thebiguglyalien (talk) 01:26, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Red-tailed hawk

Remedy 5.2 currently includes the phrase My very best wishes is subject to a 1-way interaction ban with Piotrus and a 1-way interaction ban with Volunteer Marek, subject to the usual exceptions. This appears to extend far beyond the topic area in this case, and I really don't see a good reason why why MBVW should be banned from editing the sorts of AMPOL articles that Marek also edits. If the issue is, as described, their disruptive attempts to defend Piotrus and Volunteer Marek, it would be better to make this ban apply in conduct discussions and formal content discussions (such as RfCs), rather than extending to a great series of articles where no problem presently exists (and where MBVW and Marek do not always see eye-to-eye). — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 02:35, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looking at their intersection analysis over the past year I'm not seeing American Politics topics. Having someone show up in low participation content discussions to "plus one" someone else carries its own dangers and so I think this remedy is appropriately scoped to stop the disruption evidenced in this case. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:44, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for that answer with respect to Marek.
I'm looking at Piotrus's comments below, and using the interaction analyzer, it also looks like MBVW and Piotrus don't seem to be mere plus ones to each other when looking broadly outside of this topic area. For some examples of this sort of interactions, see Talk:Stara Krasnianka care house attack, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Interaction, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Nazi monuments in Canada. A broad, one-way interaction ban does not feel like the most narrowly tailored solution here. A more narrowly tailored solution with respect to Piotrus (for example, a restriction in participating in conduct discussions pertaining to Piotrus) seems much more narrowly tailored to the existing FoF. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 15:03, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We are at arbitration. Suffice it to say that "narrowly tailored" is not itself a goal. Our objective is to remedy poor behavior. If the behavior observed is easy to transfer elsewhere, and we have reason to believe it may be, then we are empowered to remedy that behavior in the wider area.
Separately, you do not seem to have engaged with the now-passing FOF that his opinions were strongly stated, often without factual basis. That behavior is not one restricted to conduct discussions and is a primary reason why the remedies regarding him were proposed as they were. Izno (talk) 19:08, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Piotrus

@Barkeep49 Are there any problems with the interactions between me and MVBW [11] outside of their comments about me, unbidden, in this very case? Those interactions I think are quite rare anyway as frankly, we "drifted apart" in our interests and I kind of forgot he exists until this case reminded me of that fact :> In the past I occasionally did ask MVBW, and resumed doing so recently, for comments on Russian-language topics; most recently I asked him for input regarding a saying attributed to some Russian figures, and he was kind enough to comment and provide a translation fix (Talk:Give me the man and I will give you the case against him, [12]). I also asked him for input regarding another topic recently in the context of Russia, and found his reply interesting ([13]). He has also, unasked, made a comment at Talk:Puppet_state#Is_Transnistria's_status_really_disputed? that was helpful, as my question there waited for a week before someone noticed it (someone, in this case, being MVBW).

For the record, we don't always agree (for example, random AfD I noticed we both voted differently in, another one, one more, and one more for good measure... and yes, there are some times we agree with, of course, as well.). Would it be possible to craft a remedy that addresses the arbitrator concerns while not preventing such interactions as listed above? User:Red-tailed hawk's suggsetion to make this ban apply in conduct discussions might be worth considering. Bottom line, I do not understand why the project needs to prevent me from asking MVBW about a Russian-related topic (or prevent him from replying to me, since the proposed i-ban is one-sided?). For additional context, please see this diff, which is what motivated me to make this very comment here.

PS. I also noticed that the Committee is considering a topic ban for MVBW. What is the relation between him excessively commenting here about editors (me and VM I gather) and MVBW's ability to edit articles related to this topic area? Which, I think, he edits very, very rarely - but a broad interpreation of this ban would make him, for example, unable to reply to my question about underground education (since that particular article covers, among other topics, Poland's WWII period). Were there any concerns raised about MVBW's edits to article namespace, or participation in any talk page discussions (outside this case, which is what FoF cover)? The summary of evidence related to MVBW does not suggest this is the case? Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:58, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your interaction chart looks similar to that of VM's just with fewer intersections. The fact that you and he have had productive dialog and productive disagreements even doesn't surprise me. Truthfully I think this reflects a credit to you rather than MVBW and so does little to re-assure me about their conduct. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:30, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Few comments about other stuff:

  • I appreciate the white paper idea; this may be the most productive result of this case in the long run.
  • I share reservations expressed by others regarding the 'Source language restriction' and systemic bias. What I would suggest would be an WP:APLRS-like amendment or addition that would encourage the use of quotations. Much of the problem with the foreign language sources is editors don't know what part of the original source (particularly if it is in a form that is not easily translatable, like Google Books and not OCR-ed documents) in language they are not familiar with is supposed to be relevant. Any content that is challenged should be restored only with a quote added. Same logic like with APLRS. (Frankly such a provision would likely be good for the entire project...)
  • I remain wary of the 'Reliable sourcing restriction' being gamed by socks, just like Icewhiz's Bob sock did at Witold Pilecki (diff somewhere in my evidence as well as elaborated in my 2021 statement, but it is related to effectively gutting an article, removing a ton of uncontroversial content, just to spite other editors and/or create major workload for them). The revised version reduced the chance of this happening (since effectively most articles with that restriction are also under 500/30). I see no benefit in going back. Or at lest we should clarify the interaction between this and 500/30. If a new account removes content, violating 500/30 but claiming (then or later, at AE...) they are following APLRS, what are we supposed to do? If someone reverts such an account, would they be eligible for being sanctioned at AE for violating APLRS? I'd encourage all arbitrators to re-read their and their fellow comments (here) on why they decided to amend it back then, and tell us why they think that was not a correct decision back then? I fear restoring the 'all articles' provision is a step back that will do more harm then good by allowing gaming of this by socks (as, again, happened before in the case of Pilecki's article - I am not talking theoreticals here). We do not want to be back discussiong this at ArbCom (including clarifications) anytime soon, I think - yet if this passses, I fear we will have to do just that in a year or two. Don't fix what is not broken, please. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:50, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Nableezy

As somebody who has long edited in one of Wikipedia's other "contentious topics", and been sanctioned for that editing, it has always surprised me how behavioral issues escalate in some of the other topic areas. ARBPIA still, obviously, has its issues, but edit-warring is a rare one. But in topics like EE/HIP and AMPOL, it remains the norm. In ARBPIA editors were hit with bans until they learned to edit appropriately, or when they proved they could not they were finally shown the door way before any ArbCom case was needed. And because the editors in these other topics get wrist slapped or outright ignored when reported, people stop reporting them, and eventually you end up with a case where editors who, by nearly all accounts, are productive and care about the project and its goals, end up being considered for site bans. VM, and a bunch of others, need to internalize that hitting undo repeatedly is edit-warring, and it does not matter how many times or over how long you do it, if you revert the same thing 4 times in a month or in a day without affirmative consensus for your edit you are edit-warring. And if he had been sanctioned sufficiently for that I highly doubt it would have continued. The easy thing for somebody in your position to do is say enough is enough, site ban. The smarter thing for you to do is to work through what would it take to retain VM's constructive and productive contributions while stripping away the problematic issues, those being edit-warring and civility. nableezy - 17:21, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, as far as a 0RR, I very strongly suggest you go with 1 not 0. Nearly any copy-edit can be argued to be a revert, if you do not retain every single word that can be lawyered over. Better to have a rule that if an edit VM makes is challenged VM may not restore it or some such thing. nableezy - 17:59, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments from Ealdgyth

I've been mulling over a response to the proposed decision since I saw it Thursday afternoon. All in all, I think it's ... mostly good.

