Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive289

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Disruptive editing by Volunteer Marek on Syria related articles[edit]

Per WP:GS/SCW&ISIL, I am submitting this report to request editing restrictions on Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs) on Syrian Civil War related articles for the disruptive behavior outlined below. The disruption consists of edit-warring, intellectual dishonesty, battleground behavior, and gaming the system. Volunteer Marek is pushing hard pro-rebel POV on across the Syrian Civil War and is an experienced user adept at gaming the system. The disruption is long term and severe, but has been increasing in intensity lately. Hence my report will focus on the most recent examples.

Battle of Aleppo (2012-16)
1. Violates the 1RR restriction by first performing this revert [1] (which is a revert of this edit [2]) and then this revert [3] (which is a revert of this edit [4]). Brightline 1RR Violation. VM later self reverted[5], but then immediately re-reverted [6].

2. Two days later he removes the pic again [7], narrowly missing violating 1RR again.

3. Blanket revert to his highly POV version [8].

4. The dispute at this article escalated, leading BU Rob13 (talk · contribs) to issue a stern warning at the talkpage [9]. VM practically begs BU Rob13 into ordering Etienne to self revert [10] [11]. It is evident he really really wants "his" version put in place. VM then tries to deceive BU Rob13 into blocking EtienneDolet by alleging that Etienne Dolet is restarting old edit wars [12]. But the Christmas celebrations VM mentions were added by me in December [[13]], at which time no one reverted and were still in the article at the time VM posted this. There was never an edit-war over that. Similarly, EtienneDolet added the pics of the burnt buses in December [14], and VM did not revert them then, he reverted them now [15]. He is the one re-igniting old edit-wars (actually creating new ones), all the while lying so as to trick BU Rob13 into blocking his opponent.

5. VM waits a few days and then re-ignites the edit-war with this edit [16], a straight-up revert of the original edit [17] that started the edit war that began on April 13th. This is after BU Rob13 issued his warning and while a discussion is in progress at the talkpage on if and how Al-Masdar news is to be used. The sheer brazeness of this cannot be overstated.

6. For good measure, he also removes relatively uncontroversial, reliably sourced material [18] I had added back in December [19]. The source is reliable and faithfully quoted, the fact that Christmas was publicly celebrated in Aleppo for the first time in years clearly notable. VM did not revert my addition back in December. This has all the hallmarks for a "revenge edit". His habit of re-igniting old disputes after months is incredibly disruptive.

Khan Shaykhun chemical attack
7. Removes reliably sourced material he does not like [20]. The source is reliable ( and Theodore Postol is a notable academic expert on chemical warfare.

8. [21] Blanket removal of a large amount of reliably sourced material (all sources pass WP:RS except, and are faithfully quoted). Not even an edit summary, let alone an explanation at the talkpage.

9. [22] Slaps a fringe tag when his edit is reverted (a favorite tactic whenever he can't revert due to the 1RR restriction on these articles, more examples below).

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
10. [23] Again removes reliably sourced material on false pretenses. In his edit-summary he is referring to this RfC [24], but the RfC is only about the lede of the article, not the body text. This is a deceptive edit-summary, falsely alleging that his removal is in line with the RfC.

11. [25] He then doubles down, but switching tack and now alleging that somehow this material cannot be included because there hasn't been an RfC on it. One of VM's tactics is to demand the other party file an RfC whenever material he does not approve of is being added to an article.

12. In the same article, he removes more reliably sourced material [26] with a lazy edit summary, even though the source is clearly reliable and faithfully quoted. No explanation is provided as to how the material is POV and UNDUE. When his edit is reverted, since he cannot revert, he slaps a tag [27].

Ghouta chemical attack
13. [28] Yet again removes reliably sourced material without even an edit-summary. Technically a revert since this material was added at some point to the article (even if long ago), and surely VM is aware of this.

14. [29] Doubles down 4 minutes later, this time with a deceptive edit summary (he did far more than just "attribute"). Technically another 1RR vio.

White Helmets
15. Same story here [30] and here [31]. While some of these sources are junk, is reliable and quotes an academic expert. When he can no longer revert, he slaps a tag [32].

16. One of VM's disruptive tactics is what I call the "revenge edit". When neither nor the party he is warring against are able to revert because of the 1RR restriction, he adds material that he knows the other part will find objectionable but won't be able to revert. The addition of the pov and fringe tags mentioned in #9, #12 and #15 are examples of this, as are additions such as this [33] [34]

17. VM is abrasive and condescending in talkpage discussions, going so far as to even mock a typo [35] I made [36] (plenty of diffs, omitted for brevity, but you get the idea). He was blocked for precisely such talkpage behavior in the not too distant past [37].

18. Obsession with the lede: Note how he inserts the same exact material both in the body text and the lede (for greater effect, obviously). [38]. This is another "revenge edit", because he cannot revert till tomorrow. Khirurg (talk) 00:42, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

19. Frankly, this diff alone [39] is proof that VM is WP:NOTHERE as far as Syrian Civil War articles are concerned. Khirurg (talk) 01:24, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

20. Another perfect example of the tendentiousness of VM's editing is this [40]. He rams two pro-opposition primary sources (the Syrian Network for Human Rights and the Violations Documentation Center) right in the lede (for maximum visibility, naturally), while also removing the widely covered Christmas celebrations (which unlike the SNHR report, were widely covered by secondary sources). He then re-adds this [41] for good measure (which was discussed here [42]). The Guardian is misquoted, since VM leaves out the crucial fact that the accusing was done by the UN ambassadors of the US, UK, and France. Since these are western governments hostile to Russia, mentioning them would reduce the "sting" of the accusations in many readers' minds, so VM is sure to leave that out. It is quite clear that what VM is after is to repeat "Russia" as "war crimes" as many times as possible in the lede. He then removes reliably sourced material showing the rebels in a negative light [43]. I've lost count of how many times he has done the same edits (especially the Christmas celebrations - this is turning into something of an obsession).

21. Casting aspersions [44] and making personal attacks [45] (two of many examples).

Based on the above, I propose the following findings of fact:

  • VM is highly tendentious. He is pushing a hard POV across these articles, is willing to edit-war to no end over it, and demands that other submit to his will.
  • VM is intellectually dishonest and adept at gaming the system. Tactics include gaming 1RR, deceptive (or no) edit-summaries, and attempts to deceive administrators into blocking his opponents.
  • VM displays WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior, using such tactics as revenge edits and re-igniting old disputes after they have been dormant for months.

I therefore propose that VM be topic banned from articles on the Syrian Civil War. Proposed.

Note On past experience VM's defense strategy on proceedings such as this is to filibuster. If not tightly controlled by administrators, this discussion will turn into a circus. Khirurg (talk) 07:06, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Update since report was filed[edit]

I note that VM is still edit-warring, doubling down at Battle of Aleppo (2012-16) [46] , Khan Shaykhun chemical attack [47]. Notice how he demands consensus for re-adding well-sourced material, yet he feels no obligation to seek consensus for the infobox edit [48] which he just sneaks in along with the removal. Both are classic VM moves: Everyone who disagrees with him must get consensus, but this does not apply to him, and sneaking in POV edits concealed within other edits. He is edit-warring against multiple editors at this point. Khirurg (talk) 17:48, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

All I did was remove the same crap as previously. I want to note that you and couple of your buddies are actually expanding the crap in this article, making that whole "Christmas celebration" section even bigger. This article has serious problems and you're just making it worse. A topic ban for a couple of you, as suggested above (hey, I thought you said you were going to "step away from the topic area"? What happened to that? Just empty words thrown out there to escape the possibility of an explicit topic ban?) is way way overdo.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:07, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Khirurg You just refactored your post. I am leaving this link so that other readers can see the one that Volunteer Marek replied to originally. MarnetteD|Talk 00:35, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes thanks. VM should be writing his responses in his own section, like we do at WP:AE. Khirurg (talk) 00:40, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
No he does not need to do that. This is not AE. You should not be refactoring your posts (see WP:REDACT) because it then becomes a different post than the one that an editor responded to. Please make a new post if you want to say anything further. MarnetteD|Talk 00:46, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
(@Khirurg - edited cuz I didn't see MarnetteD's comment) I've replied to your false accusations where appropriate following standard practice of this noticeboard. You on the other hand went back and changed your comment after I replied to it to make it look like I was replying to something I wasn't. Own section or no, that's a bit disruptive.Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:47, 27 April 2017 (UTC)


  • Given the number of emails I've received from editors (including you) suggesting a sanction other editors (either explicitly or by providing links to alleged disruption), point 4 is dubious at best. Everyone has a different idea of what is disruptive in this topic area, one that just happens to align with their own POVs. ~ Rob13Talk 07:14, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
For the record I've never emailed BU Rob13 with any requests to sanction Khirurg or anyone else on this article.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:42, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Just confirming this. If it was unclear, the "you" I referred to was the original filer. ~ Rob13Talk 16:49, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Oh please, another "why won't they let me push my POV in peace" request. And the personal attacks and smears in the request alone merit a WP:BOOMERANG. I don't appreciate being called "intellectually dishonest" and all that other crap.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:18, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

(Really quick (1) re that 1RR, it actually wasn't but I self-reverted anyway [49] to show good faith, (2), (3), nonsense, (4), yeah BU Rob13 issued a warning, to other editors. And it's false that I tried to "deceive" anyone - at worst I confused Khirurg and EtienneDolet since they have a long standing history of tag-teaming on these articles (both came over to Syria related topics from Armenia related ones - also should note that EtienneDolet is banned from filing enforcement requests against me because so many of his past ones were BS, and this is likely Khirurg doing it on his behalf). (5) through (17) all nonsense. Removing fringe, badly sourced crap and various conspiracy theories from articles is the OPPOSITE of "disruptive" or "tendentious". Like I said, this is a "why won't they let me push my POV in peace" request.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:25, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

