Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Macedonia

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Case Opened on 00:10, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Case Closed on 02:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 23:19, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Watchlist all case pages: 1, 2, 3, 4

Please do not edit this page directly unless you wish to become a participant in this case. Only add a statement here after the case has begun if you are named as a party; otherwise, your statement may be placed on the talk page, and will be read in full. Evidence, no matter who can provide it, is very welcome at /Evidence. Evidence is more useful than comments.

Arbitrators, the parties, and other editors may suggest proposed principles, findings, and remedies at /Workshop. That page may also be used for general comments on the evidence. Arbitrators will then vote on a final decision in the case at /Proposed decision.

Once the case is closed, editors may add to the #Log of blocks and bans as needed, but it should not be edited otherwise. Please raise any questions at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration#Requests for clarification, and report violations of remedies at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement.

Involved parties[edit]

Statement by Fut.Perf.[edit]

The next big nationalism case after Azerbaijan-Armenia, Eastern Europe etc. There are three main disputes between four neighbouring nations here:

The players in this edit war are a relatively small number of established ringleaders, plus a large and volatile group of short-lived accounts. The balances of edit-warring firepower are such that the four nations involved have established a local pecking order of POV-pushing: Greek tendentious editing can generally get away with murder; Bulgarian tendentious editing will have its way as long as it's not against the Greeks; Albanian editors get their way because Greeks and Bulgarians come to their aid just to annoy the Macedonians; and most Macedonian editors are immobilized to such a degree they can hardly get an edit through without having it reverted immediately - leading to predictable outbreaks of sock attacks and other forms of retaliatory disruption from their side.

We need topic bans for a couple of ringleaders and revert paroles for at least a dozen others, plus administrative carte blanche for dealing with new disruption, à la Armenia-Azerbaijan.

Fut.Perf. 09:54, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by User:Kékrōps[edit]

User:Future Perfect at Sunrise's claim that "Greek tendentious editing can generally get away with murder" is baffling, given that the "fragile consensus" he mentions has been struck at the expense of the Greek position, and any dissent is immediately censored. The name Macedonia is used throughout Wikipedia in a way that is highly offensive to Greeks, especially Macedonians; see Macedonia naming dispute for further information. Furthermore, his portrayal of one side as the perennial victims is unhelpful in a complicated dispute of this nature. User:Kékrōps 10:54, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Avg[edit]

It is true that this is a very sensitive issue to all parties involved. However, being sensitive does not equal being nationalistic. The recent surge in edit warring occurs because tensions are extremely heightened outside Wikipedia. These weeks or even days are a turning point in the Macedonia naming dispute, since UN is drafting a final plan to be accepted by both RoM and Greece before RoM's entry to NATO. Apart from that, I'm disappointed that User:Future Perfect at Sunrise is clearly taking sides in this dispute. Perhaps he's been long enough to these topics to have lost the balance he should have as an administrator? As a Greek I feel insulted by the use of an expression such as "Greeks can get away with murder", especially without any diff supporting it. So I certainly support this is escalated, in order for ArbCom to establish some guidelines for both editors and admins. --Avg 14:55, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Francis Tyers[edit]

I concur with the point of view of Fut.Perf. In areas such as this, uninvolved admins need more leeway to forcefully arbitrate disputes and get rid of obvious trolls. Part of the problem comes from demographics and wealth, there are more Greeks, and more Bulgarians on the internet than Macedonians. This follows through to Wikipedia. There is a tendency for both Bulgarians and Greeks to "gang up" on Macedonians as Fut. Perf. describes.

Talk pages also generally get filled with nationalist rubbish and personal attacks / comments, one example of the off-topic stuff that goes on in most pages here. Fortunately Fut. Perf. had the good sense to remove this particular lot, but there is so much more.

Topic and article bans would be very welcome for the more disruptive users. Particularly those found engaging in "tag-team" reverting to avoid the 3RR.

I'd like to add that it isn't all users, many Greek, Macedonian and Bulgarian users manage to work on articles together perfectly well (see for example Macedonia (terminology) as suggested by Niko below). I'd like to add that not "practically adopting" the Greek position does not mean the same thing as "practically adopting" the ethnic Macedonian position.