  • I like the findings of fact, I think they mostly capture the issues with the area.
  • Thank you for understanding what the problems were with the 2021 AE Sourcing Report. I never claimed that Buidhe's warning wasn't perhaps merited, but I will say I think it emboldened other editors to continue their battleground behavior
  • Thank you for banning GCB for the socking behavior. I agree that if they are allowed to return, a topic ban from this topic area is probably warranted.
  • I'm a hair disappointed that we're not naming the editors referred to with "If there were to return to the topic area after this case and engage in similar behavior to what they did in the past I will be quite willing, as an individual administrator, to levy sanction and/or to encourage the Committee to do so." as it leaves me a bit in the dark about who this refers to and what to do if past editors return to their behavior - I won't have a clue about whether this non-remedy refers to their past behavior and what/where to go to see if I can "invoke" this non-remedy.
  • Unlike others, I don't have many concerns over the topic ban of MVBW. Quite frankly, if they aren't editing much in this topic area anyway (as they have repeatedly claimed) then it shouldn't be a problem for them. For myself, I often found their contributions to be mostly opinion without much actual value towards the discussions in the area.
  • I disagree greatly with the "However UCoC was approved and its enforcement guidelines were approved. It's incumbent on every admin, functionary, and the ArbCom to ensure it's applied." When I ran for admin, the UCoC was not even on the horizon. I did not sign up to apply the UCoC and I did not consent to it.
  • While I'm not sure I'd have called for a topic ban for FR, I can see the evidence supporting it and don't feel the need to get up in arms about it.
  • The sourcing restriction - I remain in favor of it, but ... I am still unsure whether or not we'll get it actively enforced. There remains a large element of "admins don't weigh in on content" out there and I suspect we'll continue to have admins not wanting to weigh in on the issue.
  • I would not scream if a "prefer English sources" remedy was passed, but I think it's even less likely than the existing sourcing restriction to be enforced.
  • After my involvement in this case, I'm going to reiterate that I will not take admin actions in this topic area (or indeed, in the topic area of the Holocaust in general nor in the whole Nazi-era-Europe topic area)
  • Finally, the "elephant in the room" - VM. I remain .. conflicted. In general, VM has always behaved well towards me. They consider seriously my arguments, do not go into battleground mode, and have always treated me decently, even when disagreeing with me. The problem is... VM doesn't always behave this way to others. And I think one reason is that ... VM reminds me of my friends who were on debate club in secondary school, or who are lawyers. When someone disagrees with VM, VM goes into overdrive and seeks to nitpick every detail that seems wrong to them. An example is their reply to me on the Analysis page here. A small part of my post is expanded apon at length in an attempt to win a very small point while missing the overall point. Because I am NOT a debater nor am I a lawyer (thank the gods and goddesses for that!), I didn't feel the need to engage further. But with many other editors, what would have happened would be a long debate about the small nitpicks that would have fueled BOTH sides battleground behavior. While I don't share all of Wugs' conclusions that they set forth on the decision page, they do seem to understand VMs inability to let go of an edit war once it's started. I just differ from Wugs in that I don't necessarily think VM is dishonest by intent. I suspect VM just gets caught in in the "need to win the debate" and loses sight of the bigger picture. When VM isn't engaged in something that gets them started into the "win the debate" mode, they are good to work with. Unfortunately, it seems to be entirely too easy for them to get into that debate mode, and I do agree that VM's behavior definitely seems to imply that VM considers edit warring as just one part of the editing toolbox on Wikipedia. I am not ready to say that we need to site ban VM yet. Perhaps they can learn from this. But I do think that a remedy that addresses the "jump straight to editwarring" behavior is needed, and likely across the entire project, because even if topic banned from this topic area, I would hate for VM to not take on board the lesson they need to learn from this arb com case - that edit warring should not be the answer to editing disputes. (As for the difference between 1RR and 0RR ... I can't always remember what they are and I leave that to others to figure out which would work best)
  • Further on VM - I've never found them to be in the worst of the offenders in the topic area ... so I'm not quite ready to say "site ban" ... IF something can be done to help VM realize that they need to stop their edit warring
  • I hope that with the banning of GCB we'll see a lot less of the aspersions about Icewhiz ... and I hope that the aspersions about EEML also stop.
  • I'm sure I'll have more ruminations about something as I think of them, I did want to point out I am not one of the ones asking for VM to be site banned.

Ealdgyth (talk) 18:36, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to say, I've been waiting for a response from you. While I invited all, your comments on the source restriction were the most pertinent to me. I do wonder if you think the proposed version(s) are better than the previous versions, and in what ways if so.
as it leaves me a bit in the dark about who this refers to and what to do if past editors return to their behavior - I won't have a clue about whether this non-remedy refers to their past behavior and what/where to go to see if I can "invoke" this non-remedy. And since others have discussed this one, such an FOF (or three) was discussed in drafting the PD. I think I would like to introduce one since I also think it would help the parties both in this area and in the wider EE area know who is on notice, but I'd like to get the ear (potentially in private) of the drafters on who they think primarily fits in the relevant buckets of "basically innocent", "evidence too old to consider (spending lots of time on)", and "evidence new enough but not sufficiently bad to get Named in their own FOFs for misbehavior".
As for VM, I think your commentary on "seeing red" is probably spot on. Separately, his interaction with you in the context of the Warsaw case request regarding the main article (which is in the evidence but not an FOF) is one that I think about in regard to the ban proposal, as it was a clear "some things need to change moment" to me for the parties and he was the only one to step up and engage (it may have been out of the good of his heart or it may have been "this is one way to evidence that a case need not happen", one's mileage may vary). Izno (talk) 18:59, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In reply to the queries (now that I've successfully torn myself away from the Diablo IV beta test...)
  • On the source restriction - I don't think the threshold idea will work well - as I said earlier, I'm pretty sure that many admins would be so concerned about "deciding content" that they just wouldn't put that restriction on - especially as they'd have to decide what the threshold is. You're likely to get more admin-buy-in from a restriction that sets out what the threshold already is (like remedy 2.0). I would advise a guideline on what IS included in "reputable institution" - this is where things bogged down before - we got the silliness that "reputable institutions" were newspapers and that popular-focused non-footnoted histories by journalists were done by "reputable publishers" and so thus passed the sourcing restriction. There is also the problem of the Institute of National Remembrance - is THAT a reputable institution? Once upon a time it was bidding fair to rival Yad Vashem and the USHMM in terms of reputation and scholarship - but any more? And where do you draw the line in time? So while the idea of a sourcing restriction is a good one - it probably needs a bit more guidance for the admins so they can figure out what meets the restrictions and what doesn't.
  • I too was impressed with VMs help back in 2021 (?) with correcting errors. My wish is that eventually they can do that with all editors in any topic area - I sincerely mean that. That's probably the only reason I spoke up against the site ban - I just can't .. quite... see the site ban yet. Maybe without GCB and IW stirring up the pot from opposite sides ... the behavior from all editors in the area will improve.
  • One other thought - I actually thought the format of this case worked pretty well at getting to a complex problem without too much heat-and-light. I especially liked the summary of evidence idea - I thought that was quite helpful for me to try to see what the arbs were looking for ... as well as keeping down the "slag all the other parties with anything you can think of" type evidence. The lack of a workshop helped too - it kept down the battlegrounding (although, in fairness, I must also admit banning GCB in the middle of the case probably did as much to keep down battlegrounding as anything else.)
  • I do intend to try to correct errors and engage in the topic area again - although I do not have near the wiki time I once did. Let's hope this case helps.
  • So ... thank you to the arbs for taking this on. I would also like to apologize if I sounded ... cranky ... at you occasionally. It's been a busy and stressful spring (involving dying sump pumps, too much rainfall, and an elderly cat who is fading before my eyes plus all the usual work/wiki/etc stuff) and I tried, not always successfully, to keep it out of my evidence/discussion about the case. Ealdgyth (talk) 23:42, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Paul Siebert