  • I read point 1, which was suggesting VM ought to be sanctioned for reverting badly-sourced POV crap out of the article (and the latter revert he self-reverted anyway). I've assumed the rest of this TLDR complaint is similar. Black Kite (talk) 07:34, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Um no, he self-reverted [50] and then re-reverted [51]. Khirurg (talk) 07:38, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
      • I don't see the problem, actually. Frankly, editors that add stuff like this, sourced only to an Assad mouthpiece news agency, are probably the ones we should be looking at sanctioning. The talkpage of that article does not make edifying reading. Black Kite (talk) 07:39, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
        • There is an ongoing discussion as to how the source could and should be used. Even VM has conceded it is "semi-reliable". And the 1RR vio stands. The fact that VM thinks he's right is not an exemption from 1RR. Khirurg (talk) 07:42, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
          • Uh... no. I didn't conclude it was "semi-reliable". Another editor, when pressed about its reliability said something like "well, it's sort of semi-reliable". I then quoted him to highlight how ridiculous it is to use a "semi-reliable" (it's actually not reliable at all) source for controversial text about massacres and rapes that cannot be found in any reliable sources. Nice try. And you're still lying about the 1RR.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:59, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
            • [52] Nice try indeed. Khirurg (talk) 08:05, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
              • Yeah, please note that the phrase "semi-reliable" has "quotation marks" around it. "Quotation" "marks" look like this ' " " '. They "usually" indicate that "someone" is being "quoted". Like let me "quote" myself here: "I then quoted him to highlight how ridiculous it is to use......". Hope that "clarifies" things.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:10, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
                • Quotes or not, you conceded it can be used for some things, implying it's semi-reliable. So much for that argument. Khirurg (talk) 08:14, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
                  • Uhhh... your complaint is that I *didn't* concede. You're not making sense. Anyway, as BlackKite points out, the actual problem is you and ED making edits like this, which constitute pretty blatant POV pushing based on non-reliable sources.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:17, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

See also User:Iryna Harpy's assessment of Khirurg's edits [53] (false WP:ASPERSIONS by Khirurg), [54] (WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior by Khirurg), [55] (WP:GAME by Khirurg, trying to declare victory in RfC shortly after it was opened) etc. Like I said, WP:BOOMERANG.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:36, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Citing an editor that shares your POV and frequently tag-teams with you is a very poor defense. But suit yourself. Khirurg (talk) 21:17, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
First, Iryna is a highly respected editor, so you might wanna watch what personal attacks you throw her way. Second, she does not "tag-team" with me. True, sometime she makes edits that I agree with but... pretty much any reasonable editors who tries to follow actual Wikipedia policies would do that. Third, this isn't a "defense". It's pointing out that your and your tag-team buddies (yes) edits have been flagged as problematic and disruptive by several other editors - including a few commenting here. Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:13, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • "For the first time since the civil war began, Christmas was celebrated in Aleppo, with a tree lighting ceremony." - yeah thats well encyclopedic. Did they sing carols too? Given the other contributions are equally inane I am not surprised VM removed them. Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:05, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
perhaps they played football in no-man's land... — O Fortuna semper crescis, aut decrescis 13:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Well played sirrah, well played. Only in death does duty end (talk) 14:21, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, it's funny, except Khirurg and his buddies are actually now *expanding* the section on the Christmas celebrations, which makes a ridiculous situation even more ridiculous. And that part's not that funny.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:09, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • A short note (non-admin): I thought I'd note that I have been editing the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack for several weeks, and User:Volunteer Marek has been very useful in removing blatantly non-NPOV tattle from that article. I would suggest, given the general tenor of this report, that someone ought to review the contributions of the user who referred VM. The edits referenced here were to a section which was only re-included after a compromise on the talk page. Perhaps VM ought to have checked there first, but I'm still not convinced that some of the content he removed should feature in the article. L.R. Wormwood (talk) 14:58, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • If someone were to propose a topic ban for SaintAviator and Khirurg, I would heartily support that. Like, support. This stuff has been going on for too long--the fake sources, the weaselish allegations, the propaganda. If editors think that citing propaganda/clickbait like the Washington Standard and the Indicter are acceptable to cite, they should not be editing this material. And part of what the fight is over is a thoroughly debunked claim, one actually supported by a misguided administrator (El C--what were you thinking when you made this edit?) A reliable source cites a report that thoroughly disproves that this Swedish outfit said what Russian propaganda said it said: "The news was based on reports falsely attributed to Swedish doctors..."--that is, falsely attributed in the sources added by SaintAviator. We cannot have editors fighting to put that kind of trash into an encyclopedia. Drmies (talk) 16:39, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • User:Drmies Huh? Are you calling Arab News for a WP:RS site? You know it is owned by one of the sons of the Saudi king, right? Fine, but If that passes as WP:RS, then surely any newspapers speaking for the Syrian, or the Russian regimes also have to count as WP:RS. There is no way that I would agree that Arab News have more "freedom", or independence, than say any newspapers close the the Syrian, or Russian regimes. Huldra (talk) 20:36, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Huldra, that ownership doesn't mean they're always unreliable--or as unreliable as the notoriously unreliable Washington Standard. And in this case they were right, and that's borne out by a statement from the organization. Drmies (talk) 23:54, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Drmies, you have a heck of a lot more faith in Saudi press "independence" than I do. And, sorry, that Arab News article is riddled with mistakes/halftruths. It fails to mention the complaints from the SWEDHR about the White Helmets, say, in the link you gave me: “Conclusion:
‘Lifesaving’ procedures on the children showed in the White Helmets videos were found to be fake, and ultimately performed on dead children. The syringe used in the ‘intracardial injection’ performed on the male infant was empty, or its fluid was never injected into the child. This same child showed, briefly, discrete life-signs (uncertain in my judgement) in the first segment of WH Vid-1. If so, this child might have died during the lapse in which the ‘lifesaving’ manoeuvres showed in the White Helmets movie went on. (Which is not the same than affirming that the personnel seen in the videos caused the dead of the infant. In forensic terms, the actual cause of death, as well as the mode and the issue of intent, refer to different items than those treated in our analysis).”
  • To me, it looks as if SWEDHR made a legitimate complaint about the White Helmets videos, this was then widely exaggerated by Russian/Syrian sources, then having the Arab News article "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". Does that seem like a fair description to you? Huldra (talk) 00:25, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Did I not misread the story after all? I thought SWEDHR claims were proven not to have been made by them, at all. Is that not the case? If SWEDHR did make statements critical of the WH, then it should be included in the article. Arab News is about as reliable source as RT is, so I did use it cautiously. But the question remains: what did SWEDHR say? Clarity is needed. El_C 00:33, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't think Arab News is reliable, in fact, I think that's one of the complaints against me. It's possible that I missed something somewhere.Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:50, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Well, I think the Arab News is about as reliable source as RT. And Swedish Doctors for Human Rights made some very critical statements about the White Helmets, see e.g. the link above from Drmies. And yes, I think that should be in the article about the White Helmets. BUT: in order to see what the SWEDHR says about the WH, we really need to go to the original source, i.e. themselves, at, and not rely on biased secondary sources! And I have tried to clean up a bit of the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights article, which was in an absolutely horrible state: well into libel territory, IMO. Huldra (talk) 01:27, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
    Huldra, I think the worst distortions are in the Washington Standard article, and those related to them. What's noteworthy is that those are the ones most easily found on the internet. The Indicter itself is a strange little thing, and I sort of agree with your characterization--but what's odd is that ((El_C, here are the links) a. the "initial" piece seems almost to have been published a titre personnel, and its title is sensationalist; b. the "clarification" argued it had been seriously misread, but at least it's signed by two people. And I have doubts about the publication, and possibly the doctors that run it--see also this piece, which claims that Dagens Nyheter also misrepresented the report, but can't do so without using up half the ink in the world, or muddying the waters even further. But the long and short of it is (and El_C, this is what you were looking for I believe), the "Swedish Doctors" claim that their claims were seriously twisted by Veteran's Report and Dagens Nyheter, even though their report appears to be critical of the White Helmets.

    By now I've read a half a dozen articles on The Indicter, and I am inclined to think that we shouldn't be citing that joint at all on Wikipedia, and that Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli PhD has entirely too much time on his hands. Note that The Indicter seems to get no play whatsoever from the media, nor does Swedish Doctors for Human Rights as an organization (search in Google News). I do not believe we should cite them anywhere. I'm about to start pruning their article. Drmies (talk) 02:51, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the detail explanation, Drmies. Unless Huldra can provide convincing argument to the contrary, I'm inclined to defer to your research on the matter, as I simply do not know enough about the organization or the scope and potency of their infamous report. We should probably take this entire discussion to either the WH or SWEDHR talk page though. El_C 12:24, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Ok User:Drmies and User:El_C: until a couple of days ago, I had never heard of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights. But I just googled some of the names behind it (like Marita Troye-Blomberg), and they a serous "heavy weight" medical people. And I am rather horrified to see that Dagens Nyheter is used as a RS here, I would consider, say, the Daily Mail far more reliable than Dagens Nyheter (And no, I don't consider the Daily Mail very reliable, and yes, I can read Swedish) Huldra (talk) 21:42, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • My bad. I partially misread the source you cite, which I myself added ("Propaganda, lies and videos: Russian media and the Khan Sheikhun massacre"). El_C 20:58, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • @Drmies: Edits removing bad sourcing [56] may be helpful, but edits that remove well-sourced material are just POV pushing: [57][58][59]. As an admin it's bogus to selectively go after POV-pushers you disagree with and support those with whom you agree. -Darouet (talk) 19:17, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Well thanks for the personal attack here, and I'll forgive you your terribly dangling modifier. See below on the difference between "editing" and "insertion of fake sources which runs counter to our editorial policy. El_C, thank you. Drmies (talk) 22:19, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
    • SaintAviator, given this I don't think you should be here at all: you clearly have an agenda, you clearly do not agree with accepted standards of reliability. Drmies (talk) 16:44, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
      • Just a question, are these [60] fake sources too? Khirurg (talk) 16:57, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
        • That very question, which is nothing but an attempt to sidestep the issue, proves my point. Drmies (talk) 17:03, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
          • I have no idea what you're on about, but just for the record, seeing how I have all of 3-4 edits to the articlespace of the Syrian Civil War, I have no problem stepping back from the topic area, provided others do the same (or even if they don't for that matter). I'm also not sure why you bring up St. Aviator here. I have nothing to do with them, I do not approve of their methods, and this is quite frankly guilt-by-association. Khirurg (talk) 18:00, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
            • If you have no idea, you're proving my point again. You compare one editor's removal of what they call undue, not via consensus, etc., with another editor's insertion of fake news. The first is editorial procedure, and they may be right, they may be wrong; the other is the insertion of fake news, which runs directly against editorial policy. Drmies (talk) 22:19, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
              • This is not "removing fake news" [61], nor is this [62], nor is this [63]. It's WP:JDL using "fake news", "undue", "fringe" as excuses, as are in fact all the diffs I have presented. It's easy to say "fake news" and then remove anything one does not like using that as an excuse. Khirurg (talk) 00:42, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
                • Yes, in those edits VM is not removing fake news, nor is he claiming that he is, so it may be easy to say "fake news", but he's not saying it. In other words, there is no point here that you are making. Drmies (talk) 01:42, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
                  • Oh no, he's just removing large chunks of sourced material that just happens to not fit his POV, using flimsy excuses to do so (re-igniting old edit wars in the process in some cases). Nothing to see here folks, move along. Khirurg (talk) 05:08, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
                      • First, removing a sentence is not "large chunks" so quit it with the hyperbole. Second, you appear to be purposefully not understanding or obfuscating the difference. Removing some stuff like I did because it's undue or because it's repetitive or because it's worded in a POV manner or because it's not based on reliable sources is not against Wikipedia policy. Someone can disagree with those kinds of edits but there's nothing wrong with them and the disagreement can be hashed out on talk per usual. On the other hand, you, and a couple other editors like SaintAviator, are putting in highly POV text based on fake news sources (Weekly Washington Standard or whatever else) or outright propaganda outlets like Assad's al-Masdar news which are clearly unreliable (and inventing this new magical category of "semi-reliable" doesn't help) is straight up against Wikipedia's policies. So yeah, topic ban is warranted. For you. Especially since you've down right refused to try to engage in good faith discussion on talk and have instead relied on edit-warring and tag teams to get your way, while at the same time basically telling anyone on talk who objects "screw you, we've got the numbers, policy be damned!".Volunteer Marek (talk) 11:55, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
                        • You didn't remove "individual sentences", in some diffs you removed 3.5k of well-sourced text. The only one sabotaging any discussion is you, with your trademark incivility, abrasiveness, and obstruction ("Invalid RfC! Invalid RfC!" when someone tried to resolve the dispute by starting an RfC which you knew was going to go against you). Every editor at the Battle of Aleppo tp (except the 1-2 usual suspects that share your POV) is fed up with your behavior. Your aggressive style is counterproductive, generating even greater resistance to your edits. You would find it a lot easier to achieve progress if you adopted a less confrontational style. Mocking your opponents and demanding they submit to your will will conly create more tensions. And please drop the "you and St. Aviator" guilt-by-association canard, St. Aviator hasn't even edited Battle of Aleppo. Khirurg (talk) 17:56, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