Statement by Ireland101[edit]

I fully agree with the comments of Fut.Perf. The whole issue with Macedonian related articles has gone too far. As mentioned before the fact that members of the other ethnic groups gang up or "tag-team" against the edits of Macedonian users is quite apparent and troubling. This has gone so far that I have even seen ethnic Macedonian users leave Wikipedia because of this sort of injustice. Although some Greek users may not agree Fut.Perf is correct when stating that Greek users can get away with almost anything. The edits speak for themselves as in almost any conflict the Greek side has won. The several users that push the Bulgarian POV are quite successful mainly due to their organization. It is rare that I see edits from Macedonians that aren't reverted within 10 minutes. Besides the fact that it is proven that many of these users use socks I think some more investigation needs to be done as I suspect multiple users may be using those accounts to achive what they have. And as Fut.Perf also mentioned it is quite disappointing to see these users supporting the Albanians just to annoy the Macedonians. A solution must be found for this. Ireland101 21:26, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Li4kata[edit]

All people in Macedonia have a origin ethnic and this ethnic must be clearly showed. E.g. many Bulgarian revolutionaries are considered like ethnic Macedonian in Republic Macedonia. One of discussed people is Boris Sarafov. He is regular Bulgarian military officer, born in Region of Macedonia (present-day in Bulgaria). Some notes:

1. Boris Sarafov in your Memoirs he defined himself like ethnic Bulgarian. Boris Sarafov heve never defined like other ethnic.

2. In Republic of Macedonia defined ethnic origin according to born places. E.g. all members of Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, born in Region of Macedonia are defined like Macedonians (ethnic) and this members born in North Bulgaria or Adrianople Thrace like Bulgarians. Art. 1 from Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization Regulation says, that in organization can member Bulgarians only. For more information see IMRO.

3. Boris Sarafov's brother Krastyo Sarofov is one of most popular and favorite Bulgarian theter actors. In Bulgaria Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts is the only one Theatre and Film Arts institution of higher education for all Bulgaria.

4. In Bulgarian SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library are preserved a lot of IMRO documents and personal correspondence of Boris Sarafov and all Bulgarian national heros from Macedonia, where they many times are defined themself like ethic Bulgarians. I see that for some of Bulgarians national heros there are already for several sources proved them ethnicity. What is need number sources, which put finish of this madness, to be defined some for ethic Macedonian, after he defined himself like Bulgarians! --Li4kata 10:56, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Jingiby[edit]

I will answer to Future with citations from two persons.

- The first one is from Krste Misirkov, the most prominent figure of the ethnic Macedonian national awakening and as he was proclamed from Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts - Macedonian #1 of 20th Century. The citatation is from his mostly known work "On the Macedonian Matters" from 1903, were the central issue was - the existence, or not, of a Macedonian nation distinct from the Bulgarian nation.

"...We spokе Bulgarian language and we believed with Bulgarians is our strong power...The future of Macedonia was in the spiritual union of the Bulgarians in Macedonia... The Macedonian Slavs ware called Bulgarians...The biggest part of the population ware called Bulgarians... All spoke that Macedonians are Bulgarians...".

- The second one is from the former Vice-President and Premier of Republic of Macedonia and now Bulgarian citizen Ljubčo Georgievski.In late summer of 2007 Georgievski published his book "Facing the truth" in Bulgaria. In it he reveals his attitude to Macedonian identity and Bulgarian past in the Republic of Macedonia:

"Why are we ashamed and flee from the truth that whole positive Macedonian revolutionaries traditions comes exactly from Bulgarian Exarchate's part of Macedonian people. We shall not say a new truth if we mention the fact that everyone, Gotse Delchev, Dame Gruev, Giorche Petrov, Pere Toshev - must I list and count all of them - were Bulgarian Exarchate's teachers in Macedonia."

And now we have to change their ethnicity, or what?Jingby 15:51, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Alex ([edit]

I agree with Future Perfect. The fact that there is a pecking order disgusts me and this issue needs to be resolved. I am not saying Macedonians are always the victims but on Wikipedia it seems to be the case.