On source restrictions. In response to @Izno: In my opinion, the proposed restriction may fail what I call a "Glaukopis test". The problem is that many sources that caused so many problems fit "peer-reviewed scholarly journal, an academically focused book etc" criteria. Indeed, many local authors writing on the Holocaust are considered as reputable scholars in their own countries, and the local journals that publish their works are formally peer-reviewed (and Glaukopsis is a typical example). It took a tremendous amount of time and efforts to come to a conclusion that Glaukopsis doesn't fit our criteria . In my opinion, the only criterion that makes it possible to screen out poor quality publications that meet all formal criteria outlined in the "Sourcing restriction" rules is as follows: the authors must be reasonably well cited by peers (outside of their country) and/or the article/book has a reasonable number of citations, and these citations contain little criticism. At least, this is a rule that I myself use for source selection, and it does not prevent me from editing Wikipedia.

On the "Holocaust in Poland, broadly construed" It seems to me that this formula needs to be specified. It is necessary to specify that it covers the whole pre-WWII Poland, which included a significant part of modern Ukraine, as well as a part of Lithuania (including its modern capital). That is important, because a significant part of the Holocaust events occurred in this territories, so the same disputes and the same conflicts (maybe, even more severe conflicts) are starting over the role of local nationalists in the Holocaust. And, similar to Poland, many local sources describe the events at a totally different angle. Paul Siebert (talk) 18:51, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by Staberinde

Sort of weird to see a proposal to ban an editor from a specific topic area, while no FoF indicates their misbehavior there or anywhere else in article space, and their actual problem was unproductive behavior at arbcom proceedings they were party at.--Staberinde (talk) 21:29, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments by François Robere

During March and April, as this case was being conducted in virtual space, in "real life" I had to deal with an agglomeration of events that left me little time to dwell on these relatively trivial Wikipedian affairs. I had not time to go over all of the "evidence", nor time to reply to most of it, so I concentrated my efforts on my own evidence (of which I submitted only a part), and - with few exceptions - only posted where I was pinged[14][15][16][17][18] or to request an extension.[19][20] I kept the committee appraised on some of these events, so my silence would not be read as a lack of things to say.

At some point in the past I submitted to T&S that I am an open book, and suggested that ArbCom examines server logs and conducts interviews by Zoom. I always held that I'm willing to face any accusation, given the proper conditions; but I also said, when the case begun, that by participating I'd be drawing the ire of others, and may not have the time to respond to it all. As the case closed I asked for direction - what to focus on - and answered the one question I was asked to the best of my ability.

Then two days ago I discover, to my chagrin, that the committee had taken the word of an established liar - a five-year "sockpuppet" who's been caught lying about sources and about content, about other editors and about themselves; whose editing was characterized as early as 2018 as highly problematic towards Jews; who was the reason I told Barkeep in 2021 that the committee should "reward honesty and penalize dishonesty"; and - as it turns out - who was just one of 74 (!) such accounts operated by the indef-banned Jacurek. His and Volunteer Marek's - an editor facing a potential indef site ban, whose editing was characterized by Wug "intellectually dishonest" - is all there is against me, and they were accepted without giving me the opportunity to respond. Based on that the committee is proposing that I get banned for a year from a topic area that I left almost two years ago, for events that mostly took place even before that (if at all). To say that I am flustered and disappointed would be an understatement.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to write here. I can debunk GCB/Jacurek and VM's claims one-to-one, as well as FoFs 10-11, and the claims made there and in PRs 4 and 7, but I'm not sure it won't get "hatted" as "analysis" (Barkeep49?). In the meanwhile I'll just say this: I've spent thousands of hours working in this topic area, have acquired over a hundred books, and read countless papers on its subjects. I am the top contributor to Żegota, Warsaw Ghetto Hunger Study and Havi Dreifuss (both of which I created); the second-from-top contributor to Collaboration in German-occupied Poland, Home Army, Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Szmalcownik, Szymon Datner, The Forgotten Holocaust, Warsaw Ghetto and Golden Harvest (book); among the top five contributors to Racism in Poland, Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today Act of 2017, Jedwabne pogrom, Jan Grabowski, Żydokomuna, The Holocaust in Poland, Institute of National Remembrance, Jan Żaryn, Property restitution in Poland (which I created), The Undivine Comedy, History policy of the Law and Justice party, Hunt for the Jews, New Polish School of Holocaust Scholarship, Jew with a coin, Peter Stachura, Krzysztof Jasiewicz, Operation Antyk, Such a Beautiful Sunny Day and Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin; and among the top ten contributors to with the Axis powers Collaboration with the Axis powers, Koniuchy massacre, History of the Jews in Poland, Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw concentration camp, Józef Lipski, Jan T. Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland, Zygmunt Krasiński, German retribution against Poles who helped Jews, John Radzilowski and Thaddeus Radzilowski. I'm also one of the top contributors to articles in adjacent topic areas, such as LGBT rights in Poland, Polexit, John Demjanjuk, German rearmament, Islamophobia in Poland, About the Civilization of Death and Joachim Brudziński. I've done my bit for the encyclopedia, and I'm content with that. François Robere (talk) 21:47, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First as I personally spent at least 15 hours on your evidence alone your contribution to the case certainly had an impact. You are allowed (maybe even encouraged as a party) to respond to the proposed decision as you see fit. As such you explaining why you think certain evidence should be discounted and that the proposed topic ban is a bad remedy is entirely appropriate. From my POV I think you're well intended but good intentions aren't sufficient on their own in a topic area like this. Barkeep49 (talk) 04:28, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. It took me well over 15 hours to compose it; I'm happy someone spent the time to evaluate it. Can you explain your statement that "good intentions aren't sufficient on their own in a topic area like this"? François Robere (talk) 14:53, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure. If someone is well intended but still "increased the temperature" of the conflict in the topic area, those actions can still lead to sanctions regardless of the intentions. Barkeep49 (talk) 14:38, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FoF 10: François Robere editing

Allegations of "hounding" and breaking "unofficial agreements"

I have never "hounded" anyone, nor reneged on any agreement that I made, "official" or otherwise.


MyMoloboaccount was a long-time editor[21] who had a well-known tendency to introduce errors into his edits.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29] He also had a tendency to fight the same fight over several articles, so you never knew if some discussion was truly over, or if he just moved it somewhere else (cf. WP:FAITACCOMPLI; see for example this on property restitution, these on German academics,[30][31][32] and this on the relative ordering of Holocaust victims). This meant that a lot of editors were "on the watch" for his edits, and for some time during 2019/2020, so was I. I didn't "chase" him around, nor was I trying to cause him any grief; I just checked his contribs every few weeks, looked for any problems, and either fixed them myself or asked him to do it. Back then I didn't think it was a problem, but today I understand how it could've stressed him, and during the April 2020 events I promised RexxS to "avoid [his] 'contribution list' for the next few months". RexxS replies with "I think we are coming to an understanding", and later added: "I'd really prefer it if you managed to keep away from GCB and MMA forever, but I won't try to enforce that" (more on GCB below). To me this was very clear: I was to avoid MMA's contribs, and show common sense everywhere else. I did exactly that, but it didn't seem to matter: MMA kept believing he was being followed, and despite experiencing medical issues[33] would still appear for difficult discussions and votes,[34] until he eventually broke down in a very public and sad way in January of last year.[35] In retrospect I believe he should've been treated as a WP:CIR case; why that didn't happen is a question for another discussion.