<--- The diffs you gave above are [64] and [65]. Those are sentences. And no, not "every editor" is fed up with anything. Several editors, including ALL uninvolved commentators, for example User:R2D2015 (who independent proposed removing the "Christmas celebration" nonsense), as well as several commentators here, see that there are serious problems with the article and that my edits have generally tried to *solve* these, whereas your edits make them worse (see User:Black Kite's comment above).

Now, having said that, the article does indeed have a very serious problem with a tag team. Look at this RfC. Look at the first EIGHT out of the first TEN votes. These are all editors who came over to this article from Armenia-related articles. They all share a history edit warring and battlegroundin' on Armenia vs. Turkey and Armenia vs. Azerbaijan articles. Then, there are TWO more editors from Armenia related topics, further down in the RfC. Then another guy with interest in Greek topics who shares the anti-Turkey POV of the editors from Armenian topics. Somehow they all popped up together within a short period of time to brigade that RfC. Even though most of them have never edited ANYTHING related to the Syrian conflict (some of them got involved subsequently). Now, it's circumstantial, but if this wasn't canvassed through off wiki communication then I'm a flying marsupial in spandex. And you, you also share that same edit history of Armenia or Turkey related articles, no? So yeah, there's some very sketchy, obnoxious off-Wiki coordination going on here to control and WP:OWN this article and make sure that it pushes a pro-Assad POV (in fact, the extent to which it does is so over the top that it's ridiculous). ANYTIME anyone independent or uninvolved takes a look at this article, they say the same thing - yeah, that crap shouldn't be there. This is also presumably the reason why any of you have been so reluctant to take the relevant issue to WP:RSN, since when you're up to sketchy shenanigans, outside eyes are unwelcome. But unfortunately most editors don't have the patience nor the stamina to deal with this kind of organized, obstructionist and dedicated WP:CPUSH and after noting their dissent they usually leave. Which leaves you and your tag team buddies to resume inserting crap text with crap sources into the article and then edit war to keep that way.

This, and so many other of our Syria-related articles are a complete pile of shit precisely because of this situation. And the fact that admins have had only limited time to deal with it and so have done so only piecemeal. An outright topic ban for you and several others is long long overdue.Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:08, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

I gave many many diffs, so don't try to weasel out on a technicality. And you keep creating even more diffs with your incessant edit-warring. It's hard to keep track quite frankly. As for the Rfc (which you have tried to derail), yes, every editor except R2D2015, and the two that share your anti-Russian POV, is fed up with you and disagrees with you (Ekograf, Esn, Asilah, Tiptoethrutheminefield, Applodion, I could go on and on). And they are all from diverse background, so so much for the racist "Armenian cabal" canard. Frankly, your talkpage behavior alone is grounds for a ban, let alone the incessant edit-warring and system gaming. Khirurg (talk) 00:55, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and they were all equally bunk. Like I said, this is a "oh no, they won't let me push my POV in peace plzbanzthem!" request. Let me quote Black Kite, an uninvolved editor from above: "1. is suggesting VM ought to be sanctioned for reverting badly-sourced POV crap out of the article (and the latter revert he self-reverted anyway). I've assumed the rest of this TLDR complaint is similar.". That's pretty much all of your "diffs". This isn't me "weaseling" out of anything. Not a technicality. Quite simply, your entire request is meritless and only serves to convince others of your WP:BATTLEGROUND mentality. Seriously, did a single uninvolved editor agree with you here? No? Why do you think that is? Yes, there is a dedicated tag-team on the talk page of that article (I would exclude Ekograf from that group, however much I disagree with them). And again, I'm not the only one who has noticed this.Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:06, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh i see, it's all a conspiracy, isn't it? And no, "uninvolved" editors have agreed with me here, and even more have at the Battle of Aleppo tp, where, again, except for R2D2, the only ones who agree with you are, well, the usual suspects. Khirurg (talk) 01:29, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
""uninvolved" editors have agreed with me here" Wait, wha??? You serious?
Ok, let's see.
On April 25, 7:14, BU_Rob13 notes that you've been spamming him with emails requesting blocks for those who disagree with you and calls your point "dubious at best". [66]
On April 25, 7:34, BlackKite chastises you for demanding that "VM ought to be sanctioned for reverting badly-sourced POV crap out of the article" [67]
On April 25, 13:05, OnlyInDeath notes how ridiculous the text you're trying to add to the article is and says "Given the other contributions are equally inane I am not surprised VM removed them". [68]
On April 25, 13:29, Fortuna Imperatrix Mundri has a laugh at your expense, or more precisely, at the expense of the text you're trying to add. [69]
On 25 April, 14:58, L.R. Wormwood says, quote, "User:Volunteer Marek has been very useful in removing blatantly non-NPOV tattle from that article. I would suggest, given the general tenor of this report, that someone ought to review the contributions of the user who referred VM" - basically saying that you're the one who deserves a sanction and a WP:BOOMERANG here [70]
On 25 April, 16:39, Drmies says "*If someone were to propose a topic ban for SaintAviator and Khirurg, I would heartily support that. Like, support. This stuff has been going on for too long--the fake sources, the weaselish allegations, the propaganda." - so that's a second editor (other than myself) who says that you deserve a sanction and a WP:BOOMERANG here [71]
On 26 April IrynaHarpy (yes, she is uninvolved) says "Yes, there are problems with articles surrounding the subject of Syria, but I do not see them as a reflection of VM's editing practices... And, yes, admin intervention is essential as the GAME is afoot, but I believe you are pointing your finger in the wrong direction", which makes it a third editor who suggests, although here more implicitly, that you need a sanction. [72]
Now, that pretty much leaves only James J. Lambden as the only other editor commenting here. But James J is not "uninvolved" of course, me and him go awhile back, don't we James. In fact, I can't think of any drama board discussion in the past two years where I was mentioned where James J did not make sure to also pop up and agitate against me. Maybe there was one.
So... lemme count... one, two, three, four, five, six, seven... seven uninvolved editors who are critical of your behavior, at least three of whom suggest a boomerang sanction against you. One involved editor who sorta supports you. And you think that, quote, "'""uninvolved" editors have agreed with me here""
Maybe tha...
Sorry, still sorta trying to ... ?????????? .... understand that claim. I read that right, didn't I. "Uninvolved editors have agreed with me here".
Oof. Ok. See, maybe that sort of illustrates the problem here. You have a WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT problem (on top of few others).Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:02, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh it looks like you somehow missed James Lambden and Darouet (wonder why). No, I'm not the one with the IDHT problem. And counting Iryna as "uninvolved" and yourself among the three that request a boomerang (are you uninvolved too?) is just plain funny. Khirurg (talk) 02:06, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Khirurg: "Oh it looks like you somehow missed James Lambden" Sigh. Quote, myself: "Now, that pretty much leaves only James J. Lambden". Like I said, you have a problem with what can charitably be called "accuracy". I'm also not counting myself among uninvolved. I'm counting LR Wormwood, Drmies and Iryna. And yes, Iryna is uninvolved - the fact that you have a problem with her statement really just evidences your general WP:BATTLEGROUND attitude and nothing else.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:34, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
This is the kind of response anyone who tries to curb VM's behavior has to deal with: false accusations and jumbled walls of text like this.
First against me with this slippery claim:
  • But James J is not "uninvolved" of course, me and him go awhile back, don't we James. In fact, I can't think of any drama board discussion in the past two years where I was mentioned where James J did not make sure to also pop up and agitate against me. Maybe there was one.
It's demonstrably untrue but he leaves an out with "maybe there was one." If I showed "one", which I could, he would say he meant it figuratively. If I showed several, which I could, he'd claim it was an honest mistake. He relies on the fact that "the amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it", frustrating well-intentioned admins and editors like Ks0stm here.
Where I detail his false accusation of canvassing against me he ignores it. Where I detail below clear instances of misleading edit summaries he doesn't respond by addressing the accusation but by claiming that – because other editors thought the statement was important enough to include in the lede he could slyly remove it from the body. Does that seem reasonable? Does it address the accusation whatsoever?
He pushes that defense again in his response to Khirurg now claiming the lede text was added by a sockpuppet. No it wasn't. Before the article had a lede EtienneDolet inserted "pro-opposition" with this edit, which was adjusted shortly after to the current language by Stickee, here. Neither of these editors are sockpuppets. Its placement in the lede was not the result of a sockpuppet but of an RfC which VM himself participated in.
When others edit-war against the majority he calls for sanctions, when he edit-wars against the majority the majority must be coordinating off-wiki. These responses are designed to frustrate and obfuscate. "Order of magnitude." James J. Lambden (talk) 03:12, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
It's not a "jumbled wall of text" but actually a detailed list of every editor who's shown up here and been critical of Khirurg. Three of whom in one way or another advocated a sanction against them. You want me to add bullet points to it or something?
The sockpuppet added the text (I removed the text added by the sockpuppet (redacted, clarified later - VM)) here, (the text was added by the sockpuppet account - redacted, clarified - VM) here and [73]. Please actually check what you are talking about before casting offensive WP:ASPERSIONS. As an aside, here we have yet another account with a background in Armenian-related topics (sort of). Add that to the long list and to the evidence for off-wiki canvassing and meat puppeting.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:34, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
The first diff links to your own edit. The other two don't add or remove the text under discussion. None are relevant to your claim. James J. Lambden (talk) 08:19, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
The first diff links to my own edit - the one where I state that I am removing text added by a sockpuppet, which is what you're complaining about. The text under discussion is "SOHR has been described as being "pro-opposition"". The other two diffs show the sock puppet account adding this text. It's obviously relevant. The third addition of this text by the sock puppet account was actually here. Sorry, you're the one not making any sense.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:38, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
None of these diffs (including the one you just added) show the "pro opposition" text being added to the lede or the body by a sock puppet, as you claimed. A long explanation is not necessary, if the diff exists just link it. James J. Lambden (talk) 19:45, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • @Khirurg: Yours links [36], [45] and [55] point to invalid or incorrect diffs. Surprised I am the first to mention it.
I was the editor who reverted VM's edit with the referenced edit summary ("this is the part that RfC decided on, not the other stuff") here because as far as I could tell the RfC was unrelated to his edit. He objected so I started a talk page discussion , pinging the RfC editors for clarification. None of the responding editors agreed the RfC justified his edit. VM then accused me of CANVASSING for pinging the RfC commenters:
And oh yeah, nice job of WP:CANVASSing there James. You pinged every single user you could think of that would come and agree with you here. You sure you didn't miss anyone? Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:32, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
To be clear: I pinged all involved in the RfC and only those involved in the RfC. This is not the first time I've seen him employ an offense-is-the-best-defense strategy (diffs provided upon request.) I asked him to strike the unjustified accusation which he has still not done. Unfortunately many comments here follow the pattern of obstruction that allows his behavior to continue. James J. Lambden (talk) 18:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Resolved James J. Lambden (talk) 00:13, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
@James J. Lambden: You pinged me? Really? Where? Which RfC? Why, exactly, have you joined the general clamour and pinged even more editors in to muddy the process to the nth degree? An AE is not an open invitation to organise a lynch mob, and your presence smacks of WP:GRUDGE. I'm here because I was pinged by VM due to my observations (well prior this AE) as to the solid grounds for a big WP:BOOMERANG for the filer. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:14, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I think you have completely misunderstood my comment. "I pinged all involved in the RfC" concerned an article talk page discussion from two weeks ago. It does not appear you were involved in that discussion or the RfC it referenced so I did not ping you. I have not pinged anyone regarding this thread except Khirurg, to alert him to broken diffs. If I have addressed your concerns please remove or collapse these comments as they are off topic. James J. Lambden (talk) 21:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I have not misunderstood WP:GRUDGE or WP:CANVASS. As for removing or collapsing these comments, it's not my call. Admins will do so where it is deemed to be prudent. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:13, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
@Iryna Harpy: Since it's clear I have not pinged or canvassed anyone to this thread can you please strike that accusation? This confusion makes resolution more difficult. James J. Lambden (talk) 22:56, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I am forced to appreciate the irony of my claim (that VM used a false accusation of CANVASSING against me to distract from complaints about his own behavior) being responded to by a different editor who falsely accuses me of CANVASSING in a thread discussing VM's behavior. James J. Lambden (talk) 23:22, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay, James J. Lambden. I've struck my comments, and extend my apologies for assuming bad faith. This subject area has frayed the nerves of many an editor, and I put my hand up to being guilty of allowing myself to jump the gun. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:01, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

