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Pages recently put under extended-confirmed protection[edit]

Pages recently put under extended confirmed protection (7 out of 1738 total) (Purge)
Page Protected Expiry Type Summary Admin
Seph Lawless 2019-04-24 13:28 2019-04-26 13:28 edit,move Persistent violations of the biographies of living persons policy from (auto)confirmed accounts 78.26
Forum for Democracy 2019-04-23 23:05 2019-05-07 23:05 edit,move Persistent disruptive editing El C
Aynabo 2019-04-22 20:56 2019-10-22 20:56 edit,move Persistent disruptive editing: Regular semi-protection ineffective, persistent block evasion and additions of unsourced material. Yamaguchi先生
Template talk:ArbComOpenTasks/CaseRequests 2019-04-22 03:33 indefinite create Repeatedly recreated L235
Pokémon Detective Pikachu 2019-04-22 00:12 2019-06-22 00:12 edit,move Persistent disruptive editing El C
Draft:Sakit Mammadov 2019-04-21 22:05 indefinite create Repeatedly recreated in main, sock activity. Premeditated Chaos
Warner Music Group 2019-04-21 18:43 indefinite move Persistent disruptive editing Ad Orientem

HuffPost article on WP COI editing[edit]

Thanks to JamesG5 I bumped into this HuffPost article of yesterday (or today depending on your timezone). It is dedicated to a particular COI editor on WP:

  • Ashley Feinberg (14 March 2019). "Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages. And it almost always works". Huffington Post.

Does it offer ideas for anything actionable? — kashmīrī TALK 00:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

  • So long as he has disclosed and not directly edited pages, there's nothing we can do. If someone wants to change the policy to be stricter and prohibit it completely, I'll be the first to support, but I don't think we have that consensus yet (though I believe we eventually will. Also, note I'm talking about PR nonsense, not Wikipedians-in-residence, which is always a sticking point.)
    I'll add that articles like this make us look ridiculous and that our official begrudging acceptance of disclosed paid editing is even more of a threat than undisclosed paid editing because it ruins our reputation when major media outlets runs stories like this.
    Finally, I'll put my 2¢ in that admins and others should not let declated paid editors do what I refer to as TOU bludgeon: declaration is the minimum required to edit. It is not a free pass to spam. WP:NOTSPAM is still local policy and if someone openly declares themselves a spammer and the content matches, they should be indefinitely blocked without warning. Native advertising is very much a thing, and just because spam doesn't look like it did in 2005 when out policies were written, doesn't mean that our policies don't apply. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:14, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
TonyBallioni I completely and passionately agree with your last paragraph. However, If a media organization wants to take issue with the calls we make on controversial topics they can and they will and we might not come out the otherside so great - they're tough areas for a reason. The fact that we have transparency means we can, if we want, revisit any of these editorial decisions. If there was no declaration those changes would be made and we wouldn't know or be any wiser and the community would have no option to re-evaluate the thinking. There are no good decisions for us to make here only least awful ones. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:47, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Which headline makes us look more like fools:
  1. Wikipedia blocks hundreds of 'scam' sock puppet accounts
  2. Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages And it almost always works
The first headline is about Orangemoody. The second one is about someone following our TOU and policies. Anyone who has ever worked a day in a marketing department can tell you which headline they'd prefer.
This is significant because we've fought for years to have our credibility accepted. I'm not saying that this is worse ethically than Orangemoody. Of course it isn't. I am saying that to the general public, this looks significantly worse. In Orangemoody, we were the heroes: fighting a bad guy scamming people out of their money. Here we are the bureaucrats that allow Big Tech to whitewash their own articles.
Regardless of what the actual impact is on individual articles, the perceived impact is worse from declared PR editing, and that in turn makes all of the featured articles on notable topics that are extremely well researched worth less to the reader.
I'm well aware that these are tough calls, but I'm saying that the community does need to consider perception here, and the perception from "white hat" editing on the outside is worse than some of our biggest sockfarms. I don't want an RfC on this now, but I do think it is something that is missing from community discussion on the topic, which is why I'm raising it. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Not to detract from TonyBallioni's points, but just to answer one of the original questions of whether there is anything actionable, I didn't see such a thing. Problematic, sure. Actionable? Well, since the editor in question responds reasonably to comments, I don't see anything in particular right now. HuffPo also I feel is being a bit misleading. Regarding the Oppenheimer/Farrow thing, for instance, looking back, the section we had in his article was completely inappropriate for a BLP given what the sources actually stated. If what was previously written were verifiable, then those sources should have been added if the content was to stay like that. The wall-o-texts that HuffPo complains about don't seem big to me. And whether an article on a website needs to mention a criminal complaint against the founder is a completely ordinary coat rack discussion. Well, I guess CORPORATE PR PHONY WIKIPEDIA EDITOR WHITEWASHES ARTICLES is more compelling clickbait than Several companies pay Wikipedia editor to file routine boring complaints about content that arguably violates Wikipedia's own policies. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:26, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't think today's headline is worse for us than Wikipedia’s Top-Secret ‘Hired Guns’ Will Make You Matter (For a Price) and at least today we can decide if the changes really were policy compliant or not. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:58, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Damn, what's next? Soon they'll discover that I've been taking millions to edit Intel articles. THE JIG IS UP Drmies (talk) 02:06, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Millions?! I only get a few rubles! You need to hook me up.Face-wink.svg PackMecEng talk) 02:10, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Bedoel je niet wij, goede dokter ;-). TonyBallioni (talk) 02:12, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Nice try, Tony, but that you are me (I?) is only a rumor on Reddit, and at any rate I AM NOT SHARING THE MILLIONS I GOT FROM INTEL FOR EDITING THAT ARTICLE WITH YOU. Damn I hope that that person who exposed me AS A PAID EDITOR FOR INTEL doesn't read this. Drmies (talk) 02:14, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
I once made a rather noncontroversial edit about compact fluorescent bulbs being more efficient than incandescent bulbs (this was before LED bulbs became affordable) and was accused of being "a paid shill for the Twisty Bulb Cartel". How did they guess? --Guy Macon (talk) 20:11, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Back on point, while I agree the headline isn't great for Wikipedia, making policy in response to headlines is a slippery slope that I, for one, don't want to embark upon. Of course HuffPo is going to write the most sensational headline they can coin out of a relatively scant set of facts. I'm not really convinced that there is a lot in the story we should be worried about, which just leaves the headline. If you're looking for headlines critical of Wikipedia handling of material, there are plenty out there and they really do affect our credibility with a big section of the population; we shouldn't make policy in response to those headlines, either. GoldenRing (talk) 10:41, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
The headline itself is useless, but the rest of the text could possibly be of use for those who want to take a look at the mentioned articles. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Just to make it clear, we are talking about BC1278--Ymblanter (talk) 15:21, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
And I think the question the HP asks in our language would be whether their actions are compatible with WP:CANVASSING.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:39, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Hi. BC1278 here. Overwhelmingly, my Request Edits are made through a Request Edit flag. The format is usually very concise, as suggested by User: Spintendo, a frequent reviewer to the Request Edit queue: e.g. Talk:Pace_University#Request_Edit, Talk:Jonathan_Swan#Request_Edits. The "wall of text" complaint the author of the HuffPo column picked up on happened in an article about Noah Oppenheim during extended discussions about controversial issues with multiple RfCs. The consensus decisions ultimately reached by independent editors were not remotely like my original proposed edits, as the HuffPost author falsely implies. Instead, independent editors did their job and came to their own conclusions. One outcome of participating in a couple of these very contentious discussions was a chat last year with DGG, who advised me that he had learned over the years there's very little advantage in getting involved in debates after you've made your point once - you're not going to convince people to change their minds anyway. I have tried to adopt his style since. The HuffPost column is focused on a few high-profile media-related Wikipedia articles which involved public controversies (the author's beat), rather than how I conduct myself on Wikipedia in general. It's click bait. It is also rife with mistakes and misleading statements too numerous to explain here. I am going to ask for HuffPo for multiple corrections. For example, she ignores that I was the editor who suggested expanding into a robust paragraph, the few words mentioning the Matt Laeur firing on NBC News, despite the subject being very unflattering to them. But I wanted the NBC News article to be up to date anyway. The HuffPo author cherry picked one sentence she didn't like in my proposed edit, even though, as per a normal independent review, another editor chose to use entirely different language than anything I submitted (and I added words of encouragement, saying it was well done.) Talk:NBC_News#Expanded_info_on_Matt_Lauer Her example of alleged canvasing are notifications to editors who had already participated in extended discussions on Talk:Noah Oppenheim that more discussions were continuing in a new RfC. If she looked carefully, she would have seen that I notified (or tried to) all the recent editors, including those who opposed my proposals previously, such as User: Peter K Burian. This was my first RfC and to me, there appeared to already be consensus, when JytDog re-opened the question as a new RfC. I thought the previous editors discussing the same matter should be notified again. Today, having been through a few, I would have added all the notifications right on the RfC page, to be transparent, and let others double check I didn't mistakenly leave anyone out. Or, to be honest, I just wouldn't bother to notify anyone - at the time, I didn't know how RfC editors were even called upon.BC1278 (talk) 20:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)BC1278
FYI, if you'd like to know what its like to field inquiries from prominent organizations, PR firms or individuals who think articles about them have problems, or want a new article, many balk when I tell them how I work - with full disclosure of COI as a paid editor and submitting all suggested edits for independent review. They don't want to take the risk of appearing in articles like the one by HuffPo. So I turn down their business, as my entire premise is that I do "white hat" work, only for those who want to follow the rules. Sometimes, a few months or a year down the road, I check to see if the articles of those who chose not to work with me nonetheless were edited or published as they wanted -- and it's usually the case they have been, but never with a public disclosure of COI or prior review. As the editing is anonymous, I can't be sure what happened, of course. I do know it will be more difficult to get subjects to publicly disclose because of this article, but it won't slow down the organizations/individuals from violating Wikipedia policy and making direct edits. Not in my experience. Only a much more radical change will solve the problem -- for example, the elimination of anonymous editing, with all user accounts requiring a LinkedIn profile. Then, COI and agenda editing will be more obvious. It would also go a long way toward solving the civility issues. But given the sanctity of anonymous editing on Wikipedia, I guess it isn't viable.BC1278 (talk) 20:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)BC1278
Hi guy here who thinks you're right that UPE is worse. But do you understand why as a volunteer how your 700+ words are troubling and could be seen as WP:BLUDGEONing this conversation in contradiction of WP:PAYTALK. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:33, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes. Sorry/ I re-read it a bunch of times to try to cut it. But I'm responding to a major press article that made a slew of misleading and inaccurate statements about me, personally, and that now seems to be swaying discussion on Wikipedia policy itself. For four years, I've worked to convince organizations and PR firms to abide by COI disclosure rules because that's what Wikipedia has decreed is kosher Someone from the Wikimedia Foundation needs to publicly stand up to this young media reporter who thinks UPE is more ethical than declared PE or declared COI editing. That's what this author is explicitly saying! I received calls and emails from major PR agencies all day -- if this is the new normal, they're going to direct business away from the "white hats." There are board meetings taking place next week to formalize this, affecting some of the largest corporations in the world. Unless something changes, the outcome will be a lot more business for "black hats."BC1278 (talk) 04:00, 16 March 2019 (UTC)BC1278
I don't agree with this. UPE is bad, and we obviously need to root it out when we can; but I feel that Wikipedia is large enough now that the damage it can do is ultimately containable. Declared paid editing, on the other hand, hurts Wikipedia's reputation by making it seem as though we don't care about the potential issues raised in articles like this one at all. And, more generally - "if you ban this, people will just evade and do it anyway" has not, I think, generally been a strong argument for anything. People get away with violating all sorts of policies. (I would also add, as I mentioned down below, that I feel that the nature of paid editing and the confusion over it allows paid editors to get away with clearly WP:TENDENTIOUS editing that would get a normal editor in far more trouble, since people feel that that one-sided editing is "expected" from them. An undisclosed paid editor cannot devote the same intensity, passion, and time that you have brought to your work here, since it would attract attention, opposition, and, eventually, sanctions.) But more generally you're not wrong that everyone has POVs and that most tendentious editing goes unsanctioned - the really serious problem for disclosed paid editing is the damage it does to Wikipedia's reputation, which I feel is, today, a more serious problem than any other aspect of the issue. --Aquillion (talk) 01:52, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I mean, yeah, it does. BC1278 is alleged to be a serial POV-pusher and professional whitewasher, who games the system to get his edits through with a combination of relentless bludgeoning and canvassing. That's extremely alarming and I was ready to crucify this guy. I was even pissed to see the lighthearted reactions above. But, when you actually examine the article, I'm not seeing any violations. In fact, I'm not really seeing anything of major concern. The article itself seems to quietly concede that he doesn't actually violate any policies. In fact, it comes across as extremely misleading and obviously written by someone who doesn't understand Wikipedia at all. He "spent over a year lobbying" for the creation of Caryn Marooney? Come on, he created it as a draft and got it approved through the AfC process, not because he's some relentless lobbyist. Relentless bludgeoning, based on this? Really? He's literally just discussing something in the discussion section, because he was refraining from !voting. Obviously the writer has never witnessed true bludgeoning. Canvassing? The supposed incidents of "canvassing" are usually explained as simply being notifications to relevant users who are involved in some way, such as WikiProject members. I have not seen any refutations of that point. I mean, one of the warnings cited was literally for notifying the only other contributor to an article about a deletion discussion.[1] There's nothing even particularly unreasonable about that. Most of the supposed "whitewashing" seems to be mundane matters that don't harm articles at all, if not actual improvements, like making articles better comply with BLP. "It almost always works"? Uh, yeah, if you're in compliance with policies and are making reasonable requests that are being vetted by established editors who decide to approve them, then good for you, you're not terrible at what you do. It certainly isn't because the community has no problem with paid COI editors, on the contrary, they're among the most stigmatized editors within the community. This article seems to be little more than an unfortunate piece of trumped-up clickbaity garbage, and I actually feel bad for the paid editor here. I hope both the editor and the Foundation will push back in some way. If COIN wants to do an in-depth investigation of this editor, that's perhaps a reasonable reaction, but based solely on the allegations and supporting evidence presented in the article, which, I assume was the worst they could find, there's nothing actionable there. ~Swarm~ {talk} 21:02, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
Swarm I have spent some time examining this user's editing. I think on the whole I agree with your analysis. But even in that rather long analysis above you're still about 55% as verbose as BC1278 is in his response here. I think given PAYTALK, which I value as a volunteer editor, he could learn how to be more concise. The problem with him at Oppenheim, as I see it, isn't with the RfC, it's with what came before. Similar verbose behavior can be seen at other of his pages. I compare that to this paid editor who accomplishes their work in a far more concise manner. But to emphasize I think that the HuffPo article, like much of the media commenting on Wikipedia practices, gets things wrong, and in this case does so with a clear agenda in mind. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:24, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I think that that's a misreading of the article, which is clearly written from the perspective that all paid editing is inherently problematic and that our policies allowing it are the core issue here. Obviously people here disagree on that, but it's not a reason to disregard the source - I don't think there's anything inherently wrong or questionable about positing that paid editing, even by someone who follows all our rules, might unbalance articles due to the disparate levels of energy and time devoted. (Although the article doesn't say this, I think it's also worth pointing out that the nature of Wikipedia has changed a lot since we originally decided to allow paid editing, generally in ways that make it more problematic - controversies over low-to-mid-tier articles are more likely to get hashed out on talk pages in general, say, which makes many of the restrictions we place on paid editors moot and calls into question whether the image problem they create for the project is worth what we get by having them declare themselves instead of inevitably just evading successive bans.) --Aquillion (talk) 01:16, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
I think that there is a "money is bad" mentality that induces people into writing articles of debatable accuracy about paid editing on Wikipedia. In a way it's similar to the POV-pushing process. I agree that the "bludgeoning" there isn't, plenty of people write mildly detailed arguments. And if memory serves this would be far from the first time where a news article about Wikipedia has turned out to be partially or mostly wrong. Some caution is due before citing newspaper articles about Wikipedia as arguments for a policy change or on-wiki action. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:16, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks Swarm for taking time to go through the edit history and this way answering my original question.
As to COI editing, Jo-Jo Eumerus has put it right. We often distrust those who have vested financial interest in what most of us are doing for free, ergo, in our view, selflessly.
Hopefully, in the longer run, common sense will prevail. Maybe a day will come when for example we will allow company infoboxes to be edited by company staff, or person infoboxes by article subjects. Until we find an open and transparent way of managing COI, we will see articles like the HuffPost piece. — kashmīrī TALK 00:44, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Swarm, Barkeep49, Jo-Jo Eumerus, Kashmiri, Ymblanter, GoldenRing, TonyBallioni, PackMecEng, Drmies, Gråbergs Gråa Sång and anyone I missed here: Given the subject of the Request Edit here Talk:Caryn_Marooney#section=1 and the already removed language from from NBC News (editors using this HuffPo article to include accusations of Wikipedia impropriety in the WP articles about the organizations mentioned), would it be possible for an official consensus as to whether this article is or is not a reliable source for alleging paid editing impropriety such that it can be included in the Wikipedia mainspace articles about or related to the organizations highlighted in HuffPo? Or, whether the article is reliable in general? This is going to repeat over and over.BC1278 (talk) 23:10, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
I'd say it's reasonably reliable for alleging (by which I mean "according to HuffPost" or whatever) paid editing impropriety, but will currently probably fail on WP:UNDUE/WP:NOTNEWS (and maybe WP:BLP, depending on use) aspects. I was thinking of Conflict-of-interest_editing_on_Wikipedia#Miscellaneous, but it seems a little weak on it's own. HuffPost is not Daily Mail, but it's not Washington Post either. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 07:59, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • If you're implying that's an example of "bludgeoning", then no. In fact, based on the above, the user presents a perfectly reasonable case. If anyone is unclear on what "bludgeoning" looks like, check out the discussions I collapsed at Talk:Origin of the Romanians/Archive 18. If you're really a glutton for punishment, keep scrolling past that. Eventually, you may reach the bottom of the page. ~Swarm~ {talk} 20:14, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Maybe you missed the part of those 572 words where he asserted AN consensus that HuffPo is not a reliable source? That's a misrepresentation at best, and the whole thing is a classic example of throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. 2600:6C44:E7F:F8D6:8694:953B:9EC1:FBC (talk) 01:40, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Suggestions and proposals related to paid editing[edit]

  • We should at least say "paid editors are not to directly edit articles"... Even info boxes maybe problematic as they try to exaggerate the number of employees ect. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:11, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This part concerns me:

Posts calling attention to Sussman’s lobbying of other editors rarely stay up for more than a week. According to his Talk page history, Sussman deletes criticism frequently and any record of it in his user logs often gets buried by his prolific posting and editing.

Should paid editors be restricted from deleting other editors' comments from their user talk page? Combing through a history like this is unnecessarily arduous, and the status quo hinders oversight from other editors by allowing important discussions to be obscured. — Newslinger talk 10:25, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't see this incident going away anytime soon. A new discussion was started at ANI just today: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Whitewashing?. What I find most offensive to those of us who edit for free, and worse, what may prove damaging to WP in the long term, are sites like this one and the claims they make while marketing their business. I don't know how long volunteers can be expected to keep working for free in order to make an article encyclopedic and compliant with our PAGs knowing it's for the benefit of paid editors. Think about that for a minute. Our own paid editing/COI PAGs lack common sense. So paid editor John Doe gets a nice check for $400+/- (probably a great deal more if worth their salt) to write/protect an article but unpaid editors are actually the ones writing the article for them. How is this not insanity? Atsme Talk 📧 00:49, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
It's insane that Wikipedia's rules are that you cannot be paid to edit an article, you can only be paid to get unpaid volunteers to edit the article for you. Levivich 02:10, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I highly agree with User:Atsme and User:Levivich. Why should volunteers edit an article for someone getting paid wads, while us volunteers get paid nothing at all? While I understand that we've opted to keep some COI editing aboveboard instead of outlawing it and just driving paid editing underground, paid editing is still highly problematic. Captain Eek Edits Ho Cap'n! 03:55, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't begrudge the way any person makes an honest living, and if a paid editor is complying with policy, they're doing nothing wrong in my book. The policies are kafkaesque, but that's the inevitable result of trying to police editors instead of edits. Levivich 04:39, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Nor do I, Levivich, but it's wrong to do it at the expense of volunteers who are committed to building a free knowledge-based encyclopedia. The marketing material of companies like White Hat Wiki is an insult to everything WP represents. Phrases like "We Bullet-Proof Your Wikipedia Presence", and "Wikipedia is a byzantine labyrinth of policies, guidelines and internal politics" are far from flattering to the project and its volunteers. Paid editing changes the landscape and the very definition of knowledge-based encyclopedia and converts it to a Whose Who in business. Catch phrases like "We use sophisticated strategies and our knowledge of the complex rules to get results is an insult - "get results"?? And what results might that be? When a company is notable enough to be included in WP, a volunteer (typically patrons or fans) will eventually write the article. To do otherwise weakens the very foundation WP is built on. I can't help but wonder how much money paid editing actually diverts away from Jimbo's fund drives and the much needed contributions that keep this project alive. Why should companies contribute to WMF when they're paying an independent company to write/oversee their articles? I truly believe this is something WMF needs to carefully reconsider, but I'm only one voice. Perhaps the time has come for WMF to pay its own select group of qualified editors to work exclusively on business/corporate articles, and keep that money going to the project instead of independent companies, unless the goal is to grow, support and protect the cottage industries that are sprouting up around us. I shudder to think all the time and energy that is being devoted to COI by editors like Doc James and the volunteers he's worked with is for naught, or worse, driving COI editors to become/work with independent companies at the expense of other WP volunteers. Atsme Talk 📧 12:03, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This "Should paid editors be restricted from deleting other editors' comments from their user talk page?" by User:Newslinger is an excellent suggestion. They can use automated archiving but Talk pages are here to improve Wikipedia so they do not belong to any single editor. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:14, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