While Greeks take offense at hearing the name Macedonian referring to the ethnic Macedonians, ethnic Macedonians take offense in not being called Macedonians. The Greeks have the identifier "Greek" and some of them use "Macedonian", the Macedonians only have "Macedonian" and that is where the problem lies. But my question is, why did Greece not have a problem with the Socialist Republic of Macedonia? They used the name Macedonia (not Currently Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) yet Greece and Greeks did not care. And from the official codification (not invention) in 1944 of the Macedonian language up until Macedonian independence, there was no protest from the Greek side. It all happened after independence, when the Greek Government stated that Macedonia is Greek and Greeks started claiming that the use of "Macedonian" in connection with the newly independent country was offensive. After a while, what you claim and what you think can become the same. This may have happened with Skopjan and Slavomacedonian on the other side. Problem is, we can't change anything in terms of what is offensive now.

But in other parts of the world (even Melbourne, which has the most Greeks outside Athens), everybody knows what people mean when saying Macedonia. I went to a school where 1/3 of students were Greek and 1/3 were Macedonian - we learned our respective languages in the school, and no Greek (student, teacher or parent) referred to Macedonians as Slavs or Skopjans, but simply Macedonians. If you ask any Greek, regardless of geographical region, where they come from, they will say Greece, not Macedonia, not Thessaly but Greece. The ones that say Macedonia refer to the country, and even Greeks know this. I have even seen nationalist (or maybe just racist) Greeks saying "Macedonians Suck" - and that is a partial resolution (Greeks can hate Macedonians, yet call them by their name).

The Bulgarian users like to edit everything to do with Macedonians - even indisputably non-Bulgarian things like the SR Macedonia/SFR Yugoslavia place of birth thing. That is another problem.

And Future Perfect is not taking sides - many Macedonians find many articles unsatisfactory. Unfortunately, if Bulgarians and Greeks find articles unsatisfactory, they have the power in numbers to change them in the long run. Alex 07:47, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by strich3D[edit]

I can agree with Future Perfect. Macedonian editors are immobilized because they are in much smaller number than Bulgarian and Greek editors and have worse organisation. For example Bulgairan editors- in fact one account: ForeignerFromTheEast which is controlled by more people and is 24h ON. An answer for Jingiby, quote from foreword from Krste Misirkov's book "On Macedonian matters": " As a succesor of idea for full separation of our concerns from concerns of the other Balkan nations and for fully indpendent national and cultural evolution, I wrote this book on macedonian central dialect which from now will be Macedonian literary language". strich3D

Statement by HxSeek[edit]

I praise FuturePerf's righteous actions regarding the state opf this article. He is coorect, as it is very obvious, that there is an heirarchy of collaboration, if you will, between editors of different ethnic affiliations. It seems that our Bulgarian fellows seem to have hijacked the articles. Especially ethnic macedonians article, it is full of Bulgarian history and reads like some kind of nationalist newspaper article trying to convince masses as to how obvious it is that Macedonians are Bulgarians. One might even accuse them of sheer arrogance, placing edits such as "Macedonians are ethnopolitically disoriented Bulgarians". Now, I have always maintained respect for the regular Bulgarian editors, Jingiby, etc, etc. They are certainly knowledgeable and raise good points, but a line is crossed when the intentionally steer the article into their own agenda. Eg [}

As for the Greek position, their focus is on the anything referring to the name and history of macedonia. I have already attempted to outline fallabilities in their whole arguement in the naming dispute article. Initially, the Slav Macedonian perspective section was a mere 2 lines, versus pages of greek perspective. I elaborated. To my surprise, it was not mass reverted, albeit it was certainly watered down to suit a more Greek-acceptable position, whilst the Greek perspective remains 100% pro-Greek and un-diluted.

This issue needs to be resolved. The whole ethnicity and historical debate has many facts which can be interpreted many ways. I am keen on working cooperatively and do not deny other perspectives, but the Greek and Bulgarian editors need to allow a Slav macedonian perspective to be heard without labelling it 'nationalist' or 'pseudoscience', becuase that's just a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Yes, there are some Macedonian editors who exxagerate, etc, but i see mysel to be conservative and factual. Hxseek 22:33, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Dzole[edit]

Im with FutPerf on this, I explained my pov on the Incident Page but I'll repeat some points that I find very important:

the Bulgarian editors listed above (some are missing actually), beside their tendentious behaviour, insist on keeping highly questionable sources:

There are several other examples scattered throughout Wikipedia. By allowing the use of such sources, Wikipedia is ruining its own credibility. I vote that Wikipedia's BOTs should be programmed to automaticaly consider such links as spam and to subsequently remove them.