James J. Lambden: "I pinged all involved in the RfC and only those involved in the RfC" - unless I'm missing something, that's actually not true - you didn't ping all the users, and you pinged a user who wasn't involved in the RfC. But honestly, this isn't worth arguing about.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:48, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

More nonsense. Which editor and why did you choose not to name them, so it could be easily confirmed or disproven. James J. Lambden (talk) 08:19, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
You didn't ping Stickee, the first "No" vote in the RfC. By the way, in that RfC where 9 people !voted, there were 4 "No" and 5 "Yes" !votes (I didn't participate) . Now, out of those 5 "Yes" !votes, 2 are blocked/banned for causing trouble in this topic area and 1 (Happy Warrior) appears to have been a throw-away, fly-by-night, account. You see the problem with these RfCs? You see why some editors refuse to go to outside boards like RSN and instead try to decide things just on the talk page?Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:38, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Alright, in my cut and paste I missed one editor. That is still not canvassing. Now will you either substantiate the second part of your claim ("and you pinged a user who wasn't involved in the RfC") by naming that editor or withdraw the accusation? James J. Lambden (talk) 19:45, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
This recent diff and edit summary is one type of GAMEing I see in VM's edits – he makes two unrelated changes in a single edit, one justified and relevant to the edit summary and another unjustified and irrelevant. I don't know if there is a Wiki term for this. Edit summary:
  • if the discussion is ongoing let's keep it out for the time being given these are highly controversial claims sourced to... junk sources. Adding in "not independently confirmed" is sort of OR but it pretty much admits the original source is crap
The edit summary makes two points:
  1. "These are highly controversial claims"
  2. they are "sourced to... junk sources"
These points are relevant to the removal of Al-Madsar, which is justifiable, but his edit also removes an unrelated passage on a Christmas tree lighting ceremony which the edit summary does not address.
The tree lighting content has been present in the article since early January. VM attempted to remove it the day before (again with an edit summary that didn't address its removal: the image is intended to convey a POV of "liberation". Also, clarify per source) and was reverted by EkoGraf who correctly states there is not even a debate about removal. There is discussion about removal/inclusion of an image to accompany the statement but no debate about the statement itself. So ignoring BRD and with no consensus it's snuck in with an unrelated edit.
We see the same behavior in this edit today to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Edit summary:
  • text with no consensus added by sock puppet, unduly restored - please don't enable socking, even if the sock puppets align with your POV
The paragraph that begins with "A common criticism of SOHR..." was indeed added by a sockpuppet Guru Noel but the statement "SOHR has been described as being pro-opposition" which the edit also removes was not added by a sockpuppet, is not addressed in his edit summary, and has been present in the article since at least November.
I mention this here because this is not a content issue which any amount of discussion among editors can address. It is a behavioral issue in a contentious topic which is not likely to change without admin intervention. James J. Lambden (talk) 20:29, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
" but the statement "SOHR has been described as being pro-opposition" which the edit also removes " - ummmm, that text is still in the article James. It's just not being repeated.Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:18, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Oh really? Then why did you re-add it after James pointed out your deception [74]? Khirurg (talk) 01:51, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
OH FOR FUCKS SAKE. It was in the goddamn article TWICE. I removed ONE instance of it. I guess if you want to get fucking technical it was THE OTHER INSTANCE which was added by the sockpuppet, not the one I removed it. That's my fucking "DECEPTION". I didn't specify that I guess. Gimme a fucking break or better yet go away cuz you're really starting to get on my nerves with your constant lying and smearing and just generally being-full-of-shit-ing.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:08, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
@James J. Lambden: Please check the article's talk page for the RfC on the issue of whether the content should or should be included. Please note who initiated the RfC; who !voted; the closer's observations. Notice any patterns emerging in the formulation of RfCs, weak !votes, and good faith closers who are uninvolved, but may or may not have made an genuinely informed decision? There is another RfC which is dubiously formed running right now. Yes, there are problems with articles surrounding the subject of Syria, but I do not see them as a reflection of VM's editing practices... And, yes, admin intervention is essential as the GAME is afoot, but I believe you are pointing your finger in the wrong direction. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:49, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
@James J. Lambden, thank you for pointing that out. He is doing it here too [75], sneaking in the infobox edit along with the mass removal of sourced info. Khirurg (talk) 00:47, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
What are you talking about? That edit has a well articulated edit summary which explains exactly what I'm doing. You're just making stuff up, hoping everyone's too lazy to actually check your diffs. Also, didn't you just say you were going to "step away from the topic area"? Whatever happened to that? Looks to me like you're just continuing the edit wars [76] (reinstating POV text added by a user who was blocked for it) and trying to start new ones [77].Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:00, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
I said I would be willing to step back if you would too, but somehow you a) misread that, and b) I doubt you would agree. Khirurg (talk) 01:31, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Uh, no. What you said was, quote: "I have no problem stepping back from the topic area, provided others do the same (or even if they don't for that matter)". You seem to have a problem with, uh... "accuracy". Diff. So, was that meant in earnest? If so then show it. Or was it just a tactic cuz you saw people were starting to float the idea of a topic ban for you from all Syria related topics? Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:40, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, no prizes for guessing who "others" meant. Anyway, let me rephrase: I'll step back if you step back. Deal? Didn't think so. Khirurg (talk) 01:44, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
God damn it; both of you go take a break and do something, anything, away from each other, please? I'm tired of looking at this and y'all's back and forth is rapidly heading towards generating more heat than light. Ks0stm (TCGE) 01:54, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Sigh. You're right. I'm gonna go play some minecraft.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:13, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Topic Ban So lets deal with this in parts. (1) Is he tendentiously editing to pushing his POV? It does appear to me that Volunteer Marek has a very clear POV, but the question is if he is pushing that POV into the article text, or is he instead just removing badly sourced content that is against his POV and adding in well soured neutrally worded facts that support his POV while keeping due weight. It seems to me it is mostly the later. While he has a clear POV, he is mostly removing content he reasonably believes is badly sourced or undue. Is he willing to push hard for what he believes, absolutely. But I don’t feel he is crossing the line into being disruptive in this manner.
(2) Is he edit warring? There are times where he is reverting content added multiple times. But what should usually happen is that someone is bold, they get reverted, and then everyone discusses on the talk page. Instead, what is happening is they get reverted, and then the person that was bold re-adds the information again (or someone else re-adds it). I don’t get the feeling from examining his reverts, that he is trying to push content into the article by his reverts, instead he is trying to keep out controversial and potentially badly sourced content that was recently added. He is doing so in a manner mostly consistent with 1RR. Still the long term reverts to the same content seem like this has at times been a slow running edit war. But he is hardly alone in these edit wars, most of the things he is edit warring (if you can call it that) on seem to be a large slow moving (over a long period of time) many-editor edit wars over the same content.
(3) Is he being intellectually dishonest and gaming the system? I don’t see the evidence of attempting to deceive administrators into blocking his opponents. Can you explain this claim more? At times he does seem to add things with an edit summary that says something else. But the edit summary that says something else is actually an explanation for the rest of his edit. Instead, it appears that he is trying to use his 1RR per day to revert multiple things and not including all the explanation in the summary. I don’t feel he is trying to be deceptive in the edit summary though.
(4) Is he exhibiting WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior? He seems to see things in these articles as an “us vs them” kind of thinking. But that said, the articles are basically being edited by two groups of diametrically opposed editors who seem to be pushing two entirely opposite points of view. It practically is a battle ground going on with these articles (and I’m not even editing any of the articles!). If he were to be topic banned for this there are lots of editors on these pages that would need to be topic banned.
My overall conclusion is that Volunteer Marek isn’t being substantially more disruptive than many of the other editors on these pages. It would be inappropriate to single him out for a topic ban without the other editors doing the same thing also getting a similar sanction. I’m not sure this is the appropriate place to hash out all the editors who would need to get sanctioned here. If you wish to open an WP:Arbitration Committee request which would include Volunteer Marek and many of the other people involved in this, I would support that. But I am not ready to support a topic ban for him alone at this time. -Obsidi (talk) 02:33, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • This is really tl;dr for me, but a lot of statements by Khirurg on this page are simply not true. I can only comment on one example where I was involved. This edit by Khirurg with edit summary "POV pushing". Khirurg, why did you blame another contributor (Iryna) of "POV pushing" when in fact it was you who included the reference to RT (TV network) and removed correct statements referenced to Reuters and The Guardian? My very best wishes (talk) 02:40, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Please note that I have now twice had to remove Volunteer Marek's blatant personal attack against Khirurg calling him "full of shit". I was well allowed to do this as per WP:RPA and WP:TPO (which one of his supporters tried to use against me, ironically.) He seems to also have forgotten about WP:CIVIL and WP:NOTBATTLEGROUND. THE DIAZ talkcontribs 12:16, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