Note that RexxS was "desysopped" in March 2021 for conduct not unlike that which they displayed on my TP.[36]

Background: Jacurek's beliefs and editing practices

In retrospect this all sits well with Jacurek's first TP post,[55] which was deleted as an "antisemitic rant".[56]

In June 2018 Sandstein stated his suspicion that GCB was "using Wikipedia to for anti-semitic propaganda by misrepresenting sources", and later that they are a "single-purpose account dedicated solely to editing articles about the World War II history of Poland with a view to (as far as I can tell) making them more sympathetic to right-wing Poles, and less sympathetic to Polish Jews or left-wing Poles".[57] He subsequently T-banned GCB, but it didn't stop them from editing on these subjects:

  • In May 2019 they were blocked for a ban violation by Sandstein.[58]
  • In April 2020 they were warned against further violations by El C.[59]
  • In May 2020 they filed an appeal, which was shut down. Noting their problematic editing, Ealdgyth advised them that "if [they] want to demonstrate that [they] are capable of editing well... There is plenty of plain Polish history out there that doesn't involve Jews...".[60]
  • In June 2020 they were again blocked for ban violation.[61]
  • The ban was eventually lifted in December 2020 not because GCB had suddenly become more capable, but because admins believed they were being harassed by Icewhiz.[62]

My interactions with GCB/Jacurek bore some similarity to my interactions with with MMA, and if you read the "background" section it should be eminently clear why; but there was also one important difference: Jacurek also followed me; and despite overwhelming evidence, he never admitted it. I gave examples of this a few times before,[63][64][65] and I'm providing more below.

I had no clear agreement with RexxS regarding Jacurek like I had regarding MMA, but I still avoided them for several months, during which they lost an AE appeal and were blocked for ban violation.[66][67] It was only in late July that I resumed my interaction with them, while still avoiding their contribs: I left a comment at an AE request filed by Notrium (who, as it turns out, was contacted by Piotrus off-Wiki). The admins decided the request didn't have merit, and a WP:BOOMERANG ensued; and though I'm still not convinced all of them were up for naming me one of the banned parties,[68][69] Guerillero decided to make the ban three-way.[70] At first I didn't like the idea - I was concerned that a ban could be "weaponized" against me[71] - but by May 2021 my opinion had changed, and I refused to have it lifted.[72] I was being harassed by VM, and often had to deal with Piotrus and MMA as well, and was hoping that keeping the ban in place would save me the trouble of dealing with GCB/Jacurek as well. It didn't quite work out this way.

More examples of Jacurek following me
  1. 17:52, 9 October 2020 Touches an article I created that is completely unrelated to anything he ever edited.
  2. 15:27, 18 November 2020 Refers to a WP:AN/3RR that I filed against E-960[73] as "dirty tactics", suggests that E-960 contacts the admins that ruled in the case I filed against her, and offers further evidence by email.
    1. E-960 obviously understands this message is problematic, as he deletes it soon after.[74]
    2. When I ask Guerillero about it, he says that there's "enough plausible deniability here that blocking would be contentious", and states that he hasn't got the "bandwidth" to sort it out.[75]
    3. Note that I clearly stated I was not looking for sanctions, just for enforcement (what VM would call "agitating for sanctions").
  3. 19:04, 4 February 2021 Edits on Bogdan Musiał's views on Judaism three minutes after I post about it.[76]
  4. 23:18, 5 March 2021 Removes a criticism of the IPN under false pretense an hour and a half after I mention it on Talk.[77] Touches the article once the night before (after VM posted there), and before that - in June 2018.[78]
  5. 23:45, 5 March 2021 Removes mention of Jarosław Szarek's politics from one article while I'm discussing them in another.[79][80] He last touched that article over a year before.[81]
  6. 15 April 2021 Comments in a section that is about my edits in a supposedly off-topic manner to something that done there three weeks earlier by someone else. Their second comment applies to my edits as well.
  7. Files a bogus AE against me, which is dismissed.[82]
  8. June-July 2021:
    1. [83] Comments on content that was partly my work.[84]
    2. [85] Comments on a proposed text that was partly my work.[86]
    3. [87] Votes and comment in an RfC I started.
    4. These may or may not constitute I-ban violations, but they certainly seems to contravene what RexxS wrote about "removing the opportunity for friction".[88]
    5. When I asked Guerillero about this, VM suddenly appeared (he hasn't commented on that page for 6.5 years), and implied that I was trying to entrap GCB/Jacurek along with another editor. Guerillero decided not to investigate, and instead warned me to "leave GCB alone".[89]
  9. 07:38, 6 August 2021 Slanders me on Wikipediocracy; deletes the comment after a note from El C.[90]
  10. June 2022 Enters a long argument with Szmenderowiecki on using Haaretz for content that was partly my work.[91]
  11. June 2022 Challenges Gideon Greif, a source that I contributed.[92][93]
  12. 04:20, 5 November 2022 Votes to delete an article that I created.

You will note that:

  1. The evidence that Jacurek has been following me since at least 2019 is incontrovertible, yet he always fervently denied it.
  2. Despite his occasional exclamations that our interactions are causing him stress, he didn't seem to mind working around my edits, joining my discussions, and voting in my RfCs.

Shall I take this to its logical conclusion? François Robere (talk) 21:50, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sanctions history

I've been sanctioned three times over the 3.5 years that I was active in the TA, twice of which over Jacurek's involvement:

  1. On March 2018 I was blocked by MSGJ for 72 hours for edit warring. It was probably justified by's usual standards.
  2. On February 2019 I was blocked by TonyBallioni for one week for this comment: I would also like to note, again, that our admins have been consistently negligent in protecting this encyclopedia from ethnic prejudice and ethnically-motivated vandalism. The fact that Bella is still allowed to comment anywhere even vaguely related to Jews and Jewish history... is a sign of their failure. Today I wouldn't phrase it as I did then, for two reasons:
    1. "Vandalism" has a specific meaning in Wiki-speak, which isn't what I intended.
    2. I did not intend to accuse GCB/Jacurek of vandalism, but of prejudiced editing - something their own comments have more than established, as was also acknowledged by Sandstein (see "background" above).
  3. On July 2021 I was blocked by Guerillero for 48 hours for an I-ban biolation.
    1. On 17 July GCB/Jacurek edited Jan Grabowski to state in wiki-voice that he and his colleague, Barbara Engelking - both well-known historians - were "found guilty of defamation". The phrase falsely implies that they were criminally liable, despite this being a civilian case - and one that was later overturned. There was no shortage of sources indicating as much,[94] making this a potentially-severe WP:BLP violation.
    2. At the time I didn't touch it because I was already on my way out of the TA, and I knew that even if I could, I would probably have to face Volunteer Marek and/or Piotrus the moment I did. VM had followed me to Guerillero's talk page the day before (see #16 here), and Guerillero sided with him instead of me, so I didn't want to risk it.
    3. Two weeks later I received a notification regarding some book by Grabowski, which reminded of the BLP issue, and decided to address it if I could. I still didn't want to deal with VM and Guerillero, so instead of removing Jacurek's text, I added a short mention of some relevant media items further down the paragraph. VM took this to Guerillero in a matter of hours, and he decided to block me.
    4. But the block had one problem: if the text I added was a reaction to Jacurek's BLP violation, and mitigated it even in part, then it should've been exempt under WP:BANEX; and if it wasn't, then it shouldn't have been subject to WP:BAN to begin with.
    5. Could I have dealt with this differently? Perhaps, but at the time none of the admins I was familiar with were willing to deal with this topic area; ANI and AE had shown questionable utility; I couldn't mention the problem to any other editor without the mention itself being a ban violation; and "letting it go" - continuing to falsely suggest in Wiki-voice that a BLP is guilty of a crime - was out of the question.
    6. On 4 August I emailed WMF/Legal, asking them to help address the BLP violation; they replied three weeks later, redirecting me to WP:OVERSIGHT. The statement was finally removed by an uninvolved editor on 19 August, a full month after it was added.[95].