If I were making the rules here, I'd require all new corporate articles to be moved immediately to draft space and EC-protect the creation of each title in main space, forcing each new corporate article to go through review. If the paid editor has to wait for it, that isn't our problem. If disclosed paid editors complain, that also isn't our problem. I would also EC-protect any approved/established corporate article in main space, to force the PR folks to request changes on the talk page. These rule changes wouldn't have any effect on long-term paid editors with a long contribution history, but this would likely eliminate a lot of the undisclosed paid crap. I mean, we have these tools already, let's stop whining about the situation and use them. ~Anachronist (talk) 04:40, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

  • How come this guy hasn't been blocked indef? It is most detestable and infuriating to have the fruits of our volunteer labor ripped by these paid editors walking away with swathes of cash. Another second that these parasites are accomodated here is an insult to us all. Concur with talk page post removal restrictions at the very least. Tsumikiria 🌹🌉 19:49, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
    Because he hasn't broken any policies? We cannot and will not simply block someone because you don't like what they do. This was not a ban discussion, by the way; it's a discussion about a HuffPo article. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 20:20, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
    Is that actually true? I'm aware of Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure, but WP:NPOV and WP:TENDENTIOUS still apply. It seems to me that paid editors are in constant danger of falling afoul of those policies, since if their services go even a hair beyond "generally improve Wikipedia on this topic", they are not here to make neutral edits or simply to build an encyclopedia - they are here to represent the POV they've been paid to represent. As far as I'm aware, the tension between what Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure allows and what WP:NPOV and WP:TENDENTIOUS disallow has never been properly resolved. But WP:NPOV and WP:TENDENTIOUS are absolutely policies; a paid editor is subject to them just as thoroughly as anyone else. I feel this article makes a reasonable argument for tendentious editing in particular. If what an editor is doing is WP:POV or WP:TENDENTIOUS editing, then clearly it's a concern (and I feel that some editors have allowed "paid editing is allowed, under certain circumstances" to blind them to that fact.) EDIT: On reflection, I think that most paid editing is also a violation of WP:NOTHERE, especially the point forbidding editors from edits that are trying to score brownie points outside of Wikipedia. An editor trying to maintain the favor of their employer is the purest representation of that sort of WP:NOTHERE behavior imaginable. --Aquillion (talk) 01:31, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
    Unfortunately, most people interpret Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure as allowing paid editing; at least, it has never been formally banned (though I think many parts of WP:NPOV, WP:TENDENTIOUS, and WP:NOTHERE make it dubious in most practical cases, including this one.) Either way, I feel that a lot of people underestimate the harm that that does to the project, but that's how things are at the moment. If you want to help, one thing to do is to start pushing more firmly for an unambiguous ban on paid editing; but absent that, you can also spend time reviewing past work by paid editors and challenging things that seem questionable. It might also be worth considering a Wikiproject devoted to reviewing suggestions by paid editors with a critical eye and generally weighing in on related discussions in order to provide a counterbalance to the amount of time and effort that a paid editor can devote to pushing the particular POV they've been paid to represent. --Aquillion (talk) 01:31, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Random thought bubbles - would general sanctions work for some subset of articles prone to paid editing (say the highest risk topics: advertising, marketing and public relations or leveraged financial products targeted at retail investors)? Can we repurpose existing DS regimes to the same effect (WP:ARBIPA, WP:ARBCAM in particular)? The quality of cryptocurrency articles has improved since WP:GS/Crypto was put into place, but sometimes I feel tired keeping up with the influx of SPAs. MER-C 21:39, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
    MER-C I agree that Crypto has improved since GS. However, I don't know that advertising, marketing, and public relations are the topics most likely to have UPE and so I don't know that we could define this in a way that would make GS possible in this area given the broad scope of topics which potentially have UPE as it encompasses biographies, companies, and products. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:59, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
    Advertising is high risk because that's what spammers do. If they get the idea that we tolerate them creating articles about themselves and their companies, then it is not a stretch that they think we tolerate them creating articles about their clients. I also forgot we have WP:NEWBLPBAN for biographies. MER-C 09:29, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
  • It looks like BC1278 removed the notice of this discussion and the notice of the prior conflict of interest noticeboard discussion (archived at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard/Archive 141 § Jytdog's efforts against paid editing covered in Media) from their user talk page on March 29. You can see the removal at Special:Diff/890053760.
Since there has been some interest in the suggestion to restrict paid editors from deleting other editors' comments from their user talk page, I think an RfC to include new guidance at Wikipedia:User pages § Removal of comments, notices, and warnings (WP:BLANKING) may be warranted. For the RfC, the proposed addition could be a new bullet point at WP:BLANKING that states the following "important matter" may not be removed by the user:

For editors making paid contributions, any comments and templates (from other editors) related to their edits on a topic in which they have a conflict of interest. Examples include deletion notices, Articles for Creation notices, noticeboard discussion notices, and comments on the editor's paid contributions.

Alternatively, here's a stricter option:

For editors making paid contributions, any comments and templates from other editors, with the exception of obvious vandalism.

Would this be helpful, and can this be improved? I'd like to hear your thoughts and suggestions. — Newslinger talk 06:58, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't think this would help with anything. Feels like we are hunting for solutions to non-existent problems, here. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:37, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Agenda editors, who use Wikipedia to smear the subjects of articles (this happens all the time, including from competitors, oppo research firms, disgruntled former employees and foreign governments - it's just not something Wikipedia can easily identity), also like to use User Talk pages to discredit those opposing them. So do overly zealous editors who use User Talk to attack paid editors or their positions, instead of confining their discussions to Article Talk or noticeboards. Two contributors to my User Talk now have indefinite blocks. One of these two verbally attacked me both on User Talk and offline. The HuffPo article's allegations have been discredited. I consider the allegations potentially libelous. Talk served its primary purpose by notifying me of the ongoing discussions. Why should I offer further credence to a discredited article by linking to discussions about it from my own User Talk? BC1278 (talk) 16:30, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
what I read in the Huffpost article was that there is a paid editor who knows the system of Wikipedia and its rules very well, and sometimes causes disruption in the pursuance of their business goals. What I see here is:
That's a lot of gaslighting as far as I am concerned, and to me it confirms the techniques claimed in the HuffPo article. So the HuffPo article is by no means discredited-- unless you also think that the border wall is getting built too.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 23:53, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Do you know what the word gaslighting means or did you just use it as a synonym for "thing I don't like"? (talk) 08:49, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
If the community has reached a point where we no longer want paid editing of any kind and are willing to tolerate the drawbacks of making all paid editing UPE then let's do that. However, I don't think we should be imposing new restrictions of this sweep on declared paid editors. Frankly I would rather come up with some better incentives to motivate people to declare their paid editing. However, I haven't figured out what those incentives might be and acknowledge that what's good for the project might be to just ban all paid editing (though I'm personally not quite there yet). But I am confident that the "middle ground" isn't to stigmatize people following the rules further in ways we don't other editors especially those with strong but unpaid COI. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:47, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I think that this would at least be an improvement. If we're going to allow paid editing at all, it's important to allow editors to know when they're interacting with a paid editor, and to know the general scope and history of that paid editing (ie. understanding that the editor they're trying to convince is unlikely to change their mind on a topic because their paycheck depends on maintaining a particular point of view.) Other notices exist, but preserving talk page discussions would be useful for this purpose. It would also make it harder for a paid editor to conceal a history of WP:POV or WP:TENDENTIOUS editing, which is something they're obviously at a higher risk for. Regarding some of the concerns above about other sources of POV existing, or about whether declared paid editors may simply choose to violate the rules and edit covertly if we make things too burdensome for them - this is clearly a risk, but I feel that declared paid editing poses a particular problem for the project's reputation. An editor with a personal POV can still be reasonably convinced; an editor who is being paid to push a particular POV or to make particular edits realistically cannot (at best, they can be convinced that their edits are unlikely to stick, and even then they have incentives to maintain pressure long past the point where anyone else would have compromised or gone elsewhere.) For these reasons, it's important to be harsher with them and to generally make every effort to ensure, as much as possible, that they're refraining from tendentious editing, and to make it harder for them to conceal it if it exists. --Aquillion (talk) 01:47, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  • This DPE is wasting a lot of community time (cf the list of discussions two comments up), and as far as I can see it is all in pursuance of improving his business. The current model wherein a group of volunteers fulfills the desires of paid editor is, well, fundamentally flawed. I'm certainly not here to do corporate volunteer service. Additionally, I can't see how the quality of the encyclopedia is going to be that much poorer if paid editing is blocked on all counts (with an exception for Wikipedians in residence). For one, with a no paid editing policy, we will know that the primary intention of all editors is to edit with a neutral view and without COI. And in turn, we will know that the encyclopedia is primarily constructed on a non-commercial basis. Just a thought.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 00:12, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Well, we wouldn't know for certain, but I broadly agree. I feel like some of the people depending paid editing above don't realize how bad this looks from an external perspective (especially the somewhat befuddling argument that this breaks no rules - I think the article is clear on that; the point is that the fact that it breaks no rules makes the entire encyclopedia look bad.) It is probably true, as some people have worried, that if we banned all paid editing, people would just do it undisclosed. But I feel that the harm to Wikipedia's reputation from intentionally allowing such paid editing is worse than the damage we'd suffer from people doing it subtly, especially since at the end of the day really controversial stuff goes through talk pages anyway and often comes down to things like knowing the rules and sheer stamina to carry on a protracted dispute - not stuff that our restrictions on paid editing actually do anything to mitigate. Maybe a decade ago, when someone could have swept in and quietly rewritten a medium-profile article with nobody noticing, the danger of undisclosed paid editing was higher and just keeping paid editors off of article-space was helpful. But right now I don't feel it's helping at all. --Aquillion (talk) 01:03, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

Prohibiting all paid editing is likely to have unintended consequences. At one time the US reasoned "drinking is bad. It ruins lives. We should make drinking illegal." Guess how well that worked out?[2][3] The approach found at Wikipedia:Best practices for editors with close associations is far superior to any blanket prohibition. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:00, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

  • I have a thought and I'm not sure if it is any good, but I'll share it anyway. A concern that is raised in some of the recent media is that some paid editors do not declare their status. One way to possibly respond to this is to require every single editor to declare whether they are a paid editor on their user page. This would at least require covert paid editors to lie. Of course some of them are probably liars who will just lie. But I suspect that not every covert paid editor would feel comfortable lying like this, and so such a policy might serve as a modest deterrent to at least some covert paid editing. Shinealittlelight (talk) 18:23, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Firstly this is completely unenforceable - not only are new users created all the time, but only a minority actively edit (only 139,000 of the 36,000,000 registered users have contributed in the past 30 days according to Wikipedia:Wikipedians). Secondly, being required to answer a question like this (which they don't fully understand - even experienced editors disagree on what exactly constitutes paid editing in all circumstances) will put off a significant number of innocent new contributors while almost all of those who this is policy is designed to target will just lie. Finally, we need to be really careful to avoid McCarthyism with regards to paid editing. Thryduulf (talk) 10:22, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't get the worry about McCarthyism. McCarthy was forcing people to reveal private facts about themselves; whether you are a paid editor is not supposed to be private by current policy. So I don't see the analogy. Your point about the definition of paid editing is well taken. But perhaps the question could be asked in a way that is clear and targets the clearest kind of paid editing, without worrying about the more controversial cases. I think you are probably overestimating the number of liars out there, but hard to be sure. Finally, I can think of a number of ways to enforce this. Rather than asking the question at sign-up, it could be asked at the point of editing. Or at the point of editing sensitive articles that are likely to attract paid editors. Or...there are lots of possibilities. Shinealittlelight (talk) 11:52, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Prohibition on all paid editing[edit]

The comments above show some interest in prohibiting all paid editing (declared or undeclared), with the exception of edits from Wikipedians in Residence (WiR). The procedure to enact this is described in WP:PAID § Changing this policy:

An alternative policy can revoke the disclosure provision of the terms of use as it applies to the English Wikipedia and replace it with a new policy, which may be stronger or weaker. A proposed alternative policy must be clearly identified in a Request for Comment (RfC) as revoking the WMF policy. Upon approval, the new policy must be listed on the alternative-disclosure policy page. The RfC must be conducted in a manner consistent with the standard consensus-based process for establishing core policies.

A former disambiguation page for Wikipedia:Paid editing lists three failed proposals for paid editing policies and guidelines from 2007 to 2011. Our current policy, Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure, was created in 2015 for consistency with the prohibition of undisclosed paid editing in the WMF's terms of use in 2014. I found only one previous RfC on paid editing (Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paid editing), which took place in 2009 and resulted in no consensus. It has been almost 10 years since that RfC, and many editors have accumulated enough experience dealing with disclosed paid edits to determine whether they are a net positive/negative to Wikipedia.

I think it's time to re-evaluate community consensus on whether disclosed paid contributions (excluding WiR) should continue to be allowed in Wikipedia. What are your thoughts on this? — Newslinger talk 23:25, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

Late clarification: Since the scope of the exceptions is unclear, I cite Wikipedia:Conflict of interest § Wikipedians in residence, reward board, which describes the "forms of paid editing that the Wikimedia community regards as acceptable". Edits meeting these criteria should be excluded from the proposal. — Newslinger talk 20:10, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Also, oppose exclusion of Wikipedian in Residence. Why should Wikipedians in Residence not declare? —SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:54, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
To clarify, the proposal continues to allow declared edits from Wikipedians in Residence (i.e. WiR would not be affected by the prohibition). WiR would continue to declare their status. — Newslinger talk 00:10, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I think all paid contributions should be prohibited unless declared. Includes WiR, includes WMF. Simple, no exceptions. I think all COI contributions to mainspace should be prohibited, they must use the talk page, or AfC for new pages. However, undeclared UPE and undeclared COI can only be “suspected”. So how can this prohibition have teeth? —SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:37, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Undisclosed paid contributions are already prohibited in WP:PAID and the Terms of Use. Despite our current policies, Wikipedia already deals with undisclosed paid editing on an ongoing basis, and this activity is discussed and handled on the conflict of interest noticeboard. — Newslinger talk 00:58, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
That’s a toothless prohibition. UPE product is rife, COIN only sees a subset of the inept. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:22, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Disclosed paid contributions? Do we have evidence that honestly declared paid editors have produced such bad product that “prohibition” is required? I think it is an overreaction as likely to succeed as was US Prohibition of alcohol. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:40, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Yes, without a doubt. Just peruse the archives at COIN. John from Idegon (talk) 02:38, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
      • The archives of COIN will be massively biased to problem cases. Why would non-issues be in the archives? —SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:19, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
    Condoning paid contributions (even if disclosed) reflects poorly on Wikipedia's credibility, as it tells readers that Wikipedia's neutrality is up for sale. There is no financial incentive for a company to hire paid editors to make neutral contributions. In fact, it would be irrational (and in publicly traded companies, a violation of fiduciary duty to shareholders) for a company to hire paid editors, and then instruct them to not portray the company in as favorable of a light as possible. The interests of most companies are not aligned with Wikipedia's goals to provide readers with neutral, trustworthy content. — Newslinger talk 01:19, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

Hypothetically, what if it was something more crowdsourced like (for example) a Patreon page? I could see that working in a small handful of cases, one of which is my own (See my signature). Not that I intend to: Frankly, the benefits I get from image editing helping with my anxiety disorder are immense. But it does seem like it should be an acceptable case. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.5% of all FPs 05:26, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

That's an interesting case. Since Wikimedia Commons is not subject to the rules of the English Wikipedia, this proposal would not affect contributions related to most freely licensed images. (As you already know, all featured pictures are required to be freely licensed.) On the other hand, paid edits related to non-free images would be prohibited by the proposal. If there's a benefit to allowing paid edits to non-free images, we can carve out the File namespace as an exception. — Newslinger talk 05:49, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
@Newslinger: There is the {{PD-US-1923-abroad}} exception - freely licensed in the US, not its home country is welcome here, but not commons. It'd also likely include a certain amount of edits to add the files into articles. Anyway, it's more hypothetical than reality, but thinking through the kind of exceptions we'd want helps make good policy. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.5% of all FPs 06:22, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. I've added "most" to my previous comment to fix the inaccuracy. Since the File namespace isn't nearly as vulnerable to neutrality issues as article space, it would probably be okay to make an exception here. — Newslinger talk 06:29, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

As has been noted, no; the alternative to kosher paid editing is a lot more undisclosed paid editing. This is an extremely counter-productive idea. There is always going to be paid editing; giving them a proper way to do it is a mitigating factor, not an enabling one. (talk) 05:48, 7 April 2019 (UTC) (talk · contribs · WHOIS) is registered to Symantec Corporation. — Newslinger talk 05:51, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Yeah I'm bored and editing from work, call the FBI dude. WP:AGF (talk) 06:01, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't think "a lot more" is a reasonable estimation, and paid editing is hardly "kosher" when it carries neutrality concerns. Prohibiting disclosed paid edits would cause some of the current paid editors to cease their operations. The remainder would turn into undeclared paid editors, and are subject to blocks/bans when their editing patterns are identified. When evaluating this proposal, we're weighing whether it is better to have a larger volume of disclosed paid edits or a smaller volume of undisclosed paid edits. — Newslinger talk 06:25, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
The correct venue for this proposal is Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). MarnetteD|Talk 06:28, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I can move this discussion to WP:VPP if it would be more appropriate there. — Newslinger talk 06:31, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
  • You should re-start this discussion, as a straightforward proposal, with an RfC, and advertised at WP:CENT. ~Swarm~ {sting} 06:37, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
    Okay, this looks like the best course of action. — Newslinger talk 06:48, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Regardless of what specific wording you consider "reasonable", the fact is the result would be more, not less. By "kosher" I just meant in line with the rules; obviously paid editing will always be controversial at best. "Prohibiting disclosed paid edits would cause some of the current paid editors to cease their operations" sure, publicly, only to quietly resume under new accounts. There is literally no reason for them not to. After all undisclosed paid editing isn't illegal, it's just against the rules, and switching IPs is trivial. "we're weighing whether it is better to have a larger volume of disclosed paid edits or a smaller volume of undisclosed paid edits." Well then you're "weighing" a fallacy because the more disclosed paid editing we have the less undisclosed paid editing we'll have. This is plain common sense. (talk) 06:53, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Clarifying the wording: There is a certain number of disclosed paid editors. If disclosed paid editing were prohibited, some of them would cease to operate, and some of them would resume editing as undisclosed paid editors. The resulting number of new UPEs would be smaller than the current number of DPEs, as the UPEs are subject to blocks/bans when discovered. Under our current policies, paid editors already have the option to operate undisclosed (in violation of the policies), but DPEs choose to disclose because they believe that they would be more successful this way. — Newslinger talk 07:04, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Why do you presume that any significant number of paid editors would just cease to operate under such a hypothetical? Because they're such nice fellas? These aren't common school-library vandals we're talking about. They're making cash money doing this. Nobody quits a job just because someone politely asks them to please stop. If anything the number of paid editing REQUESTS might decrease as companies wouldn't want to be associated with vandalism. But the paid editors will be there as long as wikipedia can be edited by anyone and as long as humans use currency to trade. (talk) 07:18, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
If declared paid editing were prohibited by policy, all paid editing would become undeclared and forbidden by the WMF's Terms of Use. Any public relations firm that continues to offer paid editing services would become vulnerable to legal action from the WMF. — Newslinger talk 07:28, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
In a bit of unintentional comedy, that link is blank. In any case, I'm not a legal scholar, but my understanding is that lawsuits based on internet terms of service violations tend not to do very well in the courts. (talk) 07:36, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Fixed, thanks. As other editors have asked me to move the discussion elsewhere, I'll stop commenting here. You're welcome to discuss this with me on my talk page. — Newslinger talk 07:39, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I've lost interest so I won't, but I appreciate the discussion that was had. (talk) 07:43, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Cheers. — Newslinger talk 07:45, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
  • It seems rather straightforward that banning all paid editing in response to a negative media report would be a knee-jerk, reactionary, ill-considered move. Disclosed paid editors are not permitted because we want paid editing, they're permitted because this is one of the biggest websites in the world, and is the primary source of information for a significant portion of global society, and "anyone can edit" it. So, biased and paid editors are going to exist, because there are always going to be influential people and PR departments who can just pay someone to edit to improve the way they or their company is portrayed. So we can choose whether to regulate it and to keep its impact manageable, screening out POV-pushing and actual justifiable improvements, or we can choose to prohibit it, which will not actually remove any of the paid editing, it will just drive it underground and remain undetected. The former scenario isn't perfect, but is the latter really a superior result for the integrity of the project? ~Swarm~ {sting} 06:37, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
In addition, why are we discussing this on WP:AN - which is not a venue for proposing policy changes - and on top of that in reply to a news media report that appears to be demonstrably untrue in many aspects? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 07:58, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I posted this discussion here because it's related to the previous discussion, but I understand that it has gone outside the scope of this noticeboard. If I comment further, it will be on WP:VPP. — Newslinger talk 08:07, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I strenuously disagree with this logic. Vandals will continue to come no matter what we do; WP:POV and WP:TENDENTIOUS editing (of which paid editing is, I think, axiomatically a subset) will always be a thing. But we maintain rules against them and ban them just the same. I don't see why paid editors should be treated any differently. We might not catch all of them, but we would catch some of them - and the simple fact that we ban them would serve an important purpose in upholding Wikipedia's reputation. And, of course, given the blowback when a paid editor is discovered and has attention called to them (both to Wikipedia and to whoever employed them), people already have an incentive to engage in secretive paid editing, which we have mostly managed to endure. More generally, I feel that the damage to Wikipedia's reputation by allowing paid editing vastly exceeds any damage that undisclosed paid editors might do before they're caught and banned. --Aquillion (talk) 20:47, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Your comparison of policy-compliant paid editing to vandalism is one of the most ridiculously-unhinged arguments I've ever heard. It cannot even be fairly debated because it is so ungrounded from reality. I cannot even take such an argument seriously enough to refute it. ~Swarm~ {sting} 07:53, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

While I'd like to see commercial editing banned, it is almost impossible to enforce. For discussion purposes, it may help to think about what the spammers want to spam as that is readily observable and regulate editing in those topic areas instead. Therefore, general sanctions along the lines of the following might mitigate the problem and increase the cost for spammers:

  • Editors with less than 500 edits and 30 days tenure are prohibited from creating articles about:
    • Privately held companies founded after (say) 2000 and their products and services;
    • Businesspeople whose interests are substantially involved with the above;
    • Digital marketing and adtech, broadly construed;
    • Speculative financial instruments targeted at retail investors, broadly construed;
    • Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, broadly construed (amendment to WP:GS/Crypto).
For the avoidance of doubt: moving a draft into mainspace counts as creating an article, but having an extended-confirmed user perform the move does not.
  • Standard general sanctions are authorized for all pages related to:
    • speculative financial instruments targeted at retail investors (broadly construed);
    • digital marketing and adtech (broadly construed).
  • Use WP:NEWBLPBAN against suspected paid spammers creating spam pages about living people and WP:ARBIND when appropriate.