  • English is not my first language, so I checked it here. It tells this is A personal conjecture towards another informing them that you do not believe what they are saying. Yes, it is exactly what VM is telling. I do not see any problem. Yes, it is a personal comment, however starting this entire thread was already a personal comment by Khirurg about VM. This whole noticeboard exists for discussion of user's behavior, not for discussion of content (as would be article talk pages). Somehow I am not surprised. It has been numerous times already when Khirurg participated in complaints about VM, complaints that have been dismissed by admins. My very best wishes (talk) 15:25, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

1RR violation[edit]

There was a 1RR violation on the part of Volunteer Marek yesterday (1, 2). I don't think he ought to get a pass just because he represents the mainstream view. El_C 21:42, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

  • El_C, is this, given the time stamp, not possibly indicative of an edit conflict? Thanks, Drmies (talk) 22:21, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Hmm, that did not occur to me—yes, that's a possibility. Is that what he's claiming? Because I would be willing to overlook a 1RR violation on that basis. El_C 22:46, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Ha, I don't know--it would be good if Marek explained. Maybe it's in here somewhere, but this report is a bit large. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 23:08, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't see that as a 1RR violation unless you can point to a recent edit that inserted the MIT professor stuff for that first edit. I looked and it has been in the article since at least beginning of April. Typically, we don't consider removing literally anything to be "reverting". It has to be undoing something semi-recent. (As a note, I did look into those edits earlier today before this post, but decided they were not a violation.) ~ Rob13Talk 00:48, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I can't argue with my own point. Fair enough—didn't realise it was that old. El_C 01:27, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I was making edits, I got an edit conflict, I copy pasted per usual and hit save. I didn't even realize the Terrorist guy made an edit in between my edits.Volunteer Marek (talk) 11:34, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Removes reliably sourced material he does not like[edit]

  • Regarding #7: "Removes reliably sourced material he does not like [78]. The source is reliable ( and Theodore Postol is a notable academic expert on chemical warfare."
    I agree. Theodore Postol is an established expert on this subject, ref. MIT, and his work has been published by reliable sources, ref. IBT, DW, RT, TheNation, pressTV, Truthdig, consortiumnews. Even if some of the sources mentioned may lack a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy", they are still reliable for reporting what Postol said. The reliability of a source depends on context. It's not "undue" as VM says, nor is it a "conspiracy theory". This is a viewpoint held by a significant minority, and Postol is a "prominent adherent". As long as we include his viewpoint, we must do so "fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias". How many words that is required to explain his view depends on the subject. I agree that it is disruptive editing to repeatedly, ref diff, diff, diff and diff, remove Postols statement. Erlbaeko (talk) 07:18, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
    • 1. He is not an established expert in the subject. He is an expert in another subject. 2. These sources did not "publish" his work, they may have commented on it. 3. Look at the list of these sources - you have i) Postol's original paper. This is a WP:SPS, ii) RT News, iii) PressTV (official Iranian propaganda outlet) iv) Consortiumnews - a conspiracy website and v) Truthdig - another unreliable source. Out of that list only possibly the Nation and IbTimes are reliable. vi) There's this continuing tactic of using "these shitty sources are reliable for reporting what someone said" as an excuse to include WP:FRINGE and WP:UNDUE material into these articles. Now, there might be a reason to include a brief mention of what Postol said - but not a whole freakin' section. (And yes, it is a conspiracy theory - that's why this got reposted through the far-right outlets as #SyriaHoax, by the same people who claimed Sandy Hook was a hoax, who claimed 9-11 was a hoax, etc. etc. etc.).Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:40, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
"These sources did not "publish" his work, they may have commented on it." Is that so? I think you should read them. You can read Postol's reports in full in the IBT article and in the RT-article, but if you are tired of reading, I recomend this video (also included in the RT article). Erlbaeko (talk) 07:49, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
They are not publishing it. They are commenting on it and link to it with easy access. Publishing involves a peer review process. This isn't that. (And I don't care about what's in a RT article nor am I going to waste minutes of my life watching RT youtube videos) Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:54, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
The material is "attributable to reliable, published sources" whether you like it or not, and RT is reliable for what Postol said. They even have him on tape. Erlbaeko (talk) 08:15, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
...and he is an established expert on the subject. Here is an article where William Broad is commenting on a similar report he and Richard M. Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector an expert in warhead design, made. Erlbaeko (talk) 09:50, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
...and here we go again. Removed as "fringe and WP:EXCEPTIONAL fluff" by Stickee, ref. diff. Erlbaeko (talk) 12:15, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Why is there a content dispute in this subsection? There's a talk page for that. PS: Thanks for the notification. Stickee (talk) 12:20, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Repeated removal of reliably sourced material can be disruptive, but this report is about VM, and I believe that was your fist edit to the article, so I am not saying your edit was disruptive. You're welcome. Erlbaeko (talk) 13:41, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Why is this report here rather than at ANI?[edit]

Why is this report here rather than at ANI? (Or even AE?) This is the wrong board for a topic ban proposal. Therefore, unless this report is moved to the proper venue, I Oppose topic ban and Support Boomerang for the filer. Softlavender (talk) 07:29, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

@Softlavender: Wikipedia:General_sanctions#Community_sanctions: "The community may also impose general sanctions on all editors working in a particular area, usually after a discussion at the administrators' noticeboard." --NeilN talk to me 13:21, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
On the other hand, since much of the original complaint has been refuted, we could just close this. I suspect it will end up at one of those venues soon, unfortunately, as a number of editors don't appear to recognise what they're doing wrongly, however many people point it out to them. Black Kite (talk) 17:56, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
NeilN, that says "all editors", not "an individual editor". Softlavender (talk) 00:07, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
@Softlavender: I'm guessing "all editors" means "any editor". I cannot fathom a situation where every single editor working in the Syrian Civil War and ISIL area would be sanctioned. --NeilN talk to me 02:05, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
No, it simply means that ArbCom or the community can impose general sanctions on all editors working in a particular area. As has already been done with numerous topic areas. If WP:GS had meant "an individual editor" in those sentences, it would read "any editor" or "individual editors". But GS are a broad general sanction(s) (hence the name), not an individual sanction. Softlavender (talk) 04:49, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay, you're right. It would help if sanctions only had one consistent meaning. See my suggestion below. --NeilN talk to me 12:59, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Continued discussion[edit]