Regarding the behaviour of the Greek editors: a personal Greek user page on Wikipedia that can be considered as contentious and provokative: User:Asteraki. Quote: This user is able to contribute with an Intermediate level of Bulgarian southwestern dialect of FYROM.(end of quote) Refers to the Macedonian language as to Bulgarian language. Also the user had a sub-page which seemed to be a political pamphlet at User:Asteraki/VARDARSKA-(FYROM) (refering to Republic of Macedonia as Vardarska Banovina etc.). See this also. Despite all, the user remains active on Wikipedia.

I tried not to get involved in any edit-warring recently until this problem is solved, but my inactivity is abused by User: Jingiby who continues agenda pushing and adding questionable sources for example to Mala Prespa and Golo Brdo (also see the Talk page).

P.S. A notable problem is the article National Liberation War of Macedonia where the Bulgarian editors have tried to add very contentious statements which are almost near to neo-nazism, such as that the Bulgarian Axis-allied army was greeted as a liberator in Macedonia during the WWII.[2] They supported their statement with a WWII Bulgarian source published in 1941 (МАКЕДОНИЯ 1941, "Възкресението" - С. Нанев, 1941 г.) ---- Dzole (talk) 21:05, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Preliminary decisions[edit]

Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter (4/0/0/0)[edit]

  • Accept. Kirill 18:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Accept. Paul August 04:46, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Accept. We can take a look and help some perhaps, but the most effective way to address these issues is to attract more impartial editors/admins to these article to help mediate content disputes and explain content policies to newbies. Would be helpful for some experienced users to watchlist related categories. FloNight♥♥♥ 11:55, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Accept. James F. (talk) 22:02, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Final decision[edit]


Purpose of Wikipedia[edit]

1) Wikipedia is a project to create a neutral encyclopedia. Use of the site for other purposes—including, but not limited to, advocacy, propaganda, furtherance of outside conflicts, and political or ideological struggle—is prohibited.

Passed 7-0 at 02:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC).


3) Wikipedia users are expected to behave reasonably and calmly in their interactions with other users, to keep their cool when editing, and to avoid acting in a manner that brings the project into disrepute. Unseemly conduct—including, but not limited to, personal attacks, incivility, assumptions of bad faith, trolling, harassment, and gaming the system—is prohibited. Users should not respond to such behavior in kind; concerns regarding the actions of other users should be brought up in the appropriate forums.

Passed 7-0 at 02:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC).

Editorial process[edit]

4) Wikipedia works by building consensus through the use of polite discussion. The dispute resolution process is designed to assist consensus-building when normal talk page communication has not worked. Sustained editorial conflict is not an appropriate method of resolving disputes.

Passed 7-0 at 02:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC).

Findings of fact[edit]

Area of conflict[edit]

1) The disputes presented in this case, while focusing specifically on issues related to Macedonia, are part of a broader set of conflicts prevalent over the entire range of articles concerning the Balkans; see, for example, the Dalmatia case and the Kosovo case. Many of these conflicts are grounded in matters external to Wikipedia, including long-standing historical, national, and ethnic disputes in the region. The area of conflict in this case shall therefore be considered to be the entire set of Balkan-related articles, broadly interpreted.

Passed 7-0 at 02:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC).


Discretionary sanctions[edit]


1) Any uninvolved administrator may, on their own discretion, impose sanctions on any editor working in the area of conflict if that editor fails to adhere to the purpose of Wikipedia, the expected standards of behavior, or the normal editorial process. The sanctions imposed may include blocks of up to one year in length; bans from editing any page or set of pages within the area of conflict; restrictions on reverts; or any other measures which the imposing administrator believes are reasonably necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the project. Prior to any sanctions being imposed, the editor in question shall be given a warning with a link to this decision.