Why these topic areas? The first two cover the generic startup spam I see so often at NPP. Digital marketing, because that's what spammers do by spamming Wikipedia. The last two cover areas where corporate spam has the potential to cause harm in the real world and have substantial problematic editing (retail forex, binary options) in the past. I do occasionally see articles created about businesspeople as a result of editathons but the percentage of articles about startups worth keeping is rather small. This isn't a formal proposal, but something for discussion purposes. MER-C 08:56, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

    • I think this proposal by MER-C is very sensible, and far more likely to actually work than other ideas. I would like to see added, although not critical, a change to the onus for finding minimum suitable sources, and putting the onus directly onto the author to add WP:THREE sources. If that is not done, and especially if it is instead WP:Reference bombed by low quality sources, it can be deleted at AfD without AfD reviewers having to do a systematic review of the listed sources. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:10, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Per Swarm and others this proposal is not capable of producing a result that will benefit the encyclopaedia. In addition to the points raised by others, not all paid editors cause problems - not even all undisclosed paid editors actually cause problems (if an editor writes good quality, sourced neutral prose about a notable topic, nobody spends any time looking to see if they are paid or not), not all editors with a conflict of interest are paid (far from it) and not everybody with a conflict of interest causes problems (see any example of such editors contributing constructively on talk pages). Thryduulf (talk) 09:31, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
The subjects of articles will send in requests for corrections by any means the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia provides. It's Wikipedia that has currently mandated these requests be posted at "Talk" and presented and discussed in a manner that conforms with Wikipedia policy. Wikipedia can switch over to handling complaints or requested corrections by private email, by a ticketing system, by phone or by snail mail, if it wants. Paid editing of Wikipedia articles has already been banned under the Wikimedia Foundation ToU. The fact that the term "paid editing" is also used to describe posting a requested correction to Talk (the complaint system set up by Wikipedia itself) is completely confusing to the general public and to Wikipedia volunteers. "Paid editing" should only refer to actually editing Wikipedia articles - and it's already banned. Wikipedia needs a new term like "Article Subject Requests" for handling requests by the subjects of articles. The people who post these requests should be referred to as "Article Subject Representatives" or something like that. Once you're clearly established a differentiation like this, then you can go hog wild against "paid editing" since it will clearly refer only to behavior that's banned. But as a publisher, Wikipedia has an ethical and legal responsibilities to address complaints/corrections by Article Subjects - especially since its editors are anonymous and can publish without prior review. BC1278 (talk) 19:31, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I would support MER-C's proposal as helpful. But I think BC1278 has hit on a point not yet discussed - by calling what Paid Editors do paid editing we're shooting ourselves in the foot. There has been no expose that I'm aware of about Wikipedians in Residence, including by college papers who would focus on college activities, despite that being a form of permissible paid editing. Why? We don't call it paid editing. For the editors who are concerned, fairly, about the reputational harm of media coverage about existing policies calling it something else could help to mitigate that reputational damage. Subject Sponsored Requests proposed by Subject Sponsored Representatives or some other such nonesense could be helpful here. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 03:09, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
@BC1278: Are you sure about Paid editing of Wikipedia articles has already been banned under the Wikimedia Foundation ToU? My understanding is that "Paid contributions without disclosure" is prohibited, but not necessarily all paid editing. There's a whole category of editors who have declared they are paid editors. Not trying to nitpick, but I think it's important to be clear on this. A "paid editor" is essentially subject to the same guidelines as a COI editor, but neither of the two is expressly prohibited from editing articles they may have a connection to, and a "paid editor" can edit an article as long as they do so in accordance with relevant policies and guidelines. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:51, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
@Marchjuly: The Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use are further modified by policies of the specific projects. Wikipedia is one such project. Although WP: PAID and WP: COI only say direct editing of articles is "very strongly discouraged", in practice, that's just to allow for a very narrow set of exceptions, like the removal of libel in a BLP; removing vandalism; fixing citations. Anyone who is a declared COI editor and operates by directly editing is very quickly rebuked and reversed. I don't see why anyone would go to the trouble of declaring themselves as "paid" or "COI" on Talk, then doing widespread direct editing anyway. The typical scenario is the use of Talk as the Contact Us channel for the subjects of articles, following | Contact Us/Article Subjects. If "declared paid editing" or "declared COI editing" is "banned", should Wikipedia stop providing a Contact Us mechanism (Talk) for the subjects of articles to request corrections? It's the same thing just with a different label.BC1278 (talk) 15:49, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I feel that the people defending paid editing severely underestimate how badly it hurts Wikipedia's reputation to allow it. Even when their contributions are "good" according to our policy, the inherently WP:TENDENTIOUS nature of paid editing results in one-sided pressure that pushes articles towards a particular POV; and people outside of Wikipedia understand this. We can deal with tendentious editors and undisclosed paid editors (we do so constantly.) But the statement that we allow paid editing is harmful to the encyclopedia, and I don't feel that any of the proposed "benefits" we get from allowing it (ie. encouraging paid editors to "be good" in whatever abstract way your mean) are solid enough to justify that harm. More to the point, if an undisclosed paid editor is generally good, and doesn't screw up, and never attracts attention - so what? That's not going to cause problems. But it's important for us to be able to easily ban ones who are so WP:TENDENTIOUS in pushing their paid POV that they get caught, and I feel that allowing disclosed paid editing paradoxically makes this harder because the fact that paid editors are tendentious by definition means that allowing it gives people the impression that that behavior is allowed on their part; and, more importantly, it's important for us to establish in a general sense that Wikipedia will do what it can to prevent a company from just hiring a bunch of people to push our articles in a particular direction, or to push back against that activity and limit its impact when it occurs. Doing so is necessary for us to maintain Wikipedia's reputation as an encyclopedia. --Aquillion (talk) 20:53, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Is there a lot of coverage out there to suggest that Wiki's rep has been significantly harmed by the existence of DPE? Because if the assertion is based on one article, and particularly this one article, then it's a weak one. (talk) 06:07, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Among reliable sources, here, here. There's a lot more coverage from more sensationalist media - but, again, we're not writing an article about this (yet, although perhaps we should), we're discussing Wikipedia's reputation. Regardless of how you think about it, this article has had an impact on our reputation, and there will always be other such articles pulling at that thread; and it's an easy thing to fix, since we gain so little from paid editors in the first place and they already, inherently, go against many of our policies (again, virtually all paid editing is by definition WP:TENDENTIOUS.) --Aquillion (talk) 05:54, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

I think that we need to discuss what things would be acceptable, and what aren't. Because if some historical society pays someone to make articles on a narrow field of interest to them, say, the history of some small city, which are intended to be neutral, and are encyclopedic, that's effectively a Wikipedian in Residence. The use of a program shouldn't be the guide here. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 6.5% of all FPs 18:17, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

Another possibility, which I mentioned indirectly above, is to make it completely clear that WP:TENDENTIOUS, WP:NPOV, and WP:NOTHERE apply to paid editors, and that declaring yourself as a paid editor in no way loosens their restrictions (I feel a core problem is that many people have implicitly allowed it to do so.) In particular, the vast majority of paid editors are by definition tendentious, in that they are here to represent the point of view of their employer. That said, I favor a hard ban on all paid editing. --Aquillion (talk) 20:47, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── This is simple. We cannot allow paid editors to add text content to our encyclopaedia either in mainspace or in draft space because that content is deceptive advertising, illegal under United States law, which is the law that governs Wikipedia. It makes absolutely no difference whether the content looks like an advertisement (any more than it matters if a murder looks like a murder); content created for pay to promote a person or entity is advertisement, advertisement is content created to promote a person or entity. It is just possible to imagine an editor being paid to create an attack page – has that ever happened? Equally, we cannot accept paid-editor edit requests of the "I've got a 5000-word advertisement in my sandbox, would you kindly publish it for me" type. Finding ways to deal with UPE may be a lot of work (MER-C's suggestions look like a good starting point), but would they really be more work than this kind of thing? Even if we can't agree to ban all paid editing, let's at least try to agree to ban it from articles and drafts. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:41, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

@Justlettersandnumbers: content created for pay to promote a person or entity is advertisement, advertisement is content created to promote a person or entity The problem is that not all content created for pay is (intended to be) promotional, and not all content that is (intended to be) promotional is created for pay. The problem is promoitonal content, not whether the editor who created that content was or was not paid to do so. Thryduulf (talk) 23:06, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Thryduulf, I'm with you on your second point, not all promo is paid promo – we are bedevilled by every kind of COI editing. But what we are talking about here is the paid kind. I can't imagine why anybody would pay to have content added if it was not to promote a person or entity? Could I get paid to drink beer? Yes, probably – but I'd have to be promoting something while I did it. The problem is the paid aspect, because (quoting from WP:Deceptive advertising): "The [FTC] has long held the view that advertising and promotional messages that are not identifiable as advertising to consumers are deceptive if they mislead consumers into believing they are independent, impartial, or not from the sponsoring advertiser itself". We can't host that deceptive content, because it is illegal to do so. If it doesn't immediately appear to be promotional, it is worse, not better. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:26, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Philanthropists, GLAMs, organisations with a charitable budget, etc are all examples of people/organisations who would pay for neutral content. However even if you are correct that everybody is out to harm the encyclopaedia through insidious means (spoiler: they aren't), the problem is the content not the contributor so any proposal that aims to resolve the issue or issues (almost all the proposals related to paid editing actually target a very poorly defined bunch of overlapping issues, not all of which are actually problems) by focussing on the contributor is doomed to failure because it literally cannot work. Thryduulf (talk) 23:35, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure why people say it can't work. We can and have caught paid editors in the past; and when we do, we can more easily go over their contributions and rip the one-sided ones out without an editor paid to be tendentious on the subject fervently defending every point using every policy as their 9-5 job. It's much easier to fix problems caused by such editors, since once they've been identified they will no longer be around to protect their work (and even if they evade their bans, they can't easily go back to the pages they were previously being paid to target without outing themselves once more.) I'm not at all convinced, in other words, that declared paid editors are preferable to paid ones - yes, it requires more work to detect undisclosed ones, but the problems they cause are more easily solved once they're detected. --Aquillion (talk) 05:54, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
The most pressing concern of major organizations and prominent individuals is that inaccurate information not be in Wikipedia articles about them, which are frequently the top result in Google. Wikipedia articles are often attacked by Agenda Editors, such as competitors, oppo research firms, foreign governments, disgruntled former employees, litigants, unhappy customers, political opponents, etc. Aside from Agenda Editors, there are also just ordinary mistakes that lead to inaccurate content. The second most pressing concern is out of date information. e.g. U.S. News and World Report ranks a college as #7 for three years running, but WP says they are ranked #14 based on a 5-year old article. WP Talk is currently the official mechanism for sending in corrections or complaints. I suggest those who use it for this purpose should not be referred to as "paid editors" or even "editors," since the fundamental concept of abiding by [[WP:PAID] is that there is no direct editing of articles by the representative of the article subject. This policy discussion, if it ever happens again on the right forum, would more productively be re-framed as: how do we want to receive and process corrections and complaints from article subjects and their representatives? If not article Talk, then what?BC1278 (talk) 01:17, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Without getting too deep into the weeds of the Federal Trade Commission Act (or indeed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act), it's not at all clear that legal liability exists merely for hosting deceptive advertising; after all, we don't generally think of a magazine as being liable for a misleading ad if it had no way of knowing of the deception. Rather, we think of holding the actual advertiser responsible. But I think a crucial part of WP:Deceptive advertising is being missed--namely, the part that defines deceptive advertising as "any text placed in an article by, or on behalf of, a business that is false or misleading, or does not disclose, in accordance with FTC or SEC standards, that the text was placed in the article by that business." (Formatting adjusted). Thus, if you have text that is materially true and placed by a disclosed business, it is, by definition, not deceptive. That's why I think it's a good policy to ask paid editors to identify themselves. And, indeed, I am in agreement with the reasoning that an absolute ban would ultimately be counter productive. All that being said, reasonable minds may differ. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 01:28, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but disclosure must be done on the article itself, near the paid-for text. MER-C 07:14, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's correct; an appropriate disclosure can be made in both the corresponding edit sum and on the concerned article's talk page as explained in WP:PAID#How to disclose. A "disclaimer" doesn't need to be directly added to the article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:34, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Apologies for not being clear - it is the FTC/SEC that require disclosure on the article itself (e.g. [4]). Unsurprisingly, our TOU is grossly inadequate. Nobody is going to rummage through our page histories and check the edit summaries AND the user page of every significant editor to determine payment status. They can't even be bothered looking at the talk page. MER-C 18:16, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Getting weedier than I intended (sorry!), but you are of course correct as a general proposition. If we're really looking at it this way, however, we'd have to review everything for materiality--that is, whether t is likely to affect consumers’ choices or conduct. Thus, if I, a paid editor on behalf of Acme Widget Inc., were to add text to an article reflecting the date of the company's founding, that's almost certainly not material to anything. I actually think Wikipedia does a decent job getting rid of the blatantly promotional and a fair job at the more subtle promotional text. But I might be wrong! Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 18:50, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I think Paid Editors should be disclosed parenthetically in their username. User:Example (paid). I also think it could be very helpful for productive discussion to distinguish between users who are paid and editing articles, and users who are paid but are abiding by COI guidelines and only posting talk page requests. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:09, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose prohibition per several others above. User:Thryduulf's comment at 09:31, 7 April 2019 says everything I would have. --Jayron32 13:14, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - In my view, paid editing makes a mockery of the core principles of Wikipedia. Paid POV editors have the time, motivation and resources to grind down volunteers with endless WikiLawyering and walls of text, creating a very unfair editing environment. From governments, corporations and billionaires concerned with reputation management, forces focus on Wikipedia to create PR-type articles. Enough. Ban all paid editing and make the Wikipedia Terms of Use clear: there will be accountability for those trying to game the system. As a corollary, the WMF needs to stop taking all corporate donations, starting with Google. Jusdafax (talk) 13:59, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
    Actually, it's simpler than that. "grind down volunteers with endless WikiLawyering and walls of text, creating a very unfair editing environment" should get a block/ban regardless of whether or not the person doing it is being paid or not. If you block the behavior, whether or not someone is paid becomes irrelevant. --Jayron32 16:15, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Are we actually voting on this here? The so-called ban is a bad idea for multiple reasons, and it is unethical to have such a pretend ban (that won't/can't work): readers deserve to know it is being done, and deserve to know who is doing it (to the extent they can). -- 16:01, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

Now in The Daily Caller: TAKALA: EVIDENCE OF PAY-TO-PLAY OPERATION SCRUBBED FROM WIKIPEDIA. The HuffPo piece was better. And Wired: Want to Know How to Build a Better Democracy? Ask Wikipedia Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:06, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Firstly the proposal doesn't make the distinction between paid editing and commercial paid editing - the latter is almost exclusively bad, and by construction removes the WiR and most of the other edge cases where people are being paid to improve the encyclopedia. Commercial paid editing has an exclusive for-profit motive. I will support a ban of commercial editing as an important symbolic gesture. General sanctions and article creation prohibitions are still needed to counter the behavior and deny the spammers their products - GS are more objective, don't discriminate between paid and unpaid spammers and blow the "oh, I am a fan of this company's products" or other similar excuses used by paid spammers out of the water by making them irrelevant. MER-C 18:27, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Moral support, although I think it will be very difficult to achieve in practice. More helpfully, a comment: discussions around this issue tend get bogged down in semantics. For example, we often hear "except Wikipedians-in-Residence", but this is a diversion, because nobody actually believes that Wikipedians-in-Residence are abusive paid editors. It only comes up when someone is trying to make a rhetorical reductio ad absurdum. Working on refining the concept of paid editing, and considering alternative terminology (commercial editing, commissioned editing, etc.), might be a productive first step to achieving a prohibition. – Joe (talk) 19:05, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
    • @Joe Roe: the WIR comments are not reductio ad absurdum. If you ban "paid editing" that by definition includes all Wikimedians in residence and similar activities. If you don't want to ban WIR editing then you actually need to propose a ban on some paid editors and define what you actually mean by "some" in some objective terms. However what almost everyone who proposes to ban paid editing actually wants is either (1) ban edits that introduce a POV in favour of* commercial entities and/or their products/services. (*sometimes only this, others also want to ban edits which introduce the opposite POV too), (2) ban editors who make money from Wikipedia in ways they disagree with (regardless of whether they are harming or improving the encyclopedia), and/or (3) ban edits that are a poor proxy for one of those. Thryduulf (talk) 19:39, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • We already have an established policy defining WIRs, though, so it's simple to carve out an exception for them if necessary. We could also allow specific exemptions as with bots (eg. have an approval process they have to go through, requiring that they disclose their employer and any terms of their contributions, to make sure they're not being paid to represent a POV.) But, really... the overwhelming majority of paid editing is type 1 (although you left out "public figures trying to improve their own image" and a few related things, eg. countries that want more tourism, etc), and that is an unambiguous violation of our policy on WP:TENDENTIOUS editing. Anyone making such edits should already be banned as soon as they're identified. The problem is that since that describes virtually all non-WIR disclosed paid editors (who, therefore, ought to be banned the moment they disclose themselves), and since most people recognize that paid editing can generally be expected to be tendentious, the policy of allowing it has lead to an implicit acceptance of things like the editor under discussion - who, I think, is unequivocally and unabashedly tendentious on his employers' behalf (it's the entire service he's selling!) The only real solution to that problem is to bite the bullet, recognize that the vast majority of paid editing is incompatible with our core policies, and ban paid editors (outside of whatever limited exceptions we find it necessary to carve out.) Then we can roll up our sleeves to catch and remove further undisclosed paid editors as they appear - which we've been doing anyway. --Aquillion (talk) 06:11, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The only thing a blanket prohibition would do is just drive it underground and not really solve anything. A large amount of our paid editors are not declared in the first place and are already at risk of being blocked on that basis alone, so they try to keep their noses down. The issue won't magically go away because we say so; it will go away once Wikipedia's Alexa rank is not single-digit. Nothing we do on the policy end will change that. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 19:49, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • There has never been, as far as I am aware, any serious push to eliminate WiR, or any serious contention that WiR is a problematic form of paid editing. What there has been is never ending side bars, rabbit holes, and red herrings about WiR any time paid editing is brought up in any meaningful way. For anyone who is super concerned about WiR, don't be, and just assume for the sake of trying to have a discussion that everyone pretty well understands that WiR has been a long standing exception to the issue we're talking about. We're also perfectly capable of having a pragmatic discussion about the issue without having to reach absolute existential certainty about the nature of the universe as it relates to paid editing and WiR. An exception for WiR is a given, and pretty much always has been.
Having said that, paid editing is a cancer and the worst of it often doesn't even happen at COIN. Much of it happens at the Teahouse, the Help Desk, AfC, and OTRS. Paid editors are the most motivated to overcome the learning curve, and they are the most tenacious when it comes to pushing the issue, repeatedly asking questions, and absorbing as much volunteer time from our helping regime as possible. They simply have more time and motivation than your average volunteer...because it's their job. Even in the circumstances of the HuffPo story, a large part of the strategy is bludgeoning talk pages because they can, and simply overwhelming any reasonable volunteer response until they win, all the while waving a white flag in the air saying "don't be a meanie, I'm following the letter of the law which explicitly allows me to undermine the basic fabric of the project."
The choice our current pussy-footing-around-the-issue policy leaves our helping regime with is to give a weak but technically correct answer along the lines of "we'd really rather you didn't pretty please" or to simply ignore the letter of policy and give the practical answer, which is "don't edit the article and don't waste our time otherwise".
Just ban it. Call it "commercial paid editing" or whatever packaging helps you sleep at night, and at least empower people to say what we're all mostly thinking, which is "Feel free to come back as a volunteer, and we don't want you here until you do." If paid editors ignore it, then fine. People ignore policy all the time. See also the entirety of WP:SPI. When they do, we ban them, and we block them, and we carry on. GMGtalk 21:46, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, if we're doing it like this. Long overdue, and the arguments against it are entirely unconvincing. "If we don't allow it, they'll break the rules and do it anyway" is not a reason to allow anything; we have caught paid editors in the past, and as long as it's universally against the rules, we can easily reverse most of their edits once they're caught. The limitation of disclosed paid editors to talk pages and draft spaces is meaningless - it may have been meaningful in the past, but today, most dramatic edits to medium-profile articles go through those places anyway, so they effectively get to represent the POV they're being paid for the same as any other editor. Allowing disclosed paid editors gives them implicit license to be WP:TENDENTIOUS (since the whole reason people pay them is to represent a particular perspective or to add additional weight to something); it serves as a constant millstone dragging down Wikipedia's reputation whenever attention is called to it; it distorts articles through the constant one-sided pressure that paid tendentious editing causes; and it broadly undermines the core goals of the project by allowing editors who are axiomatically not editing from a neutral POV. Even the most well-meaning employer, hiring someone to edit Wikipedia for the most noble and neutral of reasons, is still inevitably an employer, whose desires for the things they're paying someone to add carry monetary weight to their employees and therefore guide their edits. And it is naive to believe that such "innocent" paid editors are meaningful thing; the vast, vast majority of paid editors are being paid explicitly and unambiguously to violate our policies against WP:TENDENTIOUS editing and to push a particular WP:POV. It makes a mockery of our policies and the standards to which we supposedly hold ourselves and our editors; and the "but they'll just break the rules anyway!" arguments people are making above are shockingly weak and irreverent for such a serious matter. Indeed, I would argue that an argument of "well, we can't enforce the rules, so we might as well give in" is axiomatically an argument without grounding in core policies (it is in fact an argument that seems to say that we should intentionally discard core policies, that we are unable to ever uphold them), and that comments premised on that position should therefore be disregarded. Core policies - including WP:POV - are non-negotiable. We cannot allow editors who are paid to represent a particular position to do so on Wikipedia, even via our talk pages, even if (as people have unconvincingly argued above) the alternative is that they'll... what, evade their bans and try to edit via hidden alts? People do that already. We can cope. Such veiled threats from paid editors are obviously not enough to make us abandon our core policies and drag Wikipedia's name through the mud in the hopes that they will graciously confine their tendentious paid editing to pushing POVs via talk pages. --Aquillion (talk) 05:54, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - not since I support commercial editing (overall bad, in limited circumstances can be good) - but because driving it underground more than it currently is will only make things harder. Whether we ban it or not - commercial companies will edit here. The question is do we want complex sock farms - or declared editors. I think that loosening the noose (just a little bit) on declared editors may be of benefit (to reduce evasion). In a perfect world where such a ban would be enforceable - I could support it. In the imperfect environment where we can't really stop banned activity - I do not.Icewhiz (talk) 06:34, 9 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - the way things are being handled now is (excuse my frankness) a clusterfrap, and it needs to be unclustered and unfrapped. Either we all get paid or nobody gets paid. Expecting volunteers to work for free on any part of an article that another editor was paid to create/edit/protect does indeed make "a mockery of the core principles of Wikipedia" (quoting a statement by Jusdafax above). It is an abuse of volunteers, and while it all may sound reasonable on paper, it simply does not work in practice. I wonder how many in the community actually believe all paid editing has been declared? Atsme Talk 📧 22:39, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I would support such a proposal (with an exception for WiR). Paid editing is by its nature paid advocacy. This falls under WP:NOT which is a policy (WP:NOTADVOCATE). Just because someone declares a financial interest in an article does not make their editing less of advocacy. My exposure to both disclosed and undisclosed paid editing has been largely through AfD and AfC and I cannot say I see a whole lot of difference between the two. Both are often tendentious and time-consuming for volunteers to deal with. K.e.coffman (talk) 08:41, 11 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I oppose such a proposal as it would be entirely unenforceable and have other unintended consequences (primarily, COI no longer being disclosed, so less scrutiny awarded to actual COI editors). The problem is compounded by the extremely blurred lines between paid editing and COI editing. Is an employee who updates CEO's name in an infobox considered a paid editor? Currently - yes, even if their only motive is to correct outdated information. Now, if we were to ban "paid editing" altogether, we should automatically indeff any and all editors who would touch the company's article from the company's IP address. Do we have resources? Do we want to live with the consequences? Will this make Wikipedia better? I think no. Hence, oppose. — kashmīrī TALK 21:15, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I favor exploring MER-C's proposal in more detail to figure out the exact terms that are likely to work best. -- King of ♠ 01:35, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, since this is a thing; mainly per Atsme and GreenMeansGo, and—to a lesser extent—Thrydulf; arguments of "prohibition" are sensationalism of the yellowest hue, and re. "driving it underground", even if we never find the 10% that successfully survives below the radar, the other 90% will be in hell of a lot easier to find and more quickly dealt with, and that sufficiently outweighs any (possible) negatives. And it's only a possible negative in any case; the high profile advertising by its nature is also the easiest to find. ——SerialNumber54129 10:43, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
    • Could you help clarify your reasoning that prohibiting paid editing will make it a lot easier to find? isaacl (talk) 17:38, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm curious to the reasoning going on here as well. Identifying COI editors doesn't seem like it would get any easier than (some of them) self-declaring. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:43, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
    • @Serial Number 54129: Your comments, as far as they are understandable in the absence of answers to the questions above, conflate "advertising" (content) and "paid editing" (a user attribute) and "disclosure" (behaviour). All three are actually independent - Some disclosed paid editors add advertising some don't, some undisclosed paid editors add advertising some don't, some unpaid editors add advertising some don't. Banning paid editing, even if it somehow magically meant that nobody would edit Wikipedia for pay ever again, would not prevent advertising being added to Wikipedia - blatant or otherwise - simply because it cannot do that. Thryduulf (talk) 22:19, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm afraid—in so far as it is understandable—that if it is beyond your understanding, then it is also unnecessary of explanation. Which, admittedly, is unsurprising. How about a bit less pishing about in meta-areas and a little more article work? No? Ah well; both the encyclopaedia and your reputation will be the worse for it. Caoi! ——SerialNumber54129 22:32, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for the compeltely unnecessary ad hominem, now would you like to actually answer the questions put to you about matter under discussion? Thryduulf (talk) 09:41, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose doing anything based solely on this discussion, but I would welcome a larger scale policy proposal and RfC based on these things. Pinguinn 🐧 23:34, 21 April 2019 (UTC)