And that's all there is: three sanctions in 3.5 years, the last from almost two years ago, none of which for "repeating offenses", and two of the three for trying to deal with a manipulative, indef-blocked editor that shouldn't have been here to begin with. François Robere (talk) 23:10, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jan Żaryn

I was really surprised to see Jan Żaryn cited for WP:IDHT. This reading is diametrically opposite that of G&K, and I suspect most of the editors who were involved.

Żaryn's WP:STUB was created by Piotrus in 2019.[96] It remained fairly stable until April 2021, when an editor called Mhorg appeared and added some items from the media.[97] They were reverted by VM,[98] who explained the reversal by - among others - accusing Mhorg of trying to "turn the article into an attack page".[99] A discussion developed with the following editors:

  • Mhorg, CPCEnjoyer, Szmenderowiecki and myself supported inclusion
  • Piotrus, Lembit Staan and My very best wishes objected to inclusion, or demanded changes
  • Volunteer Marek mostly attacked and reverted other editors[100]
  • Icewhiz and Jacurek, via their "socks", did their usual thing

The first advancement came when Szmenderowiecki translated what is now ~80% of the article from pl.Wiki.[101] Of course, VM deleted about a tenth of that in the span of three minutes, less than an hour after they finished.[102][103][104] Nevertheless, Szmenderowiecki's work served as the basis for the rest of the discussion.

By June many of the problems have been resolved, but there were still a few that "resisted" resolution; I didn't think it likely that more discussion would change that, so I suggested we move from discussing the points, to drafting an RfC.[105] The goal at this stage wasn't to reach consensus (though it would've been nice if we had), just to draft a document with which we could solicit community input. In other words, we didn't have to agree on everything at this point, just on what we were going to ask.

The drafting process was straightforward: present a draft, ask for feedback, act on the feedback, then present another draft; if agreement was reached - excellent; if not, then that bit goes into the RfC. Everyone took part in this process, including Piotrus (21 comments) and LS (~100 comments); they raised a lot concerns, but also approved a lot of the changes (Piotrus: [106][107][108][109][110]; LS: [111][112][113][114][115][116][117][118]). It looked like we were making progress!

Then by mid-July the discussion had died out. Piotrus and LS withheld their approval in the last moment,[119] GCB/Jacurek was all over the place, VM was still attacking everyone, and LS was either insulting others[120][121][122][123] or out on tangents.[124] Mhorg and Szmenderowiecki were still around, but it seemed CPCEnjoyer has had enough.

Should I have let it go at this point? Maybe, but that would've meant that WP:STONEWALLING and WP:PAs trump WP:CONSENSUS, and that all of the work put by everyone was for nothing, so I decided to just post the RfC and get it over with. It wasn't my best work, I wasn't happy with it, and it didn't close; but if there's one proof it wasn't just me "not getting it", then it's the fact that it did get the votes. Piotrus, Lembit Staan, Mhorg, Szmenderowiecki, CPCEnjoyer, and other uninvolved editors all voted for inclusion, in part or in whole. We did have consensus.

I summarized the affair like this:[125]

We started this discussion almost three months ago from a virtually empty article.[126] Some editors were throwing accusations from the get go,[127] but actually contributing to the text? Expanding it? Finding sources? Suggesting alternatives? Translating? Helping the newbies? That's a whole different thing, and much harder to do than just fling accusations. Several futile arguments later I decided to start a pre-RfC a discussion,[128] and after weeks of soliciting input from editors, and repeatedly asking and getting the okay (eg. for section 1: [129][130][131][132][133][134]) - I submitted the RfC. It's long and imperfect, but if anyone thinks they could do it better under these circumstances, they're more than welcome to try.

And this how Szmenderowiecki summarized it:[135]

There's no wonder no one wants to close this discussion because it's such a mess. The thing is, even after a month of forgetting about the article's existence and all that, my general assessment does not change. Exclusion of information... deletion of sources... exclusion of duly sourced statements, electoral tables and even removal of his status as Senator from the lead (sic) are all absolutely unacceptable, and no policy encourages deletion of such information. This seems to be not even an issue of deletionism v. inclusionism but of deletionism gone amok.

Yes, ultimately the editors opposing inclusion got what they wanted - any material that could be seen potentially offending... is no longer there for various reasons... [And] because no one wanted to hear about WP:PRESERVE at the time the info was deleted... any attempt to restore it will require passing an WP:ONUS challenge, which is in fact misuse of the tool, because ONUS requires that people hear each other instead of hurling accusations every other edit.

It's not because I haven't done mistakes here - I have, but again those that I was aware of have been solved... but it takes two to tango, and it seems that not only they didn't want to tango, but also they tried to stomp on the feet of those inviting to do so.

VM had a different point of view. When an uninvolved editor, who probably didn't know the effort it took to get there, joked about how the RfC was written, VM replied:[136]

Lol. User:François Robere, he didn't even sign it. Volunteer Marek 18:42, 20 July 2021 (UTC)

PS: This whole process was accompanied by two RSN discussion - one before and one after, and both utterly destroyed VM's position. To quote one editor: "no-one in their right-mind would call the biggest newspaper in Poland 'partisan', nor an award-winning investigative journalist." François Robere (talk) 23:11, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FoF 11: François Robere and Volunteer Marek

The Fof claims that "François Robere and Volunteer Marek have repeatedly come into conflict with each other. Each has displayed uncivil behavior towards the other editor and engaged in battleground behavior about the other's edits and comments." VM followed me around, attacked me again and again, accused me of conniving with an "indef-banned editor", derailed discussions I started, created a 10kb attack page about me, ignored repeated warnings from admins, and didn't stop even when he knew his behavior was severe enough for me to have left the topic area and emailed T&S. If there's any evidence that this was in any way reciprocal, I'd like to see it now. François Robere (talk) 22:05, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And one more thing: while going through my emails I came upon a correspondence with WP:OVERSIGHT from 2 February 2020. VM had accused me of "hanging out" and "cheerfully supporting" Icewhiz, who he claimed had threatened to harm his children. I asked Primefac to WP:SUPPRESS those revisions as libelous, but they stated that no "outing" has been done, and instead redirected me to WP:PNB. I've thus gone through the length of means this community has to offer to harassed individuals: noticeboards, admins, arbs, "oversight" and T&S, all turning out to be useless. François Robere (talk) 17:42, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PR 4: François Robere topic banned