Comment - there are two helpful things that could happen here. First, a much deserved topic ban WP:BOOMERANG for the filer, User:Khirurg, as suggested by User:Drmies, User:Iryna Harpy, User:Softlavender and to some extent ("sanction" rather than topic ban) by User:L.R._Wormwood and User:Black Kite. The matter was also broached in general terms by User:NeilN. Second - and I'm ready to BEG for this - please, really, outside, uninvolved, eyes are desperately needed on Syria related articles. In particular Battle of Aleppo (2012–16) (and a few others). For freakin' sake, the article uses al-Masdar News, an unabashedly pro-Assad propaganda network which has been known to spread fake news and conspiracy theories [79] [80] TWENTY EIGHT times as a source! This despite the fact that even some of the "pro-Assad" (roughly) editors admit that it's only, quote, "semi-reliable". And it's not like it's being used for non-controversial stuff, quite the opposite, it's being used for straight up POV pushing [81]. Yet, any attempts to fix this problem are stymied by systemic edit warring and tag teaming combined with tag page disruption and obfuscation (and of course Khirurg has been an active contributor to that). That's why I'm really really BEGGING some of you who have commented here to make the effort - and I know it's a huge pain - to take a look at these articles and make some edits. It's absolutely striking how different the comments and discussions are when they are held in an outside venue, where outside eyes are present, such as here, and what is happening on the talk page. It's two different worlds. And one of them is way past the bizarro phase.Volunteer Marek (talk) 04:54, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Actually, I had the time so I went through the whole reference list of the article and counted. Out of 369 sources used in the article, only 22 Masdar reports are used (7 of which in the infobox alone - units, troop strength, commander names) while of the remaining 15: 10 are for territorial claims (which you yourself said are justifiable), one regarding a ceasefire proposal and only 4 are for controversial claims (as you put it). And only two that are cited more than once are again citing only unit names. In contrast, almost 20 various pro-rebel reports are used, so the balance of both sides POV is pretty much scaled. The removal of maybe just a few Masdar reports would even it out entirely. EkoGraf (talk) 06:13, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Comment I'm entirely uninvolved in articles on this topic, but I have seen Al-Masdar come up as an issue on different articles, so maybe an RSN discussion would be helpful - maybe we shouldn't use it at all in Wikipedia articles, if there is consensus that it is not WP:RS Seraphim System (talk) 13:12, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually, it just came up, that one of the editors of al-Masdar has been active on the neo-Nazi website Stormfront where he frequently posted racist stuff using slurs, like, well I'll let you click here. Al-Masdar admitted it and suspended the guy... with pay. He's not denying it either.
Now, this source wouldn't be reliable EVEN IF they didn't have neo-Nazis writing for them. But what is the response of the pro-Assad editors on the talk page of Battle of Aleppo? Why, it's that "if a NY Times editor was caught making the same offensive remarks at Stormfront, we wouldn't be dismissing NYT as a source altogether on Wikipedia" so it's okay to continue using al-Masar. I shit you not, that's an actual quote from one of the editors [82]. Because apparently, it's okay to use sources which employ neo-Nazis (and there's a ton of other stuff wrong with them besides that) because in some alternative universe the New York Times employs neo-Nazis and the Wikipedia in that alternative universe continues to use New York Times as reliable. You. Can't. Make. This. Shit. Up. That is an actual argument made by User:EtienneDolet (who, btw, in the past has insisted that anti-semitic conspiracy websites are "scholarly sources").
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who thinks its okay to use a source like this has no business editing Syria-related topics.
Anyone who will then defend a source which employs neo-Nazis as reliable because "New York Times could have done it" actually has no business editing Wikipedia.
Above, User:Drmies, User:Iryna Harpy, User:Softlavender and User:L.R_Wormwood have all more or less proposed a topic ban for User:Khirurg. Which he deserves. But at least so far Khirurg hasn't defended using neo-Nazi writers so this is even worse.
Look, there's discretionary sanctions here. Any admin, if they so choose, can topic ban these guys who do this. Alternatively, admins need to take responsibility and become active on the page in regard to content. Because this crap is way out of control.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:09, 29 April 2017 (UTC)


  • Examples of editors squarely disagreeing with VM at the Battle of Aleppo talkpage: [83] [84] [85] [86] [87]
  • Examples of editors fed up with VM's behavior [88] [89] [90]
  • I would also like remind everyone (Obsidi (talk · contribs) in particular) of this little gem [91] where VM is trying to trick BU Rob13 into blocking EtienneDolet by alleging that Etienne re-started old edit-wars about the Christmas material and the pic of the burnt buses. But both of those were added in December (the Christmas material by me, and the buses by EtienneDolet) and were never removed. There was never any edit-war over either of these (until now, when VM ignited one by trying to remove the Christmas material. VM is falsely accusing EtienneDolet so as to trick BU Rob13 into blocking him. And he is doing the same thing now. This alone is grounds for a sanction. Khirurg (talk) 06:11, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Also note how he is still trying to remove the Christmas material (this is turning into an obsession), even though it was widely covered in reliable sources and literally everyone in the discussion totally disagrees with him [92] (except user R2D2015, and even then only as far as the pic and not the text). We are deep, deep in WP:TEND and WP:HORSE territory here. Khirurg (talk) 06:17, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Look, nothing is going to happen here, because only the community (on ANI) or ArbCom can administer a topic ban. This is the wrong venue for this request, and I suggest that the filer and everyone else making proposals withdraw them now before they get hit with boomerangs. A TBAN request should be filed at ANI. An Arbitration Enforcement request should be filed at AE. Softlavender (talk) 06:20, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Imposing 1RR on ideologically contentious articles can understandably lead to personally invested editorial disputes. It's a structural problem. A 2RR would be more efficient, more psychologically "natural", and less stressful. Till that day, I'd be happy to let these two editors continue firing broadsides at each other here. We could come back in a week or two to survey the damage... No sanctions needed. (Meanwhile the article lead looks surprisingly good. There's a poorly sourced claim which seems to suggest that if you're going to kill civilians it's more ethical to use a regular military-specification bomb than a barrel bomb; but I'm just going to tag it for now.) --Dervorguilla (talk) 06:23, 1 May 2017 (UTC)


While 1RR is strictly enforced, less obvious but more pernicious behavior is seemingly overlooked. I have outlined what I believe to be two significant behavioral issues in these articles:

  1. Unsupported accusations of behavioral violations
  2. Edit summaries that disguise or don't address controversial edits

Others have suggested off-wiki SPAs have affected the !votes.

Will administrators active in this topic commit to the following going forward:

  • Topic ban for any editor who accuses another of violating behavioral guidelines without substantiating that claim
  • Topic ban for any editor who disguises a controversial edit by not addressing it in their edit summary
  • Topic ban for any editor who justifies an edit with demonstrably incorrect claims
  • Extended confirmed protection applied to articles where there is evidence of off-wiki coordination

Enforcement must be strict and immediate. Noticeboard complaints are not effective and tend to amplify disruption. James J. Lambden (talk) 19:45, 27 April 2017 (UTC)