This is not the place to have an RfC on paid editing, so please close/move. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:58, 23 April 2019 (UTC)


There are more than 30 threads open at WP:ANRFC, many of which have been open for more than 30 days. --Jax 0677 (talk) 14:21, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

(Not directed at the messenger here, general comment) Maybe things would be closed quicker if it weren't such a gigantic bloated mess. It's possibly the dullest place in existence to look, and so much of what's there is mind-numbingly trivial. I refuse to look there because my last glimpse caused mass dieoff of neurons. Any chance of narrowing the scope of what goes there? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:56, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm going to take a moment to point out that there were two editors (not me) who NAC'd that backlog down and then were asked to stop. And here we are. Levivich 21:48, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Why on earth were they asked to stop...? ~ Rob13Talk 05:14, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
People complained that that board was being swamped and that requests consisted too frequently of relatively minor discussions that don't need a lot of consideration before close. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 05:20, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: I believe Levivich was possibly referring to me (please correct if I am wrong). At least in my case, there were fairly legitimate reasons I was asked to stop, so it wasn't clear cut. I invite you to look at my talk page history if you are interested. It mostly boiled down to: I was experiencing major errors in judgement that put my closures in question (not the closures themselves per se, but it was mostly my overall contributions to Wikipedia in general). The fact I was not pre-established as a mainspace editor only made matters worse. –MJLTalk 02:46, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
(Hi MJL!) I remembered this discussion at DannyS712's talk page about the RfC backlog specifically, and other similar discussions around the same time like this and this. I think everyone in those conversations had good points and correlation is not causation, but when that first message was posted ANRFC had 11 requests, today it has 33 requests. Levivich 03:50, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
That is unfortunate, DannyS712 (talk · contribs)'s and MJL (talk · contribs)'s RfC closes were always detailed and well-reasoned. I always enjoyed reading their summaries of the consensus. That they closed most of the RfCs is fine as long as their closes accurately describe the consensus and they are responsive to queries about their closes. A small group of admins and editors close Wikipedia:Categories for discussion, Wikipedia:Templates for discussion, and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion discussions and that has worked well for those XfDs. Cunard (talk) 05:09, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I’ll just point out the obvious: Cunard floods ANRFC with discussions, many of which never needed an RfC to begin with and that the participants lost interest in so they themselves never requested a closure. Many of these don’t need formal closure (Example of a ANRFC request that isn’t useful.) A quick ctrl+f of his name on AN gives 10 results. I think one is a reply, but that’s still approximately a third of requests coming from one person. I’d support a topic ban from him posting there if it continues, but I’m not sure if anyone has raised this with him before. TonyBallioni (talk) 03:34, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
For what it’s worth, I was grateful Cunard got around to listing the RfC at Talk:Ministry of Transport at ANRFC; I relisted the RfC once because there was no obvious consensus but low participation (unsurprising, it’s a pretty boring and trivial topic), and I simply hadn’t got around to requesting closure. No doubt some would argue this is one of the “waste of time” closures, on a small-time RfC that was pretty obviously a no consensus close, but it gives us something to work off. Is there any harm to the encyclopaedia being done by Cunard making these requests? I really doubt it. Triptothecottage (talk) 04:06, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
I'll let Redrose64 chime in here about how WP:ANRFC handles certain requests. We do have the ability to use {{not done}}, I believe? –MJLTalk 04:12, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
I’m sure there are some that are useful. The issue is that when one user accounts is the single most active requester of closures, many of which aren’t needed, people tend to just ignore anything they request a closure of. I’m pretty confident this has been mentioned at AN a few times before. As for actual harm to the encyclopedia: well, if there are a ton of RfCs that don’t need a formal closure and everyone is ignoring them for reasons similar to what Blade said above, it distracts attention from contentious topics that would benefit from a speedy closure. I’m sure it’s done in good faith, but it’s also major overkill at current levels. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:35, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, Triptothecottage (talk · contribs). I am happy to have helped, and I am glad you find my work useful. I close the "consensus is clear" RfCs and list the rest at WP:ANRFC.

Here are the nine close requests from me currently pending at WP:ANRFC and why I think the discussions should be closed:

  1. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive307#Topic ban appeal – topic ban appeal posted 16 days ago from Capitals00 with five supports and no opposes
  2. Talk:Historical rankings of presidents of the United States#Request for comment: Aggregation of rankings – seven participants who have opinions of "endorse", "neutral", and "oppose"
  3. Talk:Century#RfC: Describing positions about the beginning of centuries AD – seven participants commented without bolding a summary of their position so the consensus is not apparent at a glance. They discussed Century#Start and end in the Gregorian calendar, which still has a {{disputed-section}} maintenance template. An RfC close would determine whether the template can be removed.
  4. Talk:Ilhan Omar#Request for Comment: Should Anti-semitism accusations be included in the lede? – a contentious RfC with over 20 participants
  5. Talk:Conspiracy theory#Lead (RfC) – a divided RfC with over 20 participants
  6. Talk:Carnage (comics)#merge back with Cletus Kasady – a requested merge RfC with six participants
  7. Talk:Fascism#RfC: Should "right wing" be added to definition of fascism – a contentious RfC with over 20 participants
  8. Talk:List of music considered the worst#RFC for Sgt. Pepper's inclusion – a divided RfC with 20 participants
  9. Wikipedia:Move review/Log/2019 March#Patrick Moore (consultant) – a move review now open for 16 days
I list the RfCs and other discussions at WP:ANRFC so that they are not forgotten like happened with the RfC Triptothecottage started. Like Triptothecottage said, the close of RfCs like Talk:Ministry of Transport#RfC: Transport governance article titles "gives us something to work off". It is valuable to record the consensus of RfCs to prevent edit wars and the overlooking of RfC participants' comments. All discussions at WP:AFD, WP:CFD, WP:MFD, and WP:TFD are closed to record and enact the community consensus. Likewise, all RfCs except for the malformed ones should be closed.

I comply with WP:ANRFC's "Many discussions result in a reasonably clear consensus, so if the consensus is clear, any editor—even one involved in the discussion—may close the discussion" by closing the "consensus is clear" RfCs and asking editors at WP:ANRFC for help closing the less clear RfCs.

Cunard (talk) 05:09, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Cunard, you’re missing my point. By listing so many RfCs you’re actively making it less likely they receive a close that is timely or a close at all. In part because it overwhelms the system, and in part because you post so many that it causes people to ignore some requests from you when scrolling through. I’m not asking that you stop, I’m asking that you don’t go through and list every single RfC possible.
In terms of the ones you listed, without even looking at the discussions 1, 3, 6, and 9 don’t need to be at ANRFC: 1 is an AN appeal, and AN appeals are reviewed by admins. 3 is just a talk page discussion calling itself an RfC, 6 is likewise just a talk page discussion regardless of what it calls itself, and 9 is a move review, which historically take a bit longer to close and it doesn’t kill anyone. I haven’t looked at the rest, but some may or may not need a formal closure. TonyBallioni (talk) 06:46, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
As an example of the “overreporting causes people to ignore you” issue see this comment from Nyttend in 2017. I doubt he and I are the only people who feel this way. TonyBallioni (talk) 07:03, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
1) Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive307#Topic ban appeal was archived without closure. There is unanimous consensus for unbanning the editor. Not listing it at WP:ANRFC means it will be forgotten and the editor remains topic banned. WP:ANRFC is for close requests of any kind, including appeals reviewed by admins.

9) Wikipedia:Move review/Log/2019 March#Patrick Moore (consultant) should be listed to give it more visibility because deletion reviews and move reviews that review whether an admin made the correct decision should be closed promptly.

3) and 6): These are the only RfCs you have listed here as disagreeing with (the other two close requests are the topic ban appeal and the move review discussed above). These two RfCs are also the only discussions that do not have bolded comments, whereas 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 do. You wrote "without even looking at the discussions" you can tell that they each are just "a talk page discussion calling itself an RfC". I disagree. These RfCs are the same as the others except that they don't have bolded votes. Editors expressed their views about whether an article should be merged in 3) and what wording an article should have in 6). A close is useful to determine which choice is the consensus view. I have closed both RfCs with an assessment of the consensus.

AfD closes determine whether an article should be deleted. RfCs closes such as those I did for 3) and 6) are just as important. RfC closes determine what content should be in an article. Since AfDs are closed, why not close RfCs that have participants disagreeing over an article's content?

I disagree with the premise that I am overreporting. I do not "go through and list every single RfC possible". I omit the numerous RfCs that I close myself and RfCs like this one where it's clear a close will not be helpful. The RfCs I list largely are contentious or divided discussions like 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8. The solution to reducing the backlog is to support and encourage interested editors like DannyS712 (talk · contribs) and MJL (talk · contribs) to continue closing discussions instead of discouraging them. As Levivich noted, the backlog went down to 10 close requests when they were actively closing discussions.

Cunard (talk) 08:40, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

  • We had a wide consensus to remove its transclusion from WP:AN. Cunard put it back within a month, with the fig leaf of collapsing some of its sections. Predictably, the collapsing was removed within another two months. —Cryptic 07:37, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    @Cryptic: I've created User:DannyS712/remaining, which should provide a real-time count of the number of items listed at WP:ANRFC. It doesn't (yet) account for some of the items being done already, but, when transcluded, the result is:
    There are currently 26 requested closures listed at WP:ANRFC.
    Maybe this (or something like it but better) could be put at the top instead? --DannyS712 (talk) 07:52, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    I discussed the collapsing of sections with the RfC closer here. The closer wrote, "That would absolutely be supported by my close, yes. Basically, my close was that there was consensus against including the full transclusion, but consensus for including something, especially if that something is fairly compact but encourages editors to close discussions."

    Cunard (talk) 08:40, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

    Sure. But the close does not support collapsing it for a couple months, then skipping merrily on your way when the collapsing is removed. —Cryptic 09:19, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    I spent some time looking through the WP:ANRFC history from three years ago. I modified WP:ANRFC on 10 April 2016 to transclude just the "Requests for closure" header and the "Requests for comment", "Backlogs", "XfD", "Administrative", and "Requested moves" subheaders. A ClueBot III (talk · contribs) archiving error three months later on 9 July 2016 removed my changes. I support restoring my "includeonly" and "noinclude" changes if ClueBot is fixed or implementing the collapsing change in another way if it is not. Cunard (talk) 10:45, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    The basic problem with ClueBot III is that it cannot distinguish subsections from supersections. WP:AN/RFC is organised in such a way that each individual request gets a level 4 heading, and so at the top of the page there is a {{User:ClueBot III/ArchiveThis}} containing the parameter |headerlevel=4. So far so good. But the way that ClueBot III archives a thread is to take from the (level 4) heading of the thread concerned down to a point immediately before the next heading of the same level (or bottom of the page, whichever occurs first) including any higher-level headings (i.e. level 2 or 3) that may intervene. Before ClueBot III has archived:
    Please close the discussion at [[Talk:Example#RfC]]. [[User:Cunard|Cunard]] ([[User talk:Cunard|talk]]) 00:01, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
    :{{done}} --[[User:Redrose64|Redrose64]] ([[User talk:Redrose64|talk]]) 12:01, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
    ===Deletion discussions===
    ====[[Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 January 1]]====
    After ClueBot III has archived:
    ====[[Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 January 1]]====
    The level 3 heading "Deletion discussions" has gone, but it should have been left; and so the CfD is now showing in the RfCs section. I described that problem to Cobi (talk · contribs) on five occasions, whose response was basically that it's "behaving as expected". After some experimenting over several weeks in 2017, we came up with the present layout, using a dummy level 4 heading like "Place new discussions concerning RfCs above this line" at the bottom of each level 3 section, except the last. This works fine - before archiving:
    Please close the discussion at [[Talk:Example#RfC]]. [[User:Cunard|Cunard]] ([[User talk:Cunard|talk]]) 00:01, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
    :{{done}} --[[User:Redrose64|Redrose64]] ([[User talk:Redrose64|talk]]) 12:01, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
    ====Place new discussions concerning RfCs above this line====
    ===Deletion discussions===
    ====[[Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 January 1]]====
    ====Place new discussions concerning RfCs above this line====
    ===Deletion discussions===
    ====[[Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 January 1]]====
    except that every few months somebody either posts below the line, uses a heading that isn't level 4, or removes the dummy subsections.
    So any collapsing code needs to go into portions of the page that won't be archived - such as between a level 3 heading and the first level 4 heading; and between the "above this line" level 4 heading and the level 3 heading that follows. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 16:17, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    Thank you very much, Redrose64 (talk · contribs), for taking the time to meticulously explain how ClueBot III works when archiving WP:ANRFC. I really appreciate it. I have restored transclusion to WP:AN of only the "Requests for closure" header and the "Administrative discussions", "RfCs", "Deletion discussions", and "Other types of closing requests" subheaders originally added here and removed by ClueBot III here. Cunard (talk) 05:00, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • If there was a consensus to stop doing something, and then another editor unilaterally ignores the consensus—regardless of whether a closer gives permission for them to wikilawyer around it (or, more likely, is deliberately misinterpreted as doing so)—then their actions are reverted and they are topic banned advised to desist from future involvement in the area. Simple. ——SerialNumber54129 09:34, 13 April 2019 (UTC)
    Serial Number 54129, agreed. Why is this being blockaded by a single editor, and why is anyone waiting around for their approval to implement the consensus that was already reached? Nihlus 01:10, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
    @Nihlus: While I agree that it it shouldn't be transcluded in its entirety, I think its still beneficial to note how many open requests there are. With that in mind, I created User:DannyS712/remaining, which I commented on above. Alternatively, User:DannyS712/atask could be added at the top of this page instead, alerting admins to XfDs needing closures, RfCs listed an WP:ANRFC, and the number of users listed at usernames for administrator attention and administrator intervention against vandalism. Just a thought - it'll take a lot less space, and present more infomation. What do you think? --DannyS712 (talk) 05:02, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
    DannyS712, I have nothing against that change. I'm just surprised that we are waiting on Cunard to approve of something to implement a change that has been discussed prior (and eventually reverted by him against said consensus). Nihlus 05:27, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
    @Nihlus: In that case,  Done. See above. Also, {{Admin tasks}} can be put elsewhere. --DannyS712 (talk) 05:31, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
    DannyS712 (talk · contribs), thank you for creating {{Admin tasks}}. It will be very useful. The closer wrote about the transclusion: "That would absolutely be supported by my close, yes. Basically, my close was that there was consensus against including the full transclusion, but consensus for including something, especially if that something is fairly compact but encourages editors to close discussions. There wasn't consensus for any specific alternative to the full transclusion, mostly because they weren't talked about enough. As an editor (i.e. not part of the close), I would even argue that your proposed compact version doesn't go far enough – information on how many discussions are awaiting closure in each section and how old the oldest discussion in each section has been open seems appropriate and doesn't compromise brevity. Just a couple of more lines under each heading would be enough to convey how urgently closers are needed."

    For {{Admin tasks}}, would it be possible to include how many discussions are awaiting closure in each WP:ANRFC subheader ("Administrative discussions", "RfCs", "Deletion discussions", and "Other types of closing requests") and how old the oldest discussion in each section is to provide more information?

    Cunard (talk) 05:43, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

    @Cunard: If you can write the Lua, then sure. But, I'm not positive that consensus would support including that information. The template provides a quick highlight of tasks that admins can help with, and includes a link to ANRFC. There is also another link to ANRFC in the {{Noticeboards}} template at the top of the page. In short, I don't think its needed --DannyS712 (talk) 05:46, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
    There is no consensus for transcluding {{Admin tasks}} at WP:AN owing to the lack of discussion. I think it's a good summary of admin tasks that need to be completed though, so I support it as a replacement to the WP:ANRFC transclusion as long as it doesn't reduce visibility of WP:ANRFC and thus lead to fewer closures than before. I think more information about WP:ANRFC would not conflict with the RfC close ("there was consensus against including the full transclusion, but consensus for including something, especially if that something is fairly compact but encourages editors to close discussion") as adding a few words about the four subsections could be done compactly. But I do not know how to write Lua and though the additional information would be useful, there is no urgency to include it. Cunard (talk) 06:09, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Everyone knows that Cunard floods the board. I've never really thought about it, and I assume it's well-intentioned, but now Cunard has declared his motivation to be "all RfCs except for the malformed ones should be closed". This is quite simply not true, as explicitly stated at WP:RFCCLOSE: "Written closing statements are not required." Formal closure is listed as one of many ways an RfC can end, right along with the dispute moving to a different resolution technique and the discussion simply dying a natural death. There is no procedural technicality that requires RfCs to be formally closed, or even suggests that they should be. I think, while well-intentioned, listing RfCs at AN/C as a matter of procedure is quite clearly not necessary, and is actually counterproductive to the purpose of AN/C. Flooding the board with procedural posts dilutes it and makes it bloated and unmanageable, so that users who are actually involved are not getting assistance. Requests to AN/C should clearly only be made if the users involved in the disputes themselves want to pursue a formal closure. An uninvolved editor should not appoint themselves some sort of RfC warden. One single editor unilaterally logjamming any backlog is disruptive. ~Swarm~ {sting} 07:19, 14 April 2019 (UTC)
  • My full quote is "All discussions at WP:AFD, WP:CFD, WP:MFD, and WP:TFD are closed to record and enact the community consensus. Likewise, all RfCs except for the malformed ones should be closed." I in the past listed all RfCs at WP:ANRFC. The community's feedback several years ago was that I was posting too many "consensus is clear" RfCs. I responded to their feedback by making changes to my approach. As BU Rob13 (talk · contribs) wrote in June 2016:

    I'm talking about this most recent listing vs. a month ago. The number of listings went down from roughly three dozen to more like a single dozen, all of which has at least some aspect that didn't seem 100% straightforward. I was the person who originally brought up this issue at AN, and I'm a strong opponent of the idea that we should close all RfCs, but Cunard is a good-faith effort. His listings are a net positive if and only if he continues to list them with some discrimination rather than blanket listing them all. Can I be sure that he isn't just temporarily adjusting due to this discussion? No, but I assume good faith and recognize that this can just wind up at a noticeboard as a pure behavioral issue if he were to go back to blanket listing immediately after this discussion concluded. I value Cunard's contributions as a whole and doubt things will get that far.