Passed 6-0 at 02:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC).
Superseded by an alternate sanction passed 14 to 0, 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Appeal of discretionary sanctions[edit]


2.1) Discretionary sanctions imposed under the provisions of this decision may be appealed to the imposing administrator, the administrators' noticeboard, or the Committee. Administrators are cautioned not to reverse such sanctions without familiarizing themselves with the full facts of the matter and engaging in extensive discussion and consensus building at the administrators' noticeboard or another suitable on-wiki venue. The Committee will consider appropriate remedies including suspension or revocation of adminship in the event of violations.

Passed 7-0 at 02:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC).
Superseded by an alternate sanction passed 14 to 0, 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Standard discretionary sanctions[edit]


3) Topics related to the Balkans, broadly interpreted, are placed under discretionary sanctions. Any uninvolved administrator may levy restrictions as an arbitration enforcement action on users editing in this topic area, after an initial warning.

Passed 14 to 0 by motion, 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Superseded by motion at 23:19, 17 February 2019 (UTC)


Motion: Eastern Europe and Balkans scope (February 2019)[edit]

At Amendment II in Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe is replaced as text by Eastern Europe or the Balkans. Remedy 3 in Macedonia is superseded by this amendment.
Passed 5 to 0 by motion at 23:19, 17 February 2019 (UTC)


Enforcement of restrictions

0) Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked, initially for up to one month, and then with blocks increasing in duration to a maximum of one year.

Per the procedure for the standard enforcement provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications
Appeals by sanctioned editors

Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. Requests for modification of page restrictions may be made by any editor. The process has three possible stages (see "Important notes" below). The editor may:

  1. ask the enforcing administrator to reconsider their original decision;
  2. request review at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard ("AE") or at the administrators’ noticeboard ("AN"); and
  3. submit a request for amendment at "ARCA". If the editor is blocked, the appeal may be made by email through Special:EmailUser/Arbitration Committee (or, if email access is revoked, to
Modifications by administrators

No administrator may modify or remove a sanction placed by another administrator without:

  1. the explicit prior affirmative consent of the enforcing administrator; or
  2. prior affirmative agreement for the modification at (a) AE or (b) AN or (c) ARCA (see "Important notes" below).

Administrators modifying sanctions out of process may at the discretion of the committee be desysopped.

Nothing in this section prevents an administrator from replacing an existing sanction issued by another administrator with a new sanction if fresh misconduct has taken place after the existing sanction was applied.

Administrators are free to modify sanctions placed by former administrators – that is, editors who do not have the administrator permission enabled (due to a temporary or permanent relinquishment or desysop) – without regard to the requirements of this section. If an administrator modifies a sanction placed by a former administrator, the administrator who made the modification becomes the "enforcing administrator". If a former administrator regains the tools, the provisions of this section again apply to their unmodified enforcement actions.

Important notes:

  1. For a request to succeed, either
(i) the clear and substantial consensus of (a) uninvolved administrators at AE or (b) uninvolved editors at AN or
(ii) a passing motion of arbitrators at ARCA
is required. If consensus at AE or AN is unclear, the status quo prevails.
  1. While asking the enforcing administrator and seeking reviews at AN or AE are not mandatory prior to seeking a decision from the committee, once the committee has reviewed a request, further substantive review at any forum is barred. The sole exception is editors under an active sanction who may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed, but such requests may only be made once every six months, or whatever longer period the committee may specify.
  2. These provisions apply only to discretionary sanctions placed by administrators and to blocks placed by administrators to enforce arbitration case decisions. They do not apply to sanctions directly authorised by the committee, and enacted either by arbitrators or by arbitration clerks, or to special functionary blocks of whatever nature.
  3. All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.
Per the procedure for the standard appeals and modifications provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Log of notifications[edit]

This is an incomplete list of editors who have been notified or warned of discretionary sanctions (by means of the template {{subst:alert|topic=b}} or otherwise) required for the imposition of discretionary sanctions. No new notifications should be listed here.

2010 notifications[edit]

2011 notifications[edit]

2012 notifications[edit]

2013 notifications[edit]

2014 notifications[edit]

Log of blocks and bans[edit]

All sanctions issued pursuant to a discretionary sanctions remedy must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions/Log.