  • Support (as proposer) James J. Lambden (talk) 19:45, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Close this thread. Enough disruption. There are already General sanctions in this subject area. Nothing else is needed. My very best wishes (talk) 20:11, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • No "Topic ban for anyone who tries to WP:GAME Wikipedia rules by making bad faithed unenforceable proposals which implicitly try to falsely smear other editors"? No "Topic ban for anyone who parades around their WP:BATTLEGROUND mentality by abusing Admin noticeboards"? Honestly, the only proposal that might get a measure of support here is a topic-ban from Syria related articles for User:Khurig. That's more or less what... four now? uninvolved editors have proposed so far (and I of course would support it) so why not propose that rather than engaging in what is really just empty posturing? Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:42, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
We're still waiting for that diff... James J. Lambden (talk) 01:41, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support closing this thread. No, you can't have a pony. Wikipedia is WP:NOTBUREAUCRACY, and trying to impose a new 'subset' of laws because you're unhappy with processes and want to simplify things to appease your sense of order is prohibitive to the development of article content and is contrary to the spirit of the project. These are case-by-case issues to be dealt with as individual cases unless admins see fit to protect a page temporarily until disputes are resolved by whatever process is deemed fitting. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:24, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support closing this thread There are already WP:General sanctions in this area which are sufficient but for if an ArbCom case is necessary. -Obsidi (talk) 23:40, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Close thread or move it to ANI or AE, before WP:BOOMERANGS start getting handed out. Softlavender (talk) 00:09, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment I will AGF that objections to any modification of the existing enforcement structure are an acknowledgement that process above was productive, and not an endorsement of misleading edit-summaries, unsubstantiated accusations and off-wiki coordination. James J. Lambden (talk) 01:42, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
I think it is more that any process is not going to be perfect, and the proposed changes are not any better than what we currently have. -Obsidi (talk) 02:21, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
The more precise the rule the less room for debate the less time is wasted debating. 3RR is easy to enforce so threads there are relatively short. Other than 3RR (1RR?) in these articles the only real behavioral rule is "don't behave disruptively." Without precision these long back-and-forths are inevitable until one camp eliminates their opponents. That is not ideal. Contrary to the suggestion my proposal is posturing I'd endorse any more precise (and still reasonable) restrictions. With the current consensus against that however I won't push it. James J. Lambden (talk) 02:40, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, obviously. Starting with a well-deserved topic ban for VM. Khirurg (talk) 05:20, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Look, nothing is going to happen here, because only the community (on ANI) or ArbCom can administer a topic ban. This is the wrong venue for this request, and I suggest that the filer and everyone else making proposals withdraw them now before they get hit with boomerangs. A TBAN request should be filed at ANI. An Arbitration Enforcement request should be filed at AE. Softlavender (talk) 05:42, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Just open a thread at ANI pointing to here. It's not like only admins post on AN. --NeilN talk to me 12:54, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Not my job. Softlavender (talk) 12:49, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
@Softlavender: Please see WP:GS, particularly WP:GS#Process#Community_sanctions. It would have been thrown out at AE because Syrian Civil War is covered by general sanctions, not Arbitration sanctions. Neil's suggestion about ANI is a good one. Khirurg (talk) 18:57, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Then move the thread to ANI. It's not my job to do that. Softlavender (talk) 12:49, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Softlavender: Yeah, ANI, or ABB as it should be called (Administrators' BoomerangBoard), would probably be the correct place for this report, but according to the Remedies of the SCW & ISIL sanctions, "Any uninvolved administrator may, at his or her own discretion, impose sanctions on any editor working in the area of conflict if, despite being warned, that editor repeatedly or seriously fails to adhere to the purpose of Wikipedia, any expected standards of behavior, or any normal editorial process.". Marek have been notified of the remedies in place, and have been warned and blocked several times, so it's not like you or any uninvolved administrator can't do anything about it, that is, if you are an uninvolved administrator. Are you? Erlbaeko (talk) 11:44, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not an admin. The OP, who is not an admin, is asking for a TBAN, which is an individual sanction to be imposed by the community (i.e. at ANI) or by ArbCom. Softlavender (talk) 12:49, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
No, not in this area (Syrian Civil War related pages). After beeing notified of discretionary sanctions with the {{subst:GS/SCW&ISIL notification}} template, any uninvolved administrator may, at his or her own discretion, impose sanctions. "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, bans on any editing related to the topic or its closely related topics, restrictions on reverts or other specified behaviors; or any other measures which the imposing administrator believes are reasonably necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the project.", ref. the Remedies. Erlbaeko (talk) 13:06, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, sure. All people who contribute in this subject area know about it. And at least some administrators use these DS. This complaint is unusual and qualify as "block shopping". During four days of discussion no one was convinced that VM should be topic banned. To the contrary, at least one admin suggested that Khirurg and SaintAviator should be topic banned. That sound logical because Khirurg was engaged in a similar block shopping previously on a number of occasions. So, what is your point, exactly? To topic ban Khirurg and SaintAviator? OK, I certainly do not mind. My very best wishes (talk) 13:31, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
No, not exactly. I have not looked into Khirurg and SaintAviator edits. The point is that any uninvolved administrator can do whatever he or she believes are reasonably necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the project, and it is not functioning smooth. I would have given Marek a clear warning for gaming the system and blocked him on the spot the next time he push his POV. Erlbaeko (talk) 13:58, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
So, you are telling that Khirurg posted this request in a hope that at least one uninvolved admin will topic ban VM. Yes, that is what he certainly did, and not for the first time. My very best wishes (talk) 14:07, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, i didn't even realize that Khirurg was User:Athenean until last night. So yeah, he's done this before and it's never worked and generally back fired.Volunteer Marek (talk) 14:25, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
...and "before opening an Sockpuppet investigations, you need good reason to suspect sock puppetry. Evidence is required." You you can open an investigation here. Erlbaeko (talk) 14:47, 29 April 2017 (UTC) I misinterpreted VM comment above. Struck after a message from My very best wishes on my talk page. Did you realize that Khirurg was User:Athenean last night, too? Erlbaeko (talk) 16:26, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't know what he hope for, but he said he was submitting the report to "request editing restrictions on Volunteer Marek on Syrian Civil War related articles for the disruptive behavior outlined below", so I guess he wants a response from at least one uninvolved admin. Maybe he just had enough of that drama board or maybe he read about General sanctions witch says "The community may also impose general sanctions on all editors working in a particular area, usually after a discussion at the administrators' noticeboard." But Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and "a procedural error made in a proposal or request is not grounds for rejecting that proposal or request". Erlbaeko (talk) 14:37, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
"Maybe he just had enough of that drama board" - nah. Khirurg just block shopping cuz he knows (since he's a regular at drama boards) this wouldn't fly at WP:AE and he'd very likely get boomerang. I mean, he might get boomerang here as well, but there's a near certainty of boomerang over there. Most of his buddies already got it.Volunteer Marek (talk) 16:31, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
  • How about another proposal: do not comment about other contributors on article talk pages because that is exactly what Hirurg does right now [93]. I do not think he is ever going to stop. My very best wishes (talk) 19:56, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
    • First of all, in that edit I am not commenting on VM, but on VM's edit. But you already knew that. On the other hand, it looks like it's your friend this is commenting on ther editors, and looks like he is not going to stop [94] [95]. Khirurg (talk) 20:24, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
You tell "another terrible, unencyclopedic, ultra POV edit by Volunteer Marek". And you tell this about a reasonable edit. Come on. You just singled out this contributor, followed him through a number of pages, complained about him on several noticeboards, and for what reason? Is it just because you and ED happened to disagree with senator McCain about Putin [96] [97], or is it because you disagreed about Putin with Canadian and French Prime Ministers [98]? My very best wishes (talk) 22:08, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Khirurg's edit is ridiculous, and it was followed by a worse one from Tiptoe, whom I just blocked for a week. It's not just the personal attack, but the ongoing disruption that makes for an impossible editing atmosphere. Volunteer Marek is well aware of the fact that admins consider such personal remarks to be disruptive enough for a block, but at least Marek didn't make that mistake again after being blocked for it. In the meantime, I don't know what to do with this thread and I hope that some innocent admin comes by and does something about it, and that an uninvolved admin considers the matter carefully and employs the power given to them via DS to improve the editing atmosphere here. Drmies (talk) 21:44, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't see how that is any worse than this from VM, posted some hours earlier. Ok, so Mareks comment wasn't on the articles talk page, but come on. Wikipedians are humans too. Policies and procedures should be interpreted with common sense. And before you continue, remember that Mareks buddies may have, or may be seen as having, a conflict of interest in disputes like this. Erlbaeko (talk) 10:04, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
What? What conflict of interest? See WP:ASPERSIONS. You might want to back that up or strike it.Volunteer Marek (talk) 17:12, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Back up what? That your buddies have a conflict of interest in disputes like this? Of course they have. "A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation or decision-making of that individual or organization." Ref. COI. Erlbaeko (talk) 17:36, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I didn't ask you to define what COI is, I asked you to back up your accusation. Let's see the diffs which show that I, or "my buddies" (sic) have "multiple interests, financial or otherwise" in this topic area. Because that accusation is, frankly, stupid. If you can't then please strike your WP:ASPERSIONS because then they are a straight up personal attack.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:16, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Hell, this is as if I accused you of being a marsupial-lover, then when you ask me back that up I respond with "Are you a marsupial-lover? Of course you are! Marsupials are any members of the mammalian infraclass Marsupialia. All extant marsupials are endemic to Australasia and the Americas. A distinctive characteristic common to these species is that most of the young are carried in a pouch". Defining something and backing up an accusations are two completely different things. Strike it.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:27, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
VM: Three weeks ago you falsely accused me of canvassing. I have asked you to retract or substantiate that accusation multiple times and you have not. Within the last day you accused me of "defending a neo-Nazi writer" in response to my arguments regarding the reliability of a publication with which the writer is no longer affiliated. Twice you restored that aspersion after I removed it. These examples come from just our direct interaction in the last month. I have seen you target other editors with similar smears. (Note: you have yet to substantiate your sockpuppet claim with a simple diff.) So when you complain about WP:ASPERSIONS I hope you understand why others may have difficulty taking those complaints seriously. James J. Lambden 🇺🇸 (talk) 18:49, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
James, up above, you yourself first claimed that you notified "those who participated in the RfC" and "only those" - then you were shown to be wrong and you admitted that indeed you had omitted an editor who would've most likely opposed you. So my comment was substantiated. On WP:RSN you did indeed say "Calling a journalist a "neo-Nazi" because he's alleged to have made racist comments sounds like a BLP violation"", basically defending source from a guy who had posted racist crap for something like eight years on a Neo-Nazi website. You added that "alleged" in there, among other things, as if there were some question as to the facts. Then when pressed, you admitted, or claimed if you like, that you had no idea what you were talking about and hadn't actually bothered to read anything about it - you were just going after me. Again. Same with the other diff. You take a simple inaccuracy in one of my edit summaries and try to blow it all up as if it was some horrible sin on my part, while you yourself can't get your facts straight.
And even this comment of yours - it's a straight up attempt to change the subject and deflect from the fact that Erlbaeko made a pretty serious and completely unsubstantiated accusations that I (or "my buddies", whoever that is suppose to be) have a "conflict of interest". As in, I'm paid to edit or something. You're basically trying to come to defense of someone, simply because they're "anti-Volunteer Marek" which just displays your WP:BATTLEGROUND attitude.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:24, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
And are you really gonna sit there and claim that the sockpuppet claim was unsubstantiated when I already provided the diffs [99] [100]? Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:31, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I did not say you were "paid to edit or something", but when your "buddy" act as an administrator in a case that involves you, yes, then that administrator "may have, or may be seen as having, a conflict of interest", ref. involved. Erlbaeko (talk) 08:31, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
You quoted COI. Now you're changing it to WP:INVOLVED. Well, I guess that's an improvement, but then you should still strike your original accusation. Also, if you're going to go around insinuating shit about people, have the balls to come out and name'em.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:42, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I actually quoted WP:INVOLVED in the first coi-statement (without using quotes). Then I added a quote from the "Conflict of interest"-article. I did not quote the COI-guideline. It's a general term, and I think they already got the message. Erlbaeko (talk) 09:08, 2 May 2017 (UTC) Updated. Erlbaeko (talk) 07:25, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Two-front war?[edit]

I'm taking some fire too...

... And I only started editing the article 3 days ago. --Dervorguilla (talk) 23:12, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

@BU Rob13, Black Kite, Drmies, El C, Ks0stm, and NeilN: Care to comment? --Dervorguilla (talk) 01:08, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Strangely enough, you came into this article, which is indeed chock full of unreliable sources, and started tagging... the few reliable sources that are present, as unreliable. Not sure how that is suppose to work.Volunteer Marek (talk) 03:21, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Dervorguilla, why did you claim that The Independent is not a reliable source? Drmies (talk) 15:23, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
I briefly protected the article, only to reverse myself as it seems that the edit war has died down. Now I'm not so sure anymore. El_C 02:57, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
And I have just fully-protected it for 3 days to prevent the edit war from flaring up again. Hopefully, discussion on the talk page (or talk pages, rather, as this is part of a broader conversation about the reliability of certain sources) can bring this to a resolution. I apologise again to everyone for my indecision. El_C 03:05, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

@Drmies: I claimed that the McKernan story isn't RS, not The Independent.

From RS#Overview:

The word "source" has three related meanings: the piece of work itself (the article); the creator; and the publisher. Any of the three can affect reliability.


Whether a specific news story is reliable for a fact should be examined on a case-by-case basis.

From the McKernan story:

The report from the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) found that Syrian regime helicopters dropped 12,958 barrel bombs in 2016 in total. The strikes resulted in the deaths of 653 civilians, SNHR found...

653 civilian deaths ÷ 12,958 barrel bombs = 0.050 civilian deaths per barrel bomb.

E-mail from [Dervorguilla] to (May 5, 2017):

Subject: Request for information
Attn: Syrian Network for Human Rights
On January 9, 2017, you wrote: "The Syrian Network for Human Rights ... is a primary source for the United Nations on all death toll-related statistics in Syria." Report
Your website says: "The Syrian Network for Human Rights is considered one of the most distinguished and prominent sources of information and references for all the analytical and statistical studies issued by the United Nations." About Us
I ask that you name one analytical or statistical study issued by the UN after 2013 that mentions you as a source. Compare Google Search
Cambridge, Massachusetts

I'll be posting SNHR's reply here. --Dervorguilla (talk) 21:39, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