    Since June 2016, I have continued to "list them with some discrimination rather than blanket listing them all". I started closing the "consensus is clear" RfCs myself and listing only the remaining RfCs where I think a close would be useful at WP:ANRFC. This significantly reduced the WP:ANRFC backlog.

    I have listed RfCs at ANRFC for over seven years since the creation of the board. Why have I consistently spent so much time collating the list and closing RfCs for seven years? I have in mind users like Triptothecottage who may not remember to list an RfC for closure or may not know about WP:ANRFC. I do not want the time and effort of the RfCs participants to have gone to waste when an RfC ends without anyone determining whether a consensus has been reached.

    As Scott (talk · contribs) put it so well here in January 2014:

    Lack of resolution to ongoing debates is a continuing issue on this project. If there are too many things listed here, it's because there are too many things left unfinished. It's a reflection of reality. As Cunard points out in his admirable response in the "September 2013" link above, not having a formal closure can also lead to misinterpretations (or deliberate ignorance) of consensus by persons in disputes, and not provide a recourse for editors attempting to enforce consensus. Having an accepted closure to point to will be immensely useful in many subsequent debates. We should encourage these. Making them is tough work, and I think that's what's putting editors off doing it, not seeing the number that need to be done.

    If an AfD with a rough but not obvious consensus to delete was never closed, the article would remain undeleted. Likewise, if an RfC with a rough but not obvious consensus to make a change to an article was never closed, the article would remain unchanged.

    TonyBallioni wrote above, "I’m not asking that you stop, I’m asking that you don’t go through and list every single RfC possible." I can be even more discriminate in my close requests by omitting RfCs that look like discussions such as RfCs 3 and 6 in this list by leaving them unclosed or closing them myself. I would rather not omit listing topic ban appeals like 1 in that list that achieved consensus to unban because once archived, they could be forgotten. I welcome further feedback about which other RfCs should be omitted.

    Cunard (talk) 08:59, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

The added context of your full quote does not make your point correct. To repeat, not every RfC needs a formal close, period. That doesn't just mean "screen out the obvious ones", that means if no one involved is pursuing closure, you can let the discussion die a natural death, rather than posting them to AN/C as a matter of procedure. ~Swarm~ {sting} 19:06, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

The last discussion I participated in on this subject was here. A lot of discussions don't need a formal close, and they're best left to a natural conclusion. As I noted then, it was far more effort than it was worth to figure out what was what there. Now, all this time later, things are basically the same, down to the part about my preferring to go full Tim Allen on myself before looking there. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:55, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

  • Based on this discussion, I replaced the transclusion of WP:ANRFC with a template that, among other things, gave the count of closure requests (diff). However, the original issue of there being too many requests listed, and not all of the requests needing official closures, remains. Earlier today, @Cunard: added 10 requests at once (Special:Diff/893524549). I've closed a few, and am trying to pitch in, but I wanted to point out that removing the transclusion didn't solve the issues, merely hid them. Thanks, --DannyS712 (talk) 02:13, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Review my restriction[edit]

Hi, I would like to appeal for the removal of editions restrictions imposed to me by the administrators Ritchie333 and Yamla in August 2018. After more than six months, I commit myself to all this conditions and I followed them. I have been registered since 2009 in Anglophone Wikipedia, I have more than 2,000 constructive editions and I compromise myself to continue not enter in edit warring and discuss controversial changes to seek consensus. In addition, I would like to point out that the editorial disputes in which I was involved at the time were caused by an editor banned by systematic abuse of multiple accounts. Regards. Chronus (talk) 21:35, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

I would have no objection to lifting the restrictions if Ritchie333 also has no objections. Note that this user previously promised to avoid edit wars, then engaged in them again, leading to the block in July of 2018. But, without diving too deeply, they have several hundred more edits since being unblocked and haven't had reason to be blocked again. This is a good sign in my opinion. I'll politely warn that future edit-warring would likely lead to a reimposition of an indefinite block, but I'll also point out that I'd be surprised if that happened. --Yamla (talk) 21:41, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support removal - a read through your last 150 edits indicates only a few reversions at all and no breaches of 1RR. This was a check purely of straight switches - it didn't check for amended edits that were functionally reversions. The reticence to make many reversions at all suggests that the editor has a good degree of caution and thus has demonstrated significant patience. They have also waited well beyond the advised 6 months. I've not looked over the Sock issues for the original complaint, but since I'm already !voting in favour of limitation removal, I feel it's unneeded. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:46, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Motion: Amendment to the standard provision for appeals and modifications (April 2019)[edit]

The Arbitration Committee has resolved by motion that:

The following text is added to the "Important notes" section of the standard provision on appeals and modifications, replacing the current text of the fourth note:
All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.

For the Arbitration Committee, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 00:23, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

Discuss this at: Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Motion: Amendment to the standard provision for appeals and modifications (April 2019)

Geek alert[edit]

Maybe one of you can figure out whether there's something more to this IP: Thanks, Drmies (talk) 21:30, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

Besides this edit (admin-viewable only) and this deleted edit, has the IP done anything? No log entries (except the two blocks you imposed), unless I missed something. WHOIS says that it's a Datapipe IP; the WmfLabs WHOIS says that it's based in New Jersey, while whatismyipaddress says it belongs to these poor people. Is that what you were asking about, or did I miss your point? Nyttend (talk) 23:10, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
It's allocated to a webhost. I range blocked it. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 02:39, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

Review of protection at Mistake[edit]

Samsara indefinitely protected Mistake using pending changes for "Persistent vandalism". The page has had no edits to it since 22 March and only 10 edits in 2019. There isn't persistent vandalism, there isn't any recent disruption on the page. I asked for it to be unprotected on their talk page The answer was to have it further reviewed so I am bringing it here for further review. I do not believe it needs to be protected. ~ GB fan 23:24, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

Digging into the history Oshawott 12 requested the protection so I will info them of this thread so they can add their thoughts as well. MarnetteD|Talk 23:33, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
I just found that a discussion has been going on here User talk:Samsara#Mistake. My apologies for not finding it before I made the above post. MarnetteD|Talk 23:40, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
I suggested to GB fan to post this at RfPP as is standard procedure. Samsara 02:55, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Well, since nothing's happened at RFPP I'll comment here. After looking through the history, I believe 23 February 2018 is the latest edit (aside from yesterday's two protection-related entries) that's neither outright detrimental nor the reversion of such. That was 14 months ago. Since then, the page has had almost sixty edits, and every one of them I believe deserved reversion or consisted of reversion. This is a disambiguation page, after all; it's not something that routinely needs to be updated. Protection may be applied when a page experiences basically nothing except vandalism, even if it's not all the time, and the fact that it's disambiguation, not content, contributes to the sense that this is an appropriate protection. Nyttend (talk) 12:51, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
OK, ~ GB fan 13:54, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Does your ‘OK’ signify that we can close the discussion, or does it mean you agree with him? Anyways, it was a suitable page protection, and it was put in the right place. The only thing that was wrong was my wording usage of ‘persistent’, so I believe we’re pretty much finished here then. Oshawott 12 ==()== Talk to me! 16:17, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
My OK, is acknowledgement of what Nyttend said. ~ GB fan 20:50, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

I obviously don't understand the protection policy. I have two admins telling me that it is within the protection policy to indefinitely protect a page that hasn't been edited in almost a month, 10 edits in the last 3.5 months and less than 100 edits in the last year. ~ GB fan 10:45, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Fwiw, I would not have protected...the disruption is way under any threshold for any kind of protection. In olden times we would have said: just watchlist and revert. Lectonar (talk) 10:49, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Scripting error in Template:La?[edit]

  • An AfD page shows a list of all previous AfD's for the same page. OK so far. But Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Earth (10th nomination) (an April Fool hoax nomination) shows a long list of every AfD whose name starts with "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Earth", whereas it should only display names of AfD's whose names are of format "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Earth (ordinal number nomination)". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 04:27, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
@Anthony Appleyard: its not {{La}} that produces the list, its {{Special:Prefixindex/Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Earth}} which makes the list, so it will get anything that starts with Earth. --DannyS712 (talk) 04:28, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
This is not something that is possible to fix trivially. --Izno (talk) 13:40, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

Rangeblock assist[edit]

Hi all, an Australian vandal has recently decided to ping me while they commit vandalism, which typically happens to Indian articles. Some examples of IPs:

Usually I get a ping and language to the effect of "User:Cyphoidbomb can fix it." Other times there are hostile summaries like "Fuck duplicate, fuck you who owned that film." It's pretty clearly vandalism and/or just hostile incompetence. Examples: [5][6][7][8]

Can someone please set up a rangeblock if that's doable for at least the 49.* IPs? Thanks. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 07:12, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

@Cyphoidbomb: What you need is an edit filter that is setup by IP range, as an IP block is impossible here. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 10:09, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I don't understand much about rangeblocking, but the range from 49.176.XXX.XXX to 49.199.XXX.XXX is very large, embracing 0.036% of all possible IPv4s, or about one out of every three thousand in the world. Nyttend (talk) 12:55, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Hmm. Then I'm not exactly sure what to do, since I also don't know anything about edit filters. :D Cyphoidbomb (talk) 14:42, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Edit_filter/Requested#Specific_block. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 15:20, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't know how to write filters, but I know they can work on logical rules, e.g. a filter can be instructed to prevent all edits that are performed by an IP from to and that have an edit summary with a link to your userspace/usertalkspace. Nyttend (talk) 23:20, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

Category:Wikipedia extended-confirmed-protected edit requests[edit]

Can some one please handle the backlog at Category:Wikipedia extended-confirmed-protected edit requests? (talk) 13:50, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

Proposal about some indefinite IP blocks[edit]

I've made a proposal to lift some indefinite IP blocks (sort of), here: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Proposal_about_some_indefinite_IP_blocks. -- zzuuzz (talk) 19:25, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

Turning DRN into MEDCOM v. 2.0[edit]

User:TransporterMan has informed me that he determines it fine to continue to refer to WP:Mediation in the instructions at WP:DRN in spite of the shut down of the mediation committee (see Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_154#RFC:Close_MedCom?). For example, there is this nonsense inserted into the description of the dispute resolution noticeboard that says, rather ludicrously, that volunteers at DRN have special privileges [9] I get that this is an end-run being done to avoid the consensus close that removed TransporterMan of his fiefdom. Let's not turn WP:DRN into MEDCOM v. 2.0, please. Can we mark WP:Mediation as "historical" and remove references to it? jps (talk) 20:50, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

  • I've undone that edit and marked the mediation policy as historical. That should've been done before now but it apparently got missed. Per the close of the above mentioned RFC: "There is a strong consensus to ☑ disband the Mediation Committee in entirety. And, all processes and components thereof, shall be marked as historical."(emphasis added) Since we don't have any actual form of formal mediation anymore it follows that this policy is no longer policy at all. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:59, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't understand what the issue is. How does this affect DRN? And is this complaint anything other than an idle complaint? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:55, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Well, my removal of reference to this in the DRN header was reverted by TransporterMan. Beeblebrox, as indicated, reverted it back. I'm now cleaning up some other mentions in dispute resolution policy that seemed to have also been overlooked. As long as there is no further resistance to documenting extant practice accurately, then there is indeed no more issue. jps (talk) 04:03, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Well, apparently, there is more at issue. Sigh. [10]. AGK, can we come to an agreement here? jps (talk) 15:05, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

I rewrote WP:M so that it briefly describes the concept of generic mediation – distinct from bureaucratised, formal mediation that the community banished in 2018's RFC. Nothing that I've added supports the "special powers" language edited out of the DRN header, I concur with Beeblebrox's revert, and I regard this thread as resolved. AGK ■ 15:19, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
One of the reasons MEDCOM was closed was because DRN was doing what MEDCOM was doing. And while DRN has more arrows in its quiver than just mediation, mediation is still the primary thing that it does. Having said that, the "special powers" that the Mediation Policy granted before this change were almost never used, so I'm fairly neutral as to these changes. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 16:34, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Proposed site ban for User:Flooded with them hundreds[edit]

Per obvious consensus Flooded with them hundreds (talk · contribs) is banned from en-WP. As with any community-imposed site ban, appeal conditions are here. -- Euryalus (talk) 00:01, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Flooded with them hundreds (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Zawl (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) (previous account)

Following his unblock by the Arbitration Committee with a one account restriction, Flooded with them hundreds has requested from Primefac that all of his other accounts be unblocked because [...]it would be nice to not see the red block notice on the contribs page of those accounts nor see their usernames striked out, for my own psychological benefits.
This is simply repeating the gaming behaviour that led to the initial CheckUser block on his account, as is documented at User talk:Offend. For those who are unaware, before the Offend "clean start" Flooded with them hundred, had been emailing multiple renamers shopping around for a rename. He was told no every time, and was warned that if he continued, he would be blocked on As the rename system is global and he had by this point moved to using the private request queue which are patrolled globally, stewards made known that if he continued requesting global renames, he would be globally locked to prevent his abuse of the system. This was communicated to him via a admin and global renamer. Within the next few days, there was an office action taken against him by the Wikimedia Foundation where they removed him from the access to non-public information noticeboard on meta and he was made aware of it. This is the context in which his attempt at a clean start took place.
ArbCom has unblocked him with a one account restriction, which given that he gamed the system by declaring to them and could claim that he thought that they could overrule policy (despite CLEANSTART saying otherwise), I agree this is the right move. What I do not think is the right move is for the community to keep someone unblocked who within a week of being unblocked with restrictions attempts to game the very unblock sanctions and make a special pleading for himself.
This is especially the case, as FWTH entire history on this project has been nothing more than one attempt after another to evade community scrutiny. He has had more renames than I can count on this account, and this account that he is currently on is an invalid clean start as it occured during a noticeboard discussion (Wikilink to archive). This is after he was blocked on commons for homophobic slurs and socking under yet another username (See: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/TheMagnificentist/Archive).
Flooded with them hundreds has been a long-term drain on community resources dating for coming up on three years, and I am sure there are even more diffs from any of his numerous incarnations that others can bring here. My point of it is this: if someone who was just blocked for gaming the clean start policy attempts to game their unblock sanctions this close to the unblock, he is clearly someone who cannot be trusted and will continue to waste valuable time of our community.
Therefore, I am formally proposing: Flooded with them hundreds (talk · contribs) is indefinitely site banned by the English Wikipedia community. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:45, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as proposer. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:45, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support per Tony but also the very long, tiring history of this user. Praxidicae (talk) 21:51, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support the unblock was a bad idea based on a technicality, and this rectifies that. --Rschen7754 21:52, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support This editor is capable of making solid contributions to the project. Unfortunately far too much of their history here has been what seems to be an endless train of drama. I have an entire file of emails dealing with this editor and I have only had to deal with them under their two most recent user names! IMO we (the community) need a break. While I am not absolutely opposed to considering a future un-ban request, I would suggest a minimum period of two years before such a request could be lodged. -Ad Orientem (talk) 22:07, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per the reasonings by TonyBallioni and Ad Orientem. Also, email abuse is never a good idea on Wikipedia. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 22:23, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Unfortunately, the editor is a net negative. Miniapolis 22:32, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - too much drama, too many distractions, a net negative to the project. Sergecross73 msg me 22:37, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support his antics are disruptive to the project and have been over a long period of time. Natureium (talk) 22:40, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support He doesn't even work in my normal topic areas and I've been repeatedly drawn into issues involving his page moves and attempts to get first edit on article creations, etc. The long history of socking, renames and improper cleanstarts is enough. -- ferret (talk) 22:59, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
  • The page move garbage alone probably should have earned him a long, long, block. Clear support. --Izno (talk) 00:10, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - demonstrably dishonest user; unreasonable strain on resources and patience. Эlcobbola talk 00:32, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, per his work at RM, and not even attempting to cleanly separate his new account from his old one. feminist (talk) 01:39, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Just recently, this user disturbingly labelled other editors "toxic" at AfD, and then failed to acknowledge that constituted a personal attack, arguing that he was referring to "a hypothetical group of people representing the cause of my frustrations that have a great connection to the AfD". I know the amount of time I've spent dealing with this user in the last week pales in comparison to other administrators and frustrated editors – all the more reason to support a site ban. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 01:46, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support It beggars belief that virtually the first thing he does after being unblocked with the clear instruction that he restrict himself to one account, is to ask for his other accounts to be unblocked. He seems to have no self awareness of the timesinks he creates for other users. Pawnkingthree (talk) 02:13, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Sigh. If this is what someone chooses to do with a last chance, they aren't here to help. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:19, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Zawl has been disruptive for a long time. He has also caused some issues on Wikimedia Commons.Susmuffin Talk 02:20, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Too many chances have been given...I was already in disbelief that ArbCom accepted his unblock request given everything else. Ss112 03:07, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. It seems clear the dozens of people commented here who have had disputes/disagreements with me in the past, those whose candidacies of high positions I've opposed (Praxidicae's stewardship request, Ballioni's CU nom, etc) and those who enjoy piling on for the sake of it want me to be banned for ludicrous reasons. I made huge mistakes in the past when I was new here in 2016 (homophobic slurs, page moves, sock puppetry etc), I apologized for them numerous times but still I am subjected to this double jeopardy of having to be punished for those mistakes again. Those issues were dealt with at various places very long ago. They aren't the actual cause of this discussion, instead, they are used to fuel the motive to get me banned and masked as gaming the system. I never knew literally requesting an admin to unblock accounts is a blockable offense. As for the clean starts, the first one didn't happen during a noticeboard discussion, but a month after, and the original reason was to avoid harassment from Primefac who kept getting involved in my discussions and still is. The second clean start was to avoid Ss112 who had told editors to revert me[11][12], told me in email to jump off a cliff (ArbCom was informed with evidence but BU Rob13, speaking for himself, called it "a run-of-the-mill dispute") and kept belittling/disparaging me in discussions (see my talk page history). Before taking the clean starts, I notified ArbCom and I wasn't subject to any bans or sanctions, thus they were legitimate. GorillaWarfare, on behalf of the committee, assured me that "users who have clean started in the past can clean start again, so long as there are still no active sanctions against their account." I took her words at face value and went on to create Offend (talk · contribs), but when the account was blocked, the committee decided they were not on my side. Is that really my fault? They gave me assurance that my clean start was valid but later decided that I was evading scrutiny when I clearly explained to them about the harassment issues and some other sensitive details before even creating the account. The fact a consensus is emerging to ban me because a group of editors decided to gang up against me, proves there are serious flaws with the concept of consensus on this site. Also, the removal from the access to non-public information list was because the Foundation staff who read my email to ArbCom thought I was going ahead with the clean start not because I had done anything inappropriate to warrant being removed. Having gotten used to being treated like dirt, I am ready for the site ban which I really do need to break off from my Wikipediholism. -- Flooded w/them 100s 07:43, 22 April 2019 (UTC) Clear evidence this editor is not above making up blatant lies. I've had my fair share of disputes with editors; I've never abused anyone via email, and I certainly didn't tell anyone to "jump off a cliff". (The user previously stated elsewhere that I told them to "kill" themselves; obviously now it's developed into this cliff-jumping method claim.) Literally what would this achieve? Do you think if that were real, that I would think you wouldn't take screenshots or forward the email tell admins here (as anyone would)? I previously asked for evidence and they provided none, so they have zero evidence this ever occurred (unless they mocked up screenshots, which I wouldn't put past them at this point to be honest). The alleged time frame of this also makes no sense—one instance of me asking another editor to get involved happened in October 2018 and this apparent email death instruction followed, but they only decided to try a clean start in March 2019? The claims about Primefac are also greatly exaggerated; I think, much as I did, Primefac avoided them where they could. I also did not very much engage in discussions that had nothing to do with me at their talk page; it's all right there in the page history if anyone would care at this point to go back through it. This is just further proof that they have worn out their welcome—the latest in a string of gross and underhanded behaviour. I suppose they think they have nothing to lose by exaggerating and outright lying now, despite the fact that it's no longer just me and a select few others who know about their history of lying. Let it be known the user has now "retired", which looks like the typical "drama quit" method of evading scrutiny. This should not deter anyone from commenting here. Ss112 08:45, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support The above comment from Flooded with them hundreds is a stark example of the incompatibility that exists between Flooded with them hundreds and long accepted community norms, and that their presence here is no longer appropriate for the foreseeable future. I believe (but would need confirmation from Trust and Safety at WMF) that Flooded with them hundreds was removed from the non-public information list due to them lying about their age - it was reported to WMF that the age stated on one version of their userpage was incompatible with them being old enough to sign the NDA, but I do not know if that was ultimately why they were removed from the list. I'm left with two conclusions - based solely on their on-wiki behaviour (here, and also taking into account Commons), a significant and lengthy ban is in order, and is necessary to allow the maturation needed to become a productive contributor to our community. If it transpires there has been misconduct with regards to the WMF NDA and their explanation is not accurate, for the safety and protection of the project and the user themselves, that ban must move towards near permanence. Nick (talk) 09:05, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. The discussion at Commons:User talk:Flooded with them hundreds makes me think that if they are site banned, then any provision for appeal should have explicit criteria beyond that of just time elapsed, otherwise I foresee that shortly after that time we will just see an appeal that contains no evidence of any changes and requests/demands to be unbanned on the basis that the sentence has been served. Thryduulf (talk) 09:20, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support although I have had good interactions with this user, I don't think it is right to take what ArbCom has decided and so soon after the decision try to shove it in the bin, especially when they have been gracious in unblocking. They are clearly trying to game the system, which is something I think will be repeated if they continue to remain unblocked. I personally would want to see as part of unblocking conditions some real recognition that they won't continue to game the system for their own goals, perhaps a probationary period. What ever the case, I want them to understand that gaming the system isn't what is acceptable on enwiki and if they continue to do so, it won't make the situation better for them. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 09:40, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Grudging support. FWTH said it himself with the dozens of people commented here who have had disputes/disagreements with me in the past. I believe from their general demeanor as such places as his ORCP poll that FWTH is a young child, and as such I'd be willing to entertain a credible unban request further down the line—people do mature—but as things stand we have someone who's not only serially disruptive in multiple areas, but doesn't understand why they're serially disruptive in multiple areas and consequently is very likely to continue being a timesink. ‑ Iridescent 10:09, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per Natureium, who rightly refers to this user's behavior as "antics." They mostly seem to revolve around moving from one attempt to stir up drama to another; the fact that FWTH linked to the previous ANI discussion about his poor choice of user signature without realizing that it supports, rather than undermines, the argument for a siteban also illustrates his cluelessness. He may be a young user, but no less a drain on community resources for that. Grandpallama (talk) 10:30, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Note - Fwth has once again retired. —DoRD (talk)​ 12:00, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I'm remembering to back when Fwth wrote multiple paragraphs of how they were sad an LTA was blocked....Support per their comment on this proposal. Vermont (talk) 12:30, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm not enwiki regular but I recall him on global-renamers and other private lists for bad stuffs. His behavior clearly haven't improved. — regards, Revi 12:37, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    Also... I see him lying HERE but I am not allowed to discuss it publicly. — regards, Revi 12:52, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - Other than the note above, I wasn't planning on commenting, but after rereading c:User talk:Flooded with them hundreds and some other talk page discussions, I have to support this ban. Fwth's continued dissembling is incompatible with a collaborative project, so it's time for them to be shown the door. —DoRD (talk)​ 13:13, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm just going to comment, "Wikipediaholism"? So, obvious. I ask the closer to note WP:SO seems out-of-step here, thus some multiple of 6 mo should be put into the close -- the consensus, here, implies it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:31, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support and per Alanscottwalker would suggest 12 months before being SO eligible given the issues with his conduct in this very discussion. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:57, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I'm sorry for this, because I think Flooded has tried to be a good user in many ways, and my own (limited) interchanges with him have been positive. But I can see from this thread that he has been much too much of a drain on the community's resources. It doesn't seem likely to stop any time soon, either. I agree with Ad Orientem that two years would be a suitable time before an unblock request is considered. Bishonen | talk 15:05, 22 April 2019 (UTC).
  • Support - An editor who has clearly exhausted the patience of the community. Jusdafax (talk) 15:16, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - They've been given more chances than some others have been, but they don't seem to be getting the point. Last socking+12 mo would be the minimum for me, but I'd support 18 months as well. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 15:34, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Was going to sit this out despite a clear need to ban for abuse of the clean start system to evade scrutiny, because of the clear SNOW consensus in favor, but his comments are too toxic to ignore (and that's just for the one that isn't revdelled). Strong support. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 16:14, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as above. GiantSnowman 16:20, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, for their own "psychological benefit". Cabayi (talk) 17:26, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, not because i have been in conflict with him or because i enjoy piling on for the fun of it, but because trying to game a last chance offer from ARBCOM is just...not clueful and because the comment above shows an almost complete lack of understanding. Happy days, LindsayHello 17:32, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I also wasn't going to comment here in light of the apparent consensus, but I think it's important to note for the record that FWTH has a history of retiring or clean-starting whenever their conduct is brought into question. Now that they've done it again, I'd like to also request that this discussion not be closed simply because FWTH has "retired". It's evading scrutiny and relying on the community's reluctance to follow a moot point - history shows this is not the case because he'll be back in a couple of weeks once this discussion is brushed under the proverbial rug. I urge anyone thinking of closing this discussion for that reason to remember FWTH's history here. Having said that, I do support a lengthy ban here; while FWTH can be a productive editor, the amount of additional work they generate versus the benefit they add to the project makes their participation here a net negative. stwalkerster (talk) 19:24, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support given the long history, including on global rename requests (to which I've been privy). See also this debacle, which encapsulates a lot. GABgab 19:39, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Something something something farmer viper something something something. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 20:05, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per nomination. This editor has been given enough chances with all the past history yet still makes a variety of attempts to evade sanctions. I do not see any potential for them to behave positively if allowed to edit at all, even with single-account restriction. -★- PlyrStar93 Message me. 20:18, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Thank you, TonyBallioni, for opening this. The community must step in when ArbCom fails. Nihlus 22:52, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Hounding and Deliberate Disruptive Editing[edit]

What is an editor supposed to do when he feels that two editors User:Huldra and User:Nableezy have teamed up to harass him and have, in his view, purposely disrupted good edits to a page? I ask administrators to look into the actions of Huldra and Nableezy in the edit history of the article Kafr 'Inan, and their objection to using Hebrew, and my reply to them here. There is good reason to believe that I am being hounded by them. What can be done to alleviate this problem?Davidbena (talk) 23:16, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

I welcome somebody to look at the editing history of Kafr 'Inan. They might see that I edited that page ten whole years ago. Or that Huldra has been editing that page since 2007, and is currently responsible for 48% of the current content. Or that prior to this AN thread only two of us had actually edited the talk page, though Ill let you guess which two to keep the suspense. Or that David has been edit-warring, in violation of the ARBPIA 1RR and in violation of MOS:FOREIGN. Or that his comments on Huldra's talk page include an implicit accusation of racism. Or that since his topic ban has been lifted he has returned to the exact same WP:CIR issues that precipitated the ban in the first place. Yes, somebody, please look. nableezy - 23:20, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
@Davidbena: I would strongly suggest you self-revert that last edit on that article, or the result will be a block. I'll give you a short time. Black Kite (talk) 23:24, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
I have no problem in self-reverting, but is this not the same as a flagrant error being corrected? Anyone who knows our history of communications can see that there is a problem here. I kindly ask for the administrators here to look carefully at our history of interaction.Davidbena (talk) 23:30, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Please do so then. There are very limited exceptions for violating a 1RR, and this does not fall into any of those categories. Then we can look at any further issues. Black Kite (talk) 23:33, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
As for me "hounding" anyone on the Kafr 'Inan artcle, according to this I have edited that article since 2007, and I'm the editor who has edited it the most, and added the most of the text in the article. (Nableezy had his first edit to the article in 2009.) Also Davidbena has broken 1RR on Kafr 'Inan:
  1. 22:15, 21 April 2019 reverting me, reintroducing Hebrew name of Kfar Hananya in Kafr 'Inan−article
  2. 22:22, 21 April 2019 reverting Nableezy, reintroducing Hebrew name of Kfar Hananya in Kafr 'Inan−article
Davidbena successfully appealed their own sanctions relating to the I/P area on 23 February, 2019, I am asking that topic ban to be reintroduced, Huldra (talk) 23:25, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Irregardless of the edit on Kafr 'Inan, I implore the administrators here to review the edit history of User:Nableezy and User:Huldra in the article Solomon's Pools, and to see if they have acted judiciously with respect to Wikipedia's policies and if there is not a place to censure them for any misconduct. If there are gross violations of protocol, I am asking that both Huldra and Nableezy be banned from editing in the I/P area for 6 months, as a way of reminding them of the spirit of collaborative editing.Davidbena (talk) 23:38, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

As far as wider issues, including at Solomon's Pools, Id also welcome somebody to look at that. See for example here where David argues that the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are entitled to all of the land of Israel. Or here where it is shown that Josephus disproves those heretical modern historians who dare dispute the factual existence of King Solomon. We are in a position where one user argues based off personal feeling and religious dogma and completely ignores anybody else's position. I dont know how to argue against the word of God, Im sorry. I thought that reliable sources would be the way, but there is apparently no more reliable source than God (Ill leave it to the reader to determine how sarcastic to read that bit). nableezy - 23:44, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

When you take things out-of-context, they look strange to non-informed readers. But when they read the full exchange of communications, they'll see the bigger picture and who it is that is being contentious. Again, a ban is, in my view, in order and proper, in order to remind our fellow editors how we ought to work together, rather than destroy one-another's works.Davidbena (talk) 23:48, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
Davidbena has now, finally, self reverted on Kafr 'Inan. He was also reported (by me) for breaking 1RR on Solomon's Pools a couple of days ago, but was let off on a technicality, as there was no 1RR edit notice in place link, Frankly, I am tired of his edit warring, etc, I am asking for a new 6 month topic ban from the IP area for Davidbena, Huldra (talk) 23:49, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
It seems that Huldra is the one who is really edit warring here. Look at all the edit histories of the pages that we are privy to, and note how that it is she who edits contrary to consensus, and has even sought to game the system to have it her own way. I'm sorry, but she is not in the right here.Davidbena (talk) 23:55, 21 April 2019 (UTC)
It is literally impossible for only one user to edit war. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:04, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
True, but when the majority of editors have decided on one edit and then the lesser group comes along (in this case Huldra and Nableezy) and reverts the majority edit, it is edit warring.Davidbena (talk) 00:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I wish to call attention to certain remarks made by Huldra and which point to a recurring problem with this editor, and which may have far-reaching effects on our encyclopedia if not checked and/or corrected. I am speaking about a personal POV attitude evidenced in her own comments, such as where Huldra herself doubted the historicity of Solomon here, and yet she admits that Israel's ancient connection to the land is the source of contention here! This attitude is one that has made her emboldened to actually go the extra mile and to expunge Hebrew (as a former name) given to an ancient village in Israel/Palestine. Any attempt to belittle the historical works of the ancients in order to "divorce" the Jews from their historical connections to the Land of Israel (Palestine) will only create further tension and confusion in the future. I am asking administrators to seriously consider what is happening with her and to warn her of persistent behavior in the future. The solution to this problem is for editors like her to begin taking a neutral stance and position, without interjecting their political bias. The land continues to be shared by Jews and Arabs, and both sides must learn to get along.Davidbena (talk) 02:05, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

I dont want to say Jesus christ because you may take that as something other than an expression of exasperation, but Jesus christ. Nobody removed the Hebrew because of a disbelief of the existence of King Solomon. She and I removed that because it did not belong in the article. That has been explained to you, repeatedly, on the talk page. You ignore entirely what people say. I have told you no fewer than three times that the Hebrew for Kfar Hananya belongs in the article Kfar Hananya, and nobody is removing it from there. It does not however belong anytime that Kfar Hananya is merely mentioned in any other article. You have completely ignored that, repeatedly, and continue to make dogmatic demands. I voted to lift your topic ban. So did Huldra. I think it has proven beyond obvious that doing so was a mistake. nableezy - 03:17, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
According to MOS:FORLANG, where there is a foreign language of any site, we can use it in an article. In this case there are TWO names. By Huldra's own admittance, she is not happy with Israel's claim of historical connection to the land. While she thought that the name "Kefar Hanania" belonged to a different site, when I explained to her the reality, namely, that it is the same site as Kafr 'Inan, she STILL refused to accept the Hebrew name, inspite of all the references that show that the Old Kefar Hananiah is actually Kafr 'Inan.Davidbena (talk) 03:50, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Topic ban for Davidbena[edit]

  • Per the above discussion, I would support reinstating the topic ban. The ""You don't like ancient Jewish sites?" comment is beyond the pale. I participated in the RSN discussion that led to the first topic ban and, if memory serves me right, Davidbena was posting something equally offensive. Given the lack of a learning curve and the inability to edit in a collaborative environment, the editor should be removed from the topic area. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:50, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
On the contrary, I never purposely offended anybody on that Topic Ban, as I was simply questioning the attitude of someone who was very anti-Israel and asked here for redress so that we could restore balance to our editing. I invite all to read through our exchanges there (see here for a link to that debate). There is, in my view, a serious problem with this editor Huldra who continues to push her POV and no one, so far, has intervened. If we cannot seek a just resolution and redress to a serious problem, then I have no business editing on this venue. Moreover, if we are not fair and impartial in our editing, the greatest sufferer will be Wikipedia's credibility. Davidbena (talk) 03:33, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support An editor who formerly had a TBAN in a topic manages to get the ban lifted, resorts to the same behavior that led to the placement of the ban in the first place, and then has the unmitigated gall to bring other users to AN and accuse them of being the problems. I don't see any reason why the TBAN wouldn't be reinstated immediately, regardless of what other outcomes there might be. Grandpallama (talk) 10:34, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Also, TBAN people who don't agree with me in order to teach them to be more collaborative. Gross. Irregardless of the edit on Kafr 'Inan, I implore the administrators here to review the edit history of User:Nableezy and User:Huldra in the article Solomon's Pools, and to see if they have acted judiciously with respect to Wikipedia's policies and if there is not a place to censure them for any misconduct. If there are gross violations of protocol, I am asking that both Huldra and Nableezy be banned from editing in the I/P area for 6 months, as a way of reminding them of the spirit of collaborative editing. Grandpallama (talk) 10:37, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I must support a renewed indefinite topic ban for Davidbena, to be appealed no sooner than after six months. Trying to get topic bans bans for Huldra and Nableezy here on AN a mere four days after opening a similar attempt at AE (which was promptly closed as a content dispute) is not a good look. There's a technical difference between AN and AE, yes — AN is for requesting community sanctions, AE for requesting ArbCom sanctions — but a content dispute is a content dispute. Also I agree with K.e.coffman's points above. Bishonen | talk 15:29, 22 April 2019 (UTC).
  • Support I've been watching DavidBena's edits these past couple of days with increasing dismay. I almost blocked him myself for that edit about not liking Jewish sites. He seems to be in a downward spiral and even if he stopped now I think it would just happen again. Doug Weller talk 16:56, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Doug Weller, K.e.coffman, Bishonen, I concede that I should have given more time for the discussion to play-out, rather than revert before discussion. That was my fault. Still, moderators can be as rash as I was there. With respect to my revert (i.e. the restoration of the site's Hebrew name), I will remind you that we're talking here exclusively about Kafr 'Inan, whose name was also Kefar Hanania in the 2nd-century CE as we see here in Mishnah Shebiith 9:2 and which place is discussed by the relative archaeologists and historical geographers. When students of religion study this site, the first name that comes to mind is the Hebrew rendition of its name, Kefar Hananiah which happens to be the exact same site as Kafr 'Inan. As per MOS:FORLANG, where there are two foreign language names, as there are in this one site, the Hebrew name can be added. Can you be more patient with me? Can you please halt all proceedings to have me topic banned in the I/P area?Davidbena (talk) 22:14, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Nableezy and I have for over a day tried to explain that MOS:FORLANG refer to the subject of the article, that is Kafr 'Inan. Our "reward" has been to be accused of WP:HOUNDING Davidbena (on an article I edited first in 2007, Nableezy in 2009 and Davidbena first in 2018...), of not "like[ing] ancient Jewish sites?". Both Nableezy and myself have been accused of showing "animosity towards me since day one" (link, link) (....btw, we both supported the lifting of Davidbena's topic ban in February 2019)..and we have been accused of "deliberately vandalizing articles", etc, etc.
I am sick and tired of this, please make it stop, Huldra (talk) 23:03, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Huldra's adversity towards anything "Israeli" in the West-Bank is well-known, just as we see in this recent edit here. She would be happy to see me topic banned in the I/P area. I, for my part, feel that she has stepped out-of-bounds in her POV edits and would like to see her warned about such blatant and outspoken views. At the end of the day all of us who are Wikipedians exist for one purpose and one purpose only: to serve the reader. Davidbena (talk) 00:03, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
This is the exact kind of comment you were previously topic banned for. You take Huldra stating a flat out fact, that Solomon's Pools are in Area A (example source) as evidence as adversity towards anything "Israeli" in the West Bank. It cant be that your strongly held views might possibly be incorrect, it must be Huldra's blatant and outspoken views. nableezy - 02:41, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @Davidbena: Here's what I observed:
    • An editor successfully appeals a topic ban;
    • Starts engaging in the same battleground behaviour (edit warring; "I did not hear that"; etc.) that led to the previous topic ban here: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive989#Proposal: Topic ban;
    • Posts an ethnically-based personal attack on an editor's talk page;
    • Files a frivolous AN report where he continues to accuse editors of "anti-Israel" attitudes;
    • Finally, self-reverts under duress, but does not apologise for insulting fellow editors;
    • When faced with a prospect of a renewed topic ban, asks to have "patience" with him; still does not acknowledge that he's done anything wrong (apart from not "hav[ing] given more time for the discussion to play-out").
And that was just on this thread and one article. I don't think that a contentious topic area benefits from editing like this. --K.e.coffman (talk) 00:18, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
In the I/P area, all editors involved have their own political views. I have been extremely cautious not to offend Arabs, as I feel that they have a rightful place among Jews. What has become irksome is how that there are some editors here who feel that Israelis have no rightful place among Arabs. Is it wrong to suggest a more neutral approach? As for your claim that someone posted an ethnically-based personal attack on an editor's talk page, I am unaware of it. Can you please show me the diff (perhaps there's a misunderstanding).Davidbena (talk) 00:30, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
diff nableezy - 02:41, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
I obviously meant no offense by saying "ancient Jewish site," just as there is no offense by saying "Palestinian village" and which words appear in scores of Wikipedia articles. We must learn to take things in stride.Davidbena (talk) 06:19, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I was waiting to think about this but the above 00:30, 23 April 2019 comment by Davidbena tips me over ("I have been extremely cautious not to offend Arabs...some editors here...". Davidbena means well but is entirely unable to see any point of view that might deflect from his approach. An example is here where Davidbena could not see that unattributed copying of text from a blog was a problem. He finally revealed his reasoning ("there is no plagiarism, as I am the author of that blog") but had to be dragged to the stage of seeing that unattributed copying was a problem. Another example is here where I gently tried to have Davidbena say what "balance" he wanted in a section on settler violence. The replies indicate that a topic ban is required. Johnuniq (talk) 02:46, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm sorry, but your first response here is totally taken out-of-context, as you can see here, and does not involve the I/P area.Davidbena (talk) 04:20, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
      • I think you are still saying it is ok for an editor to add an unattributed copy from a blog into an article because the editor "knows" that they wrote the blog and that they gave themselves permission to add it to Wikipedia. No. The admin you were talking to might have missed the fact that an unattributed copy of a translation from a blog is also not ok. Johnuniq (talk) 05:53, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
        • No, I am not saying that at all. Whatever the problem was at the time, it has since been corrected. Everything is sourced by external and impeccable sources.Davidbena (talk) 06:14, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Davidbena was commenting on removal of Jewish history from an article with extensive Jewish history, and if I dig I'm fairly sure I'll find quite a few other examples of such removals. "not liking ancient X sites" is distinct and different from "not liking X". Davidbena should learn to WP:AVOIDYOU (really - there is no point on Wikipedia to say anything about any editor), should cut down on commentary (however - there's plenty of commentary flying from the other direction), and should use adminstrative boards as a last resort. However, in his defense, he did not start it here - a non-actionable AE was filed against him. David has been making constructive additions and TBANing him is excessive.Icewhiz (talk) 15:03, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Spam whitelist discussion concerning The Points Guy[edit]

Can uninvolved admins take a look at MediaWiki talk:Spam-whitelist#"News" and "Reviews" sections of The Points Guy (, to see if any actions are warranted? Thanks, feminist (talk) 01:42, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Proposed RfC on community general sanctions and deletions[edit]

I plan to start an RfC to discuss community general sanctions and page deletions. I will post the RfC at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard since discussions to start community general sanctions on topics happen here. I will post links to the RfC at Wikipedia talk:Deletion review, Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion, Wikipedia talk:Deletion policy, Wikipedia:Village pump (policy), and Template:Centralized discussion.

Proposed addition to Wikipedia:General sanctions#Community sanctions:
Administrators can bypass deletion discussion and immediately delete Wikipedia pages or media that are within scope of a community general sanction only if the pages or media meet the requirements for speedy deletion. Such deletions are ordinary speedy deletions so have no special restrictions on reversibility. Page-level sanctions refer to limitations on the ability to edit pages, or to edit pages in a particular manner, not to deleting pages.

This borrows from the lead sentence of Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion.

Background: Universa Blockchain Protocol was deleted with the rationale "Covert advertising. Page-level sanction under WP:GS/Crypto". At Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2018 July 9#Universa Blockchain Protocol, the community was divided over whether community general sanctions permitted the deletion of pages within the scope of the sanction. The DRV closer wrote, "The community discussion needed to resolve the apparent policy conflict instead needs to happen in a wider venue, such as in a policy RfC, and any who are interested in this issue are invited to initiate such a discussion."

The current community general sanctions are:

  1. Wikipedia:General sanctions/South Asian social groups
  2. Wikipedia:General sanctions/Syrian Civil War and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
  3. Wikipedia:General sanctions/Units in the United Kingdom
  4. Wikipedia:General sanctions/Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
  5. Wikipedia:General sanctions/Professional wrestling
  6. Wikipedia:General sanctions/India–Pakistan conflict

The outcome of the RfC will apply to all community general sanctions. This RfC will not apply to Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions, which can be directly modified by only arbitrators who discussed whether deletions should be permitted under discretionary sanctions and did not reach a conclusion or indirectly narrowed in scope by the community through an amendment of Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy.

Related previous discussions:

  1. Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2018 July 9#Universa Blockchain Protocol
  2. Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion/Archive 71#Discussion of speedy deletion under WP:GS/Crypto at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2018 July 9#Universa Blockchain Protocol
  3. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive300#Cryptocurrency general sanctions and Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2018 July 9#Universa Blockchain Protocol

Thank you, SmokeyJoe (talk · contribs), DGG (talk · contribs), and Hut 8.5 (talk · contribs) for your earlier feedback about this proposed RfC. Thank you, DGG, for your suggested wording which I have used here. I welcome further feedback about the proposed community general sanctions RfC.

Cunard (talk) 04:21, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

  • Cunard, I don't buy the argument that this cannot apply to ArbCom. WP:ARBPOL says that it governs ArbCom and can only be changed in nominated ways, but it does not need changing. It already says that ArbCom cannot make / change policy, so if the community includes in deletion policy that deletions outside of that policy are forbidden, that is policy by which ArbCom and AE are bound according to ARBPOL, as are general sanctions. I suggest the RfC modify the deletion policy to say that deletions can only be carried out according to that policy or under CSD. EdChem (talk) 06:00, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia:Deletion policy#Reasons for deletion says "Reasons for deletion include, but are not limited to, the following". It could be modified to say "Reasons for deletion are limited to the following" but I do not know if there are other reasons for deletion that should be included in the list before such a wording is implemented. Cunard (talk) 06:30, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I would modify Wikipedia:Deletion_policy#Processes to state that deletion may only be via the processes outlined below, and then add to the list deletions outside of article space by an ArbCom case or by a motion of ArbCom and based on private information received that is unsuited to community disclosure. I would add that ArbCom is not permitted to delegate this authority as it is inappropriate for private information of this nature to be disclosed, and so if any such information is provided to any other editor, it should be forwarded on to ArbCom in confidence. EdChem (talk) 08:26, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    PS: We could add to this that deletions may occur during GS proceedings but must follow these same processes. EdChem (talk) 08:29, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @EdChem and Cunard: such changes to the deletion policy and deletion process pages would be inherently incompatible with one of our core policies. This RfC and the proposal below aren’t particularly useful in my opinion, but also wouldn’t exactly change anything. What would be exceptionally harmful would be your proposed changes to the deletion process and deletion policy pages. Not to mention G6 exists, which the community has in the past agreed is the embodiment of IAR for deletion purposes, despite what the process wonkery at WT:CSD would ordinarily have you believe about it. If what you want is “all deletions must be appealed to DRV rather than any other forum, and no other policy can override that” fine, just say that, but don’t come up with a proposal to throw IAR out the window like you’re currently discussing. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:37, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • TonyBallioni, the issue here is not merely whether a deletion can be done with DS / AE protection and without any policy justification except IAR, though that claim was not made in this case. The issue also includes ArbCom being able to IAR its way around ARBPOL to make policy, empower admins to delete without support of the deletion policy, and then prevent DRV appeal. I agree with SmokeyJoe, a community response is needed here. IAR is fine for cases where improving the encyclopaedia is being impeded by bureaucracy, but its purpose is not to have admins be able to delete pages without justification under the deletion policy nor to allow ArbCom to side-step ARBPOL. If you want to express frustration about the present situation, I suggest you direct it at the cause. EdChem (talk) 14:17, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I honestly have no clue how any of what you said relates to what I said. This is about GS, not AE/DS. If you want to talk about ArbCom, see my comments below, where I’m pointing out that there’s moral outrage over deletion as an AE outcome, something that has only been done twice, and that this is less than helpful.
    What I was saying here is that your proposed changes to the deletion policy are explicitly against one of our core principles, and that all of our policies are written in a way to document best practice. Limiting use of any tool to a specific set of circumstances won’t work and can’t work because we can’t foresee every circumstance. I don’t really care either way on whether deletion can be a page level sanction, but I do care about what collateral damage this anger over 2-3 occurrences over 18 years will do. Your discussion immediately above with Cunard could have a lot of unintended consequences, which is why I’m speaking out against modifying the deletion policy or deletion process pages to fix a situation that rarely if ever arises. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:32, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • ArbCom have proceeded to flout deletion policy and subvert DRV by implicitly authorising AE admins to delete outside deletion policy, under protection of their pseudo-policy. A community response is demanded. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:21, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I haven't followed any of this that closely, but this looks like a lot of words to say "Sysops can only speedy-delete things that meet speedy-delete criteria." The change is intended to exclude/allow for ArbCom DS and to clarify that "if they say it's part of a community sanction, it isn't." Is that a fair summation of what this is proposing to propose, or am I missing something key? ~ Amory (utc) 10:56, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • So when I said clarify that "if they say it's part of a community sanction, it isn't" that was correct? As for the rest, I think maybe I wasn't clear in mentioning discretionary sanctions — I was saying this section's pre-proposal is explicitly not referring to DS, only to general sanctions. ~ Amory (utc) 16:25, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, that was correct. I misunderstood, thank you for clarifying. Cunard (talk) 16:40, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Please don't start the RFC here. The correct place is WP:VPPOL or WP:VPPRO (or if it is possibly going to be lengthy, a subpage of any of the above). --Izno (talk) 14:14, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Proposed amendment to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy regarding the Arbitration Committee's power to authorise deletions[edit]


I am requesting feedback about a proposed amendment to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy regarding the Arbitration Committee's power to authorise deletions. This discussion is not a formal petition to modify the policy.


An administrator deleted User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles with the rationale "Arbitration enforcement action under gun control DS". The term "gun control DS" refers to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun control#Discretionary sanctions.

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions#Page restrictions says:

Any uninvolved administrator may impose on any page or set of pages relating to the area of conflict page protection, revert restrictions, prohibitions on the addition or removal of certain content (except when consensus for the edit exists), or any other reasonable measure that the enforcing administrator believes is necessary and proportionate for the smooth running of the project.

The dispute is whether "any other reasonable measure that the enforcing administrator believes is necessary" includes the deletion of a page as part of the discretionary enforcement process. The Arbitration Committee at a recently closed clarification request did not decide whether pages can be deleted under "other reasonable measures" as part of the enforcement process. The Committee instead passed the motion:

All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.

There is further discussion about the motion on the Arbitration Committee noticeboard here.

Current conflict between deletion review and arbitration enforcement

Both Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 February 24#User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles and Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement reviewed User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles.

Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 February 24#User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles was closed as "The clear consensus is that this deletion should be overturned per the deletion policy. It now requires arbcom to sanction this." At a parallel review of the deletion at the still open WP:AE request titled "Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Dlthewave", there is currently no "clear and substantial consensus of uninvolved administrators at AE" to undelete the page.

Why is a change needed to the Arbitration policy to prohibit deletions under discretionary sanctions

Without a change to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy:


As noted here, the community cannot directly amend Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions because it is an Arbitration Committee decision. Limiting the scope of the Arbitration Committee's discretionary sanctions requires modifying Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy.

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Ratification and amendment says:

Once adopted by the Committee, this policy will undergo formal ratification through a community referendum and will enter into force once it receives majority support, with at least one hundred editors voting in favour of adopting it. Until this policy is ratified, the existing arbitration policy remains in effect.

Amendments to this policy require an identical ratification process. Proposed amendments may be submitted for ratification only after being approved by a majority vote of the Committee, or having been requested by a petition signed by at least one hundred editors in good standing.

Here are different petitions that can be submitted to modify Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy to prohibit discretionary sanctions deletions:

Proposed petitions about the Arbitration Committee's jurisdiction over authorising deletion, undeletion, and redirect of pages

This paragraph of the "Policy and precedent" section of the arbitration policy:

The arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy by fiat. The Committee's decisions may interpret existing policy and guidelines, recognise and call attention to standards of user conduct, or create procedures through which policy and guidelines may be enforced. The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated.

is amended to add the underlined text (each petition is a possible separate amendment):

Petition 1: The Committee's discretionary sanctions must not authorise the deletion, undeletion, or redirection of pages in any namespace.

Petition 2: The Committee does not have jurisdiction over authorising the deletion, undeletion, blanking, or redirection of pages in any namespace.

Petition 3: In its dispute resolution and user conduct role, the Committee does not have jurisdiction over authorising the deletion, undeletion, blanking, or redirection of pages in any namespace.

Petition 4: In its dispute resolution and user conduct role, the Committee does not have jurisdiction over authorising the deletion, undeletion, blanking, or redirection of pages in any namespace. In its role of handling private information, the Committee may delete pages as privacy violations or under child protection. (The "privacy violations" and "child protection" wording is from Wikipedia:Office actions.)

Petition 4a: In its dispute resolution and user conduct role, the Committee does not have jurisdiction over authorising the deletion, undeletion, blanking, or redirection of pages in any namespace. The Committee may delete pages it deems unsuitable for public view based on private information it has received.

Notes on each petition:

Petition 1 is the narrowest amendment and only prohibits discretionary sanctions from authorising deletion and other related actions.

Petition 2 is the broadest amendment in that it prohibits the Arbitration Committee from authorising deletion and other related actions.

Petition 3 is a narrower amendment than Petition 2 in that it prohibits the Arbitration Committee from authorising deletion and other related actions in only its dispute resolution and conduct role. It takes no view on whether the Committee can delete pages after receiving private information that makes Committee members want to delete a page.

Petition 4 is the same as Petition 3 except it explicitly authorises the Arbitration Committee to delete pages as privacy violations or under child protection after receiving private information. The adding wording was based on feedback here about why banning the Arbitration Committee from deleting pages could be undesirable.

Petition 4a removes is the same as Petition 3 except it explicitly authorises the Arbitration Committee to delete pages unsuitable for public view based on private information. The adding wording was based on feedback here about why banning the Arbitration Committee from deleting pages could be undesirable.

I am inclined to submit petition 4 to the petition process. If discussion here indicates that petition 4 is undesirable, I plan to submit petition 3 to the petition process. If discussion here indicates that petitions 3 and 4 are undesirable, I plan to submit petition 1 to the petition process.

I also welcome feedback about whether a different petition wording is preferable over the four petitions listed here.

Thank you, Alanscottwalker (talk · contribs), BU Rob13 (talk · contribs), DGG (talk · contribs), GreenMeansGo (talk · contribs), King of Hearts (talk · contribs), Levivich (talk · contribs), SmokeyJoe (talk · contribs), SportingFlyer (talk · contribs), S Marshall (talk · contribs), Timotheus Canens (talk · contribs), and Xymmax (talk · contribs) for your earlier feedback about the proposed petition to amend the Arbitration policy.

Cunard (talk) 05:56, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

  • @Cunard: If you do submit petition 4, please amend it to read "based on private information" rather than explicitly enumerating private cases in which ArbCom can act. There's a few reasons for this. First, what comes through our inbox is unpredictable, and using narrowly-defined cases rather than the somewhat broader (but still tailored) umbrella of "private information" risks us discovering a situation not covered by those narrow cases and being unable to act without drawing attention to a private situation. Second, the narrower the use cases, the more information we're giving by simply marking a deletion as an ArbCom action, which frustrates the point of having a body able to act on information that must be kept private.

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, no part of ARBPOL should explicitly put child protection on ArbCom's plate. That is the domain of the WMF, or should be, anyway. In reality, we may have to step in on a child protection matter if it is urgent or the WMF fails to act, but we should not make that routine. I would be very uncomfortable with explicitly writing this out as a role of ArbCom in ARBPOL. In fact, I would resign immediately, as I wouldn't consider myself qualified to hold a role that deals with child protection as a matter of routine. ~ Rob13Talk 06:06, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

    • Also, as a side note, I'm attempting to come to a compromise on wording of the discretionary sanctions procedures that would limit the ability of admins to delete certain pages as AE actions. If you could hold a bit to see if that bears fruit, I would appreciate it. I expect the idea I'm trying to hammer out would address the concerns of most people. ~ Rob13Talk 06:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
      • BU Rob13 (talk · contribs), thank you for explaining how to improve petition 4's current wording. Would this work: "The Committee may delete pages it deems unsuitable for public view based on private information it has received." To BU Rob13 and the community: Would the "pages it deems unsuitable for public view" wording be too ambiguous or broad? Is there a better or more narrow wording than this one that would not enumerate all the private cases in which the Arbitration Committee can act?

        I would prefer that pages including those like User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles be taken off the table for discretionary sanctions deletions since it is bad to have Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 February 24#User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing of firearms articles reach a clear overturn conclusion and an AE appeal for the same page likely to reach a no "clear and substantial consensus of uninvolved administrators at AE" to overturn because the two venues have different standards. I believe that the DRV standards should be applied to page deletions rather than the AE standards. I am willing to wait to see whether your work on the discretionary sanctions procedure will bear fruit. Thank you for your work on this.

        Cunard (talk) 06:22, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

        • Cunard, the difference between DRV and AE is not merely the standard applied, it is also the question considered. DRV looks at whether the page should have been deleted, whether there is a policy-based justification, etc. AE looks at whether the action is within administrator discretion under DS. An AE deletion is endorsed even if every admin who comments says "I wouldn't have done that but I can see how it is a possible conclusion to reach and so is an allowable exercise of discretion." It is true that AE can also say "looking at the page, the deletion decision is unreasonable / goes beyond allowable discretion" but the process as now enforced does not mandate that there be a consensus in favour of the deletion for it to be upheld, it merely requires there to be no consensus that the decision was outside of discretion. Whatever Rob is trying to achieve (and I hope it is positive), the Committee's decision not to decide on AE deletions but to strengthen the protections around them nonetheless proves that we have a problem that requires change be imposed by the community. EdChem (talk) 06:35, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • The policy and precedent section should be strengthened by including a clear statement that the Committee is bound by policy, something like:

All operations of the Arbitration Committee are bound by policy adopted by the English Wikipedia community, overruled only by WMF actions and the Terms of Use. In particular, the arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy. The Committee's decisions may interpret existing policy and guidelines, recognise and call attention to standards of user conduct, or create procedures through which policy and guidelines may be enforced. The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated. In creating or modifying its own policies and procedures, the Committee may not act outside the bounds of English Wikipedia policy nor delegate powers beyond its own.

The adoption of a clear change to the deletion policy to clarify that no deletion power is held beyond in the privacy-related cases of provision 4 can then be implemented. I do agree with Rob that that reserved area of authority should be drawn broadly to handle the variety of circumstances that might arise, and that we should do nothing to imply child protection is anyone but the WMF's responsibility. I also think that the power to delete in such cases should be the Committee's alone, and not delegable to AE or via DS. EdChem (talk) 06:23, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, EdChem (talk · contribs). I would strongly support this wording change to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Policy and precedent in conjunction with the change to deletion policy. I support your taking the lead on proposing these changes if you are open to doing so. Cunard (talk) 06:35, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Responding after Cunard's ping: I agree there's a problem that needs to be solved, but I disagree with all four of these proposals. I believe administrators should have the ability to delete pages as needed as part of required sanctions. The issue here was whether the page violated WP:POLEMIC, directly related to the user's sanction. Upon review one of the administrators concluded the page did not violate WP:POLEMIC, and the other administrator recommended deletion review. Procedurally, I think this played out exactly the way it needed to, but the procedure itself isn't quite there, with threats of desysops and the like. I would be in favor of: if an administrator makes a public deletion of a page under discretionary sanctions, the deleted page may be submitted to deletion review after an appeal is filed and an administrator responds. Once properly submitted to deletion review, any administrator may close the DRV/undelete page history/undelete the page without fear of sanctions. Office actions are obviously not reviewable. That policy, or something similar, would be my preference - otherwise, you run the risk of a page needing to be deleted that doesn't get deleted for a week or two while the community decides whether it needs to be deleted, and considering the majority of these will likely be MfDs, which are poorly attended anyways, I'm in favour of a firm administrative fist. SportingFlyer T·C 08:10, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
    • SportingFlyer, can you suggest a situation where no CSD criterion would apply but a page needs deleting urgently? EdChem (talk) 08:33, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
      • @EdChem: I don't think "urgently" is the correct term. I think the situation is similar to the one here, where the arbitration committee concludes deletion is an appropriate sanction, which, let's be honest, should be very rare or at the very least a unique situation. Let's hypothetically take away the ability for the arbitration committee to delete pages in this scenario: the page gets sent to MfD by the arbitrator, users who not necessarily aware of the conflict !vote on it, and the MfD outcome may be inconsistent with the arbitration sanction. If we give the arbitrators the ability to delete pages in this manner, but we also allow deletion review to check to make sure the deletion was consistent with the arbitration sanction, we effectively shift the deletion burden from the arbitrator (who must convince the MfD voters the sanction is appropriate) to the editor under sanctions (who must convince DRV the arbitrator deleted a page outside the scope of the sanction), and I'm very, very comfortable with that. SportingFlyer T·C 01:08, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  • A word about why BuRob13 wanted to avoid mentioning child protection--arb com for many years has worked very hard to get the WMF Trust and Safety people to take over this extremely difficult and sensitive area; about 5 years they finally agreed to, and have been dealing with it every since. I, and I believe the others of us in some way involved, are of the opinion they have met their responsibilities here quite well, and certainly better and more consistently and more professionally than we could have. You will almost never see actual cases referred to on-wiki now, but they handle it as needed, and they do keep arbcom informed to an appropriate extent. We needn't and shouldn't specify anything here about this.
Similarly, we need not really be concerned about the need to make explicit provisions to react to emergencies and dangerous vandalism and clear privacy problems. We have checkuser and oversight blocks, and even for an ordinary admin blocking for these reasons and specifying it, no admin is going to revert (when necessary, the practice is to convert an ordinary admin block in these areas to oversight or checkuser blocks).
The purpose of these proposals is to nto prevent admins from taking needed action, but from overreaching. No admin will fail to take really needed emergency action, but there is a certain temptation to overreach. DGG ( talk ) 08:58, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I have stricken petition 4 and replaced it with petition 4a to remove the child protection mention. Cunard (talk) 15:36, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't want to let ARBCOM make decisions based on private information as it's going to leave vast arguments about "why is the private information, which obviously can't be so clearly disputed, given extra authorisation to encourage deletions?" The WMF should be handling risks to health and child protection ones. So why didn't I go for petition 2? - because hard cases make bad law, and I can see situations where ARBCOM might need to delete pages. Thus, this is a firm support for proposal 1. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:16, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • It seems that the petition 1's narrow change would be the most likely to achieve consensus. Cunard (talk) 15:36, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the ping. I would support any of the four petitions, but I'd rather have different language. It seems to me the important point is that all deletions are reviewable at DRV. If Arbcom wants to authorize deletions as a DS sanction, and have such deletions reviewed at AE under AE standards, that's all fine and well... but the outcome of that process, like any deletion process, gets reviewed at DRV. So, I'd be in favor of a one-sentence addition to ARBPOL and/or DELPOL (e.g., "Deletions authorized by the arbitration committee are reviewable at DRV like any other deletion."). As practically applied here, that means that even if the Firearms articles deletion is upheld at AE, that page would be undeleted because of the outcome of the DRV. My logic is that Arbcom and AE can evaluate an administrator's conduct in deleting a page, but DRV evaluates the content of the page and determines whether the page should be deleted. Thus, a proper exercise of DS discretion may result in a page that is nevertheless undeleted at DRV (if AE determines it's "within discretion", but DRV determines the page should not be deleted, which seems to be a possible result in the pending Firearms articles case), and an improper exercise of DS discretion may result in a page that stays deleted anyway (if AE determines it's not within DS discretion, but DRV determines that the page should be deleted anyway for some non-DS reason, e.g., a CSD criteria). Levivich 15:43, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Arbitrary Break[edit]

  • Can we leave this as no petition? The struggle ArbCom had over the past few months agreeing on wording themselves shows how complicated this is, and any amendment is likely to be extremely divisive and controversial for something that happens maybe once a year. I think starting this petition would be a net-negative for the community. TonyBallioni (talk) 11:24, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
@TonyBallioni: - while there is some merit to this argument, it is in effect an agreement to sacrifice some portion of the encylopedia for the sake of our internal coherence. That's an even more inimical argument that the one that underpins GS, which sacrifices a calmer route to protection and blocks in order to protect the articles. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:17, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Except based on a scan of WP:AELOG, you’re trying to write a policy to fix something that has been done exactly twice over 7 years. This is not needed and I would personally consider any attempt to change the policy disruptive in the sense that the discussion itself will likely not achieve a clear result, users will likely retire, and as a whole figuring out the wording here will have significantly more cost than it has benefit, even if I was a raging ARS inclusionist (which I’m not.) TonyBallioni (talk) 13:24, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
@TonyBallioni: It's more extraordinary than once a year. To my knowledge, the AE deletion by GoldenRing was the first deletion that has been carried out under ArbCom authorization ever. ~ Rob13Talk 14:08, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
BU Rob13, yeah. I checked the AELOG after posting it, and it happened once before in 2012 (Timotheus Canens was the deleting admin.) If anything the length of times between the deletions makes it even less of an issue than if GoldenRing’s was unprecedented, because it shows it’s happened before and didn’t start a trend. Outside the divisiveness aspect, the real issue with both of these proposals and the discussion above isn’t that they threaten admins’ ability to use DS: that’s virtually never used. It’s the trend towards writing IAR out of the deletion policy that is being discussed along with it. I’m sure ArbCom receives things that need deletions discreetly on occasion, as does the oversight team, as does even the SPI team. There are very legitimate grounds to apply IAR to deletion in some cases, and moving towards getting rid of that concept based on moral outrage of someone using deletion as a DS for the second time ever isn’t helpful. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:23, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Adding wording to bar discretionary sanctions deletions should not be divisive particularly since discretionary sanctions deletions happened twice ever. The Arbitration Committee had a motion here to add three words to instruct administrators that discretionary sanctions should not be used "to delete pages". If that motion had passed, this would not be needed.

    I am fine with IAR deletions where the circumstances warrant it (example here). I am not fine with discretionary sanctions deletions where an admin who did a temporary undeletion for non-admins to review could be desysopped for violating WP:AC/DS#sanctions.modify and where WP:AE standards and practices apply rather than WP:DRV ones (EdChem explained why that is undesirable here).

    Cunard (talk) 15:36, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

  • That it's only happened twice, and at least one of those was overturned at DRV, kind of proves that we don't need DS deletions, doesn't it? Levivich 15:43, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Having looked over these discussions, I can see both sides of the issue, but I also see that this is an issue that has arisen only rarely. At this stage, given the degree of controversy caused by the AE-based deletion, I expect that admins will delete pages based only on an arbitration remedy, if at all, very sparingly. As such, I'm not convinced that the issue warrants the degree of community time and attention that a series of RfCs or an ArbPol amendment proposal would necessarily generate. I suggest that the issue be put aside at this time and allow some time to pass to determine whether there is a practice issue here as opposed to a mostly theoretical one. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:11, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

I don't see this as theoretical: the practical dispute or "test case" is already here: User:Dlthewave/Whitewashing_of_firearms_articles. The deletion of that page has been overturned at DRV. If the appeal of the page's deletion at AE is declined, what will happen to the page? If it's deleted, that would be a problem that needs addressing, and the only way to address it would be a policy clarification. Levivich 17:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Compromise reasoning - there seem lots of concerns, perhaps justifiably, that the debate itself could cause major issues. I can understand that petitions 2-4b are major alterations and could cause severe disputes. On that basis, I've firmed up my pseudo-ballot !vote above, and think that if we are going to have a petition (which I encourage, others obviously disagree) then the logical compromise is 1, above and beyond its "direct" pros for it as a choice. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:04, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Why is this here[edit]

The fox asks, "Why do you think the proper venue is WP:VPPOL?? Atsme Talk 📧 21:19, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

This seems like the worst place to have this discussion, 1) It's not where we change policy 2) These issues are about communally curbing admin claimed discretion (or reigning in abuse of discretion), so it makes no sense to have them on this board as the issue is for all Wikipedians. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:31, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

I started the discussion here since this is a highly visible board. Feel free to move this to a better venue. Cunard (talk) 15:36, 22 April 2019 (UTC)


At the moment ArbCom have not authorised deletion. The Committee could not reach an agreement on that, so nothing has changed on that matter. What the motion that did pass say is that if there is again a deletion made under authority of ArbCom, the matter needs to come first to AE. The motion was merely clarifying where the discussion should first take place, and that the action should not be undone until the matter has been discussed. The Committee are divided on the exact power of ArbCom to delete. My personal feeling is that a deletion which is ordinarily allowable under deletion policy can and should be allowable under ArbCom protection in order to prevent an action which violates an ArbCom sanction being protected from being reversed. For example, if ArbCom have banned User:Foo from creating articles related to feces, and Foo creates an article on I Flingdung a notable gong farmer, then such an article can be deleted under G5. If such a deletion is contested by User:Foo, it could then be undeleted while DRV discusses the matter. What the new motion has done is clarify that the deletion is under the protection of ArbCom, so the matter is first discussed at AE, and if the deletion is agreed to fall under the sanction, and the deletion is within policy, then it remains in force.