  1. None of the evidence cited by the committee to justify this ban actually shows disruption of the topic area on my part.
  2. Insofar as bans are preventative rather than punitive, it's unclear what a ban from a topic area I've already left almost two years ago is meant to serve.
  3. Nor is it clear why would a ban be imposed for events that old or older, that are not ongoing nor persistent (see FAQ).
  4. Also with respect to older evidence, it's unclear why the committee ignored my reply to Barkeep49's question on past conduct,[137] where I acknowledged some of the problems I've had and explained how I moved past them. The committee has placed much emphasis on other editors' long-term progress and conduct during this case.
  5. It's unclear why VM and myself would receive the same topic ban, despite him having 4 FoFs on his plate, and I - just one. François Robere (talk) 18:18, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PR 7: Interaction ban (François Robere and Volunteer Marek)

No evidence has been provided that shows that VM's severe "hounding" and harassment of myself was in any way reciprocal, while it clearly establishes that I went through all possible venues to address it, before eventually leaving a topic area I was been involved in for 3.5 years. This PR has no justification whatsoever; it adds insult to injury, and sends a difficult message to anyone else facing harassment from an established editor: WP:CONDUCTDISPUTE won't help you, so you better just leave. François Robere (talk) 18:21, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Declaring a journal as unreliable

A couple of months ago, one arbitrator — SilkTork — wrote at his t/p:

One of the things I am considering is gathering the evidence to propose that The Journal of Holocaust Research is listed as a non-reliable source. But for that I would need the time to read though a reasonable sample of the work they have published over the past 12 months. I doubt I'll have the freedom of time to do that while also helping out on the case.

I am interested in knowing whether SilkTork (1) still plans to embark upon such an endeavor and (2) believes such a preconceived view of the G&K article and the journal will affect his ability to make a fair assessment in this case. This is NOT a request for recusal.TrangaBellam (talk) 21:27, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@TrangaBellam, Silktork is currently inactive in this case; see Template:casenav/data. Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 21:46, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks - I was not aware of the template. TrangaBellam (talk) 21:57, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