  • No, don't post that kind of stuff here--this oddly formatted post is already unwieldy enough. Article talk page please. In this edit you removed an article from the Independent that said "a watchdog claimed that...", which verified the text "it was claimed that". If a reliable newspaper uses a source, we most surely can report that the source said what the reliable source says it said, no matter how much you semanticate around. BTW, El_C, no apology necessary: adminning in this area is difficult enough and I appreciate your help. Drmies (talk) 22:15, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
@Drmies, El C, BU Rob13, Black Kite, Ks0stm, and NeilN: I'd be happy to work with Volunteer Marek here. One last question before signing off. I think it would be helpful to add this (currently unchallenged) fact: "According to The Independent, the Syrian Network for Human Rights claimed that regime helicopters dropped 12,958 barrel bombs in 2016. The strikes resulted in 653 civilian deaths (an average of 0.050 deaths per bomb)."
As I understand WP:CALC, there would have to be a consensus among the editors that the result of this routine calculation is obvious, correct, and a meaningful reflection of the RS. Would you interpret the policy the same way? --Dervorguilla (talk) 01:23, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
No, it would not be helpful. One can derive any numbers, but they are frequently meaningless, unless interpreted by RS. What this number of 0.05 suppose to mean? That Assad forces wasted a lot ammunition without any result? Or that Assad forces were highly successful in targeting enemy combatants and had very little of collateral damage? We do not know until that was interpreted by secondary RS. My very best wishes (talk) 23:42, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Sorry but I don't see the point. You don't need the Independent to warrant explicitly what they're saying; you need them to warrant that what they're saying bears repeating in an encyclopedic article. Drmies (talk) 02:52, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
@Drmies: "You need them to warrant that what they're saying bears repeating in an encyclopedic article." Two points:
1. To be more correct: We can use the Independent to warrant that what it's reporting is newsworthy. And here's what it's reporting: A "watchdog claims..." A "watchdog has published data..." "SNHR found..." And so forth. (In the UK, a watchdog is a "group that acts as a guardian against illegal practices" -- an activist group.)
Nowhere does the Independent suggest that a reputable group has published authoritative data. Or that it's verified any of the group's data, or that it has any reason to believe what the group claims. If it did, it would likely have acknowledged the group as a "primary source for the UN" or a "prominent source of information".
Maybe the Independent doesn't believe a watchdog that claims it takes 20 barrel bombs to kill 1 civilian?
2. To be clearer: The only claim that bears repeating in a Wikipedia article is one that better informs our readers about the article subject. --Dervorguilla (talk) 04:54, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

I had to withdraw from Khan Shaykhun chemical attack‎ for a while due to several reasons—unfortunately, it just didn't seem feasible for me to be editing the article or talk page any longer. With Volunteer Marek, much there appears to be in flux, including hard-won consensus. His behaviour has not been glowing. El_C 01:06, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

There is an RfC on the page about including this material [101] with six "pro", six "opposed" and no official closing. Hence, including this material right now seems like inclusion without consensus. As about the "Battle of Aleppo", this looks to me as a typical content dispute [102]. My very best wishes (talk) 13:01, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Don't fall for the obfuscation masquerading as "typical content dispute," folks. El_C 04:40, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
There was a previous discussion regarding including a small statement similar to what is linked in the diff MVBW supplied. The result was fairly clearly inclusion. In the absence of consensus for a different result, that is the status quo, so even if the current RfC demonstrated no consensus, that would support inclusion as the status quo. I'm not sure what the continued misunderstanding is. I've explained this extensively on the talk page as a neutral party. Further questions about the current state of consensus can be directed there, not at ANI. ~ Rob13Talk 05:17, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarity, Rob—I appreciate you not letting hard-won consensus evaporate into the ether. El_C 06:03, 10 May 2017 (UTC)[edit]

Resolved. ~ Rob13Talk 00:33, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

WP:AIV appears to be dead at the moment, if any active admin could smash the ban hammer on this troll, that would be greatly appreciated... Thx. (talk) 06:08, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Blocked by Zzuuzz (talk · contribs). --Yamla (talk) 12:37, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

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

Alternative for Germany[edit]

More eyes on this article would be helpful. Jytdog (talk) 21:48, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

FYI to everyone — this is a political party, not a redirect to "Greater Denmark" or "Greater Poland" or something proposing an alternative to the existence of Germany as I initially thought :-) Nyttend (talk) 03:23, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
 :) Jytdog (talk) 03:54, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Small issue at ANI backlogged 5 days now[edit]

Five days ago I requested help at ANI with a disruptive user who had recently received a BLP ban but whose other edits are highly problematic and so far it has yet to be addressed. The behaviour has ramped up since but it's not really vandalism per se so reporting to AIV won't help. Is someone able to take a look please? --- PageantUpdater (talk) 12:18, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Issue has now been addressed, thanks. --- PageantUpdater (talk) 12:57, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Creating a new category[edit]

(non-admin closure)Category created by GiantSnowman. Further discussion about the applicablity of "killed in" should take place at MediaWiki talk:Titleblacklist. Hasteur (talk) 20:02, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I'm trying to create a new category, but I recieve a "Permission error". Would someone create it for me?

The title: Category:Military personnel killed in the Syrian Civil War

The content:

Military personnel participating in the [[Syrian Civil War]] who were [[killed in action]] or died of wounds received in battle.
[[Category:Military personnel killed in action by war|Syrian Civil War]]
[[Category:People killed in the Syrian Civil War]]
[[Category:Military personnel of the Syrian Civil War]]

Thanks in advance. --Z 10:37, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

@ZxxZxxZ:  Done GiantSnowman 10:40, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
It looks like the words "killed in" appears on a blacklist. Perhaps trying an alternative wording, such as "casualties"? Wes Wolf Talk 10:41, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
'Killed in' looks to be the standard wording for those kind of categories, see Category:Military personnel killed in action by war. GiantSnowman 10:48, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
Comment "Casualties" is not a synonym for "killed"; injuries are included in "casualties".--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:35, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
If the blacklist applies to you, can you move an innocuous title to a blacklisted title? Or because that's considered a form of new page creation, would that action be blacklisted as well? Nyttend (talk) 03:24, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
No, you shouldn't. I'd say though that killed in has too many legit uses to belong on MediaWiki:Titleblacklist. I recommend its removal from there. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:07, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Certainly in the category namespace - is it possible, and not too complicateed, to change that regex to exclude the Category: namespace? עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 09:12, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

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

A trolling group...[edit] using the article Rölli as their playground. Please see its recent edit history. (talk) 21:38, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Article semi'd for 1 month. --Floquenbeam (talk) 22:09, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Disruptive editing by User: Light show[edit]

First of all, this is my first time bringing a problem to ANI so if there’s any information that’s missing from this message, please let me know and I will add it ASAP.

To get to the point — for the past five years User:Light show (previously known as Wikiwatcher1) has been a disruptive editor on several entertainment-related articles, such as Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. The Chaplin article was overhauled and brought to FA status by myself and another editor, User:Loeba, and throughout that process and ever since the FA nom passed, he has been showing up to complain, argue and edit war on numerous different topics. Usually his edits seem to be dictated by his opinions and are contradicted by the most authoritative sources. Regardless of how you try to explain that his point of view is not supported by the sources, he refuses to consider this and continues to force his opinion. He rarely tries to be diplomatic and is quick to accuse others of slandering the subject of the article when the content differs from his opinions. It seems impossible to discuss anything with him, as once he has an opinion about a subject, he will try to edit the article to match it, no matter what. Unfortunately, he is also a very prolific editor, especially in entertainment-related articles, despite the fact that his understanding of research and source criticism is shoddy at best, thus endangering any credibility that Wikipedia has.

Here are some of the repetitive talk page discussions that we’ve had with him on Charlie Chaplin:

Despite having all these grievances about the article, he chose not to bring them up during the GA and FA reviews.

When I began to edit Marilyn Monroe in the summer of 2015, this behaviour continued there, again even after the article reached FA status:

When I began to edit Elizabeth Taylor in late 2015, Light show was there immediately, attempting to bar me from editing it by nominating the article for GA despite it clearly not meeting GA standards:

Unsurprisingly, the nomination failed. As I continued overhauling the article, it became apparent that it contained paragraphs that appeared to be plagiarized from Alexander Walker’s biography on Taylor:

Yet another dispute, during which I listed the plagiarized paras I had found and diffs proving that he was the source of the plagiarized material in the article:

This is especially concerning given the fact that Light show is banned from Commons due to repeated copyright infringements.

Light show’s latest campaign is to change the nationalities of famous figures to “American” if they spent major parts of their career in the US. The above discussion on Chaplin’s nationality is just one example, you can find several others by quickly browsing his recent edit history. In particular, I find it concerning that he changes the nationalities of people who apparently do not/did not hold American citizenship. Examples:

This kind of behaviour is standard with Light show. He has been banned from Commons for similar disruptive behaviour regarding copyright questions [103], and is banned from editing articles related to Stanley Kubrick [104] and Peter Sellers [105].

After five years, I'm fed up of having to spend so much of my time arguing with this user, who seems to be more interested in editing articles from his point of view than based on research. Arguably, he is also violating the credibility of Wikipedia. His disruptive editing has been reined in at Commons, but I now think something needs to be done in Wikipedia as well, as he has had several years to improve but he simply refuses to get the message, as he does not see anything wrong with his style of editing despite constant negative feedback from other editors. The examples I've listed here are from my personal interactions with him, but if you browse his history, it becomes apparent I'm not alone in having issues with him.TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 16:15, 25 April 2017 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3

Comment Am in agreement as the disruptions never seem to stop. A failed FA of last year, started RfC when his changes weren't welcomed, a recent violation of WP community upload ban (see above) Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Violation_of_community_ban . The editor seems to want everything his way and is willing to disrupt in the effort. This is just a sample; there are more examples at the Stanley Kubrick and Peter Sellers talk page archives. We hope (talk) 16:27, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Comment I'm not a member of the Light Show fan club and in the past I have found him frustrating to deal with, and in one article (whose name escapes me) I contemplated going to ANI. Most recently I was summoned by bot to comment on an RfC he commenced in Charles Chaplin, in which I initially agreed with him but then decided not to do so. He can be tough and somewhat tendentious. However, he edits in an area in which editors jealously guard their articles to the nth degree, to OWN levels at times, and in which FAs are viewed as being chiseled in granite. In the Chaplin article he is in the wrong in my view, but he is attacked like it's going out of style. Not every editor functions well in that environment. So I would suggest that this be taken into consideration. Coretheapple (talk) 22:10, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Question-What's the suggestion then? More topic bans at Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe to go along with the ones he presently has for the Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick articles? Years worth of continual disruptions which mainly return to the same theme or variations thereof can be hard for editors producing and maintaining these articles to take. We hope (talk) 22:30, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
My main concern has always been the copyright problems. Images, quote spam etc... But what are people asking for here? What is being proposed ban....comment limitations...edit limitations ? -Moxy (talk) 01:53, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
(Also in reply to We hope above) If an editor is getting to the point where they are banned from two biography articles, and people are considering banning them from two more where they are being disruptive, its clearly at the point where a topic ban from all biographical editing broadly construed should be considered. Its an ongoing issue, its the same behaviour at multiple articles, existing bans from articles have failed to curb their disruption - the next step is either a broad topic ban that allows them to continue editing, or just saying goodbye on a more permanent basis. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:05, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
(In reply to Coretheapple) We must be careful not to confuse stewardship with ownership. The problem with Light show is that he will try to change an article to his liking, based on his opinions and maybe one or two sources that he has found to support them through the Google Books preview function etc. When you explain to him that his additions to the article are not supported by the majority of sources on the subject and hence are