While I do feel that the community should be gradually winding down ArbCom, and taking over all dispute resolution, until that formally happens I would be uncomfortable with a petition which weakened ArbCom's special status as being the only elected body which can make final and binding decisions. I feel that any action which is within policy and which is done to enforce an ArbCom sanction must be allowed. If we start to eat away at ArbCom's powers of enforcing a sanction we weaken ArbCom. Today it's deletion, tomorrow it's page protection, next week it's site banning, next month it's desysopping. Fine if we want to talk about disbanding ArbCom, but while we still have it, we need to make sure ArbCom keeps its ability to enforce sanctions.

So, I am not in favour of ArbCom being able to delete outside of policy, and I don't think there is consensus in the Committee for such a step. But I am in favour of ArbCom being able to delete within policy, and for challenges to such deletions being first handled within ArbCom's arena. So I would not be in favour of any petition or motion which explicitly bans ArbCom from deletion within policy in order to enforce a sanction. SilkTork (talk) 18:24, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Alternatively, if we don't stop them now, today it's page deletion, tomorrow it's permabans, then site-wide General Sanctions - in this aspect, the slippery slope argument is completely both directions. Editors may make of that what they will. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:42, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
"if there is again a deletion made under authority of ArbCom, the matter needs to come first to AE" is not a clarification. It is an amendment to long-standing policy and practise. This creates two different sorts of deletion. The difference between a deletion taking under normal admin discretion and a deletion "made under authority of ArbCom" is that the latter cannot be reversed under normal admin discretion, and if it is challenged, the community does not get to decide on the outcome – that decision is to be based on whether the deletion could be construed as possible, not that it is a good idea.
ArbCom has provided no reasons why creating this protected-class of deletions would improve the encyclopedia. If we had a slew of cases where an "ArbCom authorised deletion" (AAD) was overturned by individual admins, under normal admin discretion, I might be persuaded to see some point in having a protected class of deletions. The fact is that we have exactly zero cases where an individual admin has made a decision to contradict another admin and overturn their AAD. There's simply no need for ArbCom to change our normal deletion policies and procedures. --RexxS (talk) 12:39, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Allowing the type of deletion which prompted this case would set a very bad precedent. The issue involves an admin who decided to summarily delete a userspace page for violation of the userspace guidelines. While that is in principle a valid reason to delete pages, and therefore "within policy", the admin would normally have been required to open a deletion discussion and get a consensus. ArbCom wasn't able to agree that allowing this was a bad idea. Logically, if this was allowed, it would extend to other reasons for deleting pages which are usually settled through discussion, such as notability. Admins would be able to delete articles on topics they think are non-notable, without consulting anyone, as long as they said the magic words when doing so. This only applies to areas covered by discretionary sanctions but that's a huge scope. The BLP sanctions alone apply to almost a million pages. There is a very strong consensus that admins are not allowed to delete pages for reasons like this on their own judgement.
Furthermore, I don't see why ArbCom is trying to legislate in this area. ArbCom is supposed to stick to rulings about conduct and leave content well alone. They wouldn't be able to order that a certain paragraph must be removed from an article, for example. It follows that they shouldn't be able to rule that the entire article should be deleted. G5 is a red herring here, G5 deletions are authorised under the community's speedy deletion policy, not an ArbCom ruling. This is an area where the community has plenty of longstanding rules and procedures, and ArbCom shouldn't be trying to get rid of them for a large chunk of the encyclopedia. Hut 8.5 18:35, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Here's a general challenge, henceforth to be known as Marshall's Challenge:- Please provide any example of a page that needs to be deleted, but can't wait for an XfD, shouldn't be oversighted, shouldn't be an office action, and has no applicable CSD. If you can provide any example of a page like that, then I'll agree it's appropriate for Arbcom to arrogate to itself this new power.—S Marshall T/C 19:35, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Billie Eilish's cjunt TonyBallioni (talk) 19:38, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
 Note: the deletion of the page (log entry) gives G6: Housekeeping and routine (non-controversial) cleanup: WP:DENY as the rationale for the deletion. --DannyS712 (talk) 20:15, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
For users who can't look at it, it was a totally unnecessary SPI request for three already-blocked accounts with synonymous usernames.
I'm comfortable with calling the page speedyable vandalism, for much the same reason nobody bats an eye about deleting redirects created from reverting page-move vandalism, despite both being deliberately created in good faith by non-vandal users. —Cryptic 20:26, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
I mean, it was a good deletion on my part, and we get crap like that all the time at SPI. I called it G6, you call it G3, but in reality, it is a page that most reasonable people would agree should have been deleted and I deleted it as an IAR G6. My point here is that OMG deletion must be totally exempt from IAR and nothing that isn't strictly within policy mantra that we're getting because of this ArbCom case isn't exactly applicable when you get into some of the more sensitive behind the scenes areas of the project such as SPI, oversight, and much of the stuff that I'm assuming goes to private arb email. I've also deleted pages where people request OS where I don't think suppression is appropriate, but keeping the page around or sending it through an XfD aren't really good ideas either (I think I may call them U5 to avoid questions, but they're also really IAR.)
I don't really have an opinion on the whole AE deletion drama, but I absolutely do not like the direction this discussion is going over the moral outrage on deletions that don't fit perfectly with WP:CSD or whatever policy.
The simple facts of the matter are that most administrators do not want to get involved in content issues, but in some complex cases the deletion policy doesn't fit perfectly. In those cases, we do what is in the best interest of the encyclopedia. I usually do my best to do it subtly, which AE never is, and rewriting policy based on two cases in 18 years is a horrible idea if such a rewrite could have ripple effects. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:39, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't see why that couldn't have waited for an XfD, if you'd happened to be inclined to follow the process.—S Marshall T/C 21:11, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Have a little think about why you're wrong and get back to us when you work it out. Nick (talk) 21:25, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
does it serve any benefit to the project to keep it? No. Praxidicae (talk) 21:22, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
“IAR G6” is a contradiction. I have long supported giving SPI clerks and admins authority to deleted SPI subpages at their discretion. It seems they do anyway. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:25, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Look, reasonable people can disagree whether or which csd criteria are applicable to a particular page, or whether it's more harmful or not to publicize the page on MFD for a week. What has people so upset is that, ordinarily, when they do disagree, and there isn't a consensus at DRV that the deletion was correct, it gets restored and sent to MFD or AFD or wherever. That's what community-written policy and practice has evolved to say. Now we've instead got a body which, while professing not to have the power to overrule policy, authorizes individual admins to set the much higher bar of requiring a positive consensus that deletion wasn't even arguably correct. Plus, all you peons without the deletedtext right? Your input doesn't matter, because any admin who tries to temporarily undelete the material to let you have a say does so under explicit threat of desysop. Once you can look at deleted pages, it's very, very easy to forget that, to those who can't, there's no completely uncontroversial use of the delete button. —Cryptic 21:54, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Propose giving ArbCom the ability to write policy, so at least when they do it, we can call it what it is, and subject it to community review. GMGtalk 22:51, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Review at Spam whitelist[edit]

@Feminist and Newslinger: (since these editors respectively requested whitelisting and blacklisting)

I am at the moment (apparently) the only admin granting/declining spam whitelist requests, and I have expressed extensive opinion on a request at MediaWiki talk:Spam-whitelist#"News" and "Reviews" sections of The Points Guy (, I really don't see the need seen spam and reliability concerns, taking into account a low frequency of use and that much material is replaceable.

I think it is better that independent (knowledgeable) admins have a look at the relevant discussions and advice on outcome (if needed I can execute an independent decision if the reviewing admin does not feel confident editing the regexes). --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:04, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

Requesting Closure review of Ilhan Omar RfC[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
I sustain the closure, and recommend that you start a discussion to choose appropriate wording. You can moot variants in a second RFC if unstructured discussion does not lead to a result. Jehochman Talk 15:22, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

This is about a week old, but there's still no real progress toward implementing the RfC result, and I think that's probably because the close itself is flawed. I think it's worth asking for another admin to take a second look at @Thryduulf:'s close on the Ilhan Omar RfC. In brief: the RfC asks whether the allegations that Omar made antisemitic comments should be mentioned in the lead paragraph. The close finds that there is some support for mentioning these events, but no consensus on a wording. I have several problems which I detailed on Thryduulf's page. I'll briefly mention here:

  1. There's some valid policy-based reasoning on both sides, and a slight majority of editors (I know) are either opposed to mentioning the controversy or are opposed to the specific wording proposed in the RfC. If there were no policy-based reasoning behind the no votes, this would be fine, but Thryduulf's dismissal of the argument seems like it mis-characterizes what editors were saying when they cited WP:RECENTISM.
  2. I'm really unclear on what, exactly, the consensus is supposed to be. Is it a consensus favoring the specific mention of allegations of anti-semitism? Favoring a general mention of controversy? The story has continued to develop even after the RfC discussion died out, and I think the story here has shifted enough that a lot of the discussion is obsolete and doesn't consider recent events.

There's no clear path forward other than "start another RfC to figure out a new wording", which seems like it's essentially the same as "no consensus" - but I'm honestly not sure what the RfC should look like. Does the previous close mean that "leave the allegations out of the lead entirely" is off the table here? Nblund talk 13:42, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

User page in violation of WP:NOTHOSTING[edit]

Resolved via templating. — xaosflux Talk 01:57, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I believe that this userpage is in violation of WP:What Wikipedia is not: User:Naveed_Ali_Mandanr/sandboxBladeRikWr 14:36, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

@BladeRikWr: for a 'soft touch' since this editor is mostly inactive, replacing the content with {{Userpage blanked}} is generally sufficient for a primary user sandbox. If you want to make a 'bigger deal' about it, you can list at WP:MFD. — xaosflux Talk 15:46, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Roger. I will be going for the soft touch approach. Thank you for your help! — BladeRikWr 16:02, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion at meta about turning off local file uploads[edit]

Since no-one at meta has decided to advertise this attempt to supercede local policy on enwiki at all, any editors interested in files should have a look at meta:NonFreeWiki. ~ Rob13Talk 00:32, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

BU Rob13, I voted on this before realizing it's actually from 2014. Is this still being considered? – bradv🍁 01:08, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't entirely see how this attempts to supersede local policy. We would still have the non-free content policy, we just wouldn't host the files here. Each use here would require the appropriate rationale. The 4th point in fact is This proposal would move almost all the non-free content to one multilingual location together with all the related documentation and templates. The non-free content would then be available for use by other wikis on a limited basis, in the same way that Commons files can be linked to, but with a fair-use rationale for each use depending on the local restrictions. (Emphasis mine.) Never mind Brad's comment. --Izno (talk) 02:01, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Huh. Seems I got worked up over nothing. I was prodded by a Commons editor with this proposal earlier today without context, and I didn't think to check timestamps, since it's typically a good bet that an editor reaching out about a proposal is reaching out about a current proposal. I assumed it was relatively recent. It is not, as it turns out (though it's more recent than 2014 - there was active discussion as recently as 2017/2018). This can probably be hatted. ~ Rob13Talk 02:45, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
While it's never received proper notification, I wouldn't say no one has advertised it. It was mentioned here Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine/Archive 56#NonFreeWiki and here Wikipedia:Village_pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 55#Ongoing proposals at Meta-wiki. They are also 40+ other separate wikipedia name space pages and a total of 350+ total pages with mentions arising I think largely from the creator mentioning it in their sig back in 2014 e.g. Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 110#RfC: Largest cities of... (2 other mentions in that overall page). None of these mentioned the proposal to turn off local uploads but realistically as much as people like to be paranoid about meta and the WMF, that was never happening without a massive widely advertised RfC. Nil Einne (talk) 07:55, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
To put things a different way, if people are feeling the need to get up in arms about something for whatever random reason, wouldn't meta:NonFreeWiki (2) be a better bet? From what I can tell that one has genuinely never been mentioned here before. It's also newer. It didn't have the turn off local uploads part, but I'm sure people can find something to get worked up about, right? Nil Einne (talk) 08:03, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Without the "turn off local uploads" business, it's not nearly as bad an idea, and doesn't infringe on the decision-making of the enwiki community. ~ Rob13Talk 18:14, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm sure someone can find something to get outraged about and it still seems a better better bet then the IMO pointlessness of this entire thread about a proposal from 2014 with only some minimal recent activity, and the questionable Wording of the first post. Noting of course the first proposal was entirely unclear about how turning off local uploads would be achieved, just saying it should happen. And there's no real indication the WMF would have considered turning off local uploads without the agreement of the local community, and especially not for a proposal which got 47 !votes or votes (not sure which) in 5 years and wit hsome advertising but no proper central notification in projects in would affect. I'm not saying it's a good thing to get outrages about the 2nd proposal either, simply that if we're going to waste our time, why not at least do it on something more recent? (Even if even less !votes/votes, perhaps in part because that one was probably really never advertised here.) Nil Einne (talk) 14:24, 24 April 2019 (UTC)



It was stated on the Wikipedia page that mitragyna speciosa(Kratom) causes respiratory depression, it is a opiate. These are not true facts. I came across this article that states otherwise. Please update and fix. You could say it could be a opiate but still not known. Just a little consideration because this medicinal plant is life saving. Not for me personally but family and friends that are still here after a long standing battle with opiate addiction. All deaths related to Keaton were just as , related. Not the cause and if you mix any kind of drugs that are going to adversely interact or slow breathing it can kill you. Kratom itself doesn't cause this. Thank you so much and have a good day. Any of people want to chime in feel free. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:41, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Moved to Talk:Mitragyna speciosa. --Izno (talk) 01:55, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Bradv appointed as clerk[edit]

The Arbitration Committee is pleased to appoint Bradv (talk · contribs) as an arbitration clerk. Bradv has been in training since December 2018.

The arbitration clerks often need new team members. Any editor who would like to volunteer as an arbitration clerk is welcome to apply by e-mail to

For the Arbitration Committee, AGK ■ 17:22, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Discuss this at: Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Bradv appointed as clerk

Bunch of stale redirects[edit]

Batch-deleted G7 by Fastily (non-admin closure) ——SerialNumber54129 09:20, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Apparently at User:Feminist/sandbox3 there are a whole bunch of unused redirects that Feminist doesn't see the use for anymore. Can we nuke the lot of them per WP:G7? And if not, what other route forward is there? Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 19:13, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

I'm missing a step - can you link where Feminist has requested these be deleted (or at least said they don't see a use for them)? -- Euryalus (talk) 23:05, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Apparently at User talk:RHaworth#Request to delete a batch of pages with diff. Johnuniq (talk) 00:33, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Unless there has been a consensus somewhere that redirects of this format ("People with the last name...") are always unwanted, I feel it would be much better to discuss them at RfD first (a single discussion would be best) to see what the community's take on them is. The redirects are not misleading and might be useful, so it seems most sensible to take the time to check if they are or not. Thryduulf (talk) 00:39, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Here is one such discussion. -- Tavix (talk) 15:18, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Hi, these redirects are unnecessary and I would like them to be deleted under G7. I would also be OK with nominating them for RfD if anyone prefers that. feminist (talk) 02:15, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
@Feminist: if you'd like me to tag them all for an RfD just let me know --DannyS712 (talk) 02:32, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Renaming my account issue[edit]

Hello. I want my account to be renamed because i don't want to appear with my real name any longer. The rename was requested and granted, [13] but then reversed, because i am banned on german wikipedia (with no ban discussion though i did 120.000+ edits). The german ban seems to have my real name connected with this account for ever and ever! Help! I want my privacy back. How do i get renamed? I opened a steward issue on meta [14] and i talked to a renamer in here (User_talk:28bytes#Rename_request), but noone seems to have an answer or be able to rename my account. HELP! I don't want to appear with my real name any more! I opened a new rename request [15]. Please help and rename this account! Schmelzle (talk) 11:08, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

28bytes did rename this editor, but PlyrStar93 then named them back [16] Why is that? ——SerialNumber54129 11:37, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm not a renamer any longer, but when I was, rename requests were typically rejected if the user was indef blocked on their home project. —DoRD (talk)​ 12:46, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Anyway there is no single reason to keep my real name up here forever or to even discuss if its legit to keep my real name up at all. Privacy beats any other thougts. Would you people hiding behind pseudonyms like xeno, Serial Number 54129 or DoRD be lucky to have your real name here even if you do not want it? So please rename. Schmelzle (talk) 12:54, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
The good news is that 2,394 people have this surname. Maybe just register with another account instead. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 13:04, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
  • This has no business on this noticeboard: you are blocked on, and if you wish to be renamed you should either get unblocked there or seek local consensus on that the rename is acceptable. Your rename was discussed and the consensus of renamers was to reverse the rename (full disclosure: I supported the reversal and suggested it on the list after we were notified of the situation.)
    Schmelzle: I will give you a warning in regards to, however, if you continue to use this project as a way to avoid scrutiny on and attempt to force a rename here that has been discussed and rejected globally, I will block you on for disruption. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:09, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Schmelzle: fix ping. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:10, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
I just received a mail from german wikimedia telling me that they are not responsible for the issue (i might forward it to you if you tell me a mail adress). Schmelzle (talk) 13:24, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Who is responsible for this name lock? Who can i talk to so that my name will be changed? Please point me to a person who might be able to change the name. I don not want to appear with my real name on these pages any more. At least a name change on wiki-en and commons will be good for a start. Please help. Schmelzle (talk) 13:19, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Ah. Now indefinitely blocked. For that comment above, I presume. ——SerialNumber54129 13:28, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I was about to comment here, but you beat me to it. I blocked them as this had been discussed pretty extensively and there was a very strong consensus against their position. They continued to beat the issue here, even after my warning to stop as it wasn’t an matter. Based on the two most recent comments, I assumed that this was likely to go on no matter how many ways they were told to stop. I have no objection to anyone unblocking if he promises to stop using us as a way to evade scrutiny on TonyBallioni (talk) 13:35, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
Per Tony. The user was requesting global rename in this project but explains nothing about their block or past issues at German Wikipedia. This was also discussed yesterday between renamers and the reverse reflects consensus. Due to this particular user's history, renaming will be seen as an attempt to hide this user from their previous negative behaviors. However, I just noticed the user again submitted a request for rename after yesterday's request. At Meta, this user was also given a decision as well as instructions for the next step(s). With all these taken into account I agree the user is disruptive in this project and the local block was called for; in any way it seems this issue is taken care of (at least at English Wikipedia), any issues caused by this user at other projects will be addressed at those respective projects. -★- PlyrStar93 Message me. 14:22, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Is the user even active anywhere other than these current requests? If they were blocked 3 years ago and simply want their real name obscured from their edits, I don't really see that as "evading scrutiny" and don't see why dewiki would care if a blocked user, who is not editing there, who is not appealing there, was renamed. –xenotalk 14:44, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
    Per xeno, how is this not a valid WP:RTV request? We regularly rename indef blocked accounts under RTV without question. --Jayron32 15:06, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
    I have no knowledge in renaming -policies, but it might have to do with what lead to their ban/block on de-wikipedia. Lectonar (talk) 15:09, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
@Lectonar: That in itself seems shrouded in mystery [18]. From what I can make out, they were subject to a CU assessment in February 2016, which seems to have been re-started 16 months later, following which they were blocked. It all seems most odd; but then, it's a different country, and they do things differently there. Literally. ——SerialNumber54129 15:23, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
  • @Xeno and Jayron32: this user is not active on I’m unsure about globally. The global rename policy is vague (as all global policies are), but it has traditionally been read as strongly discouraging renaming of users who are blocked on their home project. Someone emailed the renamers list, and there was a strong consensus that this rename should be reversed, which included at least one renamer from Because of SUL, renames have to be global, but all of the policies around usernames are local still. It’s not appropriate for one wiki to be deciding what is considered evasion of scrutiny on another project, which is a large part of the reason these requests are turned down the overwhelming majority of the time. Even our own WP:RTV page mentions that we may not process the requests if the user is subject to a block.
    They still have access to their talk page on They can make a request there, or maybe Lectonar can bring their request to de.wikis AN, but we should not be considering a request here that has already been reviewed by many people from multiple projects when the user in question was never even active here. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:19, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
    Fair enough. I'm old enough to remember the pre-SUL days, and sometimes my memories of the old policies don't carry over well to the modern world. --Jayron32 15:21, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
    By the same token, now enwiki ideals (that a rename from a realnames should generally be granted for privacy purposes) are being subverted by the global policy. We can't break off the user's enwiki username (or stewards would be reluctant to do so, anyway). Though I suspect the user is more concerned about their dewiki edits, so I agree they should really start at a dewiki unblock appeal. –xenotalk 16:57, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Merako Media[edit]

Do any of you collect the names of companies that pay editors? I've edited here for quite a while and have dealt with thousands of paid editors of Indian articles and just saw my FIRST case of someone actually declaring that they are paid to edit. Wow! Anyway, the company is called Merako Media. Kudos to them if they actually told their employee to declare the connection, although I am having problems with the editor... Cyphoidbomb (talk) 15:43, 24 April 2019 (UTC)