@CaptainEek: can you explain the "ample evidence"? I'm looking at the evidence page and I see exactly one diff of me saying something bad to VM, and I think that one diff is the only diff in evidence and the only one in existence. What else are you looking at besides that one diff? Levivich (talk) 21:32, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Levivich The entirety of User_talk:Levivich/Archive_4#Jew_with_a_coin, as well as Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost/2023-03-09/Recent_research#Google_scholar_discussion seem to have been the base cause for the topic ban. I find those compelling, and think the topic ban should stay in place. Its not that you had to have said something bad to VM, its that you can't work together collaboratively. As I noted, I think this is more of a VM problem, and would like to see him banned. But in the absence of that, I fear that the best solution here is to keep you two separated. I don't think a one-way ban is appropriate here because of the Jew with a coin discussion on your usertalk. You specifically called VM out, and then wrestled with him in the mud. There were multiple points where you could have disengaged from VM, but instead you kept poking the bear. You're usually a very competent and reasonable editor that knows your limits, but reading your discussion with were a totally different person. To me, that was enough proof that you interacting with VM is bad for the project. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 22:36, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Signpost discussion is the one where the one diff came from. Can you be more specific about what the problem was with the discussion on my user talk page? Like quote something problematic I said? Or what policy did that discussion violate? Or who was disrupted by that discussion on my utp? I don't see anything wrong with that discussion, it's a group of editors talking about their editing. I don't see anything wrong in the signpost discussion either, except for the one diff.
Hard to understand what I did wrong if people won't specify what I did wrong.
Also, why do I not get the benefit of any kind of warning? Nobody told me they had any problem with anything I was writing anywhere before the IBAN was imposed. Why not? Am I expected to read minds or what? Levivich (talk) 22:46, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Levivich First, as to the warning: warnings are not required. Certainly they're helpful, and we often hand them out in an attempt to educate contributors and steer them onto the righteous path. But you aren't a noob. You're a sophisticated player. It was well within SFR's discretion to decide whether a warning was appropriate, and they decided it wasn't. But you didn't contest SFR's decision to us. You chose silence in this case, which is acceptable, but done at one's own risk. I acknowledge that you did engage at the analysis of Kot, and a few other places, but unless I missed it I don't see that you addressed your own behavior. Since you did not provide either a rebuttal or a reflection on the topic ban, I am disinclined to revisit whether the initial topic ban was appropriate.
Now to the Jew with a coin discussion. For starters, the massive callout wall of diffs on your part was...pretty pointy. Sure you're talking about editing, but in a way that isn't actually working to resolve the problem. It says "look VM I'm right and here's a stupid number of diffs [66!!] that wasted my time to put together and yours to read." You then start arguing with VM about one of the 66 diffs, as if that one diff would somehow make or break. VM then responds disingenuously. Here you could have said "VM, I don't think this conversation is going anywhere and I'm not replying further." But instead you try to win points by proving to VM that he's wrong. As much as your trail of Icewhiz's was amusing, it didn't actually help solve the problem because you were still engaging with VM. You were still wrestling in the mud!
Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and the pig likes it. I wanna be clear, I'm not calling VM a pig, merely using it in the proverbial sense. I note that the world is full of irony: the page Never wrestle with a pig was created by none other than VM back in 2010, though since deleted. The moral here is: when you stoop to wrestle in the mud with someone else, you are not somehow blameless, especially when you were the one who started the conversation. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 23:33, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know warnings aren't required. My question is: why don't I get any, when others get repeated warnings?
I did not choose silence in this case. I participated. I did not know that a rebuttal or a reflection about the IBAN was wanted or even permitted. There were no arb questions about it. And what was there to rebut? Like you said, SFR chose to impose an IBAN, and that's within his rights as an admin. The one diff -- the only diff in evidence -- is one I already struck and already conceded was out of line. What more do you want me to say about it? How do I address evidence that isn't in evidence? My user talk page discussion was not in evidence. Nothing else from the Signpost discussion was in evidence. No other discussions were in evidence. Moneytrees says bad blood going back to 2019... but that's not in evidence (and there is no evidence of that).
Look at that Jew with a Coin discussion again. It started at the Signpost page, and I moved it from there to my UTP specifically to avoid disruption on the Signpost page. I don't get any credit for that, apparently. Also, it wasn't a discussion with VM, it was a discussion with Zero. Specifically, Zero said there was no evidence of the "money-hungry Jew" trope on Wikipedia, and I asked if they want to see evidence, and both Zero and VM said yes. So I provided the evidence -- 61 diffs, not all of VM's BTW -- on my UTP, and not on the Signpost page.
What is wrong with that exactly? Look at what Arbcom is saying about the Buidhe/AE thing: communication is important, that Buidhe should have communicated more with VM. So here I am, communicating with VM about VM's edits, and you have a problem with that? What is the problem with that? Again: who is disrupted by this, and how?
I'm not wrestling with a pig. I'm talking about POV pushing in a topic area, with diffs. Is that not something we are allowed to talk about? Isn't it a good thing for editors to communicate about that?
I didn't make any personal attacks on my UTP. I didn't cast aspersions. And I did disengage--you'll notice VM had the last word in that discussion (I didn't respond to several of his messages), and same with MVBW (I didn't respond to his final messages). I'm the one who disengaged... from a discussion on my own talk page... that I moved to my talk page from another page. This is not problematic behavior on my part. It violates no policies or guidelines, and it's healthy to have discussion about these issues.
I have almost 200 talk page watchers; not one of them expressed any problems with anything I was writing on my UTP. Nobody expressed any problem with anything I had written on the Signpost page. Until -- BAM! -- an out-of-the-blue IBAN with no warning whatsoever. Guerillero writes on the PD page: "Knowing when to stop bickering and sniping is an important skill on Wikipedia." Well, here's what I think: you stop bickering and sniping when somebody asks you to. Nobody ever asked me to. Again: am I supposed to read your minds?
BK above points to the COIN and says there was "sniping". But not by me, not in that discussion, or any other discussion, expect that one diff in the Signpost page.
And beyond all of that, both the Signpost discussion and the one my UTP happened over a few days. There is no evidence of any long-lasting or ongoing problem.
One bad diff and no warning == permanent IBAN for Levivich? Maybe you all think that's fair, but it's enough for me to quit over. Levivich (talk) 03:07, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Levivich I'm assuming you pinged me because you want a response. I try to be a very factual person. To respond to ...but that's not in evidence (and there is no evidence of that) I based the "bad blood" comment off of some stuff that was on "arb ground", like Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism_in_Poland/Proposed_decision#Comments_by_Levivich and Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee/Noticeboard/Archive_44#Icewhiz_banned. Of course you aren't directly arguing with VM there, but the comments you are making are pretty critical of him. I remember the Icewhiz ban announcement pretty well as I had commented there. I was surprised, as I had thought he was a good editor when I came across him at AfD and I hadn't followed exactly what he had done.
I also remember Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive1025#Future_Perfect_at_Sunrise and Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive1025#DROPTHEFUCKINGSTICK_ALREADY from 2019, which I remember being unable to keep up with at the time. ("Damn, people are getting really angry at each other. I hope I'm not in a situation like that one day..." ) And Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive1019#Sir_Joseph_and_accusations_of_Holocaust_denial_and_revisionism, which I remember for its "desysop Tony" section... these sections do lead me to believe you and VM did not get along back then. Since 2019 you've had several arguments with VM of varying intensity. Then you were Ibanned after some particularly prominent arguments with VM in 2023. Days I'm basing my support for an Iban off of this history, rather than a single diff or argument. I have a positive impression of you, Levivich, and I think you know that, I think you're someone who is usually speaks truth regardless of what trouble it might get you in (and I also very much think this of SFR). I would rather you get Ibanned with someone you don't get along with than get topic banned from an area you could help in because of something you said in an argument with them. I know that you probably wouldn't be happy with this outcome, I'm not really happy with it either, but this case isn't about making an easy decision, it's really one where it feels like you can't please everybody, even people who have been nice to you previously... it would be sad if it wasn't something I knew that came with the job. As for the "not in evidence" bit; the way I understand, the I-ban itself is in evidence, and as long as it is in evidence, it doesn't necessarily need further evidence to extend it. So if the Arbs think it is reasonable to implement... and there is also no Tban for you in this topic area.
So I hope my rationale is clear to you now. If you disagree, that is ok. I'm not really interested in having a long back and forth with you because that would be sad and I don't think it'll change anything. Additionally, my dog (who I've had for over 10 years) is having surgery to remove a tumor from her leg tomorrow, and I'm not sure how it's going to go, so I'm not really in the mood for having some miserable debate right now. Thanks, Moneytrees🏝️(Talk) 05:11, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
None of this was in evidence, so how was I to address it? Hope your dog pulls through. Levivich (talk) 18:13, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Btw, the reason I didn't rebut or appeal SFR's IBAN is because it was set to expire after the case concluded, as SFR repeatedly emphasized to me. So there was no point in appealing that. Until you guys decided to make it permanent. Now here I am, questioning it.
You're wrong, also, about VM pushing my buttons. I lost my cool that one time with that one diff, but other than that, I haven't had a problem with VM pushing my buttons or bothering me. I challenge anyone to show me problematic diffs (by me) from before that Signpost discussions. I do not believe they exist. Levivich (talk) 03:21, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49: "Levivich decided not to participate" is not correct; I participated in the case request and analysis phases. Levivich (talk) 23:23, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're right. You had more analysis about sources than I had recalled. "Levivich decided not to participate in the case with regards to his own conduct" would be a more accurate statement. Barkeep49 (talk) 00:03, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly how would I have participated in the case with regards to my own conduct? Nobody asked me any questions about my own conduct. Levivich (talk) 02:54, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could have participated in the way you're now participating here. Disputing what the evidence showed. Providing your own analysis and interpretation. And to be a bit pedantic, I posed a question to all long time editors/parties, not just the two I felt a need to hear from in order to make a better decision, about how they've changed over time that you could have chosen to answer. As for the substance of what you've written here, it works better for me as an appeal, after there's been a chance for the things to have calmed between you and VM by some separation, than it does for me at this point. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:03, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Works for you better as an appeal?? Damn Bk, that's arrogant. There will not be an appeal. Levivich (talk) 18:14, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sad to hear that it had this impact. My intent was to give a version of "this doesn't have to be a permanent thing and while I'm not changing my vote now, I'm not unsympathetic to what you're saying". Barkeep49 (talk) 18:35, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And you know what else grinds my gears? There is no evidence of anything I did wrong before you all dragged me into an Arbcom case with no evidence of wrongdoing on my part. You told me to expect evidence against me... but it didn't materialize. So the only thing we have is a bad comment I made after you named me as a party here. Frickin' awesome. Levivich (talk) 03:11, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Had SFR not imposed an IBAN on the eve of this case opening, there would be no findings of fact or sanctions against me. In my view, that's manufacturing evidence. Particularly since SFR, VM, GCB and others then went on to discuss me on Wikipediocracy. Levivich (talk) 03:13, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Levivich I don't think that's true. The Committee had already noted you and VM's issues, and was moving to iban you two as an injunction. SFR just beat us to it independently, which was a confirmation that you two weren't getting along. Now, I am sympathetic to the idea that you were not aware that your ban could become permanent. To the Committee, I guess it seemed obvious, and it was assumed that your non-involvement was a tactical decision rather than ignorance. But I echo Barkeep: I am not really inclined to remove the ban as somehow being wrong on its face. As both we and SFR have laid out, the iban was generally warranted. I'm instead interested to hear from you about how you can understand and change your problematic interactions with VM. If you can show me that you and VM won't be a problem going forward, then perhaps an iban is not really warranted. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 18:26, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not gonna happen. Levivich (talk) 19:41, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Levivich Is this the hill you want to die on? I'm trying to work with you here and am considering changing my vote. You are a very high quality editor, and I don't want to lose you from the encyclopedia. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 07:34, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. Just a quick note to say that I will post a fuller response asap but RL has kept me busy, not ignoring this. Levivich (talk) 03:27, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think Levivich gets the point that they should not engage in mud wrestling going forward. If a word to the wise proves insufficient, they can receive an interaction ban next time it happens. And accuracy in our coverage of the Holocaust is a very good hill to die on. Jehochman Talk 14:00, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Levivich: I don't know if you're following the PD page closely, but the decision is less than 24 hours away from being finalized and closed. You're kind of running out of time if you plan to make any additional statements. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:45, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yeah, I came back to say more and saw that since I posted my previous note, a number of arbs have rushed to close this. Message received. They don't care, they're not listening. There's only so many ways you can say "but there's only one diff in evidence." Thank you to those who are speaking up on my behalf. Levivich (talk) 18:34, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    And btw, for anyone who does care, the reason I didn't appeal SFR's temporary IBAN is because it was temporary. It would have unnecessarily wasted editor time to argue about it at AN or in this case. I don't waste editor time like this, I'd rather just comply and wait for it to expire than use up volunteer time for something unimportant, but then you all already knew that about me.
    Last year they tried the same business with me when they made a motion to have me sanctioned for saying "EEML" too much. The motion didn't pass, I still stopped talking about EEML anyway, including during this case, even after GCB was finally busted as Jacurek. Because I don't waste people's time here, I respect you all and this place enough to comply with a motion even if it failed.
    Just a "shut up dude" is all it ever takes with me. But I'm not afforded that basic decency here. I'm sanctioned on one struck diff and told to appeal next year.
    This is the fourth no-warning sanction on me in the past year or so (the EEML motion, being blocked for a 3RRNO 2RR that an admin didn't agree with, the temp IBAN, and now the permanent IBAN). Each one was put on by admins who speak to me all the time, but never said a word about their concerns about my conduct before swinging the ban hammer. I'm just not going to keep editing here if any edit I make might suddenly result in someone who was pretending to be friendly with me sanctioning me with no warning. Especially not when they tell me to appeal it in a year. Sorry but f that bullshit. That's the real reason I retired when SFR put on this IBAN, and the reason I won't be editing while sanction, including not appealing this sanction. I have better things to do than play games like this.
    I hope these admins never treat another editor as they've treated me here. I hope they learn that not everyone will play these games. Levivich (talk) 18:47, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by HouseBlaster

I realize that I have spent a fraction of the time that you (Arbs) have spent pouring over everything in this case, but I feel like the My very best wishes iBans are more punitive than preventative. I do not see anything in evidence which indicates that they have been disruptive in their interactions with VM or Piotrus outside of this case. Seeing how the remedy would go into effect only once the case closes, I do not see what disruption it would be preventing. They have a positive relationship with the two editors, so it would not prevent constant bickering. And if MVBW is tbanned, they would already be unable to participate in a future appeal by VM.

Again, you have spent much more time than I have on this matter; I might be totally missing something. But I do not currently see how those iBans would be productive. (On the other hand, using iBans to prevent disruption when the parties are too friendly with one another is a welcome innovation.) HouseBlastertalk 05:52, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Clovermoss

I do think Levivich has a fair point that there was like a day (unless I'm missing something) between the iban being made permanent as a proposal on this page before people started voting on it. I don't usually follow full ArbCom cases, is this normal? It does make me feel a bit uneasy. How exactly was he supposed to defend himself when it's out of the blue like that? If he can only respond when his fate has already been decided? I can understand why he's upset. I'd likely feel the same in his shoes. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 16:56, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clovermoss, what happened here does follow the set procedure of ArbCom. It's also at least as deliberate as a community process; if someone proposes a sanction when opening an ANI discussion people will start supporting or opposing the proposal right away. That said there was plenty of time for editors to respond to accusations against them during the case with the least generous version being the 10 days that the second evidence phase was open. Finally I will note that unlike community processes where editors may comment once and not pay attention to subseqeunt developments, Arbs continue to pay attention and votes can (and do) change based on comments here and by other Arbs. And then Arbs also have to vote to close the case which has its own minimum time period involved before it can be implemented. Barkeep49 (talk) 18:00, 17 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

typo of a usename in main proposed decision page

search "Lightbreater" in WP space don't give many results, "Lightbreather" is correct. ibicdlcod (talk) 05:29, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(ping: Barkeep49) ~ ToBeFree (talk) 12:13, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]



François Robere has at times shown a failure to get the point. (e.g. Jan Żaryn evidence summary)

The linked summary does not have anything - favorable or adverse - about FR, except that he started a RfC. TrangaBellam (talk) 09:10, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above section links to another section on BLP disputes (the link doesn't work, btw; please fix it) which has some material on FR. But I do not see IDHT at display.
VM adopts an exceptionally conservative reading of BLP in articles on Poland (and interestingly, quite the opposite in AMPOL) and there are bound to be frictions. See the section on BLP violations in Talk:Grzegorz Berendt for a comparison. TrangaBellam (talk) 09:22, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, I have fixed the section link. Primefac (talk) 09:36, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I would appreciate the arbitrators pointing specific diffs of FR, that point to a IDHT attitude. TrangaBellam (talk) 20:02, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Parabolist

Levivich is absolutely correct. Arbcom assuming and making permanent this IBAN is genuinely bizarre. Half of the evidence for it is that he received the temporary IBAN. That isn't evidence! If SFR wants to make it indefinite, he should, but what the hell does Levivich even put in an appeal when the 'evidence' Arbcom considered for the ban is "you received the ban." It's a bureaucratic nightmare.

The Arb responses have all been introducing huge swathes of conduct that aren't actually on the evidence page as proof that "well, we were gonna do it anyway." Then you should have! Not doing so means there's no paper trail. Now you have your reasons, but does he need to cite THIS page in a theoretical appeal? "Aha, well I'd love to link a diff to the evidence page of the Arbcom case I've been sanctioned in, but actually all the evidence against me is in Proposed_decision(Talk)." How ridiculous does that sound? How many times has anyone on this committee tsk tsk'd an editor about "we only consider the scope to be what's presented on the evidence page, if you don't present it to us, well..." Follow your own rules. Shameful. Parabolist (talk) 02:32, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Rotary Engine

Re: FoF 13 & PR 8.

Concur with the thoughts of uninvolved editors above that this remedy seems disproportionate & inequitable. The Evidence Summary supporting the FoF consists of two items: 1. A comment, at WP:COIN, by VM, which focuses firmly on contributor not content. This is not evidence against Levivich; 2. The existence of a temporary 2-way I-ban, placed by SFR; trigged by a comment by Levivich. That comment, while clearly outside acceptable standards, has been struck and apologised for. This is evidence against Levivich, but it is evidence of an isolated incident, not of a pattern that requires sanctions.

Absent evidence of a pattern of disruptive interaction in Levivich's editing history, the conclusion that an I-ban sanction is required to address this (unevidenced) behaviour seems, therefore, poorly founded.

That one of the editors is happy to accept a 2-way I-ban is not a factor in it's favour. That that editor has a decade long history of sanctionable behaviour, and of uncivilly focusing on contributors rather than on content, and the historical pattern of editors working in support of each other, are factors against.

Rotary Engine talk 03:41, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Biruitorul

I just wanted to say that I find it odd and dispiriting to see My very best wishes sanctioned for, essentially, participating vigorously in this process. There is no evidence of wrongdoing on his part when it comes to the mainspace. Arbitrators should think carefully about what sort of precedent this sets. — Biruitorul Talk 06:19, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by Nishidani

Jehochman. This is not a manichaean world of black and white. There are two parties here who are seen to be upset about 'nationalist distortion of holocaust history' Norman Davies for one considers that ethnonationalist bias inflects also the side you describe implicitly as the good guys who get these extremely complex historical issues right, and that Poles find attempts to describe them negatively as mere 'bystanders' to the holocaust, deeply offensive. Arbcom is not here to to endorse either approach, but to examine editorial behaviour regardless of background. Nishidani (talk) 13:34, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Precisely, and that is why I made my note. Distortions are in the sources enlisted by both 'camps', among which tendencies to lay blame on Poles generally (bystanders) or defensively overplay Polish rescue efforts. Serious historians must exercise close sensitivity to where everyone who interprets the data can be seen to be coming from as part of their assessments of the quality of contributions. There is no such awareness, arguably, in G&K's paper, which makes huge assumptions from a known partisan perspective contested by historians of stature, some within Israel, whose values in turn are questioned. (Jan Grabowski et al., Why Is This Israeli Jewish Scholar a Willing Poster Boy for Poland's Brutal Distortion of the Holocaust? Haaretz 24 December 2018 vs.Daniel Blatman, Polish Honor and Israeli Hypocrisy Haaretz 22 February, 2019 ) If serious scholarship can evince such bitter conflicts, one would expect its echo here as well. Nishidani (talk) 16:54, 20